I recently decided to explore upgrading my Pass Labs X-1. Reno HiFi supplied the Pass Labs XP20 for consideration.
My current system is as follows:
- Primary Source: Michell Gyro SE (upgraded powersupply HR and Orbe Clamp) SME IV and Shelter 90X (on a SolidSteel WS-5 wall shelf)
- Pre-Amp: Pass Labs X-Ono and X-1
- Amp: Pass Labs XA100.8
- Speakers: Magnepan 3.7i and two (2) DWMs
- Cabling: Audience Au24 SE
- Power: Audience aR2-TO and dedicated 20A circuits (two pairs of each)
The XP20 is in a different league with regard to detail, transparency, soundstaging laying and especially quietness. On first listen, it didn't seem much better. I gave it a few hours of warming up (mind you its used unit so break-in wasn't the main concern) and listened again. Music appears from far blacker blacks.
The remote is night and day better than the older model. As I use many of the functions (ext amp power, display reduction, mute, etc), it is much more useful.
On the negative side, it is a bit brighter than the X-1 very occasionally sharp depending on what you feed it. An although can reach higher dbs than the X-1, one could switch the X-1 into high gain mode. The XP20/XA100.8/Magnepan 3.7 combination can reach loud levels but not unneighborly loud levels. I would say the X-1 gave out a bit more but at the expense of audible grain.
Minor nit-pick, the unit is a bit larger and doesn't match the X-Ono. The X-1and X-Ono, like the XA100.5 series are a bit more industrial looking and beautiful in my eyes. The XP20 may even be a slight bit lighter. Also a very minor nit-pick, I actually liked the smaller black box external powersupply that could hidden away.
Before pulling the trigger and switching to the XP20, should I consider anything else. I imagine the XP30 would be even a bit better and give a bit of the X-1 more romantic glow. Its really a bit out of my price range right now.
Thank you for reading, and your thoughts are appreciated.