Stellar Power Plant 3 vs Premier Power Plant

Bought a Premier Power Plant a while back and its worked very well. Recently, my buddie gave me his Stellar Power Plant 3 (he’s upgrading), and I couldn’t wait to plug it in. And plug it in I did. Now after 2 weeks, I’ve come to a conclusion: I think I prefer the older Premier Power Plant to the newer Stellar 3.

Am I crazy?

Chris, the gentleman who answers the phone at PS Audio, said “no,” that a lot of the features in the Premier are also in the Stellar 3. I checked the product manuals of both, but that proved a fruitless search due to the way they are written there is little to compare. I can tell you that the Premier is considerably heavier then the 3. But that’s it.

Now I did not plug my integrated (a Sugden Masterclass IA-4) into the Premier, but I did plug it into the 3. The results were, unfortunately, rather eye-opening: on some of the more intense parts of the music the 3 sounded statically; some of the the highs seemed really bright; and frequently the music sounded like (are you ready for this?) it was made of glass - a gentle push and it would all topple over and break into a million pieces (yeah, my buddie didn’t like that either, but that’s what it sounds like to me). I’m guessing that because the Sugden is Class A, that the 3 can’t handle it???

Either way, I have since unplugged the Sugden from the 3 and have it plugged directly into the wall leaving only my Lumin T2 and a Cambridge CD player plugged in, and it all sounds grand.

So, the next step seems to me to be going back to the Premier to see if the Lumin and Cambridge sound better plugged into it or the 3 (maybe even try plugging in the Sugden???). And then selling the one that’s not up to snuff.

You thoughts?

Welcome to the forums @Gregory_Krolczyk.

First off, never think you are crazy because your tastes in sound don’t align with what you perceive others would expect of you. You like what you like and it doesn’t matter what others think. So, if you like the sound of the premier power plant, then continue using it and enjoy yourself.

If I read your message properly, it seems that you opted to plug your Sugden Masterclass IA-4 into the wall. Assuming that you had it plugged into the premier power plant before switching to the Stellar 3, if you didn’t get rid of the premier power plant, an experiment you might want to try is to plug the Sugden Masterclass IA-4 into the premier power plant while keeping everything else plugged into the Stellar 3.

This hobby is about the quality of the sound that comes from the synergies between all of your equipment, mix and match until you get the sound that you think is best.

The technology in the older Power Plant Premier and the newer Power Plant 3 is the same. The PP3 is smaller in power and output devices, so that might account for some of what you’re hearing. I am not sure I ever spent the time to make such a comparison.

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Two things.

First, you did not compare apples-to-apples, since you didn’t also plug the Sugden into the PPP.

Second, the PPP has much more power producing capability (1500 watts max) vs the Stellar 3 (300 watts max). As you note, given that the Sugden is Class A, when combined with your other gear plugged into the 3 you’re probably up against the max the 3 can produce, which would result in the sound you describe. The 3 is meant primarily for source components, not big power-hungry power amps, so if you keep the 3 you would plug everything into it except the Sugden.

Welcome to the forum Gregory. Let your ears be your guide, not marketing materials, manuals, and the like. In my experience it is all about synergy, and only you can determine if it is a fit in your system.

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Saying that music sounds like it’s made of glass is definitely crazy - but I appreciate and share your POV

Took your advice and plugged the Sugden into the PPP, and left the rest plugged into 3 - worked like a champ (though I may try plugging all three into the PPP and see what happens).

Thanks so much for taking the time - tis truly appreciated.

I hate to think of the Sugden as a big power-hungry power amp, as it’s only 33 watts per channel , but I appreciate the thought. Instead of keeping the 3 and selling the PPP, I’ve plugged the Sugden into the PPP and left the rest plugged into the 3. Works like a champ.

Thanks for the response - appreciate it.

EXACTLY what I wanted to know. Thank you so very much.

Just to close this thing out: I had plugged the Lumin and Cambridge into the 3 and the Sugden into the PPP and it worked without a hitch, so I waited a day and tried all three into the PPP. Works like a charm. So…Yay!!!

Again, thank you all for your help and advice.