January 11, 2013

Pass Labs Xs Preamp Preview

There is a simple beauty that is unknown to people who buy a powered receiver or a powered speaker setup.  On the outside, it looks like they just bought a large speaker inside a heavy box – but in reality there is much more that goes on inside the unit than meets the eye.  And even with all of the hidden inner workings of the speaker box, the speaker manages to deliver adequate sound in a not so adequate space.  Each speaker needs a power source; an amplifier to boost the power needed to raise the volume.  However, it also needs a brain to tell the amp what to do, and this is where the preamp comes into play.

The preamp is usually the smallest rack you’ll find on a typical amplifier rack.  It’s the one that contains all the inputs and outputs, as well as some way to control what plug gets directed where.  In a way, it’s a mixer of sorts – but it deals only with power and routing, not channels and fading.  Microphones need a preamp as well, like Focusrite’s OcotoPre MkII, which gives you control over your mic in a digital workstation.  However, they can be even larger and prettier than your typical rack mount – considering the way Pass Labs colorful creation looks.