Van Alstine Super PAS 3 Preamplifiers

4.5/5 (6 Reviews)

Product Description

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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by mark a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2002

Bottom Line:   
This is the second AVA pre-amp I've owned. I used a super-fet bought in 1984 until my ears couldn't take it anymore. I then bought the Pas 3 in a Dyna chassis. This was a little better, especially in the highs, it really mellowed them out. Mids seemed a bit warmer also. However,
I have recently packed it up. I am keeping it for a future home theatre system. I really don't think Frank has got it right on pre-amps. I've listened to 5 of his different models and they all have a similar sound which I will describe here about the Pas 3. It kills the music with detail. The music
is pushed right into your face and is very fatiguing. His amps are very impressive when you first hear them due to their accuracy and detail. Unfortunately, this kills the music. I borrowed a solid state Japanese pre-amp from my brother and sent my Pas 3 off to Frank to install buffers,
hoping this would improve the pre-amp. Upon hooking up my brothers 20 year old pre-amp, I was immediately struck by the sound of real music. I was sitting in my listening position and constantly hearing a room full of wonderful music with instruments and vocals sounding like they were
meant to sound. In all fairness to Frank, he makes a great power amp, but, his pre-amps are nothing special.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   AVA

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by BRENT TRAFTON a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 17, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I've had the Super PAS 3 in my system for a month now and I couldn't be more pleased. My previous "preamp" was the Stereophile Class "A" rated Electronic Visionary Systems Passive Attenuator. The Super PAS 3 has more detail, more stable imaging, more soundstage width and depth, and more extended bass. I've had serveral preamps in my system in the last 10 years and while I could hear differences, nothing prepared me for the improvement in sound acheived with the Super PAS 3.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by BubbaMike a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 15, 1999

Bottom Line:   
If I were a rich man, I could find a better preamp, but for the price this one is great. It has as unconstricted a range as you will find, the build quaility is great, and it has plenty of inputs including a great MM phone stage.What more is there to say.

VPI Jr Turntable
Sony ES Cd player
Bryston 4BST and Cary SLA70B Amps
Vandersteen 2ce speakers

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Dave King a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: October 24, 1998

Bottom Line:   
I've been using primarily the Super Pas III Omega for over a year and love it. I built the Super Pas III kit in a Dyna chassis, then some months later sent it to Van Alstine for the Omega upgrade and the black face plate. The Omega output buffer is a worthwhile improvement to this pre-amp, no question about it.
I've worked around and with high end product for years and know what cost-no-object sounds like. I really admire a product line like Van Alstine's because the engineering (and your money) goes into sound quality and product reliability. Some of those who equate high cost and thick face plates with sound quality might be suprised how this little gem sounds in a well set-up system.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Kaz a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 12, 1998

Bottom Line:   
I finally replaced my trusty, 20-year old, solid state Audire DiFET preamp withthe tube Van Alstine Super PAS 3Si. What a world of difference the change
made to my system. With the Audire, there tended to be a harshness in the
treble -- especially to the female operatic voice. Gone was the harshness
with the Van Alstine. The sound through the tube preamp is very smooth; voices
take on a silky, seductive quality; violins float sweetly in the air; guitars
are clearly located and articulated; horns are brassy without glaring their
sound at you. I also notice that bass notes seem to go deeper with a sense
of having more body. At first, I thought the bass was muddier sounding through
the tubes, but I have come to enjoy that full bass sound...the bass through the
old Audire now seems rather thin in comparison, although better focused with
more punch.

In summary, I am very pleased with what Van Alstine has produced in this most
affordable tube preamp. I ordered the PAS 3Si from Van Alstine not as a kit,
but, rather, as a factory wired unit. It took about a month before they got
around to building it -- but, good things are worth waiting for -- and UPS
delivered the unit 5 weeks later.

In my system, both CDs and vinyl records are used as source material. The
CD player is a CAL Audio DX2 connected to the preamp using Kimber Silver Streak
cables. The Silver Streaks seemed rather harsh sounding with the Audire, but
they are ever so smooth and detailed with the Van Alstine.

As wonderful as digital technology may be, I still prefer the sound of good old
vinyl. This is one reason why I chose the Super PAS 3Si in the first place --
I needed a phono input. Some of my records are over 20 years old and I use a
modest Ortofon moving magnet cartride, but there is this magic, musical quality
that records convey that many CDs lack. It may be tube euphonics at work, but
I love the sound of those old vinyl pressings through the Van Alstine.

Oh, my power amp is a Classe CA100 and the speakers are the KEF Reference 3.
With the addition of the Van Alstine Super PAS 3Si preamp, my system now has
that tonal balance and quality that I have been seeking. I am happy.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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