Stellar S300: my personal review


#1

Good morning, I’like to share with you a little review of my new Stellar S300.
Intro:
Comments and Experience are personal
I’m not a pro so I’m sorry if I write something that is incorrect
My english is aged like me, writing down a review could be a challenge for me, sorry…. again

My Setup
Loudspeakers: Klipsch Palladium P37f
Power Cable: Riclable Supreme (bi-wiring)
Signal Cable: Van Den Hull
Source: CD Marantz SA8006, MacMini e Jriver
DAC & Pre: Audiolab M-DAC+
Power Amp: PS Audio Stellar S300 obviously

Track/CD Selection
Diana krall Wallflowers (SACD)
Roger Waters Amused to death (Dolby Q)
Rick Wright Broken China (Dolby Q)
Dire Straits On every street
David Gilmour Rattle that lock
Mike Oldfield Songs from distant heart
Chlara In a different light
Elisa Lotus
The Watersboys An appointment with mr. Yeats
Ludovico Einaudi & Greta Svabo Bech Circles
Amber Rubarth Session from the 17th ward (DSD)
Nils Lofgren Acoustic

I own the PS from 5 days and I listen it for 2/3 hours a day. PS recommend at least 100 hours of break in but I could not resist to write down some comments. The Stellar replace an old (1995) pre and power amp of Onkyo, the Integra series, that I had to change due to its problem managing the loudspeaker in very low impedance. I’d like to be as clean as possible but since 7 month ago I didn’t know anything about PS Audio, I didn’t know the brand too, then on the Tube I discovered Paul’s video, I started to follow him, and I’v been amazed by his approach to the hi fi world and, over all, his great passion for his work. The Stellar has been a blind purchase, an incredible lucky blind purchase!!! And I had no idea of what a Class D Amp was…. (at least before Paul’s teaching)
Chassis and assembly are great, the aluminium is beautifully worked and nice to touch. Master switch on the back and stand by in from with a blu backlight. Connection available: both XLR and RCA. I’m using XLR and Paul can clear you why. Weight: less than 6 kg. The very first thing I listened to has been the silence: I switched on the whole system, wait some minutes, then I cranked up the volume from -60 db up to 0 db and I heard “The sound of silence”. The Onkyo at -30 db buzzes, not too loud, but buzzes. I started with nothing special before starting with my favorite tracks. The first things I noticed were: clear and warm sound and a huge stage, an incredible huge stage. Exited by this new stage i start listen to Roger Waters: for those of you who didn’t know this CD it’s recorded in Q-Sound that adds off axis voices/sound/effects to the regular track. The voices are far away on the left side (a great improvement of space), the thunder fills the room in every direction and cannot understand where it comes from, the piano floats high on the right, the dark voice of three wishes run over like a storm and the nasal voice of Waters stands right in the middle of this organized mixture of clear sound. Strange to write but for the very first time in years the loudspeakers disappear from the scene even with open eyes… In the short track, Before the World was made, a Mike Scott and Katie Kim duet (The Waterboys), I ear clearly that Mike is on the left of the microphone while Kim is on the right and this is clear in solo and in duet. I listened then to some female voices: Chlara and her cover of Hotel California: this is a “normal CD” but very well sounding. The voice of Chlara is smooth and sensual and she stands there right in front of me. Same thing for Diana Krall: the voice is perfectly centered while the octaves of the piano dance from the right speaker to the left. Circles by Ludovico Einaudi and Greta Svabo it’s an interesting piece of music: there’s the piano that lies in the middle, Greta’s voice that flies over the loudspeaker and a huge quantity of very deep basses that shake the house: every single instrument was perfectly readable. For the guitars I chose three different tracks: Dire Straits - You and your friend, a “jam” between an electric guitar and a resonator one, David Gilmour - Beauty and Nils Lofgren - Keith don’t go. I appreciated a refinement and detail never heard before… earring the finger touch the chord has been incredible and the dynamic was… perfect. How to end this little review? By saying that this power amp is far far batter than the McIntosh 6900se of my brother? If I have to compare the sound I say that the McIntosh is slow and heavy. The Stellar brought back to life my Klipsch (I know Paul doesn’t like the horn loaded speaker but it’s up to him). It’s like has seen a 36’ tv and being push trough a wide screen in 4k. It worths every single penny (may be more). I cannot immagine the BHK…


#2

Great review! Congrats!


#3

**wow!..great review. thank you.
i lust for PSA…but so costly.
ive been hesitant about the Stellar as ive been a bit of an a/b snob.
your enthusiasm has brought me to the brink.
thank you.