Superdad

ISO REGEN Listening Impressions (kicked off with some measurements)

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Well, let's see if I get the honor of being the first to post something as a straight forward customer!

 

Everything now up and running.  I tried a couple of quick configurations to driving the ISO Regen, either with the LPS1 only powering it or with a split cable and so using the LPS1 to power that and the uRendu.  Ultimately, I am now listening with the wall-wart powering the uRendu and the LPS1 only driving the Regen.  It seems a bit less noisy in that mode, but will try again in the future just to see. Everything still settling down of course, but even now it feels like a bit more bass definition and upper-end clarity to what I am hearing.  Alas, can't try the USB connector as, with my current configuration, another cable gets in the way, so my set-up isn't as yet optimal.

 

Anyway - great job on sticking to the shipping schedule and for producing another great product!

Edited by brightonjel
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Just a quick revisit for those waiting for the postman on Monday - definitely worth the wait!  What I reported yesterday on first listen has solidified further today after 24 hours.  Bass is definitely better defined, and there's more detail in the backgrounds than before; voices sound a bit more natural too.

 

Haven't yet tried other permutations - e.g. walwart driving ISO Regen and LPS-1 on uRendu, largely because getting to all the cabling etc. on my setup is a real pain, so I'm looking forward to hearing the impressions others have as they try variations on the "what PSU drives which device" theme.  Meanwhile, back to the music ...

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Hi Alex,

 

I have to admit that a headphones setup is not the best for assessing changes to things such as sound stage and imaging, and often in the past I had to listen very carefully and extensively to pick out the differences after applying a tweak, but not this time.  After the ISO REGEN got installed the changes I heard in my headphones setup were not subtle (sorry for the cliche, is this an audiophile meme yet?  :D)

 

I have an outstanding offer to Ted to mod his SU-1 with polymer caps and super-regulator (to replace that mediocre LD1086).  I can certainly do the same for your SU-1 as well.  Just give the word.  I'm about to order a Sparkos Labs SS1117XX discrete regulator for my own SU-1, and can order another one for yours (and save on the shipping).

 

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1 hour ago, scan80269 said:

I had a few hours of listening using the following setup with ISO REGEN added:

 

WIn10 i7-3770S AIO PC (HQPlayer & local library on SSD) <iFi Mercury USB cable> ISO REGEN (LPS-1 powered) <USPCB A>B hard adaper> Singxer SU-1 DDC (modified, LPS-1 powered) <ultra-slim 1.5' HDMI cable> Holo Audio Spring DAC <XLR cables> Jensen ISO-MAX PI-2XX <XLR cables> Auralic Taurus MkII headphone amp <Stefan Audio Art Endorphin balanced headphone cable> Sennheiser HD800

 

Spring DAC was in NOS mode.  Each LPS-1 fed by a modified Breeze Audio el-cheapo linear power supply.  No upsampling in HQPlayer.

 

Initial impressions:

 

WOW!!!  I almost could not recognize some of my favorite recordings!  :o

 

Firmer & more prominent bass, smoother treble, less sibilant, more articulate & expressive voices, more air around instruments, longer reverb tails, more liquid sounding, stronger dynamics along with improved details.

 

The sound is frankly hard to put into words.  A number of previously un-listenable recordings are big-time transformed!  The improvements are largest with Redbook 16/44.1K content, but even my HRx (24/176.4K) recordings sounded better like never before!

 

ISO REGEN (along with USPCB) is now my favorite USB grunge blocker.  I won't be surprised to hear ISO REGEN elevating the sound of USB over S/PDIF or AES interfaces for a wide variety of system setups.

 

Bravo, Alex and John!  ISO REGEN is another major winner!  :D

 

Back to more listening...

 

p.s. Alex, the ISO REGEN + modded SU-1 sounds like a killer combo for the Spring DAC.  Have you heard this setup yet?

 

p.p.s. That eye diagram for ISO REGEN is among the cleanest waveforms I've ever laid eyes on.  Awesome!

 

 

 

Great to read your impressions!

 

But - didn't you have an Aries-based setup? Did you switch to a direct-USB HQPlayer-based setup while I wasn't paying attention? :D I'm curious how it sounds on a endpoint/renderer/NAA setup.

 

And - any comparison to previous USB decrapifiers - Intona, RUR, Regen, ...?

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15 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

Great to read your impressions!

 

But - didn't you have an Aries-based setup? Did you switch to a direct-USB HQPlayer-based setup while I wasn't paying attention? :D I'm curious how it sounds on a endpoint/renderer/NAA setup.

 

And - any comparison to previous USB decrapifiers - Intona, RUR, Regen, ...?

I still have my Aries Femto / Vega combo which has been the reference for my headphones setup.  I just haven't listened to it for a bit, having been too distracted by my Spring DAC, Singxer SU-1 and now the ISO REGEN... :D

 

Actually, since I have an Audio Design XLR switch box for switching among 3 XLR sources, I can easily do a shootout between the Aries/Vega and PC/ISO REGEN/SU-1/Spring setups.  I'll try to get to this, and it would be fun and informative, but right now I'm enjoying the sound of the latter setup almost too much...

 

I can offer some comments on the most recent changes for my SU-1/Spring setup.  The ISO REGEN (LPS-1 powered) directly replaced an Intona, and the differences have been dramatic.  The Intona itself provided some degree of improvement over no Intona, particularly in helping to make voices less sibilant, but I was blown away by the step function jump in SQ as soon as the ISO REGEN replaced the Intona.  I did try both 5V and 7V settings of the LPS-1 powering the ISO REGEN, but did not hear any difference between them.

 

I know some folks want to hear about the SQ differences between ISO REGEN and original REGEN.  I haven't compared these either.  So many comparisons to do, and so many recordings I want to hear fresh again with the ISO REGEN in place.

 

 

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One of my next steps is to haul the whole ISO REGEN / LPS-1 / SU-1 / Spring setup to my retried colleague's place for auditioning with his speakers.  He's got the fast Lyngdorf stereo subs and Benchmark AHB2 amps in bi-amped mode, and is my go-to place to assessing sound stage, imaging, details, dynamics, etc.

 

I'm glad my retired colleague has more time on his hands.  It's me with my day job that can't get enough hours in a day.

 

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21 minutes ago, pam1975 said:

Alex, can the Iso Regen be used before a Mutec MC3+ USB? Thanks 

 

I am not Alex, but sure, why not? I am using one before my DDC...a Singxer F-1.

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48 minutes ago, pam1975 said:

Alex, can the Iso Regen be used before a Mutec MC3+ USB? Thanks 

 

Yup.  Benefits the DDCs the same and for the same reasons as any USB audio input.  Better signal integrity, impedance match, galvanic isolation, etc.  Longer explanations have been made here elsewhere, so please do look around--or visit our website.  Thanks.

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My ISO Regen arrived today (thanks Alex and co) and I will put it through its paces starting tonight (worst case tmrw).  I wanted to say that I was not paying attention when the USPCB was announced and did not realize it has an onboard VBus switch.  Nice touch!

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14 minutes ago, ted_b said:

My ISO Regen arrived today (thanks Alex and co) and I will put it through its paces starting tonight (worst case tmrw).  I wanted to say that I was not paying attention when the USPCB was announced and did not realize it has an onboard VBus switch.  Nice touch!

Thanks Ted, I missed that. Will play with my dongle again after I put some more hours on the ISO-R.  :P

Edited by Doak
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3 minutes ago, Speed Racer said:

is like comparing two photos on the same scene. One slightly out of focus with a color filter in place while the other is perfectly in focus with no filter.

Yes, excellent analogy.

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18 minutes ago, Superdad said:

Yes, most people put something under their REGEN's for support.  Foam block, stack of Post-Its, or possibly even something sticky at both ends to hold it all still so even a cable pull won't mess things up.

I took a little 3" wide strip of bubble-wrap and folded it a few times into a nice "pillow".  
Problem solved courtesy of redneck engineering.   (a true redneck would have used duct tape!)

 

18 minutes ago, Superdad said:

I am surprised you did not order your unit with the 90-degree rotated USPCB.  If you are using the I2S output of the SU-1, then a vertical orientation of the REGEN would allow you to plug in the I2s cable.

I've got my gear crammed into a bookshelf and I'm running out of room vertically, so I opted for the "horizontal" connector.  I had no problems getting my HDMI cable routed under/around the REGEN.

Thanks for the offer though!  

 

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The eagle has landed....right now I have the IsoRegen warming up being powered by a 5v Teknet battery.  Just played one song and it works!  I will give it a few hours before I sit down tonight to give it a serious listen.  I am pretty excited!

 

BTW, i am using some Legos for support.  Unfortunately, I cannot get the height exactly right so the IsoRegen (actually USPCB) is slightly flexing upward.  Hopefully this wont be a problem long term.

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Yes, precious! ISO REGEN is here and I'll start testing tomorrow.  I will try it with an iFi micro iDSD and with my Berkeley Alpha USB/Jeff Rowland Aeris.  In both cases, I will power the ISO REGEN with an LPS-1.

 

I haven't had an original REGEN for quite a while, so my comparison will be to a Sonore microRendu/LPS-1 in DLNA/MPD mode directly attached to a Windows 10 network bridge.  I don't have any fancy Ethernet cables or isolators, just BJC Cat 6a.

 

I've found those little myrtle wood blocks that Ayre or Cardas sell work well to support these devices, but you can certainly use something simpler.

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I've reached out to Alex about this, but my unit doesn't work. When feeding an SU-1, I get crackling noise. When I switch it to my other system (feeding an MC-3+) I can't get a signal lock. 

 

Can you all please confirm successful use feeding either SU-1 or MC-3+?

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