Skip to product information
1 of 9

Stellar Strata

Stellar Strata

Closeout Special! Silver units expected to ship before early March
The Stellar™ Strata™ combines the benefits of an exceptional analog preamplifier, a full-featured state-of-the-art DAC, a stereo 150 watt per channel power amplifier, and a high-performance streaming module in one gorgeous package. Strata's fully balanced analog preamplifier circuitry, state-of-the-art DAC, no compromise high-definition streamer, and Analog Cell™ based power amplifier create an extraordinarily rich, full-bodied musical experience few products can match. The Stellar Strata is the perfect foundation for those unwilling to compromise sound quality. Rich. Lush. Powerful. A music lover's answer to spiraling cost-no-object equipment without sacrifice.
Regular price $1,749.00 USD
Regular price $3,499.00 USD Sale price $1,749.00 USD
On Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.
call
TALK TO A HI-FI SPECIALIST
View full details
  • Design

    The idea of combining a cutting edge DAC, full-featured analog preamplifier, high-definition streaming module, and a robust 200 watt per channel power amplifier was the basis of the Stellar Strata™ design imperative. We wanted an easy, simple, no-compromise musical experience whether streaming high-resolution audio or exploring the millions of choices on Spotify, or plugging into a Stellar Phono. "Just add speakers" became engineering's rallying cry. Strata holds true to its promise of easy connectivity. Download the PS Connect app onto your mobile device, point Strata to your home WIFI network, connect your speakers or headphones, and music filled with the rich textures and toe-tapping energy you've always hoped for will delight even the most critical music lover.

  • Application

    Audiophiles have long recognized the challenge of interconnecting multiple systems into a single synergistic musical experience. Interconnect choices, power supply options, and chassis isolation requirements all play into the building of a truly musical system—get any one part wrong and the system performance is compromised. Not so with Stellar Strata. The chance for PS Engineering to optimize the audio synergy between Strata's four separate systems was immediately appealing: eliminate the variability of interconnection issues, voice the entire system as one component, optimize power supplies, control every aspect of sound quality up to the speakers.

    Technology

    At this instrument's heart is the analog GainCell™. Developed by PS Audio founder Paul McGowan, the Gain Cell™ elegantly solves the fundamental problem facing preamp designers. Volume control. Nearly all analog preamplifiers use sonically-degrading elements inserted in the signal path to control volume. The Gain Cell eliminates this problem without additional circuitry in the signal path by varying its gain in response to front panel controls. Once the high definition streaming module or connected source has passed through the Class A analog preamplifier, it's time to connect to your speakers. Here, engineer Darren Myers used the Analog Cell where he could lavish upon the music the sweet, tube-like quality of Class A biased MOSFETs. Combined with the ruler flat high linearity of Strata's high current output stage, richly overlayed layers of music’s inner details are preserved even in the most complex orchestral crescendos.

    • CLASS A BALANCED ANALOG PREAMPLIFIER
    • FULL FUNCTION DAC
    • BUILT IN STREAMING SERVICES
    • CLASS A HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
    • 150 WATT PER CHANNEL POWER AMPLIFIER
    • PS CONNECT MOBILE CONTROL APP
    • BUILT IN WIFI
    • HIGH RESOLUTION UP TO 96KHZ
    • SPOTIFY
    • I2S INPUT
    • FOUR DIGITAL INPUTS
    • DIGITAL LENS TECHNOLOGY
    • DSD DIRECT THROUGH I2S
    • 192KHZ ASYNCHRONOUS COAX INPUT
    • 384KHZ ASYNCHRONOUS USB
    • HIGH CURRENT CLASS A HYBRID OUTPUT STAGE
    1 of 16

    Specifications - Stellar Strata

    Physical

    Unit Weight 13.5 lbs [6.1 kg]
    Unit Dimensions 17” x 12” x 3”
    Shipping Weight 17 lbs [7.7 kg]
    Shipping Dimensions 23”x 18” x 9”

    Power requirements

    Input Power Model specific 100VAC, 120VAC, or 230VAC 50 or 60Hz
    Maximum Power Consumption 500W
    Mains Power Input IEC C14
    Fuses 100V T250V-2.0AH (5A Slow Blow)
    120V T250V-1.6AH (4.5A Slow Blow)
    230V T250V-1.0AH (2.5A Slow Blow)
    Accessories included US (NEMA 5-15P) (all versions)
    Schuko (CEE7/7) (230V version)
    UK (BS1363) (230V version)

    Analog inputs

    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
    Headphones One 1/4" headphone connector front panel

    Analog Performance

    Gain 12dB +/-0.5dB
    Maximum output 20 Vrms
    Sensitivity 5.3Vrms
    Input Impedance 47KΩ single ended RCA
    100KΩ Balanced XLR
    Output Impedance 100Ω single ended RCA
    200Ω balanced XLR
    Frequency Response 20Hz – 20KHz +0/- 0.25dB
    10Hz – 100KHz +0.1/-3.0dB
    Noise 20-20KHz <-90dBV
    S/N Ratio 1KHz >110dB (max output)
    Channel separation 1KHz >90dB
    Input separation 1KHz >90dB
    THD&IM 1KHz < 0.025%
    20-20KHz < 0.05%

    Headphone performance

    Output power @1% THD 300Ω 300mW
    16Ω 3.25W
    S/N Ratio 1kHz
    Noise
    >95dB (max output)
    <-80dBV
    THD & IM 1Vrms out 300Ω <0.05%
    16Ω <0.06%
    Output impedance <4 Ω

    Network

    WiFi 100 mbps
    Ethernet 100 mbps

    Power Amplifier

    THD & IM < 0.02% @ 1KHz, 1W/4Ω
    < 0.02% @ 10-20KHz, 1W/4Ω
    < 0.05% (90kHz BW) @ 10-50 KHz, 1W/4Ω
    < 0.01% @ 1KHz, 37.5W/4Ω
    Output Power Both channels driven 120vac mains, 1kHz, 1% THD
    100W minimum @ 8Ω
    200W minimum @ 4Ω
    Stable for musical transients @ 2Ω

    Features

    Volume Control 0-100 (1/2 and 1dB steps, 80dB total range)
    Balance Control 24dB each direction in 1/2dB steps
    Home Theater Mode Assignable to any analog input
    Adjustable (in setup) to any level
    Polarity (phase) Control Digital sources only
    Filter Control 3 selectable digital filters (PCM digital sources only)
    Trigger output (3.5mm 5-15VDC) 2
    Remote Control Infrared

    Reviews

    Power well beyond my needs

    The sound is razor sharp. Power well beyond my needs (never thought I ever say that about anything) And the soundstage… Now my speakers (Klipsch Forte III's) just seem to sit on either side of my bookcase lifeless while all the sound is clearly coming from my bookcase. Different books even.

    Reach out and touch the singer

    The sound is great. Some songs are so realistic you feel like you can reach out and touch the singer.

    Controlled bass, less mushed together

    Strata actually seemed a little less bassy but in fact it was more airy, controlled bass, less mushed together. There was more space and you can tell that we were in a church. From a bass standpoint, different but a tie. The Strata gives a much better impression of being in a church (reverb?). Also, I noticed a shocking difference. I was suddenly hearing all the clicking and clacking of the organ pedals. I had never heard that before. I then heard it (less) on the Exposure/Schiit but only because Strata had revealed it to me.

    An elegant single box solution that sounds great

    An elegant single box solution that sounds great. We have connected the TV via digital cable for a greatly enhanced experience. And my wife, who loves music but does not take the initiative to use the dedicated music room, sat down for hours Sunday and played some of her favorite tunes. It was a pleasure seeing her enjoy it so much, and not needing my assistance to do so.

    I realized “that's a subway underneath!”

    The DAC is really something. I was just listening to B. Evans Sunday at the Village Vanguard. On Alice in Wonderland take 1, i hear a faint rumbling sound around 0:20-30 that I had not heard before. On the Exposure amp I figured it was some club or mike noise. But with the Strata I realized “that's a subway underneath!”. I would know, I used to live in a big city with subway under my appt. I check on google maps and sure enough, lines 1/2 pass underneath the club.

    More detail with the strata

    I am hearing more detail with the strata, without a total loss of the fullness/body I get from vidar and/or the tubes.

    Questions?