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Uptone Audio EtherREGEN Owners & Discussion Thread


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Uptone Audio have released an Ethernet switch specifically designed for the audio market.

 

Useful Links:

EtherRegen product information

EtherREGEN User Guide

Uptone Audio Sponsored Forum which has threads on listening impressions, installation and questions, development thread, cable and power tweaking and firmware.

Some links to actual listener impressions here. Some information summarising user impressions and findings about DACs and streamers.

Reviews Hans Beekhuyzen video reviewStereo TimesAudiophileStyle

 

Please keep this thread for posts from owners and potential owners. If you wish to debate whether this product works as intended or not, this thread is NOT for you. Suggest posting on this Great Audio Debate thread:

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/293706-uptone-audio-etherregen-game-changer-or-hype/ (removed, not everyone has access to thread)

Ethernet switches for audio - Part B: why a regular switch will suffice

Will do my best to monitor this thread and will request moderators to shift controversial posts that are intended to inflame debate to that other thread (which I hope can remain open).

 

I have purchased one with the intention to try it. If it does not improve my setup based on what I hear, I will take advantage of the 30 day money back guarantee. Will post my impressions  after I listen to it for an extended period. My impressions here (am keeping it!). Impact of using a LPSU here

 

This is a typical setup (from user manual).

 

image.png.8fdbcb248bcbb96d05ffc4cd8434dd1b.png

 

 

Details of the connectors

image.png.b0be4a16b939457f035dfa264e7a6256.png

 

To keep this thread focused on the product, am suggesting that all discussions on Ethernet cables be posted here

https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/topic/298328-ethernet-cables- uptone-audio-etherregen-only/

Not using an expensive "uber" Ethernet cable, reviewed here

Also note that contrary to what the manual says, shielded Ethernet cables with metal ends may reduce sound quality.  Try cables with plastic plugs.

 

Full disclosure:  not associated with Uptone Audio nor its dealers and do not participate in the Uptone forum. Purchased the ER from AfterDark in Hong Kong.

Edited by Snoopy8
Added diagrams, updated, added links, user impressions, reviews, full disclosure, metal ended cables
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I had the chance to listen to an EtherRegen yesterday for a few hours due to the fantastic generosity of an SNA member along with some exotic ethernet cables also on loan from another SNA er.  Ha, luc

Here is my review after burn-in and extended listening:   Current Setup   A simple UPnP setup using a MinimServer to get music from a NAS and serving to a pair of Devialet Ph

Uptone Audio have released an Ethernet switch specifically designed for the audio market.   Useful Links: EtherRegen product information EtherREGEN User Guide Uptone Audio Spo

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Tracking is showing that mine has arrived in Sydney. I go on leave on the 19th. Now that is in the hands of Australia Post, there is no telling how long it will take to get to me. I'm starting to think it won't be until the New Year.

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You will get it by Wed/Thurs. I was in the November batch and tracked it closely.  You will be very surprised at what the ER does. I have it in a high end rig for HT and HIFI for streaming. 

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56 minutes ago, andresz said:

You will get it by Wed/Thurs. I was in the November batch and tracked it closely.  You will be very surprised at what the ER does. I have it in a high end rig for HT and HIFI for streaming. 

Great to read you have had a positive experience, looking forward to mine arriving in the January batch.

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Mine arrived today (yes, Saturday!) after being shipped by AfterDark HK on Wednesday!  Amazing performance by HK Post, arrived in Melbourne on Thursday, and kudos to Australia Post for doing their bit as well.  

 

Based on what I read on the Uptone forum, am doing a 24 hour burn in before I listen tomorrow  and over several days. Unit does get hot, but am using a passive CPU cooler to keep it neutral to touch.

1 hour ago, andresz said:

You will get it by Wed/Thurs. I was in the November batch and tracked it closely.  You will be very surprised at what the ER does. I have it in a high end rig for HT and HIFI for streaming. 

Oh!  I did not realise someone here managed to pull that off!    Please post more of your setup and listening impressions.

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Please @scumbag, you posted a thread about people spoiling the other EtherRegrn thread, yet you are trying to do the same thing here! I started this thread to take a positive note...

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Current scenario I have;  nbn, router, switch with ifi power. From there three long Ethernet cables to naim unitilite, ndx and oppo 105d.  

How would this device be used in current setup, I see only one output and multiple inputs. 
Neo

Edited by Neo
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2 hours ago, Neo said:

Current scenario I have;  nbn, router, switch with ifi power. From there three long Ethernet cables to naim unitilite, ndx and oppo 105d.  

How would this device be used in current setup, I see only one output and multiple inputs. 
Neo

The B side of the EtherRegen is meant to connect to the DAC of your system.  Which of your 3 devices is your main DAC?  This device will be the main beneficiary.  Connect the rest of the devices to A side.

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40 minutes ago, Snoopy8 said:

The B side of the EtherRegen is meant to connect to the DAC of your system.  Which of your 3 devices is your main DAC?  This device will be the main beneficiary.  Connect the rest of the devices to A side.

Abit confused which dac support Ethernet as a source?

 

i suspect I will need three of these to get the benefit

 

Neo

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12 minutes ago, Neo said:

Abit confused which dac support Ethernet as a source?

 

i suspect I will need three of these to get the benefit

Sorry, should have been better with my reply. The B side should be connected to the last device which feeds the DAC & speakers.  So, if your DAC does not have an Ethernet port, then it will be to the streamer which drives your DAC.

image.png.7b8b1217ae32ef77504bdeac415a4ad4.png

Edited by Snoopy8
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On 14/12/2019 at 8:06 PM, Neo said:

Pity I has only one output.

As I understand, it can be used either direction.  You could approach it as simply A and B sides being isolated from one another, and choose which is the 'dirty' side.

 

For instance, all your low noise audio gear could be on Side A with the 'noisy' outside world connecting to Side B - if you need more ports on Side B (eg. PC, NAS), put another cheap switch between those and Side B.

 

I recall the ports on Side A have some isolation from one another, just not a Moat.

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5 hours ago, dbastin said:

As I understand, it can be used either direction.  You could approach it as simply A and B sides being isolated from one another, and choose which is the 'dirty' side.

 

For instance, all your low noise audio gear could be on Side A with the 'noisy' outside world connecting to Side B - if you need more ports on Side B (eg. PC, NAS), put another cheap switch between those and Side B.

 

I recall the ports on Side A have some isolation from one another, just not a Moat.

Yes, all the 4 ports on the A side can be used as the outputs, but there is a chance that the devices on the A side will re-introduce noise. Hence, may not get as much benefit using the EtherREGEN this way...

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Listening to mine right now.

Yes definitely different to my old Apple AirPort Extreme Router. It’s changing through burn in so I won’t start tweaking until it settles.

 

First Impressions are that it feels like the midrange is very forward and clear. Lowest bass is a bit recessed and upper treble is a bit harsh and metallic. These are the exact sort of things which mellow with burn in, so let’s give it a few more days.


Overall its a positive improvement assuming the treble mellows. Great sense of space.

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On 14/12/2019 at 10:58 AM, Snoopy8 said:

Sorry, this is a bit off topic ... but I cant fund the abice thread anymore.  Has it been completely removed?

 

Im only wondering because  it got to discussing ethernet cables, I asked a question, and would like go contact the member I directed the question to via PM instead.

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28 minutes ago, dbastin said:

Sorry, this is a bit off topic ... but I cant fund the abice thread anymore.  Has it been completely removed?

 

Im only wondering because  it got to discussing ethernet cables, I asked a question, and would like go contact the member I directed the question to via PM instead.

Just click on that link.

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5 hours ago, dbastin said:

Sorry, this is a bit off topic ... but I cant fund the abice thread anymore.  Has it been completely removed?

 

Im only wondering because  it got to discussing ethernet cables, I asked a question, and would like go contact the member I directed the question to via PM instead.

It seems that threads in the Great Audio Debate are now restricted to members who have been here for a while. It appears to be something newly implemented?

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Well ... I dont have permission!

There was a member on the last pages who had been testing ethernet cables and is now using shunyata ... if someone still has access, I'd love to get in touch with that member.

Screenshot_20191217-083309_Chrome.jpg

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18 minutes ago, HumanMedia said:

FYI this is a recommended low budget ethernet cable for the single B-side output from the UpTone threads. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NVS8BF5/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A1AMUYYA3CT6HJ&psc=1

Just to clarify as I read it, recommended by an owner after testing various cables, not essentially recommended by UpTone.

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3 minutes ago, awayward said:

Just to clarify as I read it, recommended by an owner after testing various cables, not essentially recommended by UpTone.

Yes, by an owner. UpTone stay out of ethernet recommendations, except in the long past, when they unofficially suggested the Blue Jeans Cat6a.

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28 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

This is what I would tend towards.... for the simple reason that I am interested in something which will I am sure passes a high category.

That’s where the guy who compared and rates the cables started, and there are a handful of similarly priced cables that he rates as sounding better. Also note the ER output B side is only 100mbps.

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6 hours ago, Snoopy8 said:

It seems that threads in the Great Audio Debate are now restricted to members who have been here for a while. It appears to be something newly implemented?

When I looked it is just plain shut down.

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2 hours ago, dbastin said:

Well ... I dont have permission!

There was a member on the last pages who had been testing ethernet cables and is now using shunyata ... if someone still has access, I'd love to get in touch with that member.

Screenshot_20191217-083309_Chrome.jpg

I still have access, not sure how or why, try andresz, he commented he is using shunyaya.

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Yes agree, the above link and tip for ethernet cables was specifically for the b side output of the EtherRegen. Note also that the A side needs ethernet cables that do NOT have the shield tied at both ends.

 

Day 5 of the EtherRegen, highs are more relaxed. Soundstage is less like an effect now and more natural. 

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5 hours ago, HumanMedia said:

Also note the ER output B side is only 100mbps.

Yes, I understand this.

 

A cable designed for higher category will distort the digital signal less, and have better noise performance....  so if it's availble at commodity prices then it can't hurt.

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Here is my review after burn-in and extended listening:

 

Current Setup

image.png.fe048c22f7e71532ebf40139d6b761f6.png

 

A simple UPnP setup using a MinimServer to get music from a NAS and serving to a pair of Devialet Phantom Gold.  Running convolution room correction on MinimServer. Using wired connections with standard Cat6 Ethernet cables to a Netgear Orbi switch, except for a Supra Cat8 cable to the Dialog (connector box for stereo pairing).

 

EtherREGEN Setup

image.png.6323b6fba16cfba8eda2278e4bc77a3b.png

Added EtherREGEN to setup with an additional standard Cat6 cable on “A side” and connected the Supra Cat8 cable to “B side”.

 

Listening Impressions

“WOW!” Was expecting some improvement but not such a big jump. Often, a new component may introduce subtle changes which require careful listening and many comparisons to identify any improvement.  For the EtherREGEN, the changes were obvious in the first few minutes of listening.  The background was darker which allowed more detail to come through.  All smearing was removed with a clarity that was unsurpassed.   Diana Krall’s “My love Is” starts with finger snapping. I have never heard how precise that snap was until now! Similarly, an old favourite, Salvatore Accardo’s rendition of the 1st movement of Pagnini’s Violin Concerto No. 4, sounded wonderful. It is the closest violin rendition to my benchmark, a live concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre. 

 

Have spent a lot of time doing convolution room correction to correct both impulse and phase. Managed to remove a significant amount of smearing and improved the sound stage.  The EtherREGEN essentially “completed the room correction” (not sure how else to describe it?) by removing all the smearing.

 

An A/B testing was not necessary, but I did it anyway.  There was a stark difference between the current setup and the EtherREGEN setup with the darker background and no smearing the obvious differences.

 

I could not stop listening that first evening (Sunday) and am still amazed at what the EherREGEN could do. I bought the unit to evaluate (has a 30 day money back guarantee). It is NOT leaving my setup!  😁 

 

p/s a linear power supply does improve things, more later...  Post on using an LPSU here.

Edited by Snoopy8
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I had the chance to listen to an EtherRegen yesterday for a few hours due to the fantastic generosity of an SNA member along with some exotic ethernet cables also on loan from another SNA er.  Ha, lucky me !!!!

 

The digital setup is a pretty standard Roon - SOTM one:

a  gen8 nuc running roon ->modded switch w external clocking port -> SOTM SMS200 ultra neo with clocking  port -> DAC.

 

All ethernet cables are elecom cat 8 standard and either 1 or 2 meter. 

 

Does the EtherRegen make a difference to a externally clocked switch?

EtherRegen replaced the switch with the SOTM ultra on the B side. 

Result There was an increase in ambient information and more of the sense of a distinct space .  Voices and acoustic instruments were a bit more 3d sounding, The soundstage was deeper and also came out more towards the listener.  A small reduction in sibilance and tonally a bit smother overall. So .. yes.

 

Does a change  power supply make a difference?

replaced included SMPS with linear power supply:

Slight further improvement in smoothness and noise floor. While it made a difference it was very small compared with the difference the unit itself made.  

 

Does a change in ethernet cable downstream of the ER make a difference?

I had a ridiculously expensive SOTM dCBL CAT 7  network cable on loan to try as well as a wireworld  starlight cat8 cable.  I didnt have time to try all combinations and comparisons but i tried these:

With Wireworld connected from the ER switch to the nuc, is there a difference between SOTM dCBL and Elecom when put inbetween the ER and the SOTM SMS200 ultra neo?

 

Sotm is a $750 cable and the Elecom has been mentioned previously on SNA and elsewhere as a qood quality inexpensive cable.  The SOTM is not a typical network cable and has a "filter" box of some sort attached to it and the cable is extremely stiff and hard to wrangle (have to assume there is prodigious shielding and insulation).

 

This result was really disappointing as I was hoping that the ER would negate any downstream changes. For me in my setup the change was of a similar magnitude to the ER itself. So I guess the answer is regardless of the ER doing its thing downstream cable changes were still evident. The combination of the ER and SOTM in my system fleshed out vocals and instruments even further and and it sounded more like the performers are in front of you. The combination was quite pleasing and made having just the ER  a bit deflating. 

 

OK if the SOTM dCBL cat 7makes so much difference, compare SOTM dCBL with clocked switch to ER with Elecom? Essentially testing whether an inexpensive ethernet cable and the ER was better than no ER and a regular switch (albeit externally clocked) with the pricey SOTM dCBL?

 

I really wasnt able to pick a winner between these two, They both improved things but slightly differently and I was getting a bit fatigued from all the prior comparisons. 

 

Conclusion

 

I dont expect everyone to have the same result and would stress the majority of the benefit I detected was in the focus of the individual instruments and the solidity and audibility of the soundstage image, and depth. If you dont have a reasonably good quality front end digital setup then also it may make little difference. I have read elsewhere that some people are not interested in soundstage and focus on tonality so while there was a benefit to tonality I think the benefit was mostly in spacial cues. If this is not a big deal for you or dont really notice that aspect then you may not see the benefit at all.

So takeaways for me are

  1. the ER made a difference
  2. Downstream changes of ER made a difference
  3. Power supply to ER made a difference.

As I literally only had the unit for a few hours, whether I would continue to like the changes heard is not a given. Sometimes it takes a while to to get used to the changes to hear the negatives associated with changes and as i was unable to try long term all I can say is the changes seem positive and I didnt hear negatives in that short time.

 

I think if I was reading this I would be a bit sceptical and say,  well how big are the changes

 

Ok very hard to answer as it depends on the system and listener greatly. But I would say suprisingly large. If you have gone from  around a $500 ish speaker cable to a quite expensive (in the thousands) speaker cable and found a difference, I would say approaching those levels of change, and with both the SOTM and ER perhaps equalling or exceeding that change. As always having the rest of the system and room sorted is essential to hear the difference and also to make sense of whether it is much better to improve another component or treatment than add on these tweaks.

 

So are you going to buy the ER or SOTM or both?. 

 

Probably (but not in the short term) or something else similar but am focussing on some component upgrades atm and unfortunately the budget is not unlimited. I also think this space is only just getting going and there will be many more such products as this area (which should make no difference - to quote most techs) appears to impact SQ quite a bit. Still hoping I can do other things that are cheap or free to get some of the benefit i heard. But will see. maybe I will just get a turntable - they will be much "easier":hyper:

 

Can you still enjoy your system without these  "improvements"?

 

Yes absolutely

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by frednork
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@frednork nice review and very thorough for the time you had the ER, thanks for posting your thoughts, appreciated.

Owners are reporting the ER takes a while to burn-in, do you know how many hours were on the ER you used?

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4 hours ago, Neo said:

Can this be purchased in Australia yet?

Either direct or from AfterDark in HK. Mine came from AfterDark, took 4 days to arrive.  Hint: they currently have stock!

16 minutes ago, awayward said:

@frednork nice review and very thorough for the time you had the ER, thanks for posting your thoughts, appreciated.

Owners are reporting the ER takes a while to burn-in, do you know how many hours were on the ER you used?

It had 70 hours burn-in and my unit!  I only started listening after 24 hours, but did not note the changes over time because it was so good...  Thank you @frednork for the excellent review.  I did not mention anything about Ethernet cables  because it will likely swamp this thread.  Will start another thread on the EtherREGEN and Ethernet cables..

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5 hours ago, frednork said:

 

Does a change in ethernet cable downstream of the ER make a difference?

I had a ridiculously expensive SOTM dCBL CAT 7  network cable on loan to try as well as a wireworld  starlight cat8 cable.  I didnt have time to try all combinations and comparisons but i tried these:

 

How short were the cables from the ER to streamer?

 

Did anyone try with a super short UTP patch?

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1 minute ago, rmpfyf said:

How short were the cables from the ER to streamer?

 

Did anyone try with a super short UTP patch?

The elecom was 1m and the SOTM is 1.5m, I dont have a short utp unfortunately.

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