"Upgrade" C-J MF2500A to Pass X250, SimAudio, Or?

I currently have a C-J MF2500A, Cary SLP98, Cary 303-200, Fanfare tuner, etc. driving B&W M802 S3's, in a 12x16" room. I'm actually fairly happy with the sound, but have the upgrade bug; you know how it is. The B&W's like plenty of power, so I'm thinking of high-current SS amps. For some reason I've always had an urge towards a Pass Labs X250--but would that be an "upgrade" to the 240w MF2500A? Also, I've heard that the Pass Labs amps really need balanced IC's to sound their best, which my Cary pre-amp doesn't have. I've also considered Sim Audio, Plinius, or one of the newer McIntosh amps. I'd buy anything I get used. And weight is a factor--even the X250 is twice the weight of my C-J amp, so I don't want to go much over 100 lbs., max. Thanks in advance for any advice!
Hi Steveaudio,

Have you considered a McCormack DNA 500?. I just traded in my BAT VK 500 and got a DNA 500. The BAT is a great amp but its big, bulky and pumps out a tremendous amout of heat. I'm
running a pair Signature 805's and was shocked at how well
they responded to the extra power of the McCormack. I liked
the BAT alot but the McCormack is in another leagure in
my opinion. It also runs a LOT cooler than the BAT and is
a bit more managable when it comes to lugging it around.
I think the DNA weighs in at around 75lbs.

Never had a chance to listen to the Pass Labs but from all
accounts I have read they make top notch stuff. Also your
MF2500A is no slouch either. Thats a great amp. I did compare the CJ MF2500A with the DNA 500. I was hoping that
the CJ would be close enough in performance not to justify the price difference. Unforutnatley for my credit card it
wasn't. Good luck with your search.

I have listened to or spent considerable time with all the amps mentioned. The MF 2500A is a keeper and you will be unhappy once it leaves. You will not be able to replace its specificity and openness. This is truly the anchor to your current system. I would look at a different preamp or speaker first. Hang on to the Cary CDP. Alternatively, start with cables. What are you using and what have your tried?

A different preamp, really? Just curious- what do you think would work better in that setup than the Cary SLP98?

I don't own the Cary, but it is one damn fine preamp.
Thanks for the question Danlib1--

My only intent was to state...keep the CJ while offering some upgrade bug remedies.

But you asked a good question. Is there a good answer? Who knows. My ears tell me that I like CJ, BC and BAT better than Cary. The very same ears told me that the Cary SLP98 is lovely, but not for me. I found a little something more that I liked in each of the other preamps in my system. But alas, I no longer use a preamp, so I have found a cure for the preamp upgrade bug.

If Steveaudio has the bug, IMO, there are choices to be found by keeping the CJ 2500A. Since I do not know what he is looking for, I cannot be any more specfic.

Me? I have gone minimal and listen to music. I found it hard to reach this point and very tempting to ask is there something else.

Steveaudio, take the cheap, fun, frustrating, exciting, overwelming cure to the bug. Keep it all and buy some new wires or send you children to college. One of these will kill off the bug fast! Cheers!
Cmach, that's great that you're using such high-end electronics with the Sig. 805's. The more I get into it, the more I think the upstream components are even more important than the speakers.

I'm sort of agreeing tho with people who say to keep the C-J amp. It occurs to me that I may have maxed out with this system--in terms of probably having to spend way more to really improve upon amp, pre-amp, or speakers. I mean, what would I have to get to significantly better the M802's in a full range speaker? (And with all the dues involved in selling & buying large speakers, etc.)

BTW, my cables are Nordost Blue Heaven IC's, & Cardas Quadlink 5-C bi-wire speaker cables.

Thanks for all the advice!

Don't stree oout with balanced connections. The pass x250 can sound great with tube preamp without balanced output. I prefer certain tube pre over X1 with my x150. don't know about CJ2500 vs x250

I would replace the cables in your system first which I think is a first rate setup otherwise.

Blue Heaven and Cardas speaker wire have not worked for me in my system with the BH being thin a lifeless and the Cardas was boring. I bet if you replaced both with something like Audience AU24 you would be amazed at the increase in detail, image size, soundstage and lifelike presence. These are not especially expensive cables but would be a big step up IMO.

Just my 2 cents...

I went form the CJ 2500 to Herron Mono's. I love the sound. I also, for ease of life issues, wanted to stay in SS.

The rest Audio Physic Virgo II, Thule 1000 CD, Michell Gyro Dec, Polk Cobra speaker cables, Coincident IC & PC.
Forgot the Reflection pre
Try the new Jeff Rowland 201 or 501 mono blocks. I've auditioned both of them at home with my Wadia 301 and B&W 804 speakers. Both the JR amps look and sound similar (neutral, tonally well balanced with excellent low level resolution), the more powerful 501(600watts p/ch) offering more ease to the presentation at higher volumes. These amps are surprizingly small and run very cool. I bought the 201s!

I'm running my Wadia direct into the 201s with very satisfying effect. However, I'd say adding a tube pre into the mix such as the Cary would provide a very seductive sound.