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Old 04-11-2019, 07:35 PM
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daveneumann daveneumann is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 262
Default Pass Labs synergy

I was using a Pass X250.8 amp with my Sonus Faber Amati Futuras and several different tube preamps. I was looking for more detail, dynamics and bass slam. I replaced a Doshi Audio full function tube preamp with a Pass XP22 line stage preamp and XP17 phono stage. Before the Doshi, I had an Audio Research Ref 5 and Naim Superline phono stage. I found the Doshi to be better than the Audio Research/Naim combo, but the Pass gear has taken my system exactly in the direction I was hoping for. Great bass, actually surprising at times with real slam (something my speakers aren't known for). Beautiful midrange with plenty of detail, precise imaging, and maximal differentiation of voices and instruments. The treble is also better with more detail, spatial cues, and extension. And it is dead quiet, something I never experienced with tube gear.

Overall the Pass gear seems to match synergistically. This is the first configuration I've had in 25 years without tubes somewhere in the chain. The only thing I'm missing versus tubes is the "bloom" around notes...that unique ability of tubes to hang notes in the air with a more natural development and decay.

As I look back on my (many) system configurations, it seems that when I go with one manufacturer the synergy seems to be special. This includes systems made up of preamps and amps from Lamm, Audio Research, Doshi, Rogue, and McIntosh. I have the same approach to cabling, with Transparent Reference in the system from phono to power cords. While its fun to mix and match to tune the sound, my experience has been the most enjoyable systems are based on electronics from one manufacturer.

Of course everything works together as a system. The Pass electronics and Transparent Reference seem to be a great match with Sonus Faber, certainly the best I've tried.

And as an added bonus, Mark Semet at Reno HiFi and Kent at Pass Labs are both are great guys to work with.

Anyone else here using a total Pass Labs electronics system?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Pass Labs gear.jpg (87.9 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg system 3.jpg (91.5 KB, 70 views)
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SF Stradivari, Pass 260.8 amps, Pass XP 22; Pass XP 17, Raven One TT, Graham Phantom II arm, Lyra Etna, Airtight PC1, Transparent Reference, dedicated room 17 X 34 X 9
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