Hi @blodsbror I purchased the Stellar Gain Gell DAC. It sounds extremely good, it makes many speakers sing. The USB DAC performs really well, but unfortunately does not display the bit and sample rates, which is important information, because with PC’s or even the MAC it is really hard to figure out if all settings result in the USB DAC receiving the file format you really want.
If you plan to utilize the Home Theatre Channel / Volume pre set, entity your front right and left channel sound through the Stellar stack, these does not seem to work flawless with the Stellar Volume control (Gain Cell).
If you do not plan to integrate the Stereo with your Home Theatre the Stellar stack is very good.
If you still have Vinyl the Stellar stack is good as PS Audio recently developed a new Phono pre amp.
If you’d prefer to stream and play vinyl the ELAC Alchemy stack are the way to go. Their balanced pre amp / DAC combo comes with a Roon ready Ethernet port + Bluetooth streaming interface for mobile devices integrated, their synergetic Phono stage is only US& 999 and offers also pure discrete components, a superb linear power supply and even fully balanced, meaning input and output including amplification). ELAC Alchemy has a similar power amp, the cool feature is, it is 340 W stereo and 680 W mono, configurable, also class A input stage and class D (top of the bill Hypex nCore) end stage. So you do not need to pull the trigger buying the mono blocks right now, you simply add a second power amp later and switch them both to mono.
Although perhaps an alternative to the Stellar stack, I have not heard the ELAC Alchemy stack yet. But if you combine those with the ELAC Andante or Navis active speakers (which obsolete the power amps) but sound excellent. I did hear this Navis, on my Stellar Gain Cell DAC, they sound really good.
If you have the budget and space for the Stellar stack, I find they look much better than the ELAC stack and would nicely match the Sonus Faber’s. But that is a matter of taste, the ELAC’s come with a solid Aluminum front, brushed, black only and because they are just 1 HE (19” wide) the kind of look like Pro Studio gear. To me the silver Stellar Enclosures look much more living room style. But they are approx double the height:
The Sonus Faber Olympica are of course optically a league or 2 above those ELAC’s and every review I have read they seem to sound as they look. Extremely well. I did hear the old Amati speakers though, if the Olympica come anywhere close, you simply can not go wrong.