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jtwrace

UpTone Audio Regen Listening Impressions

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Jud   
Anybody willing to evaluate the difference between their Mac with / without process optimization using the REGEN? I don't know that I need to go through the hassle and risk of bricking / unbricking my Mini with what I'm hearing now with the REGEN. Can it get that much better?

 

John hinted that optimization worked really well together with the Regen. However, I can't because I'm in the process of literally a couple of months of uploading all my music to Amazon storage and am not willing to have wi-fi bollixed for any significant period. Closest I got was turning off wi-fi and AV scan, unplugging the MBP and the external FW HDD for a couple of songs. I believe I heard a nice positive difference. However, there were tracks like those I described last night that were beautifully clear, and they were with everything turned on and plugged in and all processes running.

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rickca   

One of you needs to try it with a cheap DAC you might have hanging around. John and I thought it was pretty freaky what it did for ones we had.

Alex, I have a Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus (retails for $499) that I plan to sell that I can try. I used to use it in my office with my Focal CMS50 monitors.

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Anybody willing to evaluate the difference between their Mac with / without process optimization using the REGEN? I don't know that I need to go through the hassle and risk of bricking / unbricking my Mini with what I'm hearing now with the REGEN. Can it get that much better?

 

What OSX are you running? I don't have a REGEN yet, but, based on my experience with the C.A.D. scripts, I would say to know you'd have to try it for yourself. On my MBP with Mavericks, the C.A.D. v1.2.2 scripts reduced background processes and threads by 50%, the performance of the computer remained stable and solid, and the SQ was improved.

 

OTOH, with Yosemite, implementing the new C.A.D. v1.3 scripts only reduced processes and threads by 25%, and slowed Finder operations to a near-standstill. However, while not quite as stable as Mavericks, there is still a stunning and unexpecting improvement in SQ from "straight" Yosemite on my MBP without the C.A.D. scripts, and CPU performance is where it should be, i.e., 12-15 sec. boot times from SSD, and no lag when opening apps, folders, or menus.

I plan to order a couple of REGENs when the next batch becomes available.

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What OSX are you running? I don't have a REGEN yet, but, based on my experience with the C.A.D. scripts, I would say to know you'd have to try it for yourself. On my MBP with Mavericks, the C.A.D. v1.2.2 scripts reduced background processes and threads by 50%, the performance of the computer remained stable and solid, and the SQ was improved.

 

OTOH, with Yosemite, implementing the new C.A.D. v1.3 scripts only reduced processes and threads by 25%, and slowed Finder operations to a near-standstill. However, while not quite as stable as Mavericks, there is still a stunning and unexpecting improvement in SQ from "straight" Yosemite on my MBP without the C.A.D. scripts, and CPU performance is where it should be, i.e., 12-15 sec. boot times from SSD, and no lag when opening apps, folders, or menus.

I plan to order a couple of REGENs when the next batch becomes available.

 

Thanks for the excellent info. I've been waiting for the Yosemite script. I'll have to see what's in it. I still do a lot of stuff with my Mini - rip, transcode, get album info, etc. for music. No mail, time machine etc. Wonder what's up with Finder? Either way, I still can't imagine how it can get much better than with the REGEN over without! In my best Frank Zappa voice; "You're going to love it."

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hifial   

HERE ARE MY INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE REGEN.

 

First a little background. I turn off all unnecessary items in my Mac Mini. I have a MMK installed and use a JS-2 to power the Mac Mini and my e20 MK III .082 Clock exaSound DAC. I also used my Hynes Power Supply to power the Regen. I use HQ Player and all music files regardless of rate, PCM-DSD, are up-sampled to DSD 256 (quad DSD). My comments are with the TotalDAC USB Cable unless noted.

 

The Regen is VERY INTERESTING. Think of it as a HEPA Air Filter for Audio. All impurities are removed to 99.97% pure.

 

At times it is very obvious and at other times it is very subtle. You can hear an improvement right after its been turned on but you can hear it steadily improve the more time it has to run in. Obviously up to a point. So do not take how it sounds right out of the box as how it will ultimately sound.

 

Better imaging and sound-stage. Attack, transients and instrument tone are improved to the point that it is almost (spooky at times) lifelike with the best recordings. Subtleties can become more noticeable and tonally correct. Drumsticks striking each other actually sound like wood, real wood, like it was live in the room as an example. A clarinet has the air its supposed to have. You just do not know what some instruments should sound like on some recordings until the Regen is in place. Before the Regen you know something is not quiet right subconsciously when hearing the recording...but once the Regen makes it right...my head is a bobbing and my feet are a tapping...I feel the music, and that is what its all about. How the sound moves you, inside. But it first has to sound right.

 

So it helps all recordings but the better the recordings are the more you get out of it. It is not going to take a mediocre recording and make it stellar but it will allow you to better hear what is really on it. Though the best recordings are stellar.

 

Now that is with using my TotalDAC USB with it. And I suspect that there may be a better fit to use with the Regen. Then again...

 

When I tried a VERY generic throw away USB cable (really poor) with and without the Regen it was better with but not as good as using the TotalDAC USB cable just by its self. However can a decent quality USB cable with the Regen give the TotalDAC USB by its self a run for its money, Maybe, I can not say as of yet. If I find one or can borrow one I will let you know.

 

I was really looking foreword to see how the Regen would sound with the Corning USB vs the Regen with the TotalDAC USB.

 

But no real luck with my Corning USB Optical Cable. If it works at all (mostly 99% not) it is very short, a few seconds to 10 seconds at best. I will check into getting a replacement this week.

 

Again this is with only with a short amount of time listening so I will follow up after more time is spent.

 

However I can say at this point that the Regen is a freaking steal at its price vs performance ratio. But do not tell Alex and John that least they raise the price.

 

Audiophiles spend thousands of dollars on one piece of equipment to get the kind of improvements that the Regen gives.

 

As aways YMMV and this is MHO.

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AlainGr   

Thanks for such a detailed report Hifial. It is mouth watering ! As a JS-2 owner too, I knew that the Regen would be a very interesting addition, but from what I read now, I am eager to listen with it in the chain. Thanks a lot and yes please come back to tell us how things are going when you will have even more hours of listening :)

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I was really looking foreword to see how the Regen would sound with the Corning USB vs the Regen with the TotalDAC USB.

 

But no real luck with my Corning USB Optical Cable. If it works at all (mostly 99% not) it is very short, a few seconds to 10 seconds at best. I will check into getting a replacement this week.

 

Corning Optical USB is not working with Regen at all, or you have defective item which you can not check with Regen? Please clarify.

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Just because everyone likes pics. Yes, it sounds really good too even though it's not as close the Micro as it could be with another adapter.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]18076[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]18077[/ATTACH]

 

I have no doubt that this has been covered in some detail. But I am "that" guy that sees information like units of voltage and immediately a wash of cluelessness comes over me. I've gotten over trying to fake it. So I am going to ask you to explain in Kindergarten terms. I looked for a place to message you privately, but I can't seem to relocate where you do that.

 

My setup is similar to yours. NAS wireless to Aries, then on to an iUSB>iDSD Micro>RCA out to analog integrated amp.

 

I think you have basically stated that yes, the Regen can and should simply REPLACE the iUSB, and should improve things. Hoping I got at least that right.

 

It looks as though my choices of input and output are limited to USB, so I don't have to overthink that at all?

 

And, is my understanding correct that the Regen comes with a more standard power supply, like a "wall wart", and that will perform just fine, however there is an upgraded power supply that even better?

 

If all of this is true, sounds like my biggest issue is the wait for one of these to get here!

 

Thanks as always!

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jtwrace   
I have no doubt that this has been covered in some detail. But I am "that" guy that sees information like units of voltage and immediately a wash of cluelessness comes over me. I've gotten over trying to fake it. So I am going to ask you to explain in Kindergarten terms. I looked for a place to message you privately, but I can't seem to relocate where you do that.

 

My setup is similar to yours. NAS wireless to Aries, then on to an iUSB>iDSD Micro>RCA out to analog integrated amp.

 

I think you have basically stated that yes, the Regen can and should simply REPLACE the iUSB, and should improve things. Hoping I got at least that right.

 

It looks as though my choices of input and output are limited to USB, so I don't have to overthink that at all?

 

And, is my understanding correct that the Regen comes with a more standard power supply, like a "wall wart", and that will perform just fine, however there is an upgraded power supply that even better?

 

If all of this is true, sounds like my biggest issue is the wait for one of these to get here!

 

Thanks as always!

 

Yes, you're correct!

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At times it is very obvious and at other times it is very subtle. You can hear an improvement right after its been turned on but you can hear it steadily improve the more time it has to run in. Obviously up to a point. So do not take how it sounds right out of the box as how it will ultimately sound.

=========

So it helps all recordings but the better the recordings are the more you get out of it. It is not going to take a mediocre recording and make it stellar but it will allow you to better hear what is really on it. Though the best recordings are stellar.

 

 

Thank you for the detailed review of the Regen's impressions in your system. When John Swenson defined packet noise, it was the wide frequency of this noise that creates an inconsistency with USB transmissions and the resulting change in SQ and difficult to remove. From what you describe, the effects of this noise have been reduced with the regen, with an overall reduction in grunge, but of course is more noticeable with the better quality recordings. That's what I found listening to USB, it was/is inconsistent, and once you focused the grunge, it was difficult not to listen to it, my experience anyway. Listening to USB was a chore and not enjoyable, people have a tolerance of what's acceptable and USB for me didn't cut it.

 

From the impressions so far, the Regen doesn't sound worse, which is a great to hear, and can only improve what we hear from USB. Something tells me, the Regen will become embedded in a new 17in format DAC from Uptone (hint, hint), or the technology licensed to other DAC manufacturers. Of particular interest are those owners with Auralic Aries compared with a computer USB output. Both devices output USB (with packet noise once received), this should be measurable in some way on the analog out.

 

For now the choice of USB cabling is a minor point, ideally the output of the regen should be a short as possible to the DAC. It's also possible to fall into the trap of differing potentials of the USB shield from the Regen and the DAC using different power supplies, but Uptone may shed some light on this issue if they could?

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sandyk   
For now the choice of USB cabling is a minor point, ideally the output of the regen should be a short as possible to the DAC. It's also possible to fall into the trap of differing potentials of the USB shield from the Regen and the DAC using different power supplies, but Uptone may shed some light on this issue if they could?

 

Perhaps a battery powered Regen ?

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As I see it there are two areas where the Regen can improve SQ - improved 5V Vbus & cleaner USB signals

Can those giving impressions please state if their USB device receiving USB signals from the regen are also dependent on 5V VBus from the Regen?

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jtwrace   
As I see it there are two areas where the Regen can improve SQ - improved 5V Vbus & cleaner USB signals

Can those giving impressions please state if their USB device receiving USB signals from the regen are also dependent on 5V VBus from the Regen?

 

AURALiC Vega - No 5Vdc on the Bus. Data only.

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Jud   

Couple of additional comments about a day in:

 

- Yes, the well recorded stuff is great, but what I'm finding more gratifying is that the ordinary recordings are sounding more real. Tom Petty, Jimi Hendrix, John Mellencamp, all from CD rip, are sounding better than I've heard before.

 

- Acoustic and electric bass sound quite good, not from any frequency boost, but from greater clarity. The "rosin on the bow" with bowed bass and cello, finger plucks, vibrato, "bending" notes and other intonations are nicely audible.

 

- Uninhabited Man from Richard Thompson's Action Packed greatest hits album just played, and it's yet another example of a song (and album) that now has a beautiful clarity I don't remember being evident before.

 

- I do have to put in a word about the well recorded stuff. Bad Fog of Loneliness from Neil Young's Live At The Cellar Door, recorded in 1970(!), was amazing - I'm not sure anyone there heard Neil better than I did.

 

- I'm Only Sleeping, from Revolver, recorded almost 50 years ago, just came on, and it had all of that great old trippy quality.

 

If I sound happy, well, I am.

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jtwrace   
Couple of additional comments about a day in:

 

- Yes, the well recorded stuff is great, but what I'm finding more gratifying is that the ordinary recordings are sounding more real. Tom Petty, Jimi Hendrix, John Mellencamp, all from CD rip, are sounding better than I've heard before.

Funny, it didn't take my subjective self to post that yesterday. hahaha. My JS-2 and REGEN have left the building.

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hifial   
Corning Optical USB is not working with Regen at all, or you have defective item which you can not check with Regen? Please clarify.

 

No, No, No. My Corning USB Optical Cable does not work even just by itself. I have tried it before I got the Regen and it for the most part would not work. I was hoping that maybe it would work with the Regen in place. But the Corning still fails. So the Regen is not at fault at all.

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hifial   
Thank you for the detailed review of the Regen's impressions in your system. When John Swenson defined packet noise, it was the wide frequency of this noise that creates an inconsistency with USB transmissions and the resulting change in SQ and difficult to remove. From what you describe, the effects of this noise have been reduced with the regen, with an overall reduction in grunge, but of course is more noticeable with the better quality recordings. That's what I found listening to USB, it was/is inconsistent, and once you focused the grunge, it was difficult not to listen to it, my experience anyway. Listening to USB was a chore and not enjoyable, people have a tolerance of what's acceptable and USB for me didn't cut it.

 

From the impressions so far, the Regen doesn't sound worse, which is a great to hear, and can only improve what we hear from USB. Something tells me, the Regen will become embedded in a new 17in format DAC from Uptone (hint, hint), or the technology licensed to other DAC manufacturers. Of particular interest are those owners with Auralic Aries compared with a computer USB output. Both devices output USB (with packet noise once received), this should be measurable in some way on the analog out.

 

For now the choice of USB cabling is a minor point, ideally the output of the regen should be a short as possible to the DAC. It's also possible to fall into the trap of differing potentials of the USB shield from the Regen and the DAC using different power supplies, but Uptone may shed some light on this issue if they could?

 

In response to your last paragraph.

 

Sorry but I think you are missing what I said. My Regen's output has no USB cabling going from it into my DAC. My Regen's putput goes directly into my DAC with a USB adapter. Uptone includes one.

My TotalDAC USB Cable goes from my Mac Mini to the input side of the Regen, then the output side of the Regen goes directly into the DAC.

 

One way or the other you need a USB cable of some ilk to connect the output of your source to the input of the Regen.

 

Unless you used another USB adapter but then you would have to have your source and your DAC back to back and that most likely would be problematic in several ways. Clarence for other cabling, space for the layout, remote access if needed, etc. I am not saying it can not be done just that it would depend.

 

But it may not make it better. John or Alex would have to chime in and let us know.

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hifial   
hi hifial

a pity that your Corning was dead... which one will winbe more efficient : Corning or Regen ?... Nobody managed to try both till now i think ?

 

 

Well I do not know yet because my Corning USB will not work even just by itself.

 

Though I do know someone who will have both once his Regen gets to him later this week so stay tuned.

 

In the meantime I will try and figure out why my Corning USB is not working. Remember it does not work even just by itself.

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