Jump to content
IGNORED

My new DAC


Recommended Posts

This will be out in a couple of months. I'm probably going to preorder one. If you can ignore the marketing hype and buzzwords in the ad copy, this unit looks like a really nice DAC/preamp/headphone amp for the price.

Non-upsampling DAC, 24/384 PCM and DSD 128 native, 3 optional digital filters, HDMI and analog preamp inputs. All-analog preamp. In addition to the usual functions, the remote control has channel balance, and can toggle the DAC filters in/out.

 

If you trade a component, PS Audio will deduct the trade-in from the initial purchase price, then give you 30 days to either send in the trade or return the PS for a refund. I've never owned a PS Audio product, but I've talked to their customer rep a few times, and he seemed forthright.

 

Gain-Cell-DAC-gallery-4.png

http://www.psaudio.com/stellar-gain-cell-dac/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This will be out in a couple of months. I'm probably going to preorder one. If you can ignore the marketing hype and buzzwords in the ad copy, this unit looks like a really nice DAC/preamp/headphone amp for the price.

Non-upsampling DAC, 24/384 PCM and DSD 128 native, 3 optional digital filters, HDMI and analog preamp inputs. All-analog preamp. In addition to the usual functions, the remote control has channel balance, and can toggle the DAC filters in/out.

 

If you trade a component, PS Audio will deduct the trade-in from the initial purchase price, then give you 30 days to either send in the trade or return the PS for a refund. I've never owned a PS Audio product, but I've talked to their customer rep a few times, and he seemed forthright.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]32485[/ATTACH]

http://www.psaudio.com/stellar-gain-cell-dac/

 

Sabre DAC with no SRC stage and and a balanced analog pre-amp stage built in? That's pretty hot, as anyone with a SRC-baypassing setup will tell you. Wish it would handle more than DSD-128, as the Sabre definitely can, but hey even that would represent a gigantic leap over straight PCM. Seeing as how it doesn't have an SRC stage, that suggests you don't need the I2S link to realize the quality improvement. The X-Sabre is the same price, isn't balanced, is made in China, and I read somewhere that the SRC stage can't be bypassed by I2S...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This will be out in a couple of months. I'm probably going to preorder one. If you can ignore the marketing hype and buzzwords in the ad copy, this unit looks like a really nice DAC/preamp/headphone amp for the price.

Non-upsampling DAC, 24/384 PCM and DSD 128 native, 3 optional digital filters, HDMI and analog preamp inputs. All-analog preamp. In addition to the usual functions, the remote control has channel balance, and can toggle the DAC filters in/out.

 

If you trade a component, PS Audio will deduct the trade-in from the initial purchase price, then give you 30 days to either send in the trade or return the PS for a refund. I've never owned a PS Audio product, but I've talked to their customer rep a few times, and he seemed forthright.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]32485[/ATTACH]

http://www.psaudio.com/stellar-gain-cell-dac/

 

My thought about Dac's is to order the previous model when the new one comes out from someone who is upgrading, usually for 50 cents on the dollar. Hope you enjoy your new DAC :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My thought about Dac's is to order the previous model when the new one comes out from someone who is upgrading, usually for 50 cents on the dollar. Hope you enjoy your new DAC :)

 

My old DAC is the "previous model"--a NAD M51 several years old. I bought it new (factory refurb, actually) for 25% off retail 3 or 4 years ago. This new one is at the same price-point, but, obviously, a completely different approach and more evolved design.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My old DAC is the "previous model"--a NAD M51 several years old. I bought it new (factory refurb, actually) for 25% off retail 3 or 4 years ago. This new one is at the same price-point, but, obviously, a completely different approach and more evolved design.

 

I am eyeing a Marantz Dac that was $3500 retail in 2014 for about $1600 right now. I use a Marantz processor and think it will make a good match.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it the NA-11s1? I have one of those and it sounds great. The technology is a little dated and I don't like it as well my PS Audio DACs. I have the DS, the DS jr and the DSD. If I were you I'd by the PS Audio DSD direct from PS Audio for $1300 and trade in your old crap to PS Audio for full MSRP original price. You can take up to $390 off, making the DSD a steal at $910.

 

NuWave DSD DAC | PS Audio

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How much the new Stellar DAC cost?

$1700 with up to $510 trade in for old equipment. Net $1190 if you have some old equipment lying around. The only hitch is you have to pay the shipping to send your old stuff to them. It's best to trade in small lightweight stuff. I've traded a lot of the very old Musical Fidelity V-Dac, V-Can etc., and old Cambridge Audio DACs. And no, I don't work for PS Audio. I just love the sound of the DACs they've been putting out the last few years.

 

Stellar Gain Cell DAC | PS Audio

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@jbwhite Thanks.

Someone know which Sabre DAC chip is inside? Specification is not clear on this regards.

 

I'm not sure what you mean. I think they use FPGA chips in all their DACs. That's why they sound so good. There's always a lot of very specific info if you click through the tabs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This one has a mixed architecture:

 

All input signals are taken into the Gain Cell DAC 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. This proprietary technology is called the Digital Lens.

 

The DAC chip itself is the acclaimed 32-bit ESS Sabre Hyperstream architecture, the output of which is passively filtered to reduce transient distortion. the Gain Cell DAC’s power supply includes a large analog transformer, 7 regulators, properly-bypassed high-speed switching diodes, and a massive 15,000 mFd of storage capacitance.

 

The output stage is a unique Class-A configuration, fully balanced and direct coupled hybrid array (utilizing both discrete semiconductors and ICs), with an extended bandwidth of -3dB at 60 kHz feeding directly into Stellar’s Gain Cell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This one has a mixed architecture:

 

All input signals are taken into the Gain Cell DAC 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. This proprietary technology is called the Digital Lens.

 

The DAC chip itself is the acclaimed 32-bit ESS Sabre Hyperstream architecture, the output of which is passively filtered to reduce transient distortion. the Gain Cell DAC’s power supply includes a large analog transformer, 7 regulators, properly-bypassed high-speed switching diodes, and a massive 15,000 mFd of storage capacitance.

 

The output stage is a unique Class-A configuration, fully balanced and direct coupled hybrid array (utilizing both discrete semiconductors and ICs), with an extended bandwidth of -3dB at 60 kHz feeding directly into Stellar’s Gain Cell.

If the chip description isn't clear, just give them a call.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TNon-upsampling DAC, 24/384 PCM and DSD 128 native, 3 optional digital filters, HDMI and analog preamp inputs. All-analog preamp. In addition to the usual functions, the remote control has channel balance, and can toggle the DAC filters in/out.

 

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]32485[/ATTACH]

http://www.psaudio.com/stellar-gain-cell-dac/

 

Spec sheet at PS audio says 24/192 PCM, I´ve read from Paul Mcgowan stating that this is a Nuwave DSD with preamp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, too bad. It doesn't sound like things are going very well over there these days. But a do love vacationing in Tuscany.

You could try email. I'm sure they'll respond.

 

I would have said the same for America after the elections :-)

Italy is all beautiful, not only tuscany. Enjoy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The X-Sabre is the same price, isn't balanced, is made in China,

 

The X-Sabre Pro is balanced and runs PCM up to 24/768. It uses the ES9038PRO flagship chip which is the Premium chip for ESS at up to 140db DNR.

 

Manufactured in China is not a problem as most computer hardware is these days.

 

I guess the difference is in the listening and comparing the sound between DACS. As design and implementation is everything. Certainly will be interesting to determine the sonic differences.

 

I can't find any reviews of the X-Sabre Pro Dac online at this point in time. The Stellar Gain Cell DAC certainly is more like the Benchmark DAC 3 with similar inputs and outputs. The DAC3 does have the ES9028PRO chip next down from the 9038. It is not clear whether the Stellar has the ES9038/28/26 PRO chips as descibed here.

 

Certainly the latest Chinese Dacs(Holo Spring, X-Sabre to name 2) being released on paper have excellent specs for the money but how they sound is undetermined yet.

 

Both Benchmark and PS Audio have a solid audio history and proven products with a wealth of digital design experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spec sheet at PS audio says 24/192 PCM, I´ve read from Paul Mcgowan stating that this is a Nuwave DSD with preamp.

Spec sheet says (among other things):

........

 

  • DSD direct through I2S
  • 192kHz asynchronous coax and TOSLINK inputs
  • 192kHz asynchronous USB
  • Single and double rate DSD

........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spec sheet says (among other things):

........

 

  • DSD direct through I2S
  • 192kHz asynchronous coax and TOSLINK inputs
  • 192kHz asynchronous USB
  • Single and double rate DSD

........

In the first post in this thread 24/384 KHz was mentioned, that was my point, the spec sheet does not show anything like it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm reading the specification page of stellar DAC in PS Audio web site. Here is an extraction:

 

-I2S

1 PCM (384KHz max)

DSD64 DSD128

Compatible with DirectStream Transport SACD handshake for DSD playback

 

-Coax

2 PCM (192KHz max)

 

-Optical

1 PCM (96KHz max)

 

-USB

PCM (384KHz max)

DSD64 (DoP) DSD128 (DoP)

 

For what concern the DAC chip inside the Stellar, I have received answer from PS Audio that they are using Sabre 9010. I'm a bit disappointed for this choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm reading the specification page of stellar DAC in PS Audio web site. Here is an extraction:

 

-I2S

1 PCM (384KHz max)

DSD64 DSD128

Compatible with DirectStream Transport SACD handshake for DSD playback

 

-Coax

2 PCM (192KHz max)

 

-Optical

1 PCM (96KHz max)

 

-USB

PCM (384KHz max)

DSD64 (DoP) DSD128 (DoP)

 

For what concern the DAC chip inside the Stellar, I have received answer from PS Audio that they are using Sabre 9010. I'm a bit disappointed for this choice.

 

They have different information in each part of the site, crazy stuff.

 

Stellar Gain Cell DAC | PS Audio

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...