PS Audio - Stellar Strata - Integrated Streaming Amplifier (2023)

About The Audio Tailor

Thank you for visiting The Audio Tailor.

We’re Stuart, Gabby, Nathan and Vaughan. It’s a pleasure to have you here!

The first question we get from customers usually starts with, “What’s the difference between...”

When you’re shopping for new speakers, a turntable, or even thinking of putting together that home theatre of your teenage dreams - you’ll likely be faced with stacks of comparisons.

Why would I buy the Bluesound Pulse 2i when the Flex 2i is half the price?

Is PS Audio the best?

Should I wait for a sale? Or get this now? What will I be missing out on when the new model comes out next year?

Endless questions. Lots of FOMO. Loads of hmm-ing and ha-ing.

And there SHOULD be.

Because you don’t go to a Hi-Fi store and drop $2000, $3000, or $15000 on something you're not 100%, positively, secure-in-your heart sure of.

It’s a lot of hard-earned money on the line.

Imagine doing hours of your own research. Reading up the suppliers’ websites, taking notes from Hi Fi blogs, categorizing the differing opinions as you trawl r/audiophile. You know what you’re getting. You’ve narrowed the online stores down to the final five. You’ve checked and re-checked that you’re getting the best deal. You’re sure you’re not getting ripped off by shipping.


You hit the “Checkout” button. Momentary relief!

That is...

Until your speakers haven’t arrived by the estimated delivery date and you have yet to hear a peep about its progress.

Until your new turntable arrives with a crack in the dust cover.

Until your long-awaited amp set-up fails to deliver the kind of sound you had in mind. Now you’re not even sure if you got the right one anymore, or how to troubleshoot it.

What could possibly be worse?

What about: No after-sales service. No phone number to call. And no one responding to your tickets.

Not to mention the hundreds of man hours you’ve already lost on reading layman opinions from the likes of Graham H. from Melbourne and Sarah D. from Perth; dutifully scrolling through pages and pages of reviews. Torturing yourself by looking for all the ones with less than 3 stars... when you could have been sitting back and diving into a whole new world of immersive sound and deliciously satisfying body vibrations.

Would it make sense to go to audio specialists that know brands, specs, and installation like the back of their hands?

Should you spend less time on weighing up pros and cons and more time enjoying good music?

Want to get the absolute best home theatre for your budget and surroundings without the weight of 100++ brand offerings bogging you down?

We like to think so!

And that’s why we’re here. Two things to know about us:

Thing 1: We were voted Australia’s 2021 Hi Fi Retailer of the Year (Yay! And THANK YOU!)

Thing 2: This is purely because we are sound specialists and audioheads - NOT salesmen.

We got into this business because we genuinely love audio and because we realized there was a lot of faceless dropshipping in the HiFi industry - and not enough expertise out there. People who keep coming back to us do so because they’re getting attention to detail and individualized solutions that they can’t find elsewhere.

Our clients don’t need to worry about budget, brand name, or size.

All they need to worry about, is talking to us.

Because, when you come to us, you’re in for a conversation.

We want to know the picture in your head.

That final portrait of you back from the flea market with Pearl Jam’s Ten, eager to place it gently upon a turntable you haven’t quite decided on yet.

A summer barbeque in your garden with the boys. Having a yarn around a beer-filled cooler while appreciating the crisp, clear, quality of sound streaming through the open doors of your listening space.

(Video) Review! The PS Audio STELLAR Gain Cell PreAmp/DAC | M700 Amplifier Combo!

The kids having mates over - quiet for once - immersed in a good movie, lights out, in the comfort of the home theatre that is your pride and joy. “I wish we had one of these at our place!”

Once we know precisely what your ultimate scenario looks like, we’ll want to know what you’re working with.

What kind of budget have you set aside?

What’s the existing set-up look like?

How big is the listening room you have in mind?

How much ambient light is coming in?

Are you running drywall or wood panelling? Carpet or hardwood?

What about room resonance and reflection?

No idea what we’re going on about? No worries. We intend to talk you through all that. Our aim is that you get the absolute best sound system for your home, at a price point you’re happy with, and an aesthetic you can’t help but want to show off.

To get to this end goal, an unhealthy interest in all things audio simply isn’t enough. That’s why we spend countless hours behind the scenes sourcing products from only the most reliable brands and trustworthy suppliers - regardless of their branding and marketing.

We don’t rely on them to tell us what’s good about their equipment. We’ve developed our own proactive testing process to judge what’s what. So you get hands-on knowledge every single time. Coupled with our tight networks and stable supply chain meticulously refined over the years, we strive to ensure that the experience you get at The Audio Tailor is personal, seamless, and painless.

Personal, because it’s uniquely you in musicality, design, and taste. Your options are hand picked by us from amongst some of the world’s biggest, best, and most dependable brands.

Seamless, because we’re only small. You get one of us. Not one of dozens of salesmen milling about the place, working for commission and pushing the most expensive products.

Painless, because we don’t recommend anything until we’re clear about your needs. We follow up with you to make sure everything’s arrived in one piece. For us, the transaction isn’t over until your equipment is safely installed and fully satisfying.


Some of the big things we feel are missing in the HiFi world are:

  • The need for expertise before, during, and after the sale
  • A vast wealth of comparative knowledge, and
  • A commitment to end-to-end service.

At The Audio Tailor, we hope we’ve made it clear that service doesn’t shut off when a problem pops up. It’s an opportunity to tighten the ship we run, bolster our 5-star reputation, and most importantly - make someone’s day.

Hi! We see you’ve actually made it to the end of this page. Love it!

We’d like to end this by giving a shout out to all the enthusiasts and audiophiles we’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years. It has been a privilege to share our desire, passion, and journey for the purest sound and finest entertainment solutions for your homes and businesses.

Thank you to all our customers - past, present, and future - for helping us chase after something above the ordinary.

To make your audio dreams come true - call, email, or hop on down to our Brisbane store.

We’re looking forward to meeting you!

(Video) Hegel vs PS Audio Stellar - Conclusion. Group Discussion

Product Description

Display clearance,

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. PS Audio 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 recognised 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 optimise 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, optimise 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.


  • 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


  • One balanced analog input
  • Three single ended analog inputs
  • Analog Gain Cell stage
  • Fully balanced input to output
  • Single ended RCA analog output
  • Home theatre 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


  • High resolution up to 192kHz
  • Tidal
  • Qobuz
  • Spotify
  • Napster
  • iHeart Radio
  • Music Shares on local network
  • DLNA sources



  • Unit Weight:21 lbs [9.5 kg]
  • Unit Dimensions: 17” x 12” x 3”/43.2 x 30.5 x 7.6cm

Power requirements

  • Input Power: Model specific 100VAC, 120VAC, or 230VAC 50 or 60Hz
  • Power Consumption: 20W idle, 50W typical, 600W Maximum
  • Mains Power Input: IEC C14
  • Fuses: T250V-250mAH (1/4A Slow Blow)
  • Accessories included: Remote Control, Australia (230V version)

Analog inputs

  • RCA: 3 stereo pair
  • XLR: 1 stereo pair

Digital audio inputs

  • I2S: 1 PCM (384KHz max), DSD64 DSD128, Compatible with DirectStream Transport SACD handshake for DSD playback
  • Coax: 2 PCM (192KHz max)
  • Optical: 1 PCM (96KHz max)
  • USB: PCM (384KHz max), DSD64 (DoP) DSD128 (DoP)
  • Ethernet: Wired, 10/100MBPS; 1 WIFI, 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n; UPnP, Spotify Connect
  • Format: PCM, DSD

Analog Audio Outputs

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

Analog Performance

  • Gain: 12dB +/-0.5dB
  • Maximum output: 20 Vrms
  • Sensitivity: 5.3Vrms
  • Input Impedance: 47KΩ single ended RCA, 100KΩ Balanced XLR
  • Output Impedance: 100Ω single ended RCA
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20KHz +0/- 0.25dB, 10Hz – 100KHz +0.1/-3.0dB
  • Noise: 20-20KHz
  • S/N Ratio: 1KHz >110dB (max output)
  • Channel separation: 1KHz >90dB
  • Input separation: 1KHz >90dB
  • THD&IM: 1KHz < 0.025%, 20-20KHz < 0.05%

Headphone performance


  • Output power @1% THD: 300Ω 300mW, 16Ω 3.25W
  • S/N Ratio 1kHz Noise: >95dB (max output),
  • THD & IM 1Vrms out: 300Ω <0.05%, 16Ω <0.06%
  • Output impedance: <4 Ω

Power Amplifier Performance

  • Gain (relative to line output): 30.5dB
  • Output Power: 8Ω, 1KHz, 1% 120W typical, 100W minimum
  • Output Power: 4Ω, 1KHz, 1% 150W typical
  • Output Power: 4Ω (one channel) 200W minimum
  • Frequency Response: +/-1dB 20Hz – 20KHz, -3dB 7Hz – 40KHz
  • THD+N: 1KHz, 10W/4Ω 0.02%
  • IMD: 18/19KHz -65dB
  • Speaker Impedance: 4Ω minimum
  • Output Impedance: 50Hz 150 mΩ typical
  • Sensitivity: @76 1.6VRMS, @100 400m VRMS
  • Channel Separation: 1KHz >90dB


  • Input Selection: 9 total, 3 analog, 6 digital
  • PS Connect Streaming via free IOS or Android app: High resolution up to 192kHz, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, Napster, iHeart Radio, Music Shares on local network, DLNA sources
  • Volume Control: 0-100 (1/2 and 1dB steps, 80dB total range)
  • Balance Control: 12dB each direction in 1/4dB steps
  • Home Theatre 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
  • Network Connectivity: Ethernet or WiFi built in to Strata


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