Stellar phono preamp- should I stack?

I’m seriously considering replacing my present DAC with a new DS MKll. Logistically it would fit best in my rack with my Stellar phono preamp stacked on the same shelf. I’m a little cautious about this for a couple of reasons. Both components are known to run a bit warm and the Stellar can be susceptible to noise from its surroundings. Most likely, there would be isolation feet under each. Has anyone tried this?

Hi @rkindel,

I have my DS MK2 stacked on top of my Stellar phono preamp. I didn’t want to stack something on the glossy top of the DS MK2.

I don’t notice any impact on sound quality having them set up that way.

Best of luck.

Thanks for the reply. I’m thinking I might not remove the protective coating for the top. But I could change my mind.

I don’t see a problem stacking on top pf the Stellar Phono. The BAT Preamp weighs in at around 30lbs.

Now that’s a good looking system! Looks like it might be a bit of a challenge changing interconnects though.

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As an owner of both the SPP and MKll I wonder if you could answer a question? I absolutely love the sound I’m getting with vinyl through my SPP. My ultimate goal in buying the MKll is to approximate that kind of quality sound with digital. I realize that they are different media and there will are inherent differences built in—but. Am I setting myself up for a disappointment in getting the MKll?

Whether or not you will be disappointed, I cannot say. The way I approach my equipment is that each type of source has its uniqueness, and I appreciate it for that uniqueness. I don’t try to make it sound like something else; I celebrate the positives it brings to the listening experience that the other source does not. To expect digital audio content and sources to sound like analog content and sources is akin to setting yourself up for failure.

If you purchase the DS MK 2, I recommend judging it based on its merits. Learn to recognize the difference between the sources and understand what you like about each.

The variety of content, sources, playback experiences, and sound quality between all of them is, in my opinion, what it is about. It provides you with flexibility and variety. Choosing among that variety gives you the ability to enjoy music in many different ways. If you don’t want to fiddle with records one day, stream music to the MK 2.

I have a turntable, and a Reel-to-Reel tape deck for analog sources, and an MK2 for my digital content. I enjoy each for the nuances and different sound qualities they bring to the listening experience. While I can and do compare their sound quality, I listen to each of them when I am in the mood for that kind of sound and experience.

With all that said, if you can appreciate the MK 2 for the spectacular sound you get from it in its own right, I am sure you won’t be disappointed with it. Just realize that it will be different, and that’s OK.

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Some of the aspects that the SPP brings to the table for me is its dynamics, neutrality and transparency. If I can bring most of that with the MK ll I’ll probably be happy. That’s assuming there’s no major failures in some other way. My present DAC was known for its transparency back in its day. In a way it still is, just not in the spectacular way that the SPP is. I realize there are other aspects in my digital chain that are not up to snuff that contributes, especially on the streaming side. I hear some of that with CDs as well. Most likely getting the MK ll will not the the last word in upgrading my digital chain. I’m hoping galvanic isolation will help elevate both streaming and CDs to the point where I can hear some sizable improvements as is. The rest will just have to come with time.
I embrace the fact that analog and digital sound different. I’m not expecting them to sound the same. What I’m hoping for is a like level of quality and, ultimately, the deep satisfaction that I fell with analog.

I think the upgrade from the MK1 to MK2 was well worth it. Everything I play through it has a larger, more detailed soundstage and better, tighter bass. I find that the dynamics of recorded music is dependent on the mastering process, not the playback equipment. That said, if the recording you play is dynamic, you will definitely experience those dynamics with the MK2.

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Everything I read in this forum makes my think the MK ll should be the end game digital heart I’m looking for. I think it has the potential to been a class leading product with the potential to be upgradable over time to keep it relevant for a long while. At least I’m betting on that. I guess my focus will be on accumulating hours on the unit quickly enough to have enough time after break in to decide for myself before the trial period expires. Not many DACs offer this huge advantage. It shows the confidence that the company has that a large number of potential buyers will decide that this DAC is competitive at this price level.

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Once I got my MK2, during the hours I was not listening to it, I put on a loop of pink noise, turned off my preamp and amp, and let the mk2 cook. The difference in sound quality over the first four days was very noticeable. After then, the difference got harder to discern.

Thank you for the compliment No challenge really. The Rat’s Nest behind the rack is in the Garage and is totally open. No more bending over and blindly changing Cables while constantly cursing.

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