I haven't heard the XA100, but I just upgraded to the 350.5 from the 350 and the difference isnt subtle. I didn't go to the XA100 because the speakers I have are 4 Ohm and I listen at pretty good volumes at times, therefore I was worried about power. I've just had my 350.5 for a couple of days, and it needs some burn in time. However upon 1st evaluation, I would say it is more detailied, dimensional yet softer sounding. It seemed like the insturments are better isolated in space. But the biggest difference is the bass, it is big and powerful! they also changed the cosmetics, the front panel is very cool looking. The 350.5 isn't just a token upgrade, it is the real deal and someone really did their homework on this one.
Does 350.5 has a sweeter and warmer top end then 350?
After more listening last night (stayed up toooo late), I would say that the top is sweeter and more well behaved. If you have speakers that are on the dark side I would definetly audition before I bought. In comparison to the 350, the 350.5 has a greater sense of inner detail, and tends to suck you int the recording. That is a good thing. The bass is so much more alive and life like. My speakers are -3 at 22hz and the 350.5 stretches them all the way.
What's the upgrade policy at Pass?
Have ordered the xa100, mailed with Nelson Pass, and he was sure, that the xa´s was the best amplifier on my speakers.
Also spoke with a former owner of a x250, which now has xa100´s, he said that everything was better with the xa´s.
Will write in a week or so, when I recieve my new amps.
line_romer: please do keep us posted on your findings, preferably once broken-in.
Have been listening to my XA100's the last couple of week's, and can only say that they sound much better than my X350. They are much more detailed, even greater dynamics, and more tight in the bass?? Soundstage depth and width has also improved. Everything sound much more like the real thing.
line_romer: what spkrs are you using?. are the 100 watts enough?.
I do like a pure class A better than an A/AB design, but I need more than 150 Watts for my spkrs.
I use Kharma 3.2, the 100 watt is more than enough for me.
If the 100 watt is enough for you, I do not know, can only say that the XA's sound much better than the X's.
Thanks for sharing yourexperience line_romer, I am quite happy with the X250 right now and aiming more to upgrade my analog front end in the next future.
I was just asking if the 100 Watts were enough power for you since the spkrs I haqve demand a lot of power and control. I also think that 100 pure-class A power will do for meas well.
I have been listening to my new X350.5 amp for a little over 3 hours. It replaced an X350 and out of the box it was sweater and made my Dunlavy SC-4a speakers sing. I've usually maintained both tube and solid state amps and for the 1st time, I may have to re-evaluate that policy. My present tube amps are BAT VK-60 monos and they are fine, musical amps, but listening to Holy Cole's "Take me home " on the X350.5 is a powerful experience that has never been matched by my former ARC VT-200 or the BATs. I can't wait to see what happens as the amp progresses through burn-in. The amp is driven by an ARC Ref 2 mark 1 and it doesn't get halfway through its class A mode. My hat goes off to Nelson Pass on a wonderful new product.
If the speakers are sensitive enough, XA series probably is the best SS amp IMHO.
I used to have an X350--a generally fine sounding amp, especially in mids & highs, but bass was a little opaque (using Aerial 10ts at first, later Wilson WP-6s).
Switched to Edge NL12 (now with Kharma 3.2CRMs) & would never go back to Pass (or anything else). I don't even crave tubes any more. The Edge has great, great clear bass, oodles of detail with out being harsh or grainy, deep soundstage, completely un-fatiguing while sounding live & real. Also, the amp gets only slightly warm at all times, a major benefit IMHO, unlike the X350 that would heat up the room (sometimes unbearably). I would definitely try an Edge amp, I think it's my amp for good.
(Absolute sound was right about Edge.)