Stellar Phono Potentiometers

I’m sorry if this seems like a silly question or a question with an obvious answer, but I just cant seem to find a proper explanation. I just got the Stellar Phono and its just getting broken in and it sounds great! The question is why the two potentiometers on the back of the Stellar Phono? Is it to adjust the right and left channel independently? if so, why would you want that? And if that’s not the reason, then what is? I currently have them both adjusted to around a 220 load, for my Ortofon Quintet Bronze. I was going to start playing around with the load after the breaking in but wanted an understanding of what I’m doing before I do it. Thanks!

Hi -
I think the channels are adjusted independently, but I can’t imagine not using the same values for each channel. I agree - why would you want that unless it is a purest design and that was the best way to adjust the MC loading.

I looked at the Ortofon website and it looks like they recommend a loading > 20 ohms for your cartridge. I don’t think you can do any damage to the cartridge or the Stellar using any of the MC loading values. I’d just use the same settings for each channel.

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Simply put, they just allow you to do more precise, customer loading. The reason there are two is Darren noticed there was a bit of cross talk and interference when the signals were combined into one pot, and separating them made it sound A LOT better. Do the fine tuning with your ear. They don’t have to be exactly the same to sound great.

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Per the remote ( and front panel ) of the Stellar, you have load choices of 60 , 100, & 200 for MC carts.
If you want ANY load setting other then those 3 you select “CUSTOM” on the remote and dial in the load setting using those 2 potentiometers on the back.
Viola !!

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It’s worth pointing out the load pots on the Parasound JC3+ are separate for each channel. Those are very high precision Vishay potentiometers. Not sure what PSA is using for the Stellar Phono, but it might simply be the case a Vishay pot of that quality isn’t available double-ganged. Or if it is the isolation isn’t what it needs to be for a high performance phono preamp. I can certainly envision no reason for setting the loads for the two channels differently, but when building a commercial product you’ve got to work with the part of the quality you want as it is available from the supplier.

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I think they are separate on the JC3/JC3+ because each channel is completely mono. Not sure if the Stellar Phono is the same.

“Dual mono design; each audio channel is separately enclosed in its own extruded aluminum enclosure“

Guys, feel free to ignore James’ post from yesterday. But do not ignore this: One of the targets was to best the JC3, and the SPP does that easily. Whether pots are ganged or not.


Interesting… I was gonna try the stellar at some point but I think I’ll wait for the perfect wave phono. Running a JC3 now.

It’s interesting to see that PSA is going to offer 3! phono stages at different price points (possibly also a 4th in the Stellar range again in future), even in the 20k region where so far no other product than the DAC is planned (public) … and this although phono is a concept that Paul doesn’t seem to favor at all. I mean a 20k phonostage is a statement which even most diehard phono advocates don’t have in their portfolio :wink:

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Yeah! Pretty interesting to say the least. I’m excited to see what’s on the horizon for PSA. Though old love to have a BHK phono to match all my other BHK products 20K puts it well above my budget. I’ll have to settle for a perfectwave version. lol

It’s coming (see the other thread and yesterday’s turntable video)

I saw the turntable video. I’ll check the thread now. Thanks!