Science Thread: Review of Audioquest Jitterbug and Uptone Regen USB Conditioners

rocky500

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Jan 17, 2014
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What I find interesting is the Regen does the exact opposite for me of what the majority hear.
I seem to loose the openess and detail. It seems to make everything sound darker and I get a more closed soundstage. I seem to loose the snap of instruments and those little emotional ques you feel from certain instruments when they play.(flutes, violins, wind instruments etc)
I have tried quite a few Linear power supplies (which helped) but still my system is better without it.
Currently using a Keces DC-116 power supply to my Chord 2Qute Dac and the other output to the regen (when I put it in).
I even sold my first Regen to a friend(he like what he heard in his system) and brought another, just in case it was the Regen itself being faulty. Tried different connectors (using the short adapter always), different USB cables, right angle adapters etc. My 2 best USB cables I tried - iFi Mecury and Curious USB cable. I run everything off a PS Audio P5.

Now I am only mentioning this as it did have a very noticeable effect on my listening, which seems to go against your measurements. I should not being hearing a difference.
I also tried the Jitterbug and it too had a similar effect but to a lesser extent.

It is quite noticeable, so is there any measurements I can do to show this? I have access to one of those Roland R-05 recorders. Could try recording a song twice?

Try as I might, I can not get what most are hearing with it. Had another Audiophile friend around and he agrees. So it is changing my sound but not better.
I did a search on the net and some others with the 2Qute Dac are have similar findings. So I am putting it down to the Chord Dac and Regen not getting on.
My point mainly is, if I hear a difference(not as good), it just seems reasonable others hear a difference that is good/great in their specific stereo setups and others hear no difference.

ADDED: I am not having a go at the OP in anyway but maybe you are measuring the wrong things? I would not know as I am just in it for the pleasure it brings. :)
 
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DaveC

[Industry Expert]
Nov 16, 2014
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It's times like this I'm happy to own a Sony HAP-Z1ES. :)

Weather could be anything this time of year but it's been summertime during the day and mid 50's at night, Denver is a little warmer still. If it rains it'll get down into the 40's.
 

Superdad

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Apr 22, 2015
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can you please be civil enough to point out to me why my comments were ad hominem ?
If you can't, could you please remove the accusation and apologise ?
I apologize for grouping you with the likes of Blizzard (he and I go back a month or so). But your "Where is the subjectivist sandpit, I'd like to go and poo there", and "Or perhaps we can't measure them because we can't really hear them", while not ad hominem (i.e personal attacks) just rubbed me the wrong way as not being part of civil discourse.

Of course "we can't measure them because we can't really hear them" or rather the reverse: "You can't hear them because you can't measure them" is the rallying cry. But a couple of decades ago the same was said about jitter, and of course all of mankind's scientific and medical history is littered with denials of things latter proven true.

I am quite convinced that the REGEN and products like it (though I'm not thinking of the JitterBug), will end up on the right side of history soon. And DAC designers, whether using USB or Ethernet, will begin to accept and address the issue and importance of signal integrity. PHY chips are nasty things and there are no "audio-optimized" USB or Ethernet PHYs. Sorry that so many on this forum choose to believe that digital interfaces are already perfect. And I'm sorry that we don't yet have the gear or measures (beyond eye-patterns) to show you all (in the analog domain as you demand) that the device is effective for most. Maybe you wish to believe in mass delusion. If that's what it is, then some real scientists (or the military) should come and study this widespread social disease. ;) Me, I just think we built a mousetrap that works. Whatever…
 
Sep 30, 2015
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Amir:
Thank you for your cogent reply. Perhaps I overreacted, but as you acknowledge, this thread has become a bit nasty. That's not my style at all, but I sometimes stoop to the occasion.

As you saw from my post to Steve--after he stepped in with regards to Adam's (still unanswered and valid) questions, I quoted a bunch of less than civil commentary, and wondered what forum moderation really means here. I should not have followed that up with my questions regarding you and your report. The two subjects should not be conflated.

My reference to your commercial interests were with regards to the store you own. You sell audio products. You are in the industry. I am sorry if took offense from my pointing out that fact, and that as you are a leader here I might wish for the courtesy of being informed. Is that "crude and ad hominem?"
You may not wish to be considered a "journalist" (has such become an epithet?), but you publish articles and present facts, so I am not sure what else to call that? And given your standing and the respect you command from some corners, I don't think it unreasonable that you treat your position with a sense of responsibility.

With regards to the SMPS that we include with the REGEN: As I have said (probably here and certainly elsewhere), we neither defend nor apologize for the -110dB and lower high frequency noise spread of the inexpensive, 7.5V/2.93A/22W unit we include with the REGEN. It is better than most, but it is still an SMPS. Many are happy with it and many choose to use a nice LPS with it. We ourselves will be releasing an innovative and affordable 1A 5/7V-selectable LPS early next year.

Anyway, time to get ready for the show. Will you be attending? Can we get together for a drink? I think you would enjoy meeting John Swenson. He might give you some interesting ideas for methods of using your test gear for deeper analysis of some of the most pernicious digital issues. I am sure you don't think that digital audio has been perfected yet…

Best regards,

--Alex C.
It would be great to meet John. Seems like a brilliant engineer. First thing I would ask is why he chose I2S as the premium interface option on his flagship design the Sonore Signature Rendu.
 

Superdad

New Member
Apr 22, 2015
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Try as I might, I can not get what most are hearing with it. Had another Audiophile friend around and he agrees. So it is changing my sound but not better.
I did a search on the net and some others with the 2Qute Dac are have similar findings. So I am putting it down to the Chord Dac and Regen not getting on.
And that is totally valid and as you say, consistent with others with the 2Qute. That DAC is one of Mr. Watt's latest creations and he is a very sharp engineer. The USB input on the 2Qute clearly does not benefit from the REGEN. Nor BTW, do some of the expensive Aurender streamers' USB outputs.

But you clearly hear a significant, repeatable change. Such seems to be a no, no with much of the crowd on this thread. You are part of the mass delusion! ;)
 
Sep 30, 2015
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I apologize for grouping you with the likes of Blizzard (he and I go back a month or so). But your "Where is the subjectivist sandpit, I'd like to go and poo there", and "Or perhaps we can't measure them because we can't really hear them", while not ad hominem (i.e personal attacks) just rubbed me the wrong way as not being part of civil discourse.

Of course "we can't measure them because we can't really hear them" or rather the reverse: "You can't hear them because you can't measure them" is the rallying cry. But a couple of decades ago the same was said about jitter, and of course all of mankind's scientific and medical history is littered with denials of things latter proven true.

I am quite convinced that the REGEN and products like it (though I'm not thinking of the JitterBug), will end up on the right side of history soon. And DAC designers, whether using USB or Ethernet, will begin to accept and address the issue and importance of signal integrity. PHY chips are nasty things and there are no "audio-optimized" USB or Ethernet PHYs. Sorry that so many on this forum choose to believe that digital interfaces are already perfect. And I'm sorry that we don't yet have the gear or measures (beyond eye-patterns) to show you all (in the analog domain as you demand) that the device is effective for most. Maybe you wish to believe in mass delusion. If that's what it is, then some real scientists (or the military) should come and study this widespread social disease. ;) Me, I just think we built a mousetrap that works. Whatever…

Please explain to me as well how what I said was ad hominem? I was just pointing out examples of why volume of sales claims is a pretty weak way to defend the integrity of your product. There was nothing personal here. Infact I complimented you on your sales figures. A good salesman can sell sand on a beach.
 
Apr 3, 2010
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Seattle, WA
It is quite noticeable, so is there any measurements I can do to show this? I have access to one of those Roland R-05 recorders. Could try recording a song twice?
Sure. We have someone with a tool to analyze the difference if you can provide the samples.

ADDED: I am not having a go at the OP in anyway but maybe you are measuring the wrong things? I would not know as I am just in it for the pleasure it brings. :)
No worries.
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
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Seattle, WA
I am quite convinced that the REGEN and products like it (though I'm not thinking of the JitterBug), will end up on the right side of history soon. And DAC designers, whether using USB or Ethernet, will begin to accept and address the issue and importance of signal integrity. PHY chips are nasty things and there are no "audio-optimized" USB or Ethernet PHYs. Sorry that so many on this forum choose to believe that digital interfaces are already perfect. And I'm sorry that we don't yet have the gear or measures (beyond eye-patterns) to show you all (in the analog domain as you demand) that the device is effective for most. Maybe you wish to believe in mass delusion. If that's what it is, then some real scientists (or the military) should come and study this widespread social disease. ;) Me, I just think we built a mousetrap that works. Whatever…
Alex, do you know the sound of your device well enough that you can recognize it easily?
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
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Seattle, WA
I have a Regen in front of me at this moment. I actually cannot hear any sound. What sound should I be hearing from the Regen alone?
Situate it so that its output USB is pointing down. You should then hear the electrons falling off and collecting on the table surface. Don't leave it that way for long as it may cause an electric shock (a mild one but still).
 
Sep 29, 2015
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Situate it so that its output USB is pointing down. You should then hear the electrons falling off and collecting on the table surface. Don't leave it that way for long as it may cause an electric shock (a mild one but still).
Well here are the results of you recommended scientific suggestion.

photo.jpg

I have many years of experience in the hobby and do understand that professional engineering and testing has an important place. But it is not the final arbiter, in the end it is the sound that matters... Amateur testing and pseudoscience leave allot to be desired IMO. And the people that often latch onto it with a death grip, leave even more...

But ya-know.... You were right as proven by the above test the Regen is absolutely marvelous...

 

Elberoth

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Measurement equipment can most definitely show differences in wires. Speaker wires for example can easily interact with loudspeaker impedance and change frequency response. Here is an example from famous Roger Russel's web page: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
What I think you are asking about is in other situations were the audio engineering society does not accept any audible differences. Even there, we can easily measure differences between cables. We can't however correlate them with audible effects users report because those audible reports have not been verified. Indeed two people can listen to the same cable in the same system and walk out with two different outcomes. So naturally no correlation can be made.
Amir, try that with an 1m long IC cable. And do not measure the cable itself (its electrical parameters), but try measuring what comes out of your preamp or DAC (as this is what matters). You will not be able to show any differencies, unless you go for some etreme examples, like vdH The First carbon interconnects, which have much greater resistance than your regular metal cable, or a cables with unussually high capacitance etc.

Try two short ICs of similar design (say copper and silver made AQ cables - you can find ones that will only differ in conductor material used). They will sound distinctly different. But on the preamp out, with the standard set of measurements, will measure exactly the same.
 
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Whatmore

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Jun 3, 2011
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Amir, try that with an 1m long IC cable. And do not measure the cable itself (its electrical parameters), but try measuring what comes out of your preamp or DAC (as this is what matters). You will not be able to show any differencies, unless you go for some etreme examples, like vdH The First carbon interconnects, which have much greater resistance than your regular metal cable, or a cables with unussually high capacitance etc.

Try two short ICs of similar design (say copper and silver made AQ cables - you can find ones that will only differ in conductor material used). They will sound distinctly different. But our preamp out, with the standard set of measurements, will measure exactly the same.
not in my experience
 

Elberoth

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Dec 16, 2012
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Here is a philosophical question that needs to be solved. I, like most of you have invested heavily in our computer audio solution. In my case, I have a dedicated $2,000 Berkeley alpha USB to AES/EBU precisely designed to isolate what the USB is doing to what the DAC does. From this article I wrote on it, http://www.madronadigital.com/Libra.../High Resolution PC or Mac Music Servers.html, this is what is in it:



On what basis does this design need help? Unlike Regen it has a quiet linear power supply built-in. It has impeccable isolation of input to output. Its performance is in green here:



(The red is audiophilleo). There are no peaks above -125 dbFS coming out of my DAC fed by this product. How could routing USB pulses through a USB hub designed for computer use have a prayer of improving anything here?

To help Regen/AQ I tested the with a much lower end solution and still found nothing good.

Do you all have such deficient USB implementations in your DAC that you needs help from a $12 chinese power supply and a computer hub? I assure you that you don't.

And the dichotomy of "why does it sound good to me" can easily be solved. I assure you that over time whatever improvement you think this device is making will disappear. You will walk up to your machine one day, notice that great improvement is not there, pull this device out, and have it sound the same or better!
I know Berkeley stuff. I have published a widely quoted 15 USB/SPDIF converters shootout on CA a while back (sadly, the images seem not to display anymore):

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f...onic-devices-spdif-converters-shootout-15327/

Supprisingly, I came to the similar conclusions re Berkely quality as you did, even though my observations were based purely on listening tests (and my easily fouled set of ears ;)).
 

Elberoth

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Elberoth;341694 Try two short ICs of similar design (say copper and silver made AQ cables - you can find ones that will only differ in conductor material used). They will sound distinctly different. But our preamp out said:
exactly [/I]the same.
Outside the rules of this section, admins have warned over and over.
 

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