Accessory Paradigm Shift?

I’ve recently tried two different peripheral updates: linear PS for the Regen; USB cable with split data and power. In both cases, the effect of the change was to increase the distance between me and the music, and “sweeten” the HF. I’m theorizing that accessory designers are still operating under the old idea that digital reproduction is harsh at HF extremes. Up until the last firmware iteration of the DS, I might have agreed, but the DS (and I assume many newer DACs) HF performance is exemplary – yes, it’s still slightly tipped towards the HF compared to vinyl, but I am starting to think that’s a vinyl limitation, since the HF reproduction from the DS seems incredibly accurate – compared to live.

Anyone else experiencing this?

Are you certain the accessories are not removing harshness/brittleness which, when missing, you interpret as less high frequency information?

Pretty certain. I’ve done a ton of other stuff in a quest to reduce noise. The linear PS for the Regen and removing the source-device power from the Regen was (in my mind) simply the Nth degree in noise reduction. My expectation was that the superb sound I had achieved would remain, but just come out of a blacker background.

Instead, I got what I described: a softer top end, and a marked reduction in dynamics. The sense of individual instruments in a space also went away. Overall, the sound was just less involving. The best way I can describe the difference is this: I’ve you’ve ever tried to have a conversation in a place where live music is being performed, it’s almost impossible. However, It’s possible to converse over the average audio system (even at moderate volume).

The linear PS and the separated USB cable made my system something I could use for background music. Without those tweaks, my system commands my full attention – I use a networked table radio for background!

Just a followup: the power supply i used for the Regen was not linear. It was an iPower unit. Catching up on my reading, Stereophile reviewed the iPower. They are planning a followup on this unit with the Regen. I’ll be curious if their results are similar to mine…

Another follow up. Since I was so unkind to iPower, I figured I’d follow up.

Apparently, the iPower supply requires a substantial break-in. After being very disappointed with the sound of the iPower with the Regen, I left the iPower energized but not connected for a month. On a lark, I reconnected the iPower to the Regen – I am now getting what I expected to get from a quieter PS: the dynamics and top-end extension is there without the edge that I got on some complex passages with the stock Regen PS.

So, if you are using a Regen, the iPower is a worthwhile investment. Just remember to let the device break in for 30 days or so before making judgement of its effects.