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Pass Labs 20 Years and Counting

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  #11  
Old 09-23-2011, 12:49 AM
PHC1 PHC1 is offline
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Serge.......There was a time when my vinyl collection exceeded 1500 albums. When I was selling off all that vinyl I never thought there would come a day I wanted it all back. Hindsight always seems to be crystal clear.

I can already tell from what I am experiencing with the Michell Gyro SE/SME 309/Ortofon Cadenza Black through the C2300 moving coil phono stage, I will be buying lots more vinyl. The MC stage in the C2300 is fairly clean, but I feel certain I can improve on it.
Yes, it is not bad. That's the other point here, to make a significant improvement, a significant investment must take place, otherwise your return on investment may not be a big step up and a waste of money being more of a lateral move...

Yours is not the only story of a record collection sold, given or even thrown away. No use crying over spilled milk, even buying 5-10 albums a month that you really enjoy listening to will add up to a nice, manageable, enjoyable collection in a few years time. Having a huge record collection may be great but most the guys I know with larger collections don't listen to 80-90% of the records often if at all. At that point, what's the point? My own collection is growing every month but it is still very manageable and I do listen to most of my records quite often because I enjoy them all.

Last edited by PHC1; 09-23-2011 at 12:51 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2011, 01:28 AM
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Dan, go tubes. Even the best SS phono may give you sharper transients, crisper dynamic contrast but will have a hard time matching the harmonic bloom and three dimensionality of a tubed phono. Tubes and vinyl just sound so right!

Just get the Manley Steelhead phono stage/preamp and be done with it. Mikey Fremer has been using it for years.

Manley_Steelhead_phono_stage
Hi Serge,
I would have to disagree with you on that comparison. I used to own the Pass Xono and demoed the Steelhead at home twice. In comparison the Steelhead sounded SS , leading edge and threadbare - yes it had bloom, however it had that forward upper mid/lower treble forwardness/ brightness than can effect some tube equipment trying to sound fast.

BTW, If you grow detached from the ARC ref2, I will get better use out of it than Dan I can afford a used one.

Dan

If the XP-15 is better sounding than the Xono ( which is supposedly is), it will be a very good sounding phono indeed. see if you can get a demo, or I think I saw one on gon.
But, like anything - if your system is leaning towards neutral, it may not be the best choice.

the ARC ref2 is in another league of goodness thou.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:48 AM
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Hi Serge,
I would have to disagree with you on that comparison. I used to own the Pass Xono and demoed the Steelhead at home twice. In comparison the Steelhead sounded SS , leading edge and threadbare - yes it had bloom, however it had that forward upper mid/lower treble forwardness/ brightness than can effect some tube equipment trying to sound fast.

BTW, If you grow detached from the ARC ref2, I will get better use out of it than Dan I can afford a used one.

Dan

If the XP-15 is better sounding than the Xono ( which is supposedly is), it will be a very good sounding phono indeed. see if you can get a demo, or I think I saw one on gon.
But, like anything - if your system is leaning towards neutral, it may not be the best choice.

the ARC ref2 is in another league of goodness thou.
Shane, with the 6922 and 7044 tubes in the steelhead, it would be easy enough to tube roll and tweak it to satisfaction. What does one do about SS?
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:00 AM
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Serge.......Don't take my comments the wrong way. If the ARC PH7 had a bit higher gain than 57.5 dB I would probably jump on it. There is a nice one on the Gon right now. Actually, I would love to put an Audio Research Anniversary REF 2 phono preamp in my system, but with a vinyl collection that has been reduced to about 100 LP's it is difficult to justify the expense versus the reward. Maybe I'll be patient and wait. Perhaps you'll put your REF 2 up for sale soon at a price I can't refuse.
I told you Dan, I told you....
It is growing on you and resistance is futile !
When you'll have the Ref 2, your vinyl collection will go from 100 to 500 in a few months !
But I have to admit that this Pass phono stage looks terrific and may be a serious competitor to the REF 2 even if it's SS.....
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Last edited by Jerome W; 09-23-2011 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 09-23-2011, 02:07 AM
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Yes, it is not bad. That's the other point here, to make a significant improvement, a significant investment must take place, otherwise your return on investment may not be a big step up and a waste of money being more of a lateral move...

Yours is not the only story of a record collection sold, given or even thrown away. No use crying over spilled milk, even buying 5-10 albums a month that you really enjoy listening to will add up to a nice, manageable, enjoyable collection in a few years time. Having a huge record collection may be great but most the guys I know with larger collections don't listen to 80-90% of the records often if at all. At that point, what's the point? My own collection is growing every month but it is still very manageable and I do listen to most of my records quite often because I enjoy them all.
Exactly my opinion Dan and you already know that. Very well said Serge !
Now, Dan just has to be patient....
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  #16  
Old 09-23-2011, 02:07 AM
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I told you Dan, I told you....
It is growing on you and resistance is futile !
Jérôme.......I knew I heard it somewhere.
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  #17  
Old 09-23-2011, 02:13 AM
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Dan, I doubt I would be parting with my REF2 phono anytime soon. It's breaking in around the clock with granite audio phono burn in cd and I'm also tracking the break in by listening to vinyl at least a few hours a day. It is very, very impressive already. It breathes, it has stunning attack and decay, bass is now starting to gain texture and analog roundness and getting less dry by the hour. Harmonic envelope is starting to open up and it's starting to show me it's musical beauty. I have a long way to go yet for all those caps to break in fully but it is transparent, detailed, resolving and quite dynamic already. I can only imagine what it will sound like if the 600 hr min break in is true. This phono stage is Reference grade indeed.

And this is where I feel I should advise you not to skimp on a phono stage. My $2k EMT cart and 50 year old rest-mod table with SME 309 sounds like the sum of it's parts are at least 3 times the price. The phono stage is certainly not a bottleneck and evidently my analog front end had even more performance potential than I initially thought. Shindo+SUT was very musical and impressive, the REF2 took that and expanded on it by adding quite a bit more sparkle, energy and dynamic slam.

Get the best phono stage you can or want to spend on and you'll be rewarded for many years with outstanding performance. Your vinyl collection will grow from the increased enjoyment you will derive from your analog rig.
Serge, very well said my friend !
I'm happy that you enjoy your REF 2 as much as I do !
And I share the exact same opinion.
No need for a fancy TT and cart with the REF 2. A decent TT / arm / cart will sound fabulous with this phono stage.
I tried to explain that to Philippe ( Rafale ) in the PH 7 topic of Dan.
It seems that Dan will have to wait a pretty long time.....
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2011, 02:14 AM
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Shane, with the 6922 and 7044 tubes in the steelhead, it would be easy enough to tube roll and tweak it to satisfaction. What does one do about SS?
Serge, rolling tubes IMO will not get a Steelhead up to full satisfaction status


cheers

Last edited by turntable; 09-23-2011 at 03:04 AM.
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  #19  
Old 09-23-2011, 03:06 AM
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Serge,
So I noticed that you slightly prefer the REF 2 over the Masseto + SUT. This was my guess actually.
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  #20  
Old 09-23-2011, 03:07 AM
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WOW !
Dan, so sorry that your XP15 thread has been contaminated this way.
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