Pass Labs HPA-1 Headphone Amplifier $3500 Review

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“Putting aside its prime directive as a headphone amp for a moment, the HPA-1 got right into the swing of being a dedicated preamp as it smoothly drove the active ATC SCM19A floorstanding loudspeakers (Issue 272). It exhibited the same lack of artifice, dynamic drive, and resolving power. Differences were subtle, subtractions minor (to some degree reflecting the added acoustic of my listening room); however, low-frequency pitch definition did soften slightly and soundstaging wasn’t as dimensionally immersive as that of my reference electronics. Even as a stand-alone preamp the HPA-1 is immensely competitive in its class, and for driving a powered desktop system (the likely goal) pretty hard to beat.”


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