Krell FPB 300cx vs Pass X250.5

Anyone have the pleasure of comparing these two amps, or similar Pass and Krell amps to eachother?
Your experiences with the two amps may well come down to their input impedances vs your current preamp.

I demo'd a Pass X0.2 preamp that I was considering purchase of. No doubt it's a fine piece, however not with Levinson amps. Impedance mismatch BIG TIME.

Keep this in mind.


Paul ;-)
Tpk123, it's been a few years already since I last compared a Krell vs a Pass Labs X-series amp, but even than, for my ears I found the Pass Labs to be a more musical/natural sounding piece. It had all the dynamics/slam of the Krell plus the above stated virtues. However, the new Pass Labs X-.5 series amps are not just slight improvements over the first X-series but a shift towards the sound of real music. They have much of the warmth/sweetness of the XA-series amps but the dynamics and power of the X-series. So to be fair I have not heard the latest generation Krell amps, but unless they have dramatically improved, my hunch would be the Pass Labs X-.5 series would still be the better sounding amps. I replaced a great sounding amp[Edge NL-10] with a Pass Labs X-350.5 because it just sounded more real and musical in my system. However, as you know personnal taste and system synergy always comes into play, so a home audtion using your ears is always necessary. Hope this helps.
When I compared the X-250 (not the .5) to the Edge NL-10 I found the Edge to be slightly faster sounding, slightly more dynamic and slightly cleaner sounding. I thought that the X-250 sounded better on a few instruments like brushes on a snare drum (more realistic). I preferred the Edge at that time, but not at $4500 more then the X-250. I could have bought a real nice preamp for that extra expense. I always found the Krell to have better bass then the Pass (slightly) but could live with the Pass. The X-250 had a slightly sweeter mid range sound then the Krell but the Krell sounded slightly more extended in the top end. Granted I heard them both with a real nice tube preamp which I preferred with the Krell and IMO the Pass works just as good with SS and tube preamps. The newest Krells 450 & 750 mono blocks are something special in the mids, they have moved away from the typical Krell sound with these amps and I am not sure if they have made the same changes to their other amps.

It comes down to pesonal preference as each amp has its own signature sound and how an amp mates to your speakes is the key to great sound.

Happy Listening.

As Bigkidz states, the "x"-series Krells as in the
FPB-300cx mentioned by Tpk123; are a departure from the
typical "Krell sound".

If you haven't heard Krells in a few years - your experience
is dated.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
Dr. Greenman, I guess its important to you that we know that you are one, it was not that long ago that I listened to Krell gear, but I know that Krell has changed to a degree their house sound, but my question to you good Dr. is, have you heard the new Pass Labs .5 series amps and how do they compare in your opinion? Also, have you heard the Pass Labs XA series mono-blocks which price wise might be a better comparsion, even though the 350.5 is a great sounding amp with much of the virtues of the more pricey XA series.
Does anyone have anything new to add on this comparison?

Also, I am curious as to the Pass's ability to deliver current (amperage) too.

I must admit that I do not understand how manufacturers come up with this number for their spec sheets.
- Pass says +/- 20 amps
- Krell does not post numbers, but their reputation for driving difficult loads and having a strong bottom end implies it can deliver a lot of amperage. It also uses a captive power cord which might indicate that it can draw more than the typical IEC’s rated 15 amps.
- Most of McIntosh’s Autoformer models say 100+ amps.
- Levinson’s 336 is like the Krell in that it has a captive cord because it could draw more than 15 amps from the wall, but no current number is given for its output...and by the way, how does the Levison 334, 335, or 336 sound compared to the Pass and/or the Krell?

Now I do understand that different amps have different power storage capacity, but somehow these amperage output numbers don't seem to relate to each other. Can someone possibly explain it, or is it just something to be ignored?