I’m really happy with my system. However when a technician, who is also a salesman, came to my house for a stereo repair he complimented my set but said it would sound a lot better if I switched out my Benchmark AHB2 amp (which I think is great) for a Pass 30 wpc class AB amp. He offered to let me hear that amp in my system so that I could decide for myself (at a fee of $300.) The only problem is he doesn’t  have the 30 watt amp in stock but would have to demo the Pass sound with 60 watt monoblocks. He assured  me that with my very efficient GoldenEar Triton 1 speakers the 30 watt amp will almost have the the same quality.

Do you think I can honestly judge how the smaller amp will actually sound? Or should I cancel the demonstration (and save$300?)


I would like to add this to my comment...A "Class A" amplifier, compared to Class A/B,even as good as the Pass might be,is a whole different animal..IMO Class A solid state is ABSOLUTELY at the pinnacle of solid state amplifiers..They do indeed offer EVERYTHING you read a good tube amp offers,including increased staging & imaging,the naturalness of tone & the organic fundamentals of notes..
The big mono blocks are probably biased to run Pure Class A up to a certain point,likely the first 20 wpc.or so,meaning it is likely you will hear the pronounced difference Class A makes..If I were you,I would follow the advice to take your amp to them & spend some time comparing it in their shop BEFORE commiting to the $300.00 in home demo..Also note,as already mentioned,you can save a LOT of $ looking at gently used & IF you move towards Pure Class A ,there are options to Pass Labs from Sugden,Musical Fidelity & Luxman that offer superb value for $ you might want to explore before dropping big $ on a new Pass....

Only one day in and the "really happy with my system" is now looking to be  

"really happy with my system" ?????

The Technician being also what seems to be a well honed Apex Predator  new how to cast bait / bait the trap and lure the prey in.

We have choice, and with such, an external influence is a critical part of the controlling factor, resulting in the pain of decision making that follows.

Aristotle Wrote on such a subject

'It is clear that choice is neither simply wish (boulēsis) nor belief (doxa), but belief and desire (orexis) together when as a result of deliberation they are brought to a conclusion.

For the $300, he was bringing over a pair of mono amps....2 X 100 lbs. A lot of work, imo. Not fair however, because the mono blocks would have enough characteristics to be different than the single chassis amp. I had an XA 25 here on loan from a friend, and I enjoyed my LSA GAN 350 (which I modified a bit), more. In fact, he sold it and got a pair of Gan Class D mono amps (with the tube looking things, lol), and have not looked back. Meaning, it is up to the individual, and what their tastes and likes are. I happen to have liked the Benchmark pre, but not the amp, in my system. I'm kind of thinking like Ralph of Atma Sphere, that Class A power amps are nearing their time, as well as tube power amps (tubes for me ended many years ago). It is all up to those characteristics in amplification (and any components) that the listener enjoys. My best, MrD.

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All the Pass XA amps are rated at what their Class A power is, but all put out much more when when they shift to Class AB ...the meter actually only tells when the amp switches from Class A to AB.  The X series amps are rated as Class AB, but the first typically 10-25 watts are Class A...