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  1. #1
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    Preamp recommendation request

    This isn't for me.

    This is sort of a 2 part question. A guy needs a preamp with differential balanced, no DAC or phono stage required, solid state.

    He is considering the Pass XP32, anything better at that price? Realizing it's subjective.

    Any impressions, experience with the XP32?
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB, Esoteric N05xd
    Mark Levinson #526, 534 & JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, MBL 8006b, Artisan speakers/subwoofer

  2. #2
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    I was going to suggest the Pass XP22, but then I read the post. I love my XP22, and have no interest in trying the XP32. Three chassis’s are one too many for my setup.
    Bud

    Lumin X1 file player, Westminster Labs interconnect cable
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR for source, Denali 2000 (2) for amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson four shelf maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.

  3. #3
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    The Bryston BR-20 is fully balanced throughout and sounds excellent. Comes with DAC functionality but you don't need to use if you don't want to. It will sound different than the Pass XP-22 or XP-32.
    Neko Audio
    Authorized Dealer: AC Infinity, APC, Audeze, Bryston, Devialet, Elite HTS, Fortress Seating, JMF Audio, JVC, Kaleidescape, LG, LUMIN, Magico, Ortofon, RME, Samsung, Soulution, STAX, Trinnov, Vivid Audio, Weiss & more.

  4. #4
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    ayre
    luxman
    jeffrowland group
    audionet
    accuphase
    Gene

    Preamp: Spectral DMC-30SS series 2
    Amp: Spectral DMA-300SV
    Streamer: Aurender N20
    Dac: Metronome Le DAC 2
    Streaming: Ediscreation Fiber Box II Extreme/Ediscreation Firebird LPS
    Speakers: Vimberg Amea
    Cables: MIT 2C3D Level One speaker cable/Furutech NCF power cables/Flux-50 G NCF Power Filters

  5. #5

    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    I am using Pass XP-32 with Dan D'Agostino Momentem M400. I have excellent results with our Wilson Audio Alexia 2. I think XP-32 is one of the best value in its price range.

    Julian
    Speakers: Wilson Audio Alexia 2 | Digital Sources: Esoteric Grandioso K1X + Cybershaft OP21A, Modified OPPO 205 | Amplification: Boulder 2110 + Dan D'Agostino M400 | Analog cables: Jorma Prime, Transparent Reference XL | Digital cables: Kimber KS2020 | Power cords: Transparent OPUS

  6. #6
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    I hear the Topping preamp is a real giant killer

    Topping Pre90 line preamplifier | Stereophile.com
    Marty

    Aurender N20 / SonicTransporter i7 / Roon
    MSB Premier
    Constellation Inspiration Preamp 1.0 / Mono 1.0
    Dynaudio Confidence 50 / SVS SB13 Ultra
    PS Audio Powerplant 15

  7. #7
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    rubbish remote apparently !!

    bel canto pre amps are worth a listen .
    1]bel canto EIX/ F5 monoblocks . BC cd2, tannoy eaton legacy 2]bel canto pre 5 ,arcam a85 , black ice modded dac
    modded dac , marantz sa8005, Verity audio Rienzi

  8. #8
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    I hear the Topping preamp is a real giant killer

    Topping Pre90 line preamplifier | Stereophile.com
    MEPs new reference standard. Btw, are we reading the same review?
    My right hemisphere maintains that the XP-32 simply sounds better, whatever that means, and the resulting enjoyment is what this is really all about.

    Some people may summarily reject it because of its low cost, small size, limited warranty, Chinese manufacture, or the fact that it's only sold online. All those parameters must be weighed against its low price and outstanding performance. It fits my needs, and it fits my ears, so for me it's a great bargain.

  9. #9
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    To be paired with what in terms of amplification?

  10. #10
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobvin View Post
    To be paired with what in terms of amplification?
    And there is the missing information.
    First Sound Mark3SI preamp. Audion Black Shadow 845 SET Monoblocks. Mojo Audio Deja Vu Server. Mojo Audio Mystic 3 DAC. Linear Solution Ethernet Switch. Gigafoil with LPS. STST Motus II TT with Vertere SG1 arm, Hana ML Cartridge, Allnic H1201 phono pre. Pure Audio Project Trio 15 Horn speakers with Mundord Supreme oil caps. Power via 10 awg Oyaide cable from panel to custom distribution strip feeding front end. Oyaide dedicated10 AWG branch circuits from panel to each amp. Inakustik speaker and interconnect cables, Genesis Interconnect.
    Kingrexelectric.com Lyncole certified grounding specialist.

  11. #11
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    He has Coda Class A 11.0. He is going to have a significant source upgrade and feels a better preamp will keep the system components more inline with performance.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB, Esoteric N05xd
    Mark Levinson #526, 534 & JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, MBL 8006b, Artisan speakers/subwoofer

  12. #12
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    This isn't for me.

    This is sort of a 2 part question. A guy needs a preamp with differential balanced, no DAC or phono stage required, solid state.

    He is considering the Pass XP32, anything better at that price? Realizing it's subjective.

    Any impressions, experience with the XP32?
    First, your friend needs to check that the gain between the amp and the considered preamp are inline, otherwise he won't get good sound
    can you tell his amp gain?

  13. #13
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    This isn't for me.

    This is sort of a 2 part question. A guy needs a preamp with differential balanced, no DAC or phono stage required, solid state.

    He is considering the Pass XP32, anything better at that price? Realizing it's subjective.

    Any impressions, experience with the XP32?
    I'd give real thought to a Denafrips Athena ... see the 6Moons review.

    The Athena looks like a very well built, very good measuring, very nice looking preamp for heck of a lot less money than any Pass Labs.

    ~ Bill

    Win10/Foobar2000 => Topping D90 DAC => Sonic Frontiers Line 1 SE+ preamp => VTV Purifi 1ET400A stereo amp with Sparkos SS3602 op amps => Zaph Audio ZRT speakers (DIY) + PSB Subsonic 5 subwoofer

  14. #14
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Mr Peabody

    Please let me ask, how did it end and what preamp did you buy? Thank you
    FYNE AUDIO F502SP, 2×mono block Audiolab 8300MB, RME ADI-2DAC FS, Euphony Audio system, HDPLEX Linear power supply, Noble Audio Power filter Galaxys & Power cables, SUPRA Cables Loudspeaker & interconnect cables, NETGEAR switch & 2×Media converter TP-LINK & DIGITUS fiber optic cable, Synology NAS

  15. #15
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    My friend hasn't done anything still using what he had.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiri View Post
    Mr Peabody

    Please let me ask, how did it end and what preamp did you buy? Thank you
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB, Esoteric N05xd
    Mark Levinson #526, 534 & JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, MBL 8006b, Artisan speakers/subwoofer

  16. #16
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Constellation Inspiration or Argo preamp.

  17. #17

    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    I've been using a VAC master for about 2 yrs love it . Now I'm playing with a Constellation Pictor and DC box . I changed phono stage at same time so I'll have to swap preamps again to compare but I feel that the VAC master to me sounds better so far

  18. #18
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    I have had many different pre-amps. I consider the pre-amp as one of the most overlooked and important components in a system.

    Suggestions of two to consider: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2 is considered by many as one of the best sounding pre-amps on the market, and certainly for the price. My absolute favorites (and yes, I know to me it is personal since I grew up next to the factory), but the McIntosh C49 is my favorite pre-amp that I have owned. I know it has both a phono stage and a DAC which you stated is not needed. However, it has great flexibility and allows for both a MC and a MM cartridge to be attached at the same time (which I use and love with two tables attached). The DAC is modular and can be upgraded in the future when newer tech is released. Currently I use my external T+A DAC, but whenever McIntosh release their next gen DAC I may upgrade the module in my C49! Wonderful dual chassis pre-amp built to share the same face plate.
    McIntosh C49, MC152, MR85, R778 | T+A DAC 8 DSD | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM750ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQPlayer) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Wyred 4 Sound ISO Recovery, DC Recovery | Abyss Diana Phi | Schiit Mjolnir 3 | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
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  19. #19
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    It doesn't seem that anyone has mentioned it, but leading option has got to be the Benchmark LA4 line preamp. This pre has had outstanding reviews by many critics. E.g. This ASR review (of the HPA4 version headphone amp). Or the Stereophile review.

    Thing about this preamp is if you're looking for colorations, (or "musicality", "warmth", or whatever you call that), forget it: this pre faithfully delivers what's on the recording.

    benchmark-la4-front-panel-sideways.jpg

    Pretty obviously the Benchmark LA4 isn't your ticket if you're out to impress your buddies or yourself ... as on a Pass X32.
    ~ Bill

    Win10/Foobar2000 => Topping D90 DAC => Sonic Frontiers Line 1 SE+ preamp => VTV Purifi 1ET400A stereo amp with Sparkos SS3602 op amps => Zaph Audio ZRT speakers (DIY) + PSB Subsonic 5 subwoofer

  20. #20
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Since we are making a list.

    Esoteric Grandioso C1X Solo - Great SQ and a sleek 1 box solution.
    VAC Master
    Main Equipment: Kharma Elegance dB11-S, JL Audio F113v2, Block Audio Line & Mono SE Amplification, Bricasti M21 DAC, Antipodes Kala K-50 Server, ClearAudio Performance SE, Satisfy Arm & Maestro Wood MM Cartridge
    Power: 3 x 20 Amp Lines, Shunyata Everest 8000, Sigma XC v2, Shunyata Sigma v2 NR, Block Audio Power Cords, Defender, ADDPowr Wizard
    Grounding: Shunyata Altaira CGS - Alpha CGS cables
    Network : Supra Cat 8+, Twin (Nenon Modified) Buffalo GS2016 Switches powered with Keces P3 LPSU,
    Cables: Wireworld Platinum Starlight 8 USB, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 8 SCs, 1M & 6M Tubulus Concentus ICs,
    Other: Twin PSI Audio AVAA C20, Isoacoustics GAIA I footers on Kharmas, GIK/Vicoustics/Stillpoint Apertures, Stillpoint Ultra SS, Furutech GTX - Gold outlets, Adona Rack

  21. #21
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    All great suggestions for the specific question,...Benchmark, Esoteric and Pass XP-32 are great options.

    We can also add:

    Esoteric C-02X

    Esoteric Grandioso C1 and C1X

    Block Audio Line with PowerBlock SE

    Pilium Alexander

    MBL 6010D Reference

    Jeff Rowland is great sounding....does it meet the requirement?

    Other favorite preamps of all time, but I don't believe they meet the "matching requirement":

    Robert Koda Takumi K-10 and K-15

    True Life Audio SSP-1

    JMF Audio PRS 1.5

    First Sound Presence Deluxe MkIII and option builds above that

    First Sound Paramount SSE Mk III and option builds above that

    Kondo AudioNote preamps, and original Shindo (Monbrison & Giscours) offerings belong on the list

    Backert Audio Rhythm 1.2 and 1.3

    Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk
    Legacy Audio Valor+Wavelet v2, Esoteric S-02 Amps HDPlex 300W, RevAudio Labs DC Umbilical, Esoteric Grandioso P1, P1PSU & dual D1 DACs, Cybershaft Prem Ltd OP21A 10 MHz Clock, Esoteric C-02X, Shunyata Everest 8000, Typhon T2_30amp, Altaira SG-NR hubs, Sigma SGC/CGC ground cables, VTX-Ag ground tails, AfterBurner8 duplexes, CSP Inc Q4B, S2B IEC plates, Shunyata Omega CLOCK-50 cables, Tubulus Concentus HDMI, Elrod Master Series Diamond SE & Masters Series Gold Power cords and Statement Gold XLRs, Diamond XLRs & Master Series Diamond XLRs, AudioArts eStatement pcs, Anaconda Z-tron XLR, Elrod Statement Gold speaker cables, Adona Zero GX Racks Composite Audio CF-2010, Townshend Audio Podiums, HRS DPX Damping Plates, Stillpoints Ultra SS w/Ultra Bases, pArtScience 64-well, 2D QRD 3-inch SpaceArray Diffusors

    Travel/Rip: Apple MacBook Pro 16” 2023 M2 Max, 12-core CPU, 38-core GPU, 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD for Audirvana+ v3, iTunes, REW Audio Analyzer, dbPowerAmp, DVD Audio Extractor

  22. #22

    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Dartzeel NHB-18NS mk2


  23. #23
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Hi, I would consider including the Kinki Studio EX -P27 preamp see EX-P27 | Kinki Studio. Review here EX-P27. I am currently considering a purchase myself.
    FYNE AUDIO F502SP, 2×mono block Audiolab 8300MB, RME ADI-2DAC FS, Euphony Audio system, HDPLEX Linear power supply, Noble Audio Power filter Galaxys & Power cables, SUPRA Cables Loudspeaker & interconnect cables, NETGEAR switch & 2×Media converter TP-LINK & DIGITUS fiber optic cable, Synology NAS

  24. #24
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Late to the party. I love what I’m hearing from my PASS XP-30 pre!
    George
    -----------------------

    Aurender ACS10 Music Server > Holo Audio May KTE R2R Ladder DAC > Pass Labs XP-30 Preamp > Pass Labs XA160.5 Class A Mono Blocks > Martin Logan Renaissance ELS 15A Speakers

    Powered By 2X BPT 3.5 Signature Plus Ultra Isolators | Shunyata Research Hydra Triton + Typhon | Shunyata Hydra 2 Power Conditioner

  25. #25
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Quote Originally Posted by Audioseduction View Post
    Late to the party. I love what I’m hearing from my PASS XP-30 pre!
    Likewise with my XP-20.
    Pass Labs XP-20 | Auralic Altair G1 | Odyssey Audio Stratos Monoblocks | JVC XL-Z411 | Nakamichi DR-1 | Technics SL-1700MK2 | Magnepan 1.7i | SVS PB-1000 Pro x 2

  26. #26
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    burmester
    Burmester 218 amplifier
    Burmester 077 pre-amp
    Burmester 217 turntable system
    Burmester 111 streamer
    Burmester 948 conditioner
    Master Artist Signature Full Range Towers
    Master Artist Signature Rack
    Espirit Eureka cables
    Silent Angel NX Network Switch

  27. #27
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    Re: Preamp recommendation request

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    It doesn't seem that anyone has mentioned it, but leading option has got to be the Benchmark LA4 line preamp. This pre has had outstanding reviews by many critics. E.g. This ASR review (of the HPA4 version headphone amp). Or the Stereophile review.

    Thing about this preamp is if you're looking for colorations, (or "musicality", "warmth", or whatever you call that), forget it: this pre faithfully delivers what's on the recording.

    benchmark-la4-front-panel-sideways.jpg

    Pretty obviously the Benchmark LA4 isn't your ticket if you're out to impress your buddies or yourself ... as on a Pass X32.
    I have owned a few Benchmark pieces and I have known at least three friends who purchased two of their amplifiers. Benchmark definitely receives some very good reviews and are built well. Every Benchmark I have heard sound very accurate to the extreme. I would say to the point of sounding sterile. I prefer more musical sounding gear, and I understand this is subjective. However, every one of the friends that bought two of the Benchmark amplifiers returned them for this exact reason. It is also why I have since gotten rid of the Benchmark pieces I owned. The three pre-amps that I have owned that stand out to me are the Acoustic Research, the McIntosh (I admit to being biased), and the Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2 is so far better of a performer than it price tag would indicate. It has built a reputation, and I know several Shark Members own one of these bad boys!
    McIntosh C49, MC152, MR85, R778 | T+A DAC 8 DSD | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM750ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQPlayer) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Wyred 4 Sound ISO Recovery, DC Recovery | Abyss Diana Phi | Schiit Mjolnir 3 | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Preamp recommendation request

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