New StellarGold DAC owner... Couple of questions

Hello. Long time lurker, first time owner. I just received my StellarGold DAC yesterday. First off, that thing is built like a tank. Connecting it to Windows 11 & JRiver was plug and play, no fuss. Anyway, my questions are:

  1. Should there be any issues leaving it on 24/7? I’d like to just hit the Dim button when it’s not in use.
  2. Am I understanding the manual correctly that output is always going through a filter, with filter 1 being the default? I assume there’s no way to not use any of the filters?
  3. Network Port. The most I could find on it is from the HifiNews review which said it was for “system integration”. Is that for future Gold series components? Or something that other PS Audio components use?

I am primarily a headphone guy and the StellarGold is for my headphone setup. Not sure yet if that’s blasphemy on this forum or not. :slight_smile: I spent about 2-3 hours last night going through my usual list of music and right away I could tell that it’s a noticeable step up from my Schiit Yggdrasil LIM. So it’s definitely a keeper.

My setup is StellarGold → Custom 1-in | 4-out XLR switchbox → Woo Audio WA22, HeadAmp GS-X mk2, Stax SRM-500T and McIntosh MHA200. I’ve got a JRiver PC and Onkyo 5-disc changer feeding the StellarGold. I prefer CDs, but admittedly I’m kinda curious about the AirLens.



We like headphones. :slight_smile:

The Woo is a great unit.

1 Like

That’s very interesting about the Yggdrasil LIM. Care to elaborate?

There is no problem leaving the unit on. It will sound best warmed up in any event.

All DACs incorporate a filter as part of how they work. This DAC allows one to listen to various filters and decide which is preferred. It is a neat feature.


Instead of hitting the Dim button, use the Off button. This does not turn the unit completely off; rather, it puts it into idle or standby mode, in which power is supplied to important parts of the circuitry so that the unit will sound good when you start using it without a long warm-up. This is explained in the manual. To turn it completely off, you have to use the rear power switch. All the PSA gear that I am familiar with works the same way.


Right off the bat everything (highs/mids/lows) sounds cleaner/clearer. Bass is much cleaner, less muddy. There’s more detail, depth and instrument separation. There’s a slightly wider soundstage. It’s less fatiguing at higher volumes. It’s a night and day difference.

Admittedly there was a similar revelation when I went from a Benchmark DAC3 B to the Yggdrasil. The Benchmark was great, but not a good fit for headphones. Way too bright. It would have probably worked well in a tube speaker system. The Yggdrasil smoothed everything out and just sounded better overall.

I recently upgraded my trusty Benchmark DAC1 USB to a DS MKll with the Massive firmware and you can imagine the differences I heard. To say I am a happy camper is a understatement.

1 Like

Congratulations on y our new DAC! That’s one of the best DACs we’ve ever built.

Leaving it on 24/7, from the rear panel power switch, is what it’s designed to do and will live longer and sound better leaving it always on. The PS logo button, when pressed, puts the unit in standby which basically means the outputs are disconnected and the display and iights are turned off. Everything inside remains on and ready. You can also just press the off button on the remote to dop the same thing.

The filter you’re referring to is a digital filter and is part of the digital to analog conversion process. Yes, as in any DAC, there is always going to be some measure of digital filtering going on.

The network port is only for upgrades and those upgrades are for the front panel GUI or for operational things that have nothing to do with sound quality.


Welcome aboard!
What you describe as differences between the Yggy and SGDAC are similar to how I experienced lesser versions from both companies.
I love Schiit, which is the bulk of my speaker system today, but it does lean bright to my ears. The PSA setup was effortless, easier on the ears and I’ll describe as hyper detailed. I can definitely see the attraction through headphones.