Pass Labs INT-250 Integrated Amplifier Review

April 7, 2020 § Leave a comment

https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2020/02/09/pass-labs-int-250-integrated-amplifier-review/

Beyond that, the pairing of the M3 and the INT-250 was something of a head-scratcher. It’s not that they sounded bad together by any stretch, but I wasn’t wowed by the combination, either. As notoriously difficult as it is to put these sonic perceptions into words, I’d say that the combination initially sounded a bit “flat,” both in terms of spatial presentation and also a certain paucity of tonal richness. I missed the musical magic dished out by the combination of the M3’s and my reference Vinnie Rossi LIO integrated. Given Pass Labs’ impeccable reputation for producing killer amplifiers, something, I thought, must be awry in my rig. What now?

This led to considerable theorizing. Perhaps what I was (or wasn’t) hearing was a lack of speaker/amplifier synergy. Using a behemoth amp like the INT-250 to drive the 95-dB efficient Spatial M3 Turbo S speakers in a medium-sized room (in a semi-nearfield seating arrangement, no less) might be a case of overkill, like cramming a Ferrari engine into a Mini Cooper. Then again, the impedance curve of the 4 Ohm Spatial M3 Turbo S is far from flat, so I’d expect the INT-250 to tame it with ease. But maybe, maybe another speaker would be more to the Pass amp’s liking? More on that in a moment.”

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