Which amps with B&W 800D's... Pass Labs or Classe?

I am finally down to the wire... I am considering either the Pass Labs X350.5, a pair of the X600's, or a pair of the Classe CA-M400's to power my B&W 800D's. I am having the hardest time making this decision. I love my music loud, and I listen to alot of large-scale symphonic music, choral music, jazz, and various recordings that are very grand in nature. I am planning on incorporating a center channel and surrounds eventually in a theater and multi-channel setup and I would like to use the same brand of amp for those speakers once I decide to add them. I have heard great things about all of the amps above, but I cannot make that final leap of faith. Are the Pass Labs amps and the CA-M400's from Classe in the same league? I would love to get the Omega Omicron monos, but the budget does not exist for those right now. If I get the Pass Labs X600's, I am considering upgrading to the X600.5's when the budget allows. I have heard great things about the class-a capability of the Pass Labs amps. I am not keen on bi-amping and I really need some help in making this decision. I look forward to your advice! Thanks.

Considered McIntosh? Have listened extensively to 800D's powered by MC501 monoblocks...a truly great combination.

I would think the Classe CA-M400's may be your best bet. Yes, the Pass amps are excellent, but you are using B&W speakers. B&W bought Classe, and from what I understand they voice their speakers with Classe equipment. So it would seem to be a more natural match. Just my $.02

I second McIntosh for the B&W 800 series.
Yes, the MC501s on 802D was absolutely stunning (with MCD201 cdp and C46 pre). I also heard the M400s in all Classe sysetm on the same speakers - but a totally different room - and the sound was comparable but the MC501s had a very "human" quality that makes music sound perfectly natural. Hard to describe but beautiful to hear. I would go for the 501s and with their 720W into 8 ohms, you won't need more power.

mad14, I was considering the very same question with my BW802d. I went with the Pass and here is why (btw, this is just my experience and opinion):

I already have the Classe Cp-700 preamp which is great sounding, smooth and refined. I was concerned with using the CAM's because I did not want to make the sound too overly polite. From my listening experiences, I found the CAMs when paired with the BW and CP-700 to be too smooth for my tastes. I wanted a little more leading edge to the notes and a more punchy bass.

From what I understand of your music preferences, I would not go with the CAMs, depending on what you already have for a pre and cdp.
Tboooe, what Pass Labs amps did you go with? Let me know. I am not sure whether to go for the X600's or the X350.5? I want more power than less, and the 600's fit the bill for that. Plus, I like the concept of monoblocks.

I am not a big McIntosh fan, cosmetically. I think they look old and outdated. I dunno, maybe it is just my own opinion, but I really am trying to decide between Classe and Pass Labs. Those are my two narrowed-down choices. I am really wanting to make a decision this week.
Isn't the MC501 500 watts into 8,4 and 2? I dont really want to use McIntosh preamp and source.. Thoughts?
Dave, like you I really wanted to go with monoblocks so I originally decided on the x600.5. But then I changed my mind and got the xa160 instead. BUT I do not listen to really high volumes. For you, I would get the 600 though the 350.5 will be plenty. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.
I am running the Omega Omicrons with my D800s, a great combo. A pair just showed up for sale for less then $10k. Worth streching for IMO. CA-M400's are really good too though. I haven't heard the Pass stuff though.

i've got pass aleph one with b&w 804, and i've heard classe too, but for me classe is too smooth , i think you will be deseapointed after few weeks, because they played always the same thing , you can heard different music, and time after time it's always the same bass or treeble , but if you like tube amplifier with deep bass and thrue voice , buy pass lab
sorry fo my poor english
let me know what choice you will get
I have CAM-400 on 800Ds with CDP-202 and CP-700. I am switching the CP-700 out for an Audio research reference 3 because it is a little too polite. But I cannot say enough about the CAM-400 and the 800D combo. The Bass is very accurate and powerful, and the treble is as refined as I have ever heard. They must be putting out around 800 watts (3-4ohms while playing?) because they will drive the 800D to near the limits in the bass range.
berjar, like you I am thinking about switching my CP-700 for a tube preamp. What other pres did you consider before deciding on the ARC?
If some one trying Pair Mono Block Passlabs X600.5 with The B&W 800D ...it is the best sound like tube..
Trut me
I love B&W nautilus line and see the 800d's come up at a great price now and again, but I am so surprised nobody mentioned trying Krell here. I used to buy and sell all kinds of used amps and processors just to try,a nd the Krells always put out such incredible bass control, and lovely upper extension even on their 250 wpc home theater line amps, that I would be shocked if the new Krell class A amps that just came out couldn't drive those things all day with 300 WPC and to the point where you couldn't imagine needing more power. They are 90 db efficiency, and I tested so many brands.

The IBias Krell duo channel @ 300 wpc into 8ohms I am sure would rock those speakers all night long and sweet. I would love to hear that before trying others. I hate Classe, love pass but not as much as Krell, and McIntosh does work well with B&W, but I hadn't heard the beyond the 801 which was $120000 retail and had only the single huge woofer personally.
I recently purchased a pair of Classe CT-M600’s. I love these amps. They run cool and sound great with my Wilson Alexia’s. These are simply a higher power version of the CA-M400’s. Best amplification value in high end audio.

Dave (Mad14)
We listened just yesterady to many amps on the B&W800D's which are a pig of a load (combined impedance and - phase angle), and the amp that won was the one that could double it's wattage for each halving of impedeance from 8 to 4 to 2ohms.
And the only one game enough to advertise this out of all the amps that you listed that do this right down to 2ohms, is the Classe Omega Omicron Monos.

Cheers George
I have used B&W 800 series speakers for over 10 years. Starting with the original N800 to the latest 800 Diamond. The speakers had been driven by high power tube amps like Sonic Frontiers Power 3 and Audio Research Reference 250 and solid state amps like Mark Levinson 436 and Pass Labs Xs150.
I think I know the sonic signature of B&W 800D. The treble extends to the top but the presentation is light and no bang. The bass goes deep and tonal but not tight enough for some people. The midrange is the weakest part. The borderless driver lacks dynamics and resolution when compared with more resolving speakers like Wilson Audio.
B&W has to be driven by high power solid state amp with fast and bright sound to compensate the speaker deficiency. Class A Pass Labs is not a good match because it has more a tube sound than many tube amps. Top model Classe should match it well.
Classe' is a natural, sonic match for those B&W speakers.
Especially, seek out the Omega series- it will be worth it.
Top it all off w/ Transparent cables/cords and you are set!
Happy Listening.
The border less driver lacks dynamics and resolution when compared with more resolving speakers like Wilson Audio. ???

 What? Seriously ???  Wilson speakers over B&W's   LOLOLOL
 I've Wilson's and sounded bright and involving. I asked the guy to turn them off. For crying out loud they don't even make their own drivers, they buy them. Wilson can't even design a cross over as he has to hire an engineer to do it for him while he sits down with a drink in his hand acting like Mr. Sophisticated. Wilson speakers are in my opioun one of the most over price speakers I have ever heard, seen, and read about about. Definitely for people with more money than brains. I wouldn't touch a Wilson with a ten foot pole and yes, I have heard B&W's as well as other brands absolutely smoke them.
I've heard Wilson's and they sounded bright and non-involving.

When I was told how much they cost, I had to leave the store in order to control my laughing. What a complete rip off to the audiophile community.
I don't think the current Wilsons are bright or uninvolving... I think they sound quite good actually but that's just my opinion.
Sorry, but they really do sound bright and uninvolving, and that is not just my opinion. One of my best friends came along with my wife and I to a Wilson dealer less than a year ago and all three of us did not like the Wilson's. We all thought it was extremely over priced, I mean come on, who needs to pay for paper drivers in this day an age, even if they are modified?  I really do like paper drivers but not on Wilson's and who needs a speaker to look like the side of a car with several layers of car paint on it. Does anybody really want to pay for car paint on their speaker? For crying out loud the guy doesn't even know how to design or build a cross over, nor does he even know how to build a driver. he has to out source them and then put them in a expensive box and charge insane prices. You buy any of his speakers and he's laughing all the way to the bank. Seriously???
But that's just my opinion, my wife's and my friend.