Problem with Stellar Phono

Having a bit of an issue with my Stellar Phono and turntable. I’m wondering if anyone else has come across this and could provide some insight. I’m getting a high pitched whine through my speakers. The turntable is a Rega P10 with and Aphelion 2 MC Cart. It’s definitely not interference from the digital side. I’ve turned and unplugged all of those components. Even the WiFi router. Thanks!

Hi @dcaudioguy
I have the same setup except that I have the Apheta3 MC plus a second TT with a Sumiko Blackbird, no whine! The first questions that pop in my head are:
If I disconnect the P10, and turn the system on, does the whine persist? Do I have a balanced interconnect between the phono and the main pre? Are the phono pre and the main pre connected to the same power strip / conditioner / regenerator? If yes, are the polarities of the power cables in sync?
I hope someone who with more experience joins.

Hey! Thanks for your response!

  1. I’ll try disconnecting each rca cable
  2. Balanced cable from Stellar Phone to BHK Pre Amp
  3. Yes. They are both connected to my PS Audio P15 Power Regenerator
  4. Can you explain more about the polarity dog the power cables? Not sure what you mean.

I am not sure where you live, so I was only pre-empting. In the EU, polarity of N and L can change when reversing the plug. In such case a tester screwdriver may be used at the device end of the cable to determine polarity which, if not right, may or may not cause issues

Ahhh ok. I’m in the US so I can’t swap polarity.

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Are you running balanced cables from the preamp to the amp.

If unplugging the phono cables proves the noise source to be the TT, I would check for any loops between the tonearm and the tonearm cable by touching the tonearm and checking for noise level. If that is negative, then I would consider adding a ground wire to the phono preamp as Rega does not provide a ground with cable with the tonearm cable.

Yes I am.

Thanks! I’ll give this a try tomorrow and report back.

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Then that kind of takes it back to the Rega. You can check the pins at the back of the cartridge and make sure they are all on all the way and tight and then like Serhan said check the tonearm wiring or the TT cable. Also since the cable to the Steller from the Rega is the only SE one you can try floating the ground on the Rega with a cheater plug as since the whole rig is grounded through the PP it won’t hurt anything.

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I concur.

If you add an earth wire you will create an earth loop.! Rega arms are earthed to the negative phono lead where it connects to the arm. Pointless fitting a cheater plug to the P10 PSU because the Rega P10 is doubled insulated and there is no earth plug fitted to the IEC socket - just live and neutral. I use three record decks and one of them is the P10/Aphelion-2. I tried the Stellar phono amplifier in my setup but it was ‘very noisy’ when compared to the Rega Aura and subsequently didn’t sound nearly as good. I have no hum and / or any extraneous noises issues with either the Rega Aura or Aria phono amplifiers with my record decks connected to them. The Stellar phono amplifier just didn’t work out in my system…!


I do appreciate your note that the power supply and turntable is totally isolated. So there is no need to try a cheater plug. Also, the note regarding cart connections and cable polarity is valid. I had an issue with tonearm wiring on the RP8 once, they replaced the complete tonearm with wiring. Noise issues could happen with any phono stage including Rega Aura or Aria. Left channel on my Aura died and it’s back with Rega. It sounded wonderful when it was alive, LOL. Stellar phono pre still works immaculately, no noise and sounds good.

Regarding ground loops / using earth or common ground of the system, I suggest testing that regardless.


I see a phono stage as a piece of equipment to make the turntable and cartridge work, and not the other way around.

Ground loop can cause hum, also inconsisten polarity of plugs or inconsequent wiring inside plugs may be the cause.

If the above is excluded and there is still hum or noise, the phono stage apparently doesn’t work. Get a different one that does. Any noise from audio gear defeats sound quality. Spending EUR 2500 on a phono stage one can expect to hear nothing else but music, certainly with a state of the art turntable as the REGA.

My 40 year old Thorens TD 105 plugged into the phono input of the Yamaha AV receiver does not produce anything else but music, a bit lean on the bass, but that is more to blame on my room and the overall performance of the gear. I prefer this more than if I would hear any kind of hum or noise.


Of course, and that is true of any piece of equipment. Just from my point of view - if I connect a new piece of audio equipment I expect it to work flawlessly, when it doesn’t and the replacement manifests the same traits, then there is an issue. Anyway, I hope the OP gets to the root cause of his problems with his setup! If I was to list all my tales of woe with PSA equipment it would be of tome proportions and the post would be pulled because, my critique (the truth) isn’t allowed unless portrayed glowingly. But I can only speak of my experiences, that said, pleased to hear you are happy with your PS Audio equipment.


Sorry to hear about your troubles with PSA gear. For me so far so good fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:t2:

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My experience, living in Europe and having lived in Texas, is that you can not change the polarity of the plug in countries that require unsymmetrical earth connections. But the wiring inside the plugs, is not always consistent.

Try to find power cords with different polarities and exchange them on the Stellar Phono Pre Amp to see if that helps.

If that does not work and if you have a different Phono Stage at home or can lend one from friends, try to see if the problem is consistent. Should the problem be gone with those, why bother with the Stellar.

I would not want to bother with the recommended connections from REGA, the phono stage serves the turntable, not the other way around.

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Dieter Kürten the owner of Thorens, tested the Stellar with the new TD 1601 and was impressed about its sound quality, so it can work.

In your system with your unit it apparently does so hopefully your tips help @dcaudioguy.

Just be aware that the reliability of one unit is not the same as the other unit and consequently dcaudioguy’s unit might not perform the same as others.

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If polarity is a concern, testing the receptacle wiring is trivial with one of these. It’ll cost you around $10 at a Home Depot by you.


Nice Steambrite tester, especially for me because the correct combination of led is labeled “correct”. I am going to order one this very minute!
Thank you