Pass Labs XA30.8


Do you think Pass Labs XA30.8 has enough power to drive 86 dBL Dynaudio focus 380 speaker well? My room size is 23'x18'x8' and I sit about 8' away from the speakers. Usual loudness is about 50 to 67 dBL when measured with noise meter app using my phone.

Also, what sonic improvement will I hear going from Bryston 4B Cube to XA30.8? 

The XA30.8 will totally have enough power to perform to your stated goals and then some. I used an XA30.5 on my Dynaudio Contour 60’s and was absolutely floored by how awesome it sounded; Drove them to perceived distortion free levels beyond which I normally listen, The XA30.8 has almost 6dB of headroom and is more like a 100 wpc into 8 / 200 wpc into 4 ohm. Pass rates the amps very conservatively; The first 30 wpc are in class A, the rest of the delivery in super clean AB mode.
( which is ~10 dB avg louder than your specs)...I was not expecting this result. Room is larger and wall to wall carpet and such.
As for comparison to Bryston: should be a noticeable improvement in resolution, front to back depth ("holographic"), much more refined treble, richer harmonic content across the board. More transparent and "live" feel; For a time I had a 4B3 with Dyn Contour S5.4 (Pass XP10 pre);
Go for it!

I'm not sure how much help this will be but I drove my Vandersteen 3A Sigs (87 dBL) in a room about your size with my Aleph 3 and found it did not have enough power for me.  The 30.8 may be different but the Aleph 3 is also a 30W amp and the speakers are close in sensitivity.

When I used this combo in a smaller room it worked well. Once I moved to the larger room it didn't.
Thanks Dpac996. Your response is certainly is encouraging and i am almost ready to pull the trigger. 

We have to note  a point with Dupac's comments, the Bryston 4B3 does he mean the SST3 series,  is a very different amplifier than the newer cubed series. 

Personally after being a Bryston dealer for a few years we found the Bryston amplifiers when paired with a tube preamp was the magic ticket.

Personaly we would agree that the Pass should be an even better sounding amplifier than the Byston which still sound a bit cooler to our ears than some of the other really great solid state amplifiers.

We would also strongly recommend that you also consider a Coda .8 which is a steal for the money, power rating is 150 watts with the first 18 being Pure Class A. The Coda was compared to a set of the way more expensive Pass X60.8 and found to compete very favorably with them.

Coda is from Doug Dale who was the senior engineer of Threshold with Nelson Pass. Pass left to form Pass Labs, Dale left and founded Coda.

Coda is not as well known but has a cult following for their remakable sound quality and price which tends to be lower than Pass for a very comparable amplifier. 

The new .8 series uses a massive 4k transformer coupled with a brand new output device this amplifier is rather remarkable, fast, smooth, and powerful.

One of the world's best amplifiers and very affordable.

As per power 20 or 30 watts will be more than enough with even an inefficient loudspeaker, you are close to the speaker and don't play that loud 

Good luck on your search.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Dear Auditory,
Yes I mean the Bryston 4B Cubed (4B3). Bryston stopped using the SST naming convention after SST2 (squared).
Btw, just a tip: perhaps you ought to check your frequent posts for grammatical completeness and accuracy. It may help in your advertising campaign.


Thanks for the suggestion. I have considered tube, and I owned lower end hybrid tube integrated amplifier previously. With my listening lifestyle, I think SS suits better. This is why I am considering the Pass amp because I read that it sounds very much like tube but without losing lower end power and details.

A tube like solid state there are many amps which sound somewhat tube like, however, none of these sound like a true tube product.

The issue may be other parts of your chain, what are you using for your preamp, digital and cabling?

Is the idea of switching amplifiers to create a more melodious sound? Is your current setup not musical enough for you? 

Sometimes the better choice may be chaning your digital front end or going to a tube preamp or both.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
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Elizabeth, that's an interesting point you mentioned about AC receptacles. My dealer has been telling me that I should replace my $1 receptacles with Audioquest Edison. Perhaps I should change that first and see what differences it makes to my system before changing my current amp.

About my setup: I use AudioQuest Niagara 1000 power conditioner. From the wall AC to Niagara, I use AQ Thunder PC. My digital front end / preamp is Moon 390. I use Zu Event I PC for the 390 and 4B Cube. XLR IC is Siltect 550i. My speaker cable is AQ Rocket 88. My room is treated with 10 HFTs.

I honestly am happy with my current setup, but the improvement I am looking for is more holographic sound, stable imaging, depth, and tonal accuracy. I am not even sure if changing the amp will give me that or not, but by reading reviews on the Pass amp, I get the sense that it exhibits those sonic characters that I am looking for better than the Bryston amp. 

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Paneri a more holographic soundstage will be accomplished by making a few changes:

1: Upgrade from the Niagra 1000 to an Audio Magic power conditioner 
2: Upgrade from the Rocket 88 not good enough for the system
3: Use footers undeneath the preamp and amp, Critical Mass are expensive but amazing.
4: Isoacoustics footers under the speakers will make a very noticable improvement.

After those tweeks then I might look at an improved amplifier.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ AQ, Audio Magic, Coda, Critical Mass, Isoacoustics dealers
I have speaker spike feets from Herbie. They made noticeable improvement over the stock penny feets. I suppose Isoacoustics feets are better... but more money too.

I use an Ikea TV furniture for now, why would amp blocks make any difference, does seismic vibration affect electronics? Can I use something like this instead?
@panerai557 specifically with respect to your question on the difference in sound character between your existing Bryston 4B3 and a Pass XA30.8, the design goals of the two companies are different. If you like the way Bryston sounds, you may not like the way Pass sounds. And vice versa. I think it would be misleading to say going from one to the other gets you more of something, or is a general improvement, as opposed to what I would instead describe as changing the direction of your sound.
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Panerai557, have you considered trying the Wide Angle
version of HFT?