Pass XP12. Tame, Anemic?

just got a Pass xp 12 pre and it seems very “tame” “un-dynamic” it’s very nice and transparent but rather bland and doesn’t seem “alive” kind of “sleepy@.  I also expected more and tighter bass than my 6h30 tube pre.  I have on a trial and awaiting a LTA mz3 next week to compare.  Anybody experience this? Is the xp22 noticeably more dynamic? I’m pariing with Pass xa25 and Klipsh Cornwalls.  I never would have thought I had to worry about the Cornwalls sounding too tame. 
Thanks for any perspective 
What cables are you using?

Not heard of an XP piece being bad.
The more tame the horn tweeter, the better. 
   Give her a month of listening, often it is YOU that needs to get accustomed to a new component. 

      Try some silver ICs’.  
       Had an issue with my Sanders preamp the first couple weeks, tried different rca’s, etc.  
  truth is the Sanders pre is extremely accurate, and it’s the old saying “good in, good out”
     A very nice preamp,  do you leave her on all the time? If not, leave on for a few days, with everything else on, amp, source, etc.  don’t listen to anything, but give it a few days, then give a listen.

Hi OP,

Try Ayre and Luxman as direct contrasts. I'll be very curiuos what you find.


Using Blue Jeans rca cables.  It’s a demo, not sure how many hours on it. I’ve had it turned on for about 24 hrs. Yes I thought I wouldn’t be able to over tame the horns...but I think I have.
Erik, I respect a lot of your info, what are your reasons for not having high regard for Pass? I really would like to hear your general thoughts on this brand.  I am researching Luxman, I have the impression they are generally a more neutral, dynamic sound? 
You need a tube preamp. Some Kimber PBJ interconnects and AQ type 4 solid copper speaker cables. 
Leave your XP 12 on for at least 5 days before deciding its true sound.

I bought a demo...and this was the instructions from Reno HiFi.

Its a fabulous pre amp...give it a chance.

BTW- its designed to stay on all the time.
I have owned the both the XP20 and the XP30 and yes, they both were anemic(a description that I have used several times on separate threads), and un-musical in my set up...and they were feeding Pass mono amps to boot. He makes fantastic amps, but the preamps are underwhelming to say the least. I went to a tube preamp(Aric Audio Motherlode) and never looked back...a great pairing with solid state amplification! Ditch it!
Whenever I read that an amp is smooth, and I've seen that consensus on Pass amps, I know it's not for me. Etched tube transparency and detail is where I'm at!
If she's not love at first sight, I'd take a walk.
I would agree, if you don’t like it at all, move on. It’s not your cup of tea. Don’t think it’s going to change enough in sound to make you like it. 
I will continue to leave on and evaluate.  I have a LTA mz3 coming next week, interested in Don Sachs and Aric Audio Motherload, (wonder how the Sachs and Aric compare). I’ve had a Prima Luna, a little “mushy”. Side note, I’m starting to wonder if the Xa25 is has limited bass and treble, despite great midrange. I haven’t compared many amps 
The XA25 isn’t the issue. As others have mentioned give it 5-7 days. Never turn it off. Put the display on auto dim if you want. The Blue Jeans RCA’s might be a part of it. 
I too was interested in the Don Sachs preamp, but after Aric sent me one of his preamps to demo, I was sold! He and I worked together to craft the original Motherlode(based heavily off of The Dude by TRL). I liked that he works with the client to dial in exactly what you want in your gear. With Don, you don't have the ability to customize. 

Don't waste your time and energy...jettison the Pass pre and move on...they are not on the same level as their amps.
I have Pass XA 160.8.  It’s paired with a tube preamp (AR Ref 6) and Silent Source cables. Works for me.  Very musical and dynamic.
+1 for more burn in, and +1 for better RCAs. Are you using any power filtering or conditioning? Also, what speaker cables and power cables are you using?

I have the XA-25 paired with the LTA-MZ2. It's a wonderful combination, eventually would like to move up to a the MZ3 or the big boy model.

I wish I could say I have paired with some Klipsch products to see how it sounds, but I haven't done it yet. I have a friend with some Heresy's, that we have discussed, mating. (could we sell the offspring?)

I have recently been experimenting with Shunyata Research venom v2 HC power cord, for the XA-25, vs the stock cable. Herb Reichert has a review that discusses the XA-25 being a little finicky with certain speaker cables. I use Zu Event Interconnects and a pair of $500.00 Audio Art speaker cables that work well. I also never turn any amp off, especially the XA-25.

I've listened to a few amps and I have never heard an amp with the kinda of texture and tone of the XA-25. I would also never imagine saying that my XA-25 was lacking Bass,... had to chuckle a little on that one. Once you get the two hooked up, I'd love to hear your opinion.

You need to tame those klipsch with a tube pre. Forget the pass pre. Conrad Johnson would be sweet. 
I'd second those who've said it takes a few days to warm up. After that it sounds more musical. 

I find it transparent, lucid and dynamic, resolving low-level detail effectively whilst separating different strands in louder parts. It's low-noise, quite neutral, and musical. 

If your system doesn't lean in that direction, or that isn't your preference, you might miss its strengths.

Weakness is that it lacks a little power. 

You don't mention your front-end; as you upgraded from another preamp presumably the XP-12 is an improvement in other respects? It could be more revealing of the sources; it could be that one of the Pass Labs preamps with a bigger PS will help. 

Only one way to find out - can your dealer offer a demo, or a loan?

@caglioti  How did your XP12 end up for you?  I know, very old discussion.  I'm curious though. 

Someone mentioned that it could be the Blue Jeans cables, and although I never used Blue Jeans ICs, the Blue Jeans speaker cables I still have in storage will put up a massive veil and muddy up everything, pretty much destroying image definition and adding a feeling of drag. So, I'm wondering if the ICs were the issue, or if you found the XP12 sound change over the course of the first week or two?  Thanks

@gladmo I sent the xp12 back and replace with Aric Audio Motherload. At the same time I tried a LTA mz3.  The Aric and LTA were similar sounding, the Pass just seemed to take away dynamics. Maybe those of us with extremely dynamically capable speakers see the difference more, I’m not sure. The Pass was transparent and quiet, but just seemed to polite and restrained. I’ve heard this sentiment repeated from several horn speaker people.  The designer , I can’t remember his name, has stated the Xp 22 is more dynamic than the xp12.   Steve  Gutenberg  has a Xp 30 with his Cornwall 4’s, and he’s hinted in some comparison videos that other preamps can be livelier sounding.

I’m not a cable denier, and have experimented with cables, but I can’t imagine cables making enough difference to change my experience enough.