First Impression of Directsteam Jr & SGC + M700 Monos

Hi All,

First post here and a new PS Audio customer. I recently bought a Stellar Gain Cell/M700 combo, and it blew every other system that I have had out of the water - no contest. I was also fortunate enough to score a brand new DirectStream Jr DAC shortly after thinking it could further enhance my set-up. However, it hasn’t turned out to be the case and I am now wondering if anyone else with similar experience or have suggestions to improve:

  1. When connecting DSJ directly to M700 (balanced using XLR) and using the Bridge card to steam Tidal, sound quality is noticeably better than SGC to M700 steaming Tidal using my good old Oppo 103D, albeit with the hissing noise that has been discussed in the forum.
  2. When adding the SGC as pre-amp and set DSJ volume at 99 (also balanced across the board), the hissing noise is gone, but the sound quality seems to be distant, much less vibrant - almost feels like the music is behind a veil or curtain comparing to SGC or DSJ directly to M700.

Is it SGC a less “worthy” pre-amp for DSJ junior or something else can be done to improve?


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DSJ is well out of my budget which is why I’m running SGCD/M700’s along with my Sony STR-DN1080/UBP-X1000ES. I have true DSD playback up to 11.2 MHz DSD in 2.0 and 5.1 True DSD via the Sony AVR’s XLR connections and bypassed volume control.

I’ve never been so happy with a Preamp/Amp combo since my Adcom GFP-345/GFA-545II which pales in comparison to my newly received Stellar Stack.

Hi, can’t comment on the SGC but i also have the DSJ and M700’s. Great soundstage, detail and plenty of grunt! The hiss was an issue so i scored an Audiolab 8000q pre-amp for a great price. No hiss now and all the qualities of the DSJ are preserved.

Thanks. Maybe I should try out a different pre-amp. While SGC is a great DAC in and of itself, it seems to let down the DSJ as pre-amp.

It can depend on your system of course. The pre-amp of the SGD is well thought of but if it isn’t working for your ears then another solution is needed! The BHK Pre gets positive press but for me was just to much $$$$ after investing in the dac/mono blocks. My Audiolab works well as a pre but is a temporary solution. Down the track i’m looking at a Pass Labs HPA1 or Benchmark LA4. Good luck😎

Stellar is one of our favorites in the PS line of products.

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