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Three very different amps. Which to choose?

wscottdo

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Hi,

I have done a good bit of research over the past 6 weeks - on-line reviews, forums, YouTube videos, etc. Opinions are all over the place and I am having a hard time deciding on a new amp to power Revel F208 speakers, with possible future speaker upgrade. (large room 20x30 20' ceilings). I have gotten a lot of great advice and gained knowledge during the process, however, some of it is conflicting.

I've managed to narrow it down to three amps and I'm going to throw it out there to hopefully recieve your direct comparative feedback and insight.

Which do you like and why? They are all highly respected and reviewed, but differ in approach to audio fidelity.

I've got a serious case of analysis paralysis ;), but expect to pull the trigger within a couple weeks. I hoping for a keeper for the next 15-20 years.

Pass Labs X250.8

Quicksilver KT Mono

Apollon PET1200

 

Blumlein 88

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I have some F208s in a room your size only 10 ft ceilings. 250 wpc at 8 ohm class D amp is plenty. I have used Quicksilver mono and believe they will be inadequate. The other two amps will be fine. You might achieve excellent results for less money. Of those you list, skip the Quicksilver and pick whichever of the other two strikes your fancy.
 
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Doodski

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The Pass Labs Pass Labs X250.8 is much too expensive for your speakers. If you want to spend that much get better speakers and spend less on the amp and you will have some serious sound there.
My reference web pages>


I consider the tube amp Quicksilver KT Mono to be underpowered for serious dynamic peaks using your speakers.

I very much appreciate the power output of the Apollon PET1200 and this would be my choice.
 

Blumlein 88

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The Pass Labs Pass Labs X250.8 is much too expensive for your speakers. If you want to spend that much get better speakers and spend less on the amp and you will have some serious sound there.
My reference web pages>


I consider the tube amp Quicksilver KT Mono to be underpowered for serious dynamic peaks using your speakers.

I very much appreciate the power output of the Apollon PET1200 and this would be my choice.
I agree. I would get F328Be Revels and the Apollon amps. Especially in a large room. But didn't want to try changing the op's mind. So just answered the question.
 
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wscottdo

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Would it sway your opinion if I could get the pass labs 250.8 amp used for $6700 usd in good condition?
 

Chrispy

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None particularly appeal, particularly that tube amp. Why do they appeal to you? Why particularly ranging from an 80wpc amp to a 250wpc amp to a 1200wpc amp?
 

kemmler3D

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Would it sway your opinion if I could get the pass labs 250.8 amp used for $6700 usd in good condition?
Nope, I'd buy the Apollon amp 10/10 times for this application.

I don't think Nelson Pass is crazy or anything, but let's just say he's not allergic to distortion. I call the reader's attention to the fact that there is no THD spec on that product page. And spending >$6K for a used amp that only does 250w isn't a very good way to deploy your budget IMO.

Unless you are sure you're really going to enjoy the extra bit of THD you're likely to get from the Pass amp, I do not think it represents a reasonable audible value for dollar.

Your speakers only cost $2K each. If you have $6K in your budget I say take $5K of that and put it towards better speakers, (not that the Revels are bad by any means).
 
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wscottdo

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None particularly appeal, particularly that tube amp. Why do they appeal to you? Why particularly ranging from an 80wpc amp to a 250wpc amp to a 1200wpc amp?
I am a newbie reaching out for help, gathering information so to be confident I’ve made the best informed decision with this long term purchase. I love music and good sound.

The Quicksilver was recommended by a source very well known in the community and recently retired from speaker production, who I trust. He said to expect it would produce at least double wpc than what is indicated on paper, so 160wpc? I don’t know.

The Pass Labs amp is well known and loved by many.

The Apollon produces 375 wpc at 8 ohm. Appears to be a very high quality implementation of latest class D purifi module.
 

AaronJ

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It seems like your heart may be set on owning a Nelson Pass component and you’re trying to justify it. I have no doubt it will perform well but you will get the same performance out of the Purifi amp for far less outlay. If the Pass amp was a beautiful integrated with a truly sensational tactile feel I could possibly get behind the idea. Spend big bucks on the pieces you interact with: speakers, sources, preamp, etc. and don't spend a lot of money on solved technology.
 

kemmler3D

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He said to expect it would produce at least double wpc than what is indicated on paper, so 160wpc? I don’t know.
For peaks, this is plausible. Still, a heck of a lot of money for the power. Lots of people like tube sound, but unless you're sure that's what you want (and not just clean sound) it's a big commitment.
The Pass Labs amp is well known and loved by many.
Not to be a negative nancy, but to put it bluntly, there are a lot of products out there that are loved by many for no good reason. Long story short, good amps (and DACs) should not have any audible difference between them if they're not being overdriven. Class A, A/B, D, even tubes - it turns out it doesn't matter when you put them to a blind test.

You can find a lot of people who will swear they heard the differences. Somehow, they can never do it blindfolded, so to speak. There are also lots of people who swear they've seen bigfoot. We'll believe it when we see it.
The Apollon produces 375 wpc at 8 ohm. Appears to be a very high quality implementation of latest class D purifi module.

Nothing to add here.

The general rule of thumb here is to get a decent amp you like, with the power you need, but to try to put more budget towards speakers and less toward anything else, because that makes the biggest difference in what you hear. So from that point of view the Purifi-based amp would be the obvious choice.

The other amps aren't the WRONG choice, but you should have a clear reason to spend the extra $$, ("I like how it looks" is valid, no judgment here) since the odds you will hear a genuine difference between them is objectively quite low.

An amp should simply take an input voltage and multiply it. If it does anything else, that's considered bad. As such, they SHOULD all sound the same, unless something goes wrong. The audio world is full of hand-waving about the "character" of these things, but it turns out if you go looking for said character, it seems to have been a figment of someone's imagination, or it's caused by high distortion which is pretty straightforward to measure.
 

SIY

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He said to expect it would produce at least double wpc than what is indicated on paper, so 160wpc? I don’t know.
Neither does he. He may be a speaker guy (no idea if that's true) but he doesn't know anything about amps. 80W on a good day, going downhill, wind at your back, and you're lucky.
 

Doodski

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The Pass Labs amp is well known and loved by many.
We here at ASR generally do not follow known and loved as a means for decision making process.
The Quicksilver was recommended by a source very well known in the community and recently retired from speaker production, who I trust. He said to expect it would produce at least double wpc than what is indicated on paper, so 160wpc? I don’t know.
There are some very very expert tube peeps here at ASR that might comment on this expectation/claim. @SIY can you offer any comments about this doubling of the wattage from a KT MONO AMPLIFIER tube amp?
 

Mikig

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let's say that for 6k you can buy anything. Personally today, if I wanted to sell preamps, power amps, integrated amplifiers and players that I have to remain with just one component, I would look for a Musical Fidelity M6 500i integrated amplifier with 500 watts into 8 ohms.

I have an M3 that I use in sostitution of my pre and power, every now and then and I find it fantastic...with those 400 watts more it would be perfect!!!

I spotted a used one that was a few months old for 2200 euros….
 

SIY

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For peaks, this is plausible.
Only for any amp with 80W average power, whether solid state, tube, or whatever. It's a math question, not an amp question.

The only "sound" the amp will have is a slightly non-flat frequency response because of the speaker impedance interacting with the source impedance.
 

Chrispy

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I am a newbie reaching out for help, gathering information so to be confident I’ve made the best informed decision with this long term purchase. I love music and good sound.

The Quicksilver was recommended by a source very well known in the community and recently retired from speaker production, who I trust. He said to expect it would produce at least double wpc than what is indicated on paper, so 160wpc? I don’t know.

The Pass Labs amp is well known and loved by many.

The Apollon produces 375 wpc at 8 ohm. Appears to be a very high quality implementation of latest class D purifi module.

So he says it has "tube watts" or something? Not sure that's going to happen....why would they rate the amp so conservatively or it just has higher thd at higher output? Best way would be to see third-party testing.

Pass Labs is okay, but never did it for me at those prices. 500w power consumption at idle isn't appealing, tho.

I just saw a blurb about 1200w (but looked again, 2 ohm rating). The good power at various impedance loads is a good thing but there are other good performing Hypex/Purifi module amps too, and for less money. Can't see spending more on a power amp than the speakers in any case. I'd get a lesser amp and better speakers for the money....
 

SIY

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kemmler3D

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Somebody is bound to "go there" so I'll just do it... it may disturb, delight, or bemuse OP to hear that these monoblocks will deliver the same sound quality as anything in this thread and nearly as much power per channel as the Purifi unit. For less than $300 a pair. That doesn't mean it's dumb to spend more, but it is something to think about.

There are large swaths of the internet that don't want to believe anything in the audio world can be good, and cheap. But all the actual data we have says it apparently can. Turns out decades of progress in electronics engineering and manufacturing HAVE shown results. :)
 

Doodski

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Somebody is bound to "go there" so I'll just do it... it may disturb, delight, or bemuse OP to hear that these monoblocks will deliver the same sound quality as anything in this thread and nearly as much power per channel as the Purifi unit. For less than $300 a pair. That doesn't mean it's dumb to spend more, but it is something to think about.

There are large swaths of the internet that don't want to believe anything in the audio world can be good, and cheap. But all the actual data we have says it apparently can. Turns out decades of progress in electronics engineering and manufacturing HAVE shown results. :)
Wowzerz.... You like to open a can'O wurmz...LoL. :D
I'm not sure that the Fosi Audio V3 Mono Amplifiers would suffice for the Revel F208 speakers.
The impedance Z is on the line if run hard and the efficiency might be a little low for the Fosi Audio V3 Mono Amplifiers to keep up if cranked up with demanding source material.
Screenshot 2024-04-03 183346.png

Screenshot 2024-04-03 183407.png
 
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wscottdo

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(The speakers are bought and paid for and not changing any time soon, but perhaps in time. Switching speakers is not part of immediate plan.)

This is great information and I am grateful for your help. It looks like a consensus in favor of the Apollon for my application.

As an aside, my impression of the audio world is there often exists a “battle between heart and mind”.
(A reference to Hemispheres, for those Rush fans)
Objective vs Subjective. Measured vs heard/felt?

Being a doc, I will err towards science and measurement to make this decision, but I also don’t want to completely discount subjective opinion and experience. That’s why I’m here and asking.

Thank you for your helpful thoughts noted above :)

In the end, the best choice should provide accurate reproduction of live acoustic instruments and one that adheres most closely to the artists original intentions with the recording.
 
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