How do you guys like your PS Audio Stellar S300 amps ?

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Comments

  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,586
    Mmmmm mmm
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • displaynamedisplayname Posts: 456
    Clipdat wrote: »
    This was good. I really liked his comparison with the Parasound at the end.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Sony CDP-CE375 / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > JBL Studio 580 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,391
    I would like to know how long his break in period was. It's my understanding that a few hundred hours of break in produces considerable results in sound refinement, especially in the particular areas he pointed out as somewhat troubling.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII Upgraded by Rich Brkich Pre
    Butler Audio TBD 2250 Amp
    PS Audio DirectStream DAC and MemoryPlayer Transport
    LSA-1 Statement
    SVS SB4000 & SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

    Backup Gear:
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,586
    Agreed. I will attest to some of the deficiencies he noted seemingly disappeared within a month or less of listening. The highs definitely become just super sweet and articulate after the break in. Midrange always seemed perfect since day one. As did the bass.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,430
    I wonder what's breaking in with a Class D amplifier -- capacitors, I reckon?
  • displaynamedisplayname Posts: 456
    kharp1 wrote: »
    I would like to know how long his break in period was. It's my understanding that a few hundred hours of break in produces considerable results in sound refinement, especially in the particular areas he pointed out as somewhat troubling.

    Ask him in the comments. Sean is normally pretty good about responding on recent videos.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Sony CDP-CE375 / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > JBL Studio 580 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,391
    Another issue I have with these reviews is they always mention the Pre/DAC, but, I don't think I've ever seen a review of the actual DAC performance. Same went for the Parasound P5. Only mentions of the DAC, like look at what all you get for X amount, but, no real review of the DAC performance. The P5 had pathetic DAC integration.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII Upgraded by Rich Brkich Pre
    Butler Audio TBD 2250 Amp
    PS Audio DirectStream DAC and MemoryPlayer Transport
    LSA-1 Statement
    SVS SB4000 & SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

    Backup Gear:
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
  • displaynamedisplayname Posts: 456
    kharp1 wrote: »
    Another issue I have with these reviews is they always mention the Pre/DAC, but, I don't think I've ever seen a review of the actual DAC performance. Same went for the Parasound P5. Only mentions of the DAC, like look at what all you get for X amount, but, no real review of the DAC performance. The P5 had pathetic DAC integration.
    Inner fidelity discussed the DAC in their review closer to the release. Their review treated the SGC as a headphone amp/dac vs a preamp.
    https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/ps-audio-stellar-gain-cell-dac-sound-quality
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Sony CDP-CE375 / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > JBL Studio 580 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • mikeyb128mikeyb128 Posts: 2,887
    Great review from zero fidelity! I’ve spent about a month with the M700’s, and I haven’t experienced forward sounding or rough treble at all. But I certainly agree these lack refinement in the top end. I’ve noticed some lack of detail in the treble, but it still remains smooth. So far these are very powerful amps, with great 3D imaging. I hate to say most of the deficiencies in sound may be coming from the DAC/PRE. Alot of the rave reviews I’ve read, people are using different preamps. I’m still enjoying them, and hope they continue to break in and give me that last bit of detail I’ve been missing. Will spend some time with them this weekend, been busy enjoying our Canadian Rockies this summer!
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,586
    The DAC has just about level performance with the CXN V2 I had. Very good, ,but definitely not top shelf. I really couldn’t hear too much difference. Eternal the two when I a/b tested them side by side.
    The Vega DAC I have now shows me what I was missing, but I believe the preamp function of the stellar pre is very good. It’s letting so much more of the music through than I heard before.
    So using the stack without the included DAC for me is producing incredible results.
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • gyosagyosa Posts: 251
    Took the plunge ...
    Gonna use it on the Salks ....
    Should be here sometime next week ......
    I appreciate everyone’s input.....
    BK
    Parasound A21 , Yamaha wxc-50, PS Audio 4.6 , Polk SDA 1c’s , Sony 42” - bedroom

    B&K EX-442 , Yamaha wxc-50 , Boston Acoustic voyager 7’s - pool

    PS Audio Stellar S300 , Cambridge Audio 851n , Yamaha wxc-50 , Salk Supercharged Songtowers
    Sony XBR-A8F 65” OLED , Onkyo TX-RZ610 - den

    Onkyo TX-nr609 , Polk atrium 7 , Boston acoustic sound ware (4) , Boston acoustic sub , B&W center , Sharp 65” TV - patio
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 3,586
    Your gonna LOVE IT!!
    Congrats brahh!
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 1,012
    Yes, congrats! I'm especially interested to hear your thoughts compared to the EX-442.
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator

    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • displaynamedisplayname Posts: 456
    I know we have a lot of fans for the Stellar series here. Their new Stellar preamp was officially announced: https://www.psaudio.com/products/stellar-phono-preamplifier/

    Seems like they are really pushing to get that true full PS Audio system out sooner than later. I know they've already discussed smaller speakers with the AN2 and AN3. I wouldn't be shocked to see a Stellar streamer as their next announcement. With the Stellar line you could probably go from your power outlet to your ears with 100% PSA gear for under $20k, including vinyl and digital, probably by 2021 at this rate.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Sony CDP-CE375 / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > JBL Studio 580 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,430
    edited August 6
    mikeyb128 wrote: »
    Great review from zero fidelity! I’ve spent about a month with the M700’s, and I haven’t experienced forward sounding or rough treble at all. But I certainly agree these lack refinement in the top end. I’ve noticed some lack of detail in the treble, but it still remains smooth. So far these are very powerful amps, with great 3D imaging. I hate to say most of the deficiencies in sound may be coming from the DAC/PRE. Alot of the rave reviews I’ve read, people are using different preamps. I’m still enjoying them, and hope they continue to break in and give me that last bit of detail I’ve been missing. Will spend some time with them this weekend, been busy enjoying our Canadian Rockies this summer!

    I think the HF behavior of Class D amps is gonna be baked in by dint of the way they operate (i.e., their need for a sharp low-pass filter to make sure we don't hear 'the man behind the curtain' ;) in the ultrasonic frequency range). If one looks at the THD+N curves as a function of frequency and output power, they look qualitatively quite different than a Class A or AB amplifier. It is easy to imagine that (despite the relative unimportance of THD per se in amplifier 'sound' IMO/IME!) the difference in behavior could well alter the sound of a Class D amp vis-a-vis a Class A or AB amp.

    e.g., from Stereophile's review of the M700 amp.
    The unbalanced input impedance was close to the specified 50k ohms, measuring 47k ohms at low and middle frequencies, and dropping inconsequentially to 35k ohms at the top of the audioband. The balanced input impedance was twice the unbalanced impedance, as expected. The output impedance (including 6' of speaker cable) was low, at 0.1 ohm at 20Hz and 1kHz. However, the output impedance was actually negative at the top of the audioband, perhaps due to the behavior of the necessary low-pass filter. The action of this filter can be seen in fig.1, which rolls off the output very sharply above 50kHz, with the actual frequency of the response "knee" dependent on the load impedance. The variation in frequency response into our standard simulated loudspeaker was small, at less than ±0.1dB (fig.1, gray trace), but there is an implication of an ultrasonic resonance developing with loads of higher impedance. This gave rise to a small degree of overshoot and one cycle of damped ringing with a 10kHz squarewave (fig.2).



    "Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/ps-audio-stellar-m700-monoblock-power-amplifier-measurements#O7wgQGefp6EkBRqF.99 " :wink:
    some sample data from the review:

    q45wb5l5jjub.png
    "Fig.5 PS Audio Stellar M700, distortion (%) vs 1kHz continuous output power into 8 ohms."

    o4v90mazqiuw.png
    "Fig.7 PS Audio Stellar M700, THD+N (%) vs frequency at 20V into: 8 ohms (blue), 4 ohms (magenta), 2 ohms (red)."

    :|

    My point (if I have one ;) ): It's not that the levels of distortion are high, it's that the characteristics of the curves are different than what our ears and brains are used to.

  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,391
    PSA does have a streamer in the works, has been for a while. Think they were hoping to have it out this year, but, more than likely will be next year.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII Upgraded by Rich Brkich Pre
    Butler Audio TBD 2250 Amp
    PS Audio DirectStream DAC and MemoryPlayer Transport
    LSA-1 Statement
    SVS SB4000 & SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

    Backup Gear:
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
  • gyosa wrote: »
    Been looking into them ...they seem to get great reviews .
    What did y’all replace with the s300 , and are you happy with the decision ?
    Happy with the overall sound vs a traditional class AB amp ?
    Enough current to drive a 4 ohm load ?
    Is it compatible with SDA’s , I know it’s dual mono , but common ground ? - in case I ever use with my 1c’s ?

    Think it would compare favorably to my Parasound A21 and B&K EX-442 ?

    I’m still looking for another amp for my Salks ....
    Not in a huge hurry , the onkyo avr seems to do fine until I decide ... but still want separates....

    Thanks !

    BK
    gyosa, is the Stellar 300 compatible with Polk SDA speakers? I have yet to see that question answered on this forum.
  • verbverb Posts: 8,007
    mhardy6647 wrote: »

    I think the HF behavior of Class D amps is gonna be baked in by dint of the way they operate (i.e., their need for a sharp low-pass filter to make sure we don't hear 'the man behind the curtain' ;) in the ultrasonic frequency range). If one looks at the THD+N curves as a function of frequency and output power, they look qualitatively quite different than a Class A or AB amplifier. It is easy to imagine that (despite the relative unimportance of THD per se in amplifier 'sound' IMO/IME!) the difference in behavior could well alter the sound of a Class D amp vis-a-vis a Class A or AB amp.

    My point (if I have one ;) ): It's not that the levels of distortion are high, it's that the characteristics of the curves are different than what our ears and brains are used to.

    Interesting thoughts Doc, as per your usual. My question is, how does that manifest in an actual listening experience? I read some comments about a bit of harshness or detail at the higher end. Please expound as only you can do! :)
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,430
    I've only listened to cheap ones, so I don't have much worthwhile to add.
    Would like to hear the PSAudio (ICEPower) amp(s), e.g.
  • gyosagyosa Posts: 251


    No ,
    It’s a dual mono design - not common ground ....


    Bk

    gyosa wrote: »
    Been looking into them ...they seem to get great reviews .
    What did y’all replace with the s300 , and are you happy with the decision ?
    Happy with the overall sound vs a traditional class AB amp ?
    Enough current to drive a 4 ohm load ?
    Is it compatible with SDA’s , I know it’s dual mono , but common ground ? - in case I ever use with my 1c’s ?

    Think it would compare favorably to my Parasound A21 and B&K EX-442 ?

    I’m still looking for another amp for my Salks ....
    Not in a huge hurry , the onkyo avr seems to do fine until I decide ... but still want separates....

    Thanks !

    BK
    gyosa, is the Stellar 300 compatible with Polk SDA speakers? I have yet to see that question answered on this forum.

    Parasound A21 , Yamaha wxc-50, PS Audio 4.6 , Polk SDA 1c’s , Sony 42” - bedroom

    B&K EX-442 , Yamaha wxc-50 , Boston Acoustic voyager 7’s - pool

    PS Audio Stellar S300 , Cambridge Audio 851n , Yamaha wxc-50 , Salk Supercharged Songtowers
    Sony XBR-A8F 65” OLED , Onkyo TX-RZ610 - den

    Onkyo TX-nr609 , Polk atrium 7 , Boston acoustic sound ware (4) , Boston acoustic sub , B&W center , Sharp 65” TV - patio
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 8,485
    @gyosa is it really better than your B&K?
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • gyosagyosa Posts: 251

    Dunno if it’s better or not ....
    The B&K has been relegated to powering my pool area speakers .....
    I ran the s300 for 7 days non-stop ( to break it in ) on those speakers in place of the B&K ..... didn’t really do a comparison as it’s a outdoor setup ...
    All I can say is that it sounds great driving the Salks ....
    I have no complaints whatsoever.....

    Bk


    Nightfall wrote: »
    @gyosa is it really better than your B&K?

    Parasound A21 , Yamaha wxc-50, PS Audio 4.6 , Polk SDA 1c’s , Sony 42” - bedroom

    B&K EX-442 , Yamaha wxc-50 , Boston Acoustic voyager 7’s - pool

    PS Audio Stellar S300 , Cambridge Audio 851n , Yamaha wxc-50 , Salk Supercharged Songtowers
    Sony XBR-A8F 65” OLED , Onkyo TX-RZ610 - den

    Onkyo TX-nr609 , Polk atrium 7 , Boston acoustic sound ware (4) , Boston acoustic sub , B&W center , Sharp 65” TV - patio
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