PS Audio Stellar Phono


Curious as to if anyone has experienced a PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp? Did you try it at home or at a dealer? I'm considering trying one out for an in home demo to put up against my Musical Surroundings Nova III with the linear power supply to see how it compares. Any insight into either the in home trial is even worth it at this close of a price point? Michael Fremer's views on the Stellar is what has me very very curious and has me considering moving over. I'm a fan of my P10 from PS Audio and feel the Stellar Phono may be the next step. 
My system is not too impressive right now, but I'm slowly growing.
  • Audio Technica AT-LP-DCVTA-EB (Drop collab) turntable
  • Sumiko Songbird cartridge
  • Jadis Orchestra Black Amplifier
  • JBL 590 & Focal Chorus 706 (I go back and forth)
The folks at PS Audio said it is made-to-order so I should expect to get it within 1-2 weeks from now.
I have one of the very first Stellar Phono Preamps ever shipped.  It may be the most significant improvements I have ever made to my system.  Very neutral sounding, great detail retrieval and localization, and a perfect match for my VPI Prime Signature w/ Ortofon Cadenza Bronze.  
Hi guys

A friend of mine bought a Stellar phono stage to try and he also had a Pass Labs XP-17 he got from Reno hifi. He had them both in the same system at the same time. Turntable is an VPI HW19 with an Eminent Technology ET2 airbearing tonearm with an Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum cartridge. I asked him which one he like better, the Stellar or the XP-17 and he said the Stellar was better and not by a small margin. The Stellar was only about one week old when I asked him that question. 

After he he had the Stellar for about two months, I asked him that same question. He told me that it’s much better now. He said that it needs about 100 hours of break in. He said it’s like a different preamp and it sounds amazing. 

I've had the Stellar for about a week now and have been doing a lot of listening. My DAC has never felt so lonely as I've been mostly playing records to really get a handle on the Stellar!

Initial impression is good. The sound is very different compared to the Tube Box S2, more than I anticipated initially. The Stellar is less harsh on the high notes. Also much fuller in the mid-range. Vocals and mid-to-low strings like Cellos have really shone through in a way I was not expecting.

I've been trying to A/B as best I can (it's though since I'm literally switching cables), and will be doing a longer writeup/"review" once I've had some more time to compare.

One thing I'm trying to troubleshoot is a bit of "hum" in the 60Hz range. It seems to disappear (mostly) if I disconnect the ground wire from the TT. I'm not super experienced in this department but it seems PS Audio is, so I plan on giving them a call this week to see if they can walk me through any steps.
I received my Stellar Phono Preamplifier last Friday and hooked it up over the weekend.  The other components of consequence in my systems are a SOTA Sapphire turntable, a Premier FT-3 arm, a Hana SL low output cartridge, MIT phono cable, and Wireworld Eclipse interconnect cable (to my Theta Casablanca IV preamp/processor).

Early Sunday evening, I invited my wife to listen.  To make it more interesting, I chose a selection of music that was also available for streaming from Tidal HD to my Roon Nucleus+ and Lumin T2 streamer/DAC, with the Lumin connected to my Casablanca IV via Kimber Kable Silver Streak cables.

After about 45 minutes of A/B comparisons, my wife turned to me and said we needed to get a better music streamer/DAC.  I had to agree.  My digital setup is really quite good, but the addition of the PS Audio Stellar phono preamp to my vinyl playback sub-system was even better.

Bottom line: recommended, but with two caveats.  First, to take advantage of the preamp's capabilities, it is likely wise to have a good turntable, cartridge, and phono cable and interconnect cable.  Second, while this phono preamp is quite good (and one can even say a bargain at its price), it is not cheap nor are the other components needed.