With the Xs we start with a clean slate because the Xs line is of course new.
It is a large two chassis preamp built in a true dual mono arrangement. The circuit board materials are optimized for performance in each area, a power supply circuit board has different requirements than a gain stage and we use different types optimized for their specific uses.
Each channel has its own power supply board with 100,000 uf of capacitors combining several kinds for optimum performance from high reliability electrolytics to custom polypropylene. The use of newly available silicon carbide semiconductors kicks performance up a bit by dropping noise below the level of the XP30.
The gain stages from input to output connectors and all parts between them have been chosen for maximum sonic performance. We use a DC coupled ultra symmetric gain path with high bias class A circuitry. The power supply has lower noise with a refined circuit design and layout. New gain stages with auto bias and DC compensation keep performance at prime.
But it all comes down to the sound. When you go through the door that is the Xs preamp there is no going back
Max output: 22V
Output impedance: 20 ohms main balanced per leg; 50 ohms aux balanced per leg; 120 ohms single-ended RCA, either
Noise floor: -122dB ref to 5V
Distortion: .001% 1kHz 5V
Frequency response: ‚Äì1dB@1Hz and 100kHz
Channel separation: Greater than 110dB
Residual broadband noise: Less than 25mV
Max gain: 10dB
Volume control: .5dB steps
Power consumptions: 55W
Dimensions: 19″ x 6.25″ x 14″
Weight: 80 lbs.
This is a case where I need to begin a review by reminding the reader that the name of this magazine is The Absolute Sound, not the Cost-Effective Sound. Both products I’m reviewing – the Pass Xs preamp and Pass Xs 300 power amplifier – are efforts to provide that absolute sound without compromise in either quality or price. They are new top-of-the-line components that push the state of art in audio to its limits, and they are priced accordingly