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EtherREGEN: Official news thread (locked for just UpTone posts)

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In the open EtherREGEN thread, someone asked the following question:

Will international shipping (charges) be automatic? We can just order and pay without making bespoke enquiries?

 

Since I answered it in full with other details about shipping and payment, it makes sense to duplicate my response here in this thread:

 

 

No "bespoke" inquiries necessary! :D

Overseas buyers are given a choice of 3 different shipping methods during checkout:

1) Insured International Priority Mail (that's U.S. Postal Service handing off to destination country customs office with final delivery made by your local post) -- $34; Typically 7~12 business days.

2) FedEx Express (FedEx has their own "custom cage" in many countries and either their own or a private-contract final delivery; Prior to delivery they will direct contact recipient for collection of local taxes and small brokerage fee.) -- $34; Typically 3~5 business days.

3) Express Mail International (EMS) -- $63; This is also postal service at both ends; Typically 5~8 business days.

 

No FedEx to Russia.

Canadians get just two choices: Priority Mail or FedEx -- $25 for either.  USA is generally via Priority Mail for $9, with other options presented as well.

 

All of the above rates are below our actual cost--sometimes by several dollars--especially with the  insurance we buy for every package (to our replacement cost only, not to full retail).

 

[Also, unlike some small audio firms I see, we do not add fees for use of credit card or PayPal. We absorb those.  Actually, we prefer--but do not require--that overseas people pay with a credit card as PayPal charges us 4.4% for international transactions--that's $30(!) we pay out of a $640+$34 shipping EtherREGEN sale.  Credit card is 2.9% fee, so at $20, that's a $10 savings to us.]

 

Regarding declaration for customs:

We are very experienced with international shipping and document requirements.  Every EtherREGEN shipped to outside the USA will have two copies of a commercial invoice declaring the item as a "Home use network switch" with HTS harmonized tariff code of 8517.18.

[We do not publicly discuss the customs value we declare. It is not full value. It is a fixed amount, so do not make special requests for crazy-low valuation. Nor can we declare any package as "gift" or "sample."]

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October 8, 2019 -- 10:00 a.m. Pacific time

 

OMG!

That was fast.  All sold out in just one hour!

The first run sold out in 6 minutes, the entire second run sold out in the remainder of the hour. THANK YOU ALL!

 

Order #8999 will be the last order to receive an EtherREGEN from the second run.

 

Because of the pace of the first arriving orders, I completely missed changing the web page in time to tell folks they would be in the second batch.  Please give me some time to sort this out. 

Order #8912 is officially the last 1st-batch (November shipment) order.  I think I changed the page somewhere around #8936, so about two dozen people who thought they got into the first batch did not. December for them.

 

Now lots of work to build and deliver. :D

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Tuesday, November 5th:

We are kitting and packing the first 90 units--shipping to dealers AfterDark.Audiostore/VortexBox UK, and Meta Wave this week.

 

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Wednesday, November 6th:

First 90 units shipped to our dealers in Europe and Asia today.  165 pounds (75Kg)!  Took me all morning just to pack the cartons for FedEx. :S

 

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Tomorrow we start kitting all the direct-user orders and next week will ship them all out. :D

 

 

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Thursday, November 7th:

There was a nice pile of 35 EtherREGENs all boxed up, and with a little time left in the day I thought it would be fun to ship out some of the domestic units today--since Priority Mail will delivery most of these in two days, so this Saturday.  So we are shipping these more than a week ahead of the promised November 15th date! :D

 

Please do not send messages asking when your first batch unit will ship.  Just some of the lowest order number domestic Priority Mail units went today.  You can see another 120 units sitting in the back near the window.  These will get kitted up tomorrow and probably a few more will go then.  All the international units take time because of export paperwork and commercial invoices that have to be attached.  But every last first-batch unit (up to order #8913) will absolutely be shipped out by next week. You will receive a notice with tracking number.

 

Thanks for your patience and we hope you all enjoy your EtherREGENs!

 

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An additional 58 EtherREGEN units shipped today.  Sorry, pretty much all USA again.

 

My assistant will be back in next Wednesday, November 13th. On Monday and Tuesday I'll prepare the customs documents, commercial invoices, and shipping labels for all the international orders. So all 65 remaining first-batch international orders (and the rest of the domestic ones) will ship on Wednesday.  That is still two days ahead of the originally promised November 15th date.

 

After these are gone we expect the cases and another 250 boards to arrive about the 20th. Then we can start working on those towards the promised December 12th ship date for the sold-out second run.

 

I must say, we are enjoying a bit of a "halo effect" this month as orders for ISO REGENs, UltraCap LPS-1.2s, and bundles of the two have really picked up again.  And the JS-2 continues o be in high demand--with another 6 going out just this week.  Hard to keep up! :D

 

Thanks everyone!

 

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Wednesday, November 13th:

Today we shipped all the first-batch EtherREGENs heading to users outside of the USA, as well as the last 15 domestic units. The staff at our local FedEx drop-off location were VERY surprised when we arrived with 45 packages!

 

FedEx is fast, so assuming no delays in customs, our overseas friends should be receiving their EtherREGENs be early next week.

Given that we are two days ahead of the originally promised November 15th ship date, I'd say this was a successful launch. 9_9 

 

Now we wait for the next 250 boards and cases to arrive so we can start the process all over again. For some reason, the December 12th promise date--for the second batch--seems more daunting than the November cycle. But I am sure it will work out.

 

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New blog post and firmware released!

https://uptoneaudio.com/blogs/news/etherregen-huge-success-new-firmware-for-november-units-reviews

 

 

It is official: The EtherREGEN is UpTone Audio's biggest launch success ever!  

Over 750 units ordered since mid-October. We are amazed, humbled, and overwhelmed. Clearly the nearly two years of development work that went into EtherREGEN have proved worthwhile—most especially for the 250 people who have received and installed this unique switch in their music systems. While we are seeing great reports worldwide, here is the link to the most active EtherREGEN Listening Impressions topic in our forum. There you can read the reactions and detailed reviews from users with modest-to-mega systems. Whether an Ethernet-input DAC such as dCS, PS Audio, or Devialet is used, or a top custom music server, or simple streamer, or just a laptop computer is used, the EtherREGEN is proving to be an "ear-opener" for all who try it.

Those of you who have followed the EtherREGEN launch may know that we are doing our very best to build and deliver 250 units per month to all our valued clients (and our key overseas dealers). We were on time or a few days ahead of schedule with the first batch in November, and we are on-track to ship the next 250 units by the December 12th date promised to second-batch buyers. This is taking many full days—plus some evenings and most weekends—but keeping promises and making our loyal customers happy really matters to us.

Just before sitting down to write this, we made a count of all orders beyond what will be filled in December.  That is, all the January-promised orders which have been placed since the launch day (when we sold out November and December in the first hour!). Without even counting some of our dealer orders, it looks like January is about sold out as well. 

We have cases and circuit boards arriving in December to cover January production, but we have yet to focus on ordering parts for February. Honestly we never expected to have to plan so far in advance! Many of the specialized parts used on the EtherREGEN are expensive and have long lead times. Yet if we begin ordering parts now, February production should not be any problem. Our web site's product/order pages will always state when to expect shipment—so you will always know prior to placing your order.

Thank you all for your orders and your patience. We are truly grateful and promise it will be worth the wait.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

FIRMWARE FILE UPDATE (Only for November-delivered EtherREGEN units—the first 250):

EtherREGEN underwent field beta-testing for several weeks with a group of users selected for their wide range of system configurations. That beta-test cycle was a success with no functional issues reported. However, having a few hundred users install the product in a much wider range of systems did turn up a connectivity problem for a few people (about 20 by my record).

Our research into the issue lead us to a late errata sheet from the manufacturer of the main switch chip we use, and subsequently we discovered the source of the problem. It has to do with a low-level hardware negotiation protocol called Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE). Some Ethernet devices (computers, NAS, routers, etc.) use EEE, while some do not.  When two Ethernet devices are connected to one another, they give indication to each other about if they support EEE. If one of the devices does not, then EEE is simply not used for that connection. The trouble arose with the EtherREGEN because, while the switch chip we use announces that it supports EEE, its actual implementation of the protocol is broken and unreliable. The issue is one that affects only direct connections to the ‘A’-side copper RJ45 Ethernet ports of the EtherREGEN. So while loss of connection to the DAC-attached streamer/render endpoint (or Ethernet DAC) on the ‘B’-side may be experienced, that is only because one or more of the ‘A’-side connections is acting up.

Fortunately we had the foresight to include a means for users to update the firmware (code that gets loaded to key chips each time power is applied to boot the device) without any need to return the product to UpTone.

Despite not being able to consistently replicate the problem ourselves, we created the code file to completely fix the EEE issue. Last Friday we sent it to a dozen users who had been experiencing the loss of connectivity associated with the bug. Those users all reported that the update was a complete success.

While the goal of the firmware update was to fix the EEE bug, digging deep in the recent errata sheet revealed some register code changes that claimed to improve transmit/receive performance of the PHY (Physical Layer Transceiver) circuits for the 'A'-side RJ45 ports served by the main switch chip. UpTone’s engineer, John Swenson, loaded those code changes as well, and those have resulted in further sonic improvements!

If you are not experiencing any connectivity issues, then installation of this update is not required. However, as noted above, you may want to install is as we—and many who have tried it so far—hear a modest yet worthwhile change with the new firmware loaded.

As noted in red at top, THIS UPDATE IS ONLY FOR THE FIRST SHIPPED BATCH of EtherREGENs! That is, units shipped and delivered in November, 2019. All EtherREGENs shipped in December and beyond will already be up-to-date with this latest firmware.

Here is the link to a .ZIP file for this update: 

UpTone EtherREGEN Update.zip

When unzipped, it will reveal an easy-to-follow 2-page PDF EtherREGEN Firmware Update Guide, as well as the new firmware file itself, named EtherREGEN_firmware_11-20-19.uf2.
 
Please print out the Update Guide pages so that you can best follow its procedure steps while leaving your computer screen free for the tasks.

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