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Article: UpTone Audio EtherREGEN Review and Comparison

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23 minutes ago, davide256 said:

Excellent review. My industry training also made me skeptical about audio unique benefits from an Ethernet switch but clearly something is going on that affects an audio USB

device with an active NIC. Based on your review, looks like I'll be buying yet another DC power supply to power the Etherregen 😉

 

Thanks David.

 

Have a look at Uptone's white paper, linked in the review. Food for thought.

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4 hours ago, latenz said:

Did you try once, playing form an internal drive in your music computer?

 

This is a deep topic in its own right, and will take this thread off-topic! So, please post any followup on the thread I'll link below.

 

Yes, I have indeed tried internal drives, and it takes a lot of effort and optimization to mitigate for their presence in the music computer. Not saying it can't be done, but it's not as simple as just hooking up an NVMe SSD or SATA HDD.

 

The reason I went the NAS route is based on the simple idea that NO storage disk is quieter (from a noise perspective) than even the quietest one. And this was facilitated by the use of Euphony OS and Stylus. Once you can pre-buffer the music before playback, you've taken the storage device out of the picture.

 

I suggest you take a look at this thread: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/30376-a-novel-way-to-massively-improve-the-sq-of-computer-audio-streaming/ Check out the index in the first post, and do some searches. You will find people have discussed these tradeoffs extensively.

 

 

4 hours ago, latenz said:

Thanks again for your impressive deep review.
Btw…nice music decision…

 

Thanks!

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46 minutes ago, Confused said:

Rajiv, a fine review, thorough would be an understatement!

 

Thanks!

 

46 minutes ago, Confused said:

One point to clarify, you placed the SQ of the EtherRegen and S100 as being very close.  Am I correct that this was with the EtherRegen using the REF10’s reference clock, and the S100 necessarily using its own clock?  I think I have this right, but I’m not completely sure. 

 

Yes, exactly right.

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1 hour ago, Puma Cat said:

Really a superb review, Rajiv, thank you. I completed a review for The Absolute Sound in January that was notably shorter, so I know just how much work writing a review as comprehensive as this actually is from first-hand experience.

 

Look forward to reading your review.

 

1 hour ago, Puma Cat said:

Just a question for you: where did you get the Startech SFP1000ZXST 1550nm/80km transceiver and where you get the 10 dB attenuators, and how do you use them in conjunction with the optical transceivers? 

 

I got them from Amazon, but the pricing seems to fluctuate: 

For how to use them - yes, it is non obvious. The attenuators need to go into the receiver slot at each end. I am indebted to @kennyb123 for his guidance and experiments, which he reported here on AS on the EtherREGEN threads. Please search for his posts. 

 

1 hour ago, Puma Cat said:

Thanks again for a great review.

 

-Stephen

 

Much appreciated.

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40 minutes ago, rhmmmm said:

Anyone have any comparisons/insights as compared to the GigaFOIL v4? I’m not sure if it reclocks, but I think is just a filter?

 

I don’t need a full switch so I feel these are overkill and would furthermore like to retain gigabit throughput for you know, the future, especially if I’m spending more than $500. 

 

Sadly no. I have played with isolators in the distant past, like the Baaske medical isolator, as well as the SOtM iso-Cat6, and found them underwhelming. I have not felt motivated to try the GigaFOIL.

 

You might want to check the EtherREGEN threads on this site and ask the question.

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9 hours ago, rhmmmm said:


Wow Rajiv, Chris, I looked at the past two EtherREGEN threads in the Networking section. They are certainly extreme (in a negative way) for what I’m used to on this site. I’m happy you did this review and that it’s as detailed as possible.

 

I’m in the tech business and have been my whole life. However, I’m an audiophile also. Audio (in the “computer audiophile” context) bridges digital to analog. It’s important to remember that the analog domain is reactive and susceptible to all types of VERY subtle changes in noise, power quality, interference, and other things very certainly measurable in the analog domain. I have many friends and business customers who are and would be extremely skeptical of a product like this, and would do exactly what posters in those threads did - test what they can test with the knowledge they have. Screenshots showing no packet loss. Comments about how “digital is digital” ... “bits are bits” ... “buffers in asynchronous networking devices eliminate the need for fancy clocks in networking equipment.”  Indeed, if I were using a $500 DAC and some mid-grade headphones, I would also likely agree with the assessments made in those threads because the quality of those devices are not able to clearly render the fineness of the difference that a product like this can make. 
 

I think the EtherREGEN and Network filters/reclockers/combo products like this and others are more apt to produce results in very highly resolving systems. Last year I demoed a Nordost Q-Kore grounding system. It made a difference, albeit slight, however it bought out just that extra marginal bit of “magic” holographic presentation in my system that after hearing, it’s hard to live without. I’m currently in the process of acquiring one finally. I’m thinking of adding one of these network switches or filtering units to eliminate noise and interference from entering my system from that one last vector - the network port. But, I wouldn’t be spending that money (or money on an EtherREGEN-type product) before first upgrading my main components first - components like DAC, Amp, Speakers, signal and power cables.

 

Anyways, I’m not sure I want to ask any questions in those threads. They look pretty scary and I’m not sure the posters in those, other than the manufacturer, would reply well. This seems to be the best place for conversation about the product so far. 

 

Dear rhmmmm - I hope I got the right number of m's :)

 

You must have misunderstood my reference. I was pointing you to the threads here: https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/forum/25-uptone-audio-sponsored/

 

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7 minutes ago, rhmmmm said:

With a QKORE coming, my next question is...should I ground the EtherREGEN to it using a spade to the ground terminal? or should I use an RJ45 grounding cable to a port on the 4-port side?

 

I'm assuming the ground terminal with spade would be the best option?

 

I have no experience with the QKORE, but with grounding solutions, you just have to experiment. I would think a spade on the grounding post would be best, but easy enough to try it both ways...

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33 minutes ago, KDinsmore said:

Off topic. You still own the Cavalli and looks like you have a Dave now. Have you changed on the Hugo TT 2 + upscaler as a main headphone rig?

 

Yes, I've moved from TT2 to a DAVE.

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1 hour ago, Ultrarunner said:

I just read the review. Awesome Rajiv! Very thorough and methodical. For fun, I ordered the Startech SFPs you mentioned, to see if I can take things a little further. Is there any particular single mode cable you would also suggest?

 

Not really. I used these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0099S4MZI

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1 hour ago, Johnseye said:

Rajiv,

 

I received an ER and another LPS-1.2 the other day (thanks Alex!).  The LPS will likely power the new Arris modem Nennon and Roy were recommending.  I have that in house, but am taking one step at a time.

 

I won't go into a lengthy discussion here, but like you I have a TLS and sNH-10G.  I didn't wait for burn in.  Replacing the sNH-10G I could hear the difference out of the box.  I can only hope it gets better.  The TLS, which was upstream, will get moved elsewhere in the house and now I need to decide what to do with the sNH-10G.  I'm using its taps for my NUC so that creates a dilemma, but I am also looking at a server rebuild and that could make its placement more flexible.

 

I have been testing fiber (with Planettech MGB-TLX Mini GBIC LX Module - 20KM) with both switches.  Also moving the placement of the NAS around in the chain, with fiber and without.  A side and B side.  Comparing direct USB to NAS to Qobuz.  A lot of variables and not enough time put into listening yet. 

 

Thanks for your review.

 

Keep us posted on your findings, John!

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57 minutes ago, jtrelin said:

Rajiv, a truly great review, thank you. I found it thoughtful, empirical,  helpful and educational. 

Quick question - is it right to assume the SOtM switch you used in the comparison contained the internal clock, silver wiring and Evox capacitors, and the external clock input? 

 

Hi Joe,

 

Yes you’re correct - the SOtM switch had all those features. Apologies if the price is incorrect. I’ll get that fixed.

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2 hours ago, jtrelin said:

Once again, Rajiv, a great, highly valuable review.

 

I found a derivative benefit to be the comparison of PSUs.

 

I'd be curious where the Mojo-Audio Illuminati fits in. I've had great results. It (or the lesser Joule V) compared better than every PSU I tested, including the top end ($1900?) Sonore. If you could get your hands on one i'd be interested in your opinion vs the top end Paul Hynes. I've never heard the Paul Hynes, but others have said they prefer the Illuminati. Given the lower price and greater availability of the Illuminati it could could be worthwhile for readers to know about it.

 

If I can get my hands on one for a few days it would be interesting. Maybe someone can lend me one?

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14 minutes ago, Ponkbutler said:

 

Much appreciation of your review from here in the UK, too!

 

I have two chained EtherRegens powered by a Sean Jacobs power supply and it's all working very nicely.

 

I am, however, considering adding a Mutec Ref 10 to improve things further.

 

Would I be right in saying from your experience this might not be the best approach and that I would save space (I don't have much) and money if I bought a Melco switch instead?  I have spare 12V rail in the power supply I could use for it.

 

Many thanks again, Mike

 

Prescriptive advice is dangerous in audio, and I find it's even more so in the network part of the chain, as this tends to be very system- and house-dependent. So here are just some thoughts:

  • I would be hesitant to spend that much on a REF 10 only for switches. It makes more sense if you have other gear with reference clock needs so you can amortize it over the rest of the chain.
  • Do experiment with fiber somewhere in the path. I find I like it between the 2 switches, using the Planet Tech MGB-TLX Mini GBIC LX transceivers
  • The eR/Melco combo certainly sounds very good here. 

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