Merlin with Pass XA 30.8?


I am currently considering trying a Pass XA 30.8 with Merlin TSM's.  I am currently using a MC275 and it does sound pretty good but I am curious as I heard great things about the 30.8.  Just not sure how it would work with Merlins as I think Merlins were voiced with tubes.
tzh21y
Merlins were designed to be very tube friendly. Compared to a good tube amp on that speaker you will hear a slight additional brightness and likely not as much bass impact.


The highs due to additional higher ordered harmonic distortion that is common with solid state (although less so with Pass Labs amps, its still there) compared with tubes.

The bass due to the fact that tube amps will tend to make a little more power into the low frequency resonance of the cabinet. In this regard its a good bet that Bobby (the designer) expected a bit of this.
You may want to consider the new Coda  series 8 amplifier which comes in at the same price of the Pass Labs and has been just compared to the $14k Pass Labs monoblocks.

The Merlins like power and having a 150 on tap with the Coda would be advantages over the lower powered Pass.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Coda dealers
I'm using Pass XA-160.8s with modified VSMs.  I previously drove the VSMs with a modified BAT VK-75SE.  Both amps (and the XA-30.8s) have ample power for Merlins.  The Pass amps are eerily quiet and smooth on top.  Relative to the tube amp, you may initially perceive this as a loss of HF extension and air.  But I think the Pass sound is more faithful to source.  Try them with and without the Merlin Zobel-- you may not need it.  
The more I listen, I think I will keep my MC275.