Pass Labs X2.5 - vs. - Placette Active Preamps

How does the Pass Labs X2.5 preamp and the Placette Active Preamp compare sonically head-to-head?
In your opinion, which is better and why?
I've owned both. The Placette adds an extra silkiness to the highs, along with a an extended decay, and bit better air. But because I could only use single-ended connections, there was a definite weighting toward the highs leaving the bass regions sounding a bit enemic, IMO, and hence the appearance of an unbalanced presentation.

I should quality the above by stating I'm really committed to using XLR connections because of what those 2 additional volts do with my particular amp regarding bass and dynamics.

The X2.5 gives me dead quiet XLR connections (not all do this) and very good, pristine highs. But not quite to the extent of the Placette.

Further tweaking, connecting the ground to the X2.5 only (all other components are ungrounded), installing AudioPoints under my components, rack, and speakers all more than made up for the difference including adding in a bit silkiness the Placette offered.

But I also have to wonder what the Placette would have sounded like if I performed those tweaks while I still had it.

In the end, as with everything, it comes down to listener preferences. But both preamps are very good to excellent for the price.

I had a placette volume gain...and loved it. Wish I had it back. I have no experience wth the active placette.
An Active Placette unit can be purchased with a complementary design to support XLR/Balanced connection from input to output.

I would love to hear comparisons between a balanced active and a single ended active Placette. I am convinced that balanced would be better, but man, a balanced active Placette is mega bucks!
Guy of Placette is against balanced esp in the active version. From what I understand in normal applications he is right. There are benefits to both.
I think my less than wonderful experience with the Placette active had to do with the fact that this preamp has no gain.

As a result, the dynamics and bass were squashed and I believe that is what led to the overall unbalanced and rather lifeless and lean presentation.

But the highs were to die for and if there were a way for Placette to maintain the overall balance (to match the highs), it truly could be the best preamp going.

The Plactte Active (I owned one of the very few fully balanced versions) is truely one of the best preamps I have ever heard (It may be the best, but I do not have enough expereience comparing it to every unit on the planet to make that claim). It is better then the passive in every way. I will admit it probably does take some system matching. It is as transparent as they come, or at least as transparent as have heard. I did not have the issues with dynamics that others seem to have had. If I did not have a built in pre-amp in the DCC2, I would probably go back to the placette active. I hope that helps
I know this is all system dependent. My Pla. passive is more dynamic than my First Sound delux.
I am surprised anyone had problems with dynamics using the active Placette. Stehno, Guy told me he can build in some gain if you need it.
That surprises me as well since most of us don’t use gain with normal listening. I believe the majority of us are attenuating the signals. I know that my amp is putting out maximum wattage at 1.8 Volts. If I were to put out the 2 volts from CD into my amp it would clip. That would be well over 400 watts into a pair of Vandersteen 3A Signatures. Not good.

I believe the Placette units are very good as well. So far I’ve had no need for gain from my pre. I hope this continues to be the case in the future.

Drubin, now you tell me! :) Yes, I was mighty impressed with portions of the Placette active.

Perhaps some day, I'll have another go at it with gain.