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”

A40 Part Substitutions — Nelson Pass / 2000

After 22 years, it appears that quite a few DIY enthusiasts are still eyeing the A40 Class A amplifier design, but are discovering that not a single transistor from this design is still available. The following information is for those scouting out substitute parts: The Lambda output devices are no longer available, and they weren’t that common to begin with. Lambda appears to still be in business, but not in the business of power transistors. Common everyday complementary power darlington transistors will substitute for these. They need to be rated at 75 watts or higher, 5 amps for higher, and… 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...

DIY Op Amps — Nelson Pass / 1998

Carl Sagan observed, "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." If you want to build an audio circuit, you will make the decision as to how much you will actually build yourself, and how much you will buy fabricated. The line is always drawn somewhere. Will you be melting down some sand to make your transistors? Probably not, but it is always in the mind of the hobbyist to do as much as possible. Many of the project articles in AE and elsewhere employ commercially available integrated circuits, usually operational amplifiers.… More...

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