Beta Test Impressions for New Stellar Phono Preamp!

no mono switch is an advantage soundwise (but a disadvantage comfortwise)

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One of the reasons I choose Sutherland way back when was the fact that it has outboard power, which allowed me to stack it with my Cary SLP05, which also has outboard power (so, no power transformers near the preamps).

Since this new preamp has onboard power, I wouldn’t want to put it near the Cary; so, i’m thinking I would stack it with the DS Sr, but then I read the SP owners manual warning against placing the SP near a computer. So does this mean that stacking the SP with the DS is ill advised?

Just thinking possible logistics is all…

Everyone, let’s please get back on track and let the Beta test participants discuss their impressions.

And please play nice.


I have deleted the parts of this thread that have gotten out of hand and do not serve the title of Beta Test Impressions for New Stellar Phono Preamp. If folks want to complain about pricing of PS products overseas or promote other manufacturer’s products and pricing that’s fine, please just pick or start a new thread.

This forum is not for that purpose. I agree with Elk. Let’s keep to the point. If you have a Stellar Phono Beta test unit please post your finding here. If you want to discuss or comment on the findings of others, or ask questions, this is the perfect venue to do so.


I moved some post to a new thread on import prices if anyone is interested in carrying on that discussion. I appreciate what is now in that thread is scattered, but it is enough to get one going on the topic.

There has been some quality reviews of the new phono preamp. More!


3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Import prices, etc

I moved some new posts over to the new thread.

Again, this thread is for the impressions of those who have a Stellar Phono Beta test unit, discussing these impressions, and asking questions of the testers.

Gott im Himmel!

Edit: corrected spelling - thanks Philipp

Should be fine. I’d keep the input cable running from the turntable to the SPP short and away from any digital cables. This is common practice with any phonostage since it’s possible to get RF interference.

BTW, my prior post was in response to listening to Wagner on the SPP.

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Pedantic as we Germans are: it’s “Gott im Himmel” :wink:

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I don’t think putting an outboard power supply is necessary to keep the phono pre quiet, if the design has good internal shielding. My Esoteric phono has a built in power supply and is super quiet no matter where I put it. My Mare which has a separate power supply is noisier no matter where I put the power supply. It has bad shielding. My brother’s Boulder 1008 also has a built in power supply and is also supper quiet no matter where he put it. There is a Boulder 2008 which has a separate power supply, but I think they did that because they couldn’t fit the bigger supply in the same box, not because it is quieter.

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So - one of my Beta Impressions is that…I keep forgetting about stereos and components and Analog and Digital and so on.

Just Music playing Outside the Speakers into the Room.:metal:t2:


Not to derail - but that is impressive as hell on the bhk monos in a dead heat with the pass 160.8 I figure Paul wouldn’t get to angry at that re-mention. :slight_smile: I gotta find that article.

You can find it here:

Tony Cordesman is one reviewer that seems to “hear” things the same way I do in terms of his preferences, so I always pay attention when he reviews something.


Why has this thread dropped off the edge?

Anyway, tonight I listened to Side B of Jason Isbell’s Nashville Sound! And I heard the SPP bloom.

And it’s early in the game!

Was just about to ask the same.

A week into listening, and I haven’t heard as much dramatic change in character with the SPP as I have with other components (like the DS DAC). There are some obvious changes. The bottom end is firmer. Also, a slight bit more ease thru the mids. But performance was impressive right out of the box. I’m hopeful that other beta testers will weigh in with their impressions on burn-in.

I did some extended listening last night, and the impression I get is that the SPP is voiced slightly on the warm side and with a some degree of bass emphasis. That said, I don’t know where the SPP falls on an objective scale of tonal neutrality, but it does seem to that it was fine-tuned to deliver fun times in the listening chair.


@Paul or @jamesh, any plan to send Michael Fremer a review sample? I’m curious on what he think of the SPP.

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So what you’re really saying, as a beta tester, is that you’ve dug as deep into the product as you possibly can, that you’ve found no issues what-so-ever, and you’ve concluded that the product meets all expectations, the music can flow, and the product is good to go for general public sale?

Ummm…I don’t remember that bit in that episode of Fawlty Towers

Thanks! There was a lull in getting Stellar phonos out the door in production so I imagine people haven’t had a chance to get their units set up. I think by now the 30 or so Beta test units should have gotten into people’s hands.

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