Classe "omega" vs Pass Labs X600

I'm in the process of buying an amp for my revel salons. i just sold an omicron and am looking to either get a classe omega which I am quite familiar with and love the sweetness and musicalness of it. I got to listemn to a Pass Labs X350 amp in California and was quite impressed. Unfortunatly there is no Pass Labs dealer in Illinois where I live so I cannot do an a-b comparison. As far as set-up goes i thinks the pass labs would be easier to deal with since they are monos and can be placed next to the speaker. The Omega is 280lbs and huge so their placement is limited. Hopefully someone out their has had dealings with both. I appreciate any and all feedback.
I will leave a list of associated equiptment since it may help give an overall idea of the sound that can be represented with either amp:
mark levinson 37 transport
meridian 861 pre-processor
revel salon speaker
valhalla interconects and speaker wire
sound applications xe 12
try Krell FPB600c

Have ever audited Omega with Signature 800.........not really feel of the high end equipment. Quite diappointed.
I've actualy heard the omicron with the signiture 800. the speakers and the amp were broken in and it didn't sound that bad. yes it may not have been as good as it could have been for a $32500 speaker/amp setup. i did audition the krell fpb700 and, forgive me for the cliche, but found the krell a little dry and not as musical as the classe. i guess i'm wondering if the pass labs are as musical and warm yet has the resolution and dynamics that the classe posess. i am not saying anything bad about krell because as the other cliche goes, "to each his own"
Both are good choices. The Classe Omega is very powerful, clean and musical. The Pass X600 is also quite good in those areas, but does not seem to have the bass response of the Omega. The presentation is also a bit different. The X600 is a a bit more forward in the stage compared with the Omega.

It is more a matter of preference than anything else.
Try the big Gryphon Signature Amplifiers.They are fantastic.
Another amp you might want to consider is the Edge NL-10. I use the Edge with Revel Salons and a Sound Application XE-12S, so my system is fairly similiar to your own, and I am very pleased with the sound of my system. Drives the Salons very well with outstanding bass and beautiful sweet highs with plenty of detail. I've got a large listening room and the NL-10 has more than enough power for the Salons. Not that the Pass or Classe would not be good choices as well. Each will give the Salons a slightly different presentation. Remember these are extremely neutral sounding speakers. The Edge is a neutral amp.
I think that evaluations of the fullrange dynamics is a way of making a good choice. Try to capture the rimshot or orcestral creshendo in the best way to make a quick choice. The Pass Labs have much more of that old, live feeling. But then again, you make the choice and have to try to figure out YOUR choice. Depends on your experience of music and what you want to reproduce in your home.
I read your thread with interest, as I have been curious myself of late about the Salons and just auditioned a pair this past weekend at Lyric HiFi in Manhattan. Prior to doing so, I reread the reviews of the Salon, as well as reviews of its smaller sibling, the Studio. The reason I am responding to your thread is to tell you that, for whatever it's worth, Kalman Rubenstein, a reviewer for Stereophile, bought a pair of Revel Studios as his reference speaker, and in his review of the Studio, remarked upon what great synergy they have with his reference amps, the Sonic Frontiers Power 3 monoblocks. Although all of the hi-fi magazines are capable, in my opinion, of publishing bad reviews / biased reviews, etc., my guess is that when a reviewer chooses speakers for his personal reference system and comments that they work especially well with his reference amps, there is some truth to that comment. As for the Power 3's, I don't know if you know anything about them, but my closest "hi-fi friend" has been running Power 3's for nearly three years and i have heard them at great length. I won't comment upon the sound he gets other than to say that he obviously likes what they can do, as do I, but I do want to mention that they have proven to be incredibly reliable for him -- he runs them nearly every day (and runs them hard at times) with huge Dunlavy SC-V's, and in three years, he has never had to replace any tubes. I believe that the Power 3 may now be out of production, but they are frequently available on Audiogon for +/- $4,000.

If you ARE inclined to consider Power 3's, I would not be dissuaded by the fact that their power rating is only 220 watts/channel -- each monoblock uses eight 6550c power tubes in a conservative circuit with a first-rate power supply -- practically speaking, there's not going to be much of a horsepower difference between them and anything else (you may get an extra 6 decibels or so and somewhat tighter bass if you use a mega amp, but the Salons are fairly efficient and I would bet you won't have occasion to hear the difference unless you are listening to extremely demanding material at really high volume -- 220 watts are a lot of watts if they're coming from well-designed tube monoblocks).

I could go on and on, but I suppose my main point is that, if a reviewer says the Power 3's work great with the Studios and he uses that combo as his reference, they probably do sound great together and you may want to give that amp some thought if you are looking for something for your Salons. You could probably e-mail Kalman Rubenstein for his thoughts. I could also pass along the e-mail address of my friend with the Power 3's should you want to pick his brain. And, oh yes, speaker cables ... my friend uses close-to-top-of-the-line Transparent Audio. I can't recall what Karmen Rubenstein uses -- I didn't reread the review prior to writing this. Anthony Cordesman, senior reviewer for TAS, said that the then-best Transparent Audio speaker cables were his first choice for the Salon. You would have to try them all together to make certain, but it's something to go on.

Good luck

P.S. - If you are wondering what my biases might be, my main system:
VPI Aries w/ JMW 10.5 arm and van den Hul Frog Cartridge
Levinson 360s processor and 37 Transport
Hovland line stage
Rowland Cadence phono preamp
VAC Renaissance Mark III 140 monoblocks
Vienna Acoustics Mahler speakers
All Kimber Select silver interconnects and speaker cable (except phono cable)
Source components fed by PS Audio 300
All components run through PS Audio Ultimate Outlets

Second system:

Rega Planar 3 w/ RB-300 arm and Grado Sonata cartridge
CAL Audio Sigma II processor and Delta transport
Bryston moving magnet phono stage
Audio Research LS-3 preamp
Rowland Model 6 monoblocks with battery power supplies
Dynaudio Contour 3.3 speakers
All Kimber Select silver interconnects (w/ Kimber Select all-copper speaker cables)
I think that Audio Consultants in the Chicago area is a Pass dealer. For this amount of $$, I think it would be worth a day trip/overnight to go up there and see the Pass if you think you like it.
Not familiar with the big Classe, but have several customers in Illinois who have sold Pass 600s in favor of the Parasound JC-1s.....Email me if you would like to speak with them as they don't participate here....Parasound made me a dealer for the JC-1s and have since ceased as only had the CTC preamp customers as my base....
Rcrump, the principal designer of the Parasound JC-1? Don't be so modest.
Muralman1, something we at CTC learned with the preamp project is that it takes excellence in electrical design, parts and layout to make anything really kick ass....The JC-1 started as an absolutely unlistenable Parasound HCA-3500 Curl sent me to play with....I spent five horrible days listening to it before I got my hands dirty......The major problem turned out to be an undersized Vishay resistor and a year later (and 200 parts changes) we had a very nice sounding amp....Parasound found out about the amp at the CES and approached the team to do a mono block HCA-3500....The modified HCA-3500 and the JC-1 use exactly the same parts and circuit and the JC-1s eat the modified HCA-3500 on account of the wonderful layouts that Carl Thompson did....Curl is the principal designer of the JC-1, but it would not be the same product without attention to parts and layouts......Sorry to go on, but we all did the best we could and there are three parts to the puzzle....
I am sure the JC-1 is an excellent amplifier. Hopefully this will be echoed for years to come and the amplifier will maintain its status. It does make me wonder however, what recourse one might have who purchased one of these "unlistenable" Parasound 3500 amplifiers? Seems to me that any company, or individual, possessing any integrity would offer to change or correct this "unlistenable" discrepancy especially since the main culprit was just a Vishay resistor. I doubt Parasound or the 3500 designer informed any prospective buyers that the amplifier was unlistenable. Was a recall or revision issued on this amplifier?
Nealhood, I understand the new Ford performs better than their older models as well, but don't see them stepping up to update their older models.....The performance of HCA-3500 is what it is and it did not do very well in the market on account of it. Most any make and model can be "improved" and there is a specialist market for such modifications...We at CTC discovered the tweak for the HCA-3500 well after the last run had been built and bought four of them, all they had left and "B" stock at that....We published the tweak on several sites for those interested in more performance for the discontinued model.....This involved one part per side whereas the complete rebuild of the unit involved over two hundred parts.....
Jtinn thread is very accurate. I would go on to say that the Pass also does not have the musicality or layering (natural acoustic perspective) of the Classe Omega.
The Omega's are superb amplifiers!

peter jasz
I have not heard the Classe Omega. I would bet it is a fine amp for most purposes. I wouldn't hazard it on my system though. That is what I am using the Pass Labs 600 for. Because the Omega is discontinued, comparison between the two isn't possible.

I can't help but take any dealer's, or even more so, designer's, opinions without some note of suspicion. I know, I know, the majority are honest in their dealings. However, one's own children are always the best, aren't they?

My experience with the Pass X600 matches that of other 600 owners. The music just simply, and naturally, comes alive in my listening room. The dynamic range of the Pass is huge while discreet. It will whisper and roar all at the same time, and without a hint of electronic artifice. No detail is lost or smeared, and certainly not exaggerated as brightness. As for the bass, some people just will always like tight thumpy bass. The Pass X600 does not favor one type of bass over another. The bass is played out like all the other frequencies, that being with utter naturalness.


"I can't help but take any dealer's, or even more so, designer's, opinions without some note of suspicion. I know, I know, the majority are honest in their dealings. However, one's own children are always the best, aren't they?"

I am a bit surprised at your statement. Sure, dealers have something to gain by raving about products they sell, but we do hear quite a bit more equipment than the end user would have the opportunity to hear. The other thing to consider is that as a dealer, if there is a product that I really love, most of the time I can carry it. There are some cases where I may love the product, but I do not carry it because of size limitations or because I have something I already carry that I may prefer.

I would be more careful of those who answer posts who own one product and have never even heard the competing product and make assumptions or speculate.

My answer to your question was based on my experience with products that I do not sell, but have quite a bit of experience with. I think that there are quality people within the industry that participate on Audiogon that act the same way. Even Crump who hates everything equally :)

Just wanted to make you aware that the Omega Omicron dual mono amp is discontinued. The Omega Mono and Omega Omicron Mono amps are both still current pieces. See that's why it's good for us dealers to respond to questions also. We don't post something we've "heard through the grapevine."


I have not been able to listen to the Pass Labs but I can only rave about the Classe Omega line. The amps are very smooth and dynamic. Of course that's just my "opinion" which is what I believed you asked all of us to give.