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”

Bride of Zen — Nelson Pass / 1994

This is the second installment of a trilogy of construction projects centered around the performance obtainable from absolutely minimalist circuitry. Part one described the Zen amplifier, a 10 watt single-ended class A power amplifier using a single MOSFET gain stage. In this piece we will examine its preamplifying mate, also a single gain stage MOSFET circuit. A lot of what I might say about this design has already been expressed in the Zen amplifier piece, and will not be repeated here. It is enough to say that I continue to be very intrigued by the sound of very simple topologies,… More...

Trouble Shooting — Kent English / 2002

Pre-Amplifiers Within the Pass Labs pre-amplifier family we typically see two installation errors, both involving cable issues. The most common error concerns improper sequence of cable connection for our pre-amplifiers with dedicated outboard power supplies. The last cable attached to these preamplifier products must always be the power cord. Attach these cables out of sequence and the logic circuitry in these particular products may cause them to self protect. The power cord must be plugged into the power supply chassis after all other cables are attached and lastly plugged into mains power. If you have done this out of sequence,… More...

Pearl 2 — Wayne Colburn / 2010

Here is the long awaited sequel to the Pearl phono stage, named after my maternal Grandmother who was good with a sling shot , played piano and organ and occasionally listened to my early Hi-fi efforts if the smoke wasn't too bad. Pearl II addresses the major request received over the years - more gain for moving coil cartridges. Phono stage design is difficult to do well. Everything matters. Any low level phenomenon occurring in the parts of a phono stage shows up greatly amplified at the loudspeaker. This phono stage has about 55 dB gain at 1 Khz, and… More...

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