The PASS Labs XP12 delivers a taste of the true high end in an elegant single box chassis. Extremely well reviewed and engineered to last the XP12 is impressive. In store listening has left us hearing new details in many recordings and experiencing a well defined, large, wide and deep soundstage. Here at Douglas HiFi we find that like so much of the PASS Labs equipment the bass control, tone, depth and heft is eye opening. With Balanced and unbalanced inputs (and outputs) along with a Home Theatre Bypass input - the XP12 is easy to integrate into most audio systems.
The XP-12 uses the single stage volume control borrowed from the top of the line XS line preamp. This gives a total of one hundred 1 dB steps with lower noise and distortion while removing some signal path parts. This helps deliver great dynamics and precise channel matching.
The gain circuitry continues to use high quality transistors from Toshiba but has a larger, higher biased output stage similar to the top of the line XS preamplifier auto bias. This makes longer and multiple cable runs easier to drive and gives the advantage of simplifying the single ended output circuitry while also increasing performance. Overall this makes for a quieter more neutral, musical and versatile pre-amplifier for your system.
Reviews of the PASS Labs XP12 Pre-Amplifier
"The overall voicing of the Pass Labs XP-12 line-level preamplifier is that of clarity combined with natural sound, a sort of relaxed clarity and grace, along with liquidity, if you will.
The Pass Labs XP-12 line-level preamplifier blurs the distinction between vacuum tube and solid-state amplification in a tantalizing way, by offering the natural warmth, liquidity, richness, and dimensionality of vacuum tubes, while still providing lots of that solid-state resolution and clarity." - POSITIVE FEEDBACK
"The bass was prodigious and controlled, yet authoritative. The piano imaged well, floating within my listening space with just the right amount of forwardness. Cymbals caught the air then naturally decayed within the broad and deep soundstage." - HomeTheatreReview
"I’ll conclude by saying that the XP-12 has all the characteristics one could wish for in a line level preamplifier—it is as close to a straight wire with gain as I have experienced. I could only guess how good its bigger siblings sound.
The XP-12 will now be joining my system as preamplifier of choice. A superb product. Very highly recommended. " - AUDIOPHILIA