PS Audio announced Monday the introduction of its Stellar Strata Integrated Amplifier — a 200 watt-per-channel amplifier (into 4 ohms). The Strata integrated amplifier is balanced from input to output for sound quality and quiet operation. Its preamplifier stage features PS Audio’s analog Gain Cell (a control center that eliminates the sonic degradation that can be caused by conventional volume controls). The Strata provides three analog inputs, including an XLR balanced input.
The built-in DAC was designed by the PS Audio engineering team of Bob Stadtherr and Darren Myers to deliver sound quality from any digital source. All digital signals are fed in native mode into the DAC’s proprietary 32-bit Digital Lens, which recognizes the sample rate, re-clocks the data, reduces jitter and applies other processing. The DAC can deliver up to 384kHz digital audio depending on the source, with native DSD capability. The Strata provides coaxial and optical digital, asynchronous USB and I2S inputs.
A built-in streaming module offers high-resolution audio up to 192kHz from streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Napster, iHeartRadio, DLNA and others. The streaming module is operated from a smartphone using the new PS Connect app and music server software such as JRiver, Bit Perfect, Amarra or Pure Music. The phone acts as a wireless controller, with the Strata receiving its audio stream directly from the internet via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
Also, the Strata’s digital-filter-selection feature allows the listener to choose between slow, minimum and fast settings and tailor the high-frequency response to personal preferences and program sources.
The Strata’s output stage utilizes an ICE high-current Class D module with PS Audio’s exclusive (and trademarked) Gain Cell circuitry. This mirrors the sonic warmth of a vacuum tube while providing the power and control of solid-state. The amp can deliver 200 watts per channel (into 4 ohms; 100 into 8 ohms) and drive loudspeaker loads. Strata also features a built-in headphone amplifier: It adjusts the levels of each input to avoid large volume swings when switching between sources, phase and balance adjustments.
The PS Audio Stellar Strata Integrated Amplifier will be available in June 2020 at a U.S. manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2,999. Its design matches other Stellar Series components and is available in silver or black. Here are the full specs:
- Class A balanced analog Gain Cell preamplifier section
- Full-function DAC
- High-resolution streaming up to 192kHz using PS Connect control app
- Three single-ended analog inputs, one balanced analog input and four digital inputs including coaxial, optical, I2S and USB (asynchronous to 384kHz) with DSD capability
- 200 watts per channel into 4 ohms; 100 watts into 8 ohms
- Hybrid amplifier with Class A input stage coupled to a high-powered Class D output stage
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Built-in Class A headphone amplifier
- 25 lb.; 17” wide by 3” high by 12” deep