sorry, the pass X amp should have been X150.5...
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Although the Pass amps run warm, they don't get hot enough to burn children or pets in any kind of realistic scenario.
I recently upgraded from Rowland Concerto to Pass XP20/XA160.5 as a result of auditioning the XA30.5 driven by the Concerto as a preamp vs. the Concerto as an integrated, driving Aerial 20T's and sourced by an Esoteric X-01 Ltd.
My impressions relate to both the XA30.5 and XA160.5. The overall sound balance was similar, with the Pass being more coherent and a touch warmer. The Rowland sounded at least as lively/dynamic as the Pass, but the Pass sounds more believable to me.
I saw from another thread that you generally listen at rather quiet levels. In spite of the fairly low efficiency of the GEM's, the XA30.5 would have no problems driving them to much higher levels than you're used to. On the other hand, one of the strengths of these speakers is their ability to play very wide dynamic contrasts without compression. If you get addicted to that, you might change your listening habits and find the extra oomph of the Rowland's are a big plus.
Auxetophone - This thread caught my attention since I too own a Rowland Concerto with phono and love it. I'm expecting arrival of my new Maggie 1.7's soon, and know that the Rowland will be a good match. That being said, I'm a lover of Class "A" amps, and wondered if you had an opinion on whether you think a Pass XA 30.5 would have enough current to properly drive the Maggies? My room is small (12 x 14 x 10), and I primarily listen to jazz, female vocals & Internet Radio electronic ambient at low to moderate levels. My friends think the Pass would do the trick without leaving Class A, but I thought I'd ask someone who's had real world experience with it. The Maggies present a steady 4 ohm load, so the XA30.5 would be able to provide up to 60 watts in Class A. Thanks.
I've never heard the XA30.5 in your system, but it is definitely comfortable with a 4 ohm load.
Your room size and listening habits mean you won't need much power, so yeah I'd think the XA30.5 would be ample, assuming these things don't change.
It's hard to be sure though. The 1.6's measured significantly less sensitive than their rated 86 dB when stereophile reviewed them. (83.7 dB) On the other hand, you don't need as much 1 meter sensitivity for a line source speaker as you do for a point source speaker for the same in-room listening level.
Taking all that into account, my guess is the XA30.5 would have no problem, but I wouldn't buy without hearing it in your room.
I think you'd have the Pass XA30.5 or XA60.5 for at least twice as long as the Spectrons. Maybe even three times...
Anyway, if you are searching for your final destination, I would skip the Pass X150.5. The XA.5 sounds much better than the X.5s on their best day. If the XA.5s sound better after being on for a number of hours, I cannot tell. The X.5s do need a number of hours to stabilize, even from standby.