AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,361 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Using Avantgarde Duo Omega speakers...


Since I have no way of 100% level matching, I listened to each amp at all volumes.


The First Watt F3 first. Lets just get this out of the way... sounded very distorted and muddy in the midrange where it supposed to shine. This was immediately obvious as I swapped back and forth between the other amps. The other issue is that it plays at relatively lower volume even with my processor volume maxed out. Finally the higher octave details were not that impressive, seemed almost rolled off a bit. The amp has no/minimal added gain and therefore could not drive the Duo Omegas to the desired volume level with my pre-amp. The fact that my speakers have powered subs that are driven by the speaker level signal from my amp is an important point. I would not expect the bass to sound much different with the various amps but the bass control was definitely more impressive with the Pass Labs XA30.5 and 30.8. The First Watt amp also does not have a 12volt trigger but the rest of the unit's fit and finish were fine. I would not recommend this unit unless you have a pre-amp with more gain and even then, it sounded muddier on every volume level where the other amps did great at any volume level. This unit have a totally absent "hiss" when connected to no source. It does fit into a standard audio 18" rack perfectly but no rack mounts. The rear connectors are otherwise basic single ended but decent. The F3 is only $1500 so I was hoping it would be awesome so I didn't have to keep the more expensive amplifiers. My rating 5/10... I was not impressed much at all...


next up the Pass Labs XA30.5. This unit has been in my rack for a solid two years so I know it well. Very detailed and good bass control... I am not even sure why I bothered to mess with it and try out the other two amps. It really does sound VERY good. Overall pretty holographic sound and mates well with the Duo Omega horns. Very decent soundstage and imaging, individual instruments and vocal solos sound great. It's hard to imagine it gets much better than this unit for the Duo's. It has a 12 volt trigger, XLR connectors and RCA connectors and standard banana/spade posts. It apparently goes into Class AB mode and out of Class A mode once you pass 30 watts and this is reflected by the meter at the front of the unit. I have never seen the needle move ... so I am assuming I was always listening in Class A. My rating 9/10.


Lastly the new kid on the block: Pass Labs XA30.8 (Point 8). Holy crap... this is it. The imaging, soundstage, individual instrument and voice rendition, bass control... ALL better.... Even at low volumes. At reference volumes, the low level detail is ridiculously good. The Avantgarde's clearly do better with 30 watts of power and this is proven by the inferior results with the F3 in my setup. I cannot imagine it getting any better than this. I have hear all sorts of equipment in my time on this Earth but the XA30.8 is simply NOT marketing hype. I was really hoping that the F3 would sound best so that I didn't have to keep the 30.8 (which I paid over 5k for). If there are amplifiers in the universe better than this, I would be hard pressed to imagine it. I have zero likelihood of trading this sucker in at this point. It is really sick awesome for my speakers but I imagine the amplifier series is phenomenal overall. Very good rear connectors and 12 volt trigger. What bothers me is that it is 19" wide and therefore does NOT fit on a standard audio rack... I will have to make room elsewhere in my closet hidden away for this best. It is quite a bit heavier than the 80.3 along with its bigger size. Shipping weight on the XA30.8 was like 108lbs compared to the 75lbs boxed ship weight for the XA30.5. The unit itself emits a slight hum which is not a big deal, especially since I don't have my amp in the same room as the speakers.


Clear Winner: Pass Labs XA30.8! (rated 10/10)


The reviews on this unit are going to be exceptionally good. I'll bet money on it. You heard it here first.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,502 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar  /t/1519837/pass-labs-xa30-8-point-8-series-vs-xa30-5-vs-first-watt-f3-review#post_24408461


Using Avantgarde Duo Omega speakers...


Lastly the new kid on the block: Pass Labs XA30.8 (Point 8). Holy crap... this is it. The imaging, soundstage, individual instrument and voice rendition, bass control... ALL better.... Even at low volumes. At reference volumes, the low level detail is ridiculously good. The Avantgarde's clearly do better with 30 watts of power and this is proven by the inferior results with the F3 in my setup. I cannot imagine it getting any better than this. I have hear all sorts of equipment in my time on this Earth but the XA30.8 is simply NOT marketing hype. I was really hoping that the F3 would sound best so that I didn't have to keep the 30.8 (which I paid over 5k for). If there are amplifiers in the universe better than this, I would be hard pressed to imagine it. I have zero likelihood of trading this sucker in at this point. It is really sick awesome for my speakers but I imagine the amplifier series is phenomenal overall. Very good rear connectors and 12 volt trigger. What bothers me is that it is 19" wide and therefore does NOT fit on a standard audio rack... I will have to make room elsewhere in my closet hidden away for this best. It is quite a bit heavier than the 80.3 along with its bigger size. Shipping weight on the XA30.8 was like 108lbs compared to the 75lbs boxed ship weight for the XA30.5.


The unit itself emits a slight hum which is not a big deal, especially since I don't have my amp in the same room as the speakers.


Clear Winner: Pass Labs XA30.8! (rated 10/10)


The reviews on this unit are going to be exceptionally good. I'll bet money on it. You heard it here first.


Will it drive B&W 800Diamond I have always been interested in PASS LABS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,361 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by wse  /t/1519837/pass-labs-xa30-8-point-8-series-vs-xa30-5-vs-first-watt-f3-review#post_24480585


Will it drive B&W 800Diamond I have always been interested in PASS LABS

This 30watt is probably not the amp for the 800, i would go for the 200 watt version or bigger. I haven't heard that particular amp nor coupled with an 800d so I cant comment specifically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,502 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar  /t/1519837/pass-labs-xa30-8-point-8-series-vs-xa30-5-vs-first-watt-f3-review#post_24480632 This 30watt is probably not the amp for the 800, i would go for the 200 watt version or bigger. I haven't heard that particular amp nor coupled with an 800d so I cant comment specifically.
That's what I thought how about with this speakers?

 
Elipsa SE

 
 

The Sonus faber Elipsa Special Edition, is a modified and upgraded version of the already exceptional performing Elipsa. Chief among the updates is the implementation of the same high frequency drive unit found in the flagship model of the homage range, the Stradivari. The addition of this ultra-high performance ring radiator provides an extraordinary level of sonic refinment, openess and extension.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS


System Type: 3-way floorstanding vented box loudspeaker.

Cabinet: Elliptical shaped enclosure crafted using sandwich construction techniques with 20 hand-selected wood layers of solid maple. Each layer is graded and oriented for optimized resonance control and the sub-structural ribs are strategically placed for absolute rejection of spurious vibration and standing wave control.

Woofer:  10 in. (260 mm) lightweight Aluminum/Magnesium alloy cone driver. Ultra dynamic performance and linearity. Special coaxial anti-compressors are used, designed to remove cavity resonance and distortions.

Midrange: 6 in. (150 mm) cone driver with Symmetric Drive Motor System and hand-selected “black wood” fiber cone treated for control of break-up. Driver features a dynamic linear suspension designed synergistically with its vented acoustic chamber.

Tweeter: 1.3 in. (33 mm) ultra dynamic linearity ring radiator driver using a neodimium magnet structure with dual-toroidal wave-guide. A natural wood “acoustic labyrinth” rear chamber functions synergistically as a mechanical anti-resonance device.

Crossover: Non-resonant second order design with optimized phase characteristics for optimal space/time performance. Crossover points 250Hz and 2.3kHz. 


Frequency Response:  35Hz – 30kHz, tuning ports included.

Sensitivity: 91db SPL (2.83 V/1m)

Nominal Impedance:  4 ohms

Power Handling:  50W – 300W, without clipping.

Finish: Piano Gloss Red Violin or Gloss Graphite lacquer finish.

Dimensions (WHD):  21.75 x 49 x 18 in. 550 x 1250 x 420 mm

Weight:  214 lbs. (97 Kg) per pair – net weight 250 lbs. (113.5 Kg) per pair – shipping weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,835 Posts
Blazar, perhaps you used the wrong First Watt Amp. For your speakers, the F4, F5 or the Aleph J would have been a better match. In any event, I use an Aleph J on my Infinity Composition Preludes which play 96db with a 1 Watt input. I get excellant results although I have to turn the gain down -6db on my Krell KAV-500, that support the center and surround channels, so the sound won't over power the Aleph J.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,361 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaby  /t/1519837/pass-labs-xa30-8-point-8-series-vs-xa30-5-vs-first-watt-f3-review#post_24481408


Blazar, perhaps you used the wrong First Watt Amp. For your speakers, the F4, F5 or the Aleph J would have been a better match. In any event, I use an Aleph J on my Infinity Composition Preludes which play 96db with a 1 Watt input. I get excellant results although I have to turn the gain down -6db on my Krell KAV-500, that support the center and surround channels, so the sound won't over power the Aleph J.

I think 10 watts is insufficient to power the speakers to their potential for starters... I just dont see how folks use 1watt amps with these horns.


I think any of the pass amps with at least 20-30 watts would have been a better choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Blazar,


I wonder if you can elaborate more on the hum you were able to hear. Have you had a chance talking to the manufacturer or the dealer regarding this issue? I have read several posts on XA amps and it seems to be a common theme. It kind of concerns me that the equipment at this price point is demonstrating such flaws quit frequently. I am looking myself into XA-30.8 or 60.8 but my stuff is in the same room. I am not sure if I would like to hear any type of hum from the amp. From what you have described it comes out of the amp itself. Correct?


Thanks.


Kris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
I have an XA30.5 driving Magnepan MMG speakers. Absolutely no hum. It is possible that I don't hear any hum because my speakers are much less efficient than the OP's Avantgardes.


On the other hand, my 4-ohm MMG's allow the XA30.5 to put out 60 watts/channel in Class A and 200 watts/channel in Class AB. I have never seen the amp go into Class AB operation, however. Musically, it is the best solid state amp I have ever owned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,361 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There is a very faint hum from the amplifier and from the speakers but really NO hiss whatsoever. The XA 30.5 was even quieter I think. The 30.8 does sound excellent overall and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend buying it.


Almost all amps make some noise that can be heard through Avantgarde's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,502 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar  /t/1519837/pass-labs-xa30-8-point-8-series-vs-xa30-5-vs-first-watt-f3-review#post_24576296 There is a very faint hum from the amplifier and from the speakers but really NO hiss whatsoever. The XA 30.5 was even quieter I think. The 30.8 does sound excellent overall and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend buying it.  Almost all amps make some noise that can be heard through Avantgarde's.
Did you get a deal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,361 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by wse  /t/1519837/pass-labs-xa30-8-point-8-series-vs-xa30-5-vs-first-watt-f3-review#post_24589679


Did you get a deal?

I think i bought the first one to ever show up on audiogon, around $5k for basically new. So i did make out well compared to retail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,502 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar  /t/1519837/pass-labs-xa30-8-point-8-series-vs-xa30-5-vs-first-watt-f3-review#post_24589849


I think i bought the first one to ever show up on audiogon, around $5k for basically new. So i did make out well compared to retail.

I will wait until I can get one at that price! I just would like to try it with my Sonus Faber ELIPSA SE



Sensitivity: 91db SPL (2.83 V/1m)


Nominal Impedance: 4 ohms


I worry it might be light on Watts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts

Hey there,

 

I own my first Pass Labs since last saturday , and this is the new      - Pass Labs  XA30.8 -

 



 

 

No " power off "  since the first ON, to do break-in time as quickly as possible,  he had soon   ~ 110h of runnin' of wich 50h of listening when i write these lines.

 

i' m no expert nor technician, but my ears are in love ! , me too i admit lol, i haven't well slept since five days !! and not always in my bed ...

 

this amp is A-MA-ZI-NNNNNNG !!!

 

A Must Have for every Music Lover !

 

i can't say anymore anything on the tech specs, and my feelings, because i' m rather an artist i guess ...

 

but if you have the money, the desire to have fun, and to please you ...

 

i have to say : GO-FOR-IT !

 

you don't have to think about it a long time ... you can trust me ! and you won't regret every cent spent into this wonderful  MUSICAL  LOVE BOX !  


 

it is REALLY  worth every dollar !

 

Feel free to ask me if you have any question, i'll do my best to answer you, prefer PM please !

 

Cheers from Switzerland  
 

 

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,361 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lolodesiles  /t/1519837/pass-labs-xa30-8-point-8-series-vs-xa30-5-vs-first-watt-f3-review#post_24615997


Hey there,


I own my first Pass Labs since last saturday , and this is the  XA30.8 



No "power off" it since the first ON, to do break-in time as quickly as possible,  he had soon   ~ 110h of runnin' of wich 50h of listening when i write these lines.


i' m no expert nor technician, but my ears are in love ! , me too i admit lol, i haven't well slept since five days !! and not always in my bed ...


this amp is A-MA-ZI-NNNNNNG !!!


A Must Have for every music lover !


i can't say anymore anything on the tech specs, and my feelings because i' m rather an artist i guess ...


but if you have the money, the desire to have fun, and to please you ...


I SAY : GO-FOR-IT !!!


you don't have to think about it a long time ... you can trust me ! and you won't regret every cent spent into this wonderul  MUSICAL  LOVE BOX !  



it is REALLY  worth every dollar !


Feel free to ask me if you have any question, i'll do my best to answer you, prefer PM please !




Cheers from Switzerland  

What speakers are you running?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts

Hey !

 

for the moment i have some          - Klipsch RF-82MkII -

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a quite good speaker for the money, BUT ! it clearly not have the level of quality required by and to fully enjoy the potential of this monster baby Pass !

 

I have also a brand new (!)      - Wadia 321 Decoding Computer -       also in break-in time with my brand new amp, it' s Christmas or something :)

 



 

 

Passed 40 to 50/100 on the volume control, the 82's crying for help !

 

And the projection of mediums is really awfull, i hate this "fog horn" tonality it is stressing my poor ears.

 

So, i plan to buy     - Dynaudio Confidence C2 Platinum -

 



 

 

or        - Egglestonworks Rosa Signature's Series -

 



 

 

This will be between these two speakers, with a clear advantage & preference for the C2 and their double Esotar2 tweeters, which are, from a friend of mine, simply the best tweeters of the world !

 

But the Rosa's are a serious challenger i guess ...

 

I'll go this friday for a listening session of the Egglestonworks,  and  i'll let you my feedback here.

 

Cos' i love mediums and highs, and the Egglestonworks have a great musical reputation !

 

As i love Bass too, i own a      - Paradigm Sub 1 -

 



the cube on the right is the      - R-Cube -     made by Audiocubics.com   handled by   Mr. Curt Fisher   which is a fantastic guy too, very quick and pro, as   Pass Laboratories   i have to say !

 

this R-Cube is designed to remote control line level volume, cos' my Sub 1 doesn't have any remote, by the way this is its only "flaw" ;)

 

This  is probably the best, or among the best subwoofers in his class !  so sharp & heavy at the same time, a real wonder too, a huge Beast !!


 

Here you go !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
XA30.8 update


@~210hours of which 150 of lovestening , i m like mad, or maybe i really am  (Hi Desmond
)


My 30.8  is even much better than before, and a lot !


Okay okay, my brand new 321 has done his break-in period too, at 75% i guess, as the Pass, but now i can make the difference "what makes what" or the like.


Since i ve read again the blazar' s post, and a bit calmed down too i have to admit, but this is not my fault i swear
i can find better words to describe what i m feeling through this love box, so watch out ladies and gentlemen ^^




It is a real wonder for ears you know, the  wide  side of the soundstage is very impressive indeed, even with my "poor" 82's, for ex. before the soundstage was basically limited to the widht between the speakers ok ? now it is wider like one meter each side if i can tell it like that , it is really impressive.


This is revealing  the huge potential of this mad guy's amp ^^ with better paired loudspeakers ...


By the way, who is the most mad of the two : the builder or the customer hmm ? can you answer this Dear Nelson please ?


Also the imaging obviously ! there, i' m speechless ... it is so sharp, " vented " with a lot of space between instruments, listen to: Dead Can Dance and Porcupine Tree, to hear what i desperately trying to explain with my poor vocabulary and hifi culture.


For those of you who didn't know these two bands, i just can invite you to have a look ! and then with ears wide open ... just let you go ... it is a so sweet feeling of bliss, with a Pass amp obviously  !!


What can i say more ? lol, you might be thinking that Pass Laboratories is given me money to say such things ... i truly promise this is not the case ! in fact it s not so cool, i need at least a little reward i guess ..


Oh yeah just one thing more ! the dy-na-mics ... never heard such punch, the attacks are so quick , therefore very very musical, also the BODY & GRAIN of more or less distorded guitars, my god, this is an amp for Metal lovers like i am ! it makes me think a bit of a tube amp you know, but just a sweet so lovely bit, given such life(live) to music, but NO particular coloration !


Oh my goddess  this is a real gooseflesh machine ! ^^


We re thinking, my friend Thierry(hey!) and me, that the  time alignment  is quite perfect , with cheap speakers & XLR cables, there's a place for improvement too  i guess.


Well ! enough typing ! my fingertips are hot damn it ! but this is for a great cause:


Admit the simple truth : Pass Labs amps are the best !







Someone say something please, i m feeling alone, like a monolog or something ^^


See ya folks !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,361 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nice to see you like the amp Lolo, I am still enjoying mine as well!


I am busy with my DIY subwoofer project at the moment but I'll compare the Pass Labs 30.8 to the new Lab Gruppen PLM 10000Q that I just got for my subwoofers. The Lab Gruppen is a massive overkill in power for my Avantgarde Horns but I want to see how good it is in low level hiss and hum noise as well as overall sound.


I keep looking for a way to find a cheaper alternative to the XA 30.8 so I can put some money back in my pocket... but so far no such luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts

How much service hours does it have please ? have you noticed any improvement past 200Hours ? slight i guess ...

 

I' ve also noticed, on he's first cold ON this morning, that the meter  staff was going to past noon position, for 2-3 mm, and when the amp is warming up, the meter staff moves slowly to its optimum position, which is on mine, 1mm before noon, it s  the right position within normal class A operation envelope.

 

To say i like this baby monster is a "small" word ...

 

I'm litteraly falling in love with my baby Pass
and i dunno what other choice could have bring me such emotional surge ....

 

A marvelous love box, made with so much care, love & know how (you can feel it just by looking at), visibly build to last, cos' these days it is rare enough to be mentionned i guess, even for this class of products on the high end grade  !

 

Cheers ! 
 

 

 

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar  /t/1519837/pass-labs-xa30-8-point-8-series-vs-xa30-5-vs-first-watt-f3-review#post_24626269


Nice to see you like the amp Lolo, I am still enjoying mine as well!


I am busy with my DIY subwoofer project at the moment but I'll compare the Pass Labs 30.8 to the new Lab Gruppen PLM 10000Q that I just got for my subwoofers. The Lab Gruppen is a massive overkill in power for my Avantgarde Horns but I want to see how good it is in low level hiss and hum noise as well as overall sound.


I keep looking for a way to find a cheaper alternative to the XA 30.8 so I can put some money back in my pocket... but so far no such luck.
Please, don't compare what's not comparable ! to my point obviously ... ;)

 

But i m curious to have your feedback anyway ^^

 

See ya !

 



 



 

And finally  a    - Behringer DEQ-2496 - which is a real good tool for the money !

 



 

 

 

Next please !

 

See ya Folks ^^
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top