I think that this Pass Labs Int-60 and Int-250 battle we have happening today is pretty awesome. The Pass Labs Int-250 is one of the most impressive amps that I have ever played around with. However, thanks to my friend’s store, I was able to have a look at the Pass Labs Int-60 so I thought I would see how it matches up against its more expensive big brother and try to figure out if that extra few thousand bucks is worth it. As I write this it is summer and it is hot and it got me thinking that this match up today is as epic as the main even from SummerSlam 1992 when Bret Hart took on the British Bulldog!
Make no mistake about it, the price category in our Pass Labs Int-60 and Int-250 showdown is going to be a real eye opener! These are very expensive, so expensive that these are not for your average joe. I have a massive vinyl and CD collection, not to mention multiple record players, hi-fis, and all that is in between. However, not even I would be able to spend the kind of money we are looking at here today! Still, it is sure as hell fun to talk about!
Pass Labs Int-60:
Hey, at least I can say that the Pass Labs Int-60 is cheaper than the Int-250… however, it is still very expensive. It reminds me of when the PlayStation VR came out and people were all like “it is the cheapest one available” yeah, it technically was “cheaper”, but it was the cheapest out of a bunch of very expensive things. Anyway, back on topic, you are looking at about $9,000 for this thing! That is a lot of money, but it is around 3 grand cheaper than the 205! I did have a look on eBay, but as of me writing this, there were none available on there.
Pass Labs Int-250:
It costs 12 grand! Look, I thought I would rip the band-aid off right away and let you know that the Pass Labs Int-250 is on every expensive piece of tech. This thing is just insane with its pricing, gut as this is Pass Labs and it is one of their flagship/premium products the price to be fair is not out of line in regards to what you are getting. These guys know what they are doing so while it is very expensive, I would not say that it is overpriced. This is the second (or perhaps third) time I have written about this and there is still not one of these on eBay.
The Verdict: I have to give this round to the Pass Labs Int-60. I know that when you break it down you could argue that you are getting more bang for your buck with the Pass Labs Int-250 (although not sure I would personally agree with that) however, there is no way that I could ignore the three thousand bucks price difference between these two. The way my mind works is that I just think of all the extra things I could buy or do with that three grand!
Pass Labs really do make awesome looking tech and that is why the design is one of the categories I have been most excited to write about in this Pass Labs Int-60 and Int-250 battle. These at first glance look very similar and Pass Labs do have a certain style that they like, but there are key differences and that is what I am going to be looking at here.
Pass Labs Int-60: The Pass Labs Int-60 has a very similar style to its bigger brother. If you want a quick look at this thing check out this very short (it is like only three minutes long) Unboxing Pass Labs Int60- Style Sound video.
The Pass Labs Int-60 is pretty damn big, it is very comparable to the 205 as the dimensions of this are 19 x 7.6 x 21.2 inches. It is a bit lighter though as this comes in at around 90 pounds, which is over ten pounds lighter. Still, you will need a decent sized entertainment center to house this thing. When it comes to audio equipment, I usually prefer black, but the silver they have gone for here is perfect for the design of this amp. In the middle, you have a very cool dial that when it is backlit really does pop. On one side of this, you have a dial to control the volume. On the other side is a small display to keep you informed of your input selection which you can make with the four buttons below it. The sides have that same car engine kind of vibe that I love about the 250.
Apart from being a bit more “compact” due to the couple of inches less in length. The Pass Labs Int-60 looks near identical on the back. You have the exact same ports (four) that you find on the more expensive one. I think that Pass Labs have designed this very well and I am glad that they did not cut back on the four ports that the more expensive one has. Pass Labs also gives you this amazing remote control with this thing. It is the kind of remote control that is just fun to hold as it feels great thanks to the high-quality build of it. However, it does also give you all the control you will ever need over the amp.
Pass Labs Int-205: How can you not love the design of the Pass Labs Int-250? I get a huge kick out of the overall design that this amp has, it has a rather retro style to it that I think is cool. It has a kind of 70s vibe to it and that is something I think is really neat. What you cannot really appreciate from the photos is the scale of this thing, it comes in at 19” x 21.25” x 9.1” so you will need to do some measuring to ensure that you have the real estate to house this monster. The front of the Pass Labs Int-205 is very cool. I like the way that the dial is in the middle and it is circular, last time I spoke about this I said it was like something NASA would have in the 70s, but now I am thinking it looks more like something from Hawkins Lab in Stranger Things! To one side of the dial, we have our volume dial. On the other we have a small display; under this, we have our input selection buttons. The sides of the amp have a very cool, almost engine look about them which I think is pretty badass.
As we head around to the back, let me tell you this baby got back… yeah, I apologize for that reference! Anyway, you have four-pre-amp inputs on the back which I feel is more than enough for most people. These are all analog though so that is something you do have to consider. I like how they have made the back as clean as possible; things are easily identifiable thanks to being labeled. One thing that not enough people talk about when it comes to the Pass Labs Int-250 is the awesome remote control that they give you. It is a very well-designed remote that gives you complete control over the amp and it also fits in with the style of the amp too.
The Verdict: It is kind of hard to pick a winner here as they look so similar. However, I am going to give this round to the Pass Labs Int-250. I know it is just a couple of inches, but the larger size appeals more to me (size does matter) I think that I prefer the way things are spaced out just a tad more with the 250. Yet, I do have to say there was pretty much nothing in this. If I rated the 250 at a 10/10 then the Pass Labs Int-60 would have to be a 9.8/10. It really is that close!
If you have the money to buy any one of these that you want then this is the most important category in this Pass Labs Int-60 and Int-250 contest. If you know anything about amps you know that Pass Labs here make some of the most highly regarded amps on the market right now. It is a huge reason why they come with the price tag that they do!
Pass Labs Int-60: The Pass Labs Int-60 had a bit of a tough time with me. In an ideal world, I would have had the chance to play around with this before I did the Pass Labs Int-250, but that was not the case. This meant I was going from the higher-end model to the not quite as high-end model and I 100 percent noticed a difference. Do not get me wrong, I was still rocking out while I was listening to Guns n Roses: Greatest Hits. However, as great as it sounded, there was not quite as much raw power here as when I listened to the same album with the same turntable, and speakers, but connected to the Pass Labs Int-250. To be fair, this is like 3 grand cheaper so that is to be expected. However, that brings me to an important point to make.
That point is value for money. While the 205 sounds better in every way. Is it 3 grand better? I would have to be honest and say that for me I would have to say now. I had a great time listening to some of my favorite records such as Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden and Contraband by Velvet Revolver. Hell, if the 205 had not come my way first, I would probably have said it was the clearest and most badass I had heard these records. The Pass Labs Int-60 rocks, it has a nice and clear sound and it packs a hell of a punch. I do not see anyone being disappointed if they are adding this amp to their setup.
Pass Labs Int-205: The first time I had the pleasure to check out the Pass Labs Int-250, I was impressed right from the start. This thing truly is incredible and if you love live music like I do, you will feel like you are at the concert. My wife got me this INXS LIVE BABY LIVE record a couple of years back and I listened to it with the help of the Int-205 and it was truly an amazing experience. It is hard to explain, but everything sounds just so real and it makes you feel like you are there. I hand on heart could have a day off and if I had this thing to play around with, I would spend the whole day listening to some of my favorite live albums. This truly is a next-level kind of amp and while I am more than happy with the different amps I have in my house; I will tell you right now there is a huge difference between this and an amp that you are spending like one to two hundred bucks on.
I do want to take a moment to suggest that you check out this Pass labs INT 250 INTEGRATED video to get a better idea of why so many people rate the sound of this thing so highly.
For me, Cross Roads by Bon Jovi is still one of the best greatest hits albums ever released. It is an album that I know inside and out and this is the best I have ever heard it. It kind of pains me to say that as I know I have to send the Pass Labs Int-250 back! My wife is a huge Madonna fan and she listened to Rebel Heart Tour with this and even she who is not usually into tinkering with things to test the sound was blown away by this. Unfortunately, I only had the pleasure to play around with this for a few days, but I made sure to test out as many of my favorite albums as I could in that time. The thing is, this just gives you records such a real, powerful, and raw sound that you will be nodding your head along, no matter what you are listening to.
The Verdict: While I am very impressed with the Pass Labs Int-60 and would be more than happy if I won the lottery and was able to buy one for myself. I have to be real and say that side by side, the Pass Labs Int-250 produces a better, fuller, and more powerful sound. The Int-60 is still head and shoulders above many other amplifiers that are on the market right now, but in this contest, it clearly comes in second place.
Which Is The Better Amplifier?
So, we come to the end of this epic Pass Labs Int-60 and Int-250 showdown and I have to pick a winner. Both the Pass Labs Int-60 and the Pass Labs Int-250 are amazing amplifiers and you could not go wrong with either one of them. Heck, at the moment I have this Sony STRDH190 connected to my main turntable and I love it. However, both of these Pass Labs amps blow my beloved Sony out of the water. Look, the Pass Labs Int-250 is the clear winner here, it has a better sound all around. However, I have to say that I am not sold on it being 3 grand better and if I could afford both of these, as I said before, I would probably go with the Pass Labs Int-60! Just imagine the record player, speakers, and more that you could get with that 3 grand you are saving!