Pass Labs X1 vs. Pass Labs X0.2

So... tonight I figured out why I was having issues with the X0.2 in my system... turns out my son got ahold of the remote for my PS Audio PerfectWave DAC, and turned the volume way down on it. This made me have to turn everything else way up to compensate. I got everything trimmed out to where it should have been, but then found the X1 was exhibiting the same behavior.

The X1 has two settings for gain, a "low' setting, which was what I always use, and a "high" setting which I never touch. I set the gain back to the "low" setting and all went back to normal.

The troubles with the X0.2 is likely not an issue with the pre itself, but rather a function of my amplifiers themselves being too sensitive to the input they see from the preamp. I suspect something on the order of 20db to 30db of gain coming out of the pre is just not a match.
The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

“If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Comments

  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,029
    Yikes. Too complicated for me. :)

    Good job. Hope it sounds fine now.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    The high gain output from the X1 is 14db, and low output from the X0.2 is also 14db, and each exhibits the same level of noise at zero volume. I suspect my amps need to see a straight line-stage preamp with zero gain for me to do better than what I’ve got with the X1.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 1,334
    Hmmm. You should send it to me for evaluation...
    Home System:
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    1000 Va Dreadnought- w/ WireWorld Mini-Eclipse cables
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    WireWorld Silver Eclipse IC's
    Cambridge Audio Azur 851N - DAC/Streamer
    B&K Reference 50 Pre/Pro
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    BLE-Design 16mm Power Cables
    Denon DVD 2900

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
    BluDenso - Bluetooth receiver/DAC
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    audioluvr wrote: »
    Hmmm. You should send it to me for evaluation...

    LOL... it is actually on it's way home now. Should be here Monday. Pass Labs backed the gain down to 3db. The noise floor has been significantly reduced, which will resolve the hissing issue permanently.

    I look forward to hearing it again, especially with the ClearAudio Goldfinger on the way.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 1,334
    That looks like a heavenly setup!
    Home System:
    SDA 1C's - Full mod with the help by Dave...
    1000 Va Dreadnought- w/ WireWorld Mini-Eclipse cables
    WireWorld Mini-Eclipse 7 speaker cables
    WireWorld Silver Eclipse IC's
    Cambridge Audio Azur 851N - DAC/Streamer
    B&K Reference 50 Pre/Pro
    B&K M200 Sonata Monoblocks
    BLE-Design 16mm Power Cables
    Denon DVD 2900

    Barn system:
    SDA SRS 2.3's Full mod done by myself
    Carver C-1 pre
    Carver M1.5t
    BluDenso - Bluetooth receiver/DAC
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,434
    The high gain output from the X1 is 14db, and low output from the X0.2 is also 14db, and each exhibits the same level of noise at zero volume. I suspect my amps need to see a straight line-stage preamp with zero gain for me to do better than what I’ve got with the X1.

    ZERO gain ?? That my friend would be a passive pre me thinks. Maybe an adjustable gain, like the Joule's where the higher end is only 12 db's
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    edited January 29
    OK... The Pass Labs X0.2 has been re-installed in my system and is still coming up to speed, but now that the hiss has been eliminated, my initial impressions are that the three-box X0.2 is more than just a small upgrade over the X1. Improvements are in several categories that I will try and go into as time goes on.

    Initially, I would say this preamp is much faster sounding. The aggressive attack on a drum kit moves with the required speed that adds realism to it. A cymbal crescendo can be distinctly broken down into the individual strikes and subtle taps that make each contact. The decay, shimmer and fade is also rendered in beautiful detail.

    Guitars can take on a sinister growl, with a resonant quality that was not present before, and the subtle efforts an artist puts into his/her technique are clearly rendered in luxurious detail.


    More later as I get to know what else this piece can do... B) <3 :p
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,029
    Great. Have fun.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    Details and overall timbral balance is also enhanced at lower volumes. Soundstage depth is also something that jumps out as being significantly improved.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Great. Have fun.

    There are no words for this kind of fun. B) :p
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,134
    So are you still noticing all of those positive traits that you did earlier, but now without the excessive white noise hiss?
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    Absolutely, and without the white noise, it is even better. I can honestly say that I see no need whatsoever to spend more money on this setup for the core components. I may upgrade cables and such, but I have reached a place where that law of diminishing returns meets with contentment.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,134
    Well it took a few trips back and forth to Pass, but it sounds like it was worth it! Glad you are enjoying your truly reference level preamp.
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Well it took a few trips back and forth to Pass, but it sounds like it was worth it! Glad you are enjoying your truly reference level preamp.

    Not their fault I think... They had a certain design parameter in mind, and it just needed to be throttled back a touch in order to fit my needs. My hat's off to Nelson Pass and the talented bunch at the Labs for being at the forefront of customer service.

    The experience of being treated with the utmost of respect as a second-hand consumer is more than enough to place Pass Labs at the top of my list for any future new equipment purchases I might make as well as my first recommendation for anyone seeking a top quality ownership experience.

    My hope is our patron company that now also produces the highly respected Classe line of components remembers their own past and returns to such a level of customer concern and support.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,434
    If I didn't know better John, I'd say....you got a woody. :D

    Congrats my friend, sounds like you got a keeper there.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    LMAO... one of the great things about this forum is being able to look back upon the audio journey of others. Darqueknight is the one guy on here I tend to look to the most as I have upgraded gear since I joined. The tube audio guys inspired me to even look at tubes, and guys like Toolfan66 pushed me into the DIY area of the hobby.

    Button line is that my setup would still be an entry-level AVR and a set of Monitor 50’s if it weren’t for the help, and inspiration of you guys here on the Polk forum. Not entirely sure how my wallet feels about things, but on behalf of my ears, I thank you.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • JayCeeJayCee Posts: 564
    Not trying to be snarky, John, but playing catch-up on several threads. A short time back you were looking to liquidate your equipment to the horror of EVERYONE. May have missed it in another thread but why the 180 and at a much higher level? I'm glad to see you're still in the game :smiley:
    Speakers: Polk1.2tl's (Uber Mods) Pre/Amp/DAC: PS Audio BHK Signature & 250, Perfectwave DirectStream Cables/IC's: MIT S1Bi-Wire/S1 Balanced +Avel Lindberg 1000VA "Dreadnought" Power Conditioner: Core Power Technologies EQUI=CORE 1800 Power Cords: Core Power Technologies Gold, DH Labs Power Plus DIY w/Neotech NC-P301 & P311ends FLAC Streamer: Roon ROCK on wifi'd NUC⟿Ω☯☥☮⟿🔊♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    Sometimes you need to take a step or two backwards in order to see a path forward. I was also kind of burned out for a while after the fiasco of the Krell CDP. After taking stock of the situation, and coming across an amazing deal for the Pass Xono and X0.2, I was able to see a path forward that took nothing from my bank account to accomplish.


    So I was able to get the upgrades I was seeking without touching my credit cards. I call that a win-win. B)
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • JayCeeJayCee Posts: 564
    Very cool. Glad you found the path!
    Speakers: Polk1.2tl's (Uber Mods) Pre/Amp/DAC: PS Audio BHK Signature & 250, Perfectwave DirectStream Cables/IC's: MIT S1Bi-Wire/S1 Balanced +Avel Lindberg 1000VA "Dreadnought" Power Conditioner: Core Power Technologies EQUI=CORE 1800 Power Cords: Core Power Technologies Gold, DH Labs Power Plus DIY w/Neotech NC-P301 & P311ends FLAC Streamer: Roon ROCK on wifi'd NUC⟿Ω☯☥☮⟿🔊♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬♩♪♫♬
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,316
    Classy way to make your introduction to the forum. <rolls eyes>
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,134
    edited February 6

    All caps sound the same, duh.
    Post edited by KennethSwauger on
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,305
    Clipdat wrote: »
    koskot wrote: »
    I know I am out of my depth here, among people of much greater experience and knowledge, but if I may say, that a friend of mine has the Pass Labs X.02 and the phono and when I looked inside them they use very cheap AXON capacitors. I was thinking to suggest to him that if he were to replace these Axon with something like V-Cap CuTF or Stealthcap, I think the system will just get to another league.
    What is your opinion?
    Please excuse my ignorance, but one has to ask in order to learn.

    All caps sound the same, duh.

    Dang it man now you tell me
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 7,134
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Dang it man now you tell me

    Yep, there's never a need to use anything better than Dayton caps! Anyone who does is wasting their money because there's no audible difference!
    "Electronic music is human sound adapting to indulge technology, and for some, it feels like the signature sound of energy. New and abstract sounds over hypnotic rhythms can conjure vast soundscapes for escape, pleasure, and transcendence."
  • motorhead43026motorhead43026 Posts: 3,285
    Dayton, the poverty cap.
    2 channel: Anthem 225 Integrated amp; Parasound Ztuner; TechnicsTT SL1350; Vincent PHO-8 phono pre; Marantz CD6005 spinner; Polk SDA2BTL's; Cables ZU Mission IC's, SC and power cords, all into a PS Audio Dectet Power center.

    All TV's sound enhanced by Polk Magnfi Mini's.

    Other; S60'S, M10 series II, M7C's, Hafler XL600 amp, RB-980BX, Parasound HCA-1500 amp , P5 preamp, all in storage. All speakers have had crossover rebuilds, resulting in a small fortune invested in Sonicaps, and tweeter upgrades.

    Political memes posted as fact and accepted as fact, are sign language of the ignorant, for the ignorant

    tonyb said " but even socialists can do a good thing here and there

    Social media makes dumb people dumber and smart people dumb then dumber.
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