Stellar vs BHK option?


#1

Hi all first time poster

I have Heard a lot about ps audio. Currently running a dectect power outlet and impressed with the increase in SQ.

I am wanting to take the plunge on the stellar line.

I am currently running Goldenear Triton ones as L and R, Goldenear Super center xxl for centre channel and supersat 3 as rears. Running deqx express hd 2 and Yamaha rx1040 as a preamp with emotiva xpa5 Gen 2 as a power amp and a Sony hapz1 as source player.

First I was thinking of buying the m700 monos. One each for the Tritons and get the stellar dac to take away the Yamaha in my music chain and keep the Yamaha for HT. Keep the emotiva for surround and centre channel.

However I was thinking of buying another mono for the centre and then the stereo amp for the surrounds and removing the emotiva altogether.

I have a few questions.

  1. Is buying a mono and stereo amp for the centre and surround overkill?

  2. Should I wait for a multi channel option? Is there one even being discussed?

  3. How much of a sound improvement should I recieve from replacing the emotiva with the monos and Yamaha with stellar dac as a first step?

  4. Should I be considering the bhk preamp and monos (or stereo) instead? (for a lot more money)

  5. If I decide on stellar would I be ok getting the stereo for the Tritons (because they are quite efficient) or will the monos provide “more”

It’s weird, I can just tell that ps audio is a special company and only having bought the dectect I just know they make awesome products. My dealer told me the bhk 250 amp is an “end game” amp and I would not need another with my speakers. This was a months before the stellar was announced. I thought the stellar line is the perfect bridge product to get me into ps audio sound without the premium price tag. I can feel based on reviews on this forum that this range is truly a game changer for products in this price range.

I also really like how involved Paul is in the forum. I was talking to him personally about some posting issues I had. It really Shows a lot for integrity and support for the products and it’s great having that direct access.

Anyway happy to hear from anyone, even Paul if you want to chime in! :slight_smile:

Cheers

Steve


#2

Hi Steve, I can’t comment on the Stellar range as I haven’t heard or even seen them yet, but your dealer is pretty well spot on with his ‘BHK amplifiers are end game amplifiers’… I have owned and still do own some wonderful amplifiers, but the BHK range of amplifiers are the ‘King’ as far as I am concerned… They are ‘incredible value’ for money - especially so - when you see what their competitors products cost… I also agree that P S Audio are a top company… Paul is very approachable - not like most MDs… ‘Same scenario with Ted’… Any problem I have encountered it has been addressed immediately… I won’t mention the company: I had issues with an expensive product and they only took notice when I got my lawyers on them… I can’t speak highly enough about P S Audio …


#3
Sandrews888 said

Hi all first time poster

I have Heard a lot about ps audio. Currently running a dectect power outlet and impressed with the increase in SQ.

I am wanting to take the plunge on the stellar line.

I am currently running Goldenear Triton ones as L and R, Goldenear Super center xxl for centre channel and supersat 3 as rears. Running deqx express hd 2 and Yamaha rx1040 as a preamp with emotiva xpa5 Gen 2 as a power amp and a Sony hapz1 as source player.

First I was thinking of buying the m700 monos. One each for the Tritons and get the stellar dac to take away the Yamaha in my music chain and keep the Yamaha for HT. Keep the emotiva for surround and centre channel.

However I was thinking of buying another mono for the centre and then the stereo amp for the surrounds and removing the emotiva altogether.

I have a few questions.

  1. Is buying a mono and stereo amp for the centre and surround overkill?

  2. Should I wait for a multi channel option? Is there one even being discussed?

  3. How much of a sound improvement should I recieve from replacing the emotiva with the monos and Yamaha with stellar dac as a first step?

  4. Should I be considering the bhk preamp and monos (or stereo) instead? (for a lot more money)

  5. If I decide on stellar would I be ok getting the stereo for the Tritons (because they are quite efficient) or will the monos provide “more”

It’s weird, I can just tell that ps audio is a special company and only having bought the dectect I just know they make awesome products. My dealer told me the bhk 250 amp is an “end game” amp and I would not need another with my speakers. This was a months before the stellar was announced. I thought the stellar line is the perfect bridge product to get me into ps audio sound without the premium price tag. I can feel based on reviews on this forum that this range is truly a game changer for products in this price range.

I also really like how involved Paul is in the forum. I was talking to him personally about some posting issues I had. It really Shows a lot for integrity and support for the products and it’s great having that direct access.

Anyway happy to hear from anyone, even Paul if you want to chime in! :slight_smile:

Cheers

Steve


Hi Steve, thanks for the kind words. I am glad to see you can finally post, though the problem you were having was weird!

First, I think your original plan is a good one. It’s hard for me not to suggest you go all in with BHK, but it’s a lot of money - though it’s a lot of amp and preamp! That’s certainly your call and you’d wind up owning the finest audio gear on the planet and have a lifetime investment in a strong foundation. That said, I am going to go back to the Stellar question because your questions were so specific.

The Stellar monos are significantly better sounding than the stereo versions. The Tritons don’t need the extra power, but they certainly would benefit from the better sound of the M700s. However, I think monos for the rear channels is overkill and unnecessary. I would stick with an S300 for the rear.

The center channel is different. It’s a critical speaker and I would recommend an M700 there as well.

If the choice came down to getting a BHK Preamplifier and keeping the Yamaha as the main DAC (if I am understanding OK), vs. the Stellar GCD as the DAC and preamp—replacing the Yamaha—I would choose the latter. If you’re going to the expense of upgrading to the BHK preamp, a move that has made more people happy than I can tell you, you would also need to replace the Yamaha to take full advantage. That could happen using the GCD as a straight DAC (by placing it in its fixed output mode).

My best advice would be to ring up either Duncan or Kevin and let them walk you through their best advice. These two spend hours as specialists and can give you the attention you deserve. Though I am happy to continue through the forums.


#4

Welcome Steve,

Listen to Paul, he gives excellent advice and is not just trying to upsale you by any means.

A little more info might be helpful too, such as your priority for listening (2 channel vs. multichannel vs. video), budget etc. It sounds like you are pretty well set up for multichannel with the Emotiva and Yamaha but I’m not entirely clear on how you would integrate everything. Yamaha is a multichannel DAC (surround sound processor) whereas the Stellar Gain Cell, and DirectStreams for that matter, are stereo only so it wouldn’t be a replacement for the Yamaha if you want to maintain M/C function, which I assume you do.

I think your options are a little bit limited in regards to replacing the DAC unless you go with multiple DirectStreams which is complicated and would be a lot of money. PS Audio is a stereo company at this point.

So my thoughts would be:

Option A, upgrade the L and R and possibly center with M700’s for starters, using your current set up.

Option B would be to go with a BHK Preamp and either BHK amp(s) or M700’s on L/R, using the HT bypass on the BHK Preamp for M/C listening/movies, as it doesnt appear that the Stellar Gain Cell has HT bypass. This way you could add a two channel DAC separately from the Yamaha.

Option C would be to use a high end Surround Sound Processor in lieu of the Yamaha or BHK Preamp, with BHK or Stellar amplification.

In any config, keep the Emotiva for surround channels.

Just my $0.02. There are a lot of other options at various levels of complexities.


#5

Thanks for the answers.

Would I be able to buy the monos and then buy the Stellar gain dac and then use it for stereo listening, while keeping the Yamaha for HT duties? Would that be an improvement over using the Yamaha as a preamp?


#6

I would think so.


#7

Steve,

In order to have both the Gain Cell DAC and the Yamaha one of them needs to allow the signal to pass untouched, preferably the GCD as you don’t want unnecessary connections in your higher fidelity signal path. In other words, it is ok for the front channel HT signal to pass through the GCD on their way to the monos as that’s lower fidelity. That’s what HT bypass does, allows a surround sound processor signal to pass through (GCD) with volume control upstream (Yamaha). If you connect it to a regular input on the GSD, volume matching the front left and right channels would be a constant pain because both the Yamaha and the GCD effect the volume of those two channels. Leaving the volume max on the GCD would make it doable but the first time you forget to turn it down and play a CD through the DAC your speakers may never be the same. BHK has HT bypass, let’s see if GCD does or not.


#8
Sandrews888 said

Thanks for the answers.

Would I be able to buy the monos and then buy the Stellar gain dac and then use it for stereo listening, while keeping the Yamaha for HT duties? Would that be an improvement over using the Yamaha as a preamp?

Paul McGowan said

I would think so.


Paul, does Gain Cell have HT bypass then? I looked but didn’t see it listed and it would have to in order to do what he wants if I’m understanding him correctly. Alternatively, it would work if the amps allowed both inputs being connected to different sources at the same time, Yamaha single ended and Stellar GCD balanced. Manufacturers shun this typically.

#9

You never want to hook up two preamps to the same amp, that is an accident waiting to happen.

But, he wouldn’t need to the Stellar has a home theater pass through, it is listed in the specs.

Home Theater Mode Assignable to any analog input Adjustable (in setup) to any level
Depending on budget, I would go with the GCD and a pair of 700s for the two front speakers. Use the Emotiva for the center and surrounds. If the Yamaha is a 7 channel home theater, you could eventually add two more back channel speakers, for the rear or sides. Then you would have the best of both worlds.

Of course a BHK preamp, BHK 250, and a Directstream Jr would be living the dream, but it whatever your budget will allow.

And with either setup I mentioned, you will be able to use your Yamaha and Emotiva for home theater.


#10
speeddeacon said

Paul, does Gain Cell have HT bypass then? I looked but didn’t see it listed and it would have to in order to do what he wants if I’m understanding him correctly. Alternatively, it would work if the amps allowed both inputs being connected to different sources at the same time, Yamaha single ended and Stellar GCD balanced. Manufacturers shun this typically.


Yes, the Stellar GCD has the same HT bypass function as does the BHK.

#11

That’s great. I swear I looked but didn’t see it. Twice. Anyway, problem solved for you Steve, just as Jeff described, GCD in HT Bypass with two mono amps. If you go with GCD, connect one digital out from your Sony to it for two channel and one to your Yamaha for multichannel. Directstream/BHK even better.


#12

Here’s a screenshot of what I see that mentions the HT bypass. Is there a better way for us to present it? Always open for suggestions on how we can improve.

Screen-Shot-2017-05-03-at-9.15.28-AM.png


#13

Paul - earlier in this discussion you mentioned that. “The Stellar monos are significantly better sounding than the stereo versions”. Can you elaborate on that from the perspective of two channel audio, not home theater? Is it simply more power of are there technical attributes in the 700 not found in the 300? Thanks.