Closest to pass labs int 250 or x250.8

So I have been reading all types of sources on the net to find a consensus on the best performing power source currently out here.

Pass Labs int 250 and the x250.8 amp seem to be at the top of the list in the $12,000 /$10,000 range.

Unfortunately, That is too rich for my pocket. I am look at used or refurbished but it might be a while before I find one at a price I can handle.

From what I hear they both handle highs very well. I don't want a power source that produces bright highs. My ears can't  take it. 

My question is... What power source can get me the closest to the sound of the Pass Labs without their price tags?

I have power Hungary Revel F-52's and I do like to play my music loud at times. So I want the 250 wpc or so.

Current power source is an HK 990 intetgrated. And the highs seem to be to bright or slightly muffled depending on the settings.

I'm trying to find something I can enjoy for a long, long time. Not interested in constant flipping of components. 

Thanks for your help.


Not sure if this interests you, but there is a Pass 150.5 listed here for 2,500.00.  I don't know much about Pass equipment as I have never heard any so my statement is just what is available here.
CODA CSX, or similar. Like Pass Labs, CODA is also a branch off the old Threshold tree. While Nelson Pass was the legend of Threshold, and went on to start Pass Labs, CODA was founded by three ex-Threshold engineers in the late 80's.
Having owned both CODA and Pass Labs amps (and Threshold), I can say that they share more similarities than differences.

The CSX puts out 330 wpc into 8 ohms and 660 wpc into 4 ohms, should be plenty of power for your Revel F-52's.
They listed for $6K, but you can probably find a nice used one for around $2500.
Maybe a little on the vintage side of things, the Threshold, still holds up well.
Sticking with Coda. 

The CSIB integrated or the CSX amp?

And which preamp for the CSX?

I assumed only Pass sounds like Pass. Just trying to get close or similar.
Another thing I noticed about the Coda CISB integrated is that it has a tape monitor button. ???? A little like buying  a blueray / vcr combo.

Am I missing something? Why is that there?
The CSIB integrated or the CSX amp?

Your call. I've never heard the CSIB, only the CSX.

Another thing I noticed about the Coda CISB integrated is that it has a tape monitor button. ????  Am I missing something? Why is that there?

Believe it or not, some audiophiles still used tape decks, some even use open reel tape decks.....gasp!!!

In other news, many audiophiles also still use turntables.
Went through bunch of different amps in search of THat Pass Labs sound.  In the end I got 250.8! Love it!  Never before I enjoyed music so much.  So do yoursf a favor and save your money for what you Really looking for- Pass Labs.  There is no substitute,  all amps have their own sound to them . Pass is Pass.  Check out reviews by member whitecamaross you will get a good idea what you are after. 
I've owned all sorts of stuff, from McCormack, to B&K, Krell, Wadia, McIntosh, Audio Research etc, and currently have some Odyssey Audio Stratos Extreme Monos in my main system, driving some Sonus Faber Olympica 2's, and they sound amazing. Odyssey is well worth a look, IMHO. 
A 2nd hand Vitus SIA-025 would be a compelling option up against the other amps mentioned above; liquid, smooth, organic class A sound & plenty of power & control to drive a moderately inefficient load. The only issue is they rarely come up on the used market.
Recently purchased a Pass X150.8 stereo amp. Could not recommend it more highly.  The ONLY downside is it is heavy and cumbersome to manage.   SET like in the mids and highs, excellent bass control, extremely musical through the entire frequency range.  Best amp I've had in my system.  
Can't help you with the alternative, but I will confirm that the INT-250 has clear warm highs (plus defined bass).  It replaces an Ayre AX5Twenty whose highs were indeed way too bright for me (and failed to produce bass).
TY- aardvarkbark-

those Pass Labs integrated amps are on my short-list to demo.

I want to read more about them from you guys, the owners.
I was just speaking to OP’s criteria, but FWIW -- INT-250 produces a broad and deep soundstage. I mostly listen to classical and acoustic jazz. This amp puts me center loge Orchestra Hall, Chicago. Absolutely brilliant. Bass you can feel in your sternum. Dimensional sound.

The added bonus is that Kent at PASS is just a delight to deal with should you ever have any questions.
Thanks for all the great information everyone

I'm looking at a Coda CSiB integrated. I would love the Pass but the INT-250 and the X250.8 are too rich for my wallet.

If I went with a Coda CSX amp what would be a good match as far as a pre-amp?

 I hear a lot of positive things about matching a tube pre-amp and a SS amp. Would that hold true here? 

Tube preamp will work fine with the CSX, as long as you run single ended.
The CSX has an input impedance of 50Kohm via RCA inputs, but only 1Kohm through XLR inputs.

A used VAC Standard LE preamp would probably make a nice match with the CSX, or Cary SLP-98 if you are looking for a bit more warmth.
Jafant..... I owned emotiva xpa 5,  ATI signature 6003, Anthem P5. Like you I have Revel speakers but different model F208.

I own and endorse Thiel loudspeakers. I did not care for Revel.
Happy Listening!
Thanks for everybody's input.

I decided to go with the Coda CSIB integrated. I picked one up at a pretty good price from Hi-Fi Heaven in Wisconsin and I just got it in the mail. Unfortunately due to my work schedule I won't be able to get in my system until after Christmas so I'll let you know what it sounds like after that.

Hope everyone has a great holiday season.

I own a CSIB, and it's a wonderful integrated. I use it in a second system, though it certainly will easily fit in with a main/reference rig. Ballsy and detailed, but with just enough warmth to sound "right." Congrats on an excellent purchase (IMHO). Do let us know how you like it!

Thought I would up date this thread. I really like the Coda CSiB. 

Lynott  your description was spot on. The Revel F 52's sound really good.

I've been happy for the last three years but I am looking to move up the ladder a few rungs.

Looking to purchase either the Legacy Focos SE or the Revel Ultima Studio 2. 
Nothing compares to a Pass, nothing.  I would suggest being patient and saving some money until you can afford a Pass.  You will always be left wondering...  Additionally, resale will be much better if you ever decide to move on.  Best of luck.

My Coda CSiB is the V3 version.

400 watts at 8 Ohms
800 watts at 4 Ohms
Class A to ~8W at 8 Ohms

My Coda CSiB is the V3 version.
Thanks for your reply, Mark, I have a V3 also, just wondering is the V1 will run much hotter?