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Pass Labs 20 Years and Counting

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 08-17-2011, 11:19 PM
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I wish it had 3 inputs and 3 ground terminals.

What is up with these manufacturers that make multiple input phono stages, then scrimp on only one ground terminal. It is a real PITA when you are switching tables and tonearms.
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Turntables: Pioneer Exclusive P3 & P10, TW Acustik AC-3 / Graham Phantom, Linn LP12/ Naim ARO Phono: Pass XP-25, TW Acustik Cartridges: Lyra ATLAS, Dynavector XV-1s, SPU Royal & Classic E, Ortofon A90, Linn Troika, Technics EPC100Cmk4, ESC Denon 103r, Denon DL-S1, Audio Technica AT25. EQ: DEQX HDP-4 preamp: cj GAT, Pass XP-20 amps: D'Agostino Momentum Stereo, cj prem8a - teflon caps, speaker: Wilson Maxx 3
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:18 AM
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Agreed. That is my only complaint with the ARC REF Phono 2. One more input and three ground terminals..
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turntable View Post
So Rockitman

How is the xp-25 going? We would like your thoughts. I always liked my Xono when I owned one.
My jaw still drops with this unit. What can I say ?

It's robust and full sounding. Lightning fast, dynamic. Such wonderful tight/extended bass. The midrange is just perfect, the treble, airy, never bright or etchy. I don't think about phono-pre's anymore. It's allowing me to focus on my next table from clearaudio currently under development:

A master reference innovation type table with a quad plinth (think two innovations stacked on top of one another and of course the ceramic bearing and the new feature that will be on this table....magnetic drive. I was teased with this info talking to their US Distributor the other day. I'm saving my pennies...

Last edited by rockitman; 08-18-2011 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:48 PM
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thanks Rockit

Gotta try and hear a XP-25 at some stage
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Turntables: Pioneer Exclusive P3 & P10, TW Acustik AC-3 / Graham Phantom, Linn LP12/ Naim ARO Phono: Pass XP-25, TW Acustik Cartridges: Lyra ATLAS, Dynavector XV-1s, SPU Royal & Classic E, Ortofon A90, Linn Troika, Technics EPC100Cmk4, ESC Denon 103r, Denon DL-S1, Audio Technica AT25. EQ: DEQX HDP-4 preamp: cj GAT, Pass XP-20 amps: D'Agostino Momentum Stereo, cj prem8a - teflon caps, speaker: Wilson Maxx 3
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Old 09-08-2011, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonepub
Nice pre! And as much as I love my REF, I'm with you on not hunting for tubes! Just got the XP-15 here to audition and it may be a keeper as a daily driver for that exact reason.

Enjoy!
How does the XP15 compare so far to some of your other favorite phono stages? I did see that you used the Nagra VPS for reference in the past.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:59 PM
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I am picking up a XP-25 from the dealer today.

It will be interesting to hear how it sounds compared to my TW Acustik phono stage.

I really liked the XONO when I owned one.

cheers
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Turntables: Pioneer Exclusive P3 & P10, TW Acustik AC-3 / Graham Phantom, Linn LP12/ Naim ARO Phono: Pass XP-25, TW Acustik Cartridges: Lyra ATLAS, Dynavector XV-1s, SPU Royal & Classic E, Ortofon A90, Linn Troika, Technics EPC100Cmk4, ESC Denon 103r, Denon DL-S1, Audio Technica AT25. EQ: DEQX HDP-4 preamp: cj GAT, Pass XP-20 amps: D'Agostino Momentum Stereo, cj prem8a - teflon caps, speaker: Wilson Maxx 3
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:16 AM
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Can anyone speak to the sound of the XP-25 as compared to the ARC Ref Phono 2E?

They're at similar price points, but of course there's no tube costs to factor into the price of the XP-25.

That having been said, I recently demoed a very highly regarded SS preamp, and the lack of "life" compared to a tubed phono stage was immediately apparent to me.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:17 PM
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BillK.

The great tube phono stages will ALWAYS have superior life, that is to me extension and 3d effect in the upper frequencies. This is more apparent on lower to mid sound levels than when cranking it.

I have listened to the arc ref2 and that is the case as well. The pass has better density, bass impact and leading edge of instruments is more direct.. I do have all tubes in my system, so system synergy will dictate. Hard to have both thou.

I have more listening to do and the pass is sounding v good so far. Whether or not I can live without the upper frequency life is probably what it will come down to. But I am looking for a complimentary phono stage to my TW tube phono.

One thing I have noticed of the XP-25 is the clunkiness of the switches and dials when changing impedance or capacitance. Compared to the electronic switches in the ARC phono or the pure sophistication and utter quality of the Esoteric e-03 switches. The pass is downright disappointing in this respect - but they work.
The XP-25 only has one phono stage with a switch, vs two separate phono stages of most of the competition.

Cheers
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Turntables: Pioneer Exclusive P3 & P10, TW Acustik AC-3 / Graham Phantom, Linn LP12/ Naim ARO Phono: Pass XP-25, TW Acustik Cartridges: Lyra ATLAS, Dynavector XV-1s, SPU Royal & Classic E, Ortofon A90, Linn Troika, Technics EPC100Cmk4, ESC Denon 103r, Denon DL-S1, Audio Technica AT25. EQ: DEQX HDP-4 preamp: cj GAT, Pass XP-20 amps: D'Agostino Momentum Stereo, cj prem8a - teflon caps, speaker: Wilson Maxx 3

Last edited by turntable; 04-19-2012 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:40 AM
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Shane,

Nice to see you are demoing the Pass. It needs a good few days to settle down. I agree about the clunckiness of the switches. I moved the Titan i back to the TW phono recently. The top end air and extension is incredible. The only thing is the Pass is quieter, dynamic and detailed. I wish there was a phono that does it all. I just can't live without the Pass bass. It just doesn't it and brings the music together.

How are you liking the Atlas? I just read the review of MF and the way he writes it is tempting. I would need to sell something the pay for it as it is well out of my budget.

Sent from my GT-I9100 using A.Aficionado
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 04-20-2012, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazngad View Post
Shane,

Nice to see you are demoing the Pass. It needs a good few days to settle down. I agree about the clunckiness of the switches. I moved the Titan i back to the TW phono recently. The top end air and extension is incredible. The only thing is the Pass is quieter, dynamic and detailed. I wish there was a phono that does it all. I just can't live without the Pass bass. It just doesn't it and brings the music together.

How are you liking the Atlas? I just read the review of MF and the way he writes it is tempting. I would need to sell something the pay for it as it is well out of my budget.

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Hi Darren

Yes, the phono that does it all. I think you have it just about right. play music on the pass for a couple of weeks/months, enjoy what it does well, then change to the TW and enjoy what it does well.

Bottom line - there is NO SS amp that does upper frequency extenion and air that tubes do - that pretty much goes with pre amps and amps to an extent. All a compromise.

If the Esoteric did the bass control as well as the Pass, it is as close to tube " air" as you can get - trouble is it JUST falls short of the best of tubes and SS, so a bit of half full or empty depending on your view.

Re, Atlas - wonderful cartridge - I do not believe I have reached the upper limits of how good it can sound. It so far has been impossible to trip up musically. I Can say I am not looking for another cartridge. I would think it is more refined and pure than the titan. I would like to hear the titan.

cheers
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Turntables: Pioneer Exclusive P3 & P10, TW Acustik AC-3 / Graham Phantom, Linn LP12/ Naim ARO Phono: Pass XP-25, TW Acustik Cartridges: Lyra ATLAS, Dynavector XV-1s, SPU Royal & Classic E, Ortofon A90, Linn Troika, Technics EPC100Cmk4, ESC Denon 103r, Denon DL-S1, Audio Technica AT25. EQ: DEQX HDP-4 preamp: cj GAT, Pass XP-20 amps: D'Agostino Momentum Stereo, cj prem8a - teflon caps, speaker: Wilson Maxx 3

Last edited by turntable; 04-20-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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