The folks at Pass Labs have been hard at work on some new gear, including a new flagship preamplifier and a pair of mono amps that took three years to design and produce. The Xs-150 and Xs-300 mono amplifiers offer a double stacked chassis that keeps the power supply in one chassis while the input and output stages sit in the other. The new mono amps supply 150 and 300 watts of power respectively and offer larger but quieter transformers than previous amps. The 150 will be available at $65,000 a pair while the 300 comes in at $85,000 a pair.
The latest amp from Marantz is an upgrade to their well received PM6003. Along with minor improvements and tweaks, the 6004 features one big change. Unlike former amps from the company, the PM6004 doesn't have a single amplifier integration circuit. Both the pre-amplification and power amplification sections use their own discrete components. Marantz says that this is not only a performance increase, but a way for the company to refine the sound even more on an individual basis.
Like Onkyo's new CD player, the C-7000R , the company's new amplifier and preamp are designed with a late 80's aesthetic. They're black, they're sharp, and they're equipped with a minimum of subtly designed front controls.