PS Audio and Reviews

Does PS Audio not believe in PR outside of Stereophile and the Absolute Sound? The just released $2500 Marantz Model 30 integrated amplifier is already getting reviews on YouTube while the $3000 Stellar Strata has been quiet. Ditto for the Stellar M1200.

In general, video reviews for PS Audio gear have been rare. Predominately the Stellar Stack.

FYI, my all time favorite PS Audio gear review was done by young gun Jay Lee of The Next Best Thing Studio and Audio Excellence Canada.

Just curious,



Feel bad just couldn’t go on with the lecturing, :shushing_face:“now here is the thing”…
Though good to see some young appreciations

Is Darko going to review?

There seems zero risk to getting one’s product reviewed. Reviews are nearly always favorable no matter the product, or the reviewer.

Not necessarily. But reviewers don’t see any value in reviewing a piece of trash. So if the product is absolutely horrendous, they usually pass on the review. It has no value to their readers or viewers.

With the PS Audio Stellar Stack, reviewers find the preamplifier the weakest link. The M700’s are pretty highly regarded.


Not a review per se, but I enjoyed the subject’s point of view.


No matter how or why they get there, it’s extremely rare to read or watch a negative review in high end Audio. Therefore there’s little people risk to a company getting their gear out for review.

very surprised the m1200 amps have not been reviewed yet by the pros

There are currently 8 reviews for the M1200 in the works. It takes time.


The problem is that nCore, ICE or similar Class D amps are a relatively well known quantity. I suspect people buy them for what they are and aren’t going to be swayed one way or the other by a review.

Over here in the UK we have only a few months ago had a review of the SGCD and M700 units. As is pointed out, the ICE unit has been in use by various manufacturers for at least 15 years.

People were asking for reviews of a recent update to the speakers I use. The manufacturer replied that they are so popular they haven’t got spare pairs to send to reviewers, so there will be no reviews for the foreseeable future.

I agree. I also feel like since all of the reviews are always so positive, it somewhat degrades the value of the review. Stereophile does typically attach measurements to their review so I think they are an exception but I find the YouTube reviews somewhat silly since every product they say every product is so good.

It’s unrealistic to think that many genuinely bad products ever get to market, that’s one reason you seldom see a negative review anymore. The market is very competitive and it’s a rare company that would have a combination of inept engineering, tin eared designers, lack of awareness of what they’re competing against in the market, and money to burn manufacturing equipment on the scale to required to get the attention of a mainstream audio review outlet. I’ve seldom been in any room in any audio show that sounded genuinely poor. Sure, I’ve heard lots of systems and speakers that weren’t too my tastes, but that’s not the same thing as being poor equipment. I don’t personally care much for the sound of low watt systems with Lowther horns but that’s not the same as saying it’s bad equipment warranting a negative review. One thing that’s so great about this hobby is the multitude of creative solutions to the engineering questions of how to realistically reproduce music. No one product can do it all. Even unlimited budgets involve compromises of some kind. The thing that so many audio reviews lack is context. When you you read reviews extolling the virtues of equipment without comparisons to other competing products that’s quite useless and seems rather a waste of time. Some review outlets are much worse than others in that regard.


I have read the most negative reviews in quantity and severity on this very site. Yet all of my main components are PS Audio. I think the negative comments went a long way to help me evaluate the product.

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It’s a simple formula. YouTube and magazines need free access to products to create their content. If the parade of free products stop, their channel or magazine is dead. Therefore there is inherent incentive to not produce a negative review as it would disrupt that symbiotic relationship.

The reviewers say that they simply don’t publish negative reviews because there are so many great products to focus on instead. Which is a fragmented position, partially true.

The bottom line is that the review industry is not a consumer advocacy organization like Consumer Reports. The HiFi review industry has a fundamentally different relationship to the products they review.

On YouTube, I find Audio Excellence in Canada is willing to make candid comments, they will say that they didn’t like something, to a degree.

I’m not taking an adversarial position relative to your comments. Rather just observing about how complex the situation is. Consumer Reports is often referenced as being a neutral observer free of commercially motivated influence. True that may be, but it doesn’t mean they are without their own set of biases. When they are reviewing products whose performance doesn’t have an aesthetic or subjective component they are invaluable. Examples; how long does house paint last on the wall, how well does this laundry detergent clean, what’s the braking distance from 100kph to zero for these tires, etc. However, when products do have subjective aspects Consumer Reports is less useful and they are far from a definitive guide to things like photography or audio equipment. Their bias tends to be “if it can’t be measured, we’re not concerned with it” and “what’s the best buy” in product evaluations. That situation mirrors the subjectivist/objectivist divide in the audio world. No point in regurgitating arguments we’re all well familiar with, but we all know where we stand with respect to that issue and we choose our points of reference accordingly. Some prefer and some of us prefer :smile:

The PS Audio Stellar Strata gets reviewed by Audio Excellence Canada.


This may be an odd place to put this, but since we’re on PSA reviews, has anyone seen this 2018 Sprout100 review by Steve Guttenberg? I like his channel a lot, but really surprised by his very luke warm review, esp since he usually is pretty upbeat about what he reviews. Was odd to me:

Having owned both Stellar and Hegel products, in my experience, Hegel is better than PSA in the amp department, and PS Audio is better than Hegel in the DAC arena.

Yeah, I found that one zero in depth… I ended picking up the Sprout after watching that review and a couple others though.

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We’re still waiting on more M1200 reviews… while the KEF LS50 Meta and LS50 Wireless II is lighting up the internet today! Impressive.