The sound is already coming alive… in fact, it’s faaaantastic! I’m currently listening to Robert Cray, Strong Persuader (high rez FLAC file). The detail and punch are just what they should be. His voice is clear and centered, surrounded by nicely balanced treble and bass. Another wonderfully engineered recording and the Stellar GCD shows it off in fine fashion. The clarity has improved and the veil has lifted. Wow, this is going to be fun!READ MORE
This is going to be fun!
I find myself digging further back in my CD collection and finding renewed enjoyment in old favorites. Many are digitally mastered (or 20 bit remastered) from the time when that was a new thing. Many selections from Sheffield Labs, DMP, ECM, Telarc and GRP make for good critical listening. My previous impressions (vs my previous preamp and DAC) are reinforced: excellent bass extension, deeper front to back soundstage, more precise placement and crisp percussion.READ MORE
Finding renewed enjoyment
Right out of the box, the S-300 presented a sound stage larger than previously experienced with the older Rotel amplifier. Control was tighter, base was tighter, and the overall experience tighter. After about 3 hours, I adjusted speaker placement to take better advantage of the expanded sound stage. Fun stuff!READ MORE
One thing surprising, the experience was not strained at all, the sound is very relaxed, not overly bright. After approximately 6 hours, the unit is settling in nicely, both vinyl and digital sources are benefiting from the Stellar. I have other systems to reference back to (not just getting used to the new sound), and am looking forward to reporting back as to how the burn in continues and settles in.
Goodness! Despite the slightly lower power of the Stellars, I was able to get 90+dB levels in the (largeish) room. And, for the first time sans subwoofers, there was solid chest-impacting bass. READ MORE
Next up was Blue Nile’s A Walk Across the Rooftops; Heatwave is a perennial favourite. Again, from the Olive, transferred to digital through the NuWave Phono Converter. Ooh – goodness, even on casual listening there was a bit more going on than I remembered.
Now I have to drive away and do some errands, so the machinery is left playing Best of the Shadows – you know, there’s a bit more going on in there than I’d noticed before, too. And, begum, there’s actual bass.
Bottom line – straight out of the box, these Stellars make my system sound better.
Love the amp and I'm gonna buy it. I found the sound open and detailed with LP vinyl and CDs . Detailed soundstage and very musical in my opinion. I'm a construction worker so my computer skills are kind of limited. My associated equipment is Primaluna prologue 3 tube preamp project Debut carbon turntable and phono stage. Otrofon 2m red cart, Emotiva Erc 1 CD player, Klipsch RF 42 tower speakers, and energy sub in a 2.1 stereo system and PS Audio power cables and Audioquest interconnects. Pretty basic system by High end standards but wow did Freddie Hubbard and Pink Floyd sound great. Eva Cassidy's vocals were so rich and real and Dire straights Ride Across the River blew me away.
Love the amp
About 8 years ago I bought the Mark Levinson No. 434 monoblocks. They went for $8000 the pair, and they looked and sounded as good as I’d come to expect for that kind of money. I was happy! They are still very good amps by today’s standards. When I think about how much performance PS Audio has managed to put into a stereo amp that costs less than 20% of what the Mark Levinson’s cost, however, I’m simply amazed. The S300 doesn’t look as expensive, but it’s performance leaves little to forgive. When I’m listening to the Stellar S300, I’ve found myself not thinking about any of that—just the music, with the S300.READ MORE
I'm not adept at audiophile descriptions so I'll keep this relatively short. I replaced a modded HCA-2 with the S300 and have been mightily impressed. Most noticeable has been the blackness and silence of the background. That might have been a function of the mods done to the HCA-2, which I did love but always had a slight hum. The S300 is dead silent. Amazing soundstage and definition between instruments. Perhaps slightly dry but not overly analytical. I'll take the amazing detail on well-recorded material over warmth hiding poor recordings. I have plenty of poorly recorded albums that I love, I still can listen to them with this amp. The trade off is that well-recorded material sounds unreal. I hear things I never heard before! I'm impressed, and the music sounds wonderful. Thank you!READ MORE
My system - JA Michell Tecnodec and PS Audio Nuwave front end, Emotiva XSP-1 preamp, PS Audio S300, Alon Mark IV speakers
My impression in one word: stellar!READ MORE
The S300's performance is really outstanding. It's very energetic and crisp, has very decent control and momentum. What I like most are its amazing vivid clarity and detail, this is not the kind of slow, warm, laid back and dull amp. Yes, maybe it lacks the last bit of extension at both end of frequency extreme. It's a tiny little bit on the forward and cool side of neutral, but definitely not aggressive, artificial or edgy. It's textured and colorful with very wide soundstage. And the punchy bass! If this is the one and only amp I have in a desert island, I can live with it happily ever after. Sound wise, it's that good.
I received my Stellar 300 Amp about a week ago. My system is modest: Cambridge Audio CXA 80, Cambridge Audio CXC transport, Ohm Walsh Tall 100's with 2.1 Anti Cables. The 300 replaces the 80 watt amp in the CXA 80 and is connected with low quality single end cables. (the balanced Anticables await the Gain Cell DAC still on it's way.)READ MORE
The 300 made an immediate difference in the overall sound of the system, beyond just the additional power. The Ohm speakers create a broad and deep soundstage, but with the 300 instrument placement and clarity were clearly improved. Bass was more specific and apparent while the mid-range was richer with greater texture. Treble seemed heightened as well, though without strident overtones. I listen mostly to jazz and classical pieces on CD and through Tidal over a Sonos system. The extra quality power showed enhancement with Tidal as well.
I have to imagine with the Gain Cell DAC in place it will be whole new ballgame.
Whole new ballgame
The S300 delivers a non-fatiguing presentation, with excellent bass control, and gobs and gobs of detail, all emerging from a black background. And it does so even at very low listening levels (living in an apartment, ability to listen at low levels late in the evening is important to me.)READ MORE
With the Red Wine amp. I had the powered subs crossed over around 70 Hz, at a higher output, to augment the Red Wine's lower bass output. The S300 delivers such powerful, detailed bass that the powered subs are almost unnecessary.
I eventually added the subs back in, but crossed over around 45 Hz, just to provide that low end that you feel almost more than you hear. Just to be clear, the subs are making up for the bass shortcomings of the open baffle speakers, not any shortcomings of the S300.
I give the S300 two thumbs, way up! Anyone want to buy a Red Wine amp?
Two thumbs up!
I will simply say Paul & his fine team have, what I truly believe is the best amp @1.5k that you could possibly hope own. I wouldn't want to be the competition @ 3k & have to take the S300 on! Every listen just brings smiles. Clarity, depth, balance, dynamic range, and this thing just doesn't seem to run out of gas! I have a pair of Magnapan 1.6 QR's with an SVS subwoofer, the S300 delivers slam & articulation, like I haven't heard before. I had the 1.6's rebuilt by Magnapan 1 year ago after 13 years of serious use, so I am confident they are up to the task. Okay, I did spin some superlatives, sorry. I will sum it up by saying I am totally satisfied with the S300 & would recommend it to all, save your coin, this amp kicks some very serious butt! Thank you Paul & everyone @ PS Audio!READ MORE
Don't want to be the competition