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"So Close to Perfection"
Breathe new life into your loudspeakers with PS Audio's Stellar S300, one of the most extraordinary stereo power amplifiers ever crafted for anywhere near the price and way beyond. The S300 combines the slam, linearity, and toe-tapping pacing of a Class D output stage with the warmth, grace, and rich inner detail of Stellar's Class A Analog Cell. The results are ground breaking.
"The PS Audio Stellar S300 gets so close to perfection that the low purchase price is an out-of-this-world value. The PS Audio Stellar S300 adds nothing objectionable while delivering wonderful musical performances," raves Jerry Seigel in his review for 10 Audio.
The Stellar S300 stereo power amplifier is a dual mono power amplifier capable of effortlessly driving demanding loudspeaker loads to concert levels. The perfect choice for just about any loudspeaker, the S300 slips into any system, surprising and delighting even the most discriminating audiophile.
Rated at 140 Watts per channel into 8 ohms and 300 Watts per channel into 4 ohms, the S300 combines the best of two worlds: ultra linear, high-current, Class D technology for the output stage; a discrete, Class A MOSFET based Analog Cell for the all-important input stage. The S300's rich, warm, and engaging sonic character comes from the Analog Cell. Its powerful, authoritative control over the loudspeaker stems from its high current, ultra-low impedance Class D output stage.
The Analog Cell Makes All the Difference
Stellar's lead designer, engineer Darren Myers, was obsessed with its detail and voicing, lavishing great attention on even the tiniest nuances in the music. This helped Stellar capture the rich full-bodied essence of recorded music and presents it to your loudspeakers with authority and grace.
In the S300 a unique topology called the Analog Cell has been employed to preserve the rich details found in music. The Analog Cell is a zero feedback, balanced, Class A, MOSFET input stage. The design closely mirrors the sonic characteristics of a vacuum tube and allows designer Darren Myers the freedom to voice the amplifier as he sees fit. Long hours of listening and tuning sessions in Music Room One, shared with PS Audio founder Paul McGowan, resulted in a sonic signature that honors the music and never draws attention to itself.
The Hybrid Output Stage
The hybrid approach used in Stellar's power amplifiers takes advantage of the best traits technology has to offer. Its input stage relies upon the Analog Cell to provide a zero-loss interface between the preamplifier or DAC, as well as imprint the amp's sonic character. It is then time to convert the perfected analog voltage into the all-important high current output needed to drive loudspeakers.
A power amplifier connects a reservoir of energy to the loudspeaker through a type of valve (solid state or vacuum tube) controlled by the input stage. If the input stage has done a good job of preserving music's subtle details, textures, timing and phase information, transferring it without loss to the loudspeaker can be accomplished in a few ways: the most efficient is Class D.
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding class D amplifiers. Perhaps the most common is they are digital, which is incorrect. A Class D amplification stage is an analog process, known as Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). Class D amplifiers do switch in on/off fashion, which is likely the reason they wrongly acquired the "digital" moniker.
The Stellar S300 is a dual mono design. This means that each channel has its own, separate power supply. Each of the two channels is a complete and independent power supply and power amplification stage, based on a modern Class D ICE module, designed in Denmark.
Because Class D amplifiers require an output filter to remove their switching noise, they do not have frequency extremes into the many hundreds of thousands of Hertz. Depending on their design modern Class D amplifiers, like the type used in Stellar, extend high frequencies to about 50 kHz. Human hearing limitations are 20 kHz, though most listeners rarely have hearing exceeding half that.
The Stellar S300 provides excellent frequency extremes, low distortion, high efficiency, high damping factor, and a powerful output of 300 Watts per channel into the most common loudspeaker loads of 4 ohms. That's plenty of horsepower for even the most demanding loudspeakers.
"Folks, this is the future. We have heard vast improvements of Class D amplifiers during the last 10 years, and we are at or near the point where the technology is largely irrelevant to the final sound. The sound of audio components is more dependent on the implementation than on the underlying technology. The PS Audio Stellar S300 gets so close to perfection that the low purchase price is an out-of-this-world value. The PS Audio Stellar S300 adds nothing objectionable while delivering wonderful musical performances."
- Jerry Seigel, 10 Audio
"The Stellar DAC/Pre-Amp/Power Amplifier filled my listening room with 3D sound, and they matched well with each of my speakers; the floor standing Audio Physic Tempos, the stand mounted Platinum Audio ST 1's and the low-to-the ground Mission 727s. I was surprised how different they made each sound and I spent a great deal of time swapping out my Parasound Halo 2.1 integrated amplifier, Bel Canto s300 integrated amplifier to make sure I wasn't fooling myself. And, yes, I was hearing something new and more evocative from my usual suspects."
- David Blumenstein, HiFi Pig