Quarter Notes #17 (Volume 5, Issue 1)

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

Dear Get Better Sound & Through the Sound Barrier owners,

Welcome to the seventeenth issue of Quarter Notes, published on July 29, 2015. Quarter Notes is a newsletter for Get Better Sound and Through the Sound Barrier owners, expanding on both, as well as introducing new and timely subjects.

Best email address

Since you’re reading this, the e-mail address with which I sent this QN must have worked. However, the only e-mail address I have is the one associated with your initial Get Better Sound or Through the Sound Barrier order. If you have an e-mail address that you’d prefer to use to receive Quarter Notes notifications, send it to js@getbettersound.com. Be sure to include the e-mail address I used originally, along with the one that you want to use to replace it.

Better sound for your computer audio – without breaking the bank

A few months ago, several threads began on the forums at Computer Audiophile.com. They were discussing a new device, the Uptone Audio USB REGEN.

I ignored the threads at first, but they continued to grow steadily. Finally, I took a look and discovered who was behind this tiny upstart audio company. Without going into those details, let me simply say that it turned out that I personally knew and respected one of the two principals, and I knew the other by his excellent reputation.

I am not going to waste your time listing all of the reasons why this item works so well. At the end of this article, you will find a link to the Uptone Audio website and two of the CA threads about the REGEN.

However, a few observations might be useful.

First, this only applies to those systems that use a USB cable to their USB-asynchronous-capable DAC, typically from a computer. For example, I use a MacBook Pro Retina with SSD, stripped down for only audio, sending the music signal via a Light Harmonic Lightspeed split USB cable to my Ayre QB-9 DSD DAC.

The REGEN is a small device that plugs into the DAC’s USB input. It gets fed the USB signal from my computer.

The REGEN is $175.00. It makes a difference - comparable in most systems – to components costing many hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars!

Frankly, I didn’t expect much because my digital components were very good. That’s probably why I was shocked at how greatly the REGEN improved my system.

And I still don’t see how it could make such an easily audible difference. But it does.

Bass is not just more tuneful and agile, it’s more powerful. As I am sure you do, I have a number of recordings that I thought I knew how strong their bass drum or organ notes were. This was not a subtle effect. In fact, I would wager it may even be measurable.

Instruments and vocals have a greater sense of palpability. Sounds such as guitar notes have a greater harmonic density. There seems to be more presence and even more spatial cues as well. From what I can surmise, these effects may vary from system to system, depending on the computer, DAC, and USB cable.

I bought mine directly from Uptone Audio, just like everyone else. At $175, I couldn’t bring myself to ask for an industry discount. And from what I now know that it does, I’d easily consider paying 5-10 times that price.

Apart from Get Better Sound or maybe a RoomPlay session (OK, I am hopelessly biased), I cannot think of a better buy in audio just now. And Uptone has an affordable power supply upgrade in the works as well. I definitely plan to buy that - if it does anything like I suspect that it might, I’ll report back on it in a future Quarter Notes.

In these times, when audio components are sold at amazingly higher and higher prices, the reasonable price for this item makes it a best buy. REGEN sales are way ahead of production. When I ordered mine, I paid and got in line. Don’t be put off by paying and waiting a bit. The combo of performance and price may keep this item back ordered.

I hope the audiophile community will support Alex & John. My highest recommendation.

Better hearing = Better Sound