PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell

PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell

The Stellar Gain Cell DAC combines the benefits of both—a full-featured DAC with an exceptional analogue preamplifier controlling its output level. Fully balanced circuitry from input to output, the Stellar Gain Cell DAC builds upon years of research and innovation in the art of digital audio and Class A analogue amplification.

£1,291.67
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PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell Digital Analogue Converter

There isn’t a DAC made that doesn’t benefit from a great analogue preamplifier. The Stellar Gain Cell DAC combines the benefits of both—a full-featured DAC with an exceptional analogue preamplifier controlling its output level. Fully balanced circuitry from input to output, the Stellar Gain Cell DAC builds upon years of research and innovation in the art of digital audio and Class A analogue amplification. Together, or separately, they create an extraordinarily rich, full-bodied musical experience few standalone products can match. Stellar Gain Cell DAC is the perfect foundation for those unwilling to compromise sound quality. Rich. Lush. Powerful. A music lover’s answer to spiralling cost-no-object equipment without sacrifice.

Even the best DACs in the world benefit from a zero-loss analogue preamp. That fact was the basis of the Stellar Gain Cell design imperative. Combine a cutting edge DAC’s output with a no compromise analogue preamplifier. A unique combination of a gorgeous full-featured digital to analogue converter and state of the art analogue amplification. Add any analogue or digital source to Stellar’s input, a power amp and speakers to its output, and music filled with rich textures and toe-tapping energy surprise and delight even the most critical Audiophile.

At the heart of Stellar Gain Cell DAC is a stunning, Bob Stadtherr designed, digital to analog converter. Based on industry leading Sabre32 bit Hyperstream architecture, Stellar DAC features a fully balanced Class A analog output stage with multiple power supplies, independent jitter-reduced inputs, DSD, I2S, and asynchronous USB.

The DAC’s output level is controlled by the analogue Gain Cell. Developed in the early 2000’s by PS Audio founder Paul McGowan, the Gain Cell elegantly solves the fundamental problem facing preamp designers. Volume control. Nearly all analog preamplifiers use additional sonically-degrading elements inserted in the signal path to control volume. These impediments to the signal path’s purity range from simple potentiometers to exotic stepped attenuators, relays, solid state switches, ladder networks, transformers, light dependent resistors. All share intrusive elements in the signal path. The Gain Cell eliminates this problem without additional circuitry in the signal path by varying its gain in response to front panel controls.

Features

  • Class A balanced analogue preamplifier
  • Full function DAC
  • Class A headphone output
  • Remote control
  • Fixed or variable DAC mode
  • 2 output 12 volt triggers

Analogue preamplifier

  • One balanced analogue input
  • Three single ended analogue inputs
  • Analogue Gain Cell stage
  • Fully balanced input to output
  • Balanced XLR analogue output
  • Single ended RCA analogue output
  • Direct coupled without any capacitors in output signal path

Digital To Analogue Converter

  • Four digital inputs
  • I2S input
  • Digital Lens technology
  • Three user selectable digital filters
  • Compatible with PS Audio DMP for SACD playback in

DSD

  • DSD direct through I2S
  • 192kHz asynchronous coax and TOSLINK inputs
  • 192kHz asynchronous USB
  • Single and double rate DSD
  • CPLD input (FPGA) lowers jitter, waveshapes, reduces propagation delay
  • Native mode standard
  • No added Sample Rate Conversion
  • High current class A hybrid output stage
  • Passive output filter lowers transient distortion
  • Direct coupled without any capacitors in output signal path
  • High bandwidth output stage -3dB 60kHz
  • Low jitter clocks
  • High Current oversized analog power supply
  • 7 voltage regulators
  • High speed power supply diodes
  • Massive 15,000 mFd low ESR capacitors
  • ESS Hyperstream
58.42 cm
45.72 cm
22.86 cm
7.70 Kg

Physical

  • Unit Weight: 13.5 lbs 
  • Unit Dimensions: 17” x 3” x 12” 
  • Shipping Weight: 17 lbs 
  • Shipping Dimensions: 22”x 8” x 17” 

Power requirements

  • Input Power: Model specific 100VAC, 120VAC, or 230VAC 50 or 60Hz
  • Power Consumption: 20W
  • Mains Power Input: IEC C14
  • Fuses: 100V T250V-2.0AH (2A Slow Blow),  120V T250V-1.6AH (1.6A Slow Blow),  230V T250V-1.0AH (1.0A Slow Blow)
  • Accessories included: US (NEMA 5-15P) (all versions),  Schuko (CEE7/7) (230V version),  UK (BS1363) (230V version)

Analog inputs

  • RCA: 3 stereo pair
  • XLR : 1 stereo pair

Digtial audio inputs

  • 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)
  • Format: PCM, DSD

Analog Audio Outputs

  • RCA: (Analogue Unbalanced) 1 stereo pair
  • XLR:  (Analogue Balanced) 1 stereo pair
  • Headphones: One 1/4" headphone connector front panel

Analog Performance

  • Gain: 12dB +/-0.5dB
  • Maximum output: 20 Vrms
  • Sensitivity: 5.3Vrms
  • Input Impedance: 47KΩ single ended RCA,  100KΩ Balanced XLR
  • Output Impedance: 100Ω single ended RCA,  200Ω balanced XLR
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz +0/- 0.25dB, 10Hz – 100KHz +0.1/-3.0dB
  • Noise: 20-20KHz <-90dBV
  • S/N Ratio: 1KHz >110dB (max output)
  • Channel separation: 1KHz >90dB
  • Input separation: 1KHz >90dB
  • THD&IM: 1KHz < 0.025%, 20-20KHz < 0.05%

Headphone performance

  • Output power: @1% THD 300Ω 300mW, 16Ω 3.25W
  • S/N Ratio: 1kHz
  • Noise: >95dB (max output),  <-80dBV
  • THD & IM: 1Vrms out 300Ω <0.05%, 16Ω <0.06%
  • Output impedance: <4 Ω

Features

  • Volume Control: 0-100 (1/2 and 1dB steps, 80dB total range)
  • Balance Control: 24dB each direction in 1/2dB steps
  • Home Theater Mode: Assignable to any analog input,  Adjustable (in setup) to any level
  • Polarity (phase): Control Digital sources only
  • Filter Control: 3 selectable digital filters (PCM digital sources only)
  • Trigger output: (3.5mm 5-15VDC) 2
  • Remote Control: Yes. Infra Red
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