BOULDER’S PS Audio isn’t a company that stays still, nor does it ignore its legacy. Through the busy decades of making acclaimed power supply regenerators/filters, massive power amps and cutting-edge digital playback/decoding equipment, there has often been a phono stage in the stables.
The company’s first ever product, back in 1974, was a phono preamp that outgunned some of the better established names then, we’re told. Now comes, the new Stella Phono Preamplifier, which PS Audio claims “is the best we’ve ever made”.
According to the company, “designer Darren Myers rejected the common, cost-cutting techniques of phono preamp design… the Stellar Phono Preamp uses no ICs in the signal path, instead featuring all-discrete FETs and hand-selected premium components in a Class A circuit with passive RIAA equalisation.”
The Stellar accommodates both MM and MC cartridges; for the latter, both fixed and variable loadings are provided, and this can be set via the provided remote control unit.
“The unit’s ultra-low noise allows the use of MC cartridges with output as low as 0.15mV. Two different tonearms can be selected via the remote, with either single-ended or balanced outputs. A massive, heavily-regulated power supply and full DC coupling allow the unit to provide up to 20Vrms output for powerful bass and unrestricted headroom and dynamics.”
PS Audio promises performance that far outstrips the Stellar’s price tag, touting the product as a “giant killer” – guess we will be served proof when the reviews are out later this year. The Stellar Phono Preamp ships in September, and will retail at US$2,499.
You can watch a view of Myers talking about the new phono pre here.