Pass Labs Amplifier Fantasy

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by mds, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    I guess to understand what 400 watts at idle is like I could just burn a few lights that add up to this. I also can't afford the 250 and would be purchasing the 150, which would be a bit less heat at idle.
     
  2. G B Kuipers

    G B Kuipers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I have heard mention of the INT150 being less nice than separates with X150.5 or X150.8 as poweramp. Perhaps someone can confirm or refute this? On paper the INT150 should be almost identical to separates.
     
  3. MC Rag

    MC Rag Forum Resident

    If aesthetics are important to you then I reckon that Blue Sugden could be fate! Is there anywhere you can audition one?

    OK just realised you are after a power amp not an integrated, maybe the FBA-800?
    Sugden https://www.sugdenaudio.com/fba-800-class-a-stereo-power-amplifier

    Don't know if it comes in blue but I suspect you could get them to do you one.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
    mds likes this.
  4. jerico

    jerico Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have an INT30 and love it. I came from tubes as well (Rogue M180s). My speakers are pretty efficient (93-94db IIRC) and I never feel like the amp is struggling, quite the opposite. I never get the volume up beyond around 35 (of 60) with analog playback (less gain from my phono pre) and more like 25 with digital, for whatever that is worth, in a medium size room.

    I wouldn't exactly say it sounds tubey, but it is not at all sterile. More like controlled and firm, with a touch of warmth.

    This is a lower wattage model, but it doesn't run hot - you can rest your hand on it without discomfort even though it is warm.
     
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  5. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    If the OP is interested according to "Gramaphone" in their review of the Kef Ref Threes:
    "Bi-wiring from the amplifier (or indeed bi-amplification) separates the drive to the bass drivers from the remainder and, as with many other suitably configured loudspeakers, can enhance definition to a surprising degree."
    If your pair still comes with two sets of terminals for bi-amping on the back then you should buy TWO Pass amps.
    Which is out of your budget I know.
    So why not consider purchasing two John Curl Parasound A21s?
    That's exactly what I did for my main room.
    As I already had a pair of these amps lying around at the time I tried my setup with both just to see what would happen.
    It took everything I already was hearing and removed even more grunge AND added more authority to the dynamics. It impressed me and I immediately bought ANOTHER A21 so I wouldn't go back to running just one.
    Your budget is 6k.
    Go ahead, you can do this.
    And save the receipt.
    If you hate it, send them back.
    Just my two cents.
     
    mds likes this.
  6. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    tried to imply that the X150.8 is the better choice for your speakers. after all, it will be a Pass amp, what's not to like?
     
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  7. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    You are probably correct that the more power of this amp would certainly take better hold of the bass frequencies. The all class A will give the sound a much more tube feel, which is why letting that option go is so hard, but thanks for your thoughts on the matter, they are important in helping to think this through. It is a lot of money to drop and I need to go cautiously.
     
  8. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    I've been taking everyone's suggestions to heart and appreciate them. I looked into the Parasound and surprise of surprises the dealer I have been purchasing most of my equipment from carries the line. I am seriously thinking of discussing a loaner and discussing their class A mono-blocks, which is way out of my price range, but he may be able to locate a trade show demo or a trade in. One never knows until they inquire. The Pass Labs still is at the top of my list, but saving some dollars always is a good thing and being able to hear the amplifier(s) in my own home with my other equipment is always the best way to go.
     
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  9. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    Currently I am bi-wiring the speakers and it was an improvement in sound from the internal jumper. Two amplifiers each dedicated to a frequency range probably would be a pretty fantastic set up. I may look into this now that I know my dealer carries the brand. Thanks for the suggestion, it is something I may never have thought of.
     
  10. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    As much as these units look fantastic and I am sure sound just as good, per the review I read, I believe the brand is a little too obscure for where I live to feel comfortable in purchasing one if I even could find one to purchase.
     
  11. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    If you are satisfied with your tube amp sound on the mids and highs, then you could just consider the amplifier to be used for the bass by bi-amping. You can always try it full range too and see what combination is best. You'll have three scenarios just by borring one amp. Two full range options, yours and theirs. And the bi-amp option. I'd consider trying the Rogue Audio Hydra if available. It's a beast.
    -Bill
     
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  12. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    Certainly that would save a lot of dough, which is always nice and yes I do love the sound of my Cyber 800se mono-blocks. I am looking for that low end boost that not only gives the tight muscle, but I want the added detail and texture to come along also. Do you believe the Rogue will give me that detail in the lower end and not just the muscle?
     
  13. A friend brought his Amps over last weekend to try on my speakers. I loved them in his system (he swaps these in and out for his Rogue Mono Blocks, depending on his mood......

    I thought they sounded excellent. Very musical and non fatiguing. Haven't seen them mentioned yet. Yes, there is a waiting list, but an excellent deal. Trying to figure out how to swing a pair. Kismet version with all the upgrades.

    Odyssey Audio. Call us (317) 299 5578. IN, USA.

    Odyssey Audio: Kismet vacuum tube reference phono preamplifier. Call us (317) 299 5578. IN, USA.

    Klaus is such a great character. If you ever have a chance to sit and talk with him at one of the Audio shows, you'll quickly see what I mean.
     
  14. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    I followed the link but there is little if any technical info and trying to find a rough cost isn't easy without contacting them. All this is inconvenient and a little bit of a turn off but the amp from the little blurb and photo looks interesting.
     
  15. Yeah, it's not the best website for ease of use. If you are interested, he has a sub-forum on another site.

    Odyssey Audio

    Lots of interesting reading.

    FYI, I also have drooled over owning a Pass (30.8 or 350.8), but am concerned primarily due to the heat issue. While I live in a fairly cool climate, I have NO AC, so if I lose control in my listening room, I'm doomed until it cools off in the evening.
     
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  16. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I know it will. It's astonishing really. I can't say whether or not you will prefer it full range to your tube amps, but if you try it, you'll have that opportunity also. Their Stereo 100 amp is all tube and 100wpc, so it'll cover all bases rather well. Still not quite as tight and powerful on the very bottom end, but it's no slouch there either. The Hydra will actually dish out 200wpc into your 4 ohm woofer load. For bi-amping, you may need, unless you are extremely lucky, a stereo input attenuator (passive volume control) for the input of the amp with the lower gain in order to match the bass and mid/high level properly. No way to tell which amp will require the attenuation until you connect them really, but one will likely be a bit louder than the other.
    -Bill
     
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  17. Oatp1b1

    Oatp1b1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    It's not Pass Labs and I'm unsure how obscure it is in the US, but you could take a look at the top-of-the-line Xindak amplifier A600. It's a class A amplifier with 80 WPC, and cost about €4k.
     
  18. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    It took a long, long time to sort it all out but I have. Kept my tube mono blocks and added two subwoofers. Made such a nice difference. Fuller soundstage, goes much lower (shakes your insides on some real low notes), and maintains the tube mids/highs. Perfect combo. Thanks for suggesting it. Saved me money too!!!
     
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  19. pterodactyl

    pterodactyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    Well, geez, after all that, why not just get a big McIntosh? :)

    I'm totally satisfied with my MC2105 and MC2255.

    But, I also like my Pass designed Adcom GFA 555 (purchased used from an ex-Denver Broncos player who turned out to be quite the audiophile) and Nakamichi stuff.

    I always love hearing David Glasser's Pass amps at Airshow. A sublime experience.

     
  20. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    I use the F5 Turbo, 50 watts/ch of Class A goodness and it lead to my tube amp up for sale. It's a First Watt release, and there is no maintenance with this at all in several years of ownership (2nd owner, bought from a builder), much less than any tube amp. I think you've chosen a good journey, you will just have to select the exact path now.
     
  21. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Whoops, just saw that you changed your mind. Glad it worked out for you anyway mds, enjoy!
     
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  22. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    Or the old Adcom GFA 555. You can find them used for $500.
     
  23. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Gratefully Listening

    Location:
    San Diego
  24. mds

    mds Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    PA
    Jaw dropping. That is a big set of everything. Must be thunderous.
     
  25. TommyTunes

    TommyTunes Senior Member

    I switched for all ARC to Pass Labs and couldn’t be happier. I’m semi retired and listen on an average 4 hours a day, at a cost of $2400 for tubes for my GS150 every 2 years and when I switched to Wilson Alexia 2’s I also found it wasn’t powerful enough.
    Pass offers all the benefits of tube sound wide and deep soundstages along with the speed and detail that ss is know for while never sounding SS.
    As far a heat goes I’m using XA100.8’s I don’t find they run any hotter than my GS150.
     
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