DirectStream Junior Vs Stellar Gain Cell DAC


#1

Hi Everyone,

I came across the new Stellar Gain Cell DAC and was really intrigued by it. However, if all my sources are digital, then would the DSJ do the same job, but better?

I have a somewhat vintage amp setup consisting of some classic Luxman MB3045 mono block tube amplifiers that I restored, powering a pair of B&W 804D2s. I have been using a basic NAD DAC through a Luxman 505u integrated, now acting only as a preamp, which is sort of a waste. And the NAD DAC, being the “source” of the sound, is probably a very weak link in the chain.

My original “next step” was to get a Luxman DA250 (which is sort of like the SGC in that it can act like a preamp) but I feel the PS stuff is offering more for the money from a quality and technology standpoint.

I would like to either use SGC or DSJ as both my DAC and Preamp… ignoring the cost difference, which is the better option? I want to keep the system VERY simple, and I don’t see the need for a preamp if it can be avoided in the quest for system simplicity.


#2

I have had the PWD/PWD Mk2 and the DSD, and both have worked wonderfully as preamps for digital sources. I have no experience with either the DSD Jr. or the GCD but my experience with the DSD makes me want to recommend the DSD Jr. I think it will complement your system well. It will be a better DAC than the NAD by a considerable margin is my guess.


#3

If all your sources are digital, the DSJ is a definite step up to the GCD.


#4

If all your sources are digital, the DSJ is a definite step up to the GCD.
Excellent info! I do have a record player (an old luxman I restored as well… if you can see a trend here…) but I listen to it so rarely, Im thinking maybe I can eventually build or get a decent phono preamp, and then either just switch RCA cables or do an A/B switch to the amps for the very occasional times when I do want to listen to vinyl.


#5

You can also consider our NPC which is a phono preamplifier with a digital output that plugs right into the DSJ.


#6

Paul I have a similar question, I currently have a desktop system consisting of ATC SMC7 speakers (similar sound as Harbeth P3sr) powered by a Schiit Ragnarok. My DAC is the “infamous” LH Labs Geek XFI, but I am thinking of getting a PS audio DAC. Most of the gear I have is in the under 2k price. Do you think adding a junior would significantly improve my system or would i be better sticking to a SGCD.
Thanks