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Uptone EtherRegen experiences? Used a clock input?


Fourlegs
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@Psilonaught posted an off topic comment in another thread saying,

I was planning on buying an etherregen as I have a spare 10M output on my rubidium master clock, and then I read this helpful review on ASR :P“  Psilonaught has responded to me saying his comment was meant to be sarcastic and I assume the sarcasm was aimed at the ASR review which a spot on response.

Now it so happens that I bought a second hand EtherRegen a couple of months ago and I would be interested to compare my experiences.

Just a bit of info on my system. Having recently changed my Broadband to an EE 4G router to get better than crappy half meg uploads (I now get between 20 and 60 meg uploads) I added a Cisco 2940 switch to the EE router which only has 2 LAN ports. This switch deals with the computers and printers at that end of the house. A second 2940 in the sitting room is connected to the first one by a 30m optical cable (running around the outside of the house). This second 2940 is wired to the TV, Amazon box, FreeSat Box, NowTV box and also my audio streamer.

I have not tried the EtherRegen with its supplied SMPS because I had a spare 12v SBooster LPS and so have used that from the get go. 

I admit to not expecting any difference by adding the EtherRegen between the Cisco 2940 and the audio streamer but to my ears there is a clear and significant difference. This is not the short of subtle difference that has to be searched for but rather the hit you between the ears sort of difference.

And so I wondered what are the of other EtherRegen users?

The EtherRegen has the ability to use an optical input from the Switch. I have not tried that but I know that other wammers  (calling @Duckworp ) have tried that and I wonder if they can report their experiences here?

Also, has anyone tried connecting a clock to the EtherRegen? The only wammer I know who has more clocks in his system than I have had hot dinners is @TheFlash but I will have to bribe him to loan a clock and I know they are buried deep in his HiFi vault aka HiFi cabinet and are not easy to get out.

So what did I hear? Generally a softer and less crisp sound which is enjoyable but I am interested what others heard. I am also interested because I now have a PhoenixNET in the house and want to compare that to the EtherRegen. By the way, the Innuos does sound different to the EtherRegen but I want to listen more before reporting back.

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I have to say the ethernet debate is an example of why it feels, to me at least, like the digital front end area of system building is so daunting, with a lot of apparent ways to waste money. 

I was going to buy an etherregen, especially as I already have a master clock with 10Mhz output, and read a lot of positive feedback on https://audiophilestyle.com. I was then appalled to read the pretty damning review of it on ASR. I am not an ASR fanboy, but I do believe there is a lot of bullshit out there.

Then I read this review that raves about it!? 

Ironically they rank next to each other on Google, which is funny given their polar opposite views on the etherregen and ethernet "upgrading" in general.

Logically I should try one for myself I guess.

I very recently noticed that the LPSU feeding my Innuous had two 12v outputs, and by chance my little ethernet switch is 12v, so I've ordered another GX16 cable and will see it replacing the switching PSU makes any audible difference. If it does, I might be more convinced about the etherregen.

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The trouble with measuring things is that one has to be sure that the right things are being measured before pronouncing that the item will not make any audible difference.

But anyway, just on your proposal to try the second 12v output powering your switch, in my experience it is generally better not to share an LPS between devices. Your switch might be outputting noise back out of its DC input socket and if so this would infect the clean supply going to your Innuos. 

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9 hours ago, Fourlegs said:

The trouble with measuring things is that one has to be sure that the right things are being measured before pronouncing that the item will not make any audible difference.

But anyway, just on your proposal to try the second 12v output powering your switch, in my experience it is generally better not to share an LPS between devices. Your switch might be outputting noise back out of its DC input socket and if so this would infect the clean supply going to your Innuos. 

Thanks, that makes sense. I'm definitely in the "power supply is vital" camp generally.

I see you are getting an Innuous ethernet switch, so might i possibly borrow your etherregen for a short demo? 

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I have the dCS Verona buried in my hifi vault, as @Fourlegsintimates, plus 2x  Mutec MC-3 which as well as doing their reclocking magic are master clocks in their own right. Not as masterful as the extraordinarily pricey REF-10 but a respectable clock in its own right nonetheless. Happy to lend for experimentation purposes.

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43 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

In a word, yes.
 

You can borrow the Sbooster as well. PM me to arrange. 

Many thanks. I don't actually have my rubidium clock chez moi yet, it is in transit, so once I get it set up and hooked up to my dac, I'll drop you a PM.

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I have two systems with an EtherREGEN (ER). One system improved markedly with the ER.  it improved particularly the bass resolution, and a pleasant softening of a little digital noise that was causing some grain which manifested itself in things such as sibilance. I was so impressed that I bought an ER for my other system which it also improved but not to the same degree, a more subtle change.  I have not tried either ER with an LPS.

Interestingly when I installed optical network fibre between each system's Cisco switch (the Cisco 2960 has one optical input) and the ER, the improvement was greater in the same system which experienced the greater improvement from the ER. If your Cisco switch has an optical input/output which most 2960 do have, you should try this, it is literally a £20 experiment. From FS.com each SFP is £6 and you need one at each end, and cable is the same price. Currently I’m experimenting with single mode vs multi mode network cable and SFPs. I can report that within multimode there is no difference between OM1 or OM4 cable.  I reckon I’m hearing a small improvement using a 1310nm wavelength SFP driving OS2 single mode fibre compared to the 850nm multi mode fibre. Whether this is due to the higher wavelength SFP or the single-mode fibre I don’t know, or it may be expectation bias as the difference is subtle. Given how cheap the optical gear is it makes experimenting fun.  And there is no market in Hi-Fi optical cable, so that’s one less variable to deal with, though there are significant differences in the physics behind the way multi mode and single mode fibre works. 

I have an external clock plugged into one of the ERs, the one which saw less significant SQ improvement, as I had a spare socket on the clock and spare 75 ohm cable, but disappointingly I do not hear any change between the external clock and using the ER's internal clock. However it is a sine wave clock and apparently the ER likes a square wave. John Swenson, the designer of the ER, published a research paper and noted that a cheap minicircuits low pass filter will convert the signal to a square wave.  So I have ordered one, it’s worth a £30 punt to see (Link to John Swenson paper).  On that forum there is one thread in the Uptone sponsored area with much discussion re external clocks on an ER (https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/57686-the-etherregen-thread-for-various-network-cable-power-experiences-and-experiments/#comments)

Edited by Duckworp
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Interesting that hans beekhuyzen also rates these units.

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30 minutes ago, Duckworp said:

I have an external clock plugged into one of the ERs, the one which saw less significant SQ improvement, as I had a spare socket on the clock and spare 75 ohm cable, but disappointingly I do not hear any change between the external clock and using the ER's internal clock. However it is a sine wave clock and apparently the ER likes a square wave. John Swenson, the designer of the ER, published a research paper and noted that a cheap minicircuits low pass filter will convert the signal to a square wave.  So I have ordered one, it’s worth a £30 punt to see (Link to John Swenson paper).  On that forum there is one thread in the Uptone sponsored area with much discussion re external clocks on an ER (https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/57686-the-etherregen-thread-for-various-network-cable-power-experiences-and-experiments/#comments)

Interesting thanks. What clock are you using? I was going to order one of those cheap OCXO clocks from AliExpress that is discussed on audiophilestyle, but decided to go for something a bit more serious, as primarily I bought it to upgrade my current external dac clock. 

Mine outputs 50/75 ohm so I will just need to buy a 75 ohm BNC.

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6 hours ago, Duckworp said:

I have two systems with an EtherREGEN (ER). One system improved markedly with the ER.  it improved particularly the bass resolution, and a pleasant softening of a little digital noise that was causing some grain which manifested itself in things such as sibilance. I was so impressed that I bought an ER for my other system which it also improved but not to the same degree, a more subtle change.  I have not tried either ER with an LPS.

Interestingly when I installed optical network fibre between each system's Cisco switch (the Cisco 2960 has one optical input) and the ER, the improvement was greater in the same system which experienced the greater improvement from the ER. If your Cisco switch has an optical input/output which most 2960 do have, you should try this, it is literally a £20 experiment. From FS.com each SFP is £6 and you need one at each end, and cable is the same price. Currently I’m experimenting with single mode vs multi mode network cable and SFPs. I can report that within multimode there is no difference between OM1 or OM4 cable.  I reckon I’m hearing a small improvement using a 1310nm wavelength SFP driving OS2 single mode fibre compared to the 850nm multi mode fibre. Whether this is due to the higher wavelength SFP or the single-mode fibre I don’t know, or it may be expectation bias as the difference is subtle. Given how cheap the optical gear is it makes experimenting fun.  And there is no market in Hi-Fi optical cable, so that’s one less variable to deal with, though there are significant differences in the physics behind the way multi mode and single mode fibre works. 

I have an external clock plugged into one of the ERs, the one which saw less significant SQ improvement, as I had a spare socket on the clock and spare 75 ohm cable, but disappointingly I do not hear any change between the external clock and using the ER's internal clock. However it is a sine wave clock and apparently the ER likes a square wave. John Swenson, the designer of the ER, published a research paper and noted that a cheap minicircuits low pass filter will convert the signal to a square wave.  So I have ordered one, it’s worth a £30 punt to see (Link to John Swenson paper).  On that forum there is one thread in the Uptone sponsored area with much discussion re external clocks on an ER (https://audiophilestyle.com/forums/topic/57686-the-etherregen-thread-for-various-network-cable-power-experiences-and-experiments/#comments)

What router do you have that you can fit the second sfp too ? My current router has not sfp socket so in my case i presume i will need a box that fits between the router with RJ45 connection then offers an SFP output to the Cisco Switch ?

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I have had the Uptone Audio EtherREGEN in my system for over a year and initially, I used it between a TP-Link AC2800 router and my dCS Vivaldi full stack, for streaming Qobuz and files from a Melco N1ZH60/2 digital media library.

Already owning a Mutec Ref10-SE120 master clock, supplying 10MHz reference clock signal to my dCS stack, via the external input on the Vivaldi Master Word Clock, I decided to hook up another 75Ohm clock cable, from the Mutec Ref10 to the EtherREGEN. 

The result, in my opinion, was an improvement over the already excellent performance available from the EtherREGEN with it’s own internal clock. To tease the last drop of performance from the EtherREGEN, I used a spare 12v output from my Coherent Systems QP1 LPSU, to power the EtherREGEN (the other 12v output, powers the router, which in turn, is grounded to an Entreq Silver Minimus, via an unused USB socket).

The arrangement is short and fairly direct, from the incoming BT Infinity II broadband wall socket, to router and then via a metre long Sablon Ethernet cable to the ‘A’ side of the EtherREGEN. A second, metre long cable, carries the signal from the ‘B’ side of the EtherREGEN, to the LAN input on the dCS Vivaldi Upsampler. A second LAN cable exits the ‘A’ side of the EtherREGEN to allow Wi-fi control of the Melco.

1D6AFC6A-43B8-49F2-8556-B759BF3E2D77.jpeg

28245826-4C7D-4A27-8A66-3AA3E5AEF610.jpeg

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The above photo does show a Melco S100 switch, which I had for comparison for a couple of weeks. I thought there was very little in it, between the Melco switch and the EtherREGEN.

The photo below, shows the cable connections to the EtherREGEN, with Sablon Audio 75 Ohm BNC clock cable from the Mutec Ref10.

The dark wood base is a Taiko Audio Daiza (Panzaholz) platform, offering very good vibration drainage from the supported components.

fullsizeoutput_1e0a.jpeg

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1 hour ago, bencat said:

What router do you have that you can fit the second sfp too ? My current router has not sfp socket so in my case i presume i will need a box that fits between the router with RJ45 connection then offers an SFP output to the Cisco Switch ?

I might be wrong but I got the impression that with @Duckworp the router is connected to two Cisco switches with copper cable each of which then uses an SFP output on each Cisco to connect to the EtherRegen in each of the twp systems.

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4 hours ago, bencat said:

What router do you have that you can fit the second sfp too ? My current router has not sfp socket so in my case i presume i will need a box that fits between the router with RJ45 connection then offers an SFP output to the Cisco Switch ?

You need a media converter, I think that something like this will do the trick:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00172Q5M2/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006FUU05O/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01DVVR6V0/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078RMXPGX/

.

Edit: I think that it would be more effective to use optical between switch and Allo Digione.

Edited by tuga
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