Pass XA30.8 vs Luxman m600-a vs Hegel H20


Hi! 

I would like to know if anyone has any insights on how those may compare. Any help would be welcome :)

Thanks in advance,
Joao
vermeer
Nice choices. I would look at the pass and Hegel only - I am not sure the luxman is the same level imo.  then it comes down to what speakers you are driving as these are pretty different amps. If the speakers would be good on lower power, and you like class a sound, the pass would be great. The Hegel is probably more versatile in terms of matching to different speakers if you plan to switch over time. The Hegel also runs cool. But both are really top notch. Enjoy the search. 
Thanks a lot :) Speakers are the Goldenear Triton One. At 92 dB and with the active bass section they are not a difficult load (the room is not big as well). The Hegel would be my choice taking into account:
1) Price (the least expensive, at least in Europe)
2) Versatility, like you mentioned (if and when I change the speakers)
Having said this, it's more about the absolute sound quality that I'm more concerned about. In a perfect world I woul be able to compare them ... in the real world I can't. I had a very revelatory experience with a Pass Aleph 0 many years ago ... but didn't manage to listen to the .8 series ...
Thank you! :)
btw,  skoczylas, have you auditioned the Luxman? In which way is it below the level of Pass and Hegel?
A potentially VERY IMPORTANT POINT that needs to be looked into before choosing the Pass or Hegel amps: Both of these amps have balanced outputs, meaning that their negative as well as positive output terminals have full amplitude signals on them. Therefore their negative output terminals must not be grounded. Since the Triton One has a built-in low frequency amplifier, and the only input terminals the speaker provides are a single speaker-level input and an LFE input, it is quite conceivable that the negative speaker-level input terminal is connected to the circuit ground of the speaker’s built-in amplifier, and from there to its AC safety ground either directly or via some impedance that is low at some or all frequencies. And the AC safety grounds of the speaker and the external power amplifier will of course be connected together through the AC wiring.

In that event connecting one of those amps to that speaker would cause the signals on the amp’s negative output terminals to be either directly shorted to ground, or connected via a low impedance within the speaker through the AC wiring and from there through some probably low impedance within the amp to the amp’s circuit ground. Which may either trigger a self-protective shutdown of the amp or result in damage.

The method that is commonly used for driving the speaker-level inputs of subwoofers with balanced amps, whereby the sub’s negative input terminal is connected to a chassis screw or a circuit ground terminal on the amp (the Pass amp in fact provides the latter) will not work in this case because the amp would then be unable to drive the passive section of the speaker properly.

What I would suggest is that you contact GoldenEar and ask them about driving the speaker with an amp having balanced outputs. And if they can tell you specifically how or if the negative input terminal of the speaker is isolated from the speaker’s AC safety ground, or if it is not isolated if they can tell you through what impedance those points are interconnected.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al

Pass 30.8 the best great sound very well made.

Vermeer - i dont know that model of luxman so you are right - i shouldnt cross it off the list. Was based on general and admittedly probably outdated experience with the brand in friends' systems and in showrooms. 
Thanks, Al.
Thats a relevant point and I will contact Goldenear to have a better insight into this situation. Nevetheless, I'm running them with a Mark Levinson (balanced design) and also listened to them with Gryphon (balanced as well). In either situations without problems.
One thing I noticed when I got the speakers is not only the power cords don't use the ground but that the speakers DO NOT have a ground contact (meaning that even if I use an aftermarket powercord they will not be grounded). 
Good!  So it may very well be ok to connect the speaker to a balanced amplifier.  It hadn't occurred to me that it might use a two-prong AC receptacle.  But a rear panel photo I just found via Google shows what appears to be an IEC type C18 inlet, which (as you indicated) can accept a three-prong power cord but omits the safety ground pin.

I suppose that part of their rationale for omitting the safety ground pin, in addition to perhaps double-insulating the internal AC wiring, is that in contrast to separate electronic components there is no exposed metal that might result in a shock hazard if an AC short to chassis were to develop.

Good luck.  Regards,
-- Al
 
Al,

I got feedback from Goldenear and I have nothing to fear from using a balanced amplifier. Actually they use Pass Labs amplifiers to demo the speakers very often (as was the case on the CES 2016 edition)

cheers,
João

All the amps you mentioned (with the exception of the Hegel, which I haven't heard) is world-class, IMO. I've been particularly impressed with the upper-end Luxman gear, but the Pass 30.8 (with the right speaker load, which you have) is top-notch as well. I don't think you can lose either way. The Luxman MIGHT be a hair richer-sounding than the Pass, but the 30.8 MIGHT have the edge in ultimate resolution. This is just based on my very informal listening experiences with the two of them, so take my opinion with a hardy grain of salt..
The only thing I don't like about the Hegel is that it is made in China. I only buy products made in U.S.A, Japan or Europe.

Upper end Luxman gear is very special and is in no way outclassed by the better known competitors.
I want to thank Al for his comments on balanced architecture on Hegel . I have Hegel H-30, and switched to High Fidelity CT-1e IC's, which are only single RCA.  I just put back my balanced Wireworld 7's from pre to Hegel...very nice improvement when running amp as intended with balance cables. Thanks for reminder to use gear as recommomded by manufacturer...I may put up for sale now my HF RCA cables.
i think all amps in this post are excellent...
thanks again Al, love your specific and on point responses.
Thanks very much for the nice words, Bob.  Glad my post stimulated a thought that proved to be helpful.

Best regards,
-- Al
 
All the amps you mentioned (with the exception of the Hegel, which I haven't heard) is world-class, IMO. I've been particularly impressed with the upper-end Luxman gear, but the Pass 30.8 (with the right speaker load, which you have) is top-notch as well. I don't think you can lose either way. The Luxman MIGHT be a hair richer-sounding than the Pass, but the 30.8 MIGHT have the edge in ultimate resolution. This is just based on my very informal listening experiences with the two of them, so take my opinion with a hardy grain of salt..

lynott, thank you for your insightful answer :)
Luxman will be distributed by the same distributor os goldenear (first units should arrive in a couple of weeks). Definitely I will wait to listen to those. I hope I will be able to A/B compare the Hegel and the Luxman (Pass will be more difficult).
You're very welcome, Vermeer. As I understand it, Reno Hi-Fi is good about letting people audition Pass gear. Maybe give them a call?

http://renohifi.com/
You're very welcome, Vermeer. As I understand it, Reno Hi-Fi is good about letting people audition Pass gear. Maybe give them a call?
Thanks, lynott ... the thing is that I live in Lisbon, Portugal ;)