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Dudeisms

Help and Opinions WANTED!! Urgent..Looking at a 20yo PASS LABS AMP

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As some of you may know from my thread, I recently bought a pair of pristine Cornwalls circa 1982.  You may also know from my thread that I have some decent but not stellar equipment.  NAD C356BEE currently driving.  Sources are a Pro-ject RPM1 Carbon and a BlueSound Node2 for digital.  As I will soon put in my Klipsch-tory thread, I momentarilly brought home a Cambridge Audio 840A integrated, there were issues, but for a few moments I heard some of that Class A watts feeding my Cornwalls.  My NAD setup sounds great, but I can't get what I heard from the Cambridge 840a v2 out of my head.  But from what I can see on the interwebs both the 840a and 851a have some reliability issues, so I am moving on from that.

 

MAIN QUESTION:  What would be your thoughts regarding buying a used PASS LABS Aleph 3?  

 

Its 20 years old.  Its class A, It has 30 watts.  Yes this may be not advised or regarded, but the C356BEE NAD would have to serve for a little while as the pre-amp if I purchase this PASS Labs Aleph 3 for financial/cheapness/not doing everything at once reasons.  I believe that I have read something to the effect of this pass amp having very low gain on the input or something like that so passive pre's are out of the question btw.

 

Called Pass labs and it would be around $700 to have them go through the unit and replace things, though they have had no failures in yet... so it might be fine for a while, but not for super long.

 

Should I do it?  

Are there better solutions for around a grand?

Downsides?

Upsides?

 

 

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4 hours ago, wdecho said:

I have 6 Firstwatt amp clones I have built. In my opinion the price is kinda high for a 20 year old amplifier even if it is a Pass. For a little more you might find a deal at Renohifi. Right now I do not see anything used on their website but they have deals all the time in the neighborhood of $1000 to $1100 on newer amps than the Aleph 3. Call Mark and talk to him. If the price of the Aleph 3 was in the neighborhood of $500 I would say go for it. Nelson Pass supports any amplifier sold by his companies for as long as he lives for a nominal fee. 

http://www.renohifi.com/default.asp

 

Thanks called Mark as you suggested, and for the price range that I dictated he suggested the M2 from firstwatt.  Now I see that the m2 isn't know for its bass and many people apparently then upgrade to an F7, but that is a substantial $$ climb.  So can you of someone help quantify or just plain help me understand how bass lacks in an m2?  I would have just assumed that a m2 would just be all around better than using my nad integrated.

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Find you a nice used ATI amp.  Tons of bass and crystal clear.  You'll have something fine to listen to while you look for something more esoteric. 

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1 hour ago, wdecho said:

The M2 is an excellent amp made for horn speakers. It is considered one of the best sounding of the older Firstwatt amplifiers if one has horns or fullrange speakers. Reno has an excellent return policy if you are not happy. The one thing that all Nelson Pass amplifiers do is hold their value, hence the asking price of $700 for a 20 year old one. Bass is good, much like a SET tube amplifier. I built my M2 years ago and I would not part with it and I have around 30 amps now. 

The M2 has certainly got my interest, as does the whole Nelson Pass amp thing in general.  So here is a left field question and you seem like a very good source to ask.  Say a guy like me who has done soldering like 3 times (cap replacements for 2 different sets of klipsch speakers, and some wireless mic kit thing years ago), built computers, handy, etc...  how hard would it be to say build an F5 for what 700-750$ish in parts as a diy virgin?  If answer isn't "Run Forest, Run!", other than parts, a solder gun, and solder what would one need?

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You'll be fine. I was just like you 2 years ago and I since have built 3 SS Amps (M2 included) and a tube amp. I am currently putting together an F7 that my very good friend helped me with. The answer to your question would be patience.

 

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