Pass XA amps and ML Vantages - match?

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bob1957

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Hello,

Does anyone have any experience using Pass Labs XA or XA-.5 amps with ML speakers? I am considering either an XA-30.5 or XA-60.5 for use with my Vantages. Wondering about use of relatively low powered amps to drive these efficient but low impedance speakers, sonic attributes, how hot do they run, comparison to X or X-.5 amps…

Rest of the system: Pass X2.5 pre-amp, Esoteric X-03SE CD player, Kimber and Audioquest cables.

Thanks.

Bob R.
 

Kruppy

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Hello,

Does anyone have any experience using Pass Labs XA or XA-.5 amps with ML speakers? I am considering either an XA-30.5 or XA-60.5 for use with my Vantages. Wondering about use of relatively low powered amps to drive these efficient but low impedance speakers, sonic attributes, how hot do they run, comparison to X or X-.5 amps…

Rest of the system: Pass X2.5 pre-amp, Esoteric X-03SE CD player, Kimber and Audioquest cables.

Thanks.

Bob R.
No experience with these amps, however, I do remember reading about the XA amps having difficulties with low impedance speakers in a review in either Stereophile or The Absolute Sound a couple of years ago. You might want to seach either website to see if the review is on line.
 

Rich

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I think you will be fine with the XA .5 series, as they are designed to double down wattage with a halving of impedence. The XA series would probably not be an appropriate choice for electrostatic speakers. I have the X350.5 and love it with my Martin Logans. I would have bought an XA .5 series but they weren't out yet when I bought mine. I expect they will sound fantastic with Martin Logans.
 

maxspl

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my friend has used both pass x150 and pass x250 with the ML vantages and works great together as the pass is a very powerful amp.
 

bob1957

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Thanks for responses everyone. It seems the original generation of the XA amps was designed to an 8 ohm impedance and did not deliver more power into lower impedances. I was told by my dealer that the XA-30.5, nominally 30 watts, actually delivers 66 watts into 8 ohms and doubles that into 4 ohms, and that it would drive my Vantages with ease. Since he offers a 30 day return, I think I am going to try one.

Bob R.
 

Rich

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You are correct that the XA .5 series is designed to correct the problems that the original XA series had driving lower impedences. I think the XA .5 series will be a wonderful complement to your Vantages. The only question becomes: would the XA 30.5 or the XA 60.5 do a better job for the money? I always lean toward more power so would lean toward the 60.5, but the 30.5 may very well do just fine. If your dealer is smart, and nice, he would let you take both home and compare them side by side in your system. That is the only way you will know for sure what you are (or are not) missing. Have fun with it, and let us know your impressions.
 

bob1957

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woo hoo!

I ordered an XA30.5 last week and it arrived on Friday. :D

I connected it yesterday morning and let it run all day - left it in standby overnight.

My initial impressions - thin and bright for the first couple of hours, which is not surprising. The sound began to open up and flesh out after that. It sounds far more powerful than the specs would indicate, with much greater dimensionality and texture than my Primare amp. No shortage of dynamics, very transparent and punchy, if still a little on the bright side. I am operating under the assumption that the brightness is a function of the newness of the amp and the cheap monster speaker cables I am using (the only cables with spade connectors that I own) and that it will diminish over time.

Bob R.
 
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