Stellar Gain Cell DAC "Snowdrift" Update Coming?


Okay, I first have to say I’m a big jealous of all the happy Direct Stream DAC owners!!! Makes me wish a Snowmass “lite” update version was coming out for the Gain Cell DAC - like “Snowdrift.”

Anyhow, I digress - I think what I need to do is just simply purchase a Direct Stream DAC!!! However is there any chance PS Audio would consider doing even just one sound quality upgrade to Gain Cell DAC owners? I had to ask…

1 Vote For “Snowdrift” :+1:

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No, no updates possible. It’s not that we don’t want to but you need to understand that we can’t. It’s not a software based device.


Yeah, I figured that and thought I might had read that somewhere else. Thanks for the confirmation on this! I suppose I need to save up for the Direct Stream :slight_smile: Hope you all enjoy the Snowmass update!

Thanks for the smile dbanker, :slight_smile:

The Gain Cell dacs a cracker from what I’ve heard, but free DS updates ARE very cool.
I bought my DS specifically for this reason, its continual development and improvement.

Had to scrimp n save to get one, but worth every penny.

I have the GainCell DAC/Pre and decided that the DSJnr was the way to go for the upgradability. Very happy at the free upgrade I’ve had and looking forward to the next in a week or so. Still saving for the DS Snr lol

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Nice! Do you use the GGC as a preamp for the DSJ, or just the DSJ by itself? Do you notice a sound improvement by using the two together vs. the DSJ by itself, or is this largely redundant and the preamp-stages of the two similar? Just curious…

I do prefer using the GGC as a pre amp for the DS Jr. Sound wise it is what best to my ears with the rest of my gear/cables/room.

Finally, someone in the wild who has direct experience with this setup. :slight_smile: (Using the GCD as a preamp for the DS/Jr.)

What would you say the major differences are between using the GCD as a preamp and going straight to the amp from your DSJr?

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Thanks for this! I have a DSJ going balanced into my Halo Integrated. I’ve been considering moving on from the Halo, want a pre-amp for my vinyl path and didn’t quite grok the path with the Stellar gear. Thanks for confirming the DSJ is a good fit for the Stellar stack.

This may nudge me further down the exploration path, evaluating if the GCD/S300 is a good step beyond the Halo.

But first, Snowmass…

I replaced my Halo Integrated with the SGCD/S300 October 2017. The difference was not subtle. I have since upgraded the S300 to M700s which is another big step up. If you try the Stellar stack, you won’t keep the Halo. At least that was my experience. You have to love the eval option. I never reinstalled my Halo. I took advantage of the sale pricing and ordered the DSD yesterday. I plan to try it with and without the SGCD in the path.

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I spent a fair bit of time auditioning all manner of front end components, interconnects, power cables, speaker cables …all based on a desire to do justice to a pair of speakers I have wanted for many years.
The PS Audio gear was presented to me as a great value for money match. The Stella range just seemed to match well. Then I heard the DS and DS Jr and I was hooked. I couldn’t justify the extra $ for the DS at the time of purchase but added a P10 after 6 months.
The SGCD is a great pre…for my ears, it takes a little brittleness out of the sound compared to DS Jr straight to the M700s. I’ve also done a little fooling around with my music room, acoustic panels, furniture placement and the like. I guess it will always be a work in progress. lol I’d love to go all out with the BHK pre and power amps but my kids are already calling my HiFi their trip to the USA. I’m in Melbourne Australia. Oh well…I’m loving what I have now and hope to scale up down the track one day…never say never…


Paul, please consider changing the format of how your updates, and general firmware and drivers are posted to your Resources/Downloads page. It would make spotting new downloads much easier if each file had a date and a text file appended to each download explaining what the updates are. For an example, please visit the Pioneer or Onkyo home sites and check out how they have updates posted. Thank you!

That’s a great suggestion. Thanks.