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ISO REGEN launch thread! (product web page up; photos, etc.)

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Superdad   

Hello to UpTone Audio friends, fans, and customers around the world:

 

At long last we are ready to present to you the ISO REGEN!  The web pages for it and for the new USPCB A>B Adapter (included "free" with every ISO REGEN) are published for viewing.

https://uptoneaudio.com/products/iso-regen

https://uptoneaudio.com/products/uspcb-a-b-adapter

 

This Tuesday, April 25th at precisely 9:00 a.m. (California time) the "AddToCart" button will appear on the ISO REGEN web page.  If this launch is anything at all like that of the UltraCap LPS-1 last October, it can be expected that the first run of 250 ISO REGENs will be pre-sold in a matter of hours.  So please be ready then. (My apologies to those in Australia as I know that 9:00 a.m. is the middle of the night there.  But there is a reasonable chance that early-rising-Aussies will manage to snag an ISO REGEN or two.)

Of course we will follow on the first run with more production as quickly as possible.

The first 250 units will ship May 16th–May 19th.

 

Here is our first revealing of the pricing:

 

ISO REGEN (with USPCB A>B Adapter and Mean Well SMPS)$325

 

ISO REGEN (with USPCB A>B Adapter and no power supply) – $310

 

ISO REGEN bundled with UltraCap LPS-1 (and of course 1 USPCB adapter) – $655

 

The bundle represents a $50 savings over purchasing them separately (with the assumption that a person would omit the SMPS from one of the packages). 

 

[EDIT: An available "loyalty rebate" is explained in a post just further down.]

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As mentioned in my recent posts in the prior "unofficial" ISO REGEN thread here at CA, John and I are quite thrilled with the sonic performance of this new model.  We hope that you will be too! There are a few stories that can be told about the saga of the ISO REGEN's development (we began the project way back in January 2015), but for now I'll just share some photos and much of the text from the product page.

Feel free to ask questions, but forgive me if I don't stay too engaged with the group here this week as there are still many logistics tasks to be attended to right away.

 

Many thanks to you all for your patience in awaiting and anticipating the ISO REGEN.  We can't wait to get them into the hands and systems of music lovers and audio enthusiasts around the world.  Sales are one thing, but I don't consider a product a success until hundreds are using and loving it! 

 

--Alex Crespi

--John Swenson

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UpTone Audio's strengths are in engineering, design and production—not in graphics and marketing.  We take a simple and very open approach to explaining our products and we avoid coining fanciful names for the techniques and technologies we use.  Many of our clients are really interested in all the features and details about our components—so the below lengthy exposé about the ISO REGEN will be enjoyed.  Yet reading and understanding it all is not necessary for the use and enjoyment of this exciting new product: As with all UpTone products, the ISO REGEN is sold with a 30-day, money-back, satisfaction guarantee. So just buy it and try it!  We think you will be VERY pleased with the results.  Thank you.

 

The UpTone Audio ISO REGEN is the first device—designed specifically for quality music systems—to deliver both true high-speed galvanic isolation and extremely high signal integrity in a single, small and affordable package.

 

The ISO REGEN includes many significant enhancements over our famous USB REGEN (almost 4,000 sold worldwide)—the original device which changed the way audiophiles think about what matters in USB audio—and which spawned a number of imitators.

 

Using and enjoying the dramatic musical benefits of the ISO REGEN is simple: Just insert it between your USB source and DAC.  No software drivers are needed, your computer will “see” your DAC though the ‘hub” of the REGEN.  All music data-stream formats are supported.  And you won’t need any additional USB cables (see below).

 

As with the original USB REGEN, the ISO REGEN uses a selected USB hub chip to create a new USB stream to deliver very high signal integrity to the DAC's USB PHY, thus decreasing the PHY’s contribution to packet noise. It is called “REGEN” since it completely REGENerates the data signals that cables are messing up.

 

Unlike the USB REGEN or any other similar product currently available, the ISO REGEN’s input uses the world’s only integrated high-speed USB isolator chip, the Silanna Semiconductor ICE08USB.

 

Why is this important—and why do you want an ISO REGEN?  Because the music will sound better!  The ISO REGEN creates a “moat” to isolate the power and signal grounds from computer/stream USB sources before your DAC.  This “moat” blocks leakage currents and other low level interference from the source.  You can expect to hear more accurate bass and a lot of micro-dynamic details that you previously missed. Vocal breath and intonation may seem more "real" and the "air" around drum and wood snaps are likely to have more "space."

 

With recordings of complex instrumental ensembles (be they electric or acoustic), the music just "holds together" better and makes you want to keep listening.  Thanks to our “femto”-clock timing, the sound stage will be more focused, backgrounds will seem “blacker,” and overtone harmonics will separate and decay more naturally.  But perhaps no instrument will more clearly demonstrate the ISO REGEN's benefits than acoustic piano—so be sure to include that in your audition of our device.  Over time, with the ISO REGEN in place, you will experience less listening "fatigue" and will simply find it easier to focus on the music and not the sound.  That was our primary goal during the design of this special product.

 

While some DACs and converters do incorporate digital isolators for galvanic isolation—they are ALWAYS after the USB input PHY chip and processor system. And unfortunately, USB input noise of all sorts still makes it through to some extent and reaches the DAC master clock (Impacts on the DAC master clock are ultimately why ANY upstream variations—in computer, USB, cables, etc.—are heard at all.  If you are interested, please see our easy to digest “white paper” on the subject.)

 

While the galvanic isolation offered by the ISO REGEN is important and effective, the truth is that all the other enhancements combined result in greater musical benefits than what the isolation aspect brings.  We could have brought out an “über-REGEN” with these improvements a year earlier, but we wanted to include the galvanic isolation so we tackled the numerous challenges associated with integrating the Silanna chip into our design.

 

How is the ISO REGEN different—from other devices and from the original USB REGEN?  We have packed onto both sides of this tiny board a lot more expensive parts—now 85 parts—and our own parts cost is 4 times that of the original REGEN.  During development, each major element was evaluated—sonically and on the test bench—to justify inclusion.  The highlights include:

• A USB 3.1 hub chip specially selected for both its proven compatibility and for its extraordinary measured signal integrity (the best we have seen).

• A world-class ultra-low-phase-noise oscillator (Crystek CCHD-575), the sort of “Femtosecond” low jitter clock normal found only in top-quality DACs as an audio master clock.

• Five of the world’s lowest noise integrated 200mA voltage regulators (the wonderful Linear Tech. LT3042).  These are important and are separately dedicated as follows: 1 at the input to clean and drop the computer’s 5V VBUS to 3.3V to power the upstream side of the isolator chip; 1 for the downstream side of the isolator chip (the “clean” side of the “moat”); 1 for the oscillator clock; 2 for the USB hub chip.

• As with the original REGEN, we still create a very clean 5VBUS output—for DACs that need it—with the terrific TI TPS7A4700 ultra-low-noise 1-amp regulator. Other aspects of the power networks were improved as well.

 

The cumulative audible results of all the above are NOT SUBTLE!

 

The ISO REGEN is an active device that needs to be powered: On the upstream/input side of the isolator “moat,” power is provided by the 5VBUS of the USB cable from your computer; on the downstream “clean” side of the isolator—where most all of the “magic” happens—an external power supply in the 6-9 volt DC range is required.  The $325 ISO REGEN kit includes a modest, reliable, world-voltage compatible AC>DC adaptor.  If you already have your own power supply available—either from an original USB REGEN, or our UltraCap LPS-1, or some other quality unit, then you can order the ISO REGEN without any PS and save $15.

Best of all is the ISO REGEN/UltraCap LPS-1 bundle we are offering at a $50 savings versus purchasing them separately.

 

A frequent question is if the ISO REGEN’s galvanic isolation is defeated by having an external power supply.  Absolutely not!  Full data and ground isolation are still in place.  The benefit of using our UltraCap LPS-1 as the power supply is the same as it is for other components people are using it with: The LPS-1 blocks the path of AC leakage currents and prevents “leakage loops” from forming.

 

Yes, we could have bus-powered the entire ISO REGEN, but that would have meant the use of noisy DC-DC switching regulators and then attempts to clean that up.  Providing up to 1 amp of clean USB VBUS power (to bus-powered DACs, headphone amps, etc.) would also become problematic.  Our attention is focused exclusively on sound quality so we skipped all cost saving shortcuts and compromises.

 

As before, the ISO REGEN is the only full-function active USB signal enhancer designed to plug directly into your DAC or converter, preserving the highest level of signal integrity and best impedance match.  (Having to use a USB cable after the conditioning device only degrades sound quality and adds expense.)

 

The original USB REGEN comes with a USB A>B adapter—for connection to the DAC input jack—which looks “solid,” but is actually just 4 very short wires crammed into a mold between the two plugs.  It is good, but nowhere near as good as our proprietary new —which we are including free with the ISO REGEN.  Carefully designed with a 4-layer circuit board, taking into account even the mass of the connectors and the widths and thicknesses of the traces, this new adapter perfectly preserves signal integrity and impedance match.  IT IS BETTER THAN ANY USB CABLE!

 

The USPCB adapter is also available with its ‘B’ plug turned 90-degrees (clockwise to the right when looking at it from the ‘B’ end) for vertical orientation of the REGEN—useful with DACs where horizontal positioning would interfere with connection of other cables.

 

As with all UpTone Audio components, the ISO REGEN includes personal and responsive support, along with a  3-year warranty.

 

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Edited by Superdad

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Finally!!!

Honestly, I was quite hoping for an introductory price lol... but with all the enhancements, $310 is a steal!!!

So Alex... will the intona further improve the sound quality when put before the ISO Regen? Or it alone can already tackle the needs of galvanic isolation?

 

 

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rickca   

So just to clarify ... the ISO REGEN/LPS-1 bundle for $655 comes with a Mean Well ... is that correct?

 

Also, if you select this bundle is the shipping charge still only $9 for USA?

Edited by rickca

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Superdad   
20 minutes ago, rickca said:

So just to clarify ... the ISO REGEN/LPS-1 bundle for $655 comes with a Mean Well ... is that correct?

 

Yes.

 

20 minutes ago, rickca said:

 

Also, if you select this bundle is the shipping charge still only $9 for USA?

 

And yes.  :D

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satfrat   

I'm personally interested in that USB adapter when they're available (another email notification would be too cool). The price is right when compared to those $$$ flavor-of-the-month cables.

Unfortunately, I won't be 1 of the 4000 flooding the market with first generations Regens,,, good luck selling them. I can "suffer" with my Regen & Meanwell SMPS. Anyone buying a used Regen at discount prices will be getting a great deal indeed.

 

Cheers,

Robin

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Middy   

Good work gents, a website crash Tuesday morning to deal with,    

 with us all clicking add to cart.......

If hard work = Success 

That holiday will be well deserved.

Thank you and thank the staff in advance.

That nice lady working for you will be the first lady to suffer from ISO blindness.😊

Good luck

Dave

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Superdad   
2 hours ago, esmit said:

Can we order from vortexbox.co.uk too?

 

Yes, Martin has already ordered some ISO REGEN/LPS-1 bundles to go with his next shipment of LPS-1s.  And I got a second e-mail asking to add more ISO REGENs to the order (have not yet clarified with him of those additional units are to be bundles or just stand-along ISO REGEN kits).

 

But Vortexbox UK won't be receiving ISO REGENs any sooner than the rest of you who order directly.  Not that it matters to me who you order from (and Martin has done a very fine job for us there so far, as has Mark Welsh at Item Audio).  If you do intend to order from either of those dealers, you'd best make a reservation with them soon.  Their first shipments of ISO REGN will be just a few units.  9_9

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Al Jones   
1 hour ago, Superdad said:

Your qualifying prior purchases must either have been made directly with UpTone or through one of the few overseas dealers that we have

 

Will the rebate not be available for LPS-1 purchased from Sonore?

Edited by Al Jones

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Em2016   

Hi Alex @Superdad @JohnSwenson

 

Has John heard the absolutely final production build too?  Or has he left the final approval to your expert ears !

 

Only asking because of his movements with looking for a home etc and wondering if he's had a chance to hear the final thing. Perhaps it was difficult for him (logistically) to hear the final thing, so thought I'd ask.

 

Only asking out of general interest and as a John S fan, no other reason.

 

Cheers, Sean

 

Edited by Em2016

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Superdad   

A somewhat shy reader just sent us a question via PM and asked that we answer it here on the forum.   Here are the questions copied from his letter:

Like most I am trying to get the best bang for my audio dollar. So why didn't you and John simply wait longer and build the Iso Regen to begin with? This is my question.

I hope instead of responding to me that you will post your answer @ CA for everyone to see. My belief is that your answer will help create additional trust from your customers as they decide why and whether to spend another $300 for a product you have supposedly improved in a short time since you asked for $200 for the original Regen.  

 

The answer has two simple parts:

1) The Silanna high-speed USB isolator chip did not exist when we first developed the original USB REGEN (I found out about it in December 2015, about 2 months after the chip's first announcement);

[And while John and I discussed early on what it would take to offer galvanic isolation--an FPGA and bunch of development time; (this was 7 months before the Intona--which takes that approach--was ever announced), we decided against that.]

 

2) When we were designing the first USB REGEN at the end of 2014, even the Linear Technology LT3042 ultra-ultra-low-noise regulators had not yet been announced (they became available in April 2015);

3) While we knew that a quality, low-phase-noise clock would be helpful for the REGEN, it was not until much later that we considered that using a world-class clock would be significant.

 

As for it being a short time from the USB REGEN at $175 to the ISO REGEN (with 4x the parts cost) at basically $290 (if you subtract out the $35 retail USPCB being included with the ISO REGEN), I would hardly consider two years between product introductions (April 2015 – April 2017) as being a short time.

 

I hope the above forthright answers are helpful to you Shaun.  And please, do join up here at CA and feel free to ask anybody anything.  CA members are a friendly bunch--especially to "newbies" and we don't bite!  :)

 

--Alex C.

Edited by Superdad

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Superdad   
26 minutes ago, Al Jones said:

 

Will the rebate not be available for LPS-1 purchased from Sonore?

 

Oh yeah, forgot about those 50 UltraCap LPS-1s that Sonore bought for their  Black Friday/Black microRendu event last November.

As long as you also bought an original USB REGEN sometime in the past (and I recall you did Al).

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Superdad   
37 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

Hi Alex @Superdad @JohnSwenson

 

Has John heard the absolutely final production build too?  Or has he left the final approval to your expert ears !

 

Only asking because of his movements with looking for a home etc and wondering if he's had a chance to hear the final thing. Perhaps it was difficult for him (logistically) to hear the final thing, so thought I'd ask.

 

Only asking out of general interest and as a John S fan, no other reason.

 

Cheers, Sean

 

 

John does have one of the true production boards--since the day after the first 3 arrived to me last week.  Not sure if he has been able to listen to that one yet, but he certainly had many months with near identical just prior revision--which has been in my possession since he started moving and which is what I compared the finished piece against.  Production boards most always sound better that the hand-bulilt prototypes, and there was one change we made that we both agreed would likely improve things a little--and it did!

 

Frankly, as I felt with the original USB REGEN before hundreds got to hear it, I feel like ISO REGEN could be very "polarizing."  I have had a lot of moments of "huh?" and "wow" and "is that right?"  And the more I switched around (with the older REGEN, with several of the well known competitive devices, without anything at all) the more the ISO REGEN hit me over the head with its qualities.  But while I expect some people will find it too different, or too challenging, I also expect most to go "WOW" and "huh?" and then to hopefully listen to a LOT of tracks and "discover the music beyond the sound." (I put that in quotes because I almost feel like trademarking that cliche.  Okay, its late, I'll stop and go to bed... O.o)

Edited by Superdad

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Em2016   
2 minutes ago, Superdad said:

 

John does have one of the true production boards--since the day after the first 3 arrived to me last week.  Not sure if he has been able to listen to that one yet, but he certainly had many months with near identical just prior revision--which has been in my possession since he started moving and which is what I compared the finished piece against.  Production boards most always sound better that the hand-bulilt prototypes, and there was one change we made that we both agreed would likely improve things a little--and it did!

 

Frankly, as I felt with the original USB REGEN before hundreds got to hear it, I feel like ISO REGEN could be very "polarizing."  I have had a lot of moments of "huh?" and "wow" and "is that right?"  And the more I switched around (with the older REGEN, with several of the well known competitive devices, without anything at all) the more the ISO REGEN hit me over the head with its qualities.  But while I expect some people will find it too different, or too challenging, I also expect most to go "WOW" and "huh?" and then to hopefully listen to a LOT of tracks and "discover the music beyond the sound." (I put that in quotes because I almost feel like trademarking that cliche.  Okay, its late, I'll stop and go to bed... O.o)

 

You should definitely trademark that :-)

 

I like the way you looked after the USB REGEN 'green' customers after the 'amber' revision was announced.

 

I guess at the back of my mind I ask if John's heard the absolutely latest and greatest build, thinking about a similar potential revision.

 

As I said the way the USB REGEN revision (from green to amber) was handled was exemplary so it's not even a big deal to me. I'm quite happy to dive in knowing if something gets improved later that it won't be hidden from the original customers and supporters.

 

Cheers again Alex !

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rickca   
5 hours ago, Superdad said:

c) The $50 rebate will be made only for an ISO REGEN to be shipped without the Mean Well SMPS, since the point is to power it with the LPS-1 you already own. (We might make individual exceptions to this.).  Your new order of an ISO REGEN (without SMPS) for $310 will after the rebate result in owning this fabulous new device for just $260!

 

Do we get the $50 rebate if we order the ISO REGEN/LPS-1 bundle, assuming we satisfy all other qualifications?  It's a valid question because this bundle includes a Mean Well SMPS.

 

Would an individual exception be required? 

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rickca   

@R1200CL and @jhwalker the answers to some of those 8 questions are already in the original (now locked) ISO REGEN thread.  Have a look at posts from Superdad and JohnSwenson.

 

If I could figure out how to provide a link to specific posts from another thread, I would compile the answers for you.  Of course, Alex and John may now want to expand on their previous input.  

 

They are good questions.

 

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Doak   

"The $50 rebate will be made only for an ISO REGEN to be shipped without the Mean Well SMPS, since the point is to power it with the LPS-1 you already own. (We might make individual exceptions to this.).  Your new order of an ISO REGEN (without SMPS) for $310 will after the rebate result in owning this fabulous new device for just $260!"

 

Yea!!!! 

You guys are top tier:D

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