More good Press about the PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC/Preamp! This was just in my email inbox.
I have had the Stellar combination - Gain Cell Dac plus S300 amp - for about a month now. I note that in Michael Lavorgna’s review it doesn’t get FPGA credit, although apparently it has a “simplified” FPGA. Maybe it’s because this one is not upgradeable?
At any rate, this setup sounds great. I had a Wyred4Sound integrated amp with the previous generation IcePower boards in it. I also had one of their DACs, and more recently a Metrum non-oversampling DAC. No disrespect to either of these outfilts, their stuff is well made and sounds good. The Metrum DAC, especially, has a different and interesting sound. I was hoping this combination would be a step in the evolutions of Class D sound, and all I really want to say is: it is. Good sound, and good functionality. And the “digital lens” seems to have smoothed out the ESS sound a bit. Not missing the Metrum DAC, which I really liked.
Finally, over the years I have had a love/hate relationship with tubes. Love the sound, hate the fiddlyness. When I say a step in the evolution of Class D sound, this setup is good enough that I don’t have any desire to put either of my two remaining tube amps back into the system. This was not true with the previous generation IcePower stuff.