Stellar phono preamp tweak

The digital chain in my system gives me outstanding results. It didn’t sound that way initially. Only by instituting some tweaks did I get the kind of sound I was after.
I have been on somewhat of a quest with the phono side to achieve a similar level of satisfaction since purchasing my Stellar phono preamp a few months back. Right out of the box it elevated my Linn Asak moving coil cartridge to a level I’d never heard before. Things improved with time as it broke in. Replacing the power cord with a Pangea AC14 XL was a worthwhile upgrade. I replaced the rubber feet with five Isoacoustics iso-puck mini feet. But yet I just couldn’t recreate the level of satisfaction my digital side was giving me.
I particular I was missing that spectacular imaging specificity and bass depth and tightness I got from my DAC. I found I could get some of that imaging by using the 60 ohm loading setting. That did help tighten up the bass a bit as well but at the expense of closing down the soundstage openness a bit compared to the 100 ohm setting. Small improvements but not exactly on the scale I was looking for.
So, it just happened that I stumbled on a simple fix that fixed all these problems with one swoop for me. I replaced the iso-pucks on the front with a single cone made by Vibrapod point side down. As a bonus transparency and dynamics improved as well.
I now enjoy vinyl playback like never before. My system quality is now nicely balanced digital vs. analog.
As always, your mileage may vary.

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Interesting. So if I’m reading your post correctly, you still have two Isoacoustics mini pucks on the rear of the stellar phono and a single vibrapods pod and cone front and center of the stellar phono. Is that right?

I also use both products but not together. Question: it seems to me that a combination Vibrapods cone and pod is much taller than a mini puck, so does your stellar phone tilt rearward, as the front should be higher than the rear? Or am I not understanding?

Even if it’s just the cone and not the pod base, I think that is still quite a bit taller than a mini puck.

If you mean the full-size Iso pucks (and not the minis), then maybe closer in height I guess.

Edit: On re-read of your post, I see that you don’t say “mini-puck.” Given the unit’s 21.6 lb weight, I assumed in my post here that you meant mini-puck, as with their 6 lb / per handling, would match well, versus the full-size which wouldn’t be a great weight-compatibility match (for four pucks anyway).

Does your Stellar stand badly isolated in a heavy floor or air resonance zone?

I wonder how resonance deduction of a phono pre can have such dramatic consequences.

I am using one cone only front and center, only in the front. No Vibrapod. The cone is just slightly taller than the mini puck. The Stellar phono seems to be slightly heavier in the front so I had three mini pucks there to support the weight before I removed them. The cone is rated to support something like 20 lbs so just one works fine. The two pucks in the back makes the whole very stable.

I don’t understand exactly how it works. I use three Vibrapods in conjunction with the cones with my DAC with similar results. Two in the back points up and one in the front point down. I needed to add the Vibrapods to the cones, in that instance, because I needed to inject a bit of warmth to my Benchmark DAC. Worked perfectly.
I put a bit of blue tack between the pod and cone to add stability to the combo.

Got it. I use cones and pods in two systems, and ISO Orea/pucks in two others.

One odd thing about using multiple cones pointed upward is how swively the component becomes if nudged, as the balls on top of the cones really are low mechanical resistance. I find when working around the component I have to be careful not to bump it with a hand or finger.

I’ve had the same problem. I stuck those dimpled discs designed to protect floors from spikes with blue tack on the bottom of my DAC. That way the little ball on the tip of the cone has a stable area to sit in.

Ron Kindel