Pass Labs XA30.8

Hi all,

I had the opportunity to audition the Pass Labs XA30.8 at a dealer was really like the whole presentation - huge,deep soundstage with great depth.

My preamp is Simaudio Moon 390. I am wondering if anyone here is running this combo - Moon 390 with Pass Labs XA30.8s.

My speakers are fairly efficient (92.5dB).

While my current combo (Moon 390 preamp and Moon 330A power amp) is great, the presentation is a little in your face. It feels like I am sitting in the front row with the band right in front. I want a more laid back presentation and hence the mind flirtation with the XA30.8s :)

Appreciate any input if anyone is running this exact combo. Please note I am only looking at XA30.8s and not the X series or any of their Class A mono blocks.

If so, it would be nice to move on from the .8 cosmetics and especially the black rings on the faceplates.

To me, the previous generations were much more beautiful and jewel like in their design.
I like the faceplates on both the .5's and .8's.  Maybe a completely new faceplate on their next series 
New could be interesting too, but I never understand why they were changed.

That being said, Nelson Pass must be one of the smartest guys in audio, if not the world.
I think the 30.8 would fit nicely in your system.. It’s a beast! Yet very detailed And delicate when it needs to be..  

sim_audio_nerd OP
the presentation is a little in your face. It feels like I am sitting in the front row with the band right in front

Your problem is too much gain with very efficient speakers.
The Pass 30.8 only needs 0.7v input for it to give full output. Any source is 2v or more even.
Can you see that you definitely don't need any more gain from an active preamp.
If your source has volume control use it direct into your 30.8
If you don't have volume control in your source, then try the next best, a 10kohm passive preamp as Nelson below will tell you..

Nelson Pass,

“We’ve got lots of gain in our electronics. More gain than some of us need or want. At least 10 db more.

Think of it this way: If you are running your volume control down around 9 o’clock, you are actually throwing away signal level so that a subsequent gain stage can make it back up.

Routinely DIYers opt to make themselves a “passive preamp” - just an input selector and a volume control.

What could be better? Hardly any noise or distortion added by these simple passive parts. No feedback, no worrying about what type of capacitors – just musical perfection.

And yet there are guys out there who don’t care for the result. “It sucks the life out of the music”, is a commonly heard refrain (really - I’m being serious here!). Maybe they are reacting psychologically to the need to turn the volume control up compared to an active preamp.”

 Cheers George