Stello DA100s not much difference?
Nov 22, 2008 at 6:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

Randolph Duke

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Just received a Stello DA100s.
I hooked it up via toslink to my Airport express and I'm running it into a Rotel 2 channel system with B&W speakers.
The system sounded quite good without the Stello, but I bought into some hype and I am considering a tube headphone amp in the future- so that's the reason for the Stello.
Sadly, I'm not that impressed. I do not hear much improvement- if any.

Anyone share the buyer remorse on something like this?

(I wish I could have demo'd it first.
The bummer is most of these online shops will not take returns.)
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 7:53 PM Post #3 of 17

Randolph Duke

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Should I expect a noticeable change as they settle?

I suppose my beef is- in relation to the cost- I expected a bit more.
Maybe I didn't realize just how clean and upfront my system sounded.
Perhaps once you have decent receiver/speaker set-up- improvements from additional components will be subtle?

I'll give it some time. I could also sell it.
I'm thinking I should have used the $800+ toward an investment on one of the newer Rotels.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 8:12 PM Post #4 of 17

MaloS

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Improvements offered by Stello may very well be masked by your B&W's. I did not hear much improvement using AKG K240M for example, but it did wicked things with AKG K340, Sennheiser HD650, Stax SR-003.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 8:47 PM Post #5 of 17

nick_charles

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Randolph Duke /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Just received a Stello DA100s.
...Sadly, I'm not that impressed. I do not hear much improvement- if any.



Quote:

Originally Posted by [L]es /img/forum/go_quote.gif
is it brand new ? how about giving the capacitors some time to settle in ?



Quote:

Originally Posted by MaloS /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Improvements offered by Stello may very well be masked by your B&W's.


The next audiophile answer will imply that you are deaf. This is an archetypical pattern of audiophile responses to someone who mentions concern that a hyped product does not seem worth the money.
  1. Burn In.
  2. The rest of your system is poor.
  3. You are deaf if you cannot hear the difference.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 8:53 PM Post #6 of 17

Andrew_WOT

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nick_charles /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The next audiophile answer will imply that you are deaf. This is an archetypical pattern of audiophile responses to someone who mentions concern that a hyped product does not seem worth the money.
  1. Burn In.
  2. The rest of your system is poor.
  3. You are deaf if you cannot hear the difference.



And your point is . . . ?
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 9:15 PM Post #7 of 17

nick_charles

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT /img/forum/go_quote.gif
And your point is . . . ?


It was mostly an observation, but the point is that there is a contingent who are such true believers that they will reject any evidence that contradicts their world view and rather than accepting that someone can have a valid different experience will find reasons to question it and mostly to try and persuade the proponent of this alternative world view that their view is fundamentally flawed, rather than just saying sorry you did not find A to be obviously superior to B.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 9:50 PM Post #8 of 17

Randolph Duke

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Yeah- I'm not sure a "burn in" will make it drastically different from what i hear today. I tend to lean toward: the Stello is not a good fit with my system.
That said- it may greatly improve on another system.
I tried it and I just don't think I need it.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 10:05 PM Post #9 of 17

Andrew_WOT

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Randolph Duke /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yeah- I'm not sure a "burn in" will make it drastically different from what i hear today. I tend to lean toward: the Stello is not a good fit with my system.
That said- it may greatly improve on another system.
I tried it and I just don't think I need it.



Can you describe your system? Are you using lossless files, have you tried headphones (which ones), dedicated headphone amp paired with DAC? How about connecting directly to computer and using ASIO4ALL and foobar2000 instead of Airport Express? May be CD player with toslink or coax out?
I don't want to feed the troll, but it is quite possible that the rest of your system just muddies the water too much to hear the difference.
And by all means, if you are happy with your system as it was, just unload Stello to someone who can appreciate it.

Cheers.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 11:10 PM Post #10 of 17

Randolph Duke

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WOT,
Lossless files to Airport to Rotel RSX1056 (two channel set-up) out to a pair of B&W CM2's.

When I added the Stello I ran the airport into it using the toslink optical. I set it to upsample. And ran it out to the Rotel via interconnects.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 11:42 PM Post #11 of 17
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Quote:

Originally Posted by nick_charles /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It was mostly an observation, but the point is that there is a contingent who are such true believers that they will reject any evidence that contradicts their world view and rather than accepting that someone can have a valid different experience will find reasons to question it and mostly to try and persuade the proponent of this alternative world view that their view is fundamentally flawed, rather than just saying sorry you did not find A to be obviously superior to B.


Which is what you're doing. We could also be interested in the reason why he's had his experience, instead of just saying "Oh, that's too bad.".

Quote:

Originally Posted by Randolph Duke /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I tried it and I just don't think I need it.


I think you're on the money here. If you start investing seriously into headphone gear, then you'll really notice a difference. My experience was that even a $200 DAC made a difference from my MacBook Pro with $700-worth of headphones. There was then another clear jump from $200 to $1000.

What "Rotel 2 channel system" and B&W speakers do you have? There's a huge range of 2 channel Rotel gear and B&W speakers ranging from crap to brilliant.
 
Nov 22, 2008 at 11:54 PM Post #12 of 17

olblueyez

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You say you used up sampling, if your system is warm already then you may want to disable the up sampling and try it that way. Also like Andrew said I would try a direct connection to the computer to determine if the Airport is contributing to this. Also, are you sending bit perfect to the Airport and using lossless?
 
Nov 23, 2008 at 11:39 PM Post #13 of 17

Mazz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Randolph Duke /img/forum/go_quote.gif
WOT,
Lossless files to Airport to Rotel RSX1056 (two channel set-up) out to a pair of B&W CM2's.

When I added the Stello I ran the airport into it using the toslink optical. I set it to upsample. And ran it out to the Rotel via interconnects.



FWIW, I also have a Rotel RSX-1056 two-channel setup (but with Spendor S9 speakers) driven by toslink optical from a Chaintech AV-710 in my MythTV-based media server playing (mostly) FLAC.

I carefully tried inserting a (volume-matched) DAC1 into the chain as the DAC feeding into the Rotel's analog inputs, and heard generally subtle differences at best. This suggests that either the Rotel's DAC is already pretty decent, or that the speakers can't resolve the difference, or that my ears can't hear the difference (or some combination of those possibilities). As enjoyable as the speakers are, I found I can hear a lot more detail on many tracks via my MD-5000 headphones (driven by a Pico or D2 Boa). This points to the speakers being (at least) one limitation that may indeed mask improvements elsewhere in the chain.

Of course, with your music, your ears and your speakers being different from mine, your mileage may vary...
 
Nov 25, 2008 at 7:55 PM Post #15 of 17

Bones13

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From looking up your Rotel amp, its a multichannel reciever.

Are you connecting the Airport Express to your receiver with Toslink, or Stereo connector.

I would imagine the DAC chip, with the good powersupply your receiver will have, might be a match for the Stello unit.

I might not have been surprised if your new DAC did not improve much over your receiver with toslink input.

I would be surprised if the Stello did not upgrade your sound from the DAC in the Airport Express.

Of course, I could be deaf too according to some folks here. I know I can't pick up some of the stuff folks talk about, but it makes my life a lot easier.
 

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