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Article: UpTone Audio EtherREGEN Review and Comparison


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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.

 

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? 

 

Thanks again for a great review.

 

-Stephen

Digital: Mac Mini/Roon Core/Optical Module->long run of fiber->EtherREGEN->SOtM UltraNeo->Schiit Gumby DAC. Shunyata Sigma Ethernet/Alpha USB Amplification: First Sound Presence Deluxe 4.0 preamp, LP70S amp Speakers: Harbeth 30.2/Power/Cables: Shunyata Everest 8000, Shunyata Sigma XC and NR, Alpha XC and NR, & Venom 14 Digital PCs, Alpha V2 ICs and SPs.  

 

 

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Super detailed review! Thanks, Rajiv!

 

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. 

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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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To add, I would be very interested in objective measurements of these types of devices by a skilled electrical engineer with an oscilloscope or other testing method like that.
 

A network engineer with a command line prompt is not going to be able to show us relevant testing results for the problems that these devices solve.

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11 hours ago, austinpop said:

 

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.

 

 

 

Thanks!

Thanks again Rajiv...

Maybe my answer/question was to short. and i was expecting your answer.

you are totaly right and i can see your point. thank you for the hint to read the massive post...i am following it for a long time already. the question was just a moment to take a step back and look to the result with all the diffrent and expansive boxes and cables- maybe it´s gone too far? i have a lot of boxes and cables myself and try to find a simpler solution, but maybe there is none- only if i am happy to spend the money for an Taiko extreme -which  i am not ...

From your point of experience i wanted to know what you think about this irrational result...thanks for the answer you already gave me...i am gonna buy my next box from uptone...

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15 hours ago, Nenon said:

 

Have you actually read the review? Let me point one part out:

Have you looked at any of the diagrams that clearly list "generic cat 6 cable"? I counted at least 15 diagrams, so that should have been obvious.

 

Rajiv did not specify that, but this review is about cutting edge technology. Yes, those cheap CAT6 UTP cables with plastic connectors made a huge difference what feels like ages ago when everything digital was a ground noise bomb.

If I was still using a cheap laptop connected to my all-in-one cable modem via Ethernet and directly connected to my DAC via the USB cable provided with my printer - yes, they would make a significant difference over the ones with metal connectors that pass the ground from one device to another. But also, not every ethernet cable with metal connectors passes the ground from one end to another.

 

When you have a complex system like Rajiv's with multiple custom Paul Hynes DR SR 7's connected to your network devices, fiber isolation, multiple well designed switches clock synced by a top reference clock, JCAT Net Femto NIC powered by another Paul Hynes LPS, and so on - I can tell you what happens to those cheap CAT6 UTP cables with plastic connectors - you throw them in the garbage because they are the biggest enemy of your sound system. That's what happens :).

 

I will tell you this - I had a JCAT Reference Ethernet cable that I had to replace with a regular cheap cable (pretty well made actually). The sound stage collapsed, the clarity disappeared, everything went downhill with my Qobuz streaming. I have no desire to listen to Qobuz until that cable is back in my system, because I know what I am missing. And I actually have both - the Melco and the etherREGEN switches currently connected together like in the review above.

Rajiv was delicate enough not to open up this can of worms but ethernet cables make as much difference as the switches in this review. And most of these cheap cables with the plastic connectors are actually horrible.

 

Sorry if I am too harsh, but I wanted to send a clear message out there. Nothing personal. Those conversations about Ethernet cables and switches and the useless never ending debates have been had over and over in this forum and I am kind of getting tired of hearing them.

 

@austinpop deserves a big thank you for the honest and very well thought out review.

He even gave credit to the manufacturers who declined or did not respond to the request for review samples. How many honest reviewers are left out there that would do that? I don't know because I stopped reading audiophile magazines a while ago and stopped getting any influence by reviewers. But this review is really good.

thank you. My remark was based on the "Associated Equipment" listing. I went for it in seconds and therefore haven't actually read the review as you correctly assumed. Now I will read the article with the attention it deserves (you obviously did). However not in too much of a hurry ; I'm not yet convinced it matters the slightest fraction of attention in room response deserves.

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9 hours ago, rhmmmm said:

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. 

Are you kidding?  Even I especially avoid replying over at ASR. :S They have knives out--attacking the slightest utterance from us. They completely dismissed John's paper, and even when we publish the measurement graphs I guarantee they will bury their heads in the sand and deny all of what we are trying to explain. If they were the least bit civil I might try reason...

 

2 hours ago, Nenon said:

Can't disagree with the importance of the room. I give the room 50% in my system. It's more important than any single component. 

Me too. That's why I custom built my studio over a decade ago.  But I can't package and ship it by mail or FedEx. :P

 

44 minutes ago, rhmmmm said:

I use a NAS/Computer to stream to an Ethernet Renderer on my MSB DAC.

I'm very interested in this product and about to pull the trigger.

Great. There are at least a dozen MSB DAC users (that I know of) enjoying the EtherREGEN, so your chances are good. :)

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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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13 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

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/

 

 

Got it! I ran across that thread much later - my first intuition was to go to the Networking section and found those two fairly negative threads within the first two pages. 

 

I don't have the bandwidth to regularly check the forums and follow the trends (work and life is very busy), so just coming up for air here a bit and to blow some $ on grounding tweaks like the Nordost QKore and I just ordered this unit thanks to your review!

 

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?

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9 hours ago, McDills said:

First of all, TL;DR.  L2BREVITY.

 

Second of all, noone uses a nas or computer to stream anymore.  Look into dedicated audiophile libraries like melco or innuous.  Off the shelf computers just don't cut the audiophile mustard anymore.

Check the OP's signature for current solution

 

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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