About Pass DIY

Nelson Pass has been an early contributor to the audio DIY scene; It has been said that Nelson has a knack of explaining engineering things very clearly in a few words, and that he obviously enjoys doing it. He is also a very active contributor at www.diyaudio.com. Being very generous with advice, tips, and complete amplifier designs that people can build.

What does Nelson Pass get out of this interaction?

“I like to speak to the teenager (me) who wanted to know this stuff—that's my audience. There are always people who appreciate a decent explanation that gets to the meat and potatoes. I see it all as light entertainment with a little education thrown in. The academic paper approach has its place, but it seems intended for people who mostly understand the stuff already. If you want to communicate with DIYers, you depend more on colorful analogies, a little hand waving, and very little  differential calculus. I get lots of personal satisfaction out of the whole enterprise. It gives me an outlet for some cool ideas and things that otherwise would stay bottled up, and I have an excuse to explore offbeat approaches purely for their entertainment value. Also, the process of communicating DIY stuff is a two way street—I would say I get about as much as I give. Nelson Pass”

B1 Buffer Preamp — Nelson Pass / 2008

Side A So here we are in the New Millennium, and thanks to Tom Holman and THX we’ve got lots of gain in our electronics. More gain than some of us need or want. At least 10 db more. Think of it this way: If you are running your volume control down around 9 o’clock, you are actually throwing away signal level so that a subsequent gain stage can make it back up. Routinely DIYers opt to make themselves a “passive preamp” - just an input selector and a volume control. What could be better? Hardly any noise or distortion… More...

Build a MOSFET Citation 12 — Nelson Pass / 1981

Audio Amateur has published a number of projects modifying popular kits, usually Dynaco's. Obviously it is much less expensive to use the chassis and power supply, pots, connectors, switches, PC boards, and heat sinks that can be had for the price of a kit than to buy the components individually or have them made. Creating a one-off copy commercially typically costs as much as making 10 copies of the same item, because the dominant costs are design and set-up time which do not increase with quantity. Small wonder then that most technicians and designers who write for this and similar… More...

Arch Nemesis — Nelson Pass / 2010

A poster of Einstein once said, “Things should be made a simple as possible, but no simpler”. This can apply to audio amplifiers, but if they are evaluated subjectively, the simplicity thing can get a little of of hand. Of itself, minimalism exerts a strong aesthetic attraction, and there is a reasonable belief that fewer components in the signal path allows more information to get through with less coloration. If like me you are interested in understanding of how we hear distortions with our brains (instead of our meters), you might appreciate that simple circuits help isolate these phenomena. I… More...

Copyright © 2016 Pass Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved

Telephone: 530.878.5350