We have used these for many years for our demos at CES.They sound great and clearly much better than the Aragon which definitely sounds good itself. The Pass amps seem to combine a lot of the liquidy musical aspects of tubes with balls and of course are much more real world.
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One of the best amps I had, especially in the midrange. I had it paired with an Aleph P & it was magical on female vocals & jazz. It didn't work like I wanted it to on rock so I sold it, but for anything else it's hard to beat.
As far as the cicuit topology goes, check out this link:
This is the owner's manual which gives you a lot of info.
If you need to contact somebody at Pass, check this out:
Peter Perkins could help you with additional info.
The Aleph 5 is a wonderful amp, but it may not have enough power to fully drive your Sony speakers. I use the Sonys in my bedroom system and I consider them a very good speaker and one of the hidden treasures of high end audio, but they like power (100w and up). In a small to mid-sized room with the volume kept below 90dB, the Aleph/Sony combo could sound quite good.
I just order the Volksamp (Pass) Aleph 30 amplifer which is the updated version of the Aleph 5. The ergonomics are much nicer and there is supposedly some improvement in sound. The Aleph amps are of course no longer produced. You can buy the Volksamp new at discount from Audio Video Logic in Iowa. They purchased the remaining units from Pass earlier this year. I have not heard this amp yet but I am very intrigued based on numerous comments and the price was very good. Here's a glowing review of the Aleph 30 from Enjoy the music.com.
The Volksamp/Pass moniker can be confusing. The amp was always produced by Pass, but Volksamp purchased the rights to it when Pass stopped producing them under the Pass label. They were then labeled as Volksamp, but some people were still confused so they put the Pass label back on. Whichever one you get, they are all the same infamous Aleph amps. From the looks of the Aleph 5 I have no idea how you could even pick it up without doing some damage to your hands! My understanding is that the Aleph amps are hard to come by second hand.
They Pass Aleph amps are very transparent, detailed, built great, and they do a lot of things extremely well. They really are a great deal for the price...especially used. They are not an ideal amp for bass freaks, but they do have decent, balanced bass.
I agee with Driver. I didn't love my Aleph 3 for rock music or pop either. I ended up going in the tube direction because tube and hybrid amps sounded more musical/less clinical to my ears. YMMV.
My Aleph 30 is breaking in right now. My understanding is that this amp is the SS amp for tubophiles because of its musicality, but Phild what your saying is different. What hybrid amps have you liked? The Aleph 30 is a nice step up for me, even with it not being broken in yet. I can already tell. I was using a Mcintosh intregated amp. It had better bass. But I'm also using a passice preamp so that plays into the bass issue. The Aleph feels more "there" than the Mcintosh, as in more involved in the recording.
If bass is lacking chase a used pair of Aleph 2 monos (same size as a 5 stereo); I saw a pair around here somewhere for only $2700. Phew! I paid $3300 for mine used two years ago ($7800 new!). MUCH more bass: 100/160w 8/4ohms per channel.
Drive my 4 ohm Parsifal Encores to astonishing levels even in a very well-damped room! Their input impedenec is a bit higher han the 3/30/5/60 I believe, yet I use an Aleph P to maintain neutrality, punch, and absolute quiet. A GREAT sub-$5k proposition....