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PS Audio teases Stellar phono pre-amplifier

  • Ahead of its RMAF 2019 debut in early September, PS Audio has announced the latest product in their more affordable Stellar line: a phono pre-amplifier designed by one Darren Myers. Price: US$2499.

    Myers reportedly found that his first attempt at the Stellar phono stage measured extremely well but, when first heard in PS Audio’s primary listening room, it sounded closed-in and lacking in audible engagement. Myers scrapped that design and went back to the drawing board for an IC-free design (apparently less common at the Stellar’s price point) that marries a Class A circuit to all-discrete FETs, front-to-back DC coupling, low internal feedback, an ‘oversized’ power transformer and passive RIAA EQ. Phew. Still breathing?

    A more fleshed-out backstory can be seen in PS Audio’s promo video. That Boston record — who are we to judge?

    Back at the Stellar phono pre’s press release: “A massive, heavily-regulated power supply and full DC coupling allow the unit to provide up to 20V RMS output for powerful bass and unrestricted headroom and dynamics.”

    On outputs, the Stellar phono pre offers up single-ended RCA and balanced XLR but, more unusually, inputs number two — for those with a pair of turntables or two tonearms on one ‘table.

    Chalk one up for couch enthusiasts too: input selection and MC cartridge loading can be adjusted via the supplied remote control wand. The unit’s 72dB* of MC gain keeps low output cartridges in the frame, all the way down to 0.15mV. Yes, the Stellar also supports MM cartridges with up to 56dB of gain.

    Shipping on the Stellar phono pre begins in September.

    Further information: PS Audio

    *Press release says 70dB but the website spec sheet quotes 72dB.

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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