Class A: Accuphase vs Pass Labs house sound?

I have always been fascinated with Accuphase (Japanese audio in general). I've never heard an Accuphase amp in person. I've heard Pass class a/b amps a few times. I own a FirstWatt j2. One thing I really like about the feature set of Accuphase that it includes a gain level control. I would find that handy since I have 101 efficient (measured at 98db) Zu speakers. Since I run a tube pre, tube hiss can be an issue if I do not keep tabs on the gain when choosing components. No worries with the J2 since the gain is super low. However, I may look to upgrade my amp in the future. Pass 30.8 is something that looks like a nice unit. Also the Accuphase A-48 or A-30.

Just curious if anyone has compared both...sound wise and build wise




I have compared the E800 against the Pass int250. 
(never left class A during the audition)

I thought the Pass sounded a bit more open with a

more powerful bass compared to the more laid back

and darker sounding Accuphase. Build wise they are

both top notch but personally I preferred the appearance

of the Pass.

Good info. I agree the Pass looks much nicer in general. Plus, much better prices since they are US based. 

Go Pass it will Last great in every respect may deal with a little more distortion  I`m not listening to specs its the music at 75 yrs young I can care less about .005% distortion.  For the last 30 yrs. its been tubes on the high end trannies on the bottom;  Audio Research Preamps on top Pass power amps on the bottom just lately I decided to go all transistor Pass XP30 Pre - Pass X350 Power the synergy is just outrageous. GO PASS IT WILL LAST!!

I do like the sound of Accuphase amplifiers, very clean sounding. Between the two I would choose Pass, but I'm a transistor guy.

I totally agree I've heard both and I think the Pass sounds more real and natural, if I didn't have the Sim audio w8 I would definitely choose a pass labs.

Accuphase more dark and more refined.

Pass open and transparent.

Obviously,most people like  pass 

The top 3 brand on this forum are pass lab, luxman, audio research. Why these 3?  The reason is their house sounds attract you  in some way.



So you've never heard an V-fet amp !


You can read on an audiongon forum (V-fet)

the comparation than Yamaha B3 and Accuphase A-47, the Yamaha is the winner and the Sony ta-N7b is still considered the best japanesse power amp transistors.

My understanding is that Accuphase prices in the US are much higher than ROW, because the distributor is Lord Voldemort, or something like that (Accuphase gear in Canada seem to be priced like Luxman).  I wonder (a) if the distributor thing is true - any insight is appreciated; and b) if they’d be better received at a different price point and, therefore, comparison level

“The top 3 brand on this forum are pass lab, luxman, audio research.”

Could it be because they are easily accessible new and old? Accuphase is out of reach for many due to US Distributor unfair pricing. I bet most posters here who are quick to posts their biases never even heard Accuphase in their system 😂

I realize appearance (aesthetics) of a gear is subjective but Accuphase build quality is simply exquisite. That is not to say Pass Labs is slacking in build quality but it’s appearance to me lean towards industrial.

Accuphase A-48 amp sounds (looks) like a Mercedes S-class  car, rides.. PASS-L designs tuned to get racing results better, overheating motor, etc..

A30 or A48 are just little door to real big sound Accuphase  ladder . You just paying for logo only and you will be only satisfied that you own Accuphase brand.  Because Accuphase good sound starts from at least A50V and up power amps and c2800 up line in pre amps . This is very reliable brand. Personally I have owned a lot of equipment. My journey ended up with whole set an Accuphase , and will never go with any thing else. Best wishes on your journey 

Abery don't be so sure you will prefer either Accuphase or Pass over your J2, listen before you jump if possible.

What speakers would the electronics be powering?  That makes all the difference in the world i answering this.

Yeah, I have a couple V-fet amps. Nice smooth sound with great detail.! I'm working on a complete rebuild of two B3's now. The B2's are also excellent, but not for your average enthusiast. 

If you are talking build quality, accuphase is amongst the top one, if you are talking the price, accuphase is amongst the top one, if you are talking the sound, accuphase is not the top one. If you are talking the popularity in hifi field, accuphase  is at far behind position.


@runwell trying to understand your points: "build quality, accuphase is amongst the top one”; "the sound, accuphase is not the top one”

Accuphase has many SKUs, “cheaper” ones are not top performer comparing to other brands reference designs. Wondering which Accuphase model number you are referring your post to?

Having 30+ years behind checking/testing sound of different products I found Accuphase is the best comparing to other brands on combined metric: build+reliability+amortization+esthetics. Also, Accuphase amps are able to drive very "difficult” speakers without sound quality impact, which technically can be explained by higher phase margins at realistic load impedance, in very wide frequency range (5Hz..200kHz).

We are talking the difference things. You talk the sound quality, the strong strength of the sound to the speaker. I am talking about you like the house sound or you do not like the house sound..

Besides, I am not talking the specific model, I am talking this brand in general.

And in fact, I am not talking you or me,I am talking a lot people.

If you still do not understand, forget the sound.

Let see a building, when you see the building, you do not like, but the guy beside you talk a lot of the good of that building. The build quality, the location, the rent rate,the traffic,and maintenance job. After you listen,you still do not like that building.

That’s it.

Do not make it complicated. It is a matter of like or dislike.

i had pass labs, the older xa60's, and was not a fan (Nothing wrong with them just didn't catch my ear) I'm very curious about accuphase, especially if someone has some direct experience with e a36, or a48

Neither, I prefer the Original Class A innovator, SUGDEN.


Accuphase A-48: drives any speakers with confidence, lowest background noise ever, airy.