Preamp for Pass Labs XA30.5


Can't break the bank here but is there a solid or tube pre that might work well with this amp in the $2k range, new or used?
aries
Pass X-1.
I also use an X-1 with my XA60.5's. Very nice preamp!
I have the same Pass Amp and use the Rowland Capri. I would be happy to speak about it with you if you like. Stephen
I have the same amp and once I listened to my cd player (has it's own volume control) going direct to my amp, there was no turning back. Going direct revealed several layers of musical intimacy and resolution that I was missing. And I had been using an award winning tube preamp costing $3000.

The only problem with going direct permanently in my rig was that I use a Fathom sub and secondly that I have multiple sources. So I decided to get a preamp that was as transparent as possible which led me to Placette Audio.

I ended up with a Placette active preamp and I am very satisfied with it. It is my last preamp. However, even used it is out of your $2k budget, so I would recommend the Placette passive preamp. You would need to do some research to make sure that your system is compatible with a passive preamp both electronically and musically. It is very revealing and exposes component mis-matches. Plus your cdp will need to have enough muscle to drive your amp.
Dodd Audio the battery powered Tube buffer, it sounds great I have heard it with the XA-30.5 sounds extremely good and for the money it is very hard to beat. The matching Labs XP-10, XP 20 are better but several times the costs of the Dodd.
I am using a Modwright 9.0 Sig ( make sure it is the Sig edition). You can get it used for $1500 and it is a great combo in my system. I have not compared it though to any of the other offerings mentioned above.
If you can find a Burson PRE-160 (used) it would be a nice match. Even on the colors, both are silver. ;)
The most rewarding experience for me with the XA30.5 is feeding direct from the PSA PWD. Same experience as Erndog wrote in the above post. Other than that my personal preference would be tube preamps.
Would you consider selling your amp and adding the $2k to buy a Pass Labs INT30.5? I think this is basically an integrated amp based on the XA30.5 and XP10. I have not heard it, but one advantage is having only one box. I have read a good review on the net.

Barring that option, I would consider an X-1. I used one with my XA100.5 before upgrading to the XP-20. It is not as good as the new XP generation, but it is within your price range and I have found Pass amps mate very well with Pass preamps.

There is also the FirstWatt B-1 buffer, though I would contact Pass to see if it is appropriate for your situation.
This is going to be an eye opener/ Look for diy for xa30.5 not the amp but THE PRE SECTION. aS LONG AS YOUR NOT A HEAD BANGER,PASSIVE PRE'S BY NELSON HIMSELF AND DIY COMMNUITY CAN PUT YOU IN THE DIRECTION,MUCH LESS FILTERS LESS DISTORTION AND A WHOLE LOT OF FOOT-TAPPING ESPECIALLY ON VINYL. MY ROOM IS 24WIDE X32 LONG AND THE PASSIVE FILLS IT WITH THE MOST MUSICAL SENSES THAT YOU CAN COME BY. DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD CRAPPY SOUNDING UNITS,PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND LISTEN TO A WELL PAID PASS DESIGN. **REMEMBER IT"S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC**/DBB
This is going to be an eye opener/ Look for diy for xa30.5 not the amp but THE PRE SECTION. aS LONG AS YOUR NOT A HEAD BANGER,PASSIVE PRE'S BY NELSON HIMSELF AND DIY COMMNUITY CAN PUT YOU IN THE DIRECTION,MUCH LESS FILTERS LESS DISTORTION AND A WHOLE LOT OF FOOT-TAPPING ESPECIALLY ON VINYL. MY ROOM IS 24WIDE X32 LONG AND THE PASSIVE FILLS IT WITH THE MOST MUSICAL SENSES THAT YOU CAN COME BY. DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD CRAPPY SOUNDING UNITS,PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND LISTEN TO A WELL PAID PASS DESIGN. **REMEMBER IT"S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC**/DBB RESPONED TO DBBARTLETT@LIVE.CA FOR FUTHER HELP
A Pass pre is a no brainer. The suggestion above of exchanging the amp for the integrated is worthy of consideration. What ever you do, be mindful of the XA30.5's somewhat low input impedance, and try to use a pre with true differential balanced outputs to maximize the Pass amps design considerations and full potential.