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”

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 6 — Nelson Pass / 2004

U.S. Patent # 5,376,899 describes an amplifying circuit topology that takes advantage of the character of matched balanced amplifiers that are cross-coupled to provide cancellation of distortion and noise. The result provides high performance with very simple linear circuits and has been dubbed Super-Symmetry, an homage to particle physics, and is also known popularly as the X circuit. Super-Symmetry works by exploiting the complementary characteristics of matched balanced circuits to differentially reject distortion and noise, and applies a small amount of feedback to extend this symmetry, making the distortion and noise even more identical on each half of a balanced… More...

Single Ended Class A — Nelson Pass / 1995

Single-Ended Class A amplifiers have certainly hit it big in the four years since we began testing the first Aleph 0. So is this just another audio fad, or is there something fundamental about this kind of design, justifying a revival of the old approaches to amplification? When I started designing amplifiers twenty-five years ago, solid state amplifiers had just achieved a firm grasp on the market. Power and harmonic distortion numbers were the important thing, and the largest audio magazine said that amplifiers with the same specs sounded the same. We have heard Triodes, Pentodes, Bipolar, VFET, Mosfet, TFET… More...

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