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Old 10-12-2018, 10:37 AM
mtrot mtrot is offline
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Default Stellar Gain DAC/Pre-amp!?

Rookie question here. I'm trying to flesh this idea out. I just found out about this Stellar Gain DAC unit, and it sounds like it might be just what I need as a first foray into a separate pre-amp(so far, I've only used an AVR as a pre-pro in my system). It would also kill two birds with one stone, as it would also allow me to check out the sound quality of a separate DAC, as opposed to using the DAC that is built into my AVR.

The idea is to get something for two channel audio that has home theater bypass, so as to be able to continue to use my Denon AVR for movies and multi-channel SACD and DVD-Audio. But I want to improve the CD and flac playback I'm now getting out of the AVR. I would also want to get better two channel SACD audio quality than I get through the AVR over HDMI, but it seems that I would have to purchase a proprietary PS Audio SACD player that has the I2S connector to make that happen.

The plan would be to connect my Oppo UDP-203 universal player via optical or coaxial digital to the Stellar Gain DAC--this would be for CD listening. I'd also connect my laptop via USB cable, which would be for listening to flac files off of the laptop. I could also connect the optical digital output from my 4K TV to the Stellar gain, although I would have to set the TV to only output two-channel audio. The Stellar Gain unit would be connected to my Krell FPB 400cx power amp via XLR cables(I'm not sure if this would be a good output impedance match).

The Stellar Gain DAC/pre-amp seems very reasonably priced, at $1,700, for its capabilities and for the sound quality indicated by professional reviews. Plus, near mint used units are available for ~$1,200. Thoughts?
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:13 PM
mtrot mtrot is offline
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Hoping to get some feedback here.

I just got my new PS Audio Stellar gain set up, with Silnote Morpheus Reference Classic XLR cables running to my Krell FPB 400cx power amp. So far, I've only listened to it in Home Theater bypass mode, but I will say, in that scenario, I feel like I've lost a bit of clarity in the highs, compared to when I was using just my Denon AVR and running it directly to the Krell. I'm not sure if that might be the result of the Stellar Gain softening the highs, or the result of now involving two sets of analog interconnects in my chain.

I was previously using my Denon AVR as a pre-pro, so the Denon was connected directly to the Krell power amp. Now, there is one set of interconnects from the Denon to the Stellar Gain, and then the Silnote XLRs run to the Krell. I still need to listen to just the Stellar Gain playing into the Krell before making any strong judgements on the Silnote cables.
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:22 PM
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Weirdcuba Weirdcuba is offline
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I suspect there’s a real break in period. If you haven’t experienced it before (and pardon me if you have), give it 100 hours or so (leave it on 24 hrs/day for a few days), and then see what you think.
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Main Rig: (waiting on room to be built)

Amplification > Accuphase A200 (2) / C3800 / C37
Sources > PS Audio DirectStream DAC > DirectStream Memory Player > Silenzio by -E- (via Roon/NAS) > Magnum-Dynalab > MD-108T SE / MD-205 > ClearAudio / Innovation / Universal > Lyra / Kleos
Speakers/Cables > TAD R-1 MKII > Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement Copper (1), Gold (1) // REL 212 SEs (2x)
Power > Accuphase PS 1230 (2) / 3 dedicated lines with PowerPorts
Foundation > Rix Rax > Hoodoo / Amp Stands > Stillpoints under as much as my bank account can then accommodate
IC/PC > Power // Verastarr Grand Illusion Statement HC, Grand Illusion Statement > ICs // Verastarr Grand Illusion Signature XLR > Digital // Verastarr Nemesis USB
Other > Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner Pro

Rental (while the room is being built): Accuphase E650 replaces the C3800 and A200s. All of the other stuff above that's usable, except the turntable stuff. Using TAD CR-1s, rather than the R-1s.

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Cans > Sennheiser 800
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  #4  
Old 10-27-2018, 08:24 PM
mtrot mtrot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weirdcuba View Post
I suspect there’s a real break in period. If you haven’t experienced it before (and pardon me if you have), give it 100 hours or so (leave it on 24 hrs/day for a few days), and then see what you think.
Thanks much for that input. I will certainly do that before making any strong opinion on it.
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