Stellar M700 Setup....Does it matter which of the speaker outputs I'm using?

Just took delivery of two new M700 amps. This may be a silly question, but I’ve never seen two sets of speaker outputs on a mono amp. Does it matter which I use? What happens if I use the (+) Red of one set and the (-) Black of the other for each speaker (on each amp separately)? The manual isn’t clear on this, but I suppose the correct question to ask is whether these outputs are just connected in parallel to each other internally? I have an EE background so I’m a bit embarrassed to ask this - however, without a wiring diagram, I just am not sure.

I have my speakers bi-wired (not bi-amped) with a set of cables that has one set of banana connectors on the amp side and two sets on the speaker side. Is this configuration sub-optimal and should I get an extra set of cables to wire each of my speakers’ bi-wire/bi-amp inputs separately??

Incidentally on the sound quality - granted they are BRAND new, less than 10 minutes of playing time so far, they are a bit harsher (there’s some sibilance in vocals) than the Hypex NC500 unit I’m replacing with them (moving that one to a different system because electrical utility shenanigans killed the previous amp in my office) and there doesn’t seem to be a concise well-centered stereo image on some of my reference recordings, which makes me think that it’s possible something is out of phase - strange. However, I am hearing things that I had not heard before in some songs. Anyway I suppose another question is - no BS - is “burn in” a real thing with these amps? I don’t recall having to deal with a long term “burn in” with the Hypex, maybe a day or so of a few hours listening.

But can anyone share their experience with the M700s and how you might think the sound has changed over time? I do have to say I love the PS Audio blue glowing power button. It’s like my own version of McIntosh VU meters, understated and awesome.

FWIW, right now I’m just plugging the DSD DAC straight into them with XLR cables, but will be putting a Krell preamp into the mix tomorrow.

P.S. I’d be happy to share comparisons with the Hypex NC500 and NC502MP (which is the one that died) in another thread after I feel like the M700s have had sufficient time to warm up/burn in, and may do some A/B testing, but my ears are pretty good so I can already hear some quantifiable differences.

I does not matter which set you use. I know that can be confusing. Some people really want to bi-wire and so we make it easy enough to do that. Let us know how it goes after break in.

Yes, break in, especially with these, is not BS but quite critical. Give them a steady week or two to snap into focus.

Something else to remember is to reposition your speakers. Your prior setup was focused on the older amps and now that you have new ones you really need to refocus them. Perhaps a little closer together or a little more toe in will snap back the
center image.

You cannot just plop in a new amp without repositioning your speakers. Even if just a little.

Thanks Paul. Yeah I actually tried the toe in. I’m using some pretty directional speakers, but they do have wave guides on both the tweeter and mid. I would like to avoid toe-ing them in TOO much just for aesthetic reasons, and I do a lot of listening off-axis, so the centered stereo image isn’t the end-all be-all for me. It’s just nice to have it when I am in pure listening mode.

I will say that so far they sound very good (again, I’m sitting way off-axis) and look really nice in black. Thumbs up on this one.

Any precise recommendations on break in or just kinda listen to music like I normally do?

My Steller Stack was left on for 300 hours before I connected the 12VDC trigger cables. On the cables. I have a quick story.

Prior to pulling the trigger in the Stack from HiDef Lifestyle up in Harrisburg, PA, I was running two McIntosh MC50’s that I’ve rebuilt and modified very carefully. Out window shopping at the Best Buy Magnolia Design Center here in Scottsdale, AZ and there hiding in a clear bag were a pair of BiWire AudioQuest Rocket 33’s for $285. Open Box but never used, 10ft. length. Perfect for my Series 1 901’s. Well, I had a Marantz SR5011 receiver and didn’t realize that I could run the biwire ends into the main + surround jacks (configurable via GUI/iOS App). So I stupidly cut the BiWire ends and bought the appropriate AQ Banana Plugs and and re used the cable pants. I also had about $85 in Best Buy Dollars so the cables were cheap minus the banana’s that cost me $40 off of Amazon.

Had I not chopped and twisted the wire pairs onto their respective plugs, I could have kept the 4 bi wire banana’s intact and just fill up all 4 banana jacks on the back of the M700’s.

Live and learn but they still sound great !

I noticed that vocals were shifted a bit to the right so I moved my couch a bit to the left…LOL ! It worked.

Almost a month in and everything sounds great Paul. Still working on a review regrading how nicely the PS Audio stuff integrated with my Sony stuff (I just uploaded a video on how I bypassed the Sony’s volume control and broke out 5.1 of the 8 available diff pairs and terminated them onto male XLR’s). Usual disclaimer "don’t try this at home kid’s or you’ll void the warrant"y…LOL.

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Well, as it happens, duh stupid me - I had accidentally wired the right channel out of phase by accident when I was back there messing with things in between my first and second listening sessions yesterday. Ha ha, what an idiot. Now that that’s sorted out, everything sounds great - including well centered stereo image.


Funny that happened to you. I went to a local dealer for a speaker demo yesterday and couldn’t find any imaging in the KEF Reference 1s. Everything I read indicated they have a nice sound stage. I left disappointed. Turns out the dealer had a speaker wired out of phase. He call to let me know and I went back to listen and there it was. Awesome stand mount speakers BTW. Bought a pair.


Originally added a pair of M700s to power the future addition of KEF Ref 1s or 3s which I also found to be impressive in demo. Although, after six months, the M700s practically revitalized my 25 year old B&W Matrix 800 Ser III’s to an sq i had previously not thought they were capable of, very happy there :wink:
Keeping the B&Ws. Interested to hear KCCK’s comments after he adds the Preamp ? About 60hrs now on BHK Preamp driving M700s and again a significant leap in Sq. Here’s a Ref 1 demo, cheers,


I had a similar experience with my 51 yr. old 901’s and my personally hot-rodded 49 yr. old EQ box. Above my Series 1 901’s, my number 1 Speaker I’d like to own one day are a pair of Matrix 801Series xxx. I’ve heard from so many people when using good quality new electronics, these tired old Elephant’s are no longer conversation pieces but Gems actually worth listening to. The latest “Ask Paul”, a Gentleman asked about Speaker Driver material. Paul’s honest straightforward, cut the Bullshit answer was. You CANNOT reproduce what you hear live acoustically and especially amplified live concerts. A Speaker System’s job is to reproduce what the microphone actually detects (“hears”). In the Studio (and I’m no Expert), one would assume that what the Producer’s/Artist’s/Engineer’s heard in the final mix is what they expect the paying customer’s to hear at home (or as close to that Utopian ideal as your wallet can handle…LOL).

Let’s face it. There are some great “Classic Rock”, Jazz Fusion, and Prog Rock albums that sound absolutely atrocious (not mentioning any though). No amount of PCM, DSD, or re equalizing (yuck) that can polish these great songs/albums into Audiophile Bliss. I have a whole bunch of them just as we all do. Cause it’s all about the Music !

Welp…I did get that preamp today. It was the Krell KRC-3 from The Music Room down the road from PS Audio.

After about 3 hours of listening, I decided to send it back. It just sounded like it put a thin, but perceptible blanket between my DSD DAC Sr. and my ears. Sucks…thought it might alleviate an upgrade/tweak itch, but in fact as it happens I’m super happy with the DSD DAC Sr. as a digital pre-amp (wish it had the volume knob like the Jr. tho…guess you can’t have it all). I swapped different XLR cables around and put anti-vibration feet under everything, and nope. On songs like Radiohead’s “Exit Music for a Film” the level of detail just wasn’t there with the preamp in the mix. It was subtle, but noticeable in A-B testing. Same thing with various songs from Jill Scott, David Axlerod, and Muddy Waters. Too bad; guess I was looking for a fix to a problem that wasn’t really there and I’ll happily pay the return shipping fee with the benefit of a lesson learned. Don’t mess with a good thing.

The M700s, BTW, sound awesome. I’m loving them more all the time, and I’ve only been “burning them in” for about 8 total hours.


Congrats on the new speakers!!

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Try the BHK preamp in your chain. I think you’ll like that very much.

KCCK, It’s been a few years since I’ve heard a Krell Pre, but the Aesthetix Calypso, and the BHK Pre have been covered here as most synergistic with the DSD Sr. That said, direct to M700s was the best my system had ever sounded and I was loving the DSD Sr Remote’s quick, agile volume surfing capabilities. Four months of research into where do i find the next level of Sq in a legacy system, Source? Speakers? Power? and I kept returning to Paul’s experience here, and the fact that I hold in very high regard anyone who has a proven, hard belief based on experience and is willing to change that belief upon the presentation of new evidence. My dealer told me new speakers will give you more upgrade than any preamp, BUT, that he’s sold 79 BHK Pre’s recently, and just maybe, maybe, the BHK Pre would give me the upgrade I was seeking. I love a good “hard sell”, :wink: , so, without much expectation I put a BHK Pre in the chain as more of a synergistic improvement, and I would have to say in this system, it’s surprisingly close to the DSD Sr in Sq value. It brings some intangibles that just sound right, (well covered in other threads). But now in truth, the M700s went thru periods of burn in where i questioned their consistency, but then they settled in beautifully at about 300 hrs, a “process” of improvement which along with Snowmass and the BHK, has made the quest for Sq quite enjoyable.

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Nice post. Thanks for that detailed info. I think I’m just going to stick with the DSD Sr. —> M700 Amps —> JBL 1400 Arrays. I really listen for the music, less concerned about “accuracy” or “analytical” sound - but one of my biggest pet peeves is when I don’t hear a song the way I’m used to hearing it - and that generally entails some instruments or background melodies being obscured or less prominent. I suppose the thing I really go for is the ability of my system to impart acoustic energy, which really gets my subconscious to become involved in the song, into the room. Just for an example other than the Radiohead song I named above (and I do recommend giving that one a try on your system - it’s pretty amazing) I appreciate my system’s ability to bring “life” to AC/DC’s “Ride On” - there’s a moment in the song where the guitarist moves his fingers over the fret after a note and a palpable “suck out” of air in the room, even though the recording is really not that great. :slight_smile:

For the price and given that I’m still burning in the M700s, I just don’t think it’s worth the “risk” - synergy or not. At the end of the day, what’s happening is adding another layer of electronics between the DAC and the amplifiers, so I’m super skeptical - especially since (at least in my main system) the DSD DAC serves as such an awesome preamp on its own and lets me sit at my laptop and control Roon/Tidal along with volume. I actually love it…<3

Do you have any links to those threads? Not a lot to search by in that sentence. Might take a while to go through all the BHK threads in order to arrive at what I’m looking for. I’m interested in reading about some specifics and particular songs along with peoples’ systems.

KCCK, We think a lot alike, yes i listened to all the YouTube BHK demos, read all the forums, but had to question two schools of thought, one in which you seek the very latest technological upgrade, vs a path in which you seek the most experienced person in the room, listen to their experience, and then trust it. At a very young age I chose the latter in regards to a life choice, which proved to be invaluable. Listening to BHK, Arnie and Paul with their 150 yrs combined experience was where I found great value. I would be very happy DSD direct. The DSD/BHK/M700s are endgame for me, so i deliberated long enough to give the M700s the time they needed to settle in before adding the BHK Pre. The early BHK adopters may have more to say, I’ll look thru some threads for you, cheers.

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Dangerously off topic here, but a BHK Pre search on YouTube will get you some sound demos, A Feb 18 thread below

Google for BHK Preamp reviews

Ray Richardson
[telephone number removed]