Is the XA25 a realistic option for LRS’s?


Posting this in speakers since the main focus is the Magnepan LRS’s

I’ve seen a handful of reviews of the LRS where they were driven/tested with the Pass XA25….but rarely read about that pairing from actual users.

I’m considering an XA25, not for the LRS per se, but since I have them it would be great if they truly played well together.

(I’m also considering an F7 as opposed to the XA25 but Im pretty sure those won’t pair well with the LRS)

My other speakers are Fritz Carbon 7’s

Despite the huge price differential between the LRS and the XA25, will they make a good combo in a room that’s about 12’x18’x8’?




Sorry but 25 wpc is not enough for the LRS. Unless you play at VERY low levels. 

Thanks @russ69 

From what I understand the nominal watts rating is less important than the amps ability to deliver current without sagging. 
The XA25 is 25wpc into 8 Ohms but 50wpc into 4 Ohms and 100wpc into 2 Ohms.

It’s reportedly stable into 0.5 Ohms…. Which means it has the ability to shoot out a lot of current.

The LRS are pretty much straight 4 Ohm across the band with some dips down into the 3 Ohm territory 


Pass Labs specifies the XA25’s output power as 25Wpc into 8 ohms and 50Wpc into 4 ohms (both equivalent to 14dBW). However, as you can see in figs. 4 and 5, the amplifier exceeded its specified power output at the clipping point, which we define as when the THD+noise equals 1%. At that THD+N percentage the XA25 delivered 80Wpc into 8 ohms (19dBW) and 130Wpc into 4 ohms (18.1dBW).

from john atkinson’s lab test as part of stereophile’s review

pass labs class a power output ratings need to be understood in detail, they are extremely conservative

lrs is a 4 ohm resistive load...

sidebar point - xa25 is substantially more powerful than the fw f7

whether the xa25 will suitably drive lrs's is a function of the listening room, loudness level desired, music played.... 

I have had both the f7 and the xa25.  they  sound very different.  have you heard them because the sound is important.  after getting the xa25 I sold the f7 because I never listened to it.  the xa25 is that much better to my ears than the f7.  As a side note they are hot.  the xa25 is like 4 60 watt light bulbs being on so it needs some room to disperse the heat but it is one of the best amps I ever heard and owned. 


i would concur

the xa25 sounds wonderful, i have it along with an f5, xa30.5 and int60

the 25 30.5 and 60 all drive my maggie 1.7i and 3.7i very comfortably, and sound beautiful... my favorite is the 30.5, it has the sweetest and most tactile treble and midrange ... and has the benefit of balanced inputs, which i value

From what I understand the nominal watts rating is less important.... 

All I can say is that my .7s and MMGs can eat up my Parasound A21 pretty fast. It puts out a strong 250 wpc. John Atkinson has measured the XA25's output at 80 wpc, which can be enough to get a Maggie playing but they always sound better with big strong amps. Try it and see...but I always recommend getting more power when running Maggies. 


Thanks all...really appreciate hearing from the folks who’ve had first had experience with these pieces of equipment.

I realize I’m kind of having 2 conversations at once with myself

(1) XA25 vs F7


(2) Will the XA25 play nicely with my LRS’s. and....If it does, that may help sway my decision ....even though the LRS’s aren’t going to be my primary speakers.

My plan is to at least try to listen to one of the First Watt amps and the XA25 in the coming weeks...and then make a purchase sometime this summer.  I feel drawn to the F7 from what I’ve read but, no, I’ve never heard it.

I also feel like, given what I’ve read only, the XA25 could be an investment worth making that is a forever amp. My belief is the XA25 will be way more versatile and in control across a variety of speakers and sources/preamps.

@johnah5 Are you able to summarize the broad strokes differences between the two?

The heat of a powerful Class A amp is a concern but I also have an O.Sayes 2a3 SET with a beefy power supply that puts out a lot of heat and a Van Alstine SET120 that doesn’t. So I’m OK turning on the Class A amps when I want them and using Class A/B when I don’t. ***Note -As far as I can tell, that Alstine 120w into 4ohm solid state amp really drives the LRS’s well. It gets warm but not hot. Of course maybe a more powerful amp would make the speakers sound better....I don’t know since I haven’t done much testing with the Maggies yet except for hooking them up to my 1976 Yamaha CA-2010.

Regarding my listening room, etc....My room is untreated, but decently damped by furniture, rug, curtains, etc. It’s lively but not too much...I feel it strikes a nice natural balance. I may invest in the room at some point in the future,. I’d like to measure but don’t have REW or the mic at this point. It’s medium (13x18) but has two big openings in the walls to other rooms.

As long as I’m in the house I currently own, I’ll never have speakers bigger than the LRS’s. Maybe could see some horn loaded Klipsch’s down the road or something similar. But it’s a small 100-year old house.

I listen to a huge variety of music but not crazy loud. typically in the 70-80 db range. Mostly pop, rock, acoustic jazz, classical (chamber music), avant guard, world. Not too much purely electronic or heavy beat oriented music...but sometimes I do. Currently only streaming and have been focusing on my digital front end despite having a ton of LP’s. I am sort of waiting to put together my analog system until other things get sorted out.



Sure.  The f7 was wonderful sounding, warm and much better than the Amp camp amps and the Schiit Aegir.  Better in clarity, tone and soundstage.  I heard the diff as soon as I turned it on.

The xa25 is so much faster, clearer/transparent and powerful.  It was much more resolving, and the tone and timbre was so perfect.  I love that amp and will likely buy a used one at sometime in the future.  Sound is amazing and no complaints. The heat is an issue.  I went with SPL S1200 power amp which has all the characteristics of the XA25 but runs cool and has a lot more power. 

It is a lot more money though.  If heat isn't an issue I recommend the xa25.  It is am amazing amp. 

The listed power for Pass XA amps is for Class A operation, and as other responses show, they put out way more into Class AB...for many it is plenty good for the LRS+ and for others not...Magnepan told me they like to see 350 watts into 4 ohms for the LRS+...

The  XA25 is a fine amp for driving horn or otherwise very efficient systems. Maggie’s do not qualify. LRSs should have at least 100 class A watts or 200 AB watts. Yes, you can use the XA25 on them and if you listen above 90 dB you will be clipping peaks. If you listen to string quartet’s at moderate volume you’ll be fine.

Great question. I'm curious about the LRS. I have an XA25. I love that amp. One month after I purchased it from Reno hifi, used, I saw it listed used for $400 more. Those things keep their value. If you try it, you won't have a hard time re-selling it.

I’ll never have speakers bigger than the LRS’s.

Are you able to pull them at least 5 feet into the room? 5 or 6 feet is near optimum. 


as I mentioned earlier they are in a diagonal placement in my room … so coming out of the corner and my listening position (couch) is at the opposite corner.

I believe this placement is doing a lot for the image, depth and bass.

The outer sides - i.e., the far left side of the left speaker and far right side of the right speaker are 4 feet from the wall…the inner sides are 5 feet from the walls behind them.

Hard to describe

Heres a link to a photo of the room looking in from one of the two aforementioned big wall openings.

you may need to copy and paste it

Also, for what it’s worth , tweeters are on the outside , not a lot of toe-in and the speakers are on Magnarisers



Well I just finished a 5 hour listening session with my newly acquired LSA+ speakers driven by my Pass XA-25.

Room has a volume of 15x17x8.5' and well treated. Amp was driven by my Aric Audio tube pre set to a gain of 16-18 dB. The XA-25 has gain of 20dB. Volume level peaks below 95dB. Amp never sounded strained. I could put my hands on the amps heat sinks and hold them there. 

Sound was wonderful. Loving these speakers. Being new to them I can't say if I am getting the best from them. Might try a class A/B amp having greater power into into a 4ohm load.

I just received a pair of LRS+ last week and my Pass XA30.5 has absolutely no problem driving them. I listen at mostly low to moderate levels but I have cranked them without issue. Sound so sweet, I am impressed with the little Maggies.   

I remember the time (60s-70s) when many advise that 50% should be allocated to speakers when considering budget.  Boy do use of Maggies turn that around!

I am at 5x amplifier to speakers let alone the preamp cost.


that’s great news and the info I was hoping to hear when I started this thread.

I don’t have the XA25 yet but plan to pick one up in the coming months.

My room is the same size as yours and my plan is to use the XA25 with my LRS’s as well as the Fritz speakers.

My preamp has a bit more gain (20db) and I typically listen with volume well below 85db peaks and avg around 72db so I think this all will play nicely.

Do you plan to keep this pairing going forward?

@j_andrews  Please keep in mind that I have only played the speaker/amp combo 1 day. I do love the results so far and will keep you informed of further thoughts.  Also can vouch for the XA25/Fritz combo. Also provides great sonics and Fritz speaker makes for an easy drive for this amp.