Stellar Pre / BHK250 - HT bypass issue

Well, I didn’t really do that as I was worried about damaging more gear. I’d hate to have to send the M700’s along with the Stellar back to Boulder. For now I have an AVR acting as the Preamp and no issues to report. Removing the SGC from the chain resulted in no more pops, thumps, or distortion. And the volume behaves the same in both Left and Right channels.

Sorry this happened! From what you’ve described, I do think the GainCell needs to take a trip back here.

C’mon… you guys need to recall the gain cell. It’s DEFECTIVE. You guys are irresponsible to continue to ignore the issues everyone is having.

Mine works as advertised.

Sorry - you must be the exception to everyone else who has posted the same issue and the three different units I’ve seen / tested (all new) that do the same thing.

And if you’re thinking… hey this guy is angry. You’re correct. The way ps audio has handled this and the continued the ‘first time we’ve heard about it’ response annoys me beyond belief.

Recalling it might be extreme but declaring the ‘issue’ regardless of if it’s widespread or just common would be the right thing to do.

I used my GCD Pre for 2 years without a single problem. I upgraded to BHK Pre and have been using it close to 2 years without a single issue. I sold the GCD for a good price, and the new owner has been using it happily with no issues! Previously, I owned M700 and Stellar Phono. I upgraded to other products and sold them. Again, the new owners had similarly positive experience :relaxed:

1 Like

It may not be every SGCD. Count your blessings. Whether the percentage of repairs are high enough to justify a recall is a risk for PS Audio and SGCD owners to decide.

But, mine had the same issues. It was a big pita. The fault, is clearly serious, it potentially ruins other equipment (power amps / speakers) and probably your ears. So please do not try and downplay the issue.

It’s just luck that I immediately noticed something was seriously wrong. My active speakers have a volume knob, so I could limit the SPL drastically. Tried a swap of speakers and identified the same issue with the other speaker connected to the faulty channel. No further fiddling as it could have caused damage. The dealer arranged a repair with the PS Audio rep and I took the the SGCD back to the dealer.

The risk, the hassle, not being able to play music for weeks are not worthy a 1.5 years old 1800 EURO piece of equipment.

Even today PS Audio reacts surprised. Wow, don’t they talk to their reps, don’t they listen to what customers are saying?
Apparently PS Audio still has no clue what causes the issue. My dealer told me the rep exchanged a PCB. When I asked what caused the problem he told me the rep could or did not tell. A red flag! If the problem is not known, it is impossible to verify that the corrective actions are effective and the potential risks are not removed.

It is because I additionally wanted to upgrade my system in the living room that my dealer could offer me a deal on the purchase of the NAD C658 and M33 at the same time.

Still I took a financial hit, but the offer of my dealer seemed to make sense.

Did replacement of the PCB resolve the issue, or did you trade the unit in without trying it?

Because of the above mentioned hassles of the failure, I explicitly asked if the rep knew what the problem was. I got no clear answer.

The issue was, not knowing what the issue was with the faulty PCB in a EUR 1.800,- pre amp/DAC. If I had gotten a clear explanation it might have been different.

But I did not get any explanation. So no point to take the unit back to risk the same problem occurring outside warranty period (only 6 months left). That would have become a really expensive exercise. Till that point it was expensive enough.

Therefore I took the offer of my dealer and did not bother transporting the unit again across our small country.

Besides the SGCD had other issues: lack of file format information when using the USB input, HT input functionality had to remain disabled due to thump noise when switching to and from HT channel.

I am NOT downplaying the issue. I am reacting to the incredible hyperbole that you and “non angry guy” are spouting. It is NOT every SGCD that is bad. Not even close.

I don’t use the HT bypass feature, but it’s certainly possible I move my GSD to a secondary system in the future where that would be much more likely, but that would be after the warranty period. Now I’m afraid to check, I don’t want to be another angry guy.

1 Like

As we all know, forums greatly exaggerate any perceived problem with a product well beyond its actual real-world severity.

This does not mean problems do not exist, but one needs to keep everything in perspective.

1 Like

I did not say that every unit is effected, but the fact that multiple customers have similar issues means that the faults are systematic at least.

As effected customer I can not understand why the money was well received and utilized, but the reports about failures not.

  • The HT issue was, and as far as I know still is, downplayed by PS Audio, witness the statement of the PS Audio forum administrator above:
  • The issue of lack of file format information when playing via USB is plainly put off as “no priority”

  • About the overall pre amp PCB fault the rep did not even bother to tell the customer what the problem was, while @coullion reports the same problems

I have an update. My SGC has returned from its vacation in Colorado. A very quick turnaround by the PS Audio team! The big booms/pops and distortion in the left channel have been fixed. As well as the volume control not being equal between left and right. The original pop when changing to HT mode from a digital source still remains. I’ve switched to single-ended connections from balanced as this seems to lessen the pop but it’s still present. It’s obviously just how this unit performs. While I have enjoyed my time with the SGC and appreciate the entry-level HiFi performance it’s given me, I’ll probably move on once the warranty is up.

Who wants to make a deal on a BHK Pre / DirectStream DAC bundle? :money_mouth_face:


Good news.

Happy listening.

Send me an email and I’m sure you and I can work out a pretty decent bundle! :smile: