Stellar Gain Cell DAC

Technical Specification


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

Power Consumption: 

  • 20W

Mains Power Input: 

  • IEC C14


  • 100V T250V-2.0AH (2A Slow Blow)
  • 120V T250V-1.6AH (1.6A Slow Blow)
  • 230V T250V-1.0AH (1.0A 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

Digtial audio inputs


  • 1 PCM (384KHz max)
  • DSD64 DSD128
  • Compatible with DirectStream Transport SACD handshake for DSD playback


  • 2 PCM (192KHz max)


  • 1 PCM (96KHz max)


  • PCM (384KHz max)
  • DSD64 (DoP) DSD128 (DoP)


  • PCM, DSD

Analog Audio Outputs

RCA:  (Analog Unbalanced)

  • 1 stereo pair

XLR:  (Analog Balanced)

  • 1 stereo pair


  • One 1/4" headphone connector front panel

Analog Performance


  • 12dB +/-0.5dB

Maximum output: 

  • 20 Vrms


  • 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


  • 20-20KHz <-90dBV

S/N Ratio: 

  • 1KHz >110dB (max output)

Channel separation: 

  • 1KHz >90dB

Input separation: 

  • 1KHz >90dB


  • 1KHz < 0.025%
  • 20-20KHz < 0.05%

Headphone performance

Output power @1% THD

  • 300Ω 300mW
  • 16Ω 3.25W

S/N Ratio 1kHz: 

  • >95dB (max output)



THD & IM 1Vrms out

  • 300Ω <0.05%
  • 16Ω <0.06%

Output impedance: 

  • <4 Ω


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: 

  • Yes. Infra Red

Overview & Features

What happens when you take a highly respected, cutting edge DAC, like our own NuWave DSD, and connect it to your power amplifier through an analog preamp? Audio nirvana.

It turns out that a great analog preamp preserves a DAC’s magic. Together, DAC and preamp form a new class of product whose sum is greater than its parts.

Stellar Gain Cell DAC. A redefined and improved NuWave DSD and a Gain Cell analog preamplifier in one chassis.

Think of the Stellar Gain Cell DAC as a complete analog control center with an exceptional performing DAC at its heart.

All the features and functions you’d ever want in a DAC are right here in Stellar. Pure DSD, asynchronous USB, Digital Lens technology, I²S to connect to our best transport, balanced throughout, analog volume control. Replace your preamplifier, your DAC—or both—and be stunned at the level of improvement when the full and rich tapestry of music surprises and delights your senses.

In the more than forty years of PS Audio’s design innovations and breakthrough products, Stellar’s groundbreaking level of performance as our gateway standalone DAC and preamplifier is unmatched for price and performance by their standalone competitors. Taken together, we’re willing to bet you’ve never heard anything quite this good at anywhere even remotely close to this price.

  • Class A balanced analog preamplifier
  • Full function DAC
  • Class A headphone output
  • Remote control
  • Fixed or variable DAC mode
  • 2 output 12 volt triggers

Analog preamplifier

  • One balanced analog input
  • Three single ended analog inputs
  • Analog Gain Cell stage
  • Fully balanced input to output
  • Balanced XLR analog 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 DMP for SACD playback in DSD
  • DSD direct through I2S
  • 192kHz asynchronous coax input
  • 192kHz 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
  • High Current oversized analog power supply
  • 7 voltage regulators
  • High speed power supply diodes
  • Massive 15,000 mFd low ESR capacitors
  • ESS Hyperstream

PS Audio - Stellar Gain Cell

Pre Amplifier

Midland HiFi Studio - Key Information


"The Stellar Gain cell dac is a stroke of genius. Allowing a great many more people to share in high end audio. We would find it a tricky job to find a comparable unit anywhere near the price.


Not only a very capable preamp but also a wonderfully voiced dac."

PS Audio Stellar Gain DAC

Pre Amplifier

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