Pass Labs X-250.5 vs X-250.8 Stereo Amplifiers

Secretariat

VIP/Donor
Feb 28, 2017
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Philippines
Has anyone out there ever listened to both the Pass Labs X-250.5 and X-250.8 stereo amplifiers? If yes, how do they differ in sound and sonic character? What improvements does the X-250.8 have over the x-250.5? Which among the two of them is more full bodied and warmer sounding? Is there anything that one does better than the other? If yes, what are they? The reason on why I ask is because at the moment, I have the Pass Labs xX250.5 and I was just wondering if it is worth upgrading to the X-250.8?
Thanks in advance.
 
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GSOphile

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Sep 4, 2017
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Sounds like you probably already have a good idea of the differences. Reputedly the .5 series is warmer, more full bodied, and preferred by some over the newer .8 series. You would probably benefit from a conversation with Kent English at Pass customer service. Kent is a straight shooter. He will probably want to know what the rest of your system looks like, especially your speakers, and what you're trying to achieve (i.e., what is 'better' as opposed to different?). You might also want to speak with Mark at Reno Hi-Fi, consider a 250.8 demo (currently wait-listed).
 

rbbert

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Dec 12, 2010
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Reno, NV
You might also want to speak with Mark at Reno Hi-Fi, consider a 250.8 demo (currently wait-listed).
This may not be an option if he has a "local" (within 100 miles) Pass dealer
 

markramler

Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2014
45
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195
New York, NY
Has anyone out there ever listened to both the Pass Labs X-250.5 and X-250.8 stereo amplifiers? If yes, how do they differ in sound and sonic character? What improvements does the X-250.8 have over the x-250.5? Which among the two of them is more full bodied and warmer sounding? Is there anything that one does better than the other? If yes, what are they? The reason on why I ask is because at the moment, I have the Pass Labs xX250.5 and I was just wondering if it is worth upgrading to the X-250.8?
Thanks in advance.
I traded in my Pass X-250.5 for the X-250.8 when the 250.8 was first released back in 2013. From what I recall the X-250.8 bass is better controlled, it has better detail and imaging. The X-250.5 had a more liquid midrange, almost tube like. Yes it was warmer sounding but not more life like. Overall I preferred the sound of the 250.8 and was pleased with the upgrade at the time.
 
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Big Dog RJ

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Feb 3, 2012
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Melbourne
Also, from what I gathered over several demos on both hybrids and full range stats plus on planar type speakers, is the 0.8 series seems to have larger current capacity. I think the mains tranny is larger, including the power supplies, which in turn delivers more of everything.

It seems to have better control & grip on speakers impedence swings, improved drive factor and also delivers higher Class A bias before switching into Class AB. Obviously when you hear any of Pass Labs XA series amplifiers, you'll recognise that full force of Class A bias, it comes across so effortlessly and their amplifiers don't flinch one bit even under stress.

Similarly When listening to the X series amplifiers, there's some of that XA tonality but it shifts into a different gear when switching into Class AB. So, with the 0.8 series, I would say it sounds more full bodied with greater control. At least that's what I experienced when I auditioned the X250.8. Brilliant amplifier!

Cheers, RJ
 

twitch

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
545
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SE Pa
Also, from what I gathered over several demos on both hybrids and full range stats plus on planar type speakers, is the 0.8 series seems to have larger current capacity. I think the mains tranny is larger, including the power supplies, which in turn delivers more of everything.

It seems to have better control & grip on speakers impedence swings, improved drive factor and also delivers higher Class A bias before switching into Class AB. Obviously when you hear any of Pass Labs XA series amplifiers, you'll recognise that full force of Class A bias, it comes across so effortlessly and their amplifiers don't flinch one bit even under stress.

Similarly When listening to the X series amplifiers, there's some of that XA tonality but it shifts into a different gear when switching into Class AB. So, with the 0.8 series, I would say it sounds more full bodied with greater control. At least that's what I experienced when I auditioned the X250.8. Brilliant amplifier!

Cheers, RJ

yep and that's why I went with the X260.8 mono blocks. The highest amount of initial Class bias of any of the 'X' series, save the the mighty '650'. Any 'sweetness' of Class A is for sure gone with regards to the loudness level when it rolls into A/B !
 

RickS

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2018
23
21
83
NW Indiana
I have the older X250. I love everything it does. If I upgrade it I may skip the X250.8 and go straight for the X350.8 for the added horsepower. The reason would be the power hungry Focal speakers I’m using.
 
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