Pls help me decide Pass Labs X250.8 or Luxman M900u

I want to upgrade my 2 channel audio.  I have a 7.2.4 Home Theater system I am in the process of upgrading. Recently I upgraded my old B&W N805 / HTM2 to the 803D4 / HT81D4 and relegated my N805’s to Surround duty (and they excel in this roll!)

I have been driving (due to age of system) with a Pass Labs X5, which I will keep for surrounds and center on HT , but I want to upgrade my 2 Channel Audio.  I currently am trying to decide between the PassLabs X250.8 and the  Luxman M900u.  As these B&W’s can dip down below 2ohms I want to make sure I buy an amp which will bring out the best in my system and handle these dips. I will also be buying a Tube Preamp with HT Bypass -(looking for a used VAC Signature Mk5 SE or the new Backert Rhumba Extreme 1.4)


Anyone with experience with either of these amps and B&W 800’s would be great to hear from.




You’re welcome.
You can configure “Processor” through the Ref’s menu and assign any input to it. Keep in mind Ref will turn that input into unity gain so HT processor is all you want to have hanging off that input.

The three brands I’ve heard of (I think) that allow you to run the HT bypass with the pre turned off are Backert, Rogue, and maybe VAC. Considering what you’re looking for in detail and price I think you’re on the right track with the Backert. I will mention that the LTA I recommended above is designed for very long tube life, and the tubes are cheap to replace so may still be worth exploring, but I also think you’ll be thrilled with the Backert as well. Member Terry London compared them in a review I think in Stereo Times a while back and slightly preferred the LTA by a small margin but not sure that outweighs the ability to turn the Rhumba off for HT, which is really nice.

Fwiw. I run my pass 250.8 into my B&W 803 D3 and it is terrific on all accounts. I’ve not used the Luxman amp so I can’t compare the two amps. 

Looking at the impedance curve for 803D4, I don’t see it dipping below 2ohms? I see 3ohms listed as the minimum.

VACs need to be powered on for Cinema bypass. ModWright preamps can be left off for HT bypass if that matters.


VAC preamps with the Pass Labs X250.8 is a wonderful combo btw. I used that with my Maggie’s and YG’s. However you can turn the Luxman stereo amp into a monoblock should you require more power.