Ether Regen - first experience

I bought one of these recently, on basis of recommendations (web and friends) and had the opportunity to try it out the last couple of days.

First a couple of words about my system. The digital chain is QNAP server going through a couple of network switches then ethernet to Uptone Ultrarendu going into the USB port of the Playback Designs MPT-8 transport, which is connected to the MPD-8 DAC using optical cable and the special ports reserved for this on both the transport and DAC. This offers full galvanic separation to the DAC.

Using bog standard ethernet cables, I could not detect much difference if any with the etherregen in or out. If I had to decide, I preferred the sound without the ether regen in the system, though having said it was difficult to hear differences.

I substituted the cable going from the Ether regen to the Ultrarendu with a $100 ethernet cable (DH Labs) and things improved. It definitely sounded better than with the $3 cable, not a huge difference, but better.

Did it sound better than the direct connection using a $3 cable? Maybe, I’m not sure but I’ve currently kept the Ether regen in using this configuration and will use it for a month or so before testing again.

Of course, I am now intrigued about the cable effect. I’m keen to try an ‘audiophile’ cable directly into the Ultrarendu fro the wall - the one I have is not long enough.

I am also curious to try the Ether regen in a less sophisticated system to see if that would bring in a substantial difference.

If I’ve got this right, after the EtherRegen, you got, essentially, an Ethernet to USB converter, followed by a USB to optical converter, followed by an optical to some form of ‘copper’ format, probably i2s. Maybe the advantage of the EtherRegen is being diluted by so many media converters/conversions which will all add, to some extent, depending on their quality, their own jitter/noise at each conversion step.

Just to add also, perhaps another explanation is that you’ve already got so many layers isolation between your network and DAC that the EtherRegen can’t really add much to it.

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What is the UltraRendu, a streamer, doing going into a streamer? As well I would say you are so removed from the etherRegen it’s no surprise there wasn’t a change.

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That’s exactly what I am thinking too, hence wanting to try it in a ‘simpler’ system. I am using the Ultrarendu as I didn’t get the renderer input option for my Transport. The Ultrarendu is the Ethernet to USB converter. But you’re correct in stating that after that, I have an optical signal going to the DAC, the USB to optical conversion being done inside my transport. Note that this is a proprietary optical which can only be used with matching DAC. My units have a very very high degree of noise and jitter filtering, so that might be a reason why the Ether regen is not so effective.

The Ultrarendu is a renderer, not a streamer. Basically, it’s only an Ethernet to USB converter. The rest of the work is being done elsewhere. The terms are often used interchangeably, but strictly speaking, a streamer has additional functions to a renderer.

FWIW I bought an Ether Regen out of curiosity. I put it between by house switch fabric using a Catalyst 3560 and my NDX2 running as streamer transport. To be honest I heard no difference in SQ at all. It was laziness that stopped me sending it back… I have just left it in situ… limited to that segment it’s not doing any harm.

£650 laziness? Gee…

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I know… disgusting isn’t it…

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It’s not surprising that there is no audible difference: Ether Regen review

You need to put £4k power supply and clock on it to work lol.
Wouldn’t waste a pound on one, in my eyes or should i say ears, they do nothing and the tests done on one above in that review, completely proves it, just feel sorry for the ones sucked into it all

Was that true when listening to the NDX2 analogue outputs as well or just digital output to your Dave?

I sympathise. It happened the same to me with a useless Teddy power supply powering my Roon Rock, and again with the Sonore Optical Module :pensive:

Yes and no. I use both a microRendu 1.4 and an opticalRendu. They are streamers. Yes, they render ethernet to USB, but doesn’t your Playback streamer have an ethernet in? Confusing.

I had similar findings as yourself and @Simon-in-Suffolk. It really had no effect, and I had it powered with its own LPS (the UltraCap LPS-1.2, which is great, BTW). That has since said to me that there is little to worry about within my system, at least insofar as what this switch is trying to achieve, and I have moved on to a switch and configuration that has brought about minute perceived SQ ‘improvements’ (isolation, etc.) that I just don’t see expensive cables and switches bringing about across-the-board, consistently reported results. For a fraction of the cost, I’ve researched and found a chain of networking components others have also used that through long-understood (and relatively basic electrical and scientific) methods of mitigating high-frequency and mains ‘noise’ has brought about very positive results.
I’m starting to get the feeling that asking one component to solve potential issues (if one has even investigated that they have real, tangible issues in the first place) or conversely bring instantaneous SQ benefits is quite honestly becoming or has become a fool’s errand for me. It’s fun to try new things…don’t get me wrong, but at these annoying audiophile prices diminishing returns and disappointment always rear their ugly heads. I’m getting too old for this, as time messing about with tweaks of this sort is time being consumed against that of actual listening and enjoying.

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Thanks - I’ve read the review (now). I don’t know (yet) whether to call it snake oil or not. The $700 Etherregen didn’t seem to do anything but the $100 ethernet cable made a (small) difference to my surprise. I am sure testing the cable will result in no difference to the $3 cable, but I can hear it. I don’t think I am ‘fooling’ myself with the cable - it would be more logical that I would ‘fool’ myself with the etherregen,.
I’ll try the Etherregen in a couple more systems to see if it is completely useless (snake oil) or if it is only useless in well optimized systems.

I don’t want to get to being pedantic here, but afaik a streamer is strictly something you use to stream music over the internet. The Rendu(s) are renderers or, more correct, bridges - Ethernet In - USB Out.

I do not have an Ethernet In port in my units. I could have had them installed as an option, but didn’t (for various reasons).

I knew I had a highly optimized digital front end, with isolation, filtering and regenerating of clock signals to deal with jitter, but I had heard so many positive comments about the Etherregen and similar units that I thought I had to try. I’ve learnt my lesson :slight_smile: All is not lost yet. If it has a positive effect in lesser systems, then it will find a good place in a secondary system.

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It’s funny because on this thread all members didn’t found the Etheregen as a real uplift.
But on other threads , we are several to have noticed a very clear and nice improvement when going to the Etheregen , bare, vs the Cisco.
The linear ps enhances the sound still, but already, vs the Cisco 2860, we are at least 7 to have been very pleased with the ER.
@MidnightRambler
@Gazza
@Darkebear
@Steve
@JimDog
@Michaelb
Me, and a few others.

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Yes you forgot poor old @nigelb. I am not surprised we differ…i demoed Superlumina cables including full loom at the dealer, very nice. I tried 3 times at home, could not hear a difference. You just have to try
these products in your home with your own ears, or be able to send back to a mail-order dealer.

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Exactly why I ventured to try it. I was pretty sure with a new house build, dedicated 20a lines and a joint-designed listening room that many issues with noise, compared to a majority of people, would be minimal; it’s just all these reviews and fora members raving had me curious. They’re easy to move on if it doesn’t do anything for you (mine sold within minutes of me posting a sale, as it does for most of these right now), which is the only incentive to trying if it goes past your return policy date from Uptone.

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