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Which Pass labs aleph amplifier sound best?


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I've been very interested in the Pass Labs Aleph amplifiers recently but not too sure which version sounds best?

 

Anyone got experiencea with the different generations?

 

Cheers

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Guest jakeyb77

Buy the Aleph 2 on eBay. Selling for about half what they are going for over seas.

Spectacular reviews about their sound. 
If you stopped buying all this stuff and just bought @Yamaha_man ‘s Krells two years ago you’d be relaxing right now 😉

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Like anything audio if you ask 20 people the same question you are likely to get 25 different answers.

I have built a Aleph J(25w), Aleph mini(10w) and an ACA(5w). I like all of them but to me the J is the best. I have an Aleph 5 half built but need more funds to finish.

 

The Pass Labs forum at the DIY Audio site makes for some interesting reading.

 

   https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/index.php

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  • 8 months later...
On 15/11/2019 at 2:56 PM, btd said:

Like anything audio if you ask 20 people the same question you are likely to get 25 different answers.

I have built a Aleph J(25w), Aleph mini(10w) and an ACA(5w). I like all of them but to me the J is the best. I have an Aleph 5 half built but need more funds to finish.

 

The Pass Labs forum at the DIY Audio site makes for some interesting reading.

 

   https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/index.php

How do you find the Aleph Mini? I'm assuming the wattage ratings are at 8 ohms?

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On 15/11/2019 at 3:56 PM, btd said:

Like anything audio if you ask 20 people the same question you are likely to get 25 different answers.

I have built a Aleph J(25w), Aleph mini(10w) and an ACA(5w). I like all of them but to me the J is the best. I have an Aleph 5 half built but need more funds to finish.

 

The Pass Labs forum at the DIY Audio site makes for some interesting reading.

 

   https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/index.php

 

'Bout time you built this recently-released design - the Alpha Nirvana:  :)

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid-state/344540-alpha-nirvana-39w-8ohm-class-amp.html

 

Regards,

Andy

 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...
On 27/07/2020 at 11:30 AM, MattyW said:

How do you find the Aleph Mini? I'm assuming the wattage ratings are at 8 ohms?

 

Sorry I did not answer sooner I have not been doing anything stereo for a year or two.

 

Just tried looking for my test results but cannot find them. I think it was 12 to 15 watts at 8 ohms.   

 

There are a few build threads on diyaudio. This I think is the main one.

 

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pass-labs/2001-mini.html

 

This schematic shows 18 volt but there is a 15 v version as well. 

 mini-a.gif.be3ea9d9d5d280d70ffd3c423a72d24d.gif

 

DSC04897.jpg.83d79d0d8fe41371680e91007a981e8d.jpg

 

The mini is basically an a30- a60 series with only two mosfits per side with lower voltage.

Nice little amp.

Tony

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9 hours ago, btd said:

 

Sorry I did not answer sooner I have not been doing anything stereo for a year or two.

 

Just tried looking for my test results but cannot find them. I think it was 12 to 15 watts at 8 ohms.   

 

There are a few build threads on diyaudio. This I think is the main one.

 

https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pass-labs/2001-mini.html

 

This schematic shows 18 volt but there is a 15 v version as well. 

 mini-a.gif.be3ea9d9d5d280d70ffd3c423a72d24d.gif

 

DSC04897.jpg.83d79d0d8fe41371680e91007a981e8d.jpg

 

The mini is basically an a30- a60 series with only two mosfits per side with lower voltage.

Nice little amp.

Tony

Beautiful build.  I'm loving the wood front and back. What timber did you use?

 

Mines a Breeze Audio amp made in China.  A mate in Melbourne is doing a full recap. Mundorf and Nichicon Muse electrolytics + 0.01 and 0.1uf silver mica caps. The front and top panels will be painted metallic black leaving the sides, back, power button and screws silver. It should look smart though will certainly lack the natural beauty of your amp. The recap should help sound too.

 

How do you find the overall sound of the amp? I've a 5WPC Chi-Fi Amp Camp Amp in use currently which sounds great.  I'm hoping a similar family sound, though with better detail perhaps. 

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On 23/01/2021 at 7:20 AM, MattyW said:

Beautiful build.  I'm loving the wood front and back. What timber did you use?

 

Mines a Breeze Audio amp made in China.  A mate in Melbourne is doing a full recap. Mundorf and Nichicon Muse electrolytics + 0.01 and 0.1uf silver mica caps. The front and top panels will be painted metallic black leaving the sides, back, power button and screws silver. It should look smart though will certainly lack the natural beauty of your amp. The recap should help sound too.

 

How do you find the overall sound of the amp? I've a 5WPC Chi-Fi Amp Camp Amp in use currently which sounds great.  I'm hoping a similar family sound, though with better detail perhaps. 

 

Thank`s for that. If the truth be told it looks better in the pic than real life. My wiring skills are not great.

 

As for the timber, I have know idea. I keep meaning to send a piece to me father to identify. (not much he has not come across as far as timber goes)

 

As far as sound goes, I am not good at describing. To me the mini has a fuller sound with more bass to it.

My ACA can sound a bit thin to me. One thing there my ACA is built from recycled parts and bits from Jaycar so might not be a good comparison the the originals with their better quality parts.

 

The ACA has a built in Pass B1 pre which I find can add to the brightness to it were as the mini uses a Pass BA3 front end for the pre. When I pull the ACA apart to change the face plate to match the other amps I am going to fit some jumpers so I can use different pre`s with it.    

 

I found my test results for the mini, 18 watts to 8 ohms, 12 watts to 4 ohms. My supply is 19 volts which is quite a bit up from the 15 that the early ones used.

 

106876004_DSC05868e.jpg.a730231004e3b2246bcaeb8982ad8179.jpg

 

Tony    

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That's a beautiful stack. I'm quite jealous  :)

 

I really do find those wood faceplates stunning. Which caps did you use in your Mini? I certainly wouldn't mind a bit more of a solid sound vs the ACA. A little more detail and insight would be nice too. 

 

Really though the ACA isn't far behind my previous Wavebourn Edelweiss-3 power amp despite being full of cheap Chinese caps. I expect the Aleph Mini will be significantly better due to use of better caps.

 

It will get Netotech 26AWG gold plated silver wire for the RCA's too, plus better quality RCA sockets. The 10WPC output of my unit is ideal as anything higher output would be unusably loud in my system. The average efficiency of my fullrange + tweeters is 101db.

 

The woofers only 91db and has its own Crown amp doing 300Hz and below so overall bass performance doesn't matter so much, just mid-bass, midrange and treble which as I understand is the forte with respect to Aleph 3 circuit based amps :)

Edited by MattyW
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Most of the caps I used at the time were Panasonic.  The ones on the power supply are discontinued as I tried to get some for the A5 I was going to build. The smaller ones I am not sure.

 

Tony 

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I wonder, is that dual outputs off the single transformer? The Aleph Mini, can it receive it's own dedicated power tranny per side, assuming there's space for it of course.

 

I'm wondering about Using an L bracket and mounting two transformers side by side to convert mine to a true mono design. Should bring benefits I imagine  :)

 

This is the unit I'm getting recapped/tweaked/'repainted. It was full of fake caps. The 4x power caps were changed for Mundorf Electrolytics and the 0.1uf bypass for Russian silver mica, the little fake Rubycons for Nichicon Muse.

 

Aleph-M.jpg.f0d85255583e7908d1bdb2bfc3fc00ff.jpg

 

 

Fake caps & genuine Nichicon Muse replacement

133594131_3798568250193964_944128782463527663_n.thumb.jpg.d339a49d5c20304b12136a605e8b7e00.jpg

 

Recap done, except for the 0.01uf bypass which will be changed for Russian silver mica.

133733101_309107113816671_820112897426849958_n.thumb.jpg.b7043320966226faaf354697dd26e162.jpg

 

One of the fake Rubycons shown next to the caps that replaced them. You can see the 0.1uf Russian silver mica on the bottom of the case.

 

134937172_1391288984550952_432475285281003888_n.thumb.jpg.7f2400a359dfa2d14bc57935f1f2abec.jpg

 

Mundorf electrolytics and Russian silver mica.

134725780_186210546563374_8387194181486789644_n.thumb.jpg.2f584ab3f608396e44f3d2a5336a7ee5.jpg

 

Would recapping the speaker protection circuit show any real improvement?

 

135753415_231216141859706_3492246846617345103_n.thumb.jpg.10610e67d6a7c8c8f29c0b09de8dddb5.jpg

Edited by MattyW
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7 hours ago, MattyW said:

I'm wondering about Using an L bracket and mounting two transformers side by side to convert mine to a true mono design. Should bring benefits I imagine  :)

 

Whilst, yes ... 2 power traffos (ie. dual mono) does give a sonic benefit, Matt - I don't think mounting a traffo vertically either side of an 'L' bracket (with the short arm of the 'L' bolted to the bottom of the case) is the right way to go about it.  Surely the 2 traffos will couple?

 

2 power traffos bolted to the bottom of the case are fine, if they are apart a bit (like with a separation of >100mm).  If this is not feasible in your box, then mounting 1 horizontally and 1 vertically, with the vertical one at right angles to the horizontal one - ie:

 

O=

 

... should be fine.

 

Andy

 

 

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10 minutes ago, andyr said:

 

Whilst, yes ... 2 power traffos (ie. dual mono) does give a sonic benefit, Matt - I don't think mounting a traffo vertically either side of an 'L' bracket (with the short arm of the 'L' bolted to the bottom of the case) is the right way to go about it.  Surely the 2 traffos will couple?

 

2 power traffos bolted to the bottom of the case are fine, if they are apart a bit (like with a separation of >100mm).  If this is not feasible in your box, then mounting 1 horizontally and 1 vertically, with the vertical one at right angles to the horizontal one - ie:

 

O=

 

... should be fine.

 

Andy

 

 

Aaaah, I didn't know about this. Thankyou Andy. I may look into it when the time comes. I believe the conversion should be easy enough.

 

There's a reason I went with a Chi-Fi ready made unit.... Knowledge, and available time and effort. Tweaking an existing unit is as far as I'm likely to go until my toddler has grown up. Maybe then I can build an Alpha Nirvana or some such  :)

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1 hour ago, MattyW said:

Aaaah, I didn't know about this. Thankyou Andy. I may look into it when the time comes. I believe the conversion should be easy enough.

 

There's a reason I went with a Chi-Fi ready made unit.... Knowledge, and available time and effort. Tweaking an existing unit is as far as I'm likely to go until my toddler has grown up. Maybe then I can build an Alpha Nirvana or some such  :)

Matt, is the power supply in there dual mono design already?

 

Capable to except feed from 2 separate transformers?

 

If not you will have to replace it with 2 separate suitable power supplies for the 2 separate power transformers. Otherwise you will not get the benefit or the separate transformers.

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1 hour ago, muon* said:

Matt, is the power supply in there dual mono design already?

 

Capable to except feed from 2 separate transformers?

 

If not you will have to replace it with 2 separate suitable power supplies for the 2 separate power transformers. Otherwise you will not get the benefit or the separate transformers.

 

Hmmm, I may need to look into this. I believe once I get it back I'll just enjoy it for a while. It will definitely be worthwhile considering in the long run though. Maybe. If two transformers are squeezed in, I may introduce noise due to RFI. That would suck. :(

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1 minute ago, MattyW said:

 

Hmmm, I may need to look into this. I believe once I get it back I'll just enjoy it for a while. It will definitely be worthwhile considering in the long run though. Maybe. If two transformers are squeezed in, I may introduce noise due to RFI. That would suck. :(

I'd leave it as is, Nelson uses a single transformer in his single chassis commercial amps, so if It's good enough for him :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well,  my mate Tim has done a wonderful job painting the case of my amp. I'll have it next week. We'll need to complete rewiring of the XLR inputs and wire to speaker terminals another time.

 

It's been done in metallic gunmetal grey while leaving the heatsinks and back silver as well as power button and screws. It's become a true statement piece. Just enough bling to catch the eye, but still understated enough not to appear tacky. I got a tingle down below when I saw the pictures. I'll take some better quality photos with my phone once I receive it.

20210218_140145.thumb.jpg.2f9504fb890be5720f6d4232b056c840.jpg

 

20210218_140117.thumb.jpg.34456fb1b3ac7f748ea714c6fa5c162c.jpg

 

20210218_140129.thumb.jpg.f16bb32ce12a4813adbc7fdc62122c34.jpg

 

20210218_140214.thumb.jpg.d2af00fcb9fe918f0099926dbf8e253a.jpg

 

20210218_140237.thumb.jpg.c569bbf2f9dcc997698a101c65173267.jpg

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