Who is the KING of MONOS?


Mcintosh 501:
Big. Heavy. Reliable. Built like a tank. Smooth and pleasing. This chuck of metal will flow liquid sound at you all day and not even get warm. It is Fun to listen to and fun to look at. Arguably the best looking amp of them all. Some accuse it of being too laid back. Others would consider selling an appendage to obtain a pair.

Krell Evolution 600e.
Pretty. Maybe not Mac pretty but still pretty. Unlike lesser Krells it is smooth and articulate. Possibly possesses the best bass of any amplifier anywhere. Expensive. If it can be the King it should be expensive.

Cary SA 500.1
Probably has one of the best reviews ever written. Cary is said to be a perfect middle ground between Krell and Levinson. Not too laid back. Not too harsh or dry. Just perfectly nestled in the middle. Not big or heavy. A little plain to look at. Middle of group price tag. A few complaints floating around about reliability. A few complaints that Cary is cheaply made. Is it worthy of a King’s Crown? 10 Audio thinks so………

Levinson N 53.
It is pleasing to the eye. It has lots of clout. It has cost no object claims. It costs a lot of big American Dollars. It has a non typical switching power supply. Levinson is sometimes accused of being too warm. Is this the case the N53? The company has encountered a lot of turmoil in the recent past. Can it overcome the negatives and beat the rest? Will the new D technology be its demise?

Classe CA-M600.
Aesthetically pleasing but doesn’t match anything else. Another smooth operator. This amp has also been accused of being too laid back and polite. Sometimes polite is a good thing. Can it be the polite King of Monos?

Pass Labs XA600.5
Can anything negative be said for this beast. Another block of beauty that has a glowing meter. A little magic and a little hocus pocus maybe. I can see the others getting a little nervous with the Pass in the mix. If only the company would answer the phone and tell me who the dealers are. I hope the product is better than their customer communications.

Wyred4Sound SX-1000
Can it even fit in with names like this? According to the reviews and the manufacturer it can. Its Class D. Its Light. It looks good. According to a lot of people it does things Class A / AB cant. It is by far the cheapest or cost effective of the group. Can this economical wonder compete or beat any of these brutes? Will it wimper and run away with its tail between its legs? We shall see.

Let us discuss who the King should be. Let us discuss who it shouldn’t be. Who cares about price. This is a Royal group. Who is the best of the best? No one wants to hear “They all sound the same.” Don’t waste our time. These boxes have magic inside. Who has the most? Which one should we all be dreaming of when go sleepy at night?. Who is the King Of Monos?
I listend a lot to Mark Levinson amps in my life. I still don't understand why people would want to buy it. Holographic sound is the most important part in highend sound. This is a part were brands like Pass are superior. Let's take another part, focus. Many times I was stunned that clients who use Levinson are not able to let me hear the right dimensions of instruments and voices of a simple acoustic recording. I think they do not know how small and direct a voice or instrument should be. Sound, all classical cd's I played at Lenvinson sounds far from real. A violin sounds so much warmer and is better focussed than I ever heard from a Levinson. Use a recording with two different acoustic guitars. The levinson is not able to let you hear the difference. But a Pass can. The last years I heard many tiems the new Classe amps. To be unnest it does not do anything wrong. I think many peole could live with this for a long time. Compare it with Pass and you understand the difference. The sound of instruments is a lot different. Pass labs gets closer to the real sound of instruments. I think XA series I would take a listen at and compare it with your own music with the other ones.
Lenvinson sounds dull and almost 2-dimensional. I said a violin sounds in real so much warmer then wenn played on a clinical Levinson. The newer ones are improved in sound compared to the older ones. But still compared to Pass it still sounds boring.
Bo1972, you earlier mentioned that prior to your Pass X-amp you were using XA100.5s. I was wondering if you prefer the X-series to the XA or why did you replace the 100.5s?
I am intersted in both for my Magnepan 3.7´s.