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”

Speaker Cables — Nelson Pass / 1980

AUDIOPHILES RECENTLY BEGAN re-examining the performance of every link in the audio playback chain, and before long their attention turned to the lowly loudspeaker cable. In response to demand, a number of companies are producing or distributing new and exotic cables claimed to improve audio power transmission from amplifier to speaker. Pointing to lower resistance and inductance, proponents of the newer cables insist they sound significantly better ("better than an expander!"); however, the subject is controversial, and some hi-fi notables claim performance increase is negligible and the higher capacitance of some new cables can cause amplifier instability and damage.1-4 Neither… More...

Burning Amplifier # 2 — Nelson Pass / 2009

In Burning Amp 1 we examined an amplifier circuit designed to complement the hardware we gave away to some attendees at last October's Burning Amp Festival in the San Francisco bay area. This first design centered on a power output stage having of four banks of parallel N channel Mosfets. It was a single-ended Class A amplifier which delivered high quality sound with only local feedback. Burning Amp 2 will use virtually the same front end and power supply but coupled to complementary banks of N and P channel power Mosfets used as followers in a push-pull Class A configuration.… More...

Zen Variations 2 — Nelson Pass / 2002

Welcome back to the Zen Amp Variations. This is part 2 of many parts in which we explore some of the ways to make a very simple audio amplifier. In this and parts 3 and 4 we will embellish upon the original Zen amplifier circuit, improving the performance and creating the Penultimate Zen Amp. You may recall that the Zen Amp is a single MOSFET transistor operated in what is known as Common Source mode in which the input signal is fed to the Gate pin, the Source pin is grounded, and we take the output signal off the Drain.… More...

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