I owned the Pass X-250 and sold in two weeks ago after one year. I don't believe there is that much of difference to the .5. Sounded terrible with my speakers-switched to SET monoblocks-great sound now. The guy I sold it to had a 250 and 350 which he added my 250 to. He was using old Infinity's-the original owners formed Genesis Techology. His set up with the pass units sounded great. I would say you should match your speakers to the amp.
Dealers tell me the .5's are a big improvement over the regular models.Zevbear, what speakers were you referring to in your post?
The .5 version is a significant step up in low level definition, warmth and a liquid midrange.
before i bought my jc-1s was able to audition the x-250 in my system for over a month and although the pass impressed me with its speed,timing,dynamics and transparency and what some have called a certain "sparkle" on top,i was ultimately let down by what i perceived to be a "thin" harmonic presentation in the mids,(which for my listening preferences is crucial)and a hardening of the sound with higher spl,probably due to the amp going out of class a output into class ab.
as to the newer x250.5 version,haven't heard it.
Take what you heard in the X250, now remove the thinness, add gorgeous body to the vocals, and you have the X250.5. I think it may be safe to say the new X250.5 is warm rather than neutral. The old X250 was dead neutral.
interesting comments;have you been able to compare the x250.5 to the larger x350.5?
if i remember correctly the older x250 sounded a bit quicker and more nimble than the x350,maybe because of fewer output devices?
I have not, unfortunately.
I have not heard the 250.5, Zevbear states no diferrence
between the 250, Tell you what, if that is the case,
then no doubt the JC1 are better.I heard both the X250
and the JC1.For my taste the 250 is too dry sounding,
the JC1 are musical and sweet sounding.I also like the
soundstage of the JC1,they are rich full sounding amp.
I cannot compare the 250 and the 250.5, but I have owned both the 350 and 350.5 and indeed there is a big difference. The 350.5 is warm and quite tube like. It is never fatiguing and still getting better as it now has about 130 hours of service.
I am not sure Zevbear was referencing that he actually heard the X250.5.......is this the case Zevbear?
I agree that with the X350.5 the difference is very significant. It is a much smoother sounding amp then the 350. I would not say it is warm but sweet in the mids and silky in the uppers and very musical. I called Pass today and spoke with Ken English and he said he has the X 350.5 in his system. He said the same thing Peter Perkins said that the X350.5 is now Pass Labs best sounding amp.
Irish 65. Do you mean best sounding X series or their best period. I've been told that the XA 160's were their best sounding amp. I'd really like to know as I've been considering them both lately.
I could be mistaken, but I thought he said "best period". After that comment he mentioned that he personally owns the X350.5. That is what lead me to believe he thought it was the best sounding Pass amp. I would audition both and take home the winner.
It really is a difficult question for a manufacturer or a dealer to answer. If they say the X350.5 is better who in their right mind will buy the more expensive XA160 i.e. if the X350.5 does indeed sound better.
Irish65. Sounds good to me. Thanks
I was told by Peter that the 350.5 was the sweet spot in the .5 line. It had very similar attributes with the XA series.
Thanks guys for all your input -- thought I would bounce this thread back up on the radar, so to speak, and see if there might be any new info. regarding a comparo of these two amps.
BTW, I have heard both amps, but of course were in two different systems. Both sounded very good! Surprisingly, the Pass 250-5 actually sounded a little more "fluid" and relaxed, again within it's own setting. I say surprisingly because I obviously thought the mono block JC-1's would have sounded more at ease.
Denf, I now have lived with the Pass LabsX-350.5 for a year in my system, and am still as thrilled with its sonics as I was when I first auditioned it in my system. It replaced a pretty damn good amp in its own right, EdgeNL-10, because it offered a more "natural/musical" presentation, often associated with tube gear, but with all the details, slam, and clarity of solid state. And yes, the .5 series is a significant improvement over the first generation X series by leaps and bounds sonicly. I never really liked the original X amps, auditioned them when they were released, and kept my Pass Labs Aleph 1's untill the Edge replaced them. The .5 series returned to the "musicality/liquidity" of the Alephs but added clarity, details and great slam.
So...anybody actually heard both these amps in the same system? Both have excellent reviews from users, but the JC-1's are Stereophile Class-A rated, while the Pass amp hasn't been reviewed by anybody that I know of. Stereophile reviewed the XA160, and compared it favorably to the JC-1, adding that "Everything positive I said about that amp I can say about the XA160, perhaps more so". While the X250.5/350.5 is not the XA160, apparently they sound close to it.
Also, does anybody know how many watts of Class-A power the 250.5 and the 350.5 can produce? Or, even better, how many watts single-ended class-a, and how many watts in push-pull class-a?
Stereophile also has never reviewed other countless products that many deem to be the pinnacle of performance. It is my opinion that Stereophile recommendations are useless beyond an introduction to the hobby, so I wouldnt hit the panic button just b/c a magazine has not been paid off for a review.
Rapier21, one of my customers owned XA160s for a little while before changing to something else. The XA160 is quite different from the other amplifiers in their line, and in fact each model can sound different from the others as some reviews have commented. It pays to audition at home before purchase and seek reliable advice.
Unfortunately I have no Pass Labs dealers within 90 miles, and the closest one wouldn't lend me his demo unit for home audition. :(
Hopefully someone out there who has auditioned both of these amps in the same system will see this thread and reply.
Well guys, I went ahead and got hold of a 250.5. While I don't have a pair of JC-1's on hand to do a direct comparo, I can give a little feedback as I used to own them (though we all know how tricky "audio memory" can be, so bear this in mind while regarding my comments).
I think they are both very similar sounding amps - both great! It probably would come down to system matching, and also in some installations, a single chassis (250.5) vs. a pair of mono-blocks (JC-1). But again (he says carefully as he steps onto the thin aural ice..) to my memory, it seems like the 250.5 is a bit more relaxed sounding, the same impression I stated earlier. Maybe this is due to the fact that the 250 runs more watts in true class A mode? I'm not sure. Also the highest frequencies seem to be a bit clearer and grainless compared to the JC-1's, but again, I'm stepping a bit into the land of aural conjecture.
Anyone who lives in reasonable proximity of northern Ohio (who owns the JC-1's) can contact me so we can play a little audio shoot-out. I have a friend who lives in southern Ohio, and owns the JC1's, so when the snow clears (and if my lower back can handle moving my 250.5 again), maybe we'll arrange to do a head-to-head. He has a "killer" system with SoundLab M1's, Meitner, etc. so this would be a highly resolving comparision.
Will keep you all "posted".
BTW Rapier21 - the only spec I can find relating to how much Class A the 250.5 puts out, is from a review I found on the 250. It says somewhere around 80 watts before switching to A/B. Your right about there not being any reviews on the 250.5, but there are plenty on the 250