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Pass Labs 20 Years and Counting

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Old 11-18-2021, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeN View Post
Hi,

I just moved from Naples app 5 months ago. Iím up in Destin /Santa Rosa Beach area now.

Audio1 who posts here at times lives in Naples. Nice system!!!

Iím looking at several new amps at present. I have the 260.8s and they sound great. Warm not hot. Iím thinking of the 600.8s to go with my new Magico M3s that are coming. But even they may run hot. However, Iím also considering EMM Labs - excellent A/B amps - they give home editionsÖ. The rest of my gear is EMM DAC, Pre Transport. And Puma Cat just suggested Constellation. It looks promising as well.
That EMMLabs gear is great. Recently heard the DA2, I think? Amongst the best I've ever heard.

Maybe your DAC, Pre transport and the Constellation amps?

Should make for a really killer system.
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  #22  
Old 11-19-2021, 06:49 AM
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I agree. The DA2 V2 is great. EMM sent us their DAC and PRE (already with many hours on them). A friend brought over his fully loaded MSB Select II.

We first tried the EMM with the Pass XP-22 that I own. It sounded good. But when we changed to the EMM DAC everything drastically improved. I love my Pass Labs but there was no denying the differences. The synergy between the EMM PRE and DAC is awesome.

The next day the MSB arrived. We tried the MSB with its own built in Pre and XP-22 Pre. While I could have lived with either DAC for the rest of my life, the EMM edged its way to the top. However, it was close. So we choose EMM Labs as our DAC and PRE.

As I wrote on another forum:

Quote:
Since the Select II includes a Pre Amp, I compared it to the EMM DAC + PRE (but even w/o the EMM PRE it sounds amazing and I prefer it over the MSB Ref, which I heard a few weeks back, but not in the same system). I also own a Pass 22 Pre. I liked the Select II better with my XP-22 Pre than without it. And I really, really, really enjoyed the EMM PRE more than the Pass. The EMM PRE is superb!!! IMO, the PRE can make or break the performance of a DAC. Perhaps this post should be about preamps instead of DACs, but I digress.

I could happily live with either DAC for the rest of my life. My modest system went to new heights with both DACs. IMO, both are SOTA to the extreme, and combine the very best attributes of vinyl and master tape (which Iíve been hearing a lot of at friendís in recent months) in their reproduction. Neither sound artificial. The breath of detail reproduction on both is splendid. With both the separation of the instruments is uncanny; so real it feels you could reach out and literally touch each one in their respective locations. EMM and MSB both excel on fast complex music. IMO, and though I havenít heard every other DAC, these two reproduce some of the very best non-digital digital music that one can hear! Itís digital but itís not, at least this is how it seems.

Iím clearly not a reviewer, but only someone who likes his favorite music. The following statements, shouldnít be taken that either DAC is any way poor, just that in my modest system and room and with my non-perfect ears this is what I heard or didnít hear. I did add some classical music as someone suggested, but since I donít listen to much of it, I donít think my comments on it would be worth reading (but the strings and pianos esp. were amazing [astounding detail], so, Iím glad I added them).

The EMM has a wider soundstage and seems slightly (by a thread) more 3-dimensional than the MSB. The soundstage with both units is huge, they both go beyond the boundaries of the room Ė but EMM has a slightly more natural deeper presentation. Both seem smooth, warm in a good way (MSB a little warmer) and absolutely non-fatiguing. The reproduction of transients with both are amazing, with an edge going to EMM. However, I think MSB slightly outperforms EMM on DSD, itís not as bright on some tracks. But with FLAC files EMM was preferred on some tracks, but on some others tied with MSB.

With the EMM I was more engaged with the music. And for me personally this is the most important! While the MSB seems to bring the venue to me, the EMM transports me to the best seat at the actual venue.

IMO, which one to choose essentially boils down to oneís taste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puma Cat View Post
That EMMLabs gear is great. Recently heard the DA2, I think? Amongst the best I've ever heard.

Maybe your DAC, Pre transport and the Constellation amps?

Should make for a really killer system.
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