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Listening to my Pass X250.8 amp right now. Best amp I've ever owned. The preamp is a Pass XP-20. A superb match with the Pass amp, but it's key to use balanced cables between the 2.
Years back I had a CJ MV60SE and LS172. The Pass gear is better in every way.
BTW- there are lots of choices in preamps-
I would go with a pass amp and preamp and most definitely use balanced cables as previously mentioned.You would have matching synergy that would be hard to beat.I had the xp-10 with the xa30.8 for about a year and loved it.I replaced them with bel canto pre3 and ref600m's which I love even more.
It's all about system synergy matching and the individuals sonic presentation priorities in my opinion.
CJ’s solid state products are very underrated. I would get the 350. I have the matching preamp (Premiere 18). It still sounds great.
The Premier 350 is a little old at this point. If you want something more modern, that sounds better and has similar DNA, consider the PS Audio BHK 300 monos or even the BHK 250 stereo. I’ve owned the Premier 350 and felt the gain was too high for that amp. Bascom King had his hand in the development of all these products and you can hear the similarities but perfected in the PS Audio BHK amps. They are truly under-rated and are hybrids with tube inputs. They are wonderful amps.
sfall, is the sound rolled off as I have heard...
ebm, I was thinking about the et3, just had my pv 12 upgraded
joeinid, that is what I was thinking, that the tech is a little out dated now, will look into the ps audio and bhk stuff.
assoc equip speakers alon 4s and 2s
my rotel 965 has had it and now have a nad 565 and
power amps c/j mf 2500a and 2300a which I just had
upgraded, (sounds like a new amp now)
preamps are c/j pv 10 and pv 12 (which I just had upgraded as well)
cables are tara labs vectors on my wifes system and
acoustic zen wow (from dr. zen) on my system.
Maybe stock there would be notable rollout. Upgrade the coupling caps with cutf v-caps, all resistors and wire in the signal path and replace the diodes, and you might just ask, What rolloff? Oh not to say all the romance is lost but sure a lot more engagement can be had than that opaque vintage cj sound. I too had pv7 and pv5 back in the day. Would have sprung for the et5 but wanted a full functionality pre. If not ignore the above.
yeah sfall, that's my thinking as well. talked with different companies about a change, (dan, w/modwright, jeff, w/cj, I cant think of her name w/vtl, to name a few. what do you recommend) decided to get pv 12 mod instead, then switched to amp. thus my question, do you know anything about the two amps (pass x250.8 vs plinius sb 301) let me know.
I own a Premier 350 and find it anything but old sounding. The amp has been a number of reviewers "reference" piece. They need to change to have a current model item for appearances but tend to hold on to the P350. It's my backup amp for my c-j LP140 monoblock tube amps but I like to bring it in occasionally for it's more dynamic bass and transients. There's nothing rolled off about it's highs. Seems to me the biggest difference between the amps you're considering is price. A P350 will be a lot cheaper than the Pass.
Thanks! for sharing- coppy777
my 1st taste of Conrad Johnson was w/ the Premier 350sa and an ACT2 Series 2 pre-amp , Eggleston speakers, Audience cabling all around.
Certainly a reference system that still has quite an impression on me as I demo other brands/gear. What other gear, including cabling, is in your system?
If you look at VAC - look at the 200 Signature iQ. Wouldn't mess around with the Phi 200 or 300 models. The Sig IQ has all the punch and dynamics of solid state will offer, but with the body and fullness of tubes. The ease of tube rolling with the auto bias allows flexible to tailor your sound. Truly world class IMHO. If you can find one at a discount, would add it to the list.
There is some silly stuff posted in this thread. While there is nothing wrong with wanting new kit for whatever reason, to claim some sonic benefit over top level electronics that is up to spec from cj is nonsense. No one could hear the differences claimed by some in this thread. Pass Labs stuff is superb, but so is cj and so are so many others. It is a great time to be alive.