A suggestion for a Stellar Disc Player


#1

As I said in a previous post, I am the proud owner of a Stellar Gain Cell DAC + 2 M700s. I love how the system sounds and looks. My main source is the computer: I play CD-resolution and high-res files that I have bought via download as well as streaming music via Tidal Hi-Fi. I would, nevertheless, like to listen to a vast collection of CDs, DVD-As and SACDs without the need to upload them into my computer hard drive. My suggestion to PS Audio would be to consider designing a very simple transport, a spinner, in the same design style as the Stellar line. Actually, the black line in the middle of the chassis would hide a slot for inserting the discs in a very fashionable manner. I am not suggesting to make anything that would compete with the Memory Player, just a simple transport that would look nice on top (or besides) the rest of the Stellar System that could be connected via coaxial or (ideally) I2S to the SGC DAC. It would be a dream if it were able to play SACDs, but my wishes are more modest: I could do with just a CD/DVD Audio player. I assume Paul has thought about this, but I really think it would be an interesting and worth addition to the line. Even if the Memory Player were much less expensive, I do not think it would look nice with the Stellar System as they are very different in style. Thanks a lot for the opportunity of letting you know my thoughts as a user. Congratulations for the great work you all do at PS Audio. Greetings from Buenos Aires, Argentina.


#2

I’d second that, Juancho. An affordable version that would also crown the Stellar line.

I suspect though that if there’s nothing of the sort in the works it should be that Paul and PSA’s staff do not deem it necessary or a great idea business wise.

Ojalá lo estén pensando!

Cheers
Fernando also from Bs. As.


#3

Thank you, Fernando, for your reply. I assume it might not be the most profitable product in the line, but it would definitely be an interesting item for all Stellar owners. I am confident most of us treasure hundreds or even thousands of silver discs, and we would all love to play those in a dedicated Stellar transport instead of having to accept adding a CD player made by other brands, that not only ruins the aesthetics of the Stellar line but also cannot be connected via the superior I2S input. I do hope Paul would give this a serious consideration. With the vast experience gained by so many years of designing and producing audio gear, a simple transport does not seem like a challenge to PS Audio.


#4

The future is not disc spinning. Why not consider buying the Octave and ripping all your CD’s in that? You maintain the PS Audio aesthetic, get the I2S link you want, and all the convenience that goes with network audio. I just don’t see any downside in Octave over a Stellar disc spinner.


#5

Thank you, Brodric, for your response. I own around 3000 silver discs, so ripping them would mean having to use many 4TB hard discs. Also, it does not sound like an easy task to perform and and would be time consuming. This is why I still believe it would be a good option for us consumers to be able to play all those treasured recordings “the good and old way”. There is a subjective joy in the way we listen to a CD. We may read the booklet notes, that are sometimes very informative, for example. Having said that, I understand your position when you say disc spinning is not the future, but this does not mean it is an obsolete media such as 8-track. I had heard this also 25 years ago about vinyl, and it is back. Also, if spinning discs is not the future, why invest so many resources and money to produce the outstanding PS Audio Memory Player? Why has a product that plays obsolete media got unanimous praising reviews and successful acceptance by audiophiles? As a consumer, I love being able to enjoy different options when listening to music. I love my high-res downloads, which I play via ROON, but I also love my CDs and also the vast catalogue I am able to access via Tidal. The only link that is missing in my wonderful Stellar system is a spinner. In fact there is one, alas, made by another brand, and it looks awful besides the beautiful Stellar gear. Finally, has Octave been already launched? I knew it was in process but received no news of this software being officially released. Thanks again for your reply.


#6

4TB is a way to high an estimate. I have 2100 CDs ripped in FLAC Loselss with a 5 compression on .75TB. I use dbpoweramp to rip.


#7

Thank you, Amsco. I do not use compression, if possible. My only FLACS are those bought as downloads. Regarding ripping, does dbpoweramp mean easy and fast labour?


#8

I wouldn’t described be it as easy. It’s an effort for sure. Don’t think there’s a way around it. It’ll be worth it though.


#9

It’s not compression like you think. Do some research.


#10

Will do. Thanks again for the tip.


#11

I still find it more convenient to pay for a Stellar disc transport, if it existed.


#12

I have around 1,000 CD ripped to flac (100 are Hi RES/DVD-A) on a 500 GB drive with space to spare.

If you want a spinner, you might want to consider a Perfect Wave memory player. Very nice device. I had one, but didn’t end up needing it after I ripped my collection. Sold it a couple of years ago.


#13

Octave not yet released, but I can assure you Octave will arrive before any Stellar disc spinner.
I don’t understand the point about importing your content (3000 discs). You have to put them in a disc spinner anyway to play them. Instead of that, why not put them in the Octave and rip them as you play them? Once it’s ripped you never have to deal with that disc again, unlike if you wanted to play it in a disc spinner when you have to load the disc each time you wanted to play it. So it’s less work ripping your content as you go than spinning them in the disc spinner, over the life of the product.
As for the DMP. I think PS Audio would be the first to admit that project didn’t go as planned. It was an under-baked product on day 1, and there has been only one minor tweak in the software since. The enormity of the problems weren’t evident when it was released. They are working to fix it, but we’re now, how far into the life of the product, 18+ months? I bought it. I don’t care what the reviewers say, it did not meet with my expectations. But we’re done with that conversation long ago and I’m happy to wait for them to fix it. I continue to wave the flag in favor of the DMP on the basis of the promised software fix.
Your hi-rez content will be played via Octave. Kill 2 birds with one stone. And Octave will be a standalone ecosystem and that is the big one that will make this a killer product. No reliance on things that are outside their control.
I just don’t see any upside to a Stellar disc spinner.


#14

OK, Brodric. You are probably right. Hope to get Octave ASAP, then. Will it be able to play high-res files through my Stellar DAC? Have you already got any hint on the releasing date and estimate price? I use ROON with my bigger system and really find it an amazing software. Thank you again for your ideas. Greetings from Buenos Aires.


#15

Unless you’re not convinced, like me, that PS Audio has the software chops to pull off Octave. Once you rip you have lots of good choices like JRiver, Roon, or others…


#16

I would highly suggest you guys picking up a used PS Audio Perfectwave Transport. It’s still an excellent CD player despite the age. They can usually be found on the used market for around $1000. I see three on Audiogon for around that price right now.


#17

Good thinking.


#18

No. Octave is a closed ecosystem. (From what I understand) JRiver, Roon etc gets junked, you don’t need it. That’s the whole purpose in going closed.
Paul has said Octave maybe late this year, or early next.


#19

Well, I get it. But the Perfectwave does not look nice together with the Stellar kit. One of the things I value about Stellar is the design, and this is why I am asking PS Audio to add a transport to the line. Cambridge Audio and NAD have released very simple inexpensive transports that do just this: play discs. I am sure PS Audio would do a wonderful-sounding machine that would blend amazingly well with the Stellar DAC, connected via I2S.


#20

If you care about sound quality, I doubt PS Audio will come out with a Stellar-line CD player that sounds as good as the PWT for around the price these used PWT’s can be found at. This may also be one of the only CD players out there with an HDMI-style I2S port compatible with PS Audio DACs. It’s just something to think about.

You’re pretty much guaranteed not to get SACD playback for from PS Audio at a price level comparable to the Stellar lineup because for PS Audio to get around SACD licencing issues they’re outsourcing the decoding device. They have an Oppo hardware player inside the DMP and I’m sure buying these isn’t cheap. Oppo handles all the SACD licencing stuff so PS Audio doesn’t have to.