Upgrade path from Stellar line

Hello all,

I am a fist time poster, so please forgive me is this is not the right place for this question.

I’ve recently purchased the Stellar GCD, S700 Mono amps, and a PerfectWave transport. My speakers are Vandersteen 1ci and I use a Rega RP6, Ortofon Bronze MM, and Sutherland Insight for vinyl playback. I am extremely impressed with the PS audio gear - my digital playback now far exceeds the vinyl and I am hooked.

I am very interested in stepping up to the DirectStream dac, probably the Junior but wonder if this is a good next step. If I do this I can’t trade in the Stellar GCD as I’d lose the ability to play vinyl, unless I also bought the PS audio phone preamp and used it as a digital input to the Junior. And would the Junior be “too good” for the S700s?

I’d welcome any thoughts to get me going in the right direction!

Many thanks,


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The 700s are rated class A by “Stereophile” magazine for a very good reason…nuf ced.

Welcome to the PS Audio Community. Just enjoy what you currently have. Next upgrade should probably be your speakers (i.e. a $4k DAC paired with $1k-ish speakers, really?)

I agree. That is a well balanced setup so enjoy it as is for a while. To me the bigger step up instead of the DAC would be to the 2CE Sig II speakers.

Question is, what problem are you trying to solve by “upgrading”? How does what you have sound to you?

Thank you all for your helpful answers. As my wife would say, you are telling me to “cool my jets” and enjoy what I have. Thanks for the recommendation that the speakers should be the next step.

RonP, you ask an interesting question. As I bought each PS audio component, starting with the Stellar GCD, followed by the amps, and finally the transport, I noticed a significant improvement in quality at each step. It’s not so much that I have a problem to solve, but rather that I just want to see how good I can get it. I have a couple of components (Primaluna Dialoglue Premium Preamp and Oppo 105d transport) currently gathering dust and thus, I’m very tempted to trade one or both of them to get some value out of them. This would bring the other other PS Audio products down in price, but the only one I’m comfortable buying at this point is the DAC… hence my question.

It sounds like the best plan here is to be patient and look at a potential speaker upgrade next.

Thanks all,


To answer your question specifically a Jr. is an excellent choice with the M700 amps and many have used this combo to great success, though a more common course is with its mate the GCD. But the difference between the two DACs is noticeable and rewarding to hear especially on the M700s.

Paul while I understand on the DAC side the Jr. is/may be a step up from the DAC in the GCD his proposition also removes the preamp section of the GCD which I think from my experience with the SR. and other volume controllable DACs would be a mistake. In the scenario as he originally described it with the equipment swaps entailed I still then the step up the Vandersteen line is a bigger improvement having in the past owned 1’s, 2’s, 3’s and Treo’s. However if we are now including other trade-in available gear then the trade of that gear for the Jr. is a reasonable swap though still not of the level as the speaker swap. but would seem to be more doable for his situation.

I agree you may want to look at speakers first and get an idea where your end game may lie. The Jr is not “too good” for the 700s at all- the 700s rock. It is a killer combo which I had, and enjoyed. However for my system, that led immediately to a pre-amp. Then, all was copasetic.

Yes, I missed that. Thanks.

Don’t get rid of the OPPO 105D it will allow you to rip the SACD from the disc so when you upgrade your DAC or when you get more SACD discs in the future to enjoy them since the DMP is going to stop being made because of the OPPO drives availability drying up. I hope that some day PS Audio will be able to find another source for SACD disc drives and make another SACD transport.

Thank you all. Sounds like speakers then dac is the general consensus.

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