Pass the Amp

CES is three weeks away, and my inbox is already filling up with new-product announcements. Among them is the X260.5, a new monoblock power amp from Pass Labs.

As you might surmise from the model number, the X260.5 offers 260W maximum power into 8Ω with a frequency response that's down by 3dB at 1Hz and 100kHz. Pass Labs' Super Symmetry topology, developed by founder Nelson Pass over 19 years, has been further refined in the X260.5, lowering distortion by precisely matching the characteristics of both halves of its balanced operation. Although it's technically a Class AB design, the X260.5 functions as Class A through much of its power range. Additional claimed benefits of this amp include a wide dynamic range and high current output.

The X260.5 is available from authorized Pass dealers for $11,000/pair—not bad for a high-performance amp. I look forward to hearing it at CES next month.