Can't Pass up Pass

1500–1600 parts, 14 circuit boards including six input boards . . . that's just the start of what gives Pass Labs' top-of-the-line XS Phono stage ($45,000) the right to the "excess" moniker.

It's a while back that Nelson Pass told veteran preamp designer Wayne Colburn (above), "Do whatever you want." The end product, now shipping, includes a gold-plated ceramic input boards, a helluva lot of vintage Toshiba FETs, a dual-mono power supply, individual input cards for each input because standard input switching relays create noise, REL custom caps, and on and on. "I've been doing this since the '80s, and it's the best thing I've ever done," said Colburn. "Some might say that I don't really know what I'm doing, but I keep doing it until they tell me to stop."

bdaddy60's picture

All I can say is, if you can create a phono stage that some one will buy for $45,000.00, you know exactly what you're doing ...and all the power to you !