Are Pass Labs amps probably the best ever you can buy ?


I have about 15k to spend on an amp/preamp/integrated amp.

I mostly listen to smooth jazz like Dave Koz, Rippingtons, Brian Culbertson etc.... and loud.

I have yet to hear any amp that comes close to Pass Labs.

Your experiences pls ?
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@audiofound

WIth all the auditioning that you did, can you be specific about what qualities of the Pass were the deciding factor?  Imaging? Tonal balance? Bass control?  Voices? What about price as well?

Where there any speakers you found better/worse with the Pass?
@mcdonakl

Have you tried any class AB amps from Pass ?
Your XA100 is class A and they are notorious for being power hogs.
If you live in Alaska, you do not need a separate heater with class A amps :-)
Really when you get into high end amps Pass, Gryphon, Luxman, Simaudio, T+A, Hegel, and other similarly priced components it's really about what your ears like. It's preference, not necessarily fact. I mean some like chocolate ice cream, some like vanilla, some like the color blue, some like the color red.

One man's thin sounding component is another man's open, air-ey sounding component, one man's smooth top end is another's unexciting, dull top end, one man's strong bass is another's boomy bass, one man's warm mids is another's too dark toned, one man's smooth top end is another's rolled off top end. If we didn't hear things differently we'd all be buying the same exact components. 

We (myself included) seem to have great difficulty putting sound into words with any kind of accuracy. And then we'll have comments like Brand A will "blow the doors off Brand B", or "Brand A blows Brand B out of the water"...whatever the heck that means. I personally find these kinds of descriptions useless. It tells me nothing about the components. 

We need to get used to the idea that we very often don't hear things the same. From a strictly physiological standpoint I don't know why we should think otherwise. Our hearing apparatus and biology/physiology is completely different from one day to the next. 

Here's a news flash...it's OK to have a preference and for other people to have theirs. It's OK to be absolutely convinced your set up sounds "better" than anyone else's or for me to feel my system is the best sounding out there.

And there are an infinity of variables that are obvious and some not so obvious to consider when auditioning, comparing, and evaluating components...the room and how a specific brand and model interacts with it is one major factor regarding how you hear things. I mentioned both physiology and biology above as factors governing how we hear and process sound. Have you ever listened to a system one day, come back in a day or two and something about your system sounds different? This sometimes happens to me with my guitars and amp.

Aural memory can also be a factor...you listen to your system and it goes into your memory and a week later you listen again and it sounds different. I traveled to Suncoast Audio about a year ago to audition several top notch amps for my new system. But my aural memory of that experience is starting to fade to the point where I can't remember the fine details of how each amp sounded. I just remember which ones my ears liked most. 

There are just so many factors to weigh when it comes to making value judgments about audio components. But we sometimes have a tendency to form snap, knee jerk, opinions without being honest and objective with ourselves. Anyway, just my 2 cents.
I love my Classe' CA M600 monoblocks. They were good enough for Abby Roads Studio. They have a few years on them but hard to beat. Its a too bad what happened with Classe'. Pass does a great job. It boils down to what sounds right in your system with your acoustics. As Salon 1 Audio mentions, certain amps sound different with different speakers. That is a vital part of the equation.
I think AudioFound summed this all up nicely. Sound interpretation varies from one set of ears to another. When you get to a certain level of quality it becomes a personal form of what you like and enjoy.