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”

Zen Variations 4 — Nelson Pass / 2002

The Penultimate Zen is the sum of several incremental improvements to the original Zen amplifier of 1994. Eight years just flies by, doesn’t it? These improvements are contained in parts 2 through 4 of the Zen Variations, and is likely the last version of this amp, although by no means the end of the variations on the theme of single stage amplification. In part 2 we developed an improved active current source load for the single gain device which is at the heart of the amplifier. Originally designed for the Aleph amplifier series, this current source doubles the output current… More...

The PLH Amplifier — Nelson Pass / 2005

In 1969 John Linsley-Hood wrote in Wireless World: During the past few years a number of excellent designs have been published for domestic audio amplifiers. However, some of these designs are now rendered obsolescent by changes in the availability of components, and others are intended to provide levels of power output which are in excess of the requirements of a normal living room. Also, most designs have tended to be rather complex. In the circumstances it seemed worth while to consider just how simple a design could be made which would give adequate output power together with a standard of… More...

Cascode Amplifier Design — Nelson Pass / 1978

Lowering distortion in power circuits without compromising their transient response remains a primary problem for designers of audio power amplifiers. Until fairly recently, the favorite technique for removing distortion components in linear amplifiers was to cascade many gain stages to form a circuit having enormous amounts of gain and then using negative feedback to control the system and correct for the many errors introduced by this large number of components. While the sum of these components' distortions may cause large complex nonlinearities, the correspondingly large amounts of feedback applied are generally more than equal to the task of cleaning up… More...

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