XLR or RCA audioquest cables for the Stellar series - which does PS Audio recommend?

Hi PS Audio,
I have seen that you recommend Audioquest cables now.
Specifically for the Stellar series - do you recommend XLR or RCA interconnects?

Br, Peter

As an owner of a system with Stellar components I use the XLR (Audioquest) interconnects between SGCD and M700’s and like it better than the RCA’s I used previously. I think PSA does reco the XLR when it’s possible to use them.

Cheers, Jim

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I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say they recommend XLR. The info that was up on the site in their accessory/cable area when I got my amps recommended the Audioquest Mackenzie for the Stellar line, so that’s what I got to connect my SGCD and M700s. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I think they may have even mentioned using those cables in the development and testing of the Stellar equipment. I wouldn’t swear to that without double-checking. But I can say I’m very happy with them.

I have always been a fan of XLR vs. RCA. If I have my way there would be no RCA cables in the mix.


All of our gear that offers the balanced connections is truly balanced. Because of this, you will absolutely want to go balanced. There are a number of manufacturers that offer the XLR connection but aren’t truly balanced internally. My Marantz pre pro offers balanced connections but only for convenience. It’s simply single ended internally.
For the Stellar gear, the Mackenzie interconnects really hit a sweet spot!

Did you know that about the Marantz before you bought it, or was it a bit of a revelation afterwards…not that it would have affected your decision to buy.

Yeah, I knew before I bought it. I’m not the biggest movie/HT guy so it wasn’t a deal breaker for me.

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+1. I use Audioquest Water cables with XLR connectors from SGCD to M700 Monoblocks and from Stellar Phono Preamp to SGCD. Digital is Audioquest Coffee USB from computer to SGCD and Coffee Coax from CD player (ancient Rotel RCD-1072), TT to SGCD is Audioquest Water RCA with Audioquest Saturn ground cable, and so far no RFI issues.

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You converted into the XLR religion many years ago. It’s not just the 6dB of gain, and very low CMRR (that’s yer common mode rejection ratio - for those who are acronym challenged like me).

Most importantly, it’s great !

Understanding that not all folks have XLR connections from a source to amplifier or other interconnect, while it may be preferred by some, it also has it’s own issues if you don’t understand some basic hurdles to overcome. Not all cables used in XLR configurations actually do a really good job at CMRR. John Siau over at Benchmark shows why HERE

Having said that, finding an unbalanced cable that performs well can also be a challenge. Over the decades I’ve used, listened to and been exposed to a number of both high and low end cables, and in my personal system, I use a cable that actually sounds really good and does a really good job of CMRR, even surpassing shielded cables, and is very reasonable in cost. I will say while many try to utilize 75Ω coax in this type of interconnect, I’ve found it advantageous to use 100Ω twisted pair. In S/PDIF, it is a true 75Ω interface and this is where coax is your best choice as S/PDIF digital signal contains fundamental frequencies of 1.5 and 3 MHz. (meaning you don’t want to use a cable that rolls off HF)