Pass Labs Aleph L Preamplifiers

Aleph L

User Reviews (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5  
music man   Audiophile [Mar 11, 2000]
Strength:

silent,transparant,musical,build quality is superb

Weakness:

need a seperate phono stage if you still listen to lp's

This is one fine pre-amp and built like a tank.Extremely rare on the used audio market.Minimalist design using only the best components equates to pure and true to the source sonics.Put on some good cables and be amazed at the difference a good pre-amp can make.

Similar Products Used: bryston,audio research,classe,spectral
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris DeArmitt   Audiophile [Jul 07, 2000]
Strength:

Simple, stylish, matches my Aleph 3 power amp

Weakness:

Sounds rough and harsh

This is an unusual review in a way because I bought this unit second hand. I listened to one new several years ago and it was great, however the second hand unit was not so good. Even though this is basically passive preamp the sound was rough, harsh and irritating, you couldn't feel the music. I know Nelson Pass makes good stuff and this is a passive amp so nothing could be at fault apart from the volume control that could have worn out. I opened it up and the volume control was quite good but sort of home-made so I decided to replace it with a very high quality one as described below...

It turned out that the Pass Aleph L is excellent if you replace the volume control that lets it down after a few years.

I just got my Goldpoint stepped attenuator in the mail. I got clobbered with an extra 60 dollars because the Swedish customs opened the package and charged me Swedish sales tax 25 % plus a handling fee, gotta love Sweden.

Anyway, I got the thing installed in about 30 minutes after some frantic drilling and a few spots of solder. I had a second hand Pass Aleph L preamp and it sounded quite rough and unpleasant, especially compared to my Melos SHA-Gold that has a Photentiometer volume control. I knew the Aleph L had potential as Nelson Pass makes good stuff and the reviews of the unit were all good. I could see that the potentiometer inside was not that great quality, not gold plated, not very good contacts and open to contamination. It had probably gotten worn down and deteriorated.

The Goldpoint was clearly higher quality, gold contacts, very firm connection and sealed against dust. After changing potentiometer I could hear an immediate difference. Even my girlfriend who was in the next room said she could hear how much better it sounded. Detailed and musical at the same time. Revealing but without any harshness. I have an expensive system and have spent a long time trying cables and other components to try and get rid of the rough nasties in the sound. Looking back I wish I had bought a Goldpoint attenuator a long time ago, then I could have been enjoying the music all those years instead of throwing all my money on other less worthwhile upgrades. The message is that the more revealing your speakers, amp and CD are the more you will hear the distortion thrown in by your preamp. The more you "upgrade" the worse it gets. If you think your hi-fi sounds rough and unbearable then try on of these stepped attenuators, you won't be dissappointed.

Similar Products Used: Melos SHA Gold
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
David   [Jun 19, 1998]

UPDATE: I meant the Aleph P not the L ooooooooooops...It really is a nice pre-amp.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
David   an Audiophile [May 28, 1998]

I love this pre-amp... The controls are perfect and it looks really cool to boot. How can you not like a pre-amp with a 20 lb. remote control! Turned up all the way I couldnt hear a sound coming from the speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
geneo50   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 08, 2000]
Strength:

Build quality ; Stealth ; Open ; Airy , Amazing

Weakness:

Absolutely None

Have had this beast on loan from a Bud for a while & must say it is truely exceptional. As soon as I plugged it in my system changed . Much more open , airy , and natural , with both ends extended . Build quality is second to none . The quietest : Almost totally neutral sounding pre I have ever come across .
Most quality cables ie. Synergistic , S.Wire , Cardas,
etc. do well but I believe it like Cardas a whole lot.

System :
Plinius mk 3 100 wts.
Pass Aleph L ( non remote older version )
Sony CD/DVD CDP 600
B&W P5's
Cardas Cross & Syn.Reference Mark 1 Inter's.
Harmonic Tech. Pro 9 speaker cables
MSB Link 11 Dac / MSB PS1000 power sup.
Richard Gray power cond.

PS : Doc Gizmo is correct "simpler is better "

Similar Products Used: Too many
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-5 of 5  

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