Pass Laboratoriesintroduces the Xs Preamplifier, new flagship of its preamplifier line, at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. The Xs Preamp is entirely new and designed to complement Pass Labs’ Xs-300 and Xs-150 Amplifiers.
The Xs Preamp applies lessons learned designing Pass Labs’ XP-30 3-Chassis Reference Preamplifier, and the two Xs Series Amplifiers for which it is custom designed to deliver music. The Xs Preamp is quieter than the XP-30 and has an even more improved power supply. In appearance, it resembles the Xs Amplifiers and features two large chassis built with a true dual-monaural topology.
Internally, its several circuit boards are fabricated from materials sourced in many cases from the military and high-speed computer sectors for their superior performance. Pass Labs maintains it has optimized each circuit board through an arduous trial-and-error process for top performance in each of the functional areas for which a board is employed. Circuit boards for power supply circuits have different requirements than ones for gain stages. In the Xs Preamp, each board is optimized for its specific use.
Each of the Xs Preamp’s two channels has its own power supply board, each with a refined circuit design and layout. Their 100,000-microfarad (uF) capacitors are optimized for low noise and high performance through the use of a variety of materials, from electrolytics to a custom polypropylene. Newly available silicon carbide semiconductors reportedly further heighten performance by dropping noise below the level of Pass Lab’s XP-30 Preamp.
The circuit boards for the gain stages have been completely redesigned for maximum sonic impact. They employ a direct-coupled (DC), ultra-symmetric gain path with high-bias Class A circuitry, and feature auto bias and DC-compensation.
The Xs Preamp comes supplied with a remote control. Its rear panel includes 6 inputs, a tape loop, dual-power input connections, dual balanced outputs, and variable outputs for bi-amping and use with multi-room systems.
Availability and a price for the Xs Preamplifier are still to be determined.