4/20/16

Point 8 Amplifier What? Pass Labs Pt.2


I recently introduced you to Nelson Pass, amplifier architect par excellence and founder of Pass Labs.  Today we’ll chat about the items coming forth from the Pass Labs team.

Music, I say…

Well…  Pass Labs doesn’t make music, rather they make equipment that brings music to your ears.  Amplifiers, preamps, integrated amplifiers, phono stages, blenders (kidding on that one!), even a recently introduced headphone amplifier are all part of an extensive lineup of products.  Nelson is the guiding force behind the amplifiers, while longtime collaborator Wayne Colburn is the creative lead for the preamps and phono stages. 
As I examined the Pass gear during a recent factory tour, it became clear all of the products, from the diminutive HPA-1 headphone amplifier to the dual chassis Xs 300 mono amplifier powerhouse, are designed with a singular vision and built with a degree of craftsmanship, commitment and teamwork that can be rare to find.

And now for some Point 8
The history goes like this:  The Pass Labs “X” Series of amplifiers came to market in 1996 initially with the X1000.  The numerical value was indeed a power rating, as this was a 1,000-watt Class AB mono-block design.  This was followed by the X600 mono and the X350, X250 and X150 stereo amps.  Fully Class A amplifiers were added to the X Series in the form of the XA200 and XA160.  

With Nelson and crew always tinkering and looking to find improvements in circuits and sound, the first updates to the X Series began rolling out in 2005 as the Point 5 Series.  Think X150.5 and so on…
Sure enough, innovation and fine-tuning continued at the Pass Labs HQ, and out popped the Point 8 amplifiers in 2014.  Improvements were made to the input, voltage gain and output stages of the amplifiers, much of which was trickled-down from the state-of-the-art Xs amplifiers that debuted in 2012.  The result of this work in Nelson’s words:  “…amplifiers that invite you into the music.”

The current lineup consists of the X150.8, X250.8, X350.8 Class AB stereo amps, X260.8 and X600.8 Class AB mono amps, XA30.8 Class A stereo amp and the XA60.8, XA100.8, XA160.8 and XA200.8 Class A mono amps. 
Do these Point 8 amplifiers truly invite you into the music…?  Do they make you smile, make you dance, or maybe bring a tear to the eye?  Stay tuned for my review of the Pass Labs X250.8 stereo amp and I will share my results…


Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer.  Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…

Marty can be contacted at:   916.952.9529    Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com

0 comments :