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UpTone Audio EtherREGEN Listening Impressions


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8 hours ago, matthias said:

 

Can you try to bypass the Cisco with the ER that means to connect the Cisco to a A-port of the ER but have no series connection of both switches regarding your signal coming from Qobuz?

Thanks

 

Matt

OK, I'll try that:  modem > copper > eR A side >   eR B side >  copper > server.   With the Cisco and all it's attachments coming of one of the A ports of the eR.   Good idea.

 

So this will work for a copper set up.  But not,  if I wanted to try

copper > eR B side > eR A side > optical > server.   Because, as  I understand proper set up if A side is used as output, nothing else should share that side.

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On 11/14/2019 at 2:17 PM, Jud said:

I like Iron & Wine (the name Sam Beam records under) and his album Beast Epic. The last song on that album, Our Light Miles, I’ve always thought of as just a sort of little throwaway outro. Last night it was jaw-dropping.

 

 

I am having a similar experience.  Several songs that were mostly so-so before EtherREGEN are now absolutely WOW!, stopping you dead in your tracks. On the other hand, some songs that were fairly impressive before are slightly improved now but nowhere near the WOW! level. Go figure.

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3 hours ago, kennyb123 said:

 

This is very well said.  I did not have to do an A/B comparison as the improvement was immediately obvious.  And then it got better, as measured by my increase in musical enjoyment.

 

The two reports where no differences were found both mentioned reaching that conclusion via A/B tests.  I wonder if they'd reach a different conclusion if they just left the ER in their system for a week - spend a good time listening - and then just remove it.  

 

The EtherRegen continued to confirm its benefits the more music I fed it.  In a previous post, I wrote:  "Harshness is a weird thing in that we pick up on it, but we really don’t get a full appreciation of how much it had been imposing upon us until we hear it stripped away.  I’ve been repeatedly surprised by the absence of a hardness that I had become accustomed to hearing."  I don't see how A/B testing can provide this same kind of insight.  

 

 

I can appreciate your point of view.  In fact, in addition to  disciplined A/B listening I also give extended listening time, which is what I'm doing with the eR now.   

 

However, it's really easy to make a mistake (I can speak from personal experience).  Without using A/B listening,  I can easily imagine a scenario where I'm excited about the eR (after waiting a year) plugging it in and fooling myself (unconsciously)  that it make the music "better" when, in fact,  I know that right now  that it does not.

 

I can tell you I'm 100% positive our A/B listening told us the truth-- in my system and in that particular configuration-- that there was  very little, if any, sonic difference between the two.

 

That's not a slam against the eR.  And I may find after playing with different configurations that it does complement my system.   I did, for instance, find a very noticeable difference (though not a totally good one) running the eR before optical-- but I don't know what that really means yet.  I might be just the optical and have nothing to do with with the switch.

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My early impressions are that the EtherRegen is very close to the black SotM. They are so close that comparing the two seems like splitting hairs, although I have a slight preference for the SotM. This is an incredible achievement as the SoTM somewhat more expensive.

 

FWIW (also my initial thoughts) I believe the combination of the two is currently unbeatable, which suggests that they might each be slightly better at doing different things. I plan to return to this topic with a more detailed opinion when they have more hours on them. This, however, may take a couple of weeks as I have more travel to the US ahead.

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I got my ER today! It's only been plugged in for a few hours, but music is sounding great! It makes music clearer and sharper to my ears. I compare it to a photograph that was 90% in focus, then going to 100% razor sharp focus with the ER. 

 

My setup: router to the A side of the ER with 28 feet of AQ Forrest cable. I also have a Mac Mini and an Apple TV 4k plugged into the A side. I use a Shunyata Alpha Ethernet cable from the B side of the ER to my Naim ND5 XS streamer\DAC. 

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On 11/16/2019 at 11:17 AM, _JL_ said:

Received my ERs today and spent the day setting it up and did some evaluations. If you just want the conclusion then: don't walk, run to buy one for your system!

 

An Extra Surprise:

If you're still reading then I have another pleasant surprise for you. I have a home theater where I use the Apple TV 4K for Netflix. Naturally I connected the ATV-4K to the ER and when I fired up the projector I was stunned by the improvement in picture quality! The picture appeared to be more solid and the black is much deeper.

 

This really blew me away and frankly the ER is worth it for the improvement in picture quality alone. The sound was also improved, not as significant as in the 2-Ch setup but still clearly discernible. If you have a video streamer then the ER is a must try!

 

 

Is 100Mbps enough bandwidth for Apple TV 4K streaming?  The minimum requirement is 25 Mbps so I guess 4x should be sufficient?

 

Very excited to try this.

 

Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS with Durand Telos composite arm; SME 3012R arm, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Reel to Reel:  Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810, Studer A812, Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC (Sean Jacobs DC4/Euphony/Stylus)> Lampizator Pacific

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I also have an AppleTV Gen3 connected in to the ‘A’ side of the EtherRegen.

As yet have not been able to see any improvement in PQ, however my Video path involves a Lumagen processor to provide the pixel motion adaptive deinterlacing and scaling support before the picture is displayed on a B&O Beovision 7 stand mounted TV (no speaker). A separate audio processing path is then implemented through a TAG McLaren AVR-32R from the digital out of the Apple TV, back into my main system with my 2-channel speakers as L-R fronts.

The desired role of the EtherRegen was for the A-B path feeding my Naim NDS from audio content rather than a media source.

Maybe a further thread is required to cover PQ improvements the EtherRegen is bringing, either directly or as a by-product, to IP stream video streams.

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I was so dubious, so suspicious. 

 

I mean, my low-jitter system already hovers over the sublime. What could possibly improve it? I was certain that ER gizmo was going unceremoniously back to Alex.

 

Arrived. Connected. 

 

Immediate dropouts (stuttering), followed by degraded SQ. Glaring highs, anemic LF and distorted imaging. Yep, I was absolutely right, the ER sucks. Another audiophile sham, served with a generous helping of snake oil. Shipping it back for a refund.

 

Then, slowly and surely, the old liquidity resurfaced and bit-by-bit morphed into a sweet, thick molasses, better than before, enough to paint a big smile on my face. Awesome! Addictive!

 

You’ve nailed it, Alex and John. Well done.

 

ER|Ref10 --> Auralic G2 --> Mutech MC3+USB x 3 { Mutech Ref 10} --> Active monitors

 

P.S.: Pity the naysayers (yes, that’s you, ASR). Envy, grudge and narrow-mindedness have deprived them of a fantastic product. 

 

Stereo

[Genelec 1032C x 2 + 7360 x 2] <== [MC3+USB x 3 <-- REF10] <== [AERIS G2] <== [EtherRegen x 2]
Chain switchable to [Genelec 8331 x 2 + 7350]


Surround

[Genelec 1032C x 3 + 8431 x 2  + 7360 x 2] <== [MiniDSP U-DIO8] <== [Mac Mini] 

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Etherregen arrived two days ago and chain is:

 

Modem (Uptone JS2) > Shunyata SIGMA Ethernet cable> Etherregen (PC is Shunyata ALPHA) > Shunyata Ethernet cable> Streamer> WEISS USB to SPDIF converter>Empirical Audio Syncromesh clock>DAC.  

 

Very sensitive and high res system that highlight the slightest changes in cabling, isolation........I do a lot of config testing and to the clowns on ASR, who carry on about blind testing A/B and all that stuff - when you switch gear in and out and you hear the same signature in the changes and others recognise it too, the measurement argument is a fallacy. It matters only marginally in what you actually hear and how you react. If these guys cant hear the difference between a silver and copper cable or power cables then they are in the wrong hobby. Anyway......

 

Interesting observations:

 

I used an EMO 70e to great effect until I received the Shunyata SIGMA ethernet cable - which made it redundant. Different technicals re the filters on the SR versus the isolator but it is the only cable I have tested where the EMO provides no benefit. I use it end to end. I mention this as it may have impact on my observations.....

 

After three hours of listening (appreciate that lots of break in to go), here is my immediate impression:

 

The Very Good.

 

1. This is a remarkable piece of gear and immediately I hear more profound, textured and present bass. Not boomy but solid and you hear more of what the foundation this instrument brings to the music. Harmonic overtones are better heard.

2. Soundstage is wider and deeper. There is more of the sensation of instruments floating in front of speakers. This is not hard to experience. It isn't like otehr tests where you try to find differences or have to tilt your head to try and imagine it. It is there. Unmistakable. 

3. A sense of "performance" - more live and engaging. You want to listen to more recordings. This is THE test for me. Do I enjoy things more or do I keep channel surfing.

 

The not so Good.

 

1. There is a slight dulling of treble and the popping of dynamics. Almost filter like. Ex the ER, there is more veracity and tingle to instruments like the triangle and with the ER these are more polite - smooth. But to a point where they seem a bit robbed of energy.

2. A slight bityness to SQ when volume turned up. (expect this is a burn in issue).

 

Does the Etherregen work? Without question and it works to a greater effect than swapping very high end PC and IC cables in the rig. And these did make a big difference. I have yet to give it some testing re LPS, different ethernet cables etc... and I can say that music is more enjoyable to listen to.

 

The dulling of the treble and dynamics is something that is strange - even though all this SQ is set within an incredible 3D scape.  Hopefully a decent burn in will address this.  Interesting in others experiences re dynamics and treble roundness. What it does well so far is extraordinary - just a bit inconsistent so far re the total SQ setting. 

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although experiencing some issues on the connections which posted in other thread, first SQ impression was great when it works!

I am aurender user and didn't expect too much improvements on buffering playback by aurender but to my surprise it really audible, better sound stage and bass at least.  good job!

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7 hours ago, dminches said:

 

Is 100Mbps enough bandwidth for Apple TV 4K streaming?  The minimum requirement is 25 Mbps so I guess 4x should be sufficient?

 

Very excited to try this.

 

 

Well my ATV-4K is plugged into one of the A ports, not the B port so it has full 1Gbps bandwidth. The surprising thing is that even that improves the sound and picture of the ATV-4K, compared to my Cisco switch with LPS.

 

I haven't tried plugging the ATV-4K to the B port as I need that for the streamer PC but I think even 100Mbps is more than sufficient for 4K streaming as the incoming link on the A side is 1Gbps.

 

Try it and see if you like it!

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Reportworthy that I'm getting an incredibly clean sound today. The ER's been on 120 hours. I haven't changed anything since yesterday. Today there's a very pure corridor of sound right down the middle of my speakers. The balance has shifted away from "weighty". The bass is still there but it's as if the mid-range has settled down to something quite pure. As if the local factories (there aren't many!) have shut down for the day. Or as if I've daisy-chained two ERs (which I have no intention of doing!) since the effect is really quite notable. Anyway - a major "cooking" threshold or so it seems to me. No tweaking for a while.

 

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1 hour ago, Iving said:

No tweaking for a while.


Yep, that’s how I feel too.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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9 hours ago, dminches said:

 

Is 100Mbps enough bandwidth for Apple TV 4K streaming?  The minimum requirement is 25 Mbps so I guess 4x should be sufficient?

 

Very excited to try this.

 

The Apple TV 4K is in the A side, so it gets 1000mbps. 

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On 11/17/2019 at 9:31 AM, Superdad said:

 

Hi Hols:

Thank you for the diagram!  A few questions and comments if I may....

 

Questions:

1) What is this connection with dashed line you mark as “Bridged”?

2) Why is your Linux server being used—with two Ethernet ports—to make the connection from your router to the SOtM and UpTone switch?

2) What type of port do you use for the connection between the SOtM switch and the ‘A’ side port of the EtherREGEN?

3) What power supplies are you using for the SOtM switch, the Cybershaft clock, and the EtherREGEN? If you are using a JS-2 for one of those, what if anything is connected to the other output of the JS-2?

 

Comments:

a) It seems very unwise to have your server with two Ethernet ports and having it act as the connection (for all downstream equipment) to your router and the NAS.

b) With that second EtherREGEN between your NAS and your router—and with use of HQ Player Embedded (knowing what I do about how it draws data) you are creating a data bottleneck, as the 100Mbps ‘B’-side is not meant for that purpose. Plus, what really is the point to cleaning up from your NAS just to feed to your router? This application is really not what most people think of when they think of using more than one specialty switch for audio.

c) You are most likely defeating the EtherREGEN’s active differential isolation moat by using the same clock for both it and your SOtM switch—as the BNC shell of the EtherREGEN is common to its ‘B’-side power domain. There is also a good chance you are defeating the isolation via the power supplies as well.

 

Given all of the above I am not surprised that you sometimes get stuttering. And I also doubt that you are realizing the isolation moat benefits of the EtherREGEN.

 

I suggest you make the following changes to your network configuration—all at the same time:

a) Plug your SOtM switch directly into your router;

b) Remove the Ethernet connection between your Linux server and your router, leaving it connected only to the SOtM switch;

c) Plug your NAS directly into the SOtM switch, and set aside the second EtherREGEN for now;

d) For the moment, to assure effect of the EtherREGEN’s ADIM, connect the Cybershaft clock to only either the SOtM switch or the EtherREGEN—but not both at the same time.

e) Remove whatever that cable is—marked “bridge”—shown between the server and endpoint.

 

You may have some reasons for your diagramed configuration, but I think it is far from ideal, not how we intend the EtherREGEN be used, and that you will acheive much better results using my suggestions above.

We look forward to reading your answers to my first questions and also about what you hear when you make the recommended changes.

Best,

—Alex C.

Hi Alex,

It was a pity that you only announced a while ago that the connection difficulty that we faced is due to some firmware issue. I spent the past 2 days trying various methods but still cannot get the ER to sound properly. The stuttering just comes and goes but never goes away. Unlucky me -- futile 48 hours of work. Anyway I shall try to answer your questions and comments below.

 

Thank you for all the comments and suggestions. First I must say that the network diagram I posted is not exactly right. My fault.  I found it out just now. (I was in a hurry at that time when I made it ) Please see the amended network diagram attached which should help to answer some of questions. And my answer to your questions are listed below:

 

1) What is this connection with dashed line you mark as “Bridged”?

It does not exist. My poor drawing made it wrong.

 

2) Why is your Linux server being used—with two Ethernet ports—to make the connection from your router to the SOtM and UpTone switch?

By bridging the 2 ethernet ports it does not matter because the 2 Ethernet ports are regraded as one. And for SQ wise I have compared this configuration with your suggested configuration( Remove the Ethernet connection between your Linux server and your router, leaving it connected only to the SOtM switch)  many times before and I find my present configuration gives a better sound. 

 

2) What type of port do you use for the connection between the SOtM switch and the ‘A’ side port of the EtherREGEN?

    RJ 45 copper. I have tried to use single mode fibre SFP and it stutters then so I changed to use copper RJ45. As I have described before it also stutters for a while and then improves so RJ 45 is used. 

 

3) What power supplies are you using for the SOtM switch, the Cybershaft clock, and the EtherREGEN? If you are using a JS-2 for one of those, what if anything is connected to the other output of the JS-2?

The SOtM switch is supplied by Uptone LPS1.2 energized by Paul Pang LPS. Cybershaft comes with its own Linear power supply not shared with any others. ER is supplied by JS2. The other output of JS 2 is vacant.

 

a) It seems very unwise to have your server with two Ethernet ports and having it act as the connection (for all downstream equipment) to your router and the NAS.

already explained above because the 2 ports are bridged and SQ comparison is the best with this config

 

b) With that second EtherREGEN between your NAS and your router—and with use of HQ Player Embedded (knowing what I do about how it draws data) you are creating a data bottleneck, as the 100Mbps ‘B’-side is not meant for that purpose. Plus, what really is the point to cleaning up from your NAS just to feed to your router? This application is really not what most people think of when they think of using more than one specialty switch for audio.

I fully agree with you there is no theoretical basis for putting it there especially with the B side to the NAS. The reason I did this initially is because my NAS is located over another corner of my listening room with the modem & router. And my previous impression of using NAS is always not as good as local files in hard disc located in my server. And I have made many attempts to improve the sound from NAS and that is why I would experiment with the ER positioned there. Actually I have also tried connecting it to the A side but the SQ is not as good. And when it is connected to B side the sound becomes excellent. And the surprising question is why suddenly the sound is so good that night. Actually I have tried to do it again it stutters like mad. My best guess is that (1) I used a $1500 Ethernet cable(sorry I don't mean to introduce expensive ethernet cables into the picture, but it was what happened that night) (2)  Suddenly there was no stuttering that night and everything runs smooth. I just paused the HQplayer and added the ER and music just goes on and me and my friend can both got the great improvement in SQ. I failed the next day probably because I need to start the connections again and the stuttering prevented me from doing anything more. (3) A lot of AS members has expressed that 100Mbps gives better sound than 1000. Could it be that's the reason? Or now that we understand it is the EEE problem then maybe the reversed connection does not trigger the EEE. Purely guessing. 

 

c) You are most likely defeating the EtherREGEN’s active differential isolation moat by using the same clock for both it and your SOtM switch—as the BNC shell of the EtherREGEN is common to its ‘B’-side power domain. There is also a good chance you are defeating the isolation via the power supplies as well.

I understand that this is your main concern of not getting the benefit of the ER ADIM and also afraid that the clock connection would pollute your B side. I have checked my Cybershaft clock output receptacles with my multimeter. The 3 outputs are all independent of each other and also not connected to the chassis of the Cybershaft . There is no connection between the shield/ground of the BNC cable of one output to the other outputs. So this makes your worry not likely. As for the power pollution we have explained earlier there is no other gears connected to the JS2.

 

I suggest you make the following changes to your network configuration—all at the same time:

a) Plug your SOtM switch directly into your router;

b) Remove the Ethernet connection between your Linux server and your router, leaving it connected only to the SOtM switch;

c) Plug your NAS directly into the SOtM switch, and set aside the second EtherREGEN for now;

d) For the moment, to assure effect of the EtherREGEN’s ADIM, connect the Cybershaft clock to only either the SOtM switch or the EtherREGEN—but not both at the same time.

e) Remove whatever that cable is—marked “bridge”—shown between the server and endpoint.

I have moved my NAS to near my server and tried the above suggestion( which is basically one of the configurations I have tried months before). I have taken off the Cybershaft clock to both switches to make things more simple And there is no physical bridge between server and endpoint. And the result is all stuttering once the ER is added. There is no way one could hear anything meaningful. I have also tried to use the ER alone using all your standard recommendations including Uptone switching supply, no clock, but there is still stuttering. I have also tried to reduce the network speed to 100Mbps and the result is the same.  And then this morning when I woke up I found your announcement that we need to do a firmware update. I guess the number is more than the 6-8 you mentioned. there were already 3 ER amongst me and my friends that has stuttering going on. So anticipating for the firmware update this weekend so we can have another go for better SQ. Cheers.

network config.jpg

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9 hours ago, andresz said:

Etherregen arrived two days ago and chain is:

 

Modem (Uptone JS2) > Shunyata SIGMA Ethernet cable> Etherregen (PC is Shunyata ALPHA) > Shunyata Ethernet cable> Streamer> WEISS USB to SPDIF converter>Empirical Audio Syncromesh clock>DAC.  

 

Very sensitive and high res system that highlight the slightest changes in cabling, isolation........I do a lot of config testing and to the clowns on ASR, who carry on about blind testing A/B and all that stuff - when you switch gear in and out and you hear the same signature in the changes and others recognise it too, the measurement argument is a fallacy. It matters only marginally in what you actually hear and how you react. If these guys cant hear the difference between a silver and copper cable or power cables then they are in the wrong hobby. Anyway......

 

Interesting observations:

 

I used an EMO 70e to great effect until I received the Shunyata SIGMA ethernet cable - which made it redundant. Different technicals re the filters on the SR versus the isolator but it is the only cable I have tested where the EMO provides no benefit. I use it end to end. I mention this as it may have impact on my observations.....

 

After three hours of listening (appreciate that lots of break in to go), here is my immediate impression:

 

The Very Good.

 

1. This is a remarkable piece of gear and immediately I hear more profound, textured and present bass. Not boomy but solid and you hear more of what the foundation this instrument brings to the music. Harmonic overtones are better heard.

2. Soundstage is wider and deeper. There is more of the sensation of instruments floating in front of speakers. This is not hard to experience. It isn't like otehr tests where you try to find differences or have to tilt your head to try and imagine it. It is there. Unmistakable. 

3. A sense of "performance" - more live and engaging. You want to listen to more recordings. This is THE test for me. Do I enjoy things more or do I keep channel surfing.

 

The not so Good.

 

1. There is a slight dulling of treble and the popping of dynamics. Almost filter like. Ex the ER, there is more veracity and tingle to instruments like the triangle and with the ER these are more polite - smooth. But to a point where they seem a bit robbed of energy.

2. A slight bityness to SQ when volume turned up. (expect this is a burn in issue).

 

Does the Etherregen work? Without question and it works to a greater effect than swapping very high end PC and IC cables in the rig. And these did make a big difference. I have yet to give it some testing re LPS, different ethernet cables etc... and I can say that music is more enjoyable to listen to.

 

The dulling of the treble and dynamics is something that is strange - even though all this SQ is set within an incredible 3D scape.  Hopefully a decent burn in will address this.  Interesting in others experiences re dynamics and treble roundness. What it does well so far is extraordinary - just a bit inconsistent so far re the total SQ setting. 

 

 

 

 

 

Let's hear back from you after you get to say 3 days of actual playing with the eR in place (do not turn off the eR) and avoid any other configuration changes in your system.  It took 24 hours just to begin to hear what the eR could do in my system and really blossomed after 70+ hours.  And I had been making room acoustic changes recently (front blinds from metal to real wood) that forced me to move my whole system, including the HRS stands) out of the way.  Just doing so for a day had an impact on sonics when I returned everything back into place and started listening.  So, another 24 hours before things began to gel once again...

Steve Schaffer

Roon Nucleus/ WD USB Drive / dCS Vivaldi Upsampler  / dCS Vivaldi DAC / dCS Vivaldi Clock / Spectral DMC-30SV preamp / Spectral DMA-500 monoblocks / Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 speakers / Shunyata Denali - DPC6 - Sigma Ethernet / Synergistic Research Galileo interconnects / Uptone EtherREGEN switch

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