Disadvantages of buying old solid state.

I am looking to upgrade from a single ended amp to a balanced because of the purchase of a new balanced pre. Due to budgetary reasons I am forced to buy a used unit. I am interested in the Pass .5 series as what I've heard of the .8 I was not happy with. There are those who prefer the .5. sound as well. I was told however that buying such an old unit I might find that the bias has changed. Any experiences with buying old solid state and any negative consequences? I would very much like to hear anyone's views on the matter.

Thank you.




I found the theory of balanced interconnects and differential amplification attractive, and when I’m building my own cables, I like the XLR connectors. I sometimes find it tough to keep the conductors from shorting out within the confines of the RCA connector, but practically, I wonder if the balanced connections and differential amplification truly benefits the home user. There is a fellow in Switzerland who builds $100,000 amps and doesn’t offer a balanced connection, at least on his standard units. I think he may have relented somewhat and now offers it as an option. I prefer it, and I use it, but I no longer ‘believe in it’ as I once did. I hope you enjoy your new ARC unit. I would really like to hear one myself, and gave serious thought to buying a used unit. Wound up with a used McIntosh solid state preamp instead that just seemed perfect for my needs. I also own a lot of Schiit gear, I’m very pleased with their Yggdrasil DAC (which I recently upgraded from ‘Garage Sale’ to ‘Less-is-More’ together with the accompanying Analog 2 boards and their Unisom USB interface. I like and use their equalizers, but not their phono preamp (original version), and t found the user interface on the Freya+ to be a bit frustrating to use. I’m also pleased their headphone amp (Jotunheim) and smaller DAC (Modius) for what it’s worth.

I would not be worry too much with Pass Labs used gear. May have to (need to) replace the power supply caps and all terminals. Replacing the caps will necessitate proper biasing per the service manual.

Caps should be done given the .5's age.  Should last another 20-30 years.