Pass Labs XA25 Anyone?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by avanti1960, Aug 18, 2021.

  1. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chicago metro, USA
    Apparently this amp is quite captivating but my only dealer does not have a demo. Supposed to be the best sounding Nelson Pass amp and solid state amp in existence.
    Anyone own or hear it?
    caracallac and Rick58 like this.
  2. stax o' wax

    stax o' wax Forum Resident

    The West
    I haven't heard it but if it's as impressive as that statement I would love to hear it!
    aunitedlemon likes this.
  3. David B.

    David B. Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    I've heard the XA-25 several times under hi-fi show conditions -- once driving Vienna Acoustics floor-standers, several times driving Zu Druids, and several times driving open-baffles (can't recall the manufacturer). I was impressed each time, though obviously it is impossible for me to assess the contribution of the amp under such conditions. But it sure wasn't mucking anything up!

    --David B.
    avanti1960 and jonwoody like this.
  4. Drew

    Drew Senior Member

    Grand Junction, CO
    I haven't heard one... but I have confidence in the knowledge and experience of Nelson pass.

    There is a pass labs forum over on and he participates from time to time.
    Rich-n-Roll likes this.
  5. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    San Diego
    Certainly the most affordable way into pure class A Pass Labs heaven I'm sure! If I had $5k burning a hole in my pocket!!
    Rick58 likes this.
  6. Erocka2000

    Erocka2000 Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I haven't heard the amp, but you may need more efficient speakers than your Harbeths, though, to get the most out of those 25 watts.
    IanL likes this.
  7. PATB

    PATB Forum Resident

    SF Bay Area
    I was actually considering it or the INT-25 (primarily due to the "smallish" form factor), but the 25W paired with my 85dB efficient speakers worry me, regardless of the number of times the SPL calculator indicates I could get more than adequate volume at the levels I listen :p.

    BTW, I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Xa25/INT-25 actually puts out at least 50W!
  8. FalseMetal666

    FalseMetal666 Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA
    Stereophile says 1%THD comes in at 80W/8ohms, 130W/4ohms.

    Who knows what that means in-room, but XA25 is definitely one of the amps I'm also most curious about.
    avanti1960 likes this.
  9. WildPhydeaux

    WildPhydeaux Picture withheld by The Authorities

    A Parade in Dallas
    I have not heard the XA25 but it's on my "very interested" list. I have read nothing but solid reviews and the few I see come up for sale are very quickly sold. I'm trying to decide on speakers with high sensitivity and low stable impedance, precisely so that I can play with SET tube amps and that specific Pass Labs amp in the future. I don't think the XA25 needs extremely SET friendly speakers, but that's where I want to start with tube SET first, then move to low power SS if I don't care for the SET experience.

    Incidentally I have noted a few comments about mating the XA25 with tube preamps and a warning that the Pass is a relatively low input impedance at 47k, so it's something to be aware of. Also, with respect to the OP's own tube preamp, its output impedance is somewhat higher than typical at 400 ohms.

    The XA25 in single ended input only. Doesn't phase me, but worth noting for some.

  10. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Storm Watcher

    near Tampa, FL
    FWIW - I heard them with my speakers, albeit just for half an hour. I am not sure it is that much different that my Pass Labs XA30.5, but I may be mistaken... Hard to remember the sound..
  11. mkane

    mkane Strictly Analog

    Cloverdale, CA
    I's not if you can solder and follow directions.

    Power Amplifiers
    woody and vinylkid58 like this.
  12. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    San Diego
    Well it's the lowest priced amplifier from Pass Labs.
  13. mkane

    mkane Strictly Analog

    Cloverdale, CA
    25w of sonic sweetness.
    Boltman92124 and avanti1960 like this.
  14. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Hurry and grab this one: Pass Labs XA25 Amp
    You can move it along if it's not to your taste.:righton:
    jonwoody likes this.
  15. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Washington DC
    Hurry before Tim buys it for himself! :D
    Tim 2 and timind like this.
  16. timind

    timind phorum rezident


    edit: hey, it only weighs 45lbs. Hmmm
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  17. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chicago metro, USA
    thanks. pass says it should be OK though.
    Tim 2 and PATB like this.
  18. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chicago metro, USA
    thought about it but second owner of a relatively new amp raises a red flag for me.
    timind likes this.
  19. rcspkramp

    rcspkramp Forum Resident

    Vancouver, WA USA
    I have owned several class A power amps including some Nelson Pass designs. The XA-25 outshines them all in terms of sheer sound quality. And it's more powerful than one would think.
  20. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    San Diego
    So will this amp heat my room an extra 10 degrees and crank my electric bill?
    bever70 and rednedtugent like this.
  21. Paul Van

    Paul Van Forum Resident

    The XA25 is absolutely on my 'want' list. But, alas, the budget says 'not at this time.'
  22. Pythonman

    Pythonman Forum Resident

    I like the stuff I’ve read about it. I’d probably go after an XA30.8 however as I have read it’s even better.
  23. TommyTunes

    TommyTunes Senior Member

    After decades of tube amps, CJ, ARC etc. I’ve switched to Pass both the XA and X series and couldn’t be happier. You sacrifice none of the tube magic plus you gain silent backgrounds, speed and bass control.
    Shiver, rednedtugent and Tim 2 like this.
  24. mkane

    mkane Strictly Analog

    Cloverdale, CA
    Phil Thien and rednedtugent like this.
  25. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    We've heard the XA25 at a friends with two different speakers, it was quite good but certainly not the best solid state amp we've heard.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
    bever70, jonwoody and timind like this.

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