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I highly recommend that anyone willing to spend $6000 on a preamp arrange to hear one. For headphone I used DROP + MRSPEAKERS ETHER CX with its XLR connection to THX 887 amp. The Digital Lens technology discovers the sample rate and format, reclocks all incoming data, reduces jitter, and reshapes the data output to the DAC chip. We learnt a bit more about his motivations and mind set in an interview we conducted with Paul at the eve of introducing their Network Bridge, an add-on to the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC or PWD for short. Its shortcomings were not at all obvious or objectionable, and in most cases, the GCD made up more on the other aspects of its performance that was more crucial to the overall musicality of the presentation. I read somewhere that I might be able to rip DSD from my SACD collection with a software utility, but that is out of my range for this review. Your taste and system may dictate otherwise. It surprised me in terms of the high-quality sound it could produce. This mode should only be used if a separate preamplifier is present in the hi-fi chain. I expect PS Audio components to be well designed, with excellent fit and finish, innovative circuit design, and tangible value for the dollar being asked. Transparent, great tonal balance, and good dynamics are some of the nice traits of the sonic characteristics of the GCD. The GCD was able to convey the minute details in the soft and loud passages of the track articulately. PS Audio Stellar GainCell Preamp/DAC SPECIFICATIONS, © Copyright 2020 Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity /, Show Reports, Film Festivals and Concerts, Marantz SACD 30N Network SACD Player Review, MartinLogan Balanced Force 212 Subwoofer Review, Starke Sound A8.350 Multichannel Power Amplifier Review, STAX SR-007A Electrostatic Headphone Review, What We Are Watching Vol. As complex as the DirectStream is, it’s very user-friendly and I had it hooked up and ready to go in about 15 minutes. Audio researcher and consultant Ted Smith is the guy who has handwritten the programmed architecture of the FPGA from the digital inputs to the passive output stages. This design offers the listener extremely low jitter as it uses one master clock for all incoming signals. Some examples of music that best showcase my thoughts on PS Audio’s PerfectWave DirectStream DAC are: Bear’s Den: Red Earth and Pouring Rain – This recording has a fat sound with a lush layering of vocals and acoustic instruments that harmonize in ways reminiscent of the Everly Brothers… only more hip and cool with a bit of dark undercurrent in the lyrics. The level of the fixed volume is adjustable and if a unity line-level gain is desired, the manual states that the volume level should be set at 76 (out of 100 scale). Blue Coast records offer free jazz samples, and in spite of OPPO’s withdrawal from audio world, they still offer free samples as well. Vol.11 – November 2020, A Collection of New Vinyl for the Audiophile: November 2020, The Smallcombe Home Theater II – Part 1, What We Are Watching Vol. It sounds like a large soundstage and you get just enough reverberation from the space that you can almost feel like you are there. The GCD is very adept in navigating through a dynamic piece of music like Steps of Maya from Keiko Matsui’s The Ring (2002) album. This chip is used in many different electronic devices. Mandy Moore’s Forgiveness song from her album Silver Landings (2020) contains some deep-bass underlying-rhythm throughout. Windom sounds more open, more 3D-like with better staging and air between the musicians. Don't look down your nose at PS Audio's cheapest mains regenerator. Thus, you need a device that can put out I2S, and that is another expense or another product you must buy from PS Audio. PS Audio is not an unfamiliar brand to me and most audiophiles. I absolutely loved what I heard. In other words, PS Audio has bent over backwards to protect the investment its customers have made in other PS Audio equipment. At the time of this conversation, Snowmass, the 8th major firmware update, had just come out and was garnering positive attention. Yongki considers himself as an aerospace engineer by day and an audio/home-theater enthusiast by night. On your smart device, you’ll have to download the Mcontrol App, to work as an interface between the DSD and your network. Because of this, theoretically, it is the best digital connection to use. Our magazine, which began with the publication of the SECRETS Primer, is available exclusively on-line and offers to our readers an extensive information resource about home theater and high-end audio. Hey, I like to multi-task sometimes. 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.. I knew from the first time I fired up the GCD that I would be in for a treat. 6: November 2020, What We’re Listening To. In any case, streaming DSD (single and/or double rate) music from my Mac to the DirectsSream via USB was nothing short of astonishing! My analog outs were balanced out with the unbalanced input into my Emotiva UMC-200. Paul McGowan, the CEO, and founder of the company mentioned that PS Audio has always prided itself on providing high value in products. Most of the time, this information is not really needed during the operation of the unit, but sometimes I do wish to be able to tell easily the sampling rate of the digital signal fed or which DAC filter is being used without getting up from my seat. Naturally they recommend their premium power cables and outlets. All this for $1699! The turntable used for the review was a Michell GyroDec with Gyropower QC supply and SME Series IV tonearm. He also serves as an adjunct professor for Salem State University where he teaches a course in nuclear instrumentation. Although it has been available for over six months, I've seen only a few reviews … Outputs are either balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA. Never have I seen this kind of value in a HiFi Integrated Amp and yes this amp does give you a small taste of what the high end is. As a nuclear medicine technologist, I know there are some inside the gamma camera that I use every day at the hospital. It is a versatile preamplifier that provides both pure analog and digital input switching. The output DSD signal is fed directly into a stage based on high-speed video amplifiers (capable of handling the 5.6MHz signal) and a passive output transformer. It just has a smooth, detailed, and rich sound that your ears will never tire of. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for PS Audio Stellar S300 Stereo Amplifier (Silver) at Amazon.com. Audio bliss awaits me, so let’s get into the listening session next. PS Audio from Boulder/Colorado/US is an established company for Audio and Power components, and digital products not only with the Direct Stream series, but since 2017 it offers the Stellar series of DAC/Pre and power amps, from which the S300 is the "cheapest" device. Perfect for any speaker. Vol.11 – November 2020, A Collection of New Vinyl for the Audiophile: November 2020, What We Are Watching Vol. The sense of depth, when the organ joins in, is impressive. PS Audio Sprout100 Very early on in my TAS tenure, in Issue 259, I had the pleasure of reviewing the original Sprout integrated amp, and it delighted me so much I bought the review sample. I have to agree. There are three unbalanced analog line-level inputs as well as one balanced XLR input. The GainCell varies the gain as the means of controlling volume without additional circuitry in the signal path, hence preserving the signal purity. PS Audio’s BHK Signature preamplifier is a statement product that produced beautiful music. Voices also seem a little more focused and forward in the mixes. During his leisure time, he enjoys listening to his music collection and an occasional movie with his wife of 30+ years. I am not so much of a headphone guy, but from my brief tryout of the headphone feature of the GCD using my son’s V-Moda Crossfade Wireless 2 in wired mode (which is Hi-Res certified), I was quite impressed by the clarity, details, and natural sound of the music I listened through it. The soundstage portrayal was deep and wide, and the underlying deep bass in the track was delivered with good authority. I’ll keep my discs, but now I have a world of hi-res music in the palm of my hand. PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC Review; Vinyl Review: Jackie McLean – Lights Out! If you’d like to hear all the lavish praise, click here to read our review of the P20. It is this continued passion for audio that has brought him once again to the SECRETS team. This success is not only garnered by the quality of the products PS Audio produces over the years, but also by the company’s willingness to stand behind its products, offering support for service, repair, and product updates that are above and beyond the industry’s best practices. I recommend going to their site and downloading as many free samples as you can. For a phono cartridge, it can handle both Moving Coil or Moving Magnet. An awful lot has changed since then, including, in recent years, a shift of PS Audio's emphasis from audio amplification to AC-power regeneration. The San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas playing Ives and Copland – This SACD has an astonishingly good sound quality and the Copland Organ Symphony is made up of devilishly syncopated rhythms and heavy jazz influences. Vacuum tubes and 1200 watts The M1200 monoblocks combines rich warmth with jaw-dropping power and seemingly infinite headroom. How Much Amplifier Power Does your Home Theater Need? 1 & 2, Janos Starker, György Sebök (Speakers Corner 180g) Subscribe Based in Boulder Colorado, Paul McGowan and company have been producing high-end audio equipment for over 40 years. This is about as close to hearing that unicorn we call “analog sound”, and I don’t mean analog like the limited dynamics of vinyl. Sound was well conveyed by the DirectStream helps reduce jitter from all inputs CX with its connection. Use it to its repertoire of capabilities by night entry tier to the SECRETS Team are provided... What We’re listening to had it hooked up and ready to go in about minutes... Must be downloaded from PS Audio’s top P20 DirectStream Power Plant to me looks classy... Dsd256 would be in for review along with the recordings from the remote album Silver (... 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