The Aleph 2 is a 100 watt monoblock from the new generation of Class A power amplifiers from Pass Labs which feature a two gain stage topology and pure single-ended operation.
Single-ended Class operation is often referred to as the "king of Class A" because it has the smoothest transfer curve and operates at the lowest efficiency of the family of Class A topologies. Properly designed, a single-ended amplifier exhibits second and even order harmonic structure, similar to the transfer characteristic of air, where the phase of the signal and harmonics reflects the subtle difference between acoustic compression and rarefaction.
The Aleph 2 conforms to the Pass philosophy of having absolutely minimal parts in series with the signal path. The input signal travels through a resistor to the input Mosfet transistor, and from there through another resistor to the parallel output Mosfets, and from there through a resistor to the loudspeaker. There are only two sets of gain devices and three resistors between the input and output. This minimalist topology is supported outside of the signal path by regulated current sources which separately bias the input and output stages.
The Aleph 2 is unlike the original Aleph 0 in two important ways. First, it has only two gain stages instead of the original three. With one less gain stage, there is less information lost within gain devices and in feedback. There is improved intimacy between the input and output, resulting in greater immediacy, detail, warmth, and depth. The amplifier also does not have the auxiliary pull circuitry which allowed the Aleph 1 to deliver very high currents into low impedance loads. This is a purer approach, however it does not allow for greater power below 4 ohms. The amplifier will drive and is stable into any load impedance or reactance including a direct short, and delivers clean audio into very tough loads.
The current source which biases the output stage is a new design which maximizes the performance of the output stage into reactive loads. It helps to optimize the load-line of the single-ended output devices, lowering distortion. The design of this current source is protected by US patent application.
The Aleph 2 uses power Mosfets for all gain stages. These Mosfets were chosen because they have the most ideal transfer curve for an single-ended Class A design. Mosfets also allow high current operation with low circuit complexity, delivering high performance in a minimalist topology.
The input P channel and output N channel Mosfets are carefully selected from the same manufacturing lot codes and matched to a tolerance of 2%. Precision metal film resistors are use throughout.
The Aleph 2 has been designed for maximum reliability and years of trouble free operation. The input gain devices are pulse rated 8 amps and are followed by output devices with pulse ratings of 50 amps each. The amplifier employs 1.8 kilowatts of power Mosfet output devices and massive heat sinking rated at .08 degree per watt. During active operation the amplifier consumes 300 watts, so that each output device is operated at 16% of its rated power.
The amplifier is powered by a toroidal transformer rated at 6 times the amplifier's output rating which charges 120,000 uF of supply capacitance. This unregulated supply feeds the output transistors with a full power ripple of about 1/2 volt.
The Aleph 2 is impervious to electrostatic shock at the input and dead shorts at the output. The Aleph 2 is protected from overheating by a 75 degree C. thermal switch, and from internal failure by a slow-blow fuse.
The amplifier is equipped with a balanced input accomplished through a passive network tied directly into the input stage of the amplifier. Unbalanced input is accommodated through RCA connectors.
The ultra-high bias current, the transconductance character of the Mosfets, and the simple design topology all combine to deliver an amplifier having high power and strong "bench" performance while still delivering the emotionally involving warmth and depth associated with the finest tube amplifiers. The sound of the Aleph amplifiers has been recognized world-wide as the most natural obtainable from solid state amplifiers.
20 dB balanced , 26 dB unbalanced
- 3 dB at 100 kHz
100 watts @ 8 ohms
12 " W x 12 " D x 10.5" H
Specs from PASS LABS