Stellar Phono - no signal like mute issue

It seems that during last days my gear issues are never ending.

Now the Stellar Phono, too!

After a few weeks, today I decided to listen to some vinyl. Suddenly I encountered another issue with my big surprise. No sound when the cartridge is surfing on the record. What?

  • if I listen very close to the cartridge, I can hear music correctly (from mechanical contact, I mean)
  • checked all the settings on SPP like MC, no Mute enabled. gain, loading
  • checked cable connection from TT to RCA input MC of the Phono and I tried 2 different cables to be sure
  • checked cable connection from XLR SPP output to XLR BHK Pre input, in different inputs and trying 2 different cables
  • tried a few power cycles of the SPP

Is the TT or the phono I was wondering. Then I called my dealer and he suggested to try to connect the RCA cable directly from the TT to the BHK bypassing the SPP. If at a higher level you are able to hear the music from the speakers, it means that the signal from the TT is ok, excluding a cause… he said.

Guess what? I can hear the music. The signal from the TT out is ok.

So the culprit seems to be the Stellar Phono. It’s like having the Mute enabled, even if it’s not enabled.

Any idea?


so, you live in the Twilight Zone


As audiophile, I had better days in my past,indeed!

is there an explanation why you have had a problem with every PSA component?

(I may be remembering incorrectly about this)

Here the list.

BHK, a faulty board when arrived brand new. Replaced, solved. Then all ok since 3 years.
SPP, a faulty IR receiver when arrived brand new. And double issue, incredible… a faulty board on the unit they sent to me as a replacement. Once repaired it worked well until today.
MK II, sent me a beta unit that was supposed to be a final production unit. New unit sent me after 4 months. Regular issues like clicks and pops and noise, sold it.
P15, a faulty oscillator board. I’m waiting this part to find out if this can solve the problem.
M1200, faulty relay that doesn’t permit the stand by mode. Need to send it back to be repaired soon.

And I’m still loving PSA products! If I’m not a loyal customer, what can I do more than this?

Truth be told, each time a solution was found, even if my patience was/is tested.

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maybe crossing the Alps did it

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the mules need to be more gentle


I’m wondering why my PST transport and P20 are still working well after 2 years (and a couple of P12s I owned before). Probably they travelled a different route!

Or elephants?

Thanks for your humor, it helps a lot in this moment!

Frankly I’m not able to become angry for these problems while a few miles from my house people in Emilia Romagna are fighting against flooding and they have to leave their homes. So, it’s all ok, audiophile issues are little things!


A wonderful perspective.

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You’re a good role model Luca


yes, Hats Off to Luca

deserves its own thread/topic

or a new Badge award, the Luca badge


As much bad luck as you have had with the PSA gear I don’t think anyone would blame you if you sold it all and walked away.
You are a good person Luca! You surely have more patience than most people would under the circumstances.


Sometimes my Stellar Phono defaults back to MM when I think I’m still set for MC thus muting the sound.

Unfortunately the setting I checked more and more times is correct, MC, with the blue led open. At first sight I was thinking the same, or the Mute enabled as sometimes happens when you don’t pay attention to it. Or you switch it on. Not in this case, sobh!

Thank you.

I simply love the PSA signature sound and I respect Paul and his staff. Until they are able to take care of each issue and solve it, I can comfortably stay where I am.
When I went for the MSB DAC the reason was the sound I immediately felt in love with, not the issues of the MK II. My ears have taken that decision, my heart was sad though.
During last days I received tons of emails from Paul himself, Steve and James. They all supported me as they were able. Hour by hour. It means something to me.


Yes, dealing with a family run business is much more rewarding than dealing with a conglomerate that has no usable system to actually manage issues like you are having.

I had a problem with a top of the line Denon unit. Their non-existent support system has made me vow to never buy that brand again.

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Have you tried running the cartridge into the MM input? I would also try all of the gain and loading settings. Finally have you tried both outputs?

Have you used it since the masterful renovation of your listening room?

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I tried MM/MC, all the gain levels, all the loading values, included custom with the two little knobs on the rear panel.
I tried unplugging the PC for an hour.
I tried unplugging the input RCA cables, and using different pair.
I tried also different XLRs cables from the output.
I tried disabling the Mute function both with the remote and long pressing the front logo button.

If I bypass the SPP, plugging the RCAs from the TT to the BHK Pre, I hear the music from speakers, it means that the signal from the TT is working.