Pass Labs Debuts XP-22 Preamplifier & XP-27 Phono Stage At AXPONA 2018
Pass Labs, located in 1-Schaumburg G at AXPONA 2018, says they do not change their products unless the company feels that the changes are significant improvements over previous versions. According to the pres release, "Because of this our typical product life spans are eight to ten years. We are constantly working on and listening to new things and increasing our knowledge of circuits and components on sound. Eventually we find some things worth putting into production because they are significant enough. That time has come with a new series of preamplifiers.
Replacing the XP-20 Preamplifier that was introduced in 2008, the new XP-22 ($9500) uses double shielded, low-noise toroidal transformers in an external supply connected via aviation-grade circular connectors using silver over oxygen-free copper. The power supply is dual mono, with two transformers offering lower radiated and mechanical noise. Noise is the most prominent part of THD+N at low levels, so by lowering noise we get better resolution and dynamics.
The gain circuitry continues to use our favorite transistors from Toshiba but has a larger, higher-biased, output stage like the Xs Preamp, and includes auto bias. The larger output stage makes longer, and multiple cable runs easier to drive and gives us the advantage of simplifying our single-ended output circuitry while increasing performance. The volume control is a single stage instead of two stages and has more range; it is quieter and more accurate. This is the same volume control as used in the XP-30."
Also being shown at AXPONA 2018 is the Pass Labs twin-chassis XP-27 Phono Preamplifier ($11,500), which is said to eclipses the already exceptional performance of the well-reviewed and well-received XP-15, XP-25 (introduced in 2010) and XP-17: delivering enhanced RIAA performance at a fraction of the previous distortion.
According to Pass Labs, "The new design uses double-shielded, low-noise toroidal transformers in an external supply, connected via aviation-grade circular connectors using silver over oxygen-free copper. The power supply is dual mono with two transformers with lower radiated and mechanical noise. Noise is the most prominent part of THD+N at low levels, so by lowering noise we get better resolution and dynamics.