USB Regen


#1

My apologies if this has already been discussed . I recently purchased a Uptone Audio usb regenerator and when it comes to dealing with PCM it’s fine but with DSD it produces hash . Has anyone had this experience . I had a call from Uptone reassuring me that that they have other customers that have the same setup and don’t have problems . I mention this to an acquaintance and he thought he’d seen a comment from Ted Smith about why they shouldn’t be used . If anyone has knowledge of this please let me know .


#2

I have one too and I don’t have many but my 64 DSD’s play fine.


#3

I don’t believe I ever said that one shouldn’t use a Regen. It’s much cheaper than many tweaks that people use with USB and it’s well built by someone who knows what they are doing. Some of it’s function is in theory redundant with the DS’s design but that doesn’t take away from the fact that is works well for many people.

P.S. Also I don’t know of any reason it would be a problem for DSD64 or DSD128 - I suspect we (and they) would have had some reports if this were a general problem.


#4

I have a regen, I thought it was very good with Yale Beta, I have been away quite a bit since the intro of Yale Final I did on brief listen think Yale Final and YB + Regen were very close. I’ll listen more next week when I finally get back.


#5

I’m using a Regen with the DS with great results. No problem at all with DSD64 or DSD128.

I wasn’t expecting a big improvement in SQ but I was wrong. By way of context I have the source (NUC) and the DS plugged into an isolation transformer with its own secondary earth and the NUC powered by the HDPlex LPS. With this setup and given that the DS is not as sensitive to incoming jitter as most other DACs I thought the Regen wouldn’t do much and was planning to use it in my secondary system with the NAD M51 DAC.

Alex Crespi of Uptone Audio explains it this way on the CA forum:

"John and I have been trying to explain to people that USB’s problems are NOT about “noise,” and that the REGEN is NOT a filter. It is all about what goes on INSIDE the DAC. Improved signal integrity helps the DAC function more cleanly and quietly.

In fact, I think this misconception about noise and other stuff getting INTO the DAC is at the root of why those who don’t believe–that USB cables or anything else should make a difference–are at logger heads with those who hear things. Both sides are failing to understand what is actually going on."


#6

The Regen is trying to generate a USB signal that’s clean enough that the DAC’s USB PHY (the PHYsical layer, the part that drives and receives the signals over the wire) doesn’t have to “work as hard” and hence doesn’t add as much noise to the power supply. To go at higher and higher speeds it takes more signal conditioning. These days many PHYs dynamically change their parameters to better send and receive signals and using those features can use significant current. The Regen tries to take on the work (with the resultant changing current draws and resultant noise) on the input side so the DAC’s PHY doesn’t have to and then the Regen sends a much more consistent quality signal so that the DAC doesn’t make noise in itself trying to accommodate a signal that’s changing quality.

Like jitter it’s another way that a relatively little known effect can end up being manifest noise.


#7

I shall set my friend straight Ted also I shall find someone else with a DSDac to see if there is something else afoot .


#8

Not from me a question I posed to someone

One technical correction. Most of what Ted Smith said is true,
BUT the adding more noise to the Dac’s power supply is
not the issue. Its the Dac chip and the Master clock that
gets polluted by the noise, even when the best isolation
schemes are used, BECAUSE even the music signal is now
carrying this newly created PHY noise.

The noise from the Souce is not carried over into the Dac, HOWEVER like a relay, the poor
signal quality causes the PHY pre-processors to engage and
they create new noise inside the Dac. It is this propogation
scheme that the Regen tries to address.

So the Regen hub regenerates a fresh high quality signal and is used JUST before the Dac’s
USB receiver, so no cable run can degrade this fresh signal
before it hits the Dac. This is because the power
distribution network uses the best quality regulator and
optimized design to reduce noise as much as possible. Regen
also reduces ground plane noise with its 4 layer PCB (and strategically embedded resistors) and so
perfectly matches impedance with the USB receiver.

Finally,
low jitter Cristek clocks are used to fit the last piece of
the puzzle in order to send very a high signal integrity
transmission. I consider this to be the USB version of the
digi-Lampizator used for SPDIF. I am sure the Regen digital
signal is as “squared up” as it can be.

I just learned today that PCB have their own resonances and that is likely the
reason for upper bass “suckout” common in SS
electronics. The trick there is to have the signal
"fast" enough to make the Plastic PCB resonance
irrelevant to the signal. I guess Goldmund’s ultra high
bandwidth JOB amp design does this? I guess that this does
not apply to tube gear in the same way, especially point to
point?

When it come to world class sound, I think its far

easier to design with Tubes than with SS
components…certainly true for preamps, if nothing else.

plesse do not reply to me on this post

period


#9

Al, that was a response to an earlier post that I made and it’s a general response that doesn’t take into account what the DS does: the DS don’t have DAC chips, it uses separate power supplies for the clock, the analog and digital, esentailly all of the incoming jitter is rejected, the DS already uses Crystek clocks, etc.

As I said some of the function is redundant between the Regen and the DS. What’s left is what my post above addressed.

The Regen is a fine product at a reasonable price and IMO a much better price/performance in sound quality than many high cost USB cables.


#10

Ted.
Your one of the people I would reply to
And so I am now.
But going forward its complete honesty how I hear it and will
Say it.
I do see your point on power supply and agree with it.
But as with a stock source Usb cables matter, with a hi grade server they matter at level not worth chasing. So in this we do not agree
And to say the dac rejects jitter completely and yet changes with sources is just a misleading statement and it’s one you get picked on in other forums.
Let’s look at jitter as many things something you have said in the past
If this is true how can your post make sense.
The dac does sound very good with any input I tried but does sound very different with better or varying sources

I can agree a regen is a better try than going for a high end Usb cable
I have tried a few usb converters but none improved the sound and made it worse for me.

I am ordering one today I tried to loan one but no one seems to bite.
At about 200 it’s worth the try but it better be what some say it is.


#11
alrainbow said And to say the dac rejects jitter completely and yet changes with sources is just a misleading statement and it's one you get picked on in other forums.
People don't understand the many forms of interference/noise. Jitter is but one of them. Ground loops are often a worse problem, let alone radiation both transmitting and receiving from interconnects (especially digital interconnects), power cords, etc.

The experiment of using the same source with multiple cables installed between it and the DS and merely switching inputs shows that when the other cable factors, ground loops, radiation, etc. are the same that the DS sounds essentially the same whether you are using I2S, S/PDIF, TOSLink, etc.

You really don’t know what your system is capable of until you’ve spent some serious time on the basics, e.g. cleaning up the grounding, having firm earth grounding, breaking ground loops or at least using balanced connections, etc. when you use shielding, making sure it’s connected (or not connected) correctly at each end, paying attention to how you dress your cables (a hint: DONT make things look clean especially with wire ties conduits, etc.)

I think many people have more dollars than sense in that they spend money on things with marginal returns rather than on time, experimentation and/or education which can help for little money.

Back to the Regen, it’s based on good technical ground and well designed and cheaper than many other USBs tweaks that people try. But there is still plenty of room for improvement in USB, networked audio, etc.


#12

Thanks Ted for taking the time to participate here on this subject that is of particular interest since receiving my Regen last week. On my system (YMMV) I perceived a more than subtle improvement and I’m very excited once again by the possibilities of the digital music with the DS DAC and Yale.

Great conversation here!

Steve


#13

+1

Ted is an amazing resource.


#14

Yes he is and one I respect , but in this he has not said or may not know why the sound changes. It’s primarily why this is all bull here at times . The is no doubt big improvement can be had weather with an expensive server or cheaper with a USB converters of some sorts . But to claim it’s not true or complete jitter rejection leads us to drink the cool aid of bits are bits . If you cannit hear I hope it’s cause you never had one for if you did then I would loose all respect for your views.

Now move the post where it seems more fitting cause is more important . We all should be sheep completly blanketed in happy thoughts and never any disbelief here right ???


#15

Just this morning I inserted a 10 meter Corning Optical USB cable between my Bryston BDP-1 and UpTone ReGen that is connected to my DS.

I will just say that the Optical USB cable took my listening experience to an entirely new level.

It is absolutely amazing how much improvement there is for so little money with these USB gadgets.

My source material is mainly Redbook, but it has never sounded better.

More chills, thrills and toe tapping than I ever expected to experience with this medium.


#16

I have one of those too. It does work and improve things. The REGEN is supposed to improve on this. But again since I sue a server I do not hear any improvement with the server but do from a laptop surface pro 3 and win 10.


#17
alrainbow said Yes he is and one I respect , but in this he has not said or may not know why the sound changes. It's primarily why this is all bull here at times . The is no doubt big improvement can be had weather with an expensive server or cheaper with a USB converters of some sorts . But to claim it's not true or complete jitter rejection leads us to drink the cool aid of bits are bits . If you cannit hear I hope it's cause you never had one for if you did then I would loose all respect for your views.

Now move the post where it seems more fitting cause is more important . We all should be sheep completly blanketed in happy thoughts and never any disbelief here right ???


I’m sorry you don’t understand some of my explanations, but you (and some others, present company excepted) seem to think that the world is a simple place and that there’s only one right way to make things better. In reality there are always many things that can be done, some more effective for one person or their system and others for others. I explained multiple times how optical isolation may help people (the Corning 3.Optical can help some, it just doesn’t work for others.) I explained how jitter can generate noise and how noise can generate jitter. I explained that tho jitter and the principles of the Uptone Regen can make a difference that they don’t cover all of the problems people encounter. I explained the complexity of calculating the effects of ground loops, EMI radiation and reception, and many other things. When people ask questions I try to honestly answer them, but when people try to tell us that if we aren’t trying their current favorite tweak that we are wrong, or that our systems sound like crap I (usually politely) explain that there are other ways and/or how their mechanism doesn’t work universally. That doesn’t take away from the fact that it may indeed work for some or many. I also recommend cost effective tweaks that many can try. But I never say they’ll help everyone or that there are no other tweaks that work.

Now to be blunt I don’t care if you loose respect for me or my views. I don’t have respect for simplistic explanations nor views that aren’t accepting of diversity. As Einstein said “Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.” I apologize for some of my explanations being more obtuse than you or I might like them, but at times there’s a reason.


#18
Now to be blunt I don't care if you loose respect for me or my views. I don't have respect for simplistic explanations nor views that aren't accepting of diversity. As Einstein said "Everything should be as simple as possible, but no simpler." I apologize for some of my explanations being more obtuse than you or I might like them, but at times there's a reason.
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"To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science."
Albert Einstein

#19

Hear! Hear!


#20

Hear this.

It’s not about the regen I care for it’s the concept of all is great that I disagree with. Your explanations are very well constructed replies they just skirt the possibility it can be better and the dac is not the only way to achieve it. How or why this is not admitted too is the foundation of my frustration and to add to it praise for those who say it’s fine as is.

You lowering the noise floor in a new release is a great but what can be done for now . the money we spend on cables is ridicules and you admit this. But you and others do not begin to try or debate other new or old products that help far more than a good sub cable does. This is a joke and all of you can be blunt . I do nit care , praise each other for non participating in new concepts that are proven to help. Paul in his thread today is Spouting of a 49 product that blew his socks off. He says mr N uses some kind of usb converter product. No mention this from any of you guys here. It’s my reasoning for moving on I cannot take the complete praise of doing nothing but firmware.

Quote this guys.