Joule Electra vs Pass Labs

Considering the Joule 100's or the Pass XA60.5.....pre-amp is a Mcintosh C220, speakers are to be determined.
What is the size of your listening room???
If Merlin VSM would work for you and the room the sound would be amazing with the VZN-100. The Pass would be plug and play the Joule 100's require a little more attention but the addicting sound is worth it!!! The types of music you listen to should also be considered.
From my personal experience the vzn-100s make a significant amount of heat. If practical matters like cooling and being able to use them in the summer come into consideration the Pass amps might be a better choice as their rated power consumption (hence heat output) is half that of the joules at 400W vs. 800W. My vzn-100s take the summer off but they do heat my basement quite nicely in the winter though.
The room I have today, will not be the same room next year, and most likely the year after. I currently don't own speakers, but are leaning towards Totem (Merlin are to much). My music is rock, but I don't play it real loud. I notice a lot of people seem to be trading up in Pass.
Is the mac balanced? XA amps work much better with a balanced pre.