With both balanced and single-ended outputs, an almost limitless amount of configurations to suit just about any cartridge needs, and an improved input stage for less noise, the Pass Labs XP-17 Phono Preamplifier packs a tremendous offering of features and performance in its $4,300 price tag.
Having owned a variety of Pass labs gear over the recent years, I have appreciated and respected the development work that Nelson Pass has put into his amplifiers, and with what Wayne Coburn has done with their preamplifiers. Founded in 1991, Pass Labs has built a very solid reputation for developing and manufacturing some of the finest audio components available. If you ask anybody in the know within the high end audio industry about Pass Labs, they’ll most likely talk about their trademark industrial design, high level of performance, and dedication to accurate music reproduction.
In keeping with that tradition, they have developed the XP-17 Phono Preamplifier to offer stunning clarity through the use of technologies learned in their ultra high-end XS product line (XS Phono Preamp sells for $45K!), and put it all together in a relatively affordable package that will suit the needs of most analog-oriented customers. And if you’re the type who owns a variety of cartridges, or like to buy and sell them regularly to find that “perfect” fit, the XP-17 has the ability to handle just about any cartridge you can throw at it.
During my time so far with the Pass Labs XP-17, I have found that it has the ability to do everything that I want it to do, and then some. Looking for a huge soundstage? Yep, it’ll do that. Want to extract the finest of details? Check on that as well. Like dead quiet backgrounds with massive dynamics? You get that in spades.
Please stay tuned for a full review soon on the Pass Labs XP-17 Phono Preamplifier!