PS Audio has this week announced the imminent availability of two new products.
The first is the Stellar M1200 monoblock amplifier duo (€7400/pair) that, on paper, promises eye/mouth-watering output power: 600wpc into 8 Ohms, 1200wpc into 4 Ohms, stable down to 2 Ohms.
Designed by Darren Myers, the brains behind the forerunning Stellar phono pre-amplifier, the M1200’s Class D ICEedge module is reportedly more about offering the loudspeaker ample headroom (as it only takes what it needs) than making a promise to drive every loudspeaker on the planet. But there’s a twist: the Stellar M1200 is a hybrid design with a 12AU7 tube handling each unit’s input stage.
The second new product to begin shipping in the coming months is the Stellar Strata integrated amplifier (US$2999) in which a Class A balanced pre-amplifier hands its signal off to a heavily Class-A biased MOSFET-based power amplifier circuit to net 200wpc of loudspeaker drive into 4 Ohms. Joining the two halves is PS Audio’s Gain Cell circuit that adjusts gain according to markers supplied by the unit’s volume control. The back panel carries a single balanced input and 3 x single-ended.
The wrinkle here isn’t a tube but an ESS Sabre32 DAC accessible via USB (384kHz, DSD128), coaxial (192kHz) and TOSLINK (96kHz) but also I2S (hello DirectStream Memory Player) and streaming board (Ethernet/Wifi). The latter supports UPnP, Tidal, Qobuz and Spotify Connect but Roon Readiness is not part of the feature set. On this company founder Paul McGowan says, “the streaming module we’re repurposing, while great on its own and controlled with our app, doesn’t have enough bandwidth to add Roon as an endpoint.”. The app of which McGowan speaks is the UPnP-based PS Connect.
The Stellar Strata’s internal DAC also carries PS Audio’s Digital Lens technology where “All digital input signals are taken into Strata in Native Mode without Sample Rate Conversion (SRC) and fed directly into a simplified FPGA known as a CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device), which discovers sample rate and format, reclocks all incoming data, reduces jitter, waveshapes data output to the DAC chip, and utilizes high speed/low gate count logic to reduce propagation delay for faster throughput.”
Further information: PS Audio