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Snoopy8

Uptone Audio EtherREGEN Owners & Discussion Thread

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25 minutes ago, Stereophilus said:

I’ve attached a photo of the User Guide that came with my ER.  It seems to contradict what you are saying.

 

A5CA3FB5-046C-4C7D-B5ED-FF0795E45138.jpeg

My apologies, I forgot about what Uptone said, so please disregard my earlier comments.  Yes it is OK to use uber Ethernet cables on the B side which are shielded.

 

As an a aside, my unusual Devialet Phantom setup, requires 3 cables on the output side and I will not be able to use off the shelf metal terminated Ethernet cables.  Another person who has the same arrangement modified his Cat8 cables to remove the grounding on one end.

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Posted (edited)

I have now replaced all the metal RJ45 terminated ethernet cables with plastic ones on the A-side.

 

I also went back to the original power supply to compare to the iFi iPower.

 

Finally, i have ordered a SC to LC optical cable and SFP module to try as well.

 

So far the changes have not proved to be useful.

 

I do suspect a lot of the audible benefits of ethernet tweaks result from eliminating ground noise.  To that end, i wonder if the JCAT ground conditioner attached to the Antipodes EX, acting on the final ethernet point in the chain, is precluding anything from providing audible benefit further upstream?  I havent yet tried without it, but it was a huge benefit when i added it 6 months ago.

Edited by Stereophilus

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2 hours ago, Stereophilus said:

I do suspect a lot of the audible benefits of ethernet tweaks result from eliminating ground noise.  To that end, i wonder if the JCAT ground conditioner attached to the Antipodes EX, acting on the final ethernet point in the chain, is precluding anything from providing audible benefit further upstream?  I havent yet tried without it, but it was a huge benefit when i added it 6 months ago.

Interesting.  I have not tracked the JCAT ground conditioner but none of the ones who reported "no" improvement were using it.  If you have the time, please try the ER with and without the JCAT ground conditioner.  

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That is an interesting observation.

I suspect its a lot about dealing with ground.  When you look at cable designs, most audiophile ethernet cables are the same 4 twisted pairs (sometimes with unique ways to separate these pairs), the conductors are mostly copper, some silver plated copper, and a few pure silver.  So the variables are dielectirc, sheilding, connectors and joining these all together. Look at what Phasure offer for grounding sheilds.  And Synergistic Research high end ethernet also have a similar grounding lead and apply a filter to ground plane.  It seems noise is unlikely to be in the date conductors.

 

I wonder what is so special about JCAT ground cable?  Gutwire has not ventured into grounding cable for ethernet yet.

 

Read about the Synergistic Research Active Ground Block SE to get an idea of the potential.

 

Incidentally, I use a Akiko USB Tuning Stick plugged into my switch and a Synergisitc Reserach passive Ground Block for the rest of my system (haven't got around to getting a SR ground cable for the ethernet yet).

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On 08/03/2020 at 3:03 AM, Snoopy8 said:

Thank you for the feedback on your listening test and contributing to this thread.

 

Not sure whether you have the time, or want another listening perspective? Suggest listening to the ER for a few days and then switching back to your AQ Diamond.  It will give you more impressions on what you gain or miss. 

 

I note that you have joined for a while but not made many posts. Your informative and constructive posts are most welcome. People will take those any day over unhelpful comments from self declared experts.

Thank you. Can't say I know a lot about this. It is system dependent and one should be carefully introducing cables with grounding in case it creates unwanted noise.

Hello Snoopy8.....thanks for your reply. I will be happy to post my findings after the so called 70 Hr plus burn......it is connected 24x7 and as you know it runs 24x7 as there are no separate power switches....

 

Clearly the switching to plastic plug cables helped......and as for using the metal shielded AQ, it is totally okay to use it on the B port as UpTone themselves advocate. I will try out this combination as well.....and report my findings couple of days later.....

 

I have read using the optical cable helps - but again - only in areas were the connectivity is an issue....

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On 06/03/2020 at 2:12 PM, Stereophilus said:

I’ll add my early impressions as a new owner now.

 

My EtherRegen arrived on Monday.  I set it up that evening.  5 days in now.
 

In my existing setup I have TPlink optical to Ethernet converters, each powered by iFi low noise power supplies; into a basic netgear switch also powered by an iFi low noise power supply; this is connected to several Apple TV’s, and the Antipodes CX.  The CX has a JCAT Ethernet+USB  ground conditioner, and a short, Antipodes Ethernet link into the Antipodes EX.  

 

All of the equipment in the chain has made some improvement in the SQ to my ears, with exception of the netgear switch.

 

Enter the EtherRegen.  To make the comparison fair, I have left the chain unchanged.  The CX is connected to the B-side of EtherRegen.  On the A-side is the link from the optical converter and the Apple TVs.  
 

I’ve listened continuously for long periods, and also done short AB swaps.  All sighted because blinding doesn’t work for me.  My impression so far has been zero difference in sound quality between the Netgear switch and the EtherRegen in my setup.  My suspicion is that my other equipment has already fully optimised my Ethernet chain, such that the EtherRegen can’t improve on things further.  I say this because the other Ethernet ”tweaks” have made significant positive differences, clearly audible to me at least.

I do share your views - I think people who experience "big" improvement must be either facing a low speed internet or living near some high powerline / industrial fluctuation areas ? may be ? or the the equipment they are using. I wasn't expecting any  "significant" leap - but if it had provided even a 10% betterment - i would've wanted to keep the eRegen.....

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3 hours ago, GingerDXB said:

I wasn't expecting any  "significant" leap - but if it had provided even a 10% betterment - i would've wanted to keep the eRegen.....

I forgot to ask you how many hours were on your ER?  Some people claim it improves drastically over a long time and for the first 20 hours, was not good. 

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1 hour ago, Snoopy8 said:

I forgot to ask you how many hours were on your ER?  Some people claim it improves drastically over a long time and for the first 20 hours, was not good. 

About 170 hours as of today.

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On 08/03/2020 at 12:30 PM, Snoopy8 said:

My apologies, I forgot about what Uptone said, so please disregard my earlier comments.  Yes it is OK to use uber Ethernet cables on the B side which are shielded

No you are right!

i know what the manual says and what John Swenson said initially, But a growing number of people are finding that B side cables with shields tied at both ends have a negative Affect on the sound. Myself included despite buying Cable Matters Cat 8 from the USA.  It sounded bad, throwing most of the benefits of the ER out of the window. It was like the magic returned going back to Cat6 with plastic ends on the B side.


Apparently it’s not the Cable Matters cable per se, just the connected ends, as others have disconnected the shield at one end and then all is good again.


 

 

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20 minutes ago, HumanMedia said:

No you are right!

i know what the manual says and what John Swenson said initially, But a growing number of people are finding that B side cables with shields tied at both ends have a negative Affect on the sound. Myself included despite buying Cable Matters Cat 8 from the USA.  It sounded bad, throwing most of the benefits of the ER out of the window. It was like the magic returned going back to Cat6 with plastic ends on the B side.


Apparently it’s not the Cable Matters cable per se, just the connected ends, as others have disconnected the shield at one end and then all is good again.

Mmmm, looks like shielded cables may add grounding noise of some sort and it is system dependent. Has anyone raised this with Uptone and will they update the manual?

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Posted (edited)

There have been many similar reports on the AS ‘cables etc’ thread so hopefully some of the feedback is incorporated.

 

Another personal finding - power supplies.  Yes many reports have said that the improvement is small but noticeable and positive. I tried my self when I had less than 100 hours on the ER and concurred.

 

But coming back and trying again with hundreds of hours and I’m shocked at how much better it sounds. Much better than when I tried before.  The LPS1.2 was meh - better midrange but a forced feel with the bass pulled up into midrange. The JS-2 is great but at high cost. The surprise was an old cheap linear supply (Welborne) that I removed from my router. It was almost as good as the JS-2, however something equivalent is a fraction of the price, less than an LPS 1.2 even. In fact I think that the SMPS that powers the LPS is a major problem as every time it is added into my system, but I digress. Anyway Ive sold my LPS1.2 now.  I now believe that a reasonable low cost linear is clear improvement to the ER so Im hunting around for one so that the old Welborne can go back to the router.

Edited by HumanMedia

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, HumanMedia said:

There have been many similar reports on the AS ‘cables etc’ thread so hopefully some of the feedback is incorporated.

Have added a line to first post of thread to alert owners using cables with metal ends.

4 hours ago, HumanMedia said:

Another personal finding - power supplies.  Yes many reports have said that the improvement is small but noticeable and positive. I tried my self when I had less than 100 hours on the ER and concurred.

 

But coming back and trying again with hundreds of hours and I’m shocked at how much better it sounds. Much better than when I tried before.  The LPS1.2 was meh - better midrange but a forced feel with the bass pulled up into midrange. The JS-2 is great but at high cost. The surprise was an old cheap linear supply (Welborne) that I removed from my router. It was almost as good as the JS-2, however something equivalent is a fraction of the price, less than an LPS 1.2 even. In fact I think that the SMPS that powers the LPS is a major problem as every time it is added into my system, but I digress. Anyway Ive sold my LPS1.2 now.  I now believe that a reasonable low cost linear is clear improvement to the ER so Im hunting around for one so that the old Welborne can go back to the router.

Why not get the Gieseler 12V 2A enhanced PSU?  It made my ER more engaging. Another way to describe its impact is that my feet tap more often and I smile more!  😁   Clay sells his for $500 and his customer service is second to none.  I know you sold yours but not sure why people choose overseas PSUs such as the LPS1.2 (more than 700 Aussie Pesos & going north!) and double that for the JS2?

Edited by Snoopy8
Changed south to north

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Last time I checked, so I’m probably way out of touch, the Gieseler use a separate SMPS to charge/power it?

 

If so I will avoid, as those SMPS seem to be toxic if they come anywhere near my system.  Even when I put an SMPS on a different circuit it has an effect.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, HumanMedia said:

Last time I checked, so I’m probably way out of touch, the Gieseler use a separate SMPS to charge/power it?

 

If so I will avoid, as those SMPS seem to be toxic if they come anywhere near my system.  Even when I put an SMPS on a different circuit it has an effect.

Yes, there is a large transformer.  No harm asking Clay whether he has any other option, but I suspect his PSUs are not for you.

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Posted (edited)

Incredibly detailed review of ER in Audiophile Style includes different PSUs, compare with SOtM and Melco and down the rabbit hole of where to put it in music chain with what else. Not included is different Ethernet cables.

 

Also, the long awaited Whitepaper.  

 

** Key questions (asked and answered by reviewer)

 

I always find it useful - both for myself and the  reader - to lay out the key questions that my review is trying to answer. Proceeding from that, I then develop an evaluation plan, or testing strategy, to answer these questions. 

 

The key questions with the EtherREGEN are:

 

  1. Does it work? Does its presence in the chain deliver an improvement in SQ?
  2. How does SQ scale (improve) with power supply units (PSUs) of increasing quality?
  3. Does SQ improve with an external 10MHz reference clock?
  4. Is SQ better when crossing the ADIM™ moat: A <-> B?
    • How much of this is due to the B side being 100Mbps?
  5. Does grounding the eR improve SQ?
  6. Does fiber sound better than copper?
  7. Does SQ vary with optical transceivers and do attenuators help?
  8. How does the eR compare with other audiophile switches?
  9. Is the moat impregnable? Are upstream or downstream improvements no longer necessary?
  10. What happens when you go down the rabbithole of chaining switches?
Edited by Snoopy8
Added **

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Posted (edited)

Waded through the entire lengthy Audiophile Style review which is well illustrated with lots of detail. A good review, but there is an issue that people should be aware of. From the summary, it recommends a sensible approach to start with the ER first. 

Quote

For a modest investment, users can start with the sonic benefits out of the box, and extend these benefits further over time with upgrades to the PSU and clock. With this stepwise approach, users can achieve similar absolute performance as the best of the EtherREGEN’s competition.

👍  I got ER for A$1K

👍  First 3 PSUs reviewed were reasonably priced (A$1K or less) and reviewer acknowledged that the last 2 were silly expensive to consider. I use a Gieseler PSU  (A$500)

Then the clock. :cry:. A Mutec Ref-10 comes in at A$5K!!!!  :unsure: 👎 That somewhat spoiled the story for me, especially when I cannot use it for anything else. I could get a cheaper external clock but will it be better than the ER's internal clock?

 

While the comparison with the SOtM switch is a like for like comparison with PSU and clock , the Melco S100 uses its own internal clock. Hence the Melco S100 was cheaper than the ER + Mutec Ref-100.

 

It is a shame that the majority of this review was using an exotic clock. It would have been better and be more relevant for people, if the reviewer had used only the ER + a reasonable priced PSU. By all means read it for its comprehensive discussions and various options and tweaks. However, the Hans Beekhuyzen video review should be more useful for most of us. 

Edited by Snoopy8
Typo

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This has been a useful thread. I put this question to see if I have this right...

 

I don't quite understand metal shielded / metal plugs / "shield-tied" distinction. So can you have metal connectors that are not connected electrically to the shield?

 

I have these cables available.

 

AQ Vodka (Cat-7 with Telegärtner metal connectors)

AQ Cinnamon (Cat-7 with metal connectors)

Meicord Opal (plastic connector / unshielded)

Supra (Cat-8 with metal connectors)

various other Cat-6, Cat-7 and Cat-8 with plastic or metal ends

 

The original guidance from Uptone is "shield-tied" was ok for the B side, but not recommended for the A side. But....

 

On 10/03/2020 at 7:58 AM, HumanMedia said:

No you are right!

i know what the manual says and what John Swenson said initially, But a growing number of people are finding that B side cables with shields tied at both ends have a negative Affect on the sound. Myself included despite buying Cable Matters Cat 8 from the USA.  It sounded bad, throwing most of the benefits of the ER out of the window. It was like the magic returned going back to Cat6 with plastic ends on the B side.


Apparently it’s not the Cable Matters cable per se, just the connected ends, as others have disconnected the shield at one end and then all is good again.

 

So what are the recommendations now out there? I have NUC server, Oppo Blu-ray and AVR all on the A-side, and Devialet Expert Pro on the B side. Which should I use, where?

 

And what about Ghent Audio ethernet cables - they have metal connectors but are JSSG360 design - what does that mean?

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Raffinator said:

This has been a useful thread. I put this question to see if I have this right...

 

I don't quite understand metal shielded / metal plugs / "shield-tied" distinction. So can you have metal connectors that are not connected electrically to the shield?

 

I have these cables available.

 

AQ Vodka (Cat-7 with Telegärtner metal connectors)

AQ Cinnamon (Cat-7 with metal connectors)

Meicord Opal (plastic connector / unshielded)

Supra (Cat-8 with metal connectors)

various other Cat-6, Cat-7 and Cat-8 with plastic or metal ends

 

The original guidance from Uptone is "shield-tied" was ok for the B side, but not recommended for the A side. But....

 

 

So what are the recommendations now out there? I have NUC server, Oppo Blu-ray and AVR all on the A-side, and Devialet Expert Pro on the B side. Which should I use, where?

 

And what about Ghent Audio ethernet cables - they have metal connectors but are JSSG360 design - what does that mean?

You are not alone in being confused because the impact depends on the system. Some people have heard improvements with cables with metal connectors (will refer to it from now as metal and plastic). Others report metal causing poor SQ. This is because metal can cause ground loops and all of us have different equipment, some grounded, some not. Some people have modded their CAT7, 8 cables by cutting the shield tie at one end.

 

Sorry, but only way is to test for yourself. I am happy with the SQ using plastic and have no wish to accidentally introduce ground loops.

 

I think JSSG360 (JS is John Swenson, ER designer) is a way to provide additional shielding and requires one end to be grounded. But I am not sure about this Ghent cable

https://www.ghentaudio.com/pc/et11.html

It is CAT6A, which is not meant have shields connected at both ends. Best you contact them to clarify.

Edited by Snoopy8
Typo

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Posted (edited)

Well @Raffinator I got curious about the Ghent JSSG360.  The webpage for ET11 Belden 1303E CAT6A Ethernet(JSSG360) Cable is here ...
https://www.ghentaudio.com/pc/et11.html

 

It states:

 

Belden 1303E CatSnake Ethernet Cable with JSSG360 Dual-shielding protection, especially designed for Audio quality

 

I clicked on JSSG360 and it took me here ...

 

https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/31554-diy-dc-power-cables/page/9/#comment-659092

 

I gather John Swenson is saying, the sheild is not connected to either connector but instead a wire is inserted to connect one end of the sheild to the other.

 

For interest, the Belden webpage for 1303E Cat 6a is:

 

https://catalog.belden.com/index.cfm?event=pd&p=PF_1303E

 

Seems to me the cable is nothing that special, not even using their 'bonded pairs' ... there is a Youtube showing the benefits of bonded pairs here ...

 

Edited by dbastin
formattng

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Posted (edited)

One user at AS tried quite a few ethernet cables and found that the Belden 1303 above was his favourite. Jud at AS tried a couple of CAT 8s and CAT6 and bought the Ghent version and has no desire to look any further.


I believe all CAT8 (and CAT7?) have shields tied at both ends so these are definitely not recommended for more than one connection on the A side, and for some, myself included, sound bad on the B side as well. For a few who have tried it, cutting or heatshrinking the shield away from the metal ends on the CAT8 seems to ‘fix’ the sound.

 

As mentioned in the previous post going back to a Belden  CAT6a (no shields tied) on the B side restored the ER magic, and my CAT8 cables are rebagged and in storage.

 

In time I will definitely try the 1303 aversion of the CAT6a I am using now, probably the Ghent JSSG version, but right now my focus is elsewhere (BNC cables)

 

Edited by HumanMedia

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I'm using Cable Matters CAT8 on the B side, found it better than CAT5e.

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I have recently swapped in a Gieseler Kraftwerk “Gold Tune” LPSU to feed power to the ER.  Despite not having a true ground connection, this provides a slight improvement in SQ compared to the supplied PSU.  I have also tried an iFi iPower 9V, which I found sounded no different to the supplied PSU.

 

I will retry this setup with the ER placed between the Antipodes CX and EX.

 

I also tried with the JCAT ground conditioner removed.  Having done this with the ER vs my basic switch, I can hear definite differences.  The ER allows greater detail and nuance in the music compared to the basic switch.  If I re-insert the JCAT ground conditioner, there is a big improvement overall and no discernible difference between the two switches again.  It seems the JCAT conditioner is the reason I could not hear any differences between ER and the basic switch originally.

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On 10/03/2020 at 1:13 PM, HumanMedia said:

Last time I checked, so I’m probably way out of touch, the Gieseler use a separate SMPS to charge/power it?

Well not sure how long ago, but to quote from the Gieseler website:

"All my products run from AC & are supplied with an Australian approved external transformer." 

This is not a "switch mode power supply" , it is an external transformer supplying AC to the DC PSU's. 

You might want to revisit the Gieseler option. 

Cheers 

Grant 

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31 minutes ago, Stereophilus said:

It seems the JCAT conditioner is the reason I could not hear any differences between ER and the basic switch originally.

Remind me, what is your basic switch?  When I changed from my old iinet crappy switch to Ubitquiti EdgeSwitch there was a considerable improvement (when using my cabling which is 20x cost of switch).

 

Marcin is onto some magic crystals in the shield ... my query to him is below ...

 

Query:  I am curious about your Ground Conditioner.  Does the 'Advanced shielding' also condition the ground by absorbing or extracting noise somehow from what is being passed in conductors?  Or does your cable simply transfer the noise to the earth, and the shielding just repels any more noise from being transmitted back to the audio gear?

 

Answer:  There is a special quartz powder mixture in the shield which helps to filter the noise.

 

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