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Uptone ISO Regen Review and Measurements

Sorry Amir, I guess you haven't heard that you don't have a proper random, or sized sample....
There is a lot I no longer have including my favorite watermelon hood and googles:

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Kept my head really cool and injected sweet thoughts at night (yes I wore it to bed).
 
So I can't respond to Fire Dog in any manner? So I have no voice here?
Ok, you have insulted him, call him intellectually dishonest, stupid and seem to want to call on him in some way either directly or indirectly in every post you make.

He's not about to conduct blind listening test, asking him to do so is a bit ridiculous tbh and if you think Im blind to what your doing writing this
I take your point of repeat-ability of Amir's testing method. I look forward to iFi, Schitt, UpTone, AudioQuest, Itona, all debunking him. Could you please provide us with all those links?
you are mistaken.

Yes you "have a voice" but please at the very least do a better job masking your contempt.

Iv asked you nicely, please cease being sarcastic and disingenuous towards firedog , combined with your previous insults Aimed towards him it goes beyond what I deem acceptable.

I'm not interested in debating this, please leave firedog behind and just move back to the subject of the thread . ( edit, or watermelons)

Thank you .
 
This brings to mind that maybe it would be good for you to measure the ADC side of the Uphoria 204 HD Amir. If it performs well enough as verified by testing with an AP, it would have utility as a basic measuring device for audiophiles wishing to protect themselves from foolishness such as whether or not some add on really does anything at the output of audio gear or not.
+1, though I have an impression that this passed unnoticed. Or did I miss the answer?
 
+1, though I have an impression that this passed unnoticed. Or did I miss the answer?

I don't think it was. Awhile ago I took a 24/192 track and captured it back into my ADC. I cropped both to 30 seconds and labeled A/B. It was a thread about the quality of the output and people couldn't pick out the original nor the 1st generation copy with ears only. Spectrum analysis would show it however.

There are several points that was made although I don't think everyone perceived them all.
 
+1, though I have an impression that this passed unnoticed. Or did I miss the answer?
Measuring the ADC input is something I will do in the future. For now, one downside is that it only has balanced inputs so not the most convenient for measuring consumer devices.
 
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I am going to summarize where we are:

1. UpTone ISO Regen is a device that retransmits USB data using a USB hub. It also has a galvanic isolator and power supplies for USB bus. It retails for $325 plus shipping.

2. In my tests with a well reputed Mytek DAC which has its own power supply, it provided no beneficial results.

3. With poor performing Schiit Modi 2, it does clean up its output showing that its poor performance is due to lack of good post regulation of USB power.

3. With Behringer UMC204HD -- an excellently measuring $70 DAC -- at first results showed no difference. Upon further investigation, the ISO Regen is injecting power supply noise into the output of the DAC (multiples of 60 Hz). In this regard, the ISO Regen is degrading its performance.

4. Despite criticism elsewhere, our instrumentation has proven highly sensitive, able to shine tremendous light over the workings of this device and to some extent, connected DAC.

5. On the subjective front, I listened to Schiit Modi 2 DAC through ISO Regen while flipping its toggle switch up and down (i.e. defeating the galvanic isolation). Despite the obvious measured improvement, sonic differences were nonexistent in my quick test.

Unless someone brings more data into the picture, I am compelled to say again as I did at the outset that this device has no value. What it does for poorly implemented DACs like the Schiit Modi 2, could have been done with an external power supply just the same.

I am open to more feedback.
 
firedog understands it quite well. That's exactly my point.

"Sampling" proves nothing, and in fact can result in incorrect/skewed conclusions. What is needed is true "random sampling" and a number of samples in the random pool that is statistically significant relative to the entire number of models of DAC in existence. That's "science". Anything else is "science like". Actual scientific testing is difficult and expensive and is one of the reasons it almost is never actually done in the audio world.

It also would be difficult to get a true random sample of the DACs on the market, as "DAC" isn't a scientifically clear concept for these purposes and it would have to be precisely defined beforehand; i.e. what qualifies as a DAC for the test.

I'm not saying anything against Amir, but his method fulfills neither requirement. So his testing is useful as an indication, but it isn't "proof" in the scientific sense. You are welcome to 100% take it as proof, if you'd like. But that's just an assumption on your part, not proof in the sense of scientific proof. You would also need to have his testing repeated and affirmed by others for it to be "proof".

Amir tested a few DACs that happen to be available to him, not a random sample. It's useful fo laymen and in practical terms is probably the only testing we are going to get - but it doesn't tell us anything conclusive about other DACs he didn't test. We actually have no way of knowing that if he tested more DACs that he would get the same results.

If you want to participate in "science" and claim scientifically accurate conclusions, then stick to scientific standards and not some armchair version. The word "science" gets thrown around here and in other audio forums in situations where it doesn't apply and by people who have no concept of what scientific testing is.

EDIT: I hadn't seen Amir's latest post. He does his own summary and better than I did below. I'll leave the comment anyway.

I don't know that Amir was saying his testing was proof about the whole market. He has tested a few sub $100 DACs with one being okay and one being far better than expected and the rest are not good. He also has found at least a couple higher priced DACs that are surprising in some aspects that aren't a good surprise. So far you could say you can't count on price vs performance. You also could say quite good performance need not be highly expensive.

The testing that is the topic of this thread shows the Regen does possibly nothing with rather good DACs, or can be very slightly detrimental. At least one DAC already known from prior measurements to have poor USB performance jitter wise was helped by the Regen. Do you say the Regen performs as claimed? Do you say the Regen performs as claimed, but some number of well designed DACs don't benefit? What hasn't been found is the Regen improves the signal quality of good DACs. The scientific benefit if you are looking for one is proper testing of how these things works can guide you into whether or not a Regen will help your rig. A blanket claim that it helps the USB input on anything does not appear to be so.
 
I'm swamped and haven't really followed this one so please excuse my "pigeon post". I wanted to comment on Amir's efforts to close the loop on objections raised; he seems to be doing a good job and has already thought of things I might have initially suggested to go further than just a basic sweep.

Averaging is rarely used when trying to discern a noise floor since the noise averages down and away... It is great for pulling out correlated spurs from the noise such as harmonic and intermodulation distortion, clock feedthrough, power supply noise, and other correlated spurs. Taking multiple (unaveraged) sweeps over time is one way of attacking the time-varying issue when measuring systems that may have intermittent noise or spurs that degrade performance.

As an aside, DSO's have the same problem; they have "dead" time between sweeps when they are processing the data for display and so forth so that continuous signal you see on the screen really isn't... Tektronix and others have developed schemes to minimize the dead time but cannot completely eliminate it. Again multiple sweeps over time are used to (hopefully) capture any intermittent signals, along with ever-deeper memory depth to allow long captures at high resolution (i.e. keeping the sampling rate high).
 
Has anyone conducted listening tests with the appropriate controls both in implementation of the test(s) and concerning the results of the tests in order for actual data to be harvested pertaining this device or devices like it?

I personally am past the idea of the analog outputs not showing a difference, that seems 'true' if the DAC is half decent..

I'm interested in what the listening tests ( if any) say .. otherwise we don't really have a chance at furthering the debate here do we?

I will allow some further fruitless back and forth but past that we are at that stage where new evidence is needed.

Im not convinced there is a debate.
I bought an original regen and tried it with multiple dacs. No difference heard. Measured it and found in some circumstances it caused usb packet noise to increase. This was due to a poor design choice to put a resistance in the ground in the device, but otherwise it made no difference.

I have yet to see any measurement evidence of these devices improving the analogue output of a competently designed dac. So again we are back to audiophile ramblings being the only evidence. Controlled Listening tests will show there is no difference followed by immediate dismissal by audiophiles.

Those with faith will never be convinced otherwise.


I will caveat the above by saying galvanic isolation can be genuinely useful in certain circumstances. Just point out to the audiophiles the obvious. If you really think you are hearing a difference with these devices all it proves is your dac is shit. ;)
 
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Here I thought we had a monopoly on witty comments only to read this in CA thread:

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:) [Superdad is Alex, the business owner of UpTone]
But that's his design criteria, 100 people told him nothing in a box changed their life's so he build another one.. and another one ...

All this reminds me of those silly big old ( no not you amir) spoilers guys put on their low BHP cars when I was young , they thought it made them go faster but in if anything it slowed them down.

Of course you would still get many insisting it improved the performance of their Ford Fiesta 1.2 hatchback........
 
Firedog,

Not trying to be confrontational but is there a single consensus for scientific standard or best practice? What might be sufficient standard for one "scientist" might not be sufficient for another.

Designing proper tests is a whole profession unto itself in the scientific world. There are books on the topic if you are interested. It's not just a matter of setting up a control and and experimental group. From what I've read, pretty much everything talked about in audio forums as scientific testing doesn't qualify.
Different phenomena require different types of testing. And btw, the double blind test is NOT considered the "gold standard" for every kind of test, in spite of what you read from pseudo scientists on audiophile forums. Tests of human perception can be especially tricky and difficult.

In direct answer to your question: no, not every scientist will agree on every testing procedure. But they will agree on some basic conditions, such as true random sampling and a statistically significant sample pool size. That's why there is peer review and criticism. That's why small sample size results aren't considered definitive. If you ever read criticism of experimental results, one of the common criticisms is some aspect of the experimental setup or the statistical analysis.

I understand that few people do audio testing, and that Amir is doing what he can. But even his testing needs to be understood with a healthy degree of skepticism. It hasn't been confirmed by others, and his sample group is very small and definitely NOT random. I'm not objecting to his tests. I am trying to say that his testing doesn't PROVE anything, and especially doesn't show anything worthy of an absolute conclusion about DACs in general.

I understand why someone will read this thread and conclude that Amir's tests are the final word. That's fine for them. But raising some basic doubts about their finality doesn't make the questioner stupid. And if people here want to claim their ideas or opinions are backed by "science", they should have a little perspective and humility and not claim that whatever is posted here is "scientific" proof. It's one set of tests. Nothing more, nothing less. Claiming otherwise is unscientific and actually degrades the concept of "science".
 
EDIT: I hadn't seen Amir's latest post. He does his own summary and better than I did below. I'll leave the comment anyway.

I don't know that Amir was saying his testing was proof about the whole market. He has tested a few sub $100 DACs with one being okay and one being far better than expected and the rest are not good. He also has found at least a couple higher priced DACs that are surprising in some aspects that aren't a good surprise. So far you could say you can't count on price vs performance. You also could say quite good performance need not be highly expensive.

The testing that is the topic of this thread shows the Regen does possibly nothing with rather good DACs, or can be very slightly detrimental. At least one DAC already known from prior measurements to have poor USB performance jitter wise was helped by the Regen. Do you say the Regen performs as claimed? Do you say the Regen performs as claimed, but some number of well designed DACs don't benefit? What hasn't been found is the Regen improves the signal quality of good DACs. The scientific benefit if you are looking for one is proper testing of how these things works can guide you into whether or not a Regen will help your rig. A blanket claim that it helps the USB input on anything does not appear to be so.

Amir didn't make those claims, but others here have and have attacked me for pointing out that it isn't a valid conclusion resulting from Amir's tests.

I haven't said anything here about the IsoRegen other than the fact that it hasn't seemed to make a real difference with my galvanically isolated USB input on my unit. I'm continuing to evaluate it and could change my opinion. But that also is a sighted test, and maybe I don't hear a difference b/c of confirmation bias.

On other forums there are a few users who have done non-sighted listening tests of the ISORegen and claim they hear a noticeable positive difference with the ISORegen in their setup. Take that for what it's worth. I certainly don't think it is less valid than other peoples home "testing" that shows the Regen to have no positive effect.

And no, a blanket claim that the Regen helps the USB input on anything isn't useful; but a blanket claim that it doesn't appears not to be true either.

BTW, I asked Alex, who makes the IR, if it would make a difference on a unit that was already galvanically isolated. His response was that there was a reasonable chance it could make a small improvement, because in most units the galvanic isolation is internal, and after the actual USB input circuitry (my paraphrase of what he said). So putting the isolation before the USB input could slightly improve results. He didn't claim anything more than that. So far I don't really hear it.

But I certainly don't have the ability to test it non- sighted, so my "testing" so far is listening with it inline for an extended period and then without it inline for an extended period. I'm continuing to "test". I could possibly decide that there is some small overall improvement with it inline. Might be imaginary, might not. But you know, this isn't life and death stuff. It's audio as a hobby. So in the end if I decide some gadget makes my system sound better, and the cost is relatively trivial, why does anyone care?
Even if such an effect is purely psychological, it helps me enjoy my music listening. As long as I don't claim it will make YOUR setup sound better there isn't really any reason for anyone to get upset about it or make some big issue of it.
 
BTW, I've been informed that "Jinjuku" goes by another name at another forum where I participate. I use the the same user name there I use here. Of course he attacks me here and writes comments as if he knows me, without revealing that. So apparently in his mind he as some sort of agenda, but doesn't reveal where it is coming from. Nice.

So you won't feel betrayed I am esldude over on CA and many other forums. No attempt at subterfuge. After using the same moniker for maybe 20 years I thought I would pick something different.
 
BTW, I've been informed that "Jinjuku" goes by another name at another forum where I participate. I use the the same user name there I use here. Of course he attacks me here and writes comments as if he knows me, without revealing that. So apparently in his mind he as some sort of agenda, but doesn't reveal where it is coming from. Nice.
Ok, but let's more on..
I'm here as a independent hand, I have no agenda other than free debate. I'm not mad keen on word arguments bereft of data/evidence , that's the only real difference between here and other places on the internet tbh.

I know as it's human nature that there can be a defensive tribal attitude here, folks bring all sorts of motivations to a topic but my intrest is to see a examination of the evidence.

There's nothing particularly unscientific about amir s tests, that's how science works.. folks put forth ideas present evidence and perform tests.. other folk review it stuff gets amended ideas affirmed and debunked Etc. We are not making science here though we are just taking measurements and sharing the process and results.

Here we have one part of the process, obviously other people independently testing and confirming amir s results or challenging them would be great.. no one here denies that.

I don't see anything objectionable in your posts, you basically saying you don't really know.. that's a honest position. I'm 70/30 on this but that's about as certain as I get tbh :D

( oh I'm here with a recent picture of me and my real name, as I am on all my social media.. I was formerly ' Spazmatron' on WBF )

Back to audio, and I'd appreciate it if we cut down on the posts aimed squarely at other members. ( general statement not aimed at anyone in particular)
 
BTW, I asked Alex, who makes the IR, if it would make a difference on a unit that was already galvanically isolated. His response was that there was a reasonable chance it could make a small improvement, because in most units the galvanic isolation is internal, and after the actual USB input circuitry (my paraphrase of what he said). So putting the isolation before the USB input could slightly improve results. He didn't claim anything more than that. So far I don't really hear it.

"Well maybe" , Is the actual statement. That's one of the best snake-oil marketing spins I hear used over and over by these guys. (crooks IMHO).
A bunch of BS is what it is, Firedog. ;)

But you know, this isn't life and death stuff. It's audio as a hobby. So in the end if I decide some gadget makes my system sound better, and the cost is relatively trivial, why does anyone care?
Even if such an effect is purely psychological, it helps me enjoy my music listening. As long as I don't claim it will make YOUR setup sound better there isn't really any reason for anyone to get upset about it or make some big issue of it.

But that is exactly what is repeated concerning these "magic boxes" over and over at CA, WBF, etc. Not only by unscrupulous marketers, but over and over by the Santa Claus believers. Honesty and integrity demand some voices of reason be raised, which is what most of the folks here are doing, not only on this site but cross-forums as you know. I'm Sal1950 here, there and everywhere. I've been banned at WBF for a couple of simple reasonable posts in support of Amirs measurements, threatened with banning at Head-Fi for the same. and censored-browbeatened at CA. They don't want to hear the truth so do their best to quiet anything in opposition to their illusionist, delusional beliefs
It's all fine and good to call it a "hobby" and infer the truth then doesn't matter, but it does. Outsiders, newbies, and the rest of the world deserve to know that all "audiophiles" aren't a bunch of lunatics. :)
I do then question that without any solid demonstrable evidence to oppose Amir's statements, why you come here in support of the subjective opinions being thrown out at CA?
Alex is more than welcome to come here personally and show us the error of our ways, but he can't because the evidence doesn't exist. He just does things like "ban" Amir from buying one in some vane and silly attempt to discredit the outcome of any real and honest measurements before they could even be done.

Will it make my system sound better? "Well maybe" is his answer.
How lame.
 
So in the end if I decide some gadget makes my system sound better, and the cost is relatively trivial, why does anyone care?
$325 is not a trivial cost. And at any rate, cost should not be a reason to give a pass to any product. If I put vaseline in a bottle and sell it for $10 and say it grows hair, is there a reason to endorse it? And campaign against expert test data that says it doesn't do anything?

Now if you bought the device, money was no problem for you, and that was that, all would be cool. But as far as I have seen, you are a strong champion of anything made by UpTone. To the extent you have become part of their PR team, it goes well beyond the argument you are making.
 
Designing proper tests is a whole profession unto itself in the scientific world. There are books on the topic if you are interested. It's not just a matter of setting up a control and and experimental group. From what I've read, pretty much everything talked about in audio forums as scientific testing doesn't qualify.
How would you know this unless you are an audio scientist/engineer?

But yes, there are "books" and importantly, a number of published papers on how to test DACs. I have read them all and importantly since this is an interest of mine, both professionally and personally, I have the equipment and experience to put them to practice.

Importantly, I understand the architecture of the devices under test and their electronic design. This enables me to test the hypothesis they put forward, without any verification or data I might add, and use industry standard test and professional equipment to verify the same.

At the risk if being immodest, what I write is not some hobby work. I bought one of the first Audio Precision Analyzer while I was at Sony in early 1990s. At the time HP (now Agilent/Keysight) owned the measurement/instrument market for such devices. I was examining their measurement gear when I ran into the then new start up Audio Precision that had built and instrument that went miles farther than HP had. I was managing the design of a new "workstation" and we had a major audio subsystem and I wanted to make sure it performed. In that regard, I bought the first Audio Precision analyzer at Sony.

Fast forward to when I was working at Microsoft. To incentivize PC makers to build better quality audio subsystem, Microsoft created the WHQL program where minimum measured performance was required to get credit towards their Windows OEM license. My team managed WHQL and we worked hard to raise the bar in what was atrocious standards to something half defensible. So I purchased another Audio Precision Analyzer for the team. Indeed every PC OEM would purchase an Audio Precision analyzer to show conformance with WHQL standards.

I am also an electrical engineer, both as a hobbyist dating back to 1960s and professionally (Electrical Engineering degree in 1982). And I own this $25,000 instrument personally now.

So this is not some random data you are objecting to. My measurements have been published in magazines and reviewed by countless people in the industry and research. Not once has someone reached out to me/my editor saying the measurements are wrong.

Now, mistakes happen and I love to hear about them. But please don't just create doubt about my work with nary a reason to do so other than "there are books on scientific measurements." What are those books and how do they dispute my work?

For a decade also, my signal processing team at Microsoft produced technology that was verified in controlled listening and viewing tests prior to approval. Every time you buy a Blu-ray product or practically any product that plays audio sans apple that doesn't use/implement that technology. Those companies didn't come along because they liked Microsoft. They came along because we showed we knew what we were doing against competing solutions.

So whether it is objective measurements, technology solution or subjective testing, this is what I have done professionally and personally for decades.

I hesitated to write this but then yesterday in the process of researching another product I have under test, I land on this post of yours on CA forum:

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Why do you say stuff like that? What knowledge do you personally have as expressed above that I don't know how to measure correctly?

I know you don't like the data but that should not rise to creating such doubt with no data of your own.

Let the information sink in please. The world is not as you have been led to believe. I can bring an army of researchers and audio scientists that would laugh at my attempt to even measure this device let alone believe its claims as you do. We are not all idiots as compared to a bunch of users who believe the techno-marketing statements of this company which they themselves have not bothered to verify.

Good grief :).
 

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