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  1. #1

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    Default Parasound or Pass Labs

    So ok. Next year I want to do a big upgrade come the spring/summer time. I decided that I really want to try either of these systems but was looking for imput in terms of what you guys would think would give me a better overall soundstage, detail, ect ect and would mesh better with the speakers I would be using.
    At this time if I would go Parasound:
    Parasound JC-1
    Parasound JC-2
    Wadia 830 CD Player or possibly a tubed player
    PS Audio GCPH phono pre

    The other would be:
    Pass X250
    Pass X-2
    PS Audio GCPH phono pre
    Wadia 830 CD player or possibly a tubed player.

    The speakers I would try to obtain to have this one would be a pair of Carver AL-III or possibly some SDA's. All this stuff would be bought used to save money but the total budget I was figuring would be around 7-8K which I would not include the speakers in that. I also looked at Krell and McIntosh, but didn't really see anything that I wanted that I could fit into my budget.

    Any imput would be great, it would be a big step over what I currently have thats for sure. I like tubes but still like my solid state and think I want to play in that before I would move over to any more tubed gear, possibly a tubed pre but SS amp for sure.
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  2. #2

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    In my mind not even a contest. Pass Labs all the way, but as usual it would be nice to hear them both. Nothing against Parasound because I know the JC series is no slouch.

    If you're heading this way again you can stop by and get your Pass on. :D
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  3. #3

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    Chris

    After seeing Ricardo Pass Lab this is the one I've been eyeing.

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....Power-Amplifie
    Last edited by leroyjr1; 06-15-2010 at 08:16 PM.

  4. #4

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    Default

    Go for the Pass Lab!
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
    Linn AV5140 Rears
    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  5. #5

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    The JC-1 is the E-ticket I would ride between these two, both nice but the Parasound will take top gun in this shoot-out.

    One of the greatest bargains in hi-fi along with Maggie 20.1

    RT1
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  6. #6

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    Well, I've never heard the Parasound amp you mentioned, so I really can't offer a fair comparison. I do have the Pass X150 and it is superb, that is if you are looking for a neutral presentation. It is very natural sounding. If you have any gear that is not neutral in the chain, it will stick out like a sore thumb, so careful pairing and synergy is key. For example a bright sounding source would not work well. A tube cdp might work well. I had a Bada HD-22 and it sounded sweet with the Pass amp.

  7. #7
    Stronzo
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    Eh, let's see what speakers ya end up with before riffing off suggestions.

    That said, please keep the tube pre idea alive and well. :)

  8. #8

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    well I guess sda or carver was not clear enough.

    RT1
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    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
    B&K 7270 amplifier
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    OppO BDP-83
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    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


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    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
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    Acoustech Phono-Pre
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    BillyBags Rack
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    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  9. #9

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    I'm a John Curl fan, not a Nelson Pass one.

  10. #10

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    I'm a fan of both, but Nelson more.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    I'm a fan of both, but Nelson more.
    Since when? :D
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  12. #12

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    I don't think you could call either the Parasound or Pass amps a "better" sounding amp, because they are all fantastic. It's going to be the amp that has the best synergy with the rest of the system and your ears. Change the speakers, change the source(s), and either Pass or Parasound could sound better. I don't think you can go wrong either way.

    That said the JC-1 amps are my dream amps!
    DKG999
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    HT System: LSi9, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LSi7, SVS 20-39 PC+, B&K 507.s2 AVR, B&K Ref 125.2, Tripplite LCR-2400, Cambridge 650BD, Signal Cable PC/SC, BJC IC, Samsung 55" LED

    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

  13. #13

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    I don't dislike Parasound or John Curl. If I'm spending my own money and the choice is between those two..........I will always choose a Pass amp. In fact as narrow sighted as this might be I will probably never own another SS amp that isn't a Pass amp. Doesn't mean I'm not a fan of Parasound.

    Now Bob Carver............I respect him as a designer but I will never own a Carver or Sunfire SS amp (or any other gear) I have never heard one that knocked my socks off.

    Anyways that's my personal bias, rational or not.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkg999 View Post
    it's going to be the amp that has the best synergy with the rest of the system and your ears. Change the speakers, change the source(s), and either pass or parasound could sound better.
    ^^+1

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    I don't dislike Parasound or John Curl. If I'm spending my own money and the choice is between those two..........I will always choose a Pass amp. In fact as narrow sighted as this might be I will probably never own another SS amp that isn't a Pass amp. Doesn't mean I'm not a fan of Parasound.

    Now Bob Carver............I respect him as a designer but I will never own a Carver or Sunfire SS amp (or any other gear) I have never heard one that knocked my socks off.

    Anyways that's my personal bias, rational or not.

    H9
    I don't believe there is anything wrong with having a solid opinion and choice in gear. If you've owned examples of both and you found that one has consistently worked better for you, so be it. I believe Pass Labs makes better boutique gear than Parasound by far but the two companies hit slightly different markets and buyers. Both are excellent choices.

    The only place you'll find Carver gear is in my trash can or when I drop it off to Goodwill.

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    Thanks for the info guys. I want to try and demo these if possible but have never found a place that has them. I would really like to pair these with the carvers if I can find a pair or sea 1Cs or 2.3s.
    If you guys were doing pass is the pre I selected a good match? Also is there a vry large noticable differance between the 250 and the 250.5 amps?
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorokusai View Post
    I don't believe there is anything wrong with having a solid opinion and choice in gear. If you've owned examples of both and you found that one has consistently worked better for you, so be it. I believe Pass Labs makes better boutique gear than Parasound by far but the two companies hit slightly different markets and buyers. Both are excellent choices.

    The only place you'll find Carver gear is in my trash can or when I drop it off to Goodwill.
    don't throw it away, send the carver stuff to me. i will even pay for ship/handling:D

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by cstmar01 View Post
    Also is there a very large noticable difference between the 250 and the 250.5 amps?
    I found a large difference between the X150 and the X150.5. In a nutshell, the X series is totally neutral and natural from top to bottom. It may sound lean in the bass because it is so tight and clean. The X.5 series sounds more tube like in that it is warmer, fuller bass and smoother on the top.

    Bottom line is that they are both exceptional amps and it is more about system synergy and what kind of sound you are looking for.

  19. #19

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    thanks for the info Ern Dog. Also what do you guys think about the pre that I suggested with it or is there a better pairing to use with a Pass Labs pre?
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  20. #20

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    Speakers have been decided!

    Carver Amazing Silvers.

    I'm leaning hardcore towards the Parasound set up still, however would still be open to suggestions....
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    Squeezebox Touch
    Modded Music Hall DAC Burson op amps
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    MIT Shotgun IC's and SC

  21. #21

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    Onkyo M510. Denon POA-8000s. :p

    I also heard that the XPA-2 is a monster of an amp.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
    Onkyo M510. Denon POA-8000s. :p

    I also heard that the XPA-2 is a monster of an amp.
    Emo's will not enter my home again.....unless it was free and being used as an HT amp...then sure...otherwise..no. hahaha
    2 Channel-
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    Wyred SX1000 monos
    Esoteric DV50
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    Squeezebox Touch
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by cstmar01 View Post
    Speakers have been decided!

    Carver Amazing Silvers.

    I'm leaning hardcore towards the Parasound set up still, however would still be open to suggestions....
    Ask Ricardo about his Pass X250 and Maggies.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by cstmar01 View Post
    Emo's will not enter my home again.....unless it was free and being used as an HT amp...then sure...otherwise..no. hahaha
    Alright alright... maybe the other two?

    And yes... i'm weird. If i were in your shoes, i'd just start buying amps willynilly and trying them.
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
    If i were in your shoes, i'd just start buying amps willynilly and trying them.
    Or just buy a Pass Labs and your search is over. ;)

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Or just buy a Pass Labs and your search is over. ;)

    H9
    Where's the fun in that? I'm all about the journey to perfection. Take away the journey, and i wouldn't have any reference to know what i ended up with. :p
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  27. #27

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    I already walked the path for you. Find a new journey :p:D

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    I already walked the path for you. Find a new journey :p:D

    H9
    D'oh!

    Yes, sensei. :p
    I don't read the newsssspaperssss because dey aaaallllllllll...... have ugly print.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by concealer404 View Post
    Alright alright... maybe the other two?

    And yes... i'm weird. If i were in your shoes, i'd just start buying amps willynilly and trying them.
    eh I kinda want to have a system that I'm not tempted to switch out gear so much with. I know it can be fun but I'm looking at this and want to put a lot of money (for me that is) into it to get a great system that Maybe I would upgrade here and there but for the most part feel like ok this thing rocks, and not constantly looking to change stuff out again.

    Brock, do you know of any dealers anywhere close that has the newer Pass stuff? I ask as I've never ever seen it in person, only read the reviews online. Also do you feel the newer Pass is better designed ect over the older or is it more of a toss up?

    I know the .5 series are more high current but also carry a higher price tag, just wondering as well if the extra coin makes that much of a difference.
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  30. #30

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    Better is such a relative term. Some of the earlier stuff is "classic" and the .5 series is really a lot better (or different sounding) just ask Erndog who has an X150 and a new X150.5.

    If I were going to get a new Pass amp I'd get a .5 series amp if I could afford it. For my SDA's my next amp will probably be the XA30.5. All the benefits of single ended class A and more reserve than what I have now. The XA30.5 is the Aleph meets the X series......an Aleph on steroids if you will.

    For a speaker like the Amazings I'd probably go with an X150.5 or X250.5 or even X150 or X250. Ricardo LOVES his X250 with his Maggies, told me it may well be the last amp he needs to buy.

    As far as dealers, it's the same as any other high/boutique manufacturer, very few outlets. Again, you are more than welcome to make a road trip to hear my Aleph if that will help you decide. I know Reno HiFi in Vegas is a big Pass dealer and they sell and locate lots of slightly used units and have a great rep and customer service. I believe they have an in home demo too. I believe Tim is the guy to talk to at Reno HiFi

    http://www.renohifi.com/

    And they are having a July sale!!!!! They have a used refurbished X250 for $2295......pretty damn good deal.

    First Watt stuff isn't for your type of speakers

    H9
    Last edited by heiney9; 07-08-2010 at 03:45 PM.
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

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