Phono stage upgrade from Pass XP-25

Joe Fedenecz

Member
Dec 17, 2019
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I'm a relative newcomer and would appreciate thoughts on upgrading from my XP-25. I am considering the XP-27 as well as the ARC Ref3, and the Allnic H-7000. The majority of my listening is classical and I love the a big soundstage with depth and width but I also enjoy jazz and rock etc. I have the Kuzma Stabi R with the 4point and a Dynavector XV-1S and the sound is very enjoyable however never having heard any other phonos I wonder how much better it can get. The amp is Luxman L509X with ML ESL 11a's and REL 812 subs(2), modest compared to what I enjoy reading about here but I have not heard better, of course I have no audiophile friends. I appreciate any thoughts thanks, Joe.
 

Nemal1

Active Member
Dec 9, 2018
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Esoteric E-02 is excellent and also has balanced inputs should that be a requirement now or in the future. My Triplanar has balanced leads so I couldn’t consider the ARC Ref phono 3 for that reason.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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Hello Joe, Welcome to the forum. I have an all-Pass electronic chain. I did upgrade my XP-25 to the XP-27. This was a pretty significant jump in performance. Mostly lower noise, so I could hear more information. Dynamics and soundstage improved. You could probably get a good trade in deal from Reno HiFi for your old unit. You could certainly demo it and compare the two directly for the cost of shipping.

I have not heard other brands of phono stages in my system, so I do not have a lot of experience or exposure to what else is out there. I am interested in auditioning a Lamm phono unit one day. Tima, member here wrote an excellent review of a Lamm phono stage I think for Positive Feedback. You should be able to find it in a simple Google search.
 
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Joe Fedenecz

Member
Dec 17, 2019
16
2
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65
Thanks Peter, I did read Timas review and I was intrigued. As i said I love the XP-25 but probably will stray eventually. I get the greatest pleasure listening to classical music and wonder if I could enhance it with some tube sound. I don't get to hear other systems so I have no reference but my own. I am very happy with the sound now with the Kuzma and Dynavector XV-1S however... Be well.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
7,909
3,787
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North Shore of Boston
Thanks Peter, I did read Timas review and I was intrigued. As i said I love the XP-25 but probably will stray eventually. I get the greatest pleasure listening to classical music and wonder if I could enhance it with some tube sound. I don't get to hear other systems so I have no reference but my own. I am very happy with the sound now with the Kuzma and Dynavector XV-1S however... Be well.

Joe, your reference is live classical music. Listen to that a lot and then to your system, back and forth, and then you will know whether or not the one preamp is better than another.
 

Uk Paul

Member Sponsor
Sep 27, 2012
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UK
Welcome Joe..

This year I sold an XP-25 on behalf of a customer, and had Allnic H-3000 also, along with a brief demo unit from Silvercore, & Concert Fidelity SPA4c. However, all of these units, despite wonderful pedigree were totally outclassed by the RCM Theriaa Mk2, from Poland. I could not find an aspect from any of the other units that could compete, so we took them on as a brand after buying one, along with their entry level Sensor Mk2, which actually also was slightly better than all of the other's listed above, at only £3,500 UK retail. We didn't try the XP-27 unfortunately as comparison, but in order they were: Silvercore last by quite a margin, (it was wired one channel out of phase internally to begin with, once we fixed that it was possible to listen to it, something even the dealer didn't pick up on and was rather embarrassed when we told him) XP-25, CF SPA-4c, Allnic H-3000 Inc KR RK ltd ed rectifier, then RCM Sensor2 Mk2, then Theriaa Mk2 way out in front. If you have access to the brand in your country you should consider them, (sadly not much online presence which is far from ideal though). With classical, and your ML's you may be in heaven.. (not sure if they have a dealer there btw..)

Rgds,
Paul
 
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