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Superdad

ISO REGEN Listening Impressions (kicked off with some measurements)

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Superdad   
1 hour ago, rickca said:

Alex, I am getting loud crackle sounds with my ISO REGEN.

 

Hi Rick:

Really sorry, but you got a bum unit.  

We screened them very carefully, but a few got through with the symptom you report (static on transients-- they are actually dropped packets, or even disconnects by a fussy DAC).  We have a $1.5K USB protocol analyzer on its way in (same one John has) for more rigorous production testing.  
 
I got your e-mail and will send you instructions on returning the unit for a board swap.
 
I'm really glad that everyone (with a properly functioning unit!) is enjoying it so much, because quite frankly, this launch has given John and I a LOT of headaches.  The thing that keeps me going is knowing that while a few people in the first batch of 120 may have to have their units swapped (and I will put those folks first ahead of other orders), this will shortly be behind us--and in a month or so a distant memory.  
 
None of the above is meant in the least to discount the frustration and disappointment felt by anyone, who paid good money, waited patiently, and then got a bad unit.  
My sincerest apologies.  We will make this right.
Thanks in advance for your understanding.
 
--Alex C.
 
Edited by Superdad

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6 hours ago, skatbelt said:

 

Could it be that the low end has become more defined and tight and thus more real but that you perceive this  as a loss?

 

The low end I heard with the Y-cable powering both the microRendu and ISO REGEN didn't sound more real to me.  Bass drums lost the sense of being realistically whacked.  Other drums gained a better sense of being realistically whacked after inserting the ISO REGEN - the lower notes just seems to run out of steam.  Ditching the Y-cable and introducing an additional power supply seems to have rectified this.  

 

I've been listening to Led Zep 2 - this has never sounded better!!!

Edited by kennyb123

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greenleo   
2 hours ago, kennyb123 said:

 

The low end I heard with the Y-cable powering both the microRendu and ISO REGEN didn't sound more real to me.  Bass drums lost the sense of being realistically whacked.  Other drums gained a better sense of being realistically whacked after inserting the ISO REGEN - the lower notes just seems to run out of steam.  Ditching the Y-cable and introducing an additional power supply seems to have rectified this.  

 

I've been listening to Led Zep 2 - this has never sounded better!!!

Any reason to believe that the Y cable will sound equivalent to 2 LPS-1 powering the mR and the IR?  Your discovery seems very reasonable.

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And oh my you should hear what happened when I powered the ISO REGEN from the 2nd rail of a JS-2 (in place of the "el cheapo").  Greater weight and fullness across the board.  

 

Of course I'm wondering what I'd hear from having a second LPS-1 to power the ISO REGEN.

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Altabay   

ISO REGEN replaced regular REGEN in my chain.  USPCB adapter replaced AudioQuest Forest USB cable.

I agree with all the positive impressions so far, but what I find unique in my case is the dominance of the sound stage change.  The sound stage really opened up, and this change dwarfed everything else.  Other improvements are there but I have to pay at least some attention to recognize them, whereas there is simply no way not to notice the wider sound stage, and it sounds spectacular!  The music envelops me all around, and I get a much greater sense of "being there".  And not a single drawback to speak of.  Well done and thank you, Alex and John!!! 

 

My system is Roon/HQPlayer/DSD512, Windows NAA, ISO REGEN, Singxer SU-1, HoloAudio Spring L3 DAC, Schiit Freya preamp, Parasound JC-1 monoblocks, Revel Ultima Salon 2 speakers.  ISO REGEN and SU-1 are powered by separate LPS-1s.  No voltage regulator mod for SU-1 yet.

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tboooe   
1 hour ago, Altabay said:

My system is Roon/HQPlayer/DSD512, Windows NAA, ISO REGEN, Singxer SU-1, HoloAudio Spring L3 DAC, Schiit Freya preamp, Parasound JC-1 monoblocks, Revel Ultima Salon 2 speakers.  ISO REGEN and SU-1 are powered by separate LPS-1s.

First of all, awesome system.  I have always liked the JC-1 monos and the Salon 2 speakers!  

 

Right now, I am trying to figure out if its worth it to power my IsoRegen with a separate LPS-1.  Right now, I am using the same LPS-1 to power both the IsoRegen and SU-1.  Are you able to compare 1 LPS-1 versus 2?

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8 hours ago, kennyb123 said:

Of course I'm wondering what I'd hear from having a second LPS-1 to power the ISO REGEN.

 

That's what I have, JS-2->LPS-1>ISOREGEN (only).  I'm not going to try any other power source "just to see if there is a difference"!

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Burn in - at the 50 hour mark!...B|

 

I'm not gonna write a lot - but it's quite obvious, that the ISO Regen benefits quite a bit, by burn in!...:)

 

How many hours the ISO Regen needs - hmmm - definitely more than 50 hours!...B|

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tboooe   

Ok...I've had the IsoRegen since Monday afternoon and have been comparing powering it with a 5V Teknet battery and an LPS-1 that is also powering my SU-1.  To me, using a homemade Y cable (Canare 4S6) with an LPS-1 removed the easy, organic sound that I really really really (really) like about the IsoRegen being powered separately by the battery. So I have proven to myself that a separate power supply sounds best in my system.  Now I need to figure out a few other things:

  • Does powering the IsoRegen at 7v make any difference?
  • Will an LPS-1 sound better than my $20 battery?

Anyone have a spare LPS-1 I can borrow???  Pretty please??  :S

 

Next on my testing list is to use the battery on the SU-1 and the LPS-1 set at 7V on the IsoRegen.

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Altabay   
2 hours ago, tboooe said:

Ok...I've had the IsoRegen since Monday afternoon and have been comparing powering it with a 5V Teknet battery and an LPS-1 that is also powering my SU-1.  To me, using a homemade Y cable (Canare 4S6) with an LPS-1 removed the easy, organic sound that I really really really (really) like about the IsoRegen being powered separately by the battery. So I have proven to myself that a separate power supply sounds best in my system.  Now I need to figure out a few other things:

  • Does powering the IsoRegen at 7v make any difference?
  • Will an LPS-1 sound better than my $20 battery?

Anyone have a spare LPS-1 I can borrow???  Pretty please??  :S

 

Next on my testing list is to use the battery on the SU-1 and the LPS-1 set at 7V on the IsoRegen.

 

I have Anker battery.  That should be close enough to your Teknet?  I can try it out tonight and compare to the dual LPS-1 setup.

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Superdad   
1 hour ago, tboooe said:

Does powering the IsoRegen at 7v make any difference?

 

This has been covered a few times, most specifically with regards the Singxer SU-1 which I happen to have as well:

 

a) All 5 of the ISO REGEN's LT3042 ultra-ultra-low-noise regulators are feeding devices at 3.3V (one may be set at 1.1V, I don't recall), so the only difference between powering them at 9V, 7V, 5V whatever is the extra volts they drop (and which while dissipated as heat is not very much heat because so little current is actually drawn).

If some one thinks a REGEN sounds better from a higher voltage, that could only be because the air in the case is getting a few degrees warmer and the clock of other devices perhaps sound better when hotter.  Not saying this is the case--and if the REGEN is left powered on all the time (as recommended), the clock will stabilize at a nice warm temperature regardless.

 

b) REGENs should not be powered with 5V if the DAC's USB input relies on the cable 5VBUS for much current, since the 1-amp TI TPS7A4700 regulator we dedicate to providing clean VBUS output can not provide regulated 5V out if fed only 5V in. Fed 5V and under no load it will pass on an unregulated 4.95V.  I just measured, and with an SU-1 plugged into that, the voltage drops to 4.92V and the SU-1 USB input draws 100mA.

 

Normally we would say not to this (and not because of the slightly lower voltage--the SU-1 and most other 5VBUS devices don't care as they too are dropping the voltage for their circuits).  But as John pointed out when this was last discussed here (possibly in the context of also powering a LANrover or a modded SU-1's main board), it is fine if the 5V you are feeding the ISO REGEN is coming from an LPS-1.  That is because the LPS-1 uses the same ultra-low noise TI TPS7A4700 regulator (actually 3 of them) as the REGEN's use for the 5V VBUS.  So passed through the REGEN "unregulated" (do to 5V feed) is voltage that is already quite clean and well regulated.

Not sure we can say the same about your 5V battery.

 

 

1 hour ago, tboooe said:
  • Will an LPS-1 sound better than my $20 battery?

 

Most likely!

 

1 hour ago, tboooe said:

Anyone have a spare LPS-1 I can borrow???  Pretty please??

 

Such things can be arranged.  E-mail me.  But as they say, "don't try unless you are prepared to buy." Because I doubt you will want to send it back. B|

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Altabay   
On 5/23/2017 at 10:01 AM, scan80269 said:

I think some credit needs to go to the PCUSB A>B adapter, for helping to preserve the excellent signal integrity of the ISO REGEN USB output all the way to the DAC/DDC input.

 

For those adding ISO REGEN between microRendu and DAC/DDC, I recommend using PCUSB at both ends of the ISO REGEN.  Use the rotated PCUSB if necessary.  The signal integrity characteristics of PCUSB A>B adapter are second to none, so it's best to avoid using anything else (including those cheap $1 hard adapters).

 

 

Is this conjecture or did you test and hear a difference from using USPCB on the input to ISO REGEN?  I suppose I can do a similar experiment by inserting a regular REGEN before ISO REGEN.  I'm hoping ISO REGEN makes everything before it irrelevant.

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timtom   

Noticing that most of the reviews that note revelatory improvements don't have a microrendu in the chain. Curious about those that do as a few mentioned upstream. Also, for those of you that have an LPS-1 in place, consider the addition of a Sonore DC-4 cable (if that works) with the ISO REGEN. Does it?

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32 minutes ago, Altabay said:

 

Is this conjecture or did you test and hear a difference from using USPCB on the input to ISO REGEN?  I suppose I can do a similar experiment by inserting a regular REGEN before ISO REGEN.  I'm hoping ISO REGEN makes everything before it irrelevant.

I didn't have time to experiment on the input side of the ISO REGEN.

 

I believe the USPCB on the ISO REGEN downstream side is most critical.  I suspect the effectiveness of an USPCB on the upstream side may depend on how good or bad the USB source signal quality is.  For a device known to have decent USB signal quality (such as the microRendu), using a USPCB to connect it to an ISO REGEN should help uphold good signal integrity.  On the other hand, if the source is a notebook with noisy USB port, an upstream USPCB is probably not going to bring incremental benefit over a USB cable.  The USPCB can help minimize signal integrity from becoming worse, but cannot change it from bad to good.  That's the job for the ISO REGEN.

 

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I have over three days of listening in now with the ISO Regen/USPCB in place. The differences I keep coming back to are in soundstage, clarity, detail, and reduced noise. The best metaphor I can come up with is that everything was a just a bit blurry before and is now in razor sharp focus. The timbre in instruments and voices have more resolution. In my setup, the individual differences are subtle, but the overall effect is not. 

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15 minutes ago, Speed Racer said:

I have over three days of listening in now with the ISO Regen/USPCB in place. The differences I keep coming back to are in soundstage, clarity, detail, and reduced noise. The best metaphor I can come up with is that everything was a just a bit blurry before and is now in razor sharp focus. The timbre in instruments and voices have more resolution. In my setup, the individual differences are subtle, but the overall effect is not. 

Having recently picked up a new camera body, I have a similar, but slightly different analogy.  Compared to my previous camera, the new has improved resolution, contrast, and color rendition.  Pictures from each of them can be equally in focus.  But when comparing pictures between cameras, pictures from the newer camera tend to be more "striking", and I can see "deeper" into them, resulting in more "wow, that's a really great photo" with the new body.

 

Pretty similar to the effect of the ISO Regen.

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3 minutes ago, Tone Deaf said:

Having recently picked up a new camera body, I have a similar, but slightly different analogy.  Compared to my previous camera, the new has improved resolution, contrast, and color rendition.  Pictures from each of them can be equally in focus.  But when comparing pictures between cameras, pictures from the newer camera tend to be more "striking", and I can see "deeper" into them, resulting in more "wow, that's a really great photo" with the new body.

 

Pretty similar to the effect of the ISO Regen.

 

Sure. Different lenses have different levels of contrast and color rendition. Sensors also affect resolution, color, and noise. Let's not get into bokeh!! I didn't want to get too deep into the metaphor! :)

Edited by Speed Racer

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Headphone impressions – speaker impressions in a post earlier today.

 

LCD-3’s and GSX mk2.   The first obvious impression with headphones was that bass was super, super tight and punchy.  The overall impression was one of clean, quiet, and extreme detail – and LCD-3’s aren’t particularly known for extreme detail….  The changes due to the ISO didn’t jump out at me like they did with speakers though.  Maybe due to the loss of spatial information with headphones when compared to well set up speakers.  Improvements in clarity and detail due to the ISO were clearly there, but with my LCD-3’s, the improvements seemed more subtle than with speakers.

 

Transportable system – see sig.  Spent a day at work (lol) switching between the ISO and standard Regen – I actually tried to get some work done, honest!  The Westone ES5 isn’t the most detailed CIEM out there, but much of the “vivid” character that I appreciated with speakers still managed to make it through on this system.  Could be bad for wallet.

 

Standard caveat:  my system, my ears – YMMV.

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greenleo   

@John and Alex,

 

1st of all, I'm not sure if my enquiry belongs here.  If not, Alex please move it to a relevant thread.

 

I want to check if my understanding of Galvinic Isolation (GI) is correct.

 

1. Say, for a simple system a DAC + an Amp, both AC powered and chassis earthed, there ground (or ground plates) are basically connected through the signal cable.  Hence noises may flow between them.

 

2. If, say, the DAC is powered by battery, it will become floating and there will be no common earth between the two devices.  Hence noises between them may not flow to the other party.

 

3. GI effectively forbids noises flow between interconnecting devices.

 

4. If a system that flows from A to D (say PC to mR to IR to DAC), if B and C are both battery powered, then the noise from the ground plate of each of the devices will be isolated and cannot pass to other devices.

 

I understand IR does more for providing high SI.  I also understand that LPS-1 provides effectively clean DC and takes care of the AC leakage current.  What I really want to know is what GI is for and how it helps in SQ.  Recently I come across with the term "ground loops" and cannot figure out a coherent picture even after reading lots of web pages.  Hence my questions.

 

If John or other members would pm me on these, you're welcome.  I dare not to pm you.  Also I worry if this post would be boring for other members.

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6 minutes ago, greenleo said:

how many times did you switch between IR and Regen?  I expect that would be 1s for all😁

You might think that - lol.   But I probably switched back and forth at least 20 times trying to understand the differences.

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greenleo   
3 hours ago, Tone Deaf said:

You might think that - lol.   But I probably switched back and forth at least 20 times trying to understand the differences.

I must say that I admire your will.  I think the difference in SQ should be pretty obvious.  However, to understand or articulate the differences is surely another matter.  Well done Man!

 

Cheers.

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