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Old 17th July 2014, 11:55 PM   #1
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Default Versions of Pass Amps

hi,

I am new to pass amps. I am considering a X150. But then a person said I should really wait for a XA 150 or a .5? I don't know what the designations are and the differences. I currently use an aragon 4004 mk ii and it's reliable but I want to upgrade. Advise appreciated.
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Old 18th July 2014, 09:20 AM   #2
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Have a look at pass labs web site. or google. both will answer your questions.

XA = class A
X = class ab (Class A at lower power levels)
150 = 150 wrms
250 = 250 wrms

x150 - old (but still better than a lot of other amps, yes I'm biased as I have one)
x150.5 - not as old
x150.8 - current
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Old 18th July 2014, 01:17 PM   #3
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Ok so I assume you are implying that there's a good chance a X150 s/b better than mu Aragon (thats good). Now is there a significant difference in SQ between the x150 and xa150? I have to look up prices to see the costs. Thanks
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Old 18th July 2014, 05:14 PM   #4
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There is no XA150, only X150.

Class AB:

X150 stereo
X250 stereo
X260 mono
X350 stereo
X600 mono
X1000 mono

Class A:

XA30 stereo
XA60 mono
XA100 mono
XA160 mono
XA200 mono

Almost all of these have the three versions, the original, the .5 and the .8

I note that the first versions of these amplifiers came out nearly 20 years
ago, and the first .5 updates were 9 years ago (at least according to my
pcb artwork).

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Old 18th July 2014, 05:41 PM   #5
Zen Mod is offline Zen Mod  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Pass View Post
............my
pcb artwork).

and all of these are HERE for download

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Old 19th July 2014, 01:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbones View Post
Ok so I assume you are implying that there's a good chance a X150 s/b better than mu Aragon (thats good). Now is there a significant difference in SQ between the x150 and xa150? I have to look up prices to see the costs. Thanks

as I said, I'm biased being a PL owner.

But I have never heard or even seen an aragon, so I can't comment as to whether one is better than the other.

There are sonic differences between the x and xa series, as well as between the different vintages (x / .5 / .8)

if you post your system components (mainly the speakers) maybe someone here can help with their subjective opinions.

I know I saw somewhere a mention as to which type of amp suited which style of speaker, but I have no idea where that is now.

ZM, fuuuny boy. I got all excited about your post, then you left me with nothing more than a smile on my face
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Old 19th July 2014, 01:34 PM   #7
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Thats the problem the speakers are of my own design so there is nothing to really compare.

System:
Linn LP12/Ittok/Benz Micro Glider
Emotiva ERC3 transport
Burson Conductor DAC
Aragon 4004 mkii
ARC SP 8 Pre
Velo HGS 12 sub below 50 hz
My speakers are 10 in 3 way hybrid open baffle (Lambda design) Peerless HDS 6 in mid and Sb29 tweeter.

So far I have it narrowed down to a McCormack (not sure if I should get a DNA 225 or 250) and PL X150 or X150.5(?)
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Old 19th July 2014, 05:30 PM   #8
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Jim,

I believe you will find Pass Labs customer support the best in the industry. Just the fact that Nelson replied on this thread ought to tell you something.

If I were going to choose an amp and didn't mind the heat, I'd choose the XA series. To my ears, class A simply sounds better. I would't be overly concerned with the watts per channel because based on my experience with the Aleph series, 40 watts of class A sounds (and drives the speakers) like a heck of a lot more power. A buddy and I were dumbfounded when we hooked up a loaned Aleph 0s because it acted and sounded much larger than it was. We hooked it up to a pair of Apogee Mini Grands as kind of a joke, expecting it to fall flat on its face due to lack of power. The joke was on us because it simply smoked the 200 watt Krell that it replaced. The difference wasn't subtle and it was rated at 40 watts per channel! I shake my head to this day when I think about it... LOL! That was my introduction to Pass products.

IMHO you can't go wrong with one of the Pass Labs amps. I've spent a fair amount of time with the Aleph series and they are simply spectacular. I'm sure the newer units are even better. If I had the money, I wouldn't hesitate for one second. Also, some dealers will work with you on an in-home test if you ask. Might be worth inquiring about.

Finally, I started the thread below quite some time ago. I need to get back to it and dig up reviews and impressions of the X series amps. That being said, it does give a nice cross section of the First Watt amps for your perusal. Since these were all designed by Nelson, I would expect the high audio standards to be uniform across the products. That being said, most of the First Watt products are lower power designs and I think you would be better off sticking with the Pass Labs side of the house if you speakers are at all power hungry.

Sound of various Pass amps

And no, I don't work for Pass or have any affiliation. I've just been involved with high-end hifi for many years and the Pass amps are simply some of the best I've heard. Pass' reputation has been earned over many years and the products are at the top of the heap for a reason. Don't expect smoke and mirrors or fancy BS terminology. Instead, expect designs that are refined and amazingly musical.

Good luck with your decision,

Steve
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Last edited by Apogee; 19th July 2014 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 19th July 2014, 06:46 PM   #9
Apogee is offline Apogee  United States
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Jim,

A few reviews on the XA series that collectively will give you a pretty good idea of the sonics and what to expect. Also, I'd hold out for at least the .5 or .8 products if you can as the JFET front end would be better.

Pass Labs XA30.5 power amplifier | Stereophile.com

Pass Labs XA30.5 Stereo Power Amplifier Won me over and plan to enjoy it for years to come. Review By Dick Olsher

pass xa 60.5

Pass Labs XA-100.5 Pure Class A Monoblock Power Amplifier - HomeTheaterHiFi.com

There are more reviews on the web, these are just a couple I found. Note the XA30.5 clipped in the Stereo Review article at 130 watts into 8 ohms, and 195 watts into 4 ohms. Since it is rated to have 6 db of headroom, I wouldn't take the 30 watt rating too seriously... ;-)

Have fun!

Steve
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Old 19th July 2014, 06:51 PM   #10
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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The XA30.5 is a pretty robust and good sounding amplifier , so you wont need big class-a if your room is small or speakers have good sensitivity.


Not much heat to fuss about too .....
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