Pass X-250.5 or McIntosh MC402?

I have B&W N802 and for some time planning to buy X250.5 amp.
I heard others found better match with big Macs?! I also had good results with Mimetism Audio 15.2 model. Please advise...
buy pass and join the club.
I think Pass Labs .5 series amps are great. I have only heard them at shows, but the design has more in common with some of their older single gain stage amps. The signal is much more clean.

The new Mac gear is an improvement over what they've been selling for the last twenty years. I have heard some of it in a home situation. I thought it was okay.

BUT I still have never heard a B&W speaker I would want to listen to for any length of time, much less buy...

Oh well, you have to start somewhere.



I have a long (35 year) history of using McIntosh amplifiers. Of course I have bought and borrowed a number of others in an effort to find something "better". I recently sold my McIntosh MC 300 and bought a used Pass Labs 250.0. I read so much about its full , natural organic sound etc. Between professional and consumer reviews, it really sounded like what I wanted. All that I can tell you is that in my system, the Mac was smoother, fuller, and simply sounded more like music to me. It is undoubtedly a superior amp, but I guess that it just proves once more that you need to listen before you buy. It isn't possible to know what sound a person is referencing in their mind when they describe a components sound in a relative way to another component. I also believe that part of my reaction is based on the fact that I have used McIntosh amps for so many years that they sound more correct to me. In any case, I plan on buying a MC 402. I know that I will love it. As a sidebar, I discovered that the Pass amp had an amazing synergy with the Nestorovic speakers in my second system.
Actualy, I tried X250.5 in my listening room but with N801D. Beck then I was really satisfied. B&W diamonds have more natural overal presentation and I dont know what sinergy I can expect with aluminum tweeter?
This could be a tough call Srdan as it could come down to preference, both are fine amps. I would suggest that if you heard a particular combination that you liked, Pass and B&W, I would suggest that you pursue that as you know that you liked it and that is what matters most.
Good advice. I think I'll try side by side demo...
I don't think X250.5 will be optimal for your N802s.
I drive N803 with an X250.5 and it is just wright.
You'll need at least an X350.5 or if you go with McIntosh, then go for the MC501 monoblocks. Don't bother with the MC402 because it won't provide the proper drive for the N802s and they may end up sounding lean in the bass and with tilted up highs actually with both the X250.5 and the MC402. You need more power for these speakers.
Pass X350.5, MAC MC501, McCormack DNA-500, or may be one of the bigger Classe amps.
I too am considering the Pass X series, I presently own a pair of Mac 501's, I have owned a Mac amp since 1978, no other, my fear is if I change I may not like a different amp due to I am so used to the Mac sound. Another problem is yes you can go to a showroom and listen to different amps, however it may not sound as good in your system. I live in Wichita KS and there are absolutely "zero" highend establishments inside of a 200 mile radius, most places in KC will not hear of taking a piece home for a brief audition. So what do you do? I have considered moving up to the MC-1201, I was trying to wait to see if Mac will be announcing a new line of amps anytime soon, does anyone out there have any updates concerning Mac upgrades?
I use a MC402 with B&W CDM9NT. The Mac was the first time I have ever heard a balanced sound from my speakers - previously sounded too bright and edgy. I can't imagine a more perfect amp for my system.
I have heard both and find the Mac stuff sounds veiled and flat in comparison to Pass. Just my two cents.
Have you ever listen 802D with Spectron Musician III SIgnature?
Try it and you are for the treat
All The Best
Lots of varying thoughts and opinions here just to make it all the more confusing. A few comments... may be correct in your suggestions. I don't know if the N802 is easier to drive than the 802D, but I wasn't happy with my system when I had both the MC402 and 802D. I don't want to degrade the 802D but rather suggest that the 501's would have been much better with the 802D's, as others have stated as well; and also maybe my room wasn't the best for them.

Mmitch7711...why do you want to change? If you are pleased with your setup, don't fiddle with it.

Arbuckle...I am using a MC402 in my system and I certainly do not find it veiled or flat, far from either. I suppose it would be easy for me to assume the Pass is hyping the signal in regards to your statement, but I don't believe that; as I stated earlier, both are fine pieces.
Mmitch7711...why do you want to change? If you are pleased with your setup, don't fiddle with it.

To tell you the truth, I have no idea "why", I guess I am like many who post on this site, always looking to take system up another level, however if you stop and think about it, where is the end of the tunnel. Yes, I am pleased with my setup, maybe I need to just relax and enjoy for a while before trying to fix something that definitely ain't broke.
Mmitch7711...Unfortunately it is easy in the hobby to get caught up in the chase or whatever one wants to call it. If you have to, pull away from the forums and magazines for awhile, it may curb that desire to change, especially if you are already happy. In my (humble) opinion, your 501's are wonderful amps, no need to change.

You have a very nice system; in looking at your room, I chuckle and wonder if you are married? One might not want to head for the upstairs in the dark!

Take your own advice, relax and enjoy (what you have put together)!!
Brianmgrarcom, I think the N802 may even be tougher to drive than the newer 802D or so I've been told by the B&W dealer. Supposedly because of the improvements in a crossover design in the newer D line...but don't take my word for it...

Excellent advise, I read the forums at least 3-4 times a day and I more than always read how someone has had a breakthrough or the ultimate experience. I guess control is a virtue, however temptation can be an evil in this hobby, not to mention an expensive evil. Although some posts have helped me immensely, I find myself caught up into looking for that "home run" thread.But I have to be real with myself, It's not going to happen, so I am going to chill for a while and enjoy my masterpiece. As the old saying goes, the grass always looks greener on the other side.

Well said Mitch and I wish you the best! I've been there myself. The forums can be fun to partake in but at some point we must "get a hold of ourselves", I believe the hobby can be more enjoyable at that point.

I'm going for my personal record within the past 5 changes for a year....will be in Feb 2008.
Well, except an addition of a turntable...but I don't consider it a's an addition

I've been buying tons of new music and attending live events instead of blowing $ on components lately.

At times, in the process, we get so sucked in in changing components that we forget the purpose, which is to enjoy the music. We don't even let the components and cable break in and settle before we already start browsing the classifieds here.

Be strong Mitch. :)
If you like the way the rig sounds, leave it alone. The grass MAY be greener on the other side, but to find out if it is, sometimes it gets costly and doesn't necessarily have the desired outcome. Synergy is the key, but the downside is that it is easier disturbed than achieved.
Interesting that you seem to be just generally dissatisfied for some unknown reason, just a lack of pleasure. I tried a lot of ss amps looking for the pleasure I found from my tube amps without the heat. None came close, including the x250, until my MC402. Now I am COMPLETELY SATISFIED. Wierd, eh? Feels wierd to me not to want to upgrade something... My system now is ARC Ref3, Mac MC402, Quad US Monitors (or Thiel 2.3's), VPI Scout,Skala, Minimax phono, and Marantz SA11S1.
My point is, the MC402 gave me much more satisfaction than any other amps I have heard.
Interesting that you seem to be just generally dissatisfied for some unknown reason, just a lack of pleasure

Don't get me wrong, if you are referring to Mmitch7711, I am not dissatisfied with my system at all, I was merely trying to protray that sometimes I (we) can get caught up in the thread traffic of how someone reaped huge benefits and be bitten by the bug. I will speak for myself on this one because I have changed components way too much in the past three years. I finally have a setup that is simply marvelous, however I received an e-mail from someone who used to operate the Mc-501, however has since changed to the Pass Labs and he thinks they are way above the Mac. With that said, I immediately wondered how the Pass would sound in my system. However upon reading this thread and taking sensible advice from others I have decided to take a chill pill. I know I am not in this alone, however I have made up my mind to "Slow Down", and enjoy what I have. If you look at my system, I feel I am blessed. That's all I was saying.

I have 804s with a krell ksa 100 with out the s the pure class
a version the krell runs them wonderfully with ease, I would also highly recommend a BAT VK-500 with bat pack. And if I were to chose between pass or mac it would defiantly be pass.
The Pass, as well regarded as it is, didn't do anything special for me on a pair of Genesis speakers. Volume control was noisy as well.
regards, David