I don't have the exact match but it is pretty close. For 5 years or so I ran a 740P + 380DSD into a X250.8. I think it sounded great; very musical with lots of front to back soundstage depth. I went from a 600i integrated and it was like moving back a decent number of rows in terms of detail retrieval when I added in the Pass amp and separate SimAudio preamp. The soundstage depth also exploded with a very nice 3d like presentation. Based on my results and your suggested preferences, I would think that would be a killer combo. I'm actually tempted to try an XA30.8 against my 250.8 as my current speakers no longer need the muscle of the big Pass.
I am sorry, I do not have your Moon 390 preamp, I use a PS Audio BHK Signature preamp with the XA30.8 and I absolutely love it. You should know something about me as an audiophile. I’m very picky. A friend of mine owns a hifi store so I’m very fortunate, he sells me stuff at his cost. If I buy a product and I don’t think it’s great, I’ll sell it within one year. Because I get to buy things a true cost, I’m not afraid to try products that have received rave reviews that he may not have in his store. There are a lot of products out there that get rave reviews that I find good but rarely are they great. If I don’t find it to be great after it’s fully broken in, I’ll sell it. I only keep what I consider great. I still can’t believe how great that amp is. I’ve had 4 or 5 different preamps in front of that amp and at least 4 or 5 different pairs of speakers connected to it and it always sounds so musical. It’s so good, I have no desire to try anyone else’s amp.
With regard to needing efficient speakers, doesn’t matter. I’m using Eminent Technology LFT8B speakers (which I love) and they are 83db and that XA30.8 drives them effortlessly and always remains so musical it’s not even funny. That amp is all power supply and will drive just about any speaker. In my opinion, Nelson Pass builds some of the best sounding solid state amps out there. For me, a good tube preamp with some good vintage nos tubes from the 50’s or 60’s and the XA30.8 are one of the most musical sounding combos you can get. The XA30.8 is phenomenal! Hope that helps.
I have the XA25 and it’s fabulous ! the 30.8 is a bit more hard hitting and transparent. It will easily drive your speakers ! I’m a tube guy and have been for decades.. but have had my share of issues with power amps.. I was going to go with the FW J2 or one of the SIT versions. after some discussions with Pass and Mark at Reno Hifi, I was directed to the XA lineup to match my needs. my speakers are 95dB at 8 ohms with a 1 ohm variance throughout the freq range.. easy load, but needs lots of current, Daedalus Athena.
I still might get a first watt amplifier, the SIT3 or J2.. as they excel is certain areas, but overall.. The XA does everything well. Good luck !
Your problem is too much gain with very efficient speakers.
The Pass 30.8 only needs 0.7v input for it to give full output. Any source is 2v or more even.
Can you see that you definitely don't need any more gain from an active preamp.
If your source has volume control use it direct into your 30.8
If you don't have volume control in your source, then try the next best, a 10kohm passive preamp as Nelson below will tell you..
Just noticed you also are now using a ModWright PH 9.0 phono which has up to 66dB!!! of gain also, you have so much gain, do what I suggested in my first post, two posts back.
You’ll not only have a a more palatable presentation instead of what you said "presentation is a little in your face", but also the background should be much quieter, as your then using all of what the cartridge is giving instead of shoving half of it down to ground and wasting it.
@alfau7 I did end up getting the Pass XA30.8. I am running it with a tube preamp and it is very very musical. I don’t think I will let go of the 30.8 anytime soon.
I prefer the XA30.8 over Moon 330A - more 3D/airy presentation, refined bass and overall more musicality.
I ran the same tube preamp with Moon 330A first. The 330A had too much gain and there was a faint crackling sound through my speakers when music is not being played. With the XA30.8 (26db gain), it is a great match with my tube preamp. Dead quiet!
I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have re: the XA30.8s
I also had the First Watt J2 prior to the XA30.8. Both are excellent amps. J2 is more sweet sounding while the XA30.8 has more defined bass and overall "more of an audiophile amp". I would have been happy with the First Watt J2 if I didnt get my hands on the XA30.8. Again, it would depend on your speakers as you may know.
Thanks sim audio nerd, very helpful information. Just wanted to ask you if you have tried some other speakers with the 30.8? I currently own a apir of bookshelf 86 db sensibility , I get decent and enough levels with the moon 330 at 65 db on my preamp. Do you think the 30.8 would drive them easily? My room is quite small, 11x 14 foot