Stellar Gain Cell Dac - No Filter effect

I have a SGC connected to an Auralic Aries Mini through which I stream TIDAL and FLAC files from an attached external hard drive. I can hear no discernible audio difference when toggling between the 3 Filter modes on the SGC. Regardless if connected via Coax or USB, through speakers or headphones, I hear no difference.
I have an LFD MKIII integrated and a pair of Totem Hawks.
The majority of my FLAC files are 44.1 although a few are 96 and of course TIDAL is 44.1. Are the filters only effective at higher rates or might I have an issue with the SGC?
Thank you

I don’t have a SGC but in general my experience is that you probably won’t hear much of a difference in filters for well recorded single voice or jazz trio’s etc, except perhaps for crisp percussion. When you have more bombastic material (Alice in Chains or full orchestra) the differences are more obvious to me.

Thank you for your input. My catalog and Tidal streaming includes full orchestra , (not so much Alice in Chains) but I am tone deaf to any differences, perceived or actual that these filters supposedly introduce. Prior to posting here on on the forums I had submitted this same question to the PS Audio support site but as of this writing I still have not had a response from them.

The differences are subtle and can be exceedingly difficult to hear. If your unit is otherwise acting normally I am certain it is fine.

I had a SGCD for a month or so, never detected enough appreciable difference to bother with it after the initial experimentation

The recording quality makes a vastly more significant difference in my opinion and no filter will ‘fix’ a bad recording nor does any filter wreck a recording

Some jump up and down about how a linear is better than a minimum phase and others argue the opposite. I never found enough difference to argue either way, if you like one vs. the other, use it. If no difference is heard, the selection is irrelevant.

Thank you all for you responses. I am very satisfied with the sound of my SGCD and plan on keeping it for a little while. I am perplexed that PS feels the need to add filters that maybe provide marginal differences.

The filters are part of the ESS Sabre software not PS’s they just have the choice to allow them or not. I’ve never found them to do anything noticeable.on any DAC that had them.

why not longer? (Curious, seriously. Did you go a different direction, or did it not do what you wanted it to?)

I replaced it with a DS Jr. and then replaced it with a DS and I still have it two years+ later

this is exactly my conundrum.

interested in going the SGCD route, but just wonder if it’s a stop-gap for something else I’ll want in short order.

I guess I’ll just go listen to some music.

Depends on your goal. Mine was to build a system for my downsized retirement home and frankly probably the last for my lifetime

The SGCD is great but the DS and Jr. are incrementally better BUT they require commensurate upgrades in the chain to show their full selves

What’s your budget? Is $5k or $10k or $30k in the realm of reality for your system spend? If so, the SGCD will simply be a stepping stone. I would happily purchase another one to use in my shop system or to gift to a niece or nephew that enjoys good sound but for my main system (and generous budget) Sr. is the ticket


thanks for that. I have plenty to add, but this is probably fodder for a different thread or a direct message! (I don’t want to derail the current thread)

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