Question about m700

April 2018 I upgraded from a top onkyo 7.1 to the Stellar gcd and s300. After 2 weeks of burn in, I was pretty happy with the sound…but it seemed the highs were veiled. 5 days ago I picked up my new DS sr. Wow! Incredible sound right out of the box! So, my question is ; what benefits or drawbacks are there to trading up my s300 to the m700s? My rig is silent but I’ve heard people complain about hiss with the m700s being driven by the DS sr.

If things are quiet now with your DS Sr. feeding into your S300 directly, the M700s will be the exact same.

As far as benefits, I ran an S300 for around a year and upgraded to the M700s recently. The M700s are more musical to my ears, with greater textural detail. Definitely a worthwhile upgrade in my system :grin:

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Thanks for your input! Texture is the single most adjective I would use to describe the sound improvements of moving up to the ds sr…along with much wider, deeper soundstage. If the s700s add to all of that, I’ll be a pretty happy camper!

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Looking forward to hearing how things go if you do make the upgrade!

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I see you are involved in a lot of posts. I’m not sure what your position is at PSA. At very least you are a music lover. Every blog seems to evolve or devolve into conversations about cables. I recently borrowed two sets of power cables from my local audio shop. The first pair were Nordost blue heaven and the next pair were whatever is the next step up. I listened to a few select cuts from a couple cds, then swapped out the stock black cables for the nordost. I repeated the process going back and forth three times each. I did the same the next day. I could hear NO difference. No loss or gain in clarity, tone, noise floor, soundstage width or depth. Nada. The store owner was stunned. That’s when he suggested I try the next step up. Zip, nothing again. He has spent HOURS with me, so he knows I’m not hard of hearing and have at least a basic knowledge of how to listen. How is it possible that I am the only person that seems unable to hear a difference?

Officially I deal with sales here, mostly working with our dealers. I participate in the forums because I like getting to help people when they have questions, and the conversations are great. Plus it helps me find new music, or inspiration for tweaks/changes, etc :grin:

When it comes to cables, I personally run stock power cords. Our analog engineer Darren thinks I’m insane for not running upgraded power cords. The way I see it, my dollars still go further for now on component upgrades like amps, DACs, speakers. Next on my list of major upgrades is a REL sub - by not futzing with power cords, I can get to that goal sooner.

My one cardinal rule when it comes to this hobby is that your ears are your guide. If you don’t hear a difference, that’s an area you don’t need to worry about for now. Once you make some changes and upgrades, you can always revisit power cables. But if they’re providing you with no benefit right now, find areas where you money will get you some benefits. Or if you’re like me, just buy more music :grin:


Hi 81dave,

I don’t have any experience with the cables you mention but the right cables in a highly resolving system can certainly yield better performance. Does the price of the cable matter? Not really. It’s actually about the synergy between the cable and rest of the system. Do cables matter as much as other components such as speakers, room treatments, amplifiers, and source gear?

Absolutely not.

(buy more records :smile:)


Thanks for your input Darren. I had the s300 and gcd. Recently traded in the gcd for the direct stream dac. I absolutely can not believe how good the dsd sounds. I’m thinking about trading the s300 in for the m700s. Will I be somewhat impressed by this step up?

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I’m curious, I see that Icepower no longer list their 700 AS1 modules. They now do a 1200 module and other modules up to 500.

  1. Are the M700’s still using these, or some other module?
  2. What is the Analog Cell designed to do (in technical terms, e.g. effect on frequency response, please don’t say to make it more musical)?

Many thanks

Not sure where you see that information but it’s not true. We just met with ICE and the 700 module is one of their best and it certainly is staying n the line.

The Analog Cell is a separate analog FET stage designed as a buffer for the ICE module. It’s what gives the 700 its analog like sound. It doesn’t affect the frequency response.

Thanks for the information. I was looking at various Class D amplifiers (after the even having just bought a Bluesound for my office because it’s one small box including Roon) and the impression I got was that the 700 ICE unit was replaced by the 1200 unit. My interest also was sparked by seeing that the NCore NC1200 is now available as an OEM unit, but still makes for a quite expensive amplifier.

It does make a lot of sense to take the Stellar range in-house for online sales as it seems that it’s what everyone else is doing with these Class D units!

I thought the Analog Cell might be something like that. There seem to be an increasing number of ways to deal with this problem and make relatively budget Class D amps sound a lot better. There’s a maker near me that gives you a choice of op amps, far too confusing for me.

The 700 and 1200 are based on the same topology for ICE and are among their best sounding modules. We’ve been playing around with the 1200 watt module and applying various iterations of our Analog Cell and the results are quite promising. They did a great job.