PassLabs X250 X350 and X250.5

I own a PassLabs X250 amp and I am thinking about upgrading to the new X250.5 or the old X350. I have a pair of Spendor SP1/2e speakers,Classe Audio CP60 preamp, and a Meridian G08 CD player. I called PassLabs several times to ask them what they think I should buy. Everytime I called I got different answers. Yesterday someone at Pass told me the X250 sounds better then the X350 and very close to the sound of the X600. Another time they told me X350 sounds better then the X250. They told me another time that the X250 and X350 sound almost the same and if I did not need the extra power go with the X250. Should I just go with the new X250.5? I don't have a dealer near me to listen to the amps. Does anyone have any ideas? Thank You...
hi Ezaudio,

hope this helps u
Ezaudio, in the first generation of X amps your 250 was the best sounding of the three two channel amps by far. I don't know if you talked to Peter or Kent at Pass, but when I did they both agreed that the new 350.5 was the new "sweet spot" in the two channel amps. The difference is not a minor one in the X-.5 series compared with the first generation but adds great musicality/warmth without losing the great dynamics/speed of your amp. The 350.5 replaced an Edge NL-10 in my system that was/is a great amp but could not do some of things the Pass Labs can. You could ,if your interested, look up my review I wrote for the GON that will give you more details then this short post. So, my opinion would be is that either the 250.5 or 350.5 would offer you a real upgrade compared with your terrific 250. I have not talked to anyone yet who has replaced their X amps with the new X-.5's amps that have not been wonderfully pleased with their new amp. Hope this helps.
I agree with Teajay. Out of the stereo amps in the X series the X250 was at the top and the X350 was at the bottom. I have owned the X600 and currently own the X350.5. I prefer the X350.5. The older x series I would describe as on the cool side. The new .5 series are sweet sounding. Some have stated warm but to my ears I do not hear that.
If you do not need the extra power then the X250.5 will be a significant upgrade. If you want more power then the X350.5 is the way to go if you are leaning toward the Pass amps.
Perter Perkins at Pass has the X350.5 in his own system. He stated that out of the new .5 series the X350.5 was the better out of the stereo amps. This is what he told me so take this with a grain of salt.
I remember the 350.5 running a fair amount higher in class A mode than the 250.5. That may be part of a better difference for the 350.5.

I just went to the web site quick but could not find the numbers. I thought it was something like 35 vs 65 class A watts for the 250 vs the 350.5. More difference than max output.

I have Aleph 2s (100W class A) driving Vandersteen 5As and have given more than a passing consideration on both amps. But I am still looking.

Tdaudio, you are quite right, the 350.5 does offer about another 35 to 45 class A then the 250.5. What you are leaving out is that the first 5 to 8 watts in the 350.5 are single-ended class A, not just class A. For over nine years I powered my system with Aleph 1's untill I replaced them with an Edge NL-10. This was replaced by the Pass Labs X 350.5 because it gave me back the warmth/smoothness of my Aleph's along wonderful clarity, dynamics, and powerfull bass extentsion that the Alephs lacked. My hunch is, that you would love the 350.5 in your system.
In my correspondence with Pass Labs they said:
X150.5 - First 10 watts in Class A, frst few single ended, with instant peaks to 20 watts
X250.5 - First 40 watts in Class A
X350.5 - First 50 in Class A
I await my 250.5 in a few days. I seriously considered the 350.5 but really did not need the extra watts as I used to run my speakers with 200 watts that was more than enough. Once I spend a little time with it I would be happy to reply to a direct email from anyone who is interested in my report. My old amp was a McIntosh MA 6900 integrated (which I liked and owned for 3 years).

Congradtulation on your purchase of the 250.5. I bought one 2 months ago and love it. My speakers are Innersound Eros 3.5 which my 70 watt tube amp drove ok but I felt that something might be missing and I was right. The low level detail is outstanding. I also found that running with balanced i/c's work better.

may i know what pre are you guys using to match with the Passlabs power?

I do not have a pre, per se. I have an Audio Aero Prima MK II SE DAC that doubles as a linestage. It has analog volume control and 2 line level inputs (in addition to the numerous digital inputs). I love it.

And by the way, I am blown away by the 250.5 driving my JR's so far. I still have a lot of break in to do with the amp and some new power cables, but this amp is incredible.
Hi all,

Can someone explain to me why the lower model X250 would sound better than the higher model the X350? Please elaborate? Wouldn't the X350 sound/perform better than the X250 if one's system had a harder to drive power hungry speakers (in a large room)given all else equal? I am just quite confused to hear people on this forum say this statement and to have Pass Labs employess acknowledge the X250 is better than the X350 also. Is the X350 really made inferior or just not executed as well as the X250 during the designing process? I am curious to know why. If the X250 is better, how so compared to the X350?

Is anyone using a Pass preamp with the .5 series amps? If so, which one and how is the combination?
IMHO the Pass X250, which you have now, is a better match with your rig than the sweeter X250.5!