Pass Labs X 250 Amplifiers

4.67/5 (9 Reviews)


Product Description

The amplifier uses ultra matched components in a simple balanced Class A circuit 250 watts per channel in 8 ohms and 500 watts into 4 ohms


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Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Majixin a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 14, 2017

Bottom Line:   
I took a punt on the used market to try a Pass Labs X250 here in the UK. It was £2500 so figured I could sell it on without much loss if I didn't like it. I was not prepared for what happened.

At first, I thought this beast sounded too warm and somehow clinical. I soon realized it takes 30 minutes after switching on to hit its stride, at which point the clinical edge completely dissipates and it sounds wholly liquid/analog-like in presentation - not solid state (except for the immense bass that only solid state can do).

I've thrown every kind of music at it and it has to be the best gamble in audio I ever took. I've been to hifi shows with newer amps with bigger price tags etc... but despite this amp being long in the tooth and replaced by the X250.5 and X250.8, it's nothing short of stellar in accuracy, transparency and dynamics. Imaging is holographic and the best I've encountered and there is hardly a brand of amplifier I have not heard. Also, I never get any listening fatigue with it, no matter how long and loud I play music.

Shortly after I purchased this, I found another amp (a Chord SPM1400E Mk2) on the used market at similar cost and purchased it from a used dealer. The Chord was over £8000 retail and in 5 minutes I was boxing the Chord back up. People say audiophiles have listener bias and so aesthetics, apparent status symbolism, and other considerations play heavy on how they'll perceive sound, but I wanted to like the Chord sound, not least because it wouldn't cane my electricity bill by drawing 300W+ constantly like the Pass Labs, plus the Chord looks just as great, plus I previously had an all Chord system before having to downsize for a few years, plus I still have a Chord DAC (so any biases should have been in Chord's favour). On sound quality the Pass walked it. The Pass Labs shrugged off the Chord as if brushing away an annoying fly. The used hifi dealer took the Chord back and refunded me (nice guy).

What else have I heard?: McIntosh, Levinson, Accuphase, Ayre, Bryston, Classe, Lamm, Naim, Krell, Linn, Karan, Esoteric, Audio Research, ModWright, Conrad Johnson, Edge, Unico, Audionote and I could go on and on. A few I've listed might compare, but then you pay a lot more for no significant improvement.

To me, this amp is old, is energy inefficient, runs hot (not as hot as the only negative reviewer claims - the wuss), is too heavy for convenience, doesn't fit in my rack, or any sensible AV unit, but IT SOUNDS OH SO FABULOUS.

My conclusions? I want to keep it forever and might just need a solar power installation to prevent it consuming too much electricity and upping my bill.

The DAC will be upgraded and currently runs direct into the Pass Labs. I'd consider a preamp (probably from ModWright, ARC, Pass). Speakers are a pair of Earl Geddes Abbeys. I also own Wilson Benesch ACT speakers.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Steve a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Bought my legacys sig III from a guy that was using this amp to run them. Legacy's are all 4 ohm speaker systems so that would give this amp a 500 watt per channel rating with this speaker, YEAH...... lets just say that needle never left the 2 o'clock position the whole time they got ran before i bought them. In other words this thing was putting out as much as it could all the time to run the speakers, granted they werent low listening levels either but thats not the point here, there power level is over rated, This thing was oven hot when we were done i kid you not if your hand stayed on the cooling fins for more than a few seconds youd get a minor burn! Now i did sound good, but a little over rated and over priced i think so. I run the same speakers with my McIntosh mc-300, and i tell yah the amp never gets over warm to the touch, and its only rated at 300 watts at 4 ohm, macs power ratings dont change due to impedence levels, lets just say i cant even come close to burying the needles on my mc. Pay close attention when looking at the power levels on the pass amp
250 watts maximum @ 1% THD, 1 kHz, 8 ohms
Mcintosh amp
300 watts RMS @ .0005% THD,20-20k, 8,4,2 ohms
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Pass labs is a joke when they rate there power levels dont get suckered in! Before you dump the money into this thing look at similar products!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 8, 2007

Bottom Line:   
This amp is a masterpiece! Very pleased with the dynamics and imaging. Powerful yet graceful, the x250 is a real winner. The looks are among the best I have seen in a solid state amp. Nelson Pass answers e-mails with set up and maintnance questions. Try getting that service from the mainstream manufacturers.

I have owned Krell and Bryston. Both are very good companies and also have great service records. I have recently settled with Pass because it never seems to interfere with the recordings. No coloration. Very natural and revealing. If a recording is of poor quality, you will hear it. When a recording is superb (Maple Shade or Chesky) it will spook you. Amazing. Even my non-audiophile friends can appreciate the ablity of this amp to bring recordings to life. Wife factor is positive becuase of the stunning appearance.

My speakers are B& W 805's
Speaker Cables-Audio Quest Indigo
Cables- Tara Labs


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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Purchased At:   Reno HiFi



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bouman a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Quite an amazing amp. It sounds controlled yet relaxed never strained or harsh and soundstage and imaging is almost holographic. I don't think that I've heard a better set then the one I have now. I also liked it better than the Krell amps I've heard (bit harsh and grainy) or Mark Levinson.

Before I used a Bryston 4b-ST, which is probably still one of the best amps for the money, but the X250 is just better though. And so it should be! at the retail price in Europe: 7-8000 euro which is ofcourse an insane amount of money.

But the reason I really bought it was: it is so d@mn good-looking! I just love the massive front with the sculptured handles, soft bluelight Bias meter and the sleek horizontal cooling fins. All my friends love it, except ofcourse for my girlfriend. But I would personally see that as a positive endorsement since she 's got the most hideous taste, god bless her.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $7500.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kurt a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 9, 2006

Bottom Line:   
Very happy with the x250. Drives my B&W 805s like no other amp I have auditioned.This includes Rotel,Marantz,Fosgate and Bryston. Powerful, true and very honest, this amp will not let you down. It will bring out the best in the recordings and point out the crap.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   renoaudio.com




Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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