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PS Audio - Stellar S300 - Power Amplifier

$2,595.00

Thank you for visiting The Audio Tailor.

We’re Stuart, Gabby, Liam 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.

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.

TL;DR

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!

Product Description

The problems faced when crafting a new power amplifier are many—delivering sufficient power, control, frequency extension, and dynamics while maintaining a perfectly layered soundstage under the most complex musical passages.

All amplifiers sound different. What determines sound quality are the components and topologies of the amp’s input voltage stage and output current stage. Each section should complement the other. Between them, the amp develops its sound.

Stellar’s design imperatives—affordable pricing, and uncompromised sonics—were major challenges solved by the invention of a unique new circuit christened the Analog Cell™.

Stellar engineer Darren Myers had planned from the outset to take advantage of Class D’s high current, low distortion, ruler flat linearity for the output stage—knowing full well it is the input stage that determines sonic character. This critical interface between preamplifier and power amplifier is where Stellar’s magic would be unveiled; where Myers could lavish upon the music the sweet, tube-like quality of Class A biased MOSFETs. His challenge was to synergistically marry both input and output topologies, for which he invented Stellar’s Analog Cell.

The Analog Cell is the heart of the S300’s musicality, where richly overlayed layers of music’s inner details are preserved even in the most complex orchestral crescendos. The Analog Cell is a proprietary, fully differential, zero feedback, discrete, Class A MOSFET circuit, hand-tuned to capture the smallest micro dynamics without sacrificing the loudest macro dynamics music has to offer.

If you’re able to invest in a cost-no-object performance stereo amplifier, you want the BHK Signature 250. For everyone else who refuses to compromise music’s promise, Stellar represents breakthrough performance at stellar pricing.

Features:

  • Stereo power amplifier
  • Dual mono, each with their own power supply
  • Zero-loss Analog Cell input stage
  • Powerful MOSFET output stage
  • RCA Single ended input
  • XLR “true” balanced input
  • 140 watts per channel 8Ω
  • 300 watts per channel 4Ω
  • 2Ω stable
  • Less than 0.1% thd 20Hz to 20kHz at rated power
  • Damping factor greater than 550 for excellent loudspeaker control
  • Front panel standby button
  • Efficient operation with very little heat
  • Dual, solid copper, plated, output binding posts
  • Input 12 volt trigger

Overview:

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. The S300 opens up your musical library in ways you might not have thought possible, revealing nuance and detail covered up by traditional amplifiers. One listen to the S300 and you’ll know you made the right choice. Effortless, rich, spacious—never a hint of glare or aggression—a joy to hear. An amplifier worthy of the PS Audio name.

Rated at 140 Watts per channel into 8Ω and 300 Watts per channel into 4Ω, 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.

Stellar’s design imperative was to produce a truly musical sounding power amplifier that proudly competed with any amplifier under $5,000. Its designer, PS Audio engineer Darren Myers, took the challenge and set to work on a new concept—a hybrid that would combine the best of today’s technology with time-honoured techniques leveraging PS Audio’s forty plus years of experience.

The results are extraordinarily musical. Even from the earliest prototype we knew the Stellar power amplifier series was going to be something special. Stellar amplifiers never draw attention to themselves, a rare quality in amplifiers of any price. After hundreds of hours of tuning, voicing, and perfectionist tweaking, we were confident the ends justified the means.

You’ll appreciate Myers’ dedication to musical truth without compromise from the Stellar S300

The Analog Cell

The power amplifier is technology always present in stereo systems. Yet, despite the fact everyone uses them, few appreciate the power amp’s critical role in preserving music’s nuanced details, because most amplifiers fail to preserve them. Overtones from plucked instruments, subtle cues defining placement, depth, soundstage width, and transient decays are often lost in the power amplifier. The S300 loses nothing.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—with never a hint of glare or unnaturalness. The S300 is faithful to the music like few amplifiers are.

The Analog Cell makes all the difference

The connection between preamplifier and power amplifier is critical, for it is at this junction where most essential musical details are easily lost. Nothing in the design of a power amplifier is more important than its input stage when preserving music’s finest nuances. 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 Myers the freedom to voice the amplifier as he sees fit. Long hours of listening and tuning sessions in Music Room One, shared by PS Audio founder Paul McGowan and Darren Myers, resulted in a sonic signature that honours the music and never draws attention to itself.

The listening experience with the S300 starts feet tapping and smiles breaking out. The S300 presents music without a hint of glare. Listeners are constantly surprised at the width and depth of the S300’s soundstage; its preservation of the smallest details in reverb, room acoustics, musical overtones; its commanding presence without intrusion; it’s delicate handling of subtle shadings; its authority as it grabs hold of the loudspeaker and breezes through even the most complex musical passages.

Output Stage

The hybrid approach used in Stellar’s power amplifiers takes advantage of the best traits technology has to offer. Its all important 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.

The history of Class D amplifiers stretches back to the 1950s, though those early designs—even those into the late 1990s—had much to be desired, sonically. Modern designs capable of high linearity and neutral sound quality weren’t available until the early 2000s, and into late 2015.

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.

All power amplification stages have strengths and weakness. Class D output stages are no different. Their strengths are many: near-perfect linearity, low distortion, high efficiency. Areas where they do not excel, are most notable in high-frequency extremes. 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 50kHz. Human hearing limitations are 20kHz, 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 4Ω. Plenty of horsepower for even the most demanding loudspeakers.

Specifications:

  • Unit Weight - 13 lbs [5.9 kg]
  • Unit Dimensions - 17”W x 3”H x 12”D (13"D w/connectors)
  • Colour Options - Black, Silver
  • Voltage Options(Factory set only) - 230V
  • Mains Power Inputs - IEC C14
  • Idle Power Consumption - 13W
  • Accessories Included - US (NEMA 5-15P) (all versions), Schuko (CEE7/7) (230V version), UK (BS 1363) (230V version)
  • Audio Inputs - RCA (Unbalanced), XLR (Balanced)
  • Speaker Outputs - Copper base nickel plated binding posts (2 pair per channel)
  • DC Trigger Input - 3.5mm 5-15VDC

Signal

  • Gain - 30.5dB +/-0.5dB
  • Sensitivity for rated output power - 1.01V
  • Noise - 1kHz@300 Watts < -100dB
  • Input impedance - Unbalanced 50KΩ, Balanced 100KΩ
  • Output Impedance - 50Hz, 2.8VRMS <0.007Ω
  • Damping factor - 50Hz. 2.8VRMS, 8Ω >1100, 4Ω >550
  • Frequency Response - 2.8VRMS into 4Ω, 10Hz – 20KHz +/- 0.5dB, 10Hz – 50KHz +0.1/-3.0dB

THD&IM

  • 1KHz, 1W/4Ω - <0.02%
  • 10-20KHz, 1W/4Ω - <0.02%
  • 10-50KHz, 1W/4Ω - < 0.05% (90kHz BW)
  • 1KHz, 37.5W/4Ω - < 0.01%

Output Power - Both channels driven 120vac mains, 1kHz, 1% THD

  • 8Ω - 140W minimum
  • 4Ω - 300W minimum
  • 2Ω - Stable for musical transients

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