PS Audio New Stellar Gold DAC

Just saw that the PS Audio will offer their new Stellar Gold DAC at $4K. A bit disappointed as I was hoping for a lower price point. Oh well, out of my budget - the search continues...


I’ll take the ps audio over any benchmark IF the benchmark house sound sounds like it did years ago: ear bleeding analytical sound, go into an audio show room and come out in seconds with a headache. PS Audio dacs, just the opposite.

@hgeifman - With all due respect I believe you've misunderstood how Benchmark implements the ESS DAC. "The DAC3 is Benchmark's newest 2-channel D/A converter featuring the new ESS Technologies ES9028PRO converter chip." That chip contains an 8 channel DAC, and they use 4 channels summed for the left and right channel to achieve the benefits stated: "Four balanced 32-bit D/A converters are summed together to create each balanced analog output. This 4:1 summation provides a 6 dB noise reduction, and gives the DAC3 industry-leading performance." The 8 balanced DACs are within one chip, not in 4 DAC chips as I think you were implying. Just a technicality anyway, but trying to be clear.

@bill_k, , Thanks for the clarification and I appreciate the detailed explanation.  It was very helpful.  

It looks like the new PS Audio DAC works just as @bill_k described for the Benchmark, only using the 8 DAC channels within the later generation ESS9038pro DAC chip, 4 for each stereo side. That is basically the same as dozens of other stereo DAC manufacturers using either of these ESS chips. PS Audio marketing people are working overtime.

There are, of course, several stereo DAC manufacturers using 2 ESS9038pro chips, one 8 channel chip for each stereo side.

There seems to be nothing special in the rest of their description of the PS Audio technology. They do say, "discrete hybrid output stage" which sounds to me like an inherent contradiction.