What's the nominal impedance of your speakers?
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@tvad Unsurprisingly I had the same initial take as you...the Pass is the safer bet but it’s possible for the LM845 offer something different that could be nice depending on the speaker impedance. (8 ohms or higher). I’ve read a reviewer who really liked the LM845 paired with Wilson Watt Puppy 8’s before for instance which you wouldn't expect based on spec alone.
Thanks for the replies everyone!
13” 3-way, 86dB speakers are 8 ohms in the vocal range, but dip to 4 ohms @50Hz, @5-7kHz.
8” 2.5-way, 89dB speakers are 8 ohms in the vocal range, but dip to 3-4 ohms @80-400Hz, @4-12kHz. I’ll check with Reno HiFi next week when they reopen.
My Custom 65W PP KT88 is fairly good on the 13” 86dB, but doesn’t deliver the dynamics and frequency extension like my solid state amp does on that speaker. Based on my impedances, I wonder if the LM 845 Premium might not sound optimal. I could bi-amp the tube amp to the mid cab, and go plate amp or class D for the bass cab?...
Having lived with both amps the Pass can do everything that the LM can do and can do some things better, offering more detail and a larger sound stage and at the same time sounding real to life. This is using Devore Nines and Wilson Watt Puppy 5.1 speakers. The LM 845 is a great amp no question but if it were my money i would choose the Pass. A quick demo will not tell the whole story on both amps, the Pass takes at least 200 hrs. to sound it`s best while the LM takes about 100 hrs.
Agreed that it all comes down to system matching. I've had 8W 300bs outperform an int30a on one system and first watt f4s outperform the same 300b monos on a different one. In both cases the speakers were in the 90s with flat impedance curves higher than 8 ohms.
Although I agree that the signs point towards the SS option here, as always there's only one way to really know...
My main music library consist of Jazz Trio's. With my 300B SET amp, the sound is more intimate, the precise feeling you want to get while listening to old jazz. The Pass is an excellent SS amp, capable of delivering great performance as well, but the 300B is more romantic and tuned to my taste in sound.
It is a matter of taste in my case, more than better or worse.
One nice thing about trying Pass products is that you can easily get home trial periods from RenoHifi.
And the best thing about owning Pass products is supporting a company that truly cares about their customers.
What other manufacturer out there is spending work hours helping diyers copy their commercial designs? Just an amazing company all around.
Don't worry about the Line Magnetic current capability, I had the 518ia powering my Rockport Avior's which drop to 1.73 ohms in the bass section (just like wilsons) and the 518ia is amazing with the 845 tubes. effortless. I have never owned a Pass amp but I have owned 3 pairs of Lamm's M1.1,M2.1, ML2.1's and the Line Magnetic has the magic but is a little more open and clearer on the top end. I have been curious about the Pass class A products in the past, so please post how it sounds.