Pass XA-160 and Avalon Eidolon

I'm thinking about purchasing the xa-160's, because of the raving reviews.

I heard the spectral 360's on the Eidolon's and found myself getting tired after about 2 hours of listening. Was to 'fast' for me?

Therefor I'm thinking about the xa-160's; a warmer and more lush sound, but still great control and dynamics.

Any experience in this combination??

Any other (pass, or others) SS suggestions, that sound controlled, a little warm and dynamic but not tiring??

Thanks for your reaction.
I would think a conrad johnson premier 350 would be a good fit. I believe Martin Colloms used a pair of Eidolon Diamonds when he reviewed the 350. You can find a copy of the review on cj's website. Here is the link
The Lamm M2.2s (220 wpc) are (almost) exactly what you described. They have tight control over the sound, are a little warm, and very dynamic. The only thing is that it is not exactly a solid state amp. It is a hybrid amp that has one 6922 type tube in each monoblock. (However, having one tube is obviously not a big deal, and it gives you the opportunity to tailor the sound to your exact tastes.)

My friend uses these in his system, also with the Eidolons, and it sounds fantastic.
Plenty of power, tight control over the bass response, great treble response (tons of decay to the cymbals!), and a mid-range that has just the right touch of that old tube magic, so vocals sound great.
(I was so impressed with the change brought about by these amps in his system, that I found myself a pair of used M2.1s (the 200 wpc predecessor to the M2.2s) to use with my Revel Studios. A great match with them too!)

My two cents worth!
Good Luck in your search!
Depending on your room size you may or may not need 160Ws of class A power.

I have Eidolons driven by VAC PHI 70 monos, sometimes with Canary 309 (similar tube config) , and sometimes
counterpoint Natural Progression Mono w AltaVista upgrades.

I also have a good friend with Ascent IIs driven by Pass 350.5. My impression of the Pass .5 is that it's almost as good as it gets with Solid State. Plenty of well controlled bass to feed the hungry Ascent IIs. The Pass also has the added plus of not tiring to the ears.

Now back to Eidolons. I dont think Eidolons need a lot of bass control power / current (which the Spectrals are known for with Ascents and Radians). You need a pair of SMOOTH tube amps (Conrad Johnson too thick, Audio Research not smooth enough) such as VAC. I had the Vintage 100 Monos driving the Eidolons for a while before I bought the PHI 70s as my main reference.

A summary of my opinion: For Eidolons you do not need too much power, you need a good solid 50 Watts of smooth and stable music power, that's it.

-j. wu
I agree with Johnsonwu 100% - need a good solid 30-50 Watts of smooth and stable music power. In fact two best combination I have tried with my Eidolons so far, was 16wpc Ancient Audio SET amp and GM70 based, 35wpc amp DIY amp.

BTW - I have owned Lamm M1.2Reference for almost a year and I was not quite happy with them. They are not warm enough for Eidolons IMO. I'm just trading them for Cary CAD500MB monos, which are far superior with Eidolons (at 1/3 of the price of the Lamms !).
Pass are great amps. Should do what you're looking for.
Another amp to consider is the Levinson No.33H monoblocks. All the qualities you mentioned.
The guy I bought my Eidolons from was driving them with all Pass and 160's. His room was much larger than mine and the positioning was maybe ten to twelve feet apart very toed in and about three feet from an all glass back wall.
We listened to CD's for about an hour. I new there was more to these speakers than what I was hearing.

Once I got them set up at home, using the Avalon positioning method as a guide and driving them with my Audible M3A and my trusty PS Audio HCA-2 that they truly came alive. Even though this guy's room and setup made it difficult to hear his system properly he played the SFSO Mahler No.6 2nd Movement. The same piece in my room was much more fleshed out. When he increased the volume for only a few seconds they sounded uncomfortably loud. I've had them much louder and they're very easy to listen to, not at all fatiguing. Just how much his setup or the electronics contributed to the poor sound he was getting I won't speculate.

I'm hoping you'll consider auditioning Ayre's new mono blocks and report back.

Sorry I'm not much help but I'll vote no on the 160's.
I am not sure how much better / different the 33H monos are compared to the old ML-333.
When I just got the Eidolons about 6-7 years ago I was using the 333 to drive them and I must say it was so disappointing I thought the Eidolons were incompetent.
If the 33H sounds like the old silky ML2, then I would agree that they'd be a match.
If they sound anywhere near the 333 then it would be disastrous.
Johnsonwu,I have the fabulous Ascent MK-II being driven by a highly modded Rowland 8T,two chassis amp.My amp is putting out 200 wps,into a 22x13 ft dedicated(sealed) room.I have no problem with dynamics,though I have been told the Ascents like power.I,personally,find this amount of power to be ideal.These speakers are actually a very easy load,and can be driven with far less power.Unless one listens to hard rock,at high volume(buy a Watt Puppy,if so)the Ascents are a stunning speaker.I do LOVE the Eidolon's,BTW.If your friend(owning the Ascents)has his original owners manual,you can really gain alot,about various speaker design/choices,from reading it.
Sirspeedy, I do have the original manual and in fact, I purchased the Ascents from Johnson. I also have an REL Stadium 3 in the corner of the room and for about half of what I listen to, it provides the extra base that improves the quality of my listening experience. I love my Ascents and for once am not dreaming of my next purchase. The Dunlavy SC-4as, I used to have in my two channel setup, are now in another room attached to my home theatre setup. My room is 15 feet wide by 28 feet deep and the speakers are slightly toed in at 4 feet from the rear wall.
Happy listening,
Jwin,nice to hear from you.I want to mention that if possible,the distance from your rear wall can be stretched another few feet.This would greatly enhance staging.I originally had my speakers five feet from rear,but wound up moving them to 8 ft out,at the insistance of Mike Hobson,who originally sold these "Classics"!I called Avalon about this,and they were,also,very supportive of the longer distance.
My REL is a Stentor,which I use in the right side of room,about two feet from side wall,and three feet from back.I blend very low(like 25-26hz and use very little gain.
Surprisingly,I find the speakers unbelieveably revealing of virtually anything upstream,and am now in the process of running my entire system in "balanced/regenerated A/C"!
Amazingly,after auditioning this configuration,my Ascents took on an altogether bigger/relaxed stage.I was quite shocked,so I ordered the Exact Power EP-15A/Ultra Pure combo.It will be up,and running in about a week.I cannot wait,for this!!
I called Paul Weitzel,of Tube Research Labs for his thoughts on the Ascents(he used to make tube amps for up to 140,000 dollars),and he stated he felt the Ascents "were the ONLY speakers Avalon made",as far as he was concerned,and absolutely loves them,far beyond the ported newer designs(only his opinion,but I still like all the new stuff,too).He mentioned that Winston Ma was sorry he sold his pair,and liked them better than the big Sentinals.Hey,this is what was told to me.I'm not making this up,yet it certainly makes me feel good to know I never lost faith in this great design.I keep mine in emaculate condition.
Also,there is a beautiful pair of Ascents for sale,on Audiogon.I am trying to talk a friend into getting these,as he has a very similar set-up,as me.He is a bit fickle,so we will see.I believe he will go for a pair of Verity Parsifal.A lovely design,but still a port,and you know the Ascent manual really gives great creedence to the benefit of a big sealed design.That manual is one of my Bibles,in this hobby,and is irreplaceable as far as I am concerned.
Best of luck.