Pass Labs X-2 Preamplifiers

4.5/5 (4 Reviews)


Product Description



Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by wet weasel a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 25, 2007

Bottom Line:   
The X2 is a fine product with very good sonics, first-class build quality and a user interface that feels good under the fingers. No remote, but that's fine by me. Under sensible use conditions it'll handle any load, in or out, without strain or coloration. At the very edges of the envelope it falters a bit. With a low-voltage source (a Rega Planet cd player) it will drive my Grado HP2 headphones (this is what John Atkinson of "stereophile" Magazine would call a punishing load) with clean, honest tonal and dynamic performance. But at max gain it's not quite loud enough for me. Using a higher-voltage source (a Mark Levinson no.39 with its integral linestage set to unity), single-ended or balanced in, it clips just shy of max safe loudness in the 'phones. Right up to the clipping point it maintained signal quality.
Mind you, these are tough test conditions. Driving a power amp into speakers of ordinary sensitivity, it does just fine. I've partnered it with an X150, an X350.5 and a McCormack DNA-1 rev. A.
Acoustically, it is a neutral, honest conduit of musical information. It adds no flaws or false detail to the signal. Its very slight shortfall is that it is not QUITE as transparent as its big sibling the X0.2; vide infra. I had to spend time in reviewer mode to notice that. But this is a subtractive effect and does not interfere with getting the straight, complete story from the source and recording. The X2 is neither bright nor laid-back; it is neither euphonic nor clinical.
The other tiny imperfection, as another has noticed, is a background hiss. It is faint and volume-dependent - I have never become aware of it while playing music. If you use sensitive speakers and/or amps that like the highest gain settings, Audition Before You Buy.
At its price point (especially with great deals on pre-owned units, what with it's out of production since the X2.5 was introduced) it is a superb choice. Even though mine has been displaced from my reference system, I'm keeping it. As I upgrade the main system, the retirees will serve in a wonderful "family" audio rig.
Build quality? Let's just say I expect it to serve with a figurative smile for the lifetime of my grandkids ... should I become thus blessed.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Immedia



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by sava savic a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2002

Bottom Line:   
i started with alephL/aleph3 combo using
them with the quads63 . then i moved to
X2/X250 with MGs1.6.
the X2 sounds very good indeed . much better the Alep L and has balanced in/out.
but its sound is closer to the L then to
the sound of the P . that was the reason
i moved to the 2.5

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   local dealer



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Si Meng Lai a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2001

Bottom Line:   
After much auditioning with mark levinsons, brystons, krell, blue circle ( they are all excellent products)I decided on the music reproduction capabilities of the Pass Laps X series. I am using the Pass X2( second generation) with the Pass X150 power amplifier. Clearly this combination of separates proved superior in music reproduction relative to the other good products that I auditioned.
The X2 provides a neutral approach to music reproduction and does not add any foot-prints of it's own. It does not get in the way of music reproduction and allows for whatever is recorded in the sources to surface. Soundstaging is deep and brilliant. I was particularly impressed with the 3-dimensional display of the instruments and voices presented. Beautiful background music which I did not hear before came forth with clarity and focus thus adding to the depth of the soundstage. Lots of air between and separating the presenters within the soundstage. It exudes a nice warmness to the presentation while providing excellent clarity and dynamics. Not cold nor grainy. Accuracy of musical instruments is inspiring. This combination evokes an involving emotional musical experience and I really looked forward to each event. I recommend this combination for people who enjoys music ( not technical dissections of equipment performances)and who are seriously considering a major upgrade from integrated components. The sonic improvements are major and clearly audible( infact, the best upgrade I have experienced).
My congrats to Pass Laps for making available to us such excellent and high quality music reproduction equipment.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Centre Circle Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Martin Taylor a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: February 19, 2000

Bottom Line:   
This preamp does what I wanted of it: four inputs, one of which is balanced (to which I connect my DAC) and fully balanced output to drive my Chord SPM1200C power amp. It is essentially neutral with no discernible character but drives the balanced outputs well across a very wide bandwidth. There is a slight hiss which is only noticeable late at night.
The controls feel very chunky and the whole things looks built to last 100 years with its solid milled panels.
One of those devices that creates instant pride of ownership.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating



Magneplanar:



BLG CP024: