Aegir upgrade to Pass...maybe

I have had a Schiit Aegir for about a year now. I drive quite efficient Crites loudspeakers. I am thinking of getting an amp with a little more power. The following are my leanings.
Pass LabsXA25
Pass Labs XA30.8
Benchmark AHB2
I think the XA25 will be a good choice but wondered about the XA30.8. Somewhere I read that the XA25 actually sounds better than the 30.8. The 30.8 is monstrous at 94 lbs.

Also, I see high ratings for Benchmark. Does this sound like Class A, A/B or D? The reviews say really detailed and accurate but it is definitely different than the Schiit or Pass Amps. Plenty of power for my system for sure.

Thanks for your opinions and suggestions in advance.
crites are ultra efficient horn loaded speakers - you do not mention your musical tastes

20 wpc aegir should be plenty, unless you listen at spectacularly loud volumes or have a huge room

i think going for more powerful ss amps is barking up the wrong tree - but maybe you are a headbanger hard rock electronica kinda listener

if it were me running those speakers i would be looking at the sweeter even purer more realistic sound of single ended tubes
I am hoping to keep this purchase at about $4000 or less.

I listen to all kinds of music.  I do turn up the electronic music.  Otherwise I listen to music at what I believe is the volume you would hear if the person or band was playing in front of you. 

I guess my main driver for change would would be that the Pass Labs, etc would just have better build quality and sound.  My Aegir is no slouch with great cost to performance and a 5 yr warranty. 

Back in the day, there was a Luxman dealer about 2 miles from here for example.  Now we have one dealer. 

I don't really want to mess with tubes unless I end up with 2 amps to swap around for fun. 

I think Luxman would be a top choice but am not familiar with their model numbers.  A Luxman purchase would have to be used I think and would only need a power amp.  I would buy the 900U in a heartbeat if I had the cash.

Valvet is on the home page here and I read about it briefly.  Interesting.

Pass Labs just seems to be a really reliable brand with several dealers. 

Sugden sounds like a great brand but I could only find one dealer in the US??
Thank you for suggestions folks.

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Reno HiFi..yes. Especially since I went to a Pass dealer and they didn’t stock them. I am under the impression the XA25 and Aegir would sound similar. The XA25 has 25W Class A with about 80W available. The Aegir has 10W Class A and weighs about half as much. I would not be afraid of used at all.  I am old school; I am used to amps you can hardly pick up.  
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Reno Hi-Fi has demo XA25 for $3895-but not always.  Full factory warranty of those!  

I owned 2 Aegirs as the first one was faulty and was replaced. The second one had the same issue (although not as pronounced as the first) of shutting itself off when pushed a little (and not so 99db speakers get loud fast with little wattage). When I replaced the Aegir with my Dennis Had tube amp all was well again, and the Had amp sounds so much better I sent the Aegir back. I've heard the XA25 in a friend's system but not in mine, and it sounded amazingly good...I might try one some day but my little single ended tube amp is so good there's simply no hurry.
I have heard very good things about Dennis Had amps, especially for the money!  The only tube amps I am familiar with are MacIntosh,  The few stores I have been to were pushing tube equipment.  I have been tempted to try a tube amp but haven't....

I retired last year and planned on visiting audio stores but you know the rest of the story. I consider myself lucky to have advise and the internet.  I have been a full time student the last year!!

@ daledeee1, Maybe buy another Aegir and run mono blocks. I run two on my jbl 4435 monitors sounds great, plenty of power. The pass labsXA25 is a great amp. But two Aegir is far less money. If have the money, go for the pass XA25. You will love it.
BTW,  The XA25 is the closes to a tube amp you will find. IMO :-)
Note that Dennis Had sells new amps on eBay only (except some "Dragon Inspire" stuff over at Moon Audio), and as with any lower powered single ended amp you should use efficient speakers. My "Firebottle HO" is the best sounding amp I've heard in many decades of this stuff.
I would go with the Pass XA25. It will definitely be an upgrade on the Aegir. I'm looking at getting one myself! Or the INT-25, which is basically an XA25 with a preamp.
I ordered a Pass Labs XA25 from Reno HiFi.  I got an open box item at a very good price.  Shipped same day!  I will get it Friday.  I was instructed to leave it on 5 days to break it in.  This should be a great match and upgrade!

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I received my XA 25 last Friday.  It is twice as big and twice as heavy as the Aegir. The amp came in a large single box surrounded by expanded foam.  The amp is heavy at 45 lbs vs 22 for the Aegir.  The XA25 is rated at 25W but will put out 80W if needed.  The Aegir is rated at 20W and will put out 28W if needed(per Stereophile bench test.  I have subs so the main amp is driving my Crites Cornscala from 100 Hz on up. 

As the XA25 warmed up I would say it never gets above 120F.  The Aegir also runs warm.  The XA25 will pull 240W just sitting there without music.  The Aegir has a standby switch and a light that stays on.  The Pass powers on immediately without a relay clicking.  It is fused and I don't believe the Aegir has a fuse. 

I am using ribbon speaker cables with spades on each end.  The speaker connections for the Aegir were good and could not be over tightened.  The XA25 has Furatech connectors which I was able to insert the spades through the bottom.  It holds the cables quite securely. 

I started listening  I immediately noticed better vocals.  They just sounded smooth.  This and the percussion instruments simply sound right.  Brushed cymbals, background percussion played softly are easily audible and very easy to listen to.  Midrange in general is improved.  I found myself listening for longer times without fatigue.  I must admit it is quite easy to play at loud volumes with my speakers.  I was told they are "around 100 dB efficient".  If I turned up the Aegir too loud it would go to protection.  Try as I might I don't think I could even get the Pass to sound stressed.  I had to cry uncle and turn it down.  My typical listening levels are 85-95 dB.  

I believe the soundstage is equal to the Aegir but even more fine detail.  Bear in mind the Aegir was good at this as well.  If listening to electronic music sounds can start at one channel and go all the way across the sound stage without gaps.  I listened to every kind of music I could think of and some good and badly produced albums.  With each amp it is easy to find mistakes in production but the XA25 kind of smoothed things over.  

So in conclusion, the Aegir is a fine amp.  The XA25 lists for 6X as much.  Is it 6X better?  We all know that doesn't equate, but it is worth the money.  The Crites speakers may seem forward to some with a slightly hot tweeter.  The XA25 is a perfect match.   

PS.  Forgive me since review writing is not my profession.  


synergy is indeed the magic fairy dust for all good hifi systems...

happy you found it
I had a similar experience when upgrading to a Pass Labs XA30.8 from a Bryston power amp...
The problem with the crites cornscala isn't the tweeter but the mid. It is too hot and needs to be bumped down a little in level. A pair of ALK xovers do the trick.

I'm always kind of puzzled at these kinds of comparisons.  Comparing amps that differ so wildly in price is really useless, for the most part. 

A person with $800 to spend will not find anything better than the Aegir, sound quality wise(probably even up to $2000), although pairing to a difficult load may be its achilles heel.(Their other products perform the same, double the price to find their equal in the retail marketplace)

Someone who has 7 times that budget, or $4900(which appears to be the Pass XA25 retail) will get compromised results by stooping to the Aegir, and typically people with that kind of money do not accept a neutered result. 

So there would be no surprises to compare the two amps side by side.  OF COURSE the Pass will supersede the Aegir.  We don't need a comparison to tell us that.

The attraction to the Aegir is how much over the top bang for buck you get for 799.  I've only got the Vidar, and I'm seriously impressed with how easily it bests my other amps. The Aegir is even better than that, and it was Schiit Audio's first amp product to make Stereophile's recommended list, and mediocre products do not make the list.

But if you've got the budget, Pass Labs is in another league.  Nobody wants to play in the minor leagues if they don't have to.  Well, almost nobody.
I noticed somebody else had the "shut off" issue with the Aegir which alleviated my worries that it was maybe my subs connected to the speaker outputs being an issue, although it's never been an issue with other amps. The subs (RELs) load very high impedance (100,000 ohms or maybe 50,000 as I use two) onto the amp which should have virtually zero effect on the thing. An amp that kicks in a protection circuit with 99db speakers is useless to me as it would seem to be putting out maybe 10 watts when playing very loud (louder than I need or seem to ever use), and would appear to have overprotective protection. I had high hopes for the Aegir, but now simply assume the Pass XA25 is down the road...maybe...
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made in usa quality!!! lol!!!

mike moffatt may be a genius component designer but he could use some good old fashioned manufacturing quality control...

They had issues with the protection circuit and firmware.   As far as build quality goes, they put a 5 yr warranty on it.  That is higher than many.
Not one, but 2 Aegir amps, eh?  Not one, but 3 different RCA cables, huh?  That story has many missing details which is too bad, it would have been helpful to have simple measurements of the clearance and the left and right RCA inputs, for example.  Or how the one amp got hot when it couldn't accept a signal from the RCA inputs.

Failures in quality control do happen, and every brand has such issues.  I will say that I've owned over 15 Schiit components, and I've only had one minor issue with one.  I currently have 9 and every one performs as designed.  
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Thanks for your response.  When I referred to clearance, my wording got a little clumsy.  I meant the clearance or space around each RCA jack.  I’m thinking your cables have really big rca connectors, but I don’t understand the problem, I guess.

When you say you were “unable to install” the left jack, what was it that prevented it from being inserted in/onto the amp rca jack?
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