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”

Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate — Nelson Pass / 2002

Pass Labs XA Series Power Amplifiers For over ten years, the Aleph series of single-ended Class A amplifi ers have received praise for their outstanding sonic defi nition, warmth, and smoothness; and have often been compared favorably with the very best tube amplifi ers. The Aleph topology achieves state-of-the-art performance with a very simple linear design, and is additionally one of the most stable and reliable audio amplifi ers in existence. A considerable number of audiophiles have found themselves bi-amping their loudspeakers, putting Pass X amplifi ers on the bottom for power and control, conjoined with Alephs on the top… More...

Phase -Coherent Crossover Networks — Nelson Pass / 1982

The importance of phase response in the audio chain has been brought to greater focus recently by equipment claims of phase coherency, (the output signal has the same phase relationships as the input signal). It is not particularly obvious that two different frequency components of a signal can go into a device at precisely the same time and emerge at different times, but it is extremely common. All audio components distort the phase of the signal to some degree-even air alters the time alignment of a signal, but the biggest offenders are loudspeakers and their crossover networks. Phase shifts in… 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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