Stellar DAC Vs DS Jr

Was looking at new pre-amp/DACs and saw the Stellar which looks really interesting, then started reading about the Directstream Jr, which i realized i could simplify my setup by running the Jr and my GCPH Phono amp directly into my power amp [Musical Fidelity A5, which has a pair of inputs].

How good is the digital volume control on the Jr? is anyone running one directly to a power amp?

The Stellar seems to have a different architecture for the DAC, Has anyone had chance to do a head 2 head between the 2?

I get the impression that the Jr would be more future proof, is that a reasonable assumption?

Front end for the DAC would be Roon [directly to the bridge in the Jr, and via a Bluesound Node 2 / coax for the Stellar ].

Thanks for any insights!


I found the DJ Pre-amp thread, which was super useful.

Quite a number of people (probably the majority of them) use DirectStream Junior directly into the power amplifier and with great results. The volume control in Junior, identical to the volume control built into its more expensive DirectStream counterpart, is identical.

A high quality preamp helps sound not because you’re no longer relying upon the built in DAC volume control (if it’s truly neutral like the DSJ) but because it seems to add some needed isolation for cables. At least that’s my guess.

You’d be quite happy with the DSJ going directly into your power amp.

I use the DSjr as a pre-amp, using balanced connections directly into my Amp. Works beautifully. The volume control works very well with tiny increments in volume with each click, I’d say far more room than my old pre-amp had in volume adjustment. I hated to box up my Audio Research LS2 but the DSjr does the job and made my other half that much happier as it eliminated another box in the audio rack. You can’t overestimate the value of spousal harmony in the