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...

Balanced Zen Line Stage — Nelson Pass / 1997

The popularity of the Zen projects points out the interest in very simple linear circuits. They are intended to fuel that interest. The Zen, Bride of Zen, and Son of Zen have been explorations in how much objective and subjective performance can be achieved with a single gain stage. This extreme simplicity has an aesthetic appeal, which speaks to the purist in audiophiles, and the presumption that simple circuits sound better. At least one "objectivist" has complained (objected?) that the Zen projects do not measure up compared with more sophisticated and complex amplifiers. This is mostly true, but beside the… More...

Super-Symmetric Amplification — Nelson Pass / 1998

U.S. Patent # 5376899 describes a new amplifying circuit topology that takes advantage of the character of special matched balanced amplifiers that are cross-coupled to provide cancellation of distortion and noise. The result provides high performance with very simple linear circuits, better than previous efforts by an order of magnitude. We have dubbed the approach Super-Symmetry (Su-Sy), an homage to particle physics. Super-Symmetry works by exploiting the complementary characteristics of precision matched balanced circuits to differentially reject distortion and noise, and extends this symmetry to make the distortion and noise virtually identical on each half of a balanced amplifying circuit.… More...

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