The PA550 is a sleeper. It has so much gain potential that it will drive any amplifier made with ease, and not even break a sweat. The amount of headroom available in the PA550 can only be rivaled by pre's that cost enough to drain anyone's bank account. The PA550 tone is full bodied, letting you know right away that all frequencies are covered and nothing is masked. It never gives you the impression that it is making the treble too shimmery, or that the bass response has been overly fluffed up. This is an all american, bold, strait-forward approach to reproducing your music. The phono input has a lot of surprising overtones that will truly bring your vinyl to the next level. The most surprising feature of the 550 is when you plug your phone into it (yes, we know phones have over-compressed formats that don't ever qualify to be called "high end" or dare I use the word "audiophile," but, for us, sometimes you just need the convenience of plugging your phone in and streaming something!) This is truly where the 550 makes its living. The reproduction of substandard formats is what the 550 will be know for. Plug your phone into the 1/8" on the front panel, adjust the tone controls, and away you go. Yes, tone controls, the purist's worst nightmare. the audiophile's reason for not even acknowledging a piece of equipment. The reality is that when reproducing some music you need to boost the treble a bit or pump up the bass. Sure, you could sell your current speakers and buy some that cost a lot more or you could just adjust the controls to your liking, and bring your listening experience to a higher level.
The PA550 audio Pre Amplifier has three selectable stereo inputs: phonograph, RCA and 3.5mm (1/8") jack for phones, tablets or other. It features a very powerful headphone amplifier so it can be used as a stand alone headphone amp. Designed to have the highest level of sound quality, whether you are using it as a headphone amp or sending music to your amplifier. At every design stage we spent a considerable amount of time focused on one thing, sound quality.
The inputs and outputs of the PA550 are easy to understand. Plug a signal in, select the source, and connect to your desired headphones or amplifier. One thing to note about the PA550 is that the RCA output's are the default output. When you plug a pair of headphones into the headphone jack on the front of the unit the RCA output section is then completely disconnected from the circuit.Meaning that when using the headphone output of the PA550 the unit is only functioning as a headphone amplifier.