Placing stellar phono pre on its side

I recently purchased a new cabinet to house my gear which is a huge upgrade in looks but downgrade in space. There were four 15 inch compartments and I was able to convert it into 1 larger compartment and leave one of the remaining compartments of 15 inches. I have a stellar phono coming and to get the best isolation I could put it in the smaller compartment if the amp could be placed on its side. I currently have my turntable above but would move it to the other side. I could probably even build a cradle for the phono pre. Any thoughts.

Here’s another photo. Because of structural issues I can’t really move that wall. It’s nailed and glued and I am trying not to turn this into a total furniture rebuild project

a sideways component would drive me batty.

I’d probably put it on top of the cabinet. Turntable on one side of the computer and the phono stage on the other.

Does your photo have weird artifacts in it? Or is there really a curvy pole in front there? (Or what am I seeing?)

Stellar Phono pre stays warm in standby, so as to produce good sound straight upon switching it on. I would have concerns side vents are not enough to provide good air flow for good operation.

Even DS DAC would thermally affect the BHK pre above it!

Curvy pole is a light. As part of the negotiations of having the stereo in the living room no components can show except the turntable unless music is on. The room has amazing acoustics and pretty much anyone who walks in gets sucked into the music. I’m willing to make the sacrifice otherwise it’s the basement.

It’s a simple equation, if you want separates you need the real estate. I strongly recommend not to put a EUR 3300 unit on its side.

Reason: the temperature household, ventilation openings and everything else has been designed and considered to be horizontally. The temperatures will be significantly different, most likely to your disadvantage or evenness the point they can cause damage or fire.

I realize that all your money went into PS Audio equipment. The solution is a new sideboard or dedicated stereo rack. Till you sorted the real estate you could consider a nice compact Rega, Lehmann, Gold Note or Limetree phono stage. You will be surprised how well those sound too.

yeah i agree with rudolf…

  • new cabinet (the one you have is nice looking, but I would be nervous with all that gear jammed in there, heating up… do you keep it open when music is playing?)


  • smaller phono stage.


  • move all that high-end gear to the basement where you don’t need to hide it, and look at nice powered speakers for the living room.

I have a similar situation in my living room. Speakers are out, and I also have a turntable on the dining room buffet, but I don’t have a good place for the boxy gear. So it’s in a closet and I hide the cables. Not optimal, but we do what we have to do.

Thanks for the replies. The back of the cabinet has been removed and the doors are kept open when playing music. I’ve measured the temperature and there is only a 2 degrees difference between the room and the cabinet interior. My current thinking is to build a shelf above the bhk pre or stack it with a 6 inch spacer on top of pre. If I see that heat is not building up and there is no interference with other components I guess I’m good. As suggested another option maybe to go with something like the gold note which is half the width. I hope the stellar works. After years of trading gear in and out of my system I have finally gotten off the merry go round and love the synergy of the PSA products. The stellar is on the fed ex truck and out for delivery

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You could construct some kind of Stellar Phono hammock to suspend/levitate it on it’s side. Presumably keeping the vents unobstructed.

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I kind of like the phono pre hammock idea myself. Congrats on the new pre. Let us know what you think when you get it in the system.

As long as there are no performance issues I’m pretty sure I can come up with a design to put it on its side and still have it vent.

Coupla pucks, and some way of tethering it to the top so it doesn’t tip, I guess.

Beef has the simplest solution and you are good to go. You also have a lot of room underneath that cabinet. A phono stage is not something you have to touch very often, so it can be tucked out of the way until you come up with a better solution.

Checked with Darren, and no operational issue with it on it’s side, but pucks/isolation for sure. And they will give airspace for the downward side. Though, looking at mine, two things strike me - a puck will cover a fair bit of the venting on the side’s rear. And I’d prolly put it on its right side, as that’s where the AC inlet is, as that may be your bulkiest cable. How the audio cables hang may require some finagling/suspension.

If you sold all that stuff and bought a Sprout100 your capacity issues would be nullified…c’mon man…

I have no idea what performance issues a vertically positioned phono pre would have (Darren says none and he should know), but from an OCD standpoint…I couldn’t do it.

As usual I was overthinking a potential problem. I placed a spacer on the pre and stacked the phono pre on top. Dead quiet. I just rescued my vinyl from a closet a climbing wall had made inaccessible. I’m sure you all have climbing walls in your bedroom. Next project is to build shelving for it all. I can’t believe what I have been missing all these years. Already I am as happy with my stellar phono as I have been with my other PSA products. Thanks for checking in Darron and thanks for such a great design.

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Too much analysis! The back of the rack is fully open. More than enough cooling. My cabinet is more or less the same…open in the back.

In my case I put a XP-30 supply on its side (same issue as you have) on the left as I had no more room. And yes, it is class A and runs all the time too. The doors close off the front so you never see it, and all those darn lights playing music in the evening.

If the rack space is open out the back you’re fine on cooling. Put the unit where it is easiest to use. I set my XP-25 on a piece of extra carpet remnant I had around. The music doesn’t play sideways so I’m OK with it.

Galen Gareis


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