Even the best DACs in the world benefit from a zero-loss analog preamp. That fact was the basis of the Stellar Gain Cell design imperative. Combine a cutting-edge DAC's output with a no-compromise analog preamplifier. A unique combination of a gorgeous full-featured digital to analog converter and state of the art analog amplification. Add any analog 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 analog 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.
Digital To Analog Converter
RCA: 3 stereo pair
XLR: 1 stereo pair
Digital 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: (Analog Unbalanced) 1 stereo pair
XLR: (Analog Balanced) 1 stereo pair
Headphones: One 1/4" headphone connector front panel