From pass xa25 to krell k-300i

Good morning!

I could change my pass xa25 to a krell k300i. Is it a upgrade?

I'm looking to a more resolution, open sound, transparency.

What are the differences between the two?



I meant that they are very different animals, and I think that the comparison would spark debate,

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Let’s see, one is just an amp that puts out 25 beautiful class a watts a side and the other is an integrated with a built in DAC that puts out 150 watts a side, up to 90 of which are class A and the rest are class B.


I’m a happy owner of the Krell K300i.   It’s a great amp.   I think the issue is one of synergy with the rest of the system.   My limited experience with Pass, is that those amps are smooth, refined, and warm.  I would not describe them as forward or punchy.   The Krell is all of the above in my system.   I would also add, that Krell customer service is superb.   I sent mine in for a left channel problem and they updated pretty much everything to the latest versions - all at no charge.

How about some context? Like what speakers, in how big of a room and what kind of music do you listen to at what level. That would be helpful.

No big room, I don’t Need Power. I’ m using tannoy cheviot and Graham LS3/5.

All kind of music. I look to resolution and detail with good recordings and on the human voice and instruments.

What preamp, source and cables are you using (power, speaker, interconnects)

I had a Pass XA 25 and replaced it with a pair of AGD amps (GaN based class D). Backert Labs pre and Fyne F1-8 speakers. The AGDs did exactly what you are asking for. Smooth, detailed, dynamic, slightly warm, and very natural sounding.

 I believe JA, at Stereophile, got more like 80 wpc from the XA 25. So not quite the power deficit advertised, relative to the Krell.

I'm using topping a90 as preamp. Dac rockna wavelight.

Cable are nordost Heimdall and vovox textura

I am also interested in this comparison. Coincidentally, I have owned the Krell k-300i for just over a year and have lately been thinking about replacing it with either a Pass xa-25 or int-25. I opted for the non-dac Krell version because I have a separate PS Audio dac. Which can also operate as a pre-amp, hence the option to choose the less expensive xa25 over the int-25. (Question: the xa25 is $2500 less than the int-25, but the two units appear to be identical other than the gain stage in the int-25. Is this correct?)

I love the Krell and have even considered it to be an end-game piece. The amp gives no sense of limitation, no matter the changes I make upstream. I like the practicality in that it operates in class A but is energy efficient. And I like the aesthetics. I’m not sure if the designers planned it this way, but the way the design catches light in the room (a black model) it is not only unobtrusive but actually seems to recede into the background. And normally I don’t like standby lights that I can’t turn off, but in this case I actually dig the lit frame around the view screen.

Why am I thinking about changing? My speakers are Fyne F1-8 at 91db sensitivity and I never play them loud. I suspect that these speakers would mate even better with a lower-powered amp. And the room is small, about 11x16. And though I’ve never actually heard a Pass amp, I also suspect that they would have good synergy with the Fynes.

But I’m happy enough with the Krell that I’m only flirting with making a change. I’d love to hear from people with actual experience with both Krell and Pass.

@rfprice If cash isn't a huge concern I would buy the Pass and have a shootout. Both those amps are good sellers when you make a decision. I'm a preamp fan so the dac to amp option is the X factor.

@bubba12  True, and I suppose I could even return the Pass. I hesitate because I feel like it's one of those cases of different-not-better. The Krell is a solid piece of kit. 

My biggest piece of advice is that the Pass sound to me is unique and that a fan of that sound would not want to switch, and the OP should use their own ears rather than anyone else's when making that choice.

Personally, I'd take Luxman or Ayre over either of those, with the Ayre also having it's unique sound presentation.

I'm not familiar with the Krell but I had a Pass XA25. It wasn't for me. I prefer my Jeff Rowland Continuum S2 over the Pass. These are very different designs. I find the JRDG to be very transparent but highly musical (not analytical).