Pass Aleph 5 vs. Pass XA 30.5 / 60.5

Hi! Currently, means for the past 15 yrs, I own a Pass Aleph 5 to my great sonic pleasure. Would it be a wise idea to trade it in for a pass xa 30.5 or a pair of xa 60.5? I´d be glad to get a comment!
Yes. I have owned the Aleph 3, 5, 2, XA 160, XA100.5 and now the XA160.5. The Aleph 2 was substantially better than the Aleph 5 and the XA.5 series is a whole different level. I have not owned the 30.5 or 60.5, but I heard the 30.5 with my speakers before I bought them. They did not have enough power to drive them properly.

I owned the 100.5 at the time and it is superb. I imagine that the 60.5 is close and would be fine if your speakers are efficient and the room is not too large. The mono blocks in both lines are better than the stereo versions. The biggest improvement is in the control of lower frequencies, but there is also a real sense of ease. They are much quieter than the Alephs with less distortion. Timbre is excellent. I go into more detail in my review of the XA100.5 which you can access by clicking next to my signature.
I also owned the Aleph 5 for more than 15 years driving a pair of Proac Response 2s. Two years ago I traded up for a XA30.5 that I now used on a pair of Druids. I wouldn't say the 30.5 is necessarily better than the Aleph 5. Just different. The XA30.5, even though its rated at less power, seems more powerful. It swings to the yang side of the spectrum with a more detailed and neutral presentation. There is excellent extension and good control at the extremes. OTOH, I found the Aleph had a more mellow and relaxed presentation that was easier to get involved in. I especially missed its sweet top end.

If you really like the sound of the Aleph then I'd also consider the First Watt amps since they seem to represent a further refinement of the yin side of music reproduction.
I still have my Aleph Os in my secondary system. I moved it to my primary system for a few weeks to try out these bookshelf speakers. As good as the Aleph was in those days, the X- and the XA- series are just in a different league all together.

The mellowness and the relax presentation that Hew indicated was the characteristics that my wife fell in love with and she "mandated" that I would not be allowed to sell that amp. But with the bookshelf speakers I was checking out in my new dedicated room, it sounded a bit veiled and sluggish when compared to the X350.5.


What preamp do you have?
The XA amps are truly balanced. The Aleph amps were not.
I think, 90% of all Aleph's are used with the wrong speakers. The Aleph Design
was never designed to drive the majority of speakers, it is sonically comparable
to a Single ended Design (--> balanced Design or not is irrelevant compared to
X, XA Design) and Speakers should be seen from that view.
Matched with a high sensitive speaker (past X-over!) the Alephs are even today
very hard to beat from sonic quality (speed, airy headroom, pace...). MUCH
better than the X or XA series.
It is a different chapter when Aleph is connected to a speaker which is a load for
them (lower sensitivity), here the newer Pass amps show their advantages. In all
those discussions the speaker loading is crucial.
When I used a 99dB Speaker with stable 8Ω and I made my comparisons
with X, XA I never was able to listen to these more than 20min, dead, cold,
clinical, not natural... (like the products from other manufacturers, too), far
away from a lively sonic presentation. Aleph connected to a Speaker from
Burmester, Magico, Thiel ...are disappointing compared to amps which were
designed for these loads. All their merits are gone then...With those Speakers
the newer Pass Designs are better.
When you want to keep the audiophile life as simple as possible, think about
Amplifier AND Speaker as one - matching - unit. The Alephs are even today a
sonic milestone compared to the rest of the world, but only with the matching
Speaker Design.
And if you add a decent SW to the Alephs, OH MY!
Thanks to all of you for your valuable comments and suggestions. I own the Pass x 0.2 preamp and speakers are 91 db- audio physics caldera ( three cabinet- first version). My room is 15" x 12" x 7.5" at present and in a year will be 23.5 x 12 x 12. For now I will keep the aleph, although I agree on the lack of control in the low frequencies. I am still fascinated by the ease of that musical flow the aleph delivers, but will give the xa 60.5 a serious in-deep listening. To edwyun: what do you mean by SW?
I'm pretty sure he means subwoofer. I had an aleph 5 years ago.What a beautiful sounding amp. The only drawback was its bass, it was a little loose.
I might be alone on this, but I didn't much care for the Alephs, finding them lacking in dynamics. The Pass X series amps were a huge improvement to me. YMMV.
I tried the Aleph0's with ML Quests, and it might have been a bad match or underpowered, but the results were interesting. When friends came to listen, they would say the Aleph sounded great, but then they would talk while the music was playing. That is, the system had lost its ability to captivate. I always thought a similar thing might happen in A/B tests where the mind arrives at one conclusion if it is tasked to judge, but arrive at another conclusion if the measurement is pleasure.
Reason for a subwoofer with the Alephs is to get greater control (taughtness) of the lower frequencies. Need a good crossover. The Alephs do sound very musical, but sometimes we (me included) want a bit tighter bass than generally what is heard live.
I've owned the Aleph 3 and 30 and XA 30.5. To my ears there is no comparison -- the 30.5 far outclassed both Alephs.