There is no such thing.
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The Conrad Johnson MF 2500A (IMO) comes about as close to tube as you are going to get with a ss amp. I hear CJ has some new premiere ss amps coming out soon, if not already available, not sure how they will compare to tube. I have heard that Pass Labs X series comes close as well. However;I am in agreement with Stownel on this one.
Before throwing the 5's out the window, how about calling up Pass Labs and asking them if there is anything that they can do to increase bass attack ? While i will guarantee that there are mods that can be done, i don't know how willing they would be to do them. After all, you'r basically happy with the amp and power output, you just need greater bottom end impact.
If that is a no-go situation, the X series from Pass Labs has far greater bass impact than his previous efforts but the treble sounds quite a bit different to me than the Aleph's. I can't really describe what the differences are or what i'm hearing, but i would suggest checking into these amps if you basically like the Aleph's but want more oomph. They do sound different but retain the delicacy, air and detail that Nelson is famous for. Sean
First of all, I'm a genuine fan of the Pass Alephs. I love their midrange, but as John notes, they don't really have that bottom-end slam thing. I've found a solid state amp that does both, and I became a dealer for it. This amp is the Warner Imaging ER-300MSE, reviewed at SoundStage in October 2000.
Another very nice amplifier line you might consider is Clayton Audio. Yeah, I sell that line, too. I really like powerful, somewhat warm solid state amps with really good midrange, because that's what sounds good on the rather demanding speakers I sell.
Best wishes on your quest.
I also run a Pass Aleph P & am using an Ayre V-3 with VR4 Gen III's. I also ran an Aleph 5 before the V-3 & the only reason I sold it was because it didn't sound right when playing rock. I didn't have the VR's at that time so it's hard to make a comparison.
The Ayre/VR combination is great. Tremendous bass & I can crank it if I want to. Pretty impressive for an amp rated at 100, but we all know that ratings are a basic guideline & not a true reflection of a particular pieces ability.
Another possibility is that the room is giving you problems or even the speakers themselves.
As for low level listening, again I have no complaints. In fact it seems like the very first click on my "P" is so loud it will wake the house during the wee hours. I did have the power supply rebuilt & the transformer upgraded on the P so that may be a factor too.
Only suggestion I can make is just change one thing at a time & listen to them for a while before the next one. I made the mistake of changing too many things at one time several years ago & it made comparisons invalid.
Thanks for all of your inputs. My next immediate plan is to try adding a small, fast subwoofer to the system. I may also try to borrow a big amp from someone. The avanti's are the fastest speaker's I've heard, and go down clean to 30 hz. It's really tough to fit a subwoofer into a system like this. I have to wonder if adding a stronger amp will get me the bass that I want. I know that putting a 375w/4ohm mccormack on my virgo's completely changed their bass output. I tried a larger 12" sub, but it was much to slow for the ap's. Ap's sub costs 6 grand retail....
The low level detail and speed of this system is something to wonder at. It's about the only system I've heard that gets the actual pace of music right. I don't want to give that up. It really does remind me of a set tube amp but with higher resolution.
The Alephs don't have a high damping factor and will never deliver the slam of a big Krell or Bryston. Unfortuantely, I don't know of any amp with a big bass sound that matches the overall quality of the Alephs. They are truly great amplifiers. Adding a really good subwoofer (REL or AP) will help, but I'm not sure it will completely satisfy you. Alternatively, if you have a means of matching amp gain, you might try passive bi-amping the Avantis.
I listened to a pair of AP hooked to a Cary amp and fell in love with the sound of the AP's. I would hate to give that sound up too. It was also a little weak on the bass though. I have a V-3 that I have been dying to bring over to the AP dealer to see what it does. It certainly brings out the bass on my Magnepans with great surprise. If I do it in a relatively short time from now I will let you know what the differences are.
I've actually tried the wolcott 220Ms with my old magnepans. By a big ol mile the best amp I've heard with magnepans. I didn't try them with a dynamic speaker, but my friend who loaned these to me said they didn't really do it for his wilson's. I'm interested in experimenting with new solid state amps for now. Been through a couple tube amps in the last year.
onhwy61, I completely agree. I've really never heard anything like the pass labs amps for their low level detail. The closest thing sonically is my 10 watt SET tube amp. The clarity and presence are even more pronounced with the modified scd-1. Because of their bass slam, I am probably not going to try an aleph 1.2. I would guess they are not going to give me the low end I'm looking for. Also, I don't think I want new heaters with twice the output of my current ones !
What interests me about the Ayre amp is that it too has only 2 gain stages. The k1x pre is also reputed to have one of the best phono stages anywhere.
Has anyone out there tried the Edge NL10 amp monster amp ?
I had an Ayre V-3 for 4 years and replaced it with - IMHO - the best valued amp around.......a David Berning ZH-270.
At the same cost as an Ayre, and at only 70 watts and 10 lbs, the Berning plays louder, has MUCH better bass and delivers music like I always envisioned.
Forget "Tubelike solid state"......get a tube amp with bass and balls.
try the aleph 1.2--sweet midrange and trebble, imaging to die for and good ,not great bass thru my b&w 802's. power cords make a world of difference. i was spoiled by the bass of my old krell with these speakers[aleph's just don't have that tight slam like krell]. i enjoy rockn' roll, acoustic jazz and r&b with these speakers and the aleph's.
the aleph's are tops w/ acoustic music, human voices, chamber music and large scale classical and opera! a very good compromise for my taste. used alephs are priced right. i have not tried the ayre items. i can't listen to the krell, except for that super bass slam, nothing else particularlly work very well. BOB-my opinions on my system.
I've run tube amps and a Pass Labs X-150 on my Apogee ribbon speakers. The only difference I hear between the tube amp sound and the X-150 is the X-150 totally pulls the music away from the speakers. It provides the ultimate in transparency. I have heard a lot of Apogees being run on tubes and solid state including Conrad Johnson, Classe, Sonic Frontiers, Krell, Aragon, Acurus, Levinson, and Jadis. The only solid state I would settle for over tubes is Pass Labs.
I've been listening to a couple high end ss amps this weekend- the rowland 8tihc, and the edge nl10 (not in a high enough resolution system). I have to admit that the solid state amps in the big leagues are very nice to listen to. They don't sound like tube amps, but they aren't harsh sounding or annoying by any stretch of the imagination. The rowland seemed to get the instrument tex and harmonics very well. There's a weight to a monster ss amp that I don't get from a tube amp.
We put a tube dac (cal 24/96) and an audiomecca transport in front of some piega p40's. Outstanding, excellent excellent sound. Main characteristic being that it was very easy to listen to yet high resolution.
One of the problems with lots of high end ss systems is that you listen and initially you are impressed. You yak about how great it is and all. Two hours later, you quietly admit that there's really something vaguely annoying about this system. You quickly put this out of your mind because it's so expensive, yet it's still there. I didn't get that with the rowland setup at all. It was notably 'relaxing' to listen to. Very refined. Almost an 'elegant' sound to it.
I just ordered an ayre v-1x, so I will likely get that in the next week or so. Details to come !