Would help if we knew what the amp sounded like...give us a hint.
I'm currently using Thiel 2.3's with my with a pass labs x-2 & x-350. Tremendous 3 dimensional sound stage ever width depth & in front of the speaker imaging as well. The thiel 6's and 7.2's if space permitting.
True musical enjoyment, the rest of my system. Sony SCD-1, Theta gen 5A, harm tech Pro-9 and pro Silway II's, audience power cords. jon risch diy sound panels and bass traps.
since you are listing some really nice speakers,and I know what the Pass 350.5 can do I would consider...
Sonus Faber Armati Homage (used) there is a pair on agon now here in AZ. or the Cremona (new)I heard them both.
OR if you can find some used?? the Wilson Benesch (Chimera)
big bucks but WOW....The lower priced A.C.T. are also nice.
If I had to choose one 1st it would be the Chimera,and then the Homage.
I'd get the speakers that I really liked and then worry about whether the amp is a good match. Personally I think it's like buying a suit to match the sox I bought. I know Marty DeWulf of Bound for Sound uses Vmps RM 40's with a Pass amp and thinks it's a match made in heaven. Recently became a dealer for Vmps as I'm a firm believer in the sound per dollar we get from Brian. You can ask people on the internet boards and check out:
for reviews. May be what you would like. Certainly worth hearing in your price bracket. Another speaker I think is a bargain are the Dunlavy IVa's. For the money if you have the space they sound excellent I believe. Dunlavy is out of business but I believe you can get drivers if you need them. They're one great speaker. If you want new though check out the Vmps. Not alot of people have heard of them or how well they perform especially for the money.
Pkmclean, I posted a reveiw of the Pass LabsX-350.5 here on the GON, so I know how terrific of an amp it is. You only mention box enclosed speakers in your list of possible speakers for your system, however MG-3.6s or 20.1s are great match-ups with this amp and compete with anything on your list. Planars offer their own kind of magic with very little downside and would sound great in your system. Would you consider an audtion, let us know.
Hmmm, Before you do buy, have a listen to what Piega has to offer. I'm in love with my speakers (C-8 Ltds). You might want to move up to the C-10Ltd if the extra bass makes a difference to you. They are astoundingly good speakers, I haven't heard another pair I've prefered. The Karma's I could probably be just as happy with.
If your in Canada and would like to try out the combo, I could arrange to have you over :) I always wanted to hear the pass amps on my system, thought they might go well with my X-1.
I'm so generous I shock myself sometimes : ) .....
i've owned the c4s for over 2 years.placement is critical as with all speakers that deliver bass.should be kept well away from rear and side walls,otherwise low frequencies will become too pronounced as atkinson in stereophile made note of.doug schneider from soundstage found they measured
pretty well flat in an anechoic chamber.
before purchasing jc1 amplifiers,tested them with pass
aleph 2s(a combination i enjoyed very much)and x250(explosive dynamics and great extension at both ends,but ultimately lacking in the presentation of the midband,which seems to have been corrected in the newer .5 series).
IMO i´d stay away from "sweet" sounding speakers(sonus fabers come to mind)as i believe the 350.5 already leans in that direction and could turn into too much of a good thing.as always try before you buy,but if your room can handle them definitely worth auditioning.
Have demo'd both the Temptations and the C-4's with the larger Sim audio amps, but not the pass. Have heard the 802ds with various amps. Haven't heard, but would like to, the others.
I love the temptations but found them lacking in the bass. I attributed this to the room and the Sim amps which I have found are great in the mids and highs, but not as great in the bass. With the Pass they should be even better. They would be my top choice of those you listed if cost is not a consideration. Listened to the C-4 as well. They were fantastic both in 2 channel and HT. Very smooth, non-fatiguing. Loved the tweeter and some nice tight mid-bass. They are also very nice looking. 802's were nice, but I prefered both the Dyn's to them in the price range. Given that you are considering the Temptations, I'm guessing that space is not an issue. Question for me would be are the temptations that much better than the C-4's to justify the price. Close call. The wife preferred the temptations even with the size issue. She thought they were that much better Now that is a scary problem. I have created a monster I fear.
I heard some focal-based speakers at Celestial Audio in Phoenix that were AMAZING with the Pass gear. Their website is www.celestialav.com I think. Their speakers are a bit pricey but are the best-sounding speakers I've heard.
In the alternative, try to audition some JM Labs stuff, as they make the focal drivers and should sound very similar.
I think you'd enjoy the Wilson WP7 in your system.
With the ARC Ref2 and X350.5 I would not worry about hot treble with the Wilsons.
Dynaudio should be a good match as well.
I don't know what you meant by whisper treble on the 802Ds though. I think the X350.5 may be just about the starting point as far as power is concerned fot the 802D so if you don't listen to heavy metal at ear bleading levels, then it may do.
I found the Audio Physic speakers to be a great match with Pass Labs amplification. I had the X-1 pre with the X-350 and the XA-160s matched at different times with A.P. Virgo IIs and finally the A.P. Avanti IIIs. I chose the XA/Avanti III combo over the XA/W.P 7s.... to my ears a more natural presentation.
I agree with what Rost said regarding Dynaudio C4 and also Sonus Faber speakers. A friend of mine bought the X350.5 right after he heard mine in my system. He has a very similar setup as you, Audio Aero CD player + ARC Ref 2 Mk II + X350.5 and Dynaudio C4. I did not find the combo as musically involving as I like. It's a nice sounding system overall, but something is just missing. (It could be due to his room, because I heard the C4 driven by all Sim Audio products at the Stereophile show and liked it.) Another friend has a pair of Sonus Faber Amatis, I think pairing it with the X350.5 would be too much of a good thing making it sound too syrupy. (But some people like that)
I think all the comments above are valid. And I understand where you are coming from. I have an ARC LS-25 Mk I w/ GNSC ref mod and X350.5 driving a pair of Verity Parsifal Encore. I've been thinking of upgrading speakers for many years anf finally pulled the trigger a few weeks back. I only got permission from my "boss" to get the speakers and nothing else. For that matter, no upgrades were allowed for the next 5 years. So I wanted to make sure that the speaker-upgrade will not cause me to turn my entire system upside down. I've just received the Parsifal for about two weeks. The tweeters have just been upgraded by Verity so they are still breaking in, but I really like the sound.
Just my 2 cents. As others have stated, make sure you listen to the speakers you are considering. You would at least get an idea of how the speakers would sound in your system.