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Pass Labs?

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

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Bonedust

Guest
Anyone have any experience with any of their amps?

ive always loved the look of the equipment, and the build is certainly impressive, but i have never had the pleasuse of hearing them.

anyone?
 

garmtz

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They are BRILLIANT amps! Fast, neutral, great tonal variety, great musicality...
 
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JasonLiu

Guest
Garmtz is right- Pass offers solid musicality with plenty of power. They are as good as SS amps go. Besides, their workmanship is impeccable (it is ever so rare that a Pass comes in for repair) and the customer service is superb. What kind of power are you looking at?
 
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Bonedust

Guest
well, i have a room full of krell class A amps...but im building a dedicated theater and id like to try something different. i was looking at some of their smaller 2-channel amps, or possibly smaller monos.
 
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mrtibbs

Guest
Have tried the Pass Aleph series on Martin Logan's and they were exceptional.
The one's I've heard are the Aleph 0 (stereo version, not the 0 mono's), Aleph 3, Aleph 5 and Aleph 2 mono's ...on Aerius i's and SL3's.

The Aleph 3 drives the speakers, sound quality is great, but I did want a little more power. Aleph 5 or Aleph 0 would be plenty for me to live with, and Aleph 2's would be a wonderful extravagance.

Heat and power usage are issues, the amps run full power, all the time (pure Class A) ...so they are little heaters and burn more electricity than A/B amps.
They sound best left on, so its annoying to shut them off to save buring the watts. For heat, one amp should be fine, stereo mono's in a smaller room, left on all the time, could be a little hot, especially in summer. I'm thinking of this because you'd mentioned a home-theatre and possibly mono's, ...so 5 or 7 amps running full Class A, ...would sound great, would be hot too (?).

They suit Martin Logan's because they can handle the deep current and they are masters of the whisper light details - as delicate and nuanced a touch as you'll get. On the power, note that the Aleph series don't put out any more power below 4 ohms, because they have just the two gain stages (one of the reasons they sound so good is the simple *pure* design) ..., they are completely stable well below 4 ohms, below 1 ohm likely, its just that they don't put out more watts at the lower ohm levels.

A good preamp is required to get what these amps are able to give,...otherwise the strengths will be wasted and you'll be better off with less costly amps. For example, the whisper light details and nuanced touch I talked about won't mean much if the pre is too clumsy to let them get through. The Aleph P preamp is an excellent match,....the Adcom GFP-750 is a very good budget alternative (designed by Nelson Pass,...also has theatre throughput).

At one time I was running a Sony XA7ES/Wadia 301 --> Aleph P ---> Aleph 5---> Aerius i/SL3 ,...and the sound was extremely good, ditto for the Aleph 0,...Aleph 3 had not quite enough volume.

Customer service from Pass Labs was outstanding in my experience. A friend borrowed my brand new Aleph 3 and broke the binding post by taking a socket wrench to the binding posts and doing the cave man. I told Pass that the post was broken by user abuse, idiotic over-cranking with a long handled socket wrench - Pass took them amp and put a new binding post on and shipped it back free of charge. It turns out that I was the original owner, from a proper dealer and the amp was just new etc.,...But Pass Labs didn't even ask - they just fixed the amp and had it back to me in a hurry. I was thoroughly impressed. And I've heard nothing but good experiences from others about Pass Labs service and Nelson Pass (the service people said its rare they get something to do, so were happy to jump on the case :)

The X series and anything newer, I haven't heard - though they're probably great too.

The comprimises are cost, heat ,just moderate watts, need of quality preamp,...the benifit is exceptional sound quality.

Martin
 
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BigGuy

Guest
PASS forever!

Glad you asked about PASS amps. First you should know that I am a new member and currently running Monolith IIIs (passive x-over, old cabinet style) and have been using and loving his amps from when he was still at Threshold...boy, am I dating myself. Started with SA3 stereo amp which Nelson converted to an SA2 monoblock and supplied another to complete the pair. When Pass Labs was born, bought a pair of Aleph 0 monos which I absolutely loved with the IIIs...mid range to die for. Then upgraded to the Aleph 1.2 monoblocks. Both were pretty industrial looking...you either loved or hated them. These supplied more of the same, but the sound became much more relaxed, probably due to the extra "horsepower"! When the X's came out, thought about making the transition but concensus was that they were better for bass but not as involving as the Alephs...part of the reason that the XAs were developed, combining the best of both worlds! Have had a pair of XA160s for about a year and absolutely love them with the Monoliths. Beautiful aesthetics...nothing like the Alephs. As a member of the CT Audio Society, many people have heard my system with always the same response...they want to stay and listen. Cannot speak more highly of my experience with Nelson and Pass Labs. Using a Hovland HP100 preamp to drive the Pass amps and have an Altis DAC/transport as front end.

Big Guy
 
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Jeremy W Porter

Guest
I have been looking at Pass Labs and Tube amps for a while now. I am pretty 99% sure I am going to go after the Pass Lab amps.

Does anyone have any suggestion on which Pass Lab amp would be sufficent for a pair of Prodigy's?

Standing by,
 
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thresholdman

Guest
Pass Amps

I have been using a Pass Labs x-350 to drive a pair of Theil 7.2 cs in my stereo system. My home Theatre system is all Martin Logan and is drive by Proceed HPa amplifiers. The X-350's do a great job on the Thiels and I'm sure they would do a great job on any of the Logans. I bought my amp from reno mark (renohifi.com). He is conected to Pass labs and get refurbished equipment which looks and performs brand new with a one year factory warranty. I bought my X-350 for $3500 from him and it looked new.
 

Anthony A.

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Jan 2, 2005
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im a happy x250 customer. drive my ascent i's till death. i would do a pair of x250's (biamped) to drive the prodigy's. that would be the ultimate combo for a pretty decent price and i can assure you that you will never search for more power. if you only want 1 amp, then the x350 is better for that speaker.
 
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