Why an Aleph P of course ...
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No clear agreement on these things. Amplifier input impedence on the Alephs is around 11Kohms I think. Rule of thumb is to have this value be greater than or equal to 10 times the output impedence value of the pre-amp, though some people say you want a lot more than 10x. Many SS preamps have output impedences below 100 ohms, but some tube pre-amps are closer to 2K ohms.
A mismatch is not the end of the world: you may lose a little bass and some other things, but it's not always a non-starter. Just be mindful of it.
Hopefully someone smarter and more technical than I will weigh in. If you do a search in the forums for "impedence" or "mismatch," you will find more info.
Drubin is correct about the input impedance issues with Aleph amps.
I borrowed an Aleph 3 from Viggen for a few weeks and loved its sound but the 23K ohm single ended only input impedance resulted in some bass loss and dynamic constriction when mated to my Blue Circle BC21. Gorgeous guitars though!
The Aleph 30 added balanced inputs and raised the input impedance to 47K ohm in hopes of addressing this issue. I believe some of the other Alephs were as low as 10K ohms.
Most of the problems I've heard of with the Alephs had to do with passive preamps and to a lesser degree tube preamps, but solid state preamps should have an easier time mating to the Alephs.
It seems many people try to stay in the 10-100 times range when matching a preamp's output impedance to an amp's input impedance.
I just thought of something. Is there a reason why you're not considering a Rogue or Cary amp? Is it the price of these amps or the thought of having a whole gang of tubes to deal with? If so, I can definitely appreciate that, and that's the reason why I've only used solid state amps with my Blue Circle tube preamp. I've tried the Aleph 3, Blue Circle BC22 and BAT VK200 all with varying success.
Gunbei: You have hit right on it. I would probably like a tube power amp like a cary or a rogue, but, with that I have read about the Aleph, it seems that you can get a lot of the same thing with a little less up front and a lot less in the long-run. Anyway, the Rogue 66 pre has an output impedence of 650 Ohms. How does that sound?
I have been using ss integrated amps for the last few years, and I have decided to try tubes. I figured that the easiest way to do it might be the ol' ss power/tube pre method.
Also, I'm kinda drawn to quirky designs, so the Aleph looks attractive. I think that it's great that Mr. Pass had the temerity to build a low power ss amp in the age of mega-watt boat anchors. I like products with passionate attitudes behind them. Of course, I realize that the Pass X series amps are awesome, but you gotta pay really, really big bucks for those! Anyway, I greatly appreciate your very helpful comments.
I had an Aleph 5 for a few months (60 watt version of the Aleph 3). Closest to tubes I've heard SS come, and a damn nice amp in its own right. I was pairing it off with a ARC LS2B (tube hybrid...sorry, don't recall the output impedence, but mine has been modified by Great Northern Sound). That combination was wonderful through both Silverline SR17's (89db) as well as Klipsch Heresys(94db). With the Silverlines in a listening room I was wanting for more punch than the Aleph 5 had to offer. Suprisingly I'm now listening to Quicksilver Mini-Mites in the same room on the same system (with the Heresys) and find them to have more punch and headroom than the Aleph 5 seemed to at just under half the power (25wpc)!?!? I don't get that. I think the Alephs are not known to be bass-heavy, but then I'm no bass freak either...the mids are where it's at for me, and they were there in spades with the Aleph, wide, deep and well defined and very musical! Ultimately I prefer tubes, but if I had to stick with an SS, the Aleph is one of the best I've heard.
Crazy4blues, I've never owned a tube amp, but considering the three amps I've tried recently it seems we have similar goals. The Aleph, Blue Circle and BAT I feel are much closer to what I was looking for than the other solid state amps I've tried. Although many would say that the only amps that sound like tubes ARE tube amps. And yes, the Aleph 3 is pretty damn cool looking.
All: Thanks for your responses. If I decide on an Aleph 30, I might go with a VTL 2.5. (Anybody got one with a phono stage?) It has a low impedance output of 200 ohms. The Rogue 66 (Magnum), while similarly priced, has an output of a whopping 650 ohms. VTL says that their preamp is actually designed to work well with ss amps (as low as 42 ohms); the Aleph 30, of course, is rated at 47 ohms on the single-ended inputs, while the blanced inputs are rated at 52 ohms. These numbers put you well within the 10/100 range . . . Wow, I'm starting to feel like a real audionerd! But don't worry--I don't plan on subscribing to Stereophile mag anytime soon!
i've founnd that a3cr pre has good sonic synergy with the aleph 30, good staging, detail and timbre.
Classe 47.5 and linar were a little more richer in sonic voice , however i found a3cr was a more balanced tonal combination as classe emphasised too much bottom end for my liking and linar had a bright edge with aleph.
And the best matchup of all is the mm de capo i's which sing beautifully with the aleph.