Publisher Profile

CAS Exhibitor Profile: Pass Laboratories

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(Publisher’s note: This was a CAS7 article originally.) 

Respondent: Kent English, North American Sales/Worldwide Technical Support, Pass Laboratories, Empire Room, Building V.


What’s the “elevator pitch” description of your company?

Pass Laboratories builds products that invite you to listen; we want our customers to sit down and re-discover their music and why it is so special to them every day!


What makes your company and products special – how do they stand out from the pack?

Pass Laboratories has been building product by hand with very much the same production and engineering staff since 1991.  To the greatest extent possible everything we do is done local, either in our Auburn CA factory or by our neighboring facilities who machine and finish the metal, etch the circuit boards.  Utilizing local talent and resources, while populating circuit boards “in-house”  allows for build quality and responsiveness that would be impossible if we relied on distant suppliers or sub-contractors.


Which of your products do you plan to demonstrate at CAS 2017?

Pass Laboratories always has new product in various stages of development. we will be bringing product that the pubic will most likely either not seen or seen only in the press.


Which sorts of CAS attendees should be interested to see and hear the products you will be demonstrating – and why?

Ideally the burgeoning Audiophile, someone who is looking to hear their music perhaps for the first time on a high end system.


What do you like most about exhibiting at smaller, regional audio shows such as CAS 2017?

Meeting the public, both old customers, many of whom have been with us since the previous company “Threshold” in the early 70’s, and tomorrows potential customer as well.  Audiophiles as a whole are a pretty diverse and interesting lot.  At the larger shows, the pressure of formal meetings and planned demos do not really allow the luxury of extended  quality time with our guests.


In your product space, what are you most excited about in terms of technology and market trends?

We hear many who lament the passing of the “Golden Age of Audio,” Constantine, and I really do have to laugh!  We are experiencing either the golden age or a renaissance that eclipses whatever the supposed golden age was.  Never have we had access to so much music, such diverse music or had the ability to so easily share the musical experience.  That is what all of us at Pass Labs find really exciting.  We simply try and build equipment that makes the experience more pleasurable.


Assuming you had the resources, what product would you like to create?

Mr. Pass has seen to it that Pass Labs is blessed with a great management team and an equally great design team.  The dynamic is such that the designers can dream as broad and richly as they choose and then go forth and bring their imagination to life.

Case in point the Xs line our flagship offerings of phono-stage, line-stage and power-amplifiers.  From inception it was understood that no  circuit element was out of bounds.  IF a design element could be incorporated to the desired effect and the parts could be procured, then they went into the build.

The same holds true at the opposite end of the product line where entry level products like the HPA-1 (headphone amp / pre-amp) and the XA25 (25W stereo power-amplifier) were intended to be stellar performers at a  dramatically more modest price point and in a physical package more appropriate for small physical spaces.

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