Pass X350.8 or X260.8 is better for me?

MM622

New Member
Jun 3, 2013
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#1
I ‘m using a Electrocompaniet AW-180 Mono-block and ARC Ref 6 per-amp with my Wilson Audio Sophia 3 speaker now. And I want to buy a new amp to replace my AW-180 this year. My target is either Pass Labs 260.8 Mono or X350.8 stereo, which one you think is better for my Sophia 3? Some of my friend encourage me to get 360.8, the reason is this amp has more power, and I don’t need to upgrade my amp in the future if I change my Sophia 3 to Sahsha 1/2 (My plan in next 1 or 2 years). But someone said 260.8 Mono is suitable for me because it has better analytical, more details and imaging, especially I only listen to Jazz music. And they said it should have enough power to drive Shasha. So which amp you think is a better choice for me in the long-run? My listening area is not big, about 220 square feet.
 
Dec 2, 2012
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#2
I’ve owned the X350.5, X250.8, and now a pair of X260.8s. I’m not familiar with the Sophia 3, but I am fairly comfortable with the house sound of the X.5 vs X.8, and the relative performance of these three similar amps.

Of the three, I like the 260.8s the best. To my ears they combine the power and control of the X350.5 with the delicacy, transparency and extension of the X.8 series update. Plus, the 260.8s bring with them a tonal saturation and midrange texture reminiscent of Pass’ all class A amplifiers.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with either the X350.5 or X250.8, and I think the X250.8 might just be the sweet spot for stereo amps in the entire Pass amplifier line. But the X260.8s stay in class A longer — 34 watts — than any of the amps in the X-series, other than the dreadnought-class X600.8 mono blocks.So while they are not full-time class A like Pass’ XA-series, neither are they nearly as large, heavy, expensive and hot as the XA amps. And, the X260.8 are good for 260 wpc into 8 ohms, 520 wpc into 4 ohms, somewhat more than the monster XA200.8s can do into similar loads.

I guess it boils down to how much power the Sophia 3s require and how difficult a load they are to drive. The 260.8s are very capable but if the Sophias needs are extreme then I’d say go with the X350.8. Otherwise the X260.8s should be more than able to cope with the majority of high-end speakers.

Ultimately, whichever amplifier you choose, I think will be very happy. Let us know how it works out for you.

Steve Z
 

Vienna

Active Member
Oct 14, 2018
113
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Athens Greece
#3
I’ve owned the X350.5, X250.8, and now a pair of X260.8s. I’m not familiar with the Sophia 3, but I am fairly comfortable with the house sound of the X.5 vs X.8, and the relative performance of these three similar amps.

Of the three, I like the 260.8s the best. To my ears they combine the power and control of the X350.5 with the delicacy, transparency and extension of the X.8 series update. Plus, the 260.8s bring with them a tonal saturation and midrange texture reminiscent of Pass’ all class A amplifiers.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with either the X350.5 or X250.8, and I think the X250.8 might just be the sweet spot for stereo amps in the entire Pass amplifier line. But the X260.8s stay in class A longer — 34 watts — than any of the amps in the X-series, other than the dreadnought-class X600.8 mono blocks.So while they are not full-time class A like Pass’ XA-series, neither are they nearly as large, heavy, expensive and hot as the XA amps. And, the X260.8 are good for 260 wpc into 8 ohms, 520 wpc into 4 ohms, somewhat more than the monster XA200.8s can do into similar loads.

I guess it boils down to how much power the Sophia 3s require and how difficult a load they are to drive. The 260.8s are very capable but if the Sophias needs are extreme then I’d say go with the X350.8. Otherwise the X260.8s should be more than able to cope with the majority of high-end speakers.

Ultimately, whichever amplifier you choose, I think will be very happy. Let us know how it works out for you.

Steve Z
Hi Steve,

I used to own a pair of 260.8. At that time I used to own Kef Reference 3.
The 260.8 couldn’t drive them satisfactorily at high volume levels. Later I had the Kef replaced with Vienna Acoustics The Musik. Again I was feeeling that the Speakers were underdriven and somewhat empty. The references wher 8 ohm 88db and the Musik are 6 Ohm 91 dB.

I hope the above will help you
 
Sep 4, 2017
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#4
For jazz I would think he'd be fine with the 260.8s. The Sophia's are reputed (by Wilson) to be a relatively easy load to drive.
 
Dec 2, 2012
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#5
Hi Steve,

I used to own a pair of 260.8. At that time I used to own Kef Reference 3.
The 260.8 couldn’t drive them satisfactorily at high volume levels. Later I had the Kef replaced with Vienna Acoustics The Musik. Again I was feeeling that the Speakers were underdriven and somewhat empty. The references wher 8 ohm 88db and the Musik are 6 Ohm 91 dB.

I hope the above will help you
Thanks very much. I'm not the original poster and today I see the thread was a couple of months old when I replied last night.
But I appreciate your reply, and indeed it might be closer to the mark comparing your KEF Reference 3 at 87.5dB/w/m to the Sophia 3s at 87dB/w/m, than my more efficient Blade 2s (90dB/w/m).


However, I can't imagine the X260.8 not having enough power to drive any of these speakers to ear-splitting levels even in rather largish rooms. The OP said his room is about 220 square feet -- mine is closer to 500 sq ft with 10 foot ceilings and an open two story entrance foyer to one side and the X260.8 have no problem filling that volume with loud, clean, realistic sound. In fact, I can pretty much listen to music anywhere in the entire 3400 square foot two-story home from the stereo if I want to -- as long as my wife is out!

The only way I would consider the X350.8 is if I had speakers that really had a difficult time reproducing LF, because I think the X260.8s do a better job of portraying nuance and texture and air than the high-horsepower X350.8 or even the single-chassis X250.8. Whether that is because the X260.8 stays in class A deeper than the X350.8 and X250.8 or because the dual mono nature of mono block construction with separate large power supplies I couldn't say, but I heard this directly in my own system comparing my well-broken in X250.8 to the pair of X260.8s before I bought them.

Still, there is not one path to getting the sound we want and we all have our own priorities. The amazing variety of approaches to good music is one of the things that make this hobby so interesting to me.

Best regards,

Steve Z
 

Hasse

New Member
Jan 11, 2016
1
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1
#6
Which amp, X250.8, 350.8 or X260.8 would be the best choice for a pair of Maggie 3.7’s?
Steve, do you mean that the X350.8 has better and more powerful bass compared to the 260.8 monos?
 
Sep 4, 2017
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#7
I think it's likely that both of you would benefit from speaking with Pass Labs' Kent English on the Pass Support line. Kent is a straight shooter and IMO will give you an excellent perspective based on your system, music, and listening priorities.
 
Likes: oldmustang

oldmustang

New Member
Dec 2, 2012
23
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1
#8
I don't think the X350.8 has better bass than the X260.8 monos, but for a really hard to drive load the X350.8 is 350 wpc into 8 ohms and 700 wpc into 4 ohms. The X260.8 is 540 wpc into 4 ohms. The X260.8 goes deeper into Class A operation (higher bias) than all but the X600.8 monos.

Steve Z
 

oldmustang

New Member
Dec 2, 2012
23
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#9
I agree with GSOphile. Kent English will give you excellent advice on what will best suit your needs. He is very generous with his time and expertise and he isn't out to sell you a particular model.

Steve Z
 

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