Seems your listening area is rather large and perhaps may benefit from more power. . . Have you considered Pass X600.5 monoblock instead? G.
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"I have read a lot and tend to think that a Pass x250.5 and the new model 10 pre could be a good decision."
- You're absolutely right, it could.
"Would McIntosh or others be a better choice?"
- Absolutely could be.
I recognize that those answers aren't helpful, but the total exclusion of listening preferences from your post makes it almost impossible for anyone to help. Unless you can offer a personal listening profile, the best recommendations that anyone can make, is for components that they enjoy personally.
I'll try to shed a little on what I would like different from that of the integrated. The BAT is warm sounding and maybe a little too warm. I'm running Gray Plate CCA's in the front end. The highs are crisp and somewhat grainy. At high volumes the Focals seam to loose their "zeal" from lower listening levels. I hope this helps ........
I'm surprised to hear that the BAT is warm sounding with the Focals. Even though the term warm is subjective, I would be inclined to look elsewhere for that particular issue.
I tend to agree with you that more power (especially in the form of current) will be welcome. I'll leave it for others to recommend solid state alternatives, but I would think that the Bat tube monoblocks, coupled with one of their companion preamps would work well with your speakers. I cant say how they will mesh with the Rhea. Also, keep in mind that you have some high quality components there, the performance of which can be heavily influenced by your choices in ancillary equipment such as isolation devices, racks, power cords, cables, interconnects, etc.
One last thing, don't conclude that separates are an automatic upgrade. There are some very competitive integrateds out there.
Phaelon, maybe warm isn't the right word. How about bright or shiney ....... I certainly understand cabling can be an issue. I haven't moved much around since my system before this one. I use MIT V3.1's (balanced) with selectable impedance boxes. The PC used is a MIT Magnum AC1. Now I'm wondering if this really is a major issue .........
Well, I take it that "bright or shiney" applies to both of your sources so you're probably right to look at your speaker/amp synergy. I've heard a couple of different JM Lab speakers with BAT products and generally liked the sound.
The beauty of Audiogon is that you can listen to advise, find something that interests you in the classifieds and if it doesn't quite work out for you, resell it. If you choose wisely, you might be out the cost of shipping.
Both would be included. However, the Rhea isn't as bad as the CDSA. I'm certain that is because of the tube compilation per channel. Never the less, I'm seaking a direction to better both sources. I read a lot of good stuff about Pass's .5 series products. It would great if there was a member who actually uses the product with the same 1037's. I have searched all of the threads and have come up empty handed. Your right about A'gon and it's resources. I want to choose wisely and not go sideways in my quest!
Before you spend a bundle on seperates, which may or may not be an improvement, I'd recommend that you try another integrated amp, like the Pass Labs INT-150 or the McIntosh MA2275 or MA7000, you could also try a Karan KI-180 or Gamut DI-150. Then, once you find a company whose sound you like better, is the time to try seperates.