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Pass Labs 20 Years and Counting

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  #1  
Old 09-27-2017, 01:15 PM
parsifalcor parsifalcor is offline
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Question XA60.8 vs XA100.5

I'm trying to decide between the two amps as I gear up for my first serious upgrade in a number of years.

What differences can I expect in presentation/reliability between the two monoblock amps of different wattage? Is it better to go with a more current design (.8) as opposed to the .5 of higher wattage assuming the prices are similar?

Thanks!

As a bit of background, I will be driving the monitor audio PL500 II with these amps (91db efficient) and they do not present a heavy load to the amps. Also, I don't listen at ear shattering levels, either!

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  #2  
Old 09-27-2017, 03:35 PM
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Personally, I like the sound of the XA100.5s.

A couple of years ago, I demoed the XA100.8s in my system for a week and sent them back because I found their sound not as good as the previous generation.

Of course, everything has to do with your own system, room and tastes. I recommend you give Mark at Reno Hi-Fi a call and he'll set you up.
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Two-Channel System: Oppo BDP-105D -> WireWorld Silver Starlight 7 HDMI and Coaxial -> Bryston BDA-3 DAC -> WW Silver Eclipse 7 XLR -> Bent Audio Autoformer Volume Control Passive Line Stage -> WW Silver Eclipse 7 XLR -> Pass Labs XA100.5 monoblocks -> WW Silver Eclipse 7 -> Magnepan 20.7s

Power Distribution: Shunyata Research Hydra Cyclops (for XA100.5s) and Shunyata Research Hydra 4 α (for sources)

Power Cables: Shunyata Research Ξtron Cobra (for Cyclops), Shunyata Research Venom-HC (for XA100.5s and Hydra 4 α), WireWorld Silver Electra 7 (for BDA-3)

Tweaks: GIK Acoustics room treatment, HIFI-Tuning Fuses and Cardas Audio Tweeter + Mid-Range Jumpers on 20.7s, Mye Sound Magnepan speaker stands

Other: PS Audio Power Port outlets, Square D Whole House Surge Protective Device, dedicated 20-ampere lines

Last edited by cma29; 09-27-2017 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 09-27-2017, 04:17 PM
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The Point 5 series have a warmer, more relaxed sound than the Point 8, which are stronger more detailed, and a tad less warm. Both are great!

Are you going from Class A/B to Class A? You might want to listen to both before you decide - in the same price range the Class A/B 350.8 stereo amp is an extremely strong performer. It all comes down to what you listen to and what kind of sound you prefer.
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Pass Labs XS 300's, XS Pre, XVR-1 | Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 | Aurender N10 8TB | Magico S7's + MPODs | JL Audio Fathom F112 X 2 | MIT cables | Shunyata Denali | Audience aR6-TSSOX | PurePower 2000 | Resolution Acoustics room treatments
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:13 PM
parsifalcor parsifalcor is offline
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Hi Sandman, I'm going from the Linn Klimax solo monoblocks (A/B). Would love to listen to both, but there are no PASS dealers near Dallas - I emailed Pass labs and they told me that RenoHiFi is the closest AD to me; so it will take some shipping $$$ to see about differences.

I listen to mostly classical with a bit of rock/pop (10-15%) thrown in for good measure.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:05 PM
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You're used to listening to high powered Class A/B amps. Unless you've heard the XA 60.8's and/or the XA 100.5's and fell in love with them, I'd recommend going for the X350.8.

Here's why: Yes, there is something "magical" about the Class A sound, but not everyone appreciates it and it's mostly magical on jazz and male and female vocals. The XA 100.5's were discontinued over 2 years ago. The XA 60.8's are nice amps but they're not super powerful. Unless you want to spend more and go for a larger pair of XA or XS monoblocks, you might find the decrease in power from your current amps to be noticeable - just because 60 watts per channel is "enough" doesn't mean it will light your fire, based on what your listening preferences are.

Just my opinion, but I am quite familiar with the Pass Labs amps from the various lines, and I'm a bit of a rocker myself. I love the Class A sound, but I believe I'd choose the XA 350.8 over the XA 60.8's or XA 100.5's. They are really, really good!
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Pass Labs XS 300's, XS Pre, XVR-1 | Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 | Aurender N10 8TB | Magico S7's + MPODs | JL Audio Fathom F112 X 2 | MIT cables | Shunyata Denali | Audience aR6-TSSOX | PurePower 2000 | Resolution Acoustics room treatments

Last edited by The Sandman; 09-27-2017 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:15 AM
parsifalcor parsifalcor is offline
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Hi Howard, thank you for your thoughtful post!

I have considered going with one of the higher-powered "X" class amps to get a taste of the pass labs sound world outside of the beautiful XA30.5 I heard a few months back, and it might be the way to go for me.

Unfortunately, RenoHiFi is the closest dealer to me in North Texas and would have to coordinate with them, so it will add a bit of time and shipping expense to my experimentation.

I see that you have the XS stack - I'm jealous! Would love to hear it sometime if I ever find myself back in Florida (Orlando native here!).

I might go for a used X350.5 to wet my whistle and to keep expenses low - I prefer a 'warmer', perhaps slightly euphoric presentation anyways.

Thanks for your advice! Will keep you guys apprised!
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2017, 09:21 AM
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You're welcome to come and have a listen any time. And there's a local dealer with the X350.8 less than an hour from my house, so you could hear that too if you wanted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by parsifalcor View Post
Hi Howard, thank you for your thoughtful post!

I have considered going with one of the higher-powered "X" class amps to get a taste of the pass labs sound world outside of the beautiful XA30.5 I heard a few months back, and it might be the way to go for me.

Unfortunately, RenoHiFi is the closest dealer to me in North Texas and would have to coordinate with them, so it will add a bit of time and shipping expense to my experimentation.

I see that you have the XS stack - I'm jealous! Would love to hear it sometime if I ever find myself back in Florida (Orlando native here!).

I might go for a used X350.5 to wet my whistle and to keep expenses low - I prefer a 'warmer', perhaps slightly euphoric presentation anyways.

Thanks for your advice! Will keep you guys apprised!
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Pass Labs XS 300's, XS Pre, XVR-1 | Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Reference Series 2 | Aurender N10 8TB | Magico S7's + MPODs | JL Audio Fathom F112 X 2 | MIT cables | Shunyata Denali | Audience aR6-TSSOX | PurePower 2000 | Resolution Acoustics room treatments
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