Beta Test Impressions for New Stellar Phono Preamp!

That is good, not really surprising. He mentioned that he liked the Stellar when he interviewed Darren Myers, I think at Axpona this year. Also Michael Fremer plaid his records through the Stellar Phono Preamp on the RMAF.

Good to get to hear his final verdict on the product.

Is the review published?

In the latest issue of Stereophile. Mine arrived in the mail a few days ago.

Yes, reading it as we speak

Anyone can snap some photos of the review for those of us not subscribed? Is it online yet?


I think it would violate copyright laws to include screenshots. I just read the review. Framer fairly gushed over the PSS. He especially liked the midrange transparency. At the end, he thought the PSS should be considered by anyone looking at phono preamps, regardless of budget. That’s quite an endorsement, IMO.


The Stellar Phono might be better than what people think. It probably won’t be used in a high enough system to show how good it really is according to Micheal Fremer. He was using a $200k front end and the Stellar compare favorably with his phono preamps that cost 20 times more. Now that’s really saying something.

He was most taken with the mid-range in comparison with the Ypsilon and CH Precision

It might be better compared with the Modwright PH 150 and the Aesthetix Rhea although these each cost 2x+ the Stellar at lest they are in the same stratosphere

Following some upgrades to my analog set-up, I am in the market for a new phono pre and have a short list but was waiting for this review to drop before making a final choice as I trust Fremer

I gotta say it would be really nice if I could stop by my local dealer and grab his “loaner” for a week or so like I did with my PSA dac and power plant. Not trying to bring up the whole direct sale model thing, just sayin’ would be nice and possibly push me towards the Stellar, I am aware of the 30 day home trial, just don’t want to deal with it…


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It would, and thanks for not posting pictures of the review. It will be available free online soon in any event.

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I read the Stereophile review in the meantime.

One couldn’t expect more imo. This phono amp seems to be world class in the most essential characteristics and I’d say, there’s no need to look for alternatives up to 10k or even more unless one searches for a different priority. Summarized the strength of the Stellar seems to be midrange transparency with the rest on a level still high enough to nearly reach the best and surpass most others. Only „slam“ and macrodynamics was mentioned as possibly being bettered by some, but still on a very high level. Another review mentioned the Stellar to sound on the gentle side, so this somehow fits together.

Let’s see if the BHK phono project continues at all.
Even aside of an all PSA setup, the reason too look elsewhere seems to be limited to special synergy advantages within gear of the same, different brand.

Congratulation Paul and Darren, you seem to have created one more best buy not only at its price point!


Sure, NOW you guys will believe me! ; )

I will admit I’m biased, though.


@badbeef I believe you and probably should have made some supporting comments on my Stella Phono Pre earlier. I previously have been using a Musical Surroundings Phonomena 2+ ($750) with thier upgraded seperate linear power supply ($650). My phono set up is a Rega Plana 8 with Hana ML Cartridge. I am not an expert audiophile commentator. I will simply say that after a couple months of listening that I like the Stella better than the two box set up that I had with the Musical Surroundings gear. I only spent $1500 to get the Stella from a dealer but I would have kept the Stella even if if cost me $2500. The Musical Surrounding set up will be up for sale for anybody interested, but if you have the extra $1,000 just jump up to the Stella.

With such a “stellar” review, it will be interesting to hear if orders for the unit are increasing. Stereophile has a pretty large following. Also, I’d guess Fremer will make some comments on the Analog Planet website about the positive review, as well.

I’m the guy who compared the Stellar Phono Preamp to, and eventually sold, his Steelhead and, after four months now with the SPP, I am happier than ever. The preamp has really developed “on song” and I leave it on 24/7. Everytime I drop the needle I am more than satisified and pleased by the immersion into the music. Thanks again Darren, Paul and the PS Audio family. Well done! Bravo!


I have the chinook, after the holidays the first thing I am doing is ordering a SPP.
Thanks for the update.

Thanks Steve, really means a lot! If D-man doesn’t see this, I’ll be sure to let him know of another very happy Stellar phono owner!

Thanks James! I’ve owned quite a few phono preamps, tables and cartridges of all types and I am happiest with the SPP. Please let Darren know too.


When I listened to the Eva Cassidy box-set “Nightbird”, it brought me to tears. The SPP let me into the recording so much better than either the Nuwave or 192/24 FLAC. And every other record I have played on the SPP reveals detail I have never heard before. The SPP is a musical marvel! And, IMHO, a total steal at $2500. Thank you, Darren, the Phono Prodigy.


Eva Cassidy…what a shame.

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The Stellar…interesting take on things.
Always like Designers doing their own thing, ala Ted and the DS (My Endgame Dac)

Back to back, (just bought the new Rega Planar 10 turntable - endgame+100) you think this would better the matching Rega Aura phonostage?

The Stellar is half the price in the UK, I have no brand loyalty, if it’s better it’s better.

Know there’s no substitute to hearing both in your own room, but not sure that’s possible at the moment.

Any wisdom, 2nd hand or otherwise…much appreciated. :slight_smile: