USB REGEN: The latest form of snake oil, or the real deal? You decide!

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by David Snyder David Snyder 1 year, 8 months ago.

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  • #3953
    jazzfan
    jazzfan
    Participant

    The issue of USB audio has been the topic of much heated debate in audiophile circles since the introduction of USB sound cards in the ’90s. In the past, the USB interface has been sometimes viewed as an inferior choice for interfacing computers with external sound devices. Approaches by manufacturers to improve the sound of USB audio have been all over the map. DAC manufactures all have slightly different takes on how USB should best be implemented to optimize sound quality. Cable manufactures have use various USB cable designs to optimize USB signals.

    Today, several forums are abuzz about a new $179 device from UpTone Audio, the USB Regen. This device attempts to address some of the issues of USB audio, but in a slightly different way.

    For a description of how this device addresses the issues, follow this link – http://uptoneaudio.com/pages/j-swenson-tech-corner

    Does it work?

    If you accept the numerous positive early impressions Computer Audiophile members have posted, I believe the general consensus would be yes. Personally, I’ve not had an opportunity to hear it, so for me, the jury is still out on its efficacy. But I soon hope to rectify this situation in mid-August when my USB REGEN order is expected to ship. Until then, I’d love to hear from any SFAS members who have experience with this device.

    For additional product information click here.

     

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by jazzfan jazzfan.
  • #3980

    danrubin
    Participant

    I’ve had one (the 2nd generation “Amber” version) for about a month now. IMO, this is the real deal. Not a tweak that may or may not make a difference in your system but a bona fide “fix” to a problem with USB audio, such that everyone will hear not just a difference but an unequivocal improvement. The degree of improvement will surely vary, but I’m confident you’ll hear one.

    There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that Regen reduces the need for tweaky USB cables (I’m using the Supra, which Uptone recommends) and may even diminish the relative importance of the DAC in the overall playback chain.

    Dan

  • #3982
    jazzfan
    jazzfan
    Participant

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the feedback. Your comments echo the impressions expressed by many REGEN early adopters. You certainly got my attention with your last statement, “and may even diminish the relative importance of the DAC in the overall playback chain.”

    I believe it’s likely the designers of this device have stumbled upon an approach to correct “fundamental” deficiencies with USB that have heretofore gone unnoticed many DAC and cable manufacturers.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my REGEN, so I can evaluate it first hand.

    Thanks again for your input!

  • #4393
    David Snyder
    David Snyder
    Keymaster

    @jazzfan – interested to hear how things went with your REGEN.  I have an ifi iPurifier2 on its way.  I will write a review and get it out there sometime in the next month or two.

  • #4394
    jazzfan
    jazzfan
    Participant

    @dsnyder0cnn, I have an iFi micro iUSB + Gemini cable combo, and given the rather high price of the combination, I was disappointed with the results. In my PC based office system, I didn’t notice a significant difference over a standard $10 USB cable. To be fair, I didn’t subject the iFi unit to rigorous testing, only a brief audition. I should try it again, to see if my initial impressions change. You’re welcomed to try this combo in your system with the iPurifier2 if you’d like. I’d be very interested in the type of results you’re able achieve in your system.

    In contrast to the iFi solution, I did noticed an immediate improvement with the USB REGEN. For my impressions, see the Addendum (09/2015): USB REGEN Update section in my Schiit Yggdrasil review.

     

  • #4395
    David Snyder
    David Snyder
    Keymaster

    Ooooo….the Yggdrasil.  Nice!!  Wow!  You’re welcome to bring that over anytime you like.  So much good press on that unit, so I’m dying to hear it!

    I’m not surprised that the ifi iUSBPower and Gemini cable didn’t add much to your rig.  Results with various parts of the ifi USB chain are highly system dependent.  In your case, that lovely Audiophilleo 2 is already doing a lot of the heavy lifting, although I can imagine a very slight improvement if you were to add an iPurifier(2) to the mix.

    I’m (at this very moment) listening to the ifi micro iDSD DAC.  Downstream from that is ifi’s Gemini and Mercury cables on either side of an iUSBPower.  The micro iDSD DAC has an integrated iPurifier; however, the ifi folks have told me that the new iPurifier2 has a few tricks up it’s sleeve that will improve this rig.  We’ll see…

    Still…that Yggdrasil is in a completely different class.  I’m very serious about having you and your new DAC over to share a listening session over a nice bottle of red.

  • #4419
    David Snyder
    David Snyder
    Keymaster

    The ifi iPurifier2 is finally here.  I’ll give it a thorough thrashing in a few different systems over the next few weeks and report back. Still forming initial impressions, but there’s no question that it makes a clearly audible difference, even with highly sophisticated downstream gear.

    iPurifiers`

  • #4533
    Kevo
    Kevo
    Participant

    Hi, I have also been using the Regen with Yggy. The Regen cleaned things up in a noticeable way. No straining to hear what it does.

    I recently removed it but installed a more expensive and different unit between the PC and Yggy. The Mutec MC-3+ USB. This is a pro audio product aimed at us audiophiles.

    To utilize it you need a DAC with S/PDIF or AES3 inputs. The Mutec takes in USB, re-clocks the signal and will output S/PDIF via toslink/RCA/BNC or AES3 via BNC/XLR.

    The Mutec can accept USB or any other connection, re-clock and output any format.

    There is info on Computer Audiophile. The Mutec has been a game changer in my system.

    Unfortunately $1075 not $175. I will add the Regen into this chain soon and report.

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  • #4535
    David Snyder
    David Snyder
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the tip on the Mutec MC3+. Looks like a very interesting device. I’m looking forward to hearing of your findings after you add the REGEN. I imagine the difference will be smaller but perhaps still audible. As I understand it, the REGEN is re-clocking the USB data signal, not the digital audio stream that’s incapsulated within the USB packets, so two different types of re-clocking going on if you put these two devices together.

    I put together some of my thoughts on the iPurifier2 (a similar device, but only deals with the USB data signal, not power) here: http://blog.dsnyder.ws-e.com/index.php/2016/03/12/purifying-usb/

    Just got the iFi micro iDAC2 and nano iUSB3.0 devices in a week ago, so still getting them burned in. Looking forward to sharing my impressions soon…hopefully compared to the USB REGEN again. Cheers.

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