Pass Aleph 30 and 60

Anybody has experience with this amplifiers ?
I´m loocking for Single Ended Class A amplifier for my Tannoy Edinbugh HE loudspeakers (94db sens.)
The Aleph 30 and 60 are better that the old 2,3,4 or 5 series ?
Please let me know your opinions.
The only real difference between the Aleph 30 and the Aleph 3 is that the Aleph 30 has balanced inputs to go along with the single ended RCA inputs and a rather conventional looking chassis. The aleph 60 is actually an Aleph 5 built as monoblocks with the balanced inputs and conventional chassis. The best sounding of the Aleph series in MHO is the Aleph 2 but the Aleph 3 or 30 can be very very good with some efficient speakers. Why not try to build a pair of Alephs for yourself. It can be very rewarding. Go to and visit the PassLabs forum to see how.
I would get a aleph-3 over a 'aleph-30'
These second generation 'alephs' originally were to be called Volksamp,a German company that bought the patents for some of the Pass Aleph amps after they were discoutinued.
Its my guess that Volksamp had trouble selling them and turned to Pass to help out.Thus the name change.
The original Pass Alephs have a much heavier and rigid chassis which will lower nasty vibrations and will provide better sound.I think the 30's are ugly with that weird stripe on it.
Get a used Aleph-3 for ~$850 and forget about a copycat amp.
The Aleph-3 will drive your speakers with ease and high spl's.
The Aleph-3 is a classic amp.The 30 never will be.


You couldn't be furthur from the truth. Volksamp was a company set up by Nelson Pass. The reason Nelson started to remarket the Aleph 30 under the Pass Labs name and not the Volksamp name was that they were not selling as well without the Pass Labs name. They were manufactured at Pass Labs in Forrest Hills, California. Look at page 12 of the Aleph 30 service manual. Guess what other company is in Forrest Hills, California? Pass Labs, thats who. You can even see the pass Labs logo on the first page of the service manual. You can download the service manuals for both the Aleph 3 and Aleph30 and look at the schematics and find the amps are identical except for the balanced input connector. Here is the Aleph Page at if you don't believe me. I have no idea why you concocted this whacky story but it is just not the truth.

By the way Nelson Pass has set up another company called First Watt. He is marketing a number of lower power class A amplifiers designed for high sensitivity speakers. One of the amps the "Aleph X" is supposed to sound remarkable with high sensitivity speakers. Because your Tannoys are 94dB this is a real option. The scuttlebutt is that these amps will be very reasonably priced. Nelson has stated the amps should be ready soon. The web site is Stay tuned......
Liguy-I didnt 'make up' this.
I remember reading about all that I wrote before the first Volksamp hit the shores.
There is a difference in design also besides the balanced input.
The 30 has a tad more power than the real aleph-3


Wrong again. The Aleph 3 has a little more power at 4 ohms. There has been some component changes in the Aleph30 but the design is the same. Have a look at the schematics. There are no differences in topology. This is from the Aleph 30 manual:

Gain 20 dB balanced, 26 dB single ended
Freq. Response - 0.5 dB @ 2 Hz, -1.5 dB @ 100 KHz
Power Output 30 watts/ch @ 8 ohms, 40 watts @ 4 ohms
Maximum Output 25 volts, 5 amps
Distortion (1KHz) 0.2% @ 30 watts, 8 ohms
Input Impedance 47 Kohm single-ended, 52 Kohm differential
Damping factor 100
Crosstalk > -80 dB 20-20 KHz
Balanced Input Rejection -50 dB typical CMRR
Output Noise < 500 uV unweighted
Random noise floor 5 uV typical
DC offset < 100 mv
Power Consumption 200 watts
Temperature 25 degrees C. above ambient
Dimensions 17 " W x 15.5" D x 5.5" H
Shipping Weight 45 lb.
Pass Labs
Po Box 219
Foresthill CA 95631
tel (530) 367 4935
fax (530) 367 4984

This is from the Aleph 3:

Gain 20 dB
Freq. Response - 0.5 dB at 2 Hz, 100 KHz
Power Output 30 watts/ch 8 ohms
60 watts/ch 4 ohms
60 watts/ch 2 ohms
Maximum Output 23 volts, 8 amps
Distortion (1KHz) 0.2% @ 30 watts, 8 ohms
1% @ 60 watts, 4 ohms
1% @ 60 watts, 2 ohms
Input Impedance 23 Kohm
Damping factor 100
Crosstalk > -80 dB 20-20 KHz
Output Noise 500 uV unweighted
DC offset < 100 mv
Power Consumption 250 watts
Temperature 25 degrees C. above ambient
Dimensions 12 " W x 12" D x 6" H
Shipping Weight 38 lb.
Pass Laboratories
PO Box 219
24449 Foresthil Rd.
Foresthill CA 95631
tel (916) 367 3690
fax (916) 367 2193

I have built enough Alephs, so I know this cold.

You are very knowledgeable on this stuff, so perhaps you can answer my question:

Just about every SINGLE-ENDED amp on the planet - including most of the FIRST WATT models - drop power into lower impedances.

This was very true of my 30w FIRST WATT J2, which was down to 12w into 4 Ohms.  This is the reason I eventually sold the gorgeous J2.

So how is it that the little ALEPH 30 can produce 30w into 8 Ohms and 40w into 4 Ohms?

What gives?

I believe the answer to your question about power into speaker impedance is in circuit topology. Voltage gain stages vs. current gain stages. I don’t have simple details at hand since this information comes from reading lots of articles over the years.
Interviews with Nelson Pass about his circuits are plentiful on the Web and Mr. Pass speaks about things in a fairly straight forward and easy to understand way. I find them both interesting and informative. You may, as well.
Post removed 

Yes, "current source topology" is what the manual said, more power into lower impedence load than First watt Aleph J.

That's one of the differences among the Aleph 3 and 30 versus the First Watt designs. Though none would be ideal with difficult to drive speakers. 

I owned the Aleph 30, got it new on closeout for $1400, First Watt is way more, my how times have changed! 

It was a very good amplifier, It had qualities of tubes along with some of the pluses of solid state. Not the most practical though. High energy use. Ran really hot (which the manual says will cause semi-conductor failures and dry capacitors within 10 to 15 years of use, something to consider if purchasing used).

Also mentioned in the manual- "one hour to reach optimum performance", which I found to be true, you could actually hear the sound changing as you listen.

Nowadays I mostly use a Schitt Aegir (a more efficient quasi class A design that runs somewhat hot but not egg fry hot).

It is'nt quite as good as the Pass was, but has standby switch so it is ready to go out of the gate and has a shorter warm up time. Cost a little more than half of what the Pass did 20 years ago. 


I have owned an Aleph 30 amplifier for years and love it. It's been paired extensively with Audio Physic Virgo III speakers rated at 89db sensitivity. The pair are in a 14' x 18' room. I do not listen at levels much above 90db. No issue with power or control with this particular pairing.