Disappointment with Pass Labs - I'm looking for something else

Hello, I am new to this forum and my mother tongue is not English, so please forgive me if I make mistakes as I use a translator.

I recently bought an XA30.8 and an XP12. I was very happy but as time went by I began to not feel comfortable with the sound.
After doing many tests, I find that the XA30.8 sounds very very sweet but actually too much. I find it to be a loosely defined amp, somewhat muddy and lacks a lot of air and grip. The soundstage is very closed.

The XP-12 is the worst of the two. It is a previous that removes a lot of resolution and information, without transient attacks and sunken mid frequencies. Instead it brings warmth.

Has anyone of you found the same?

If you ask me, I have a Klipsch Cornwall and a dCS BArtok.

Now I want a capable amp, forceful, something warm, decisive, airy and with a great soundstage.

At first I thought of changing my XA30.8 for X250.8, and changing the XP-12 for a second-hand Audio Research Ref5. I am afraid of this change and continue with Pass, since I can go back to the same thing a bit.

On the other hand I have thought of going for a Luxman 900 combo, since it has very good reviews and from what I have read it could be the winning ticket.

Showing 4 responses by decathlon1991

The Cary’s are incredible. Designed by the legendary Dennis Had
Also reading all of this babbling that’s going only. A lot of it is actually good advice but at the end of the day, it’s your ears, your room, your setup with wall panels or not, in another words, your decision. You asked what the differences would be for the two Pass Labs amplifiers. One is fully Class A and the other is Class A that switches to Class AB. Right off the bat, that’s a different sound. You’re speakers are ported so power is definitely not the issue. If they were sealed, then I can see the need for the Pass Labs X250.8. 

1 Sensitivity in average listening room
34Hz - 20kHz
102dB @ 2.83V / 1m
119dB Continuous
8 ohms Compatible
HF: 5000Hz MF: 700Hz
K-107-TI 1” (2.54cm) Titanium diaphragm compression driver
K-702 1.75” (4.45cm) Polyimide diaphragm compression driver
K-33-E 15” (38.1cm) Fiber-composite cone woofer
MDF with fine veneers
Understanding the potential of your equipment and it’s limits makes a huge difference to help you get to the sound you are looking for. Hope this helps and best to luck with your decision. 

Hello Opm,

you have a couple of great choices in tube. Cary Audio 805 or 211 Monoblock tube amplifiers or McIntosh MC275 or if this fits in your budget, MC2301. For solid state, any Krell or Ayre amplifier. All of these companies do very well overseas. For preamps, Audio Research Ref5 SE and Cary Audio SLP05 with the Ultimate Upgrade.  I hope this will help you quite a bit.
  • I mentioned the MC275 only because when you change the tubes, it is a different animal. I use to have the Cary and loved it. I’ve owned the Audio Research References 250SE, Ref 160 Monoblock, Chord SPM6000 Monoblock, SPM12000, and now a Krell Evolution 402e and McIntosh MC2301 Monoblock. Both the Krell stereo and the MC2301 Monoblock are not cheap but since you mentioned Audio Research Ref5 preamp (you can only buy used), maybe you can lucky finding a Krell or a Krell FPB amplifier.