Will the Stellar Gain Cell as premap/Dac smooth out some congestion and peakiness?

#1

Greetings
My system consists of PS stellar monos, Sim Moon Audio HAD 230 that serves as my DAC and Preamp, speakers are Wharfedale Jade 5. The system sounds great but I’m wondering if the Stellar Gain Cell as premap/Dac would smooth out some congestion and peakiness I get particularly with complex classical music peaks. Overall I’m happy with the way it sounds on 90% of the music. Its the 10 % that drives me nuts. lol
Regards
Robert

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#2

I doubt it. What you’re hearing is the room. Whatever electronics you choose to use you’ll still be hearing the room.

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#3

I think Brodric brings up a fair point. Would you be able to share pictures of your room showing speaker placement? Perhaps the braintrust on the forums can offer guidance on ways to tackle the peakiness and congestion.

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#4

I would argue at this point it is unclear whether the issues you state are due solely to the room or due to electronics or noise in the chain.

How wide are the speakers, how far are they from the wall?

What is the source ?

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#5

I will say the speakers. You may have the ultimate case of too revealing, not a bad thing. In that case you would have to chase better recorded and mastered material. Not easy. I do whole heartedly believe that the SGCD would help lay back those Jades a little, since to my ears the SGCD is mostly neutral with slightly warming character. I have 3 different metal dome speakers that the SGCD makes a lot more listenable than my Wyred4Sound mPRE, the latter loves soft dome tweeters.

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#6

And I must add, no other preamp in the world is so perfectly matched to the m700s. Different? Yes. Better? No.

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#7

Thanks for all the replies. I have to add that like most folks my world is made up of compromises. The room is small 12 by 15. It serves as a bedroom, home studio and listening room. Knowing this several years ago I contacted GIK Acoustics for help is setting up the room Consequently I have added bass traps in the front corners , combination diffuser/ absorbers at the first reflection points and a large absorber/diffuser on the back wall. these panels greatly improved the base response. and imagining.
Thinking of all of your advise I just pulled out the speakers another 6 inches. This puts me into a very nearfield listening position But this seemed to help a bit.
Next I removed a wyred 4 sound USB re-clocker from the signal path. I was chocked to hear the dramatic improvement in clarity, focus, and imaging that happened.
So I think I am most of the way there.
Now I still wonder if swapping my Moon Audio HAD 230 for the Gain Cell dac/preamp will not just be swapping apples for apples.
I value your judgement and will consider your advice. Thank You
Regards
Robert

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#8

Hi Robert - I purchased the Stellar M700’s about a year ago to replace my Bryson 4B and paired them with my vintage Mark Levinson ML-10 preamp and Infinity RSIIB loudspeakers. Fantastic sound quality difference, and I quickly found myself dusting off CD’s that I hadn’t played in years. However, I became frustrated that I had no streaming options. So I purchased the Stellar Gain Cell DAC on the 30 day trial, and the sound quality was amazing. And it’s even better now than it was 6 months ago. Needless to say, parting ways with my ML-10 was an easier decision than I ever thought it would be, and I don’t miss it at all.

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#9

For a fun experiment, if you ca, remove the room treatments and add them back one at a time to see what difference they are making now.

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#10

The I2S removes a significant amount of mud and conjestion.

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#11

As others have pointed out, there are a lot of different experiments to run. I’m glad to hear you paid a lot of attention to your room - that plays a huge part in how your system comes together.

If removing the reclocker was a dramatic improvement, I wonder if the DAC in your Moon is leaving something to be desired. Also, the GCD would let you connect your DAC to amps balanced rather than single ended which is normally a nice improvement even in an apples to apples situation.

I’m always in favor of trying gear out before fully committing to make sure it fits your needs - our 30 day trial makes this easy if you don’t have a dealer near by. We cover shipping both ways and there are no restocking fees, so even if things don’t work out you’re only out a bit of time. Just an option for you to chew on.

Whichever way you go, please keep this thread updated!

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#12

Not familiar with the radiation pattern of your Wharfedales but, FWIW, I was battling a 1600 Hz “shouty” plus 10 db response peak. A room sweep with EQ Wizard revealed that it was related to comb filtering, and as I re-checked placement of acoustic treatment and tracked down possible sources, I discovered a slight (~1.5 inch or so) difference in distance from the speakers to the listening position.

I had set the speakers up by measuring distance from the back wall - in this case a mistake. Ensuring that the speakers were precisely equidistant to the listening position all but eliminated the peak.

I guess no detail is too small to overlook.

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#13

Greetings.
I bought the Stellar gain cell preamp.
Installed very easily and is already sounding better than the other unit I was using. Thank you for your guidance.
Regards
Robert

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#14

Glad to hear you’re liking it! I appreciate the update :grin:

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