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Old 11-15-2018, 10:32 AM
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naturephoto1 naturephoto1 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Breinigsville, PA
Posts: 33
Default Considering Pass Labs XP-10 or XP-12 Preamp

I would very much appreciate some input in possibly purchasing a good used priced Pass Labs XP-10 or XP-12 preamp. I have some exceedingly efficient horn speakers, the Oswalds Mills Audio (OMA) New Yorker Prototype speakers that I purchased some years ago (you can see some photos below). These speakers have an efficiency of 104 or 104.5dB which has been a mixed blessing. I really like these speakers and have no intention of replacing them. I have gone through several amps over time due to the fact that I have been hearing hum through the speakers at my listening seating 10 feet away. I had purchased a First Watt M2 (25 watts Class A at 8 ohm) which is the noisiest of the First Watt amps with a noise of 500uV and still heard hum coming through the speakers at my seating now for the last 8 years. I have been using the amp with a highly modded Audio Research LS10 preamp. I just purchased a much quieter First Watt amp, the F7 (20 watts Class A at 8 ohms) which only has a noise of 100uV. When I plugged in the amp there was silence coming through the speakers which was an excellent sign. Unfortunately, when I then connected the modded ARC LS10 preamp I was again getting hum through the speakers at the listening seating. It has been suggest that the LS10 is a high gain preamp and is having a mismatch with the First Watt F7 amp.

I am trying to avoid a passive preamp and may wish to replace the ARC LS10 as mentioned with a Pass Labs XP-10 or XP-12 preamp that will have lower gain output and will be quieter. Hopefully one of these preamps will mate well with the First Watt F7 amp and will at least be quieter so that I no longer hear the hum at my seating location.

I wish to use the preamp both for my 2 channel listening (both analog including vinyl and digital) and also would need to have the Pass Through for a processor capabilities to use with my Home Theater. I know that these preamps have a fine reputation for their performance, are known to be quiet, and they offer the capabilities of using Input 5 for a processer. I am interested in the best sound though. The Pre Pro processor to be used with the Preamp is the Marantz av8802A. Additionally, I presume that a tape source could be used as one of the 3 single ended sources for both preamps though there are no record options.

Thanks very much for your consideration and your observations and suggestions.


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