Stellar Phono Stage launch ETA?

Hey Paul,

Any update estimates for the launch of the Stellar Phono Stage yet?


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Me again: any update two months later? Really looking forward to this. If it is anywhere as good as Darren’s previous design efforts (my M700s) I am ready to place an order.

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Any update?

Still looking at a July beta launch. I just heard the finished design after he removed feedback and went with MOSFETS in a few critical areas. Holy shit. I have never been impressed with vinyl in Music Room One but now, dare I say it? The three discs we listened
to last night were more musical than almost all the digital I have on hand….and what’s really funny is that we still have the same Clear Audio table and the same Lyra cartridge as when it sounded, well, not so good. I am frankly stunned and reeling in thought
as to what this all means.


Great! Thanks, Paul for responding. If there’s any chance I could be on your beta list I would be happy to evaluate the phono stage and provide a detailed review. Really looking forward to adding this to my superb Stellar GCD/700 combo.



Keep watch on Paul’s Post and if there’s a call for Beta testers that’s where it’ll appear. It’s up to the sales department to gather the beta testers.

Hey @stevecham, shoot me an email at I’ve been putting together a list of potential testers coming up in the next month or two.

Hey Paul - I had the same experience when adding a JC3jr phono preamp to my previously hibernating vinyl rig. I think what it means is all the hype is real and it’s a force to be reckoned with. Good to see PSA getting back in the game. Timing seems to be perfect.

It’s also my experience…the phonostage has tremendous impact on the sound quality (although the same is valid as always: it can’t help for what was lost in the chain before it).

Most who thought they made the relevant comparisons already, never really heard their gear under best circumstances (and there’s always improvement ahead, phonostage is just one)…means, especially with vinyl playback it makes sense to go reasonably up the ladder before more or less general judgements are made. Howsoever some facts stay true forever in either direction…it’s just a question of the importance/preference given to them personally.

I would always invest a big amount of the overall phono budget on the phonostage.

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I might as well put my two cents in.
I just got a new phono stage and I can tell you that my DSD Sr. and DMP has a much longer climb to reach the level of quality and enjoyment I can get with vinyl.
With vinyl, the space in the soundstage is more real, the space and dimensionality of singers and instruments are more natural and real, there are more richness and the textures are more organic sounding, the power of transient and decay sounds more natural and visceral, there is a ease and naturalness to the sound that is so musical, the enjoyment level is just higher with vinyl.
Maybe PS Audio would consider a BHK phono at a later date for those that can afford it. I believe the phono stage is just as important as the other factors in playing vinyl. Maybe even making a very musical turntable that beginners can afford to get more people involved.


Do you know if the Stellar Phono Preamp will have an A-D converter like the Nuwave Phono Converter does??

Nope…It willin’t

Not entirely sure why you would want it to.

If you want a NPC in fab condition for a fraction of the price, let me know. I will be buying the SPP, as I was an Alpha tester. No Brainer : )

Hi James,

I’m ready when you are!


badbeef is correct. The signal is completely analog through the entire pre. We just had another meeting about it yesterday and got to listen to it for a bit and it is striking! We’re excited to get it out to the public soon.


Hey BB…thx for the feedback from an Alpha tester…I am also running a NPC. I am bracing my self for an upgrade to the SPP or perhaps wait for the BHK PP. However the price point between the two are bound to be significant.

Do you have a pre amp in your system?
I run my NPC to a BHK pre. Probably still a no brainier?
Cheers Simon

Yes - my VTL Pre has the optional phono board, a (3)AX-7 section which I actually prefer over my NPC. The SPP is a complete no-brainer with a BHK. Its still not known what the BHK Phono will end up being, but the informed speculation is that it will be at least $10k.

I’ve been looking for a replacement for my Ayre phonostage. I love the sound of the Ayre but because the switching gear is hidden in the box, it’s far too much of an effort for me to switch between MM and MC carts. The advantage in the Ayre is that it is fully balanced. When I upgraded my TT with a Jelco 750D arm, I upgraded the output cable to XLR. I’m drooling over the Stellar because of the seeming ease of switching between carts but without a balanced input, no can do. I wonder why (given the prevailing opinion at PS Audio that balanced connections are superior) it was decided to go solely with unbalanced inputs?

You are certainly not the only person wondering about that after having listened to Paul’s videos for a year or so. The high end Thorens turntables, even the newly released TD1601 have balanced output, the high end Yamaha, Linn’s and quite a number of others that utilize Tonarms that allow balanced Phono connections. Very good quality products in the Stellar price range.

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The Stellar Phono pre would have been the next step in my migration to a deeper PS Audio stack.

I have a Stellar Gain Cell DAC. I would have been very interested in the Stellar Phono Preamp. Based on the PS Audio balanced concept and certainly the price, I expected it to have balanced inputs. Like the Linn Uphorik, One of the Transrotor Phono Preamps, the ClearAudio Balance etc. all in that 2500-3000 EURO price range, which compared to a 2000 EURO Stellar Gain Cell DAC and turntable in that same price range is financially nearly off the chart. But then I saw a video about the ELAC Alchemy PPA-2 made by its designer as well and it seems very promissing as well. Although I want my boxes to look the same, the 1500-2000 EURO price difference can not justify that. ELAC Alchemy has a stack with exactly identical interfaces, fully balanced, class A/class D power amp, same price range as the Stellar stack, so my wife told me to look into buying that stack.

But I have not heard the differences yet, and that is off course the tricky part, my Stellar Gain Cell DAC really has a good music quality, and I want to make sure not to loose that.