Pass Labs X250.8 or MC452 ?

I have Aerial 10T Speakers, Arye Evolution CD Player, Audio Research LS 25 mk ll preamp, and an Audio Research VT 200 amplifier. I also have a HK AVR and Aerial Center channel and back speakers. 

I want to change out the VT200 amp because I want to be able to play my home theater system through the front Aerials speakers without having to always swap cables (between the VT200 and and HK AVR) depending on if I'm watching TV or listening to music. With a solid state amp I can run my TV signal from the HK AVR pre-out through the SS amp w/o worrying about burning out tubes on my amp while watching TV.

I'm have heard the Pass Labs X250.8 would be a good choice, but Stereo Exchange recommended I hear the Mc452.
Any recommendations as which amp will work better with what I have ?


I'm not a fan of the MAC 452, a friend has it on B&W803D2 and just does not have the pace or drive. I'd go with the Pass.
All depends on what you like; the MAC and Pass are worlds apart. I have not heard the Pass X250.8 but I have the .5 and I own the original X250. I’ve heard the MC 452 and agree with rsf507, it doesn’t have the PRAT of the Pass. My X250 sounds great on my Aerial 7B’s to the point I’m in no hurry to change my amp and speaker combination anytime soon, but when I do it will likely be the .8 series and 7T’s.
Yes - my Aerial 10Ts are 20 years old - after I get my new amp I will look for Aerial 7's as well.
Have you ever heard of Moon 760A amp - is that an option ?

I’ve never had the pleasure of listening to Sim or Moon Audio but I’ve always read very positive things on their gear. If you have the Moon locally give it a try. Another amp to look at is Modwright; with your current 10T’s you’ll need more power but if you end up with the 7T’s they are a much friendlier load and you’ll be fine with less power. Your 10T’s are like my 7B’s as they need 250 watts to really sing. I’ve had 100-200 watt amps that sounded really nice at the time but it wasn’t until I installed my current amp I realized my speakers were starving.

The Pass X250.8 and Modwright KWA 150 Signature amps are on my short list. I’ll probably upgrade to the 7T’s first as I’m not sure the Modwright will drive my 7B’s to their full potential.
I haven’t heard the Pass amp but my MC452 is magical with my Aerial 7t speakers.
I've owned 10T's for a very long time and the best match I've found for them is the Parasound JC1 mono's.

If you're totally committed to the Pass or Mac, then the choice is easy - Pass.

The JC1 is a better match than the 250.8 however.
HK fan why would you say that the JC 1 is a better match then the Pass 250 did you compare the two? 

Both amplifiers should be able to drive the 10T to a good volume level both amps tend to be a bit on the warm side. 

We had JC 1 on our sales floor and found them to be good capable amplifiers, we did find the more expensive amplifiers from Chord and Electrcompaniet were better.

For this reason we are wondering if this is why Parasound is overhaulling all of their products. 

The new Parasound P6 preamp was considerably better than the P5 the outgoing model. The new A23+ is also reported to being a new improvement. 

The 10T tend to be a bit on the dark side so would maybe a cleaner sounding amplifier maybe be an even better choice? Perhaps a Hegel amplifier or a Chord? It might also depend on the systems tonal balance and in what areas would the OP like to improve his sound.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
The Pass 250.8 is an excellent amp. Much better than MAC. Actually it is about the best you can buy in that price range.
Thank you very much - just want to be sure its a match with my pre-amp (ARC 25 Mk II). I think it's a bit problematic that I have no way of hearing the amp in my system before shelling out wither $6K for used amp or $8.5K for a new one.

Jump on the PASS 250.8 asap!!
Browdt, really the best in that price class? What a ridiculous statement.

Pass Labs are very good amplifiers, if you check the thread on Coda amplifiers, the new Coda 8 Series Stereo was compared to a pair of $14k Pass Labs Mono blocks and found to be in the same class, actually I think TJ liked the Coda better, a brand new Coda  Series 8 is $6,500 and is 150 watts but can be biased  lower and the power will increase to 400watts but with less power in Class A. The  Point 8 is based on the same amplifier stage in the Coda Csib amplfier and both amplfiers use a 3k transformer so you have a lot of juice on tap.

Then there are amplifiers from Ayre, Hegel, Krell, Levinson, Sim Audio, Anthem and about a zillion more.

What matters is system synergy, last time I heard a pair of 10T they sounded a bit on the dark side, sold them at Sound by Singer in NYC, if the new amp is a bit too warm vs the ARC, then the OP might have a system which is a step backwards in overall sound quality.

Pass Labs amplifiers are very fine amplifiers but they do have a distinct tonal balance and what works in EBM’s system or Bronwdt’s might not work the same way with the OP’s.

We sell many different brands of amplifiers and they all sound different and work better or worse with certain pairings.

The 400 watt Anthem STR is a fantastic amplifier for the money and the OP can get it brand new for less money than a used Pass, if you don't think the STR is a world class amp read the reviews on it. 

We are waiting for our Coda Series 8 and we will compare it with the brand new Krell 300XD which we just put out and the Krell is really spectatcular sounding by the way!

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Parasound, Krell, Electrocompaniet, T+A, Anthem dealers
pianosteve22, Your ARC LS 25MK II will work just fine with probably any of the amps mentioned above. I had a LS 25MK II at home I as demoing and used it on several amps including my Pass.