Ayre Parasound Pass : where are you?

I’ve been thinking a little bit about three different types of SS amplifier sounds. I’m not really sure what to call them, but I have a definite preference. Here is the spectrum in my mind:

Ayre <--> Parasound <--> Pass 

On the one hand is Ayre and Arcam. Yeah, fight me, but there are big similarities to the sound. I also loved the Pono and what it did for my IEMs, using the Ayre designed output stage. I wish Fiio would license it too.

In the middle is Parasound Halo and ICEpower Class D modules (I’ve owned both) which to me are identical in sound quality. Clearly I’m happy with them for the price!

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Pass. A sound I really don’t like.

But regardless of which you like, what do you think the differences are?

What spectrum do you use to think about solid state amplifiers??
I recently removed a Lyngdorf 2170 from my system and replaced with an Ayre A7-XE which is a very affordable fully balanced integrated amp.
I have heard some say oh its only 60 watts it will never drive my speakers and I guess that could be true of some very inefficient speakers.
This change opened up my analog front ends ( vinyl and cassette) and really allowed them to shine both in mid to upper low bass and vocals, acoustic guitar and piano.

Right now I have never been as happy with my sq, this little Ayre most definitely rocks.
And I have yet to exceed 45 on the volume and that drove my Triangle Altea speakers to 95db spl
Yep. I'm listening to Class D right now. Of the brands mentioned, I'd only move to Ayre if I had the money. If I had to consolidate even further, I might go with an Arcam integrated. :) 


i have the S300 amp, not the S700 monos. I’m guessing the sound is essentially the same.

TBH, the Ayre ax-7e can be had for very little coin on the used market.
Yes it is no frills but a fully balanced design with 2 xlr and 2 rca inputs and a tape out.
Built like a tank and although only a claimed 60 wpc, they are HUGE ones.
Worth a test drive unless you want more frills, or a much newer unit.
I run my DAC into one of the xlr, my ph10 phono into the other xlr, my pioneer sacd into 1 rca and my nakamich cassette into the last rca.
I use the tape out to drive a Schiit Vali headphone amp.

I am very impressed.
OK, lets cut to the chase ...
the Pass 250 is like .... the TOTL, top of the line ...
to say it is thin is not accurate, and If so, I would look to your other components, b/c the Pass is not to blame.

I just heard the Pass 250 in 2-3 rooms at CAS last month, and it sounded like the cleanest, most accurate, most musical and intimate sound even with the Dynaudio Contour 60s. I say this b/c the Contours dont produce the type of distortion that lends to a gravity or "fullness" of the music like a tube amp does. And therefore, even without hamonic distortions, the Pass 250 sounded real, present, natural and effortless.