Upgrading form Pass integrated amplifier to a better one


Currently I have a PASS INT-250 integrated amplifier . The Pass INT-250 is a very good integrated (in my system it was overall better than Plinius Hiato, Gamut D150se, Mark Levinson 535, Vitus RI-100,  Accuphase E-470 and some others) but I can't get rid of the feeling that I miss some explosiveness (drum kicks for example) and micro details.

I know that its not the speakers. The new Sonus faber tradition I have are much more open, dynamic and airy than previous Guarneri Evos, Elipasas SE and Amati Anniversarious I used to own. And before buying them I auditioned the Serafinos with Audio Research separates and it was the amazing combo. But I really prefer not to go the separates road ( ICs, power cords and space contribute to financial constrains also) and even so I like the combo of Pass and Serafinos overall but from time to time looking for some better integrated on the market.

Currently I presented with a good opportunity to buy latest Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated or latest just released Accuphase E-650.  No possiblilty to demo them, so I am asking here on the forum if anybody can comment if Gryphon Diablo 300 or Accuphase E-650 will be better integrated than Pass INT250 overall and especially in terms of dynamics, micro details and harmonics.

Any advise and opinion would be very appreciated.

My system: Esoteric K-05x, Pass INT-250, Sonus Faber Serafinos, all cabling are the Shunyata Sigmas.

Room is 12" wide by 17" long. Listen mostly acoustic jazz and chamber classical on low to moderate levels.

Thank you.

Well it’s 2 years later, do you still like your Gryphon cf your PL INT250? Are you a happy camper based in that purchase today? Can you share the experience - listening notes- with us now?
I havent waded through all the posts, but I think you want a Krell.  Try the Vanguard (seriously, even though much cheaper) or the new K300i.
During these two years I sold Gryphon 300, bought Luxman 509x sold it and got new pass int250 again.
Why did I sell Gryphon 300 - in my system with my speakers (Sonus faber Amati Tradition) I noticed that Gryphon sounds not as good at the lower volumes (loosing some of the micro details its famous for) as driven with the higher volumes. Another reason I got into the hype of Luxman 509x and bought it for a great price. And another (important) reason for me - you can ship Gryphon only by freight and its a pain to make sure that the wooden box is secure. Personally I don’t want to deal with that.
Reason for selling Luxman 509x- hype did not leave to expectations.
Luxman 509x in my system sounded hifi and strained on the higher volumes levels no matter what I did - cables changes, trying different front end - with any iteration I heard hifi instead of music.
At this point I told myself - I will buy integrated or anything else only after auditioning in my system no matter how great the deal is or how many great reviews the product has.
So I got opportunity to try pass int 250 again and not commit to anything until I audition in my system. This time (different: speaker cables Audience front row instead of Shunyata Sigma, GIK acoustics, and Triode Wire labs Obsession power cables instead of Shunyata Sigma HC) I really like the sound of the pass int 250 in my system. Now It is dynamic, great harmonics, outstanding tight bass and highs that not fatigue and most important for me - the overall presentation is very musical.
Yes its may not be as fast and extended on tope as Gryphon but for the price and for my ears its very good. Read the review from Audidrom (the side I somewhat trust more than some other reviewers). Plus support from pass is outstanding.
So for now I stay with pass int 250. To my ears, with right cables and front end I doubt one can find better integrated within that price range.
When funds permit I want to try T+A 3100 integrated or check out separates like Merrill 116 or 114 or Luxman 900 combo.
It is very tough to beat Pass. People trying with all these boutique brands, but nothing has the “guts”!
“It is very tough to beat Pass. People trying with all these boutique brands, but nothing has the “guts”!”

While I happen to be a fan of Pass Labs, it is often times the “boutique” brands that push the envelope and innovate. As a matter of fact, I remember when Pass Labs was considered a boutique brand. Lots of amps have “the guts” but there are plenty of products that don’t set the goal to drive Maggies to 120db. 

Don’t tow your bass boat with your Ferrari.