The Stellar Gain Cell DAC?

Hello all,
Stellar G CD? I currently have M700s using a mini Parasound Z Premap with no DAC. My DACs are external DACs, ChordQutest, and Schitt Yiggy. I bough the Parasound for the ability to use the Home Theater By Pass feature. What I like about the Parasound is that you can shut the unit down and my Anthem AVR will automatically control the front R and L speakers. My question, is this the same for the SGCD, or does the unit have to be powered on for this to work? or does the SGCD have a standby function like the M700s. Also how much better is this units Preamp then the mini Parasound?


I’ve got the SGCD and the M700 monoblocks in a 2-channel rig only. Yes, the SGCD has a stand-by function. To fully turn it off, there’s a power switch in the back just like the M700. The front button, like the M700, just sends it to stand-by. I only use the pre-amp function, and not the DAC, on the SGCD and it sounds lovely. I’ve heard your Z-pre and while it will certainly and surprisingly best many full-size pre-amps, and even those costing significantly more, I think you’ll find the SGCD as a pre will out perform your Z. You may also find it’s a better DAC than your current ones… I can’t speak to that. Hope this helps.


Hello thanks for the quick reply! So if the unit is in Standby will my front R&l speakers pass through to the AVRs preamp?


I just did a test. I put the SGCD in stand-by with the CD player playing. No sound to the speakers when on stand-by, so it’s powered on, but in stand-by the pre output is off.

Sorry forgot to add, that I would put my AVRs, pre outs to the home theater bypass input on the SGCD.
I want know if the SGCD needs to be powered on when I use the AVR for movies. Like I said I like that about the Parasound.

I’m not sure. Probably a question for @jamesh. I did find this in the SGCD manual and it may or may not be helpful:

The next menu screen is Home Theater Setup (HT Setup). Channels are selected by rotating the volume knob. This feature allows you to select from one of the three analog inputs as a home theater pass-through input. The purpose of this function is to enable surround sound users a fixed volume level when the input volume level is controlled outside the Stellar Gain Cell DAC. In some cases, home theater owners may share the front left and right loudspeakers with their home theater setup, enabling them to use the Stellar Gain Cell DAC as their 2-channel control center when playing music, then using the same left and right front channels when watching a film.

What I understood on the standby mode in any PSA gear is that standby on/off only turn the input/output on/off and leave the main component on. So, when standby off, no signal will in and out the unit (I.e. no sound will come out.)

I have the Stellar Gain Cell and use the HT bypass function. The unit has to be on for this to work. The HT bypass won’t work when it’s in Standby.

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Thank you all for this info.


Terrence has it. When our gear goes into standby, the main purpose is to mute the output section. This is the case whether it’s in HT bypass or not. As for the sound quality over the mini Parasound, I suspect it’d be a noticeable upgrade.

Another option, since you already use anthem would be to look at the Anthem STR preamp. I believe it has the feature your looking at where the unit can be in standby but can still function for home theater bypass. I have an AVM 60 and have never used the STR but both the professional reviews and user reports are really good.