Gonna upload my usual Vulgar Language review of the amazing Stellar Phono Preamp I just bought used at a great price. While I had no PS Audio gear in my rack for a few months (I’ve told that story too many times). I’m back in the fold. I have the DSSr, PW Transport (with the 3 I2S L,C,R outputs). No intensions of ever getting or needing the newest DAC or Transport. Not as flexible as the prev. gen. so I’m not missing anything.
Getting back to Phono Preamp. Darren Myers really outdid himself on the circuitry and flexibility of this Phono Preamp. I’m running it with the MoFi StudioDeck/Ortofon MC Quintet Black with the Stellar set to low gain/custom/20Ω and it sounds as good as the DirectStream DAC Sr. !
It also goes to show that PS Audio products have a “sound signature” whether Paul & Co. want to admit it or not.
When I dipped my toes into the Vinyl Waters, I knew it would cost me a kings ransom to repurchase much of my old collection and get sucked into buying new heavy pressings of mostly Jazz favourites and some Rock stuff too.
I will not repurchase Vinyl that I already have CD/SACD/DVD-Audio versions of. I have the DSSr. to play all that stuff with.
I have the MoFi StudioPhono Preamp designed by the legendary Tim De Paravacini and for the under $1000 Phono Preamps, it’s the one to beat IMHO at $350. Darren’s design however, blows it away. Again, these are two different products at targeted price points. Both highly flexible in the MM/MC loading capabilities. Both sound amazing but the Stellar amazinger !
Having interviewed Darren over two years ago in a God awful 1st Zoom I’d eve done for the AZAVClub. Darren championed through it and with editing that I did and that he gave final approval on (as I do with everyone including more recently Jared & Jaime of Jolida at CAF 2022). Darren gave us some great insight into his design process and things got a bit personal (you have to fumble through the Zoom Video).
It’s a Great F%$#@ing Preamp. That’s always my favourite Audiophile Adjective. I don’t believe in all that flowery BS used in the trade mags, YouTube reviewers, & Audiophiles in general. I am hearing good things coming out of the grooves that I didn’t hear with TDP MoFi Preamp. And it’s not a subtle difference.
And yes those are Hockey Pucks used as “Ventilation Extenders”. Great for dampening too !. I use them under all my Speakers to isolate them from the Ceramic Tile flooring.
Front Panel Settings
Rear Panel 20Ω (as close as I could get to it by eye) for the Cartridge
Yes I forgot the GND lead but it’s connected now - made no difference really.
BTW, the PS Audio Universal Remote sucks when it comes to controlling anything except mute and power on/off.