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  • Writer's pictureJim Cathey

PS Audio Stellar Phono Pre-Amp

While auditioning the Audio Research 160M amps (currently installing the same - blog on this one coming soon), I found compatibility issues with the phono stage of the vintage Macintosh C22 and those amps. I was ok with the digital sources, but I needed to test the vinyl/analog source, which is most of my listening. I tried other Phono Pre-Amps but was disappointed especially moving away from the SUT I have been using. However, I remember a review written by Michael Fremer, Stereophile Magazine, about the PS Audio Stellar Phono Preamp with excellent performance, ultimately punching well above its weight class.

I found the article and re-read it; sure enough, it was a promising review and surprising since I would not have expected a product like this from PS Audio. I had to try this, hence ordered a unit that was delivered within a week. The initial test was positive but not definitive. It was clear it needed to break in, so I ordered a Hagerman Audio Labs passive inverse RIAA filter and let it run for over 150 hours with streaming music as the source. This weekend I had a chance to give it a critical listen using a Clearaudio MC Jubilee cartridge and WOW, what was written in Stereophile Magazine is spot-on accurate. This Stellar Phono Preamp performs well above its class. Here's the link to the Stereophile review for one-of-a-kind Phono Preamp. Now back to my music listening session.


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