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UpTone Audio EtherREGEN Listening Impressions

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12 hours ago, BigAlMc said:

 

I own both the Aqvox SE and the ER and there's no doubt the ER kicks the Aqvox butt in my mind. I heard a slight improvement with the Aqvox, I hear a big improvement with the ER. Its unmistakably a bigger impact.

 

What I don't know is whether its additive.

 

Prior to the EEE/firmware discovery the ER plugged into my Aqvox didn't work period. I haven't tried again post the EEE fix. Perhaps I should.

 

But common sense indicates if the ER is doing its job then the Aqvox is not needed. I anticipate selling my Aqvox. Even if I'm not exactly marketing it on this thread.

 

That is exactly my suppositio, and that is why I have been waiting for the ER for almost two years.  But until I try my system, it will only be that;  a supposition.

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Should there be a different thread for the V1/ V2 sound discussion? While this one is about ER listening impressions it seems like the request for V1 is taking over this thread....

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A friend has been visiting.  He just walked into the room and spoke positively about the “pulse” of my system.  I chuckled and told him that some on this forum are saying the new firmware is killing the ability to tap their toes.  He chuckled saying he could feel it in the other room.


Digital:  Innuos Zenith Mk3 > Shunyata Sigma USB > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Wireworld Gold Startlight > OPTO DX > Shunyata Alpha S/PDIF > Chord Hugo TT2 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps

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This very interesting review was posted over in the EtherREGEN Firmware discussion thread. A bunch of people liked it and someone suggested it also be included here. @incus, I hope you don't mind. I left it in the other thread as well.

 

14 hours ago, incus said:

There are many things to take away from this episode in the ER's brief but already illustrious history. Yet there is one thing that hasn't been mentioned within this context very much which may help explain some of what is going on, and that is burn-in. It's a very real thing for this device. 

 

Prior to any awareness of the bugs and the connectivity issues that the new firmware was created to address, I would say I possessed at least 3 and possibly even 4 different sonic iterations of the EtherREGEN. By this I mean that after about half an hour, the sound of my unit changed from being a bit lifeless and straightforward and not offering any special acoustic advantage over my old SOtM switch to quite suddenly blooming into life with a full-throated and detail-saturated tone that reminded me very much of when I first owned a Mutec REF10 and went through the process of burning it in. A "big pipe" someone called it and that was very accurate for me at the time in terms of where I found myself in the EtherREGEN burn-in process. I enjoyed the up-front presentation and increased depth of the sound-stage but I also harbored some quiet reservations about whether I could ultimately live with this addition to my playback chain long term. I ended up selling the REF10, after all, for much the same reasons; everything I listened to through the REF10 shared the sonic signature of that device, regardless of genre or quality of source, I could hear it. And this bothered me in the end, because I knew I was hearing the component and not the music. 

 

Then after about 70-80 hours, the etherREGEN changed again. It was similar to going from a copper power cable to a silver one. Or from vinyl to tape.  The bombast receded. The frequencies aligned better.  The pipe was still big but it was smoother along the inside edges, like it had been polished.  The details sparkled a little more. The soundstage stabilized. More ambient cues emerged. A kind of calm settled over the music. I wondered if this was source dependent but then noticed that this wasn't about the quality of the recording - that information was there no matter what; bad recordings were bad and good were good - but I felt a touch closer to whatever was there in that source, like there was less  between me and the recording now.

 

Another interesting thing happened about this time, as well.  I had another big revelation for my playback chain. I felt like things had become a little too smooth, what some might call "hifi" and I started to examine each component in my desktop system to see if the etherREGEN might be to blame. After much experimentation, I decided to try my Chord Hugo TT2 *without* the M-Scaler practically for the first time since I bought the pair together.  And I was quite impacted by what happened. I realized that the M-Scaler, as great as it was, was very much imparting its own sound on the music. Very much in the  manner as the REF10, although nearly the opposite in terms of effect. The M-Scaler had a way of dulling the inner edges of things, flattening and smoothing tones that at times was very agreeable but resulted in a slight homogenization of the signal. Put another way, without the M-Scaler, there was simply more difference between sources. I would hear the quality of the source better. I could discern the various components and cables in my playback chain better.

 

Finally, after about 120 hrs - right as I became aware of the connectivity issues with the etherREGEN and the subsequent fix - my etherREGEN entered a final stage of 'becoming' what it was ultimately to become. A final level of ease, openness, purity, calm, silence, accuracy of tone, and overall balance come out - to such an extent that the etherREGEN essentially erased itself. This is a very important point to stress. At that stage in the break-in process, listening to the same material again and again, I began to doubt my ability to "hear" the etherREGEN anymore. It was right around then that I made the switch to V2. And the process of burn-in was more or less complete. This is not to say that when I remove the etherREGEN I can't immediately tell it's not there. I can. But when it's in and I settle into listening for a while, each recording comes to me with so little adulteration, each musician, each producer, each venue 'speak' to me in such a clear way, that I could conceivably argue in that moment that the etherREGEN is doing "nothing." I could certainly say the etherREGEN is NOT doing what it did before.

 

So my point is - this process has made it VERY hard to pin down the "sound" of the etherREGEN. It has evolved - and evolved to the point where I have trouble describing what exactly it does - except allow me to hear better into the music. AND it's perhaps possible that this is at least in part what has brought some listeners to the conclusion that something changed with their units with the V2 upgrade. I would very curious, in other words, to know where people were in the the break-in process when they made the switch. The results of my personal experience also imply that the etherREGEN may, in some circumstances, force its owner to reassess even highly-resolving and highly-acclaimed components. In other words, the etherREGEN may reveal things about one's playback chain that are actually NOT what one thought they were and NOT actually to one's liking.

 

Anyway, the major take-aways are this:

1) Burn is very real with this device and took me through many stages before it more or less settled where it is now. During this process the sound of the etherREGEN changed many times and pinning down its 'sonic signature' is now very difficult for me to do.

2) The EtherRegen allowed to me get rid of my Hugo M-Scaler because it allowed to hear how that device was influencing the sound I was hearing.

 

I will follow up later with some other interesting observations about:

1) Using a Farad 7V PSU in place of an LPS 1.2 on the etherREGEN and how this further "erased" the etherREGEN from the music.

2) Testing of different servers and software to learn that the effect of upstream 'devices' through the etherREGEN still matters quite a bit, although decidedly less than downstream devices, which corroborates what I have said above because essentially ALL components are revealed more by the etherREGEN - whether upstream or downstream...

 

 

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1 hour ago, Superdad said:

 

So true--and what a wise wife you have. 9_9

But seriously, you gents amaze me with the many lovely ways you find to describe what you hear. (If I had to feed myself by describing what I hear I'd quickly starve :o.)

 

As for all people--and we first-world audiophiles have it easy--some days for John and I are difficult.

Having nothing to do with what goes on here, rather with all the behind-the-scenes work, both engineering and logistics challenges. Maybe I'm just in a state today (it's Sunday and I've spent all day in e-mail and mind-numbing accounting catch-up), but coming here and reading these new reports happy EtherREGEN owners brings me much joy and contentment. 

 

 

 

The cotton-eared critics think the whole realm of this stuff is hooey, you are all delusional, and that this is just a money grab by UpTone. Aside from being wrong about the sonic relevance of this stuff, they are of course wrong about the greed part as well. Otherwise we would have used cheaper parts/design and charged three times the price to make a more typical margin. And while those who could afford it would still write similar sonic reports, not near as many people would have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our efforts.

 

Now I am not trying to claim some kind of altruism here; This is a business (which we work darn hard on every day) and I am happy to be able to support my family and offer college assistance to our 3 children if they choose. But pricing fairly is important to us--even while I try to assure that we produce the capital for R&D and production of our next groundbreaking products.

Playing "Jobs" to John's "Woz" is the most fun I've had in my whole life. And it seems to show in the products and in a wide world of music lovers enjoying them. :D

 

Thanks everyone...

--Alex C.

 

P.S. The January batch (all shipping by January 16th) is now about sold out. Whatever additional orders coming between now and in the morning when I change the web page (to say February for newly placed orders) will be reducing the number of units our dealers get for January. Even now it it clear that the dealers will get less than half of what they want in January. But don't worry, 150 of the 250 we are shipping by December 12th are going to the dealers--with ALL promised 2nd-batch/December direct user orders being shipped on time!

 

Thank you for sharing! 

 

If I may: affordable prices don't mean reduced profits, as the volume usually goes up. Selling one ER at $100,000 would offer an astronomical profit margins per unit, but likely zero in sales...

 

As for the expression "cotton-eared" I don't think it applies. Those critics are adamant not to audition the product, therefore their ears have no part in it. I have a hunch many of them lack the funds for any serious gear, so they resort to the "sour grapes" tactic, known to sooth the pain of unrequited lust.  

 


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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3 hours ago, matthias said:

 

Thank you for reporting.

BTW, very interested to try the "internet sharing" configuration.

 

Matt

 

Thank you. This setup worked very well for me and I actually was surprised that only a few others seem to have their systems setup the same way. Before the dCS Network Bridge I owned micro- and ultraRendu's and with these units it also worked flawless.

 

The only concern is to have a good and stable wifi connection but if this is the case, streaming sources up to 24/192 run without any problem. Theoretically, the only downside is that you have to have Wifi electronics enabled in the Roon server, a potential source of unwanted RFI/EMI. This is what I always had in the back of my head. But as I wrote, nothing 'wired' outdid this setup before EtherREGEN.

 

There was a slight inconvenience in use: for reasons unknown to me (read: I could not solve), it was not possible to reach the dCS or the Sonore's via a browser window with this setup. I had to hard-wire temporarily for firmware updates for instance.

 

 


Roon server (Mac Mini/i7/SSD/16GB/Uptone DC mod/external SDD via firewire/Uptone Audio JS-2 LPS) Streamer dCS Network Bridge DAC Chord DAVE Amplifier / DRC Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 Speakers Lindemann BL-10 | JL audio E-sub e110 Cables CAT6 UTP ethernet, Transparent premium AES/EBU, Nordost Leif Red Dawn analog RCA, Kimber 8TC speaker cables, custom star-quad power cables with Oyaide termination Head-fi and reference Bakoon HPA-21 | Audeze LCD-3 (f) | Audio-technica ATH-M50 Software High Sierra | Roon | Tidal | Qobuz Power and isolation Dedicated power line | Xentek extreme isolation transformer (1KVA, 0.0001pf, balanced) | Vibex one 6R power distributor | Uptone EtherREGEN | Emo Systems EN-70HD network isolator | Jensen CI-1RR isolator

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7 hours ago, skatbelt said:

 

There was a slight inconvenience in use: for reasons unknown to me (read: I could not solve), it was not possible to reach the dCS or the Sonore's via a browser window with this setup. I had to hard-wire temporarily for firmware updates for instance.

Those devices require DHCP and an IP address to be issued from your network for admin pages and updates to be able to work. 

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Did someone compre the Ether Regen with Sotm swich ?
also would be interesting to stack them 
Sotm 2x v ER 2x
lastly Sotm + ER 
and
Sotm +ER + 10 mhz clock feeding both 
connected via opitical and via copper 
What combination would sound best ?

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8 hours ago, Johnnydev said:

The EtherRegen brings improvements in all these areas and gets better every day

 

Have you removed the ER to make a comparison yet?  I have one on order but won't receive it until Feb so I'm living through you all vicariously in the meantime ;)

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As my dear old Granma used to say: Don't waste your time arguing with idiots son. They'll just bring you down to their level.

 

Wise words from a wise woman.

 

Listening impressions. Nice. Good. Better.

 

Put it this way. At the risk of having my audiophile credentials revoked! The new firmware came out a week ago. I haven't gotten around to trying it. Why? Partly busy. Partly no pressing need as my system is sounding great, so any further bump in SQ is just gravy at this stage 😁

 

 


Sonore OpticalModule > EtherRegen > Innuos Zenith SE server > Innuos Phoenix > PS Audio Directstream DAC > PS Audio M700 monoblocks > Salk Sound Supercharged Songtowers 

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On 12/4/2019 at 12:30 PM, lpost said:

 

Have you removed the ER to make a comparison yet?  I have one on order but won't receive it until Feb so I'm living through you all vicariously in the meantime ;)


Yes, I did, for 10 min., but it's not really necessary. It is immediately and without a doubt the best upgrade ever for me. Follow the advice to make your setup as simple as possible. The first 10 minutes after new connection I had some doubts, after a few hours no more. Every day in use still gives an SQ improvement. I'm on my way for 185 hours. February is still long, sympathize with you, but definitely worth the wait It is a big evolution in the switch world.

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8 hours ago, Superdad said:

While I am sorry that Amir is unable to measure it with his beloved Audio Precision system

Imagine what will happen in the minds of Amir & Co when Audio Precision adds measurements that reveal what etherRegen (and similar devices) does. Time to throw out Audio Precision I guess... 🙄

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10 hours ago, Superdad said:

Deleted offensive posts from both sides. Locking thread for now.

I have 250 EtherREGENs to ship over the course of the next 5 days and can afford the distraction.

This was the Listening Impressions thread anyway.

¬¬


Looking forward to a shipping notification this week, and a new, well reviewed, toy for Christmas!


[Home Digital] Bricasti M12 > McIntosh MC60 > Zu Druid V + Undertone (BHSE + Voce)

[Home Analog] Technics SL-1200G > K&K Audio Phono Amp (Zu DL-103/Benz Glider-SL/Denon DL-301 II)

[Office] Laptop > Kitsune R2R lvl3 > Violectric V281 > Focal Utopia Headphones (balanced)

[beach/Travel] Laptop > DragonFly Red > Ether Headphones

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