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  1. #1
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Amp Search Over!!!

    Well I pulled the trigger on a new amp (new to me anyway) yesterday and should have it at my house by the mid to end of next week. I bought a Pass Labs x150.5 amp. Which is a huge step up for me from the Adcom 545 ii I amp running now and Hopefully give my system the power and musicality I have been after for a long time. I tried the Class D route and while the class D audio amp is really built well and does do some things well like detail and bass tightness and detail, but in my system the trade off is it is too bright and fatiguing with certain music and after a short time. I am hoping that with a Pass Labs design and the press that his amps receive that it will work great for me and give me what I've been missing.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Stoppit !!! You're making me envious. If I had infinite money, Pass Labs would be what I'd try first -- I suspect it would save me a lot of time.

    I've had an Adcom 555II for a while. It was a pleasant, slightly dark or "earthy" sounding amp with powerful bass, but resolution was just so-so and there was perceptible grain. If the 545 is anything like that then the Pass Labs (and various other things) would be an improvement. I'm using a class D now, (an SDS 258 as most people know), I like it pretty well. The mid-range and bass is very good and resolution is excellent; however the highs are a bit sharp and it cuts no slack for less that excellent recordings.

    Last edited by Feanor; 03-02-2013 at 07:32 AM.

  3. #3
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    harley- One of the best sounding systems I've heard used a 45 watt Pass Labs amp. It created a soundstage so detailed that you could walk between the performers. They were using Wilson speakers.

    Feanor- I find the same thing with my little tripath. A good recording is a thing of beauty. The amount of detail and soundstaging is up there (especially on battery power) with some of the best amps. A bad recording is just that.

  4. #4
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    I am also using an adcom gfa 555 II and feel this amp cant be beat for what it goes for on the used market, 300 to 400, but do feel it is a tad harsh, dry, forward. I would love to hear your pass labs amp, or any pass labs amp i should say. Beautiful too!

  5. #5
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    Well I pulled the trigger on a new amp (new to me anyway) yesterday and should have it at my house by the mid to end of next week. I bought a Pass Labs x150.5 amp. Which is a huge step up for me from the Adcom 545 ii I amp running now
    Are you aware they share the same father? Pass was paid to create a number of Adcom schematics. They were built to a different price point.

    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    I am hoping that with a Pass Labs design and the press that his amps receive that it will work great for me and give me what I've been missing.
    I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I still use its progenitor from 32 years ago, the Threshold Stasis 3...

    More wisdom from NP

  6. #6
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    yeah I really think I am going to enjoy it too. I have searched and thought about it for a long time and while I looked at a lot of options out there (Odyssey, Vincent, Parasound,etc) I decided to go ahead and save a little more money and get something that would be a amp to own for a long period of time rather than just a step up toward a higher goal. The amp I bought was used so it was not the $5,500 the new ones sell for but it was still more than I have paid for any amp so far. I was like a lot of you in that the Class D 440 was good with recordings that were warm sounding and not recorded bright or badly, but when I listened to anything that was recorded brighter or was not warm sounding I just could not listen to it very long and the whole time my ears screamed. I will say that I have very sensitive high frequency hearing and can hear closer to 20k than most people I have met which might explain this as well. I am really looking forward to having an am that can run class A for more watts than a lot of amps and has Nelson Passes circuitry and his name on it stating in pedigree. I know Nelson history with Threshold, designing Adcoms amps, and after selling threshold in the 90's he went on to start Pass labs and made the Aleph and then the X and XA series among others. I feel that anything Pass touches seems to have musical magic to it and I look forward to experiencing it to full affect in my system as well.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  7. #7
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    New amp

    congrats on the amp...looks great. I just purchased a new YBA a100 integrated...from their heritage line.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Amp Search Over!!!-snapshot_20130302_2.jpg   Amp Search Over!!!-snapshot_20130302_1.jpg  

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your Pass Labs amp. You should be happy with it for a long time. I have never missed my class d integrated amp and I doubt you will either.
    JohnMichael
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  9. #9
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I will post pictures once I get it hooked up. I don't think I will miss the Class D amp either, I just don't think that the Class D audio amp was the kind of sound that I like and works in my system. I am not saying that they are bad amps at all and the proof is in the people just on this site that uses them with some very revealing and hard to drive speakers. But I think with the Pass labs amp I am entering a whole new category of audio fulfillment and realism that I have never had in my system before.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  10. #10
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    Wow, Pass Labs. Sounds like you made the right move. Congrats!!
    My audio lab:
    Qinpu A-6000 MK ll Integrated Amp
    Blue Marble Audio Speaker Wire
    Tannoy Mercury V4
    HHB CDR-850
    Grant Fidelity DAC-11/Phillips 7DJ8 tube

    Parasound Zamp V.3/Parasound ZPre2 Preamp
    Signal Cable Analog 2 Speaker Wire
    Dali Ikon 2 mk 2
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001
    Stello DA 100 Signature DAC

    HT:
    Arcam AVR 200
    Signal Cable Classic Speaker Cable
    Mirage Nanosat
    Rel R-528 Subwoofer
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001

    Various power cords, I.C.'s, optical, coax, and analog cables.

  11. #11
    Suspended
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    I've owned a few Adcom amps and wish I had kept my 5500 at times just because I liked the sound character of it,. My Threshold is a big step up from there and the Pass even a good step up from Threshold, IMO. I will say from doing my research the newer ".5" versions are supposed to be warmer than the prior X versions.

    I'm anxious to see how you like the amp. If the Nuforce has XLR it's highly recommended to use them, something to do with Pass's patented distortion canceling circuit. It will describe it in the manual.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Congrats on that amp. I'm looking forward to your review. I am thinking about selling my boat and upgrading to the Magnepan 3.7's and a new amp. I am going to put that amp on my short list.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  13. #13
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I will definitely let let you guys know how I like it. Mr P I actually did some studying on the issue and learned that NuForce actually designed the P8 and P9 to use the XLR outputs and includes the RCA outputs for flexibility. If you look at NuForce preamps and amps all their stuff has XLR hookups. I do have brand new XLR cables that I used with the Class D audio amp so I will try those and the RCA and give my feedback on which I like better.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  14. #14
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Nice... congrats Harley...don't forget pics!
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  15. #15
    Charm Thai™
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    Fantastic pick up!

  16. #16
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobrock View Post
    congrats on the amp...looks great. I just purchased a new YBA a100 integrated...from their heritage line.
    What persuaded you to buy a YBA? Is it more than a pretty face?

  17. #17
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Well I got the Pass labs today and man is this thing a hoss, For the smallest amp in Pass labs inventory this thing packs the pounds. Got it home and right off the bat this amp kills anything else I have had in my system and its not even warmed up yet. I have been told by some friends that you really have to warm up Pass labs amps before they do their thing and so far the warmer it gets the better it gets. no grain, soundstage that is awesome and imaging the is right on track without a bit of brightness. I think I've found a keeper and will post pics when I get the chance to take pictures.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  18. #18
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    Yeah, something with the Pass design, it needs to suck up some electric before sounding like it should and it needs that 24 hours or so each time it's unplugged for any time. When I was comparing power cables and it only took a couple seconds at most I didn't really hear any big difference. Another thing I notice is it sounds a bit better after running a while, similar to tubes but not as drastic of a change, it's more like as it warms up the sound stage opens more. If you just got it today, I expect you to be raving tomorrow. Next it will be time to find some larger Dyn's .

    Any way, happy for you.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I actually thought the same thing. But I will say that the X150.5 does bring out extremely good bottom end for as small as my Dyns are. I will say that my speakers really handle the extra power but I have yet to get the power meter past the mid mark as this amp really delivers the current. I really can't believe that this is the baby of the Pass labs family. And you are right the more the amp warms up the better it is getting.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  20. #20
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    I have been told by some friends that you really have to warm up Pass labs amps before they do their thing and so far the warmer it gets the better it gets. no grain, soundstage that is awesome and imaging the is right on track without a bit of brightness.
    Congrats. I leave the Stasis powered up 24/7.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I will say one of the first upgrades for my setup is a new power cord for the Pass amp. the stock one is ok but the Power cord for my Nuforce preamp is bigger than it and I know I could get even better results with something better. But I am very happy with this amp so far. It has taken my system to the next level and that is speaking conservatively. Anyway here is a pic for you guys.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  22. #22
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Well after the first few days of owning my new amp I am noticing many new things with my system. First and foremost this amp is amazing on what it has transformed my system to as far as musical realism and detail. This thing emits detail in a way I have never heard in my system before, all the inner detail on the recording is always there and it is presented to you in a way that makes you not understand how and why you listened to these songs so many times without this detail and makes the music have so much more emotion to it. Its not just blank detail it is detail that takes your enjoyment of every some to a level not heard in my system ever before. the Pass Labs amp really allows My nuForce P8 to show its capabilities as well so the pair make a very good match as far as balance and really leaning more to neutral balance of that awesome midrange that Pass Labs amps and a very detailed and tight bottom end with a high end that has all the detail that I have wanted without sounding at all harsh at any time what so ever. I will say that to my ears there has not been another amp that has touched it in my mind ( the Adcom and Class D did not stand a chance) among many others I have heard over the years. And the gorgeous thing about it is the extra money that you spend on the high wattage of this amp running in Class A longer than most others is that My amp runs hot enough for me to lower my thermostat(Pass labs are known for running warm).

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  23. #23
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harley .guy07 View Post
    I will say that to my ears there has not been another amp that has touched it in my mind...
    Another nice thing about Nelson's designs is they are insensitive to however screwy a load you happen to throw at them. From the very first 800A forward, his amps were designed to drive fully reactive loads. Back in the 80s, he demoed Threshold amps driving stacked Dayton-Wright XG-8 electrostats. My Stasis has been driving Acoustats for the better part of thirty years.

    Having ten pairs of closely matched output devices also obviates the need for protection and current limiting circuitry.

  24. #24
    Suspended
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    Are you giving the amp plenty of ventilation? After running mine a bit it is warm but not hot but my stand is open in the back and several inches of clearance above the amp.

  25. #25
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody View Post
    Are you giving the amp plenty of ventilation? After running mine a bit it is warm but not hot but my stand is open in the back and several inches of clearance above the amp.
    Oh yeah mine is sitting on top of my cabinet with all the ventilation it could get. I really was making a joke since the last amp in my system other than the Adcom was the Class D which stayed room temperature so it is different for me to have an amp in my system that gets warm. It does get warm but never to a scary level of heat that would hurt anything. And yes I think these amps are good enough to drive nails if they weren't too expensive for carpenters to use for that purpose. but anyway Jokes aside I am happy as I can be.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



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