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UpTone Audio EtherREGEN Listening Impressions


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1 hour ago, cat6man said:

@superdad

not sure if you've seen this, but when folks talk about big improvements with $100k rigs, you've got something special.

 

Thanks, but there are plenty of EtherREGEN users--posting right here in this thread--who have systems well north of $100K. B|

 

I was just on the phone with John and we were talking about how EtherREGEN may both help much more modest systems (DACs) punch well above their mark as well as help the really out there precision DACs (MSB, dCS, etc.) deliver more of what they promise.  It is going to get very interesting when some of the DAC manufacturers start trying out EtherREGEN--perhaps for the their trade show set ups.

 

Of course we are very humbled and grateful for all this early success and attention. Good times ahead. :)

 

P.S. We are working to understand the root cause of the issue a very few people are having with connections.  It is definitely an IP address issue not any sort of bandwidth or data integrity issue.  Watch the other thread for updates as we work towards a resolution for those folks.

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A lot of moments of “Wow, what *is* this? Have I heard it before?”

 

I have Bring It On Home - The Soul Classics, by Aaron Neville. I always considered it a minor album of his, not especially well recorded. Rainy Night In Georgia from that album just finished playing, and I felt as if I were bathed in his voice. How wonderful.

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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1 hour ago, MikePid said:

The listening reviews so far have been very one-sided. So allow me to break the trend with a somewhat negative review. The EtherREGEN I ordered has not improved the sound of my system, and it seems to sound worse now. I suppose it takes more than for me to have just placed the order, but that I actually have to get my ER delivered🙄, which is still a couple of months away (3rd batch) 🙁

 
Reading all the reviews here now makes me aware that my system is not sounding as good as it could, so what has been good sound until now is more hazy and muddy knowing it is going through my dirty Ethernet 🤣.  
 
Happy listening to all you lucky folks in the first batch!

Please elaborate ...

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4 hours ago, Ricardo007 said:

Hello Jud

It would be interesting to use etherregen after the 2 cisco switches and see how it compares with ER directly attached to router. Since some users report upstream still matters or even more


If the Ciscos were going to improve things, I think one with the optical Ethernet output to the ER should have done it. If one Cisco sounded worse due to adding its SMPS to the circuit, as I speculated, then two Ciscos ought to sound worse yet than that.

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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8 minutes ago, Jud said:

Just heard Morphine’s “Like A Mirror.” Percussion and vocals ungodly real and present.

Mine doesn’t arrive until next year, but you just made me hella envious.  😊

Living room:  Synology 218+ NAS > NUC 10 i7> Roon/Audirvana/JRiver Media Server > ASUS AC-87R Router > Netgear GS348 Switch > EtherRegen > Sonore Signature Rendu SE Tier 2 > Wyred4Sound 10th Anniversary DAC > Wyred4Sound STI-500 > Revel F32 Concertas

 

Basement:  Synology 218+ NAS > NUC 10 i7>Roon/Audirvana/JRiver Media Server > ASUS AC-87R Router > Netgear GS348 Switch >TrendNet FMC>Sonore OpticalModule> UltraRendu > NuPrime IDA-8 > KEF LS50's

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3 minutes ago, EVOLVIST said:

 

Are you saying that your system didn't ungodly real before? :)


In all seriousness, no. Things just have more impact, musical and emotional. And I don’t have the volume turned up - my wife’s in bed.

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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When the EtherREGEN is directly connected with the streamer/endpoint, does the EtherREGEN diminishes the need for a high quality server? 

 

Has someone tried the EtherREGEN on different (Roon)servers? Example (Roon)server comparisons:

- Standard NAS vs AudioLinux NUC

- Roon Rock NUC vs Custom build server (ie AudioLinux, ECC memory, LPSU)

- etc, go get the idea

 

ie, impact on adding the EtherREGEN (with a fictive ‘score’)

Roon Rock => streamer :  60

Roon Rock => ER => streamer :  90

 

Custom build => streamer :  80

Custom build => ER => streamer :  95

 

When the need for a high quality server is diminished, the EtherREGEN could reset priorities upstream (ie ER and streamer would have priority).

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My Digital chain is below:

 

BEFORE: Netgear GS-308>Ghent JSSG360>Cisco WS-C2960>AQ Niagara 5000>Wireworld Starlight CAT8 >Innuos MKII SE>SOtM tX-USBultra>Uptone LPS 1.2>PSA DS Sr DAC

 

AFTER: Netgear GS-308>Ghent JSSG360>Uptone ER>AQ Niagara 5000>Ghent JSSG360>Innuos MKII SE>SOtM tX-USBultra>Uptone LPS 1.2>PSA DS Sr DAC

 

Had a slight issue where I was losing the Roon Core on the MKII.  Which caused me to swap out the Wireworld as I was chasing this down. I was seeing the Core it if I moved the ethernet to the A side which was odd. Just took a shutdown of the ER for 10 minutes to esolve. Alex was there with outstanding support. 

 

Did happen one other time and followed the same protocol to fix.

 

Cold out of the box I would say the improvement was in the lowered noise floor.  Instruments come out of a much blacker background. Excellent separation of instruments. Possibly a bit brighter but it’s early.

 

About 72 hours in towards burn in although the 1st few days were local files on the MKII so I’m not sure if that is actually burning in the ER at all. Started streaming Tidal and will continue that.

 

Unfortunately I have a few changes in my system (Wireworld to Ghent & PS Audio DAC Software upgrade to Windom) in addition to the ER making it a bit difficult to isolate the source of the changes but overall my system has never sounded better.

 

My plan is to listen more to get familiar with the overall sound and drop the Cisco back in at some point to see what I lose. Should make the changes clear.

SYSTEM: Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > EtherRegen/Farad Super 3 > Ghent JSSG360 Cat6a > Zenith MKII SE > Phasure Lush 2 > Innuos Phoenix > Phasure Lush 2 > PS Audio Directstream Sr DAC > Ayre K-5xe MP Preamplifier > Conrad Johnson MF-2500a > Vandersteen Quatro Woods

POWER: AQ (Niagara 5000/Tornado/Hurricane)/Audience AU24 SE LP/Triode Wire Labs/Shunyata (Python/Venom 3)/Nordost Blue Heaven/Audio Sensibilities Sig Silver DC 

CABLING: AQ (Earth/Go-4 Dbl Bi-Wire)

ISOLATION: IsoAcoustics/Herbie's/BDR/PS Audio Powerbase

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5 hours ago, Cable Monkey said:

Are we getting carried away here? I see improvements in a system as being cumulative, so talk of reducing quality or effort elsewhere in your systems is probably misplaced in my view.

 

I understand it’s all cumulative, but I wonder if front-end priorities are changing now that clocked switches appeared on stage (especially the EtherREGEN).

 

Suppose a budget of ‘10 tokens’, where to invest for the best bang for buck? In other words, is the order of importance changing upstream? (hope this better explains the question).

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There's a lot of talk about cooking the eR.   I sounds like most are experiencing changes with time.  Alex and John, is this what you expect with this tech in a switch?

 

And in cooking referring to simply powered up or actually running data through the eR into the dac?

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26 minutes ago, Iving said:

Going back to listen after 24 hours cooking overnight, the first thing I noticed was a silkiness - then astonishing detail.

 

Something was not quite right - and I found that I had to re-"trial-and-error" my shunts to balance the sound again. What I am saying (in line with recent posts) is that the EtherREGEN seems to change the audiophile rulebook somewhat. I wouldn't have expected to have had to change shunts in my system accompanying inclusion of the ER.

 

Another unexpected finding: I think, but am not sure yet, that whereas, prior to ER, inclusion of a Cisco switch between my PC and RedNet D16 AES improved SQ, and I assumed that it would remain - as in PC > Cisco > ER > D16 AES > DAC, today I think I prefer SQ without the Cisco. The ER seems encumbered by it. It's as if the ER is unleashed when the Cisco is removed: PC > ER > D16 AES > DAC.

 

Confounded with trying out such permutations is cable use. I can't reconfigure my shielded AQs willy nilly. I am no longer convinced (as I assumed I would be) that these are better than "cheapos" and need to do more listening to be sure. Another rulebook question mark.

 

Another "anomaly" - I need less (pre-amp) volume to listen with satisfaction - but the system will sound correct at much higher (pre-amp) volumes than before.

 

I can imagine that "upstream factors matter less and downstream more" - and that our spending decisions will be affected accordingly. Another rulebook vagary. (omg did I find myself thinking about "hearing" my power amps)

 

I am listening to PC > ER > D16 AES > DAC now and the SQ is phenomenal. Deep, open, clean, detailed. I was impressed immediately as I posted yesterday. Today better. When I have finished trying things out, and the ER is more or less fully roasted, I'm sure I shall be very happy and just want to listen to music a great deal more.

 

This is one hell of an audiophile bang-for-buck. Am I the first to be brave enough to suggest that the EtherREGEN is significantly under-priced? (Easy for me to say being a first batch beneficiary 🙂)

What do you mean by your shunts? Btw nice review.

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47 minutes ago, _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!

 

Okay, now all the details. First my setup (see my system for the audio/video config).

 

Network Setup:

(a) ISP Router (Huawei) > GBE > Netgear R7000 (router mode, DHCP server) > Long and lousy GBE cable > ER > Streacom Win10 PC w/ Roon > USB ...

(b) NUC ROCK also connects to Netgear R7000 via GBE

(c) UTP cables are mostly Bluejeans CAT-6 plus a few others

 

Power Setup:

(a) Netgear R7000 and NUC ROCK on Teradak LPS

(b) Roon PC on Teradak ATX LPS

(c) EtherRegen on UltraCap LPS1.2 on Teradak LPS, EtherRegen grounded to mains Earth ground via ext clock BNC shell.

 

First Impressions:

The ER replaced the common Cisco switch which the latter was modded to be powered by the UC LPS1.2.

First impressions are:

(a) Cleaner across the board with better sense of the ambiance cues. This results in deeper soundstage where instruments previously buried in the background can now be more easily heard. I kept hearing new things in familiar tracks.

(b) The ER gets rid of some slight digital artifacts which are most prominent in the treble range, such as female vocal and violin.

(c) The sound is much more organic and sounds very much like good vinyl - it's not just smooth sounding mind you, as too smooth could loose resolutions. Here with the ER resolution jumps upward a few notch and at the same time sounded natural and inviting. I kept raising the vol of the amplifier as I can now listen much louder without stress. The sound just blossoms and you keep wanting more of it.

 

Now this is clearly just first impressions as there was not run-in time at all but I am one happy camper already.

 

Cascaded EtherRegen:

Okay I bought two ERs as there were reports using other audiophile switches that cascading them further improves the sound. I tested that by installing the second ER upstream between the Netgear R7000 and the long and lousy GBE cable connecting to the downstream ER. I also moved the NUC ROCK to the upstream ER for obvious reasons.

 

Initially it didn't work - because the upstream ER's B side is 100Mbps only but in the downstream ER I connected the upstream link to a copper module plugged into the SFP port which is 1Gbps only. Switching the link to the downstream ER to another A port solved the problem.

 

Now what about the sound? Well, surprisingly it is not positive. In comparing to a single ER the cascaded setup sounded too smooth which rounded attacks and seemingly lowered resolution. I quickly reverted back to the single ER configure and more surprisingly it did not fully restore the sound - halfway maybe but definitely not as good as before.

 

Then I realized the ER's uplink was connecting to a normal A port so I swapped that back to the copper-module SFP port and voila the good sound is back! What this means is that the normal A ports sound different from the SFP port - the latter sounded better in fact! How this is possible is beyond me but that's what I heard. This also implies that the cascaded ER setup was perhaps handicapped by its inability to use the SFP port.

 

I originally installed a copper GBE module to the SFP port only because I needed the extra port. It is a pleasant surprise that using it as the uplink (to the ROCK/Qobuz) sounds even better. In case anyone wonder the module was from fs.com: Cisco GLC-T Compatible 1000BASE-T SFP Copper RJ-45 100m Transceiver Module #11773.

 

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!

 

Future Work:

I now put the second ER in a branch network connecting PCs, NAS, etc., for run-in. I'll likely be getting a second copper GBE SFP for it and possibly give the cascaded ER setup another go. I also have a newclassd NS2 10Mhz clock to experiment with so plenty to try.

 

That's it for now. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Great review. I am curious about your use of the sfp port. I have TP link 100cm transceivers/cable. Will that cable fit the sfp port or do I need a device/adapter to convert to a compatible port?

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12 minutes ago, Theobetley said:

What do you mean by your shunts? Btw nice review.

 

ty

By shunts I mean devices for shuffling electron paths - e.g. iFi AC iPurifiers and/or IsoTek Isoplugs. I have quite a few of them. I find that trial and error around my system (which includes IsoTek components such as Titan/Sirius/Mira/Sub) makes a great deal of difference, and the right permutation can minimise unwanted digital edge. This applies no matter how good my system gets. Power management (noise mitigation) counts for so much in digital systems. (Vinyl / analogue is another matter - to oversimplify vinyl is never offensive you just want more rock 'n' roll.) Shunts are just another way of teasing electrons into optimised paths and streams - or so it seems. Of course they have a mind of their own and I have to keep chasing their tails.

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On 11/14/2019 at 7:59 PM, Darryl R said:

My new EtherREGEN sounds marvelous.  I had been running from bridged JCAT Net connections on my Linux server directly to the Ethernet Renderer module in the MSB Select II DAC.  Now I'm running out the EtherREGEN and I hear more detail.  I'll no longer need the bridge.

@Darryl R have you tried leaving the cat card in place and adding the ER between your bridge and dac? I’d be interested to hear results and if improving the Ethernet signal using the jCat made any difference/improvement at all. 

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1 hour ago, nonesup said:

I remember reading on WBT that when they tried two Sotm Switch cascade, the best sound was obtained when joined by fiber, not copper.

That's very likely due to the fact that the upstream SOtM switch was passing leakage currents down to the downstream switch. A run of optical fiber in-between would prevent that. 

Digital: Mac Mini/Roon Core/Optical Module->long run of fiber->EtherREGEN->SOtM UltraNeo->Schiit Gumby DAC. Shunyata Sigma Ethernet/Alpha USB Amplification: Conrad-Johnson CT-5 preamp, LP70S amp Speakers: Harbeth 30.2/Power/Cables: Shunyata Denali 6000/S V2, Shunyata Delta NR & EF, NR-V10, NR-V12, & Venom 14 Digital PCs, Venom ICs, Delta SPs. 

 

 

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