Call Us: 1-800-PSAUDIO

Stellar Strata

Full featured streaming amplifier

Built in Boulder
All units handmade in Boulder, Colorado

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-resolution streaming module in one gorgeous package. Just add speakers. Have your own source? No problem. Strata offers 3 analog and 5 digital inputs to connect whatever source you need. 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.

More Product Details »

Clear

We always strive for same-day shipping but at this time, orders may take as long as one-week to ship.

Stellar Strata

Product Description

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 from Tidal or Qobuz, 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.

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.

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 additional 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.

Integrated into this analog preamplifier is a stunning, Bob Stadtherr designed, Darren Myer’s voiced, DAC. Based on industry-leading Sabre32 bit Hyperstream architecture, Strata relies upon a fully balanced Class A analog output stage with multiple power supplies, independent jitter-reduced inputs, DSD, I2S, and asynchronous USB.

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.

There’s nothing like Strata when it comes to musicality. It’s an all-in-one high-resolution audio solution just waiting for you to connect your speakers. Bring it on!

This product qualifies for our risk free in-home trial in the continental United States when purchased directly from PS Audio. And, trade in and save. Let us repurchase your old equipment at its full and original retail price. We’ll give it a good home and make sure you have the best power in the world. Just click the green Trade Up and Save button above these words to take advantage.

Overview

  • 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

Preamplifier

  • One balanced analog input
  • Three single ended analog inputs
  • Analog Gain Cell stage
  • Fully balanced input to output
  • Single ended RCA analog output
  • Home theater bypass
  • Direct coupled without any capacitors in output signal path

Digital To Analog Converter

  • Four digital inputs
  • I2S input
  • Digital Lens technology
  • Native Mode
  • Three user selectable digital filters
  • Compatible with PS Audio Transport for SACD playback in DSD
  • DSD direct through I2S
  • 192kHz asynchronous coax input
  • 384kHz asynchronous USB
  • 96kHz asynchronous TOSLINK input
  • Single and double rate DSD
  • CPLD input (FPGA) lowers jitter, waveshapes, reduces propagation delay
  • Native mode standard
  • No added Sample Rate Conversion
  • High current class A hybrid output stage
  • Passive output filter lowers transient distortion
  • Direct coupled without any capacitors in output signal path
  • High bandwidth output stage -3dB 60kHz
  • Low jitter clocks

Power Amplifier

  • 100 watts per channel into 8Ω
  • >150 watts per channel into 4Ω both channels driven
  • >200 watts per channel into 4Ω single channel
  • AnalogCell technology
  • High Damping Factor

Streaming

  • High resolution up to 96kHz
  • Tidal
  • Qobuz
  • Spotify
  • Napster
  • iHeart Radio
  • Music Shares on local network
  • DLNA sources

Rear-Panel

Stellar Strata

Physical

Unit Weight21 lbs [9.5 kg]
Unit Dimensions17” x 12” x 3”
Shipping Weight25 lbs [11.3 kg]
Shipping Dimensions23”x 18” x 9”

Power requirements

Input PowerModel specific 100VAC, 120VAC, or 230VAC 50 or 60Hz
Power Consumption20W idle
50W typical
600W Maximum
Mains Power InputIEC C14
FusesT250V-250mAH (1/4A Slow Blow)
Accessories includedRemote Control
Line cord(s) US (NEMA 5-15P) (all versions)
Schuko (CEE7/7) (230V version)
UK (BS1363) (230V version)
Australia (230V version)

Analog inputs

RCA
XLR
3 stereo pair
1 stereo pair

Digital audio inputs

I2S1 PCM (384KHz max)
DSD64 DSD128
Compatible with DirectStream Transport SACD handshake for DSD playback
Coax2 PCM (192KHz max)
Optical1 PCM (96KHz max)
USBPCM (384KHz max)
DSD64 (DoP) DSD128 (DoP)
EthernetWired, 10/100MBPS
1 WIFI, 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n
UPnP, Spotify Connect
FormatPCM, DSD

Analog Audio Outputs

RCA
Headphones
Speakers
(Analog Unbalanced) 1 stereo pair
One 1/4" headphone connector
Binding Posts

Analog Performance

Gain
Maximum output
Sensitivity
12dB +/-0.5dB
20 Vrms
5.3Vrms
Input Impedance47KΩ single ended RCA
100KΩ Balanced XLR
Output Impedance100Ω single ended RCA
Frequency Response20Hz – 20KHz +0/- 0.25dB
10Hz – 100KHz +0.1/-3.0dB
Noise20-20KHz <-90dBV
S/N Ratio1KHz >110dB (max output)
Channel separation1KHz >90dB
Input separation1KHz >90dB
THD&IM1KHz < 0.025%
20-20KHz < 0.05%

Headphone performance

Output power @1% THD300Ω 300mW
16Ω 3.25W
S/N Ratio 1kHz
Noise
>95dB (max output)
<-80dBV
THD & IM 1Vrms out300Ω <0.05%
16Ω <0.06%
Output impedance<4 Ω

Power Amplifier Performance

Gain (relative to line output)30.5dB
Output Power8Ω, 1KHz, 1% 120W typical, 100W minimum
Output Power4Ω, 1KHz, 1% 150W typical
Output Power4Ω (one channel) 200W minimum
Frequency Response+/-1dB 20Hz – 20KHz
-3dB 7Hz – 40KHz
THD+N1KHz, 10W/4Ω 0.02%
IMD18/19KHz -65dB
Speaker Impedance4Ω minimum
Output Impedance50Hz 150 mΩ typical
Sensitivity@76 1.6VRMS
@100 400m VRMS
Channel Separation1KHz >90dB

Features

Input Selection9 total, 3 analog, 6 digital
PS Connect Streaming via free IOS or Android appHigh resolution up to 192kHz
Tidal
Qobuz
Spotify
Napster
iHeart Radio
Music Shares on local network
DLNA sources
Volume Control0-100 (1/2 and 1dB steps, 80dB total range)
Balance Control12dB each direction in 1/4dB steps
Home Theater ModeAssignable to any analog input
Adjustable (in setup) to any level
Polarity (phase) ControlDigital sources only
Filter Control3 selectable digital filters (PCM digital sources only)
Trigger output(3.5mm 5-15VDC) 2
Remote ControlYes. Infra Red
Network ConnectivityEthernet or WiFi built in to Strata

Power well beyond my needs

rgcjr60

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.

Read More

A feeling of effortless acceleration

pdxdon

More listening notes, now in the downstairs system with Focal Electra 1028BEs and fed by my DSD and innuous.
Sounds pretty glorious to me, given good source material from Quobuz. There is a feeling of effortless acceleration, like riding a very lightweight bicycle or the automotive equivalent. Swells sound natural. Another manifestation of this is a lightness of touch, in a pianistic sense.
If you have to downsize. from a lot of boxes and stuff, the Strata makes a lot of sense, without the need to feel like you are sacrificing a lot. It also works well aesthetically in a rack of other PS gear.
I am a happy guy.

Read More

Controlled bass, less mushed together

yann.pigeaire

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.

Read More

Reach out and touch the singer

BPfister

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

Read More

An elegant single box solution that sounds great

chuck929

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.

Read More

I realized “that’s a subway underneath!”

yann.pigeaire

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.

Read More

More detail with the strata

renscandi

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

Read More

Questions?

Want more product details?