Hi all, I just installed a Stellar Gain Cell and have been comparing the sound quality between listening to CDs and DVD-Audio disks on my Oppo 203 via the analog input from my Denon AVR vs. the direct coaxial digital connection from the Oppo to the SGC. The Oppo 203 is connected to the Denon AVR via HDMI cable. The SGC is connected via XLR cables to my Krell FPB 400cx power amp.
I’m having a hard time telling any difference. My main reason for getting the SGC was to take advantage of its superior DAC and analog stages, which I assume to be better quality than an AVR. However, when I switch back and forth from input 2(analog) to input 5(coaxial), I’m not hearing much difference. I had hoped to hear a more broad and deep sound stage as well as a more open and dynamic sound by using the coaxial digital connection, compared to the analog input, especially since that would be eliminating one set of interconnects. I had hoped to hear more refined and natural high frequency instruments such as cymbals.
So, at this point, my question is, does the SGC DAC need to “break in” for some period of time in order to achieve its best sound? I’ve generally been skeptical of “break in”, but am willing to learn.