Pass Labs Xp-12 or Xp-20.

Snoopy72

New Member
Mar 8, 2018
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#1
All,
First time post here. I'm in the market for pre-amp. At this moment, I'm debating between XP-12 ad XP-20. Have anyone done comparing between those two?
Thanks,
Hoang
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,400
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83
North Shore of Boston
#2
All,
First time post here. I'm in the market for pre-amp. At this moment, I'm debating between XP-12 ad XP-20. Have anyone done comparing between those two?
Thanks,
Hoang
Welcome to the forum, Snoopy72. I have not done this specific comparison, but I did do a similar one. I recently directly compared my XP-20 to the new XP-22 and after three weeks decided to upgrade to the new model. I have not heard the XP-12 or the XP-10, but I have owned the Pass Aleph P, the X1, and then the XP20. I have also heard the XP30 and XS Pre in my system for extended auditions. I have found that in general each new generation is better, primarily in the lowering of noise. Some models within the same generation are slightly either cooler, warmer, or more neutral. The tonal balance is slightly different. I think much depends on matching the pre to the amp and what your sonic preferences are. All of the products are reliable, good values and sound great.

Having said that, the new generation of preamps does borrow technology from the superb XS Pre, and the XP22 sounds fantastic. The XP20 has a very neutral tonal balance, as does the 22. The 22 is quieter so one hears more resolution. I can also drive long ICs well because of the low output impedance. I don't know the specs of the XP12, but everything should be on line. I would think a dealer might be able to tell you the differences, or you could contact Pass directly. They are very good about answering questions. It may also come down to whether one box or two makes a difference in your set up. A used XP20 will lose less value if you decide to sell it compared to a new XP12 because it is already somewhat depreciated. It's just the way things are.

Tell us about the rest of your system.

EDIT, corrected "27" for "22". The XP27 is the new two box phono stage. The XP22 is the new two box preamp.
 
Last edited:

Snoopy72

New Member
Mar 8, 2018
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#3
Peter,
Thanks for the responded. Currently i have Wyred4sound DAC2 DSDse V2, Parasound JC2, Modwright KWA-150SE, Adam Classic column MK3 passive, and Audience AU-24SE for ICs/SP. I'm thinking getting used XP20 but open to all the suggestion.
 
Sep 4, 2017
116
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#4
Contact Kent English at Pass customer service. He's very good at answering these kinds of questions in general and within the context of your system and musical preferences.
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,158
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Silicon Valley
#5
I recently directly compared my XP-20 to the new XP-27 and after three weeks decided to upgrade to the new model.
Peter, you mean XP-22, not XP-27.
 

BlueFox

Member Sponsor
Nov 8, 2013
1,158
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48
Silicon Valley
#6
Peter,
Thanks for the responded. Currently i have Wyred4sound DAC2 DSDse V2, Parasound JC2, Modwright KWA-150SE, Adam Classic column MK3 passive, and Audience AU-24SE for ICs/SP. I'm thinking getting used XP20 but open to all the suggestion.
Not sure where it ended up, but I traded in an XP-20 with a Revelation Audio silver cyro umbilical for my XP-22. If you can get that then go for it. :)
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,400
329
83
North Shore of Boston
#7
Feb 7, 2013
119
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#8
I have a similar question.

I currently have an Aleph P that I want to upgrade, to either a xp-12 or xp-20.
My system is totaldac d1-six (heading towards a seven) feeding two systems.
1. BHSE, Stax 007
2. Ayon monoblocks to Nola metrogrand speakers

I currently run both balanced from the Aleph P (one of the few choices with 2 balanced outputs).
I plan to run balanced to the Ayon (30 ft mogami today) and single ended (1m) to the BHSE.

The options I'm considering are xp-12, xp-20, xp-20 with revelation audio umbilical.
The big unknown for me is the xp-12/xp-20 comparison.

What do you folks think?
 
Feb 7, 2013
119
8
18
#9
I have a similar question.

I currently have an Aleph P that I want to upgrade, to either a xp-12 or xp-20.
My system is totaldac d1-six (heading towards a seven) feeding two systems.
1. BHSE, Stax 007
2. Ayon monoblocks to Nola metrogrand speakers

I currently run both balanced from the Aleph P (one of the few choices with 2 balanced outputs).
I plan to run balanced to the Ayon (30 ft mogami today) and single ended (1m) to the BHSE.

The options I'm considering are xp-12, xp-20, xp-20 with revelation audio umbilical.
The big unknown for me is the xp-12/xp-20 comparison.

What do you folks think?
the question has become irrelevant...........i pushed the button on a xp-22 and made the point moot
 

abrich

New Member
Mar 6, 2012
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0
1
#10
I very much enjoy the XA30.5 power amp, and am also considering the XP-20 or XP-12 preamp as an upgrade to my Primare PRE30, and badly in need for your recommendations, dear experts, as actual auditioning is not in the cards for me, unfortunately enough.

I wish to use the preamp exclusively in my music-only two-channel setup (both analog, including vinyl, and digital). I know that these preamps have a fine reputation for their performance, and are known to be very musical. First of all, I am interested in the best sound (female jazz vocal, opera, organ, piano, big orchestra works, some pop and rock).

I am not a technical Guru by any means, but the XP-12 and XP-20 look quite similar in terms of the specs to me with a few notable differences: the XP-12 is better for Freq. Response, has finer Volume control, better for Crosstalk, BUT Output Noise Floor is much lower for the XP-20 (less than 0.5 uV vs. 15 uV @ 10 - 30 KHz, if I am reading the specs correctly).

The objective measurements alone do not tell the whole story, but certainly are the precursor for the sonics to be expected… At least in my humble opinion.

Where would your nod, dear experts, go for the best synergy between the XA30.5 and XP-20 or XP-12, please? Is this, perhaps, a “generational” question, meaning the XA30.5 and XP-20 do belong to the same “crop”?

Additionally, any true balanced designs you would suggest me to consider as alternatives to the XP-20/12 for about the same money, please?

Please chime in!:)
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,400
329
83
North Shore of Boston
#11
I very much enjoy the XA30.5 power amp, and am also considering the XP-20 or XP-12 preamp as an upgrade to my Primare PRE30, and badly in need for your recommendations, dear experts, as actual auditioning is not in the cards for me, unfortunately enough.
Hello abrich. Welcome to the forum. I have had a lot of Pass Labs gear. I did just recently upgrade from the XP-20 to the XP-22. I have not heard the XP-12. I would think either of the units you are considering would sound great with your XA30.5. I have the XA160.5. Your best bet would be to call Pass Labs and speak to Wayne, the designer, or to Kent. You could also call Reno Hifi and talk to Mark. He should be able to provide you with a home audition for the cost of shipping.

They all know the differences well and if you explain what you like, they can make the correct recommendation. These all sound slightly different in terms of tonal balance and noise. It is best for you to hear one for yourself in your system or talk to these experts.

You may want to consider a used XP-20 with a used Revelation Audio umbilical cord upgrade to the stock cord. That is an excellent combination. Very neutral and clean because of the separate power supply, but I have not heard the XP-12 which is supposed to be quieter than the old generation, but it is the entry level. Might be a tough decision.
 

abrich

New Member
Mar 6, 2012
20
0
1
#12
Thank you, Peter!:)
What other options have you considered before upgrading to Passage CryoSilver™ Reference DualConduit™ DB-25 umbilical power cable, please?;)

The big unknown for me is the xp-12/xp-20 comparison.
What do you folks think?
Please chime in, dear experts!:)
 

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