Pass Labs or ASR

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Pass Labs or ASR
« on: 1 Jan 2018, 10:26 pm »
Does anyone have any experience with both a Pass Integrated (INT-60 or the older INT-30A) and an ASR Emitter I?

Any thoughts, comparison, insights would be most welcome. Would be used to drive a set of Zu Druid V, which are quite efficient at 101db, but I’ve heard really come alive with a little more power than the 25 watts I'm driving them with currently.

I’m looking for a warm, fleshy sound... basically a tube sound without the hassle. It’s too hot where I live in the summer to even consider tubes. I’ve read that the older INT-30A has a slightly warmer, more colorful presentation than the INT-60. I really want to try an ASR, but the fact they’re based in Germany and use multiple modules with batteries has me concerned about potential service/repair issues down the road as compared the Pass units.

Any other amps/brands are welcome!

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Pass Labs or ASR
« Reply #1 on: 2 Jan 2018, 12:08 am »
I can't help you with the Pass Int as I own a Pass X250 amp but I would consider a Vinnie Rossi Lio, very organic sound.  Also give thought to a Hegel Integrated like the H360 or H160. I would not call the Hegels as warm but they are neutral with a hint of warmth.  Luxman is another brand that leans to a warmer more organic sound.


Re: Pass Labs or ASR
« Reply #2 on: 2 Jan 2018, 01:17 pm »
Yeah, I’ve been trying to find a used LIO in my budget, but no such luck. My current amp is a Red Wine Audio Sig 30.2 LFP-V.  The sound is lovely, but I’ve got the upgrade bug after 5 years of happy ownership.


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Re: Pass Labs or ASR
« Reply #3 on: 2 Jan 2018, 03:53 pm »
I love my Pass gear, and would certainly recommend Pass without any hesitation....

However, I am not sure that Class A Pass is the best choice if you are worried about heat from a tube amplifier. Even my XA30.8 can get toasty in the summer time, and raise the ambient temperature a little bit. Right now, with the outside temperature being in the single digits, I don't mind the heat.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: Pass Labs or ASR
« Reply #4 on: 2 Jan 2018, 05:08 pm »
I definitely agree about the heat of the Pass amps.  My X250 which is class A for about the first 20 watts gets hot.  I also have it paired with a BAT preamp that has 8 tubes and they both warm up the room really fast if I have the double french doors closed. My room is 17x17 with 10' ceilings.

Although, with speakers that have 101db sensitivity the Pass amp will probably only run at 1-5 watts most of the time and may not get quite as hot.  My Pass amp rarely leaves Class A with my Magnepan 1.6's based on the meter on the Pass.

Another brand to consider is Vincent Audio.  Their gear leans on the warmer more organic side.  They have 2 hybrid integrated amps.  Hybrid gear definitely does not produce as much heat.  Audio advisor carries them and they have a 30 day return ploicy.

Here is a user review on the 700

Five Stars for Sure
After using solid state amps for the past twenty-odd years this was my first tube power amp and I'm happy to report owning it has been a great experience. The amp is large and the box it came in was enormous. It was well packed and it is obviously well made. I've read the Vincent stuff described as 'built like a brick' and that's not far off. It's a very good looking amp. I wish I could put it on top of my rack, but that spot is reserved for my VPI Scout turntable. The amp sounds better than I was expecting. The mids are warm, rich and full sounding. Trebles instruments sound delicate and clear and more extended than my Classe amp. Bass is fantastic on my Vandersteens. The amp lets you switch between Class A and Class AB while playing. I can't tell much difference between the two, but the amp has been on for less than twenty hours and may need longer conditioning. Thanks to my salesman, Joe, who helped me make up my mind. Audio Advisor has been great deal with on my purchases,

Mr Peabody

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Re: Pass Labs or ASR
« Reply #5 on: 3 Jan 2018, 02:32 am »
I had both a Pass pre & power, it was the best of tube and SS, it matches what you describe you are looking for.  I also have a Coda power amp that exhibits the best of both tube and SS.  The Coda doesn't have as large a sound stage as my Pass, vocals are very intelligible, the Coda actually reminds me a bit more of my prior CJ with a sweetness to it and vocals more out front.  I'm not sure if they made an integrated.

A friend of a friend has a ASR, I unfortunately haven't heard it, however, you are correct in your reservations regarding service.  If you are close to a dealer or large metro area maybe service is better but I'd make sure before committing.

You might also give a listen to a Mac integrated, I'd expect them to run cool, especially no harder than you'd drive it with Zu

I wouldn't describe them as "tube like" but you might just find you like the Naim integrated amps.  Not large power ratings but they do have drive (current) and musical. IMO


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Re: Pass Labs or ASR
« Reply #6 on: 3 Jan 2018, 10:54 pm »
I rally like the ASR emitter, but with such efficient speakers, i would go with the firstwatt SIT monos or J1 stereo.
Have a look at 6moons for some thorough opinions on those and other amps matched with Zu.