Beta Test Impressions for New Stellar Phono Preamp!

Hey danm, this feature is already apart of the phono code. We mute the outuput, wait a bit of time, switch loadings, then allow for the circuit to stabilize again before unmuting.

1 Like

Is that feature covered in the user manual?

I am not done with the SUT, but on first listen, I liked the MC input without it. The Benz seems to like 1000 ohms and it is nice that it can be selected. On the NPC, I ran the SUT at 100k ohms. (I was surprised it has that option.) The math seemed to make sense and it sounded good too. Step up transformers can divide a room of friendly audiophiles into warring factions faster than cables.

So maybe the caution in the manual is unwarranted and we are free to toggle loading at will :grin:?

I believe that warning is in reference to messing with the input cables on the back of the unit. I talked to Darren about it. He’ll be double checking it and clarifying that in the manual.

Why there is no mono setting, or have I overlooked something in the manual?

Hi Danm,

The manual is supposed to read “Mute before changing the custom loading setting”.

So in other words, we don’t recommend adjusting the rear potentiometers without muting. As Tom described, the preamp will mute and unmute automatically as you toggle through the individual loading settings.

1 Like

Is there a benefit to using XLR outputs, assuming the preamp supports it? Or there isn’t any difference between RCA and XLR for the Stellar Phono Pre? Can both be use at the same time?


Just to be clear, toggling via the remote between fixed and the one custom setting is also ok without muting?


Why wouldn’t you just mute the volume out of caution regardless?

@DarrenMyers just curious why you need to mute when adjusting loading pots. My Parasound JC3 Jr. is perfectly happy adjusting MC loading while playing. I ask only because I love to make fine tweaks while a particular album is playing in case it sounds a bit “bright” or “dark”. Do you hear some audible noise while turning the loading potentiometers?

No - they don’t make noise. I think they’re just being careful.

By design balanced connections should be less susceptible to picking up noise as the signal is being transmitted. In practice it may not be a big difference. I am running using the balanced output to my SGCD.

I don’t actually have a similar photo of myself, but I feel like this picture of my wife (RIP) and her sister on Christmas Day 1964 : )


I don’t know about the Stellar Phono, but on my phono, balance or XLR output is a little louder, I don’t know how many db’s, just like my PS Audio DS, and a little clearer sounding, but you need a balance preamp to take advantage of it.

Correct - generally the spec is that balanced is +6dB over SE, and you have the inherent noise cancellation of the design. So if you have balanced ins on your line pre, that’s what to use.

1 Like

Hey Kids! Officer Vinyl Vic says: "Stop! And look both ways before touching my SPP!":laughing:

Just got this at the vintage junk store this weekend. May have to post it over the TT.
(I used to be the kid on the left with the stylin’ belt on)


Yes, don’t mute if you are changing loading settings via the remote only if you are adjusting the rear pots.

1 Like

Remember those days all too well, when grade schoolers were the crossing guards. Did it myself. We were offered free movie passes and popcorn by the local cinema for our efforts. Times have certainly changed regarding crossing guards.

The Stellar Phono is capable of 72dB of gain at 1kHz. Factoring in the RIAA EQ, that’s around 90dB at 20Hz. That’s almost 40,000 voltage gain! I’m concerned that in the distant future the pot could get a bit scatchy and that’s probably a scratching sound you don’t want to go through your speakers :joy:

1 Like