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doublee

ISO Regen very disappointing

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A few days ago I purchased an ISO Regen with UltraCAPs 1 power supply and it has been nothing but trouble and disappointment.  Roon would just skip songs without playing.  Zone drops out.  It took forum advice to get it working in my system - there is nothing in the manual or website. no troubleshooting etc.   The advice was to turn everything off and power DAC first then Regen then my streamer.  Eventually this worked and music played.  Then after few minutes, of what did sound good, the sound went - no volume despite  song still playing on Roon.  Tested DAC and amp with CD and sound was fine.   Frustrated pulled it all out and listened without it.  Later tried again and using similar steps and after a number of attempts it eventually worked and listen recommenced this time lasting for 15 mins or so.  Then it just starting skipping with our playing any songs again.

 

Not impressed seems a very fickle product especially for the price.  I do not expect this sort of problem and frustration. 

 

I have SOTM Cat 7 ethernet cable into SOTM SMS-200, Curious USB into Regen powered by Ultracaps out with Curious Regen Link (I even purchased this cable!) into DAC.  Project S2 DAC powered by 5 volt mini usb IFI power supply.  

 

Any other owners haver similar issues?  

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Hi:

We are sorry to hear that your initial experience with ISO REGEN has been less than 100% positive.

If you will contact us directly, either by phone (1-209-966-4377) or email (https://uptoneaudio.com/pages/contact-us), I will provide prompt personal assistance as I do for all our clients.  

 

Based on your description of your system I can already see a couple of factors that might be the cause of the disconnections that have occurred. 

 

[The utility company has cut power to our offices for the day (scheduled replacement of a pole), so I am typing this slowly on my cellphone. Thus I will be brief and also not able to refer you with links to more in-depth discussion of USB galvanic isolation and grounding issues.]

 

It looks to me that your component chain likely has only power supplies which lack earth ground reference. (What PS are you using for the sMS-200?) That is the most likely cause of your issue.  

While that may be easily solvable with a ground wire on one side or the other, there is one very simple step you can do now to prove that lack of ground reference is indeed the cause of your disconnections (we do mention this in the User Guide and this is something that the USB interface by design is not fond of): 

Move the white bat of the red switch on the ISO REGEN to the up (‘ON’) position.  

This will defeat the galvanic isolation feature—though that is only about 20% of the overall “goodness” of our device—and it should eliminate any disconnects. 

(By the way, the competing iFi Audio iGalvanic uses the same USB isolator chip as we do, and they too provide a switch to defeat the GI in not-uncommon cases like yours.)

 

If moving the switch does not cure the problem, then please try reversing you two Curious USB cables. In other words, use the 200mm Curious Link (or our included USPCB A>B Adapter) between you sMS-200 and the ISO REGEN, and then the long Curious cable from the ISO REGEN to your DAC.  Many handmade audiophile USB cables are wildly out of USB 90-ohm spec, and the Silanna isolator chip we use at the input of our piece is not tolerant of some of them. 

 

Let us us know what you find with the above experiments and tests.  There are about 2,000 ISO REGENs in user systems around the world, so we are pretty confident about its design and compatibility.  

Linux-based streamers are generally not not great at re-recognition of hot-swapped USB hubs (what devices such as ISO REGEN are functionally), that’s why rebooting may be required.  

 

Please know that regardless of the outcome, UpTone Audio stands behind its products—and its clients completely. If you are unhappy with your purchase for ANY reason, please allow us to issue a full refund (within 30 days; postage costs are not refunded).

 

As mentioned, our power—and phones—are off for the day. Normally I also do some support over the weekends (otherwise Mondays are a drag if I get behind), but this weekend (beginning this afternoon) I am going hiking and camping in Yosemite National Park with my family.

I’ll watch for your e-mail so we can assist you further at the beginning of the week.

 

Thanks and regards,

Alex Crespi 

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Mine has worked great for years with no issues. I suggest that as a trouble shooting experiment that you pull out the high-end USB cables and insert some standard certified USB cables and try again. There have been reports over the years where some of the high-end USB cables cause these types of problems in some equipment combinations. If that does the trick then at least you will know where the problem is. If not, ask Alex for replacement unit. Also, email him and he may be able to diagnose the problem. There are several other potential problems here that he may be able to help you with.

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Used the iso regen since it came out, still am ... currently running a uspbc from rendu to regen & Curious from regen to dac. All good!

 

Any issues, I briefly (20 secs) disconnect then reconnect power to lps-1 (which powers regen).


elgar iso tran(2.5kVa, .0005pfd)>consonance pw-3 boards>macmini(16gb ram-ssd-clones psu-mmk)[hd(psu)]>netgear gs105>ghent ethernet(et linkway cat8 jssg360)>etherRegen(lps1.2)(uptone smps)>ghent ethernet(et linkway cat8 jssg360) >ultraRendu(lps1.2)(js-2 split)>uspbc>iso regen(lps-1)(js-2 split)>curious link>rme adi-2 dac(js-2)>cawsey cables>naquadria sp2 passive pre> 1.naquadria lucien mkII.5 power>elac fs249be + elac 4pi plus.2> 2.perreaux9000b(mods)>2xnaq12” passive subs.

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Thanks for replies and suggestions.  Working now, hopefully no more dropouts.  Loving the sound improvement, very impressed & I didn’t doubt the Regen’s reputation for improvement but I was still surprised as you kinda think your system can’t sound too much better.  Wow - the piano I am hearing right now! 

Thank you for your detailed response  Superdad especially under the circumstances.  I feel bad you were on a family hike!  I’m from Perth Western Australia and two years ago my wife and I stayed four nights at yesterday right on the river in one of the campsites at Yosemite.  What a wonderful place.  Beautiful.  It was peak water that year too.

 

If issues arise I will take the advice here and I have a couple of experts in my city that will help too.  

 

All the best.

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8 hours ago, Superdad said:

It looks to me that your component chain likely has only power supplies which lack earth ground reference. (What PS are you using for the sMS-200?) That is the most likely cause of your issue.  

 

🙏. Something so obvious that I may have overlooked when troubleshooting another equipment. 

 

@doublee could you please share how did you get it working?  Thanks. 

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I thought it only fair that I add here how wonderful the ISO Regen has made the music sound.  More than I had hoped.  I like my new DAC and it sounds good enough but I was going to spend a bit and upgrade but now I don’t think I have to for a while.  My hi res, dsd, tidal 16/44 & MQA all sound better and kinda stunning now.  

DAC still disappeared after Mac Mini (Roon core) restart but it doesn’t seem as if it will drop out apart from that.  I’m recommending the Regen to friends for sure.

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After a few weeks use the sound is great but the continued disappearance of the DAC in the system is very frustrating.  It stays for maybe 1-3 days and then always drops off.  I have to unplug everything then put DAC on - Regen and then SOTM sms 200.  This doesn’t always work first time . I keep repeating until it shows again in Roon.  Totally down to the ISO Regen addition as the DAC never dropped out previously.  

Im not impressed.

 

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See post #4 ... not applicable?


elgar iso tran(2.5kVa, .0005pfd)>consonance pw-3 boards>macmini(16gb ram-ssd-clones psu-mmk)[hd(psu)]>netgear gs105>ghent ethernet(et linkway cat8 jssg360)>etherRegen(lps1.2)(uptone smps)>ghent ethernet(et linkway cat8 jssg360) >ultraRendu(lps1.2)(js-2 split)>uspbc>iso regen(lps-1)(js-2 split)>curious link>rme adi-2 dac(js-2)>cawsey cables>naquadria sp2 passive pre> 1.naquadria lucien mkII.5 power>elac fs249be + elac 4pi plus.2> 2.perreaux9000b(mods)>2xnaq12” passive subs.

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Thanks James.  Since the post I tried that and disconnecting Ethernet and reconnecting and it came back after an earlier disconnect of everything did not so hopefully your suggestion might help.  I swapped out the cable connecting the Ultracaps to the ISO Regen with a better quality one.  

 

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3 hours ago, doublee said:

After a few weeks use the sound is great but the continued disappearance of the DAC in the system is very frustrating.  It stays for maybe 1-3 days and then always drops off.  I have to unplug everything then put DAC on - Regen and then SOTM sms 200.  This doesn’t always work first time . I keep repeating until it shows again in Roon.  Totally down to the ISO Regen addition as the DAC never dropped out previously.  

Im not impressed.

 

Sorry that you continue to have troubles. I wish you would contact us directly for assistance. 

And again: Have you tried putting the red switch of the ISO REGEN in the up (‘ON’) position?  

 

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On 6/21/2019 at 6:06 PM, doublee said:

Roon would just skip songs without playing.

 

That particular part seems to be caused by Roon's "radio" feature. I don't know anything about it, apart from this whatever feauture (just being set On, not used at the moment), causes this odd skipping (tracks just pass by one by one quickly, without them being played).

 

As far as I know the real cause was ever found, nor the logic of it could be reasoned out, but the skipping is very specific *and* (!!) related to the quality of the connection. I mean, a USB cable could cause it too.

 

So if you recognize that Radio feature somewhere (others may help on where this resides), try to turn that off and re-observe.

 

Peter


Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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On 7/4/2019 at 7:55 PM, doublee said:

Thanks James.  Since the post I tried that and disconnecting Ethernet and reconnecting and it came back after an earlier disconnect of everything did not so hopefully your suggestion might help.  I swapped out the cable connecting the Ultracaps to the ISO Regen with a better quality one.  

 

it could be some household electrical device switching causing the isolation feature to cut the connection to your dac... this happened in my system...

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Thanks for suggestions.  Appreciated.

 

Happy to report all has been stable for over a week and looks good.  Switched the red switch up as suggested by Superdad - Thanks.  I think also a power supply issue was making the DAC switch on and off without me knowing which knocked out DAC on Roon.  DAC  Power is fed via 5 volt Ifi and the Curious USB also powers the DAC.

 

Once again I’m happy to sing the sonic praises of the ISO Regen.  Icing on the cake in my system imo that took the pushed  the sound to a level that I didn’t think was possible.  My digital set up now sounds much closer to Analogue with plenty of air and depth and none of the brightness/sterility that digital sound (even real high end DACs) can have.

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