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”

The PLH Amplifier — Nelson Pass / 2005

In 1969 John Linsley-Hood wrote in Wireless World: During the past few years a number of excellent designs have been published for domestic audio amplifiers. However, some of these designs are now rendered obsolescent by changes in the availability of components, and others are intended to provide levels of power output which are in excess of the requirements of a normal living room. Also, most designs have tended to be rather complex. In the circumstances it seemed worth while to consider just how simple a design could be made which would give adequate output power together with a standard of… More...

Leaving Class A — Nelson Pass / 2008

The meters on our amplifi ers are different. They refl ect the current consumption of the amplifi er, and when the amplifi er is operating, they don’t go down to zero like the meters on other amplifi ers. This is because the electrical current consumption of our circuits has a fairly high value at all times, a property called the bias. The bias current runs through the amplifi ers at a minimum value, determining the class of operation – Class B, Class AB, or Class A. Class B has no bias current, Class AB has a moderate bias current, and… More...

Zen Variations 3 — Nelson Pass / 2002

In Part 2 we developed a new active current source for the Zen amplifier. In this part, we create a power supply regulator suitable for the Zen amplifier projects. Previous versions of the Zen amplifiers had no power supply regulation at all, or used capacitor/inductor/capacitor "pi" filters to smooth the ripple on the DC supply lines. In keeping with our philosophy of simple-aspossible, we want to develop a supply regulation system which gives us good regulation, with low AC noise and a stable DC value. The need for a good regulator is obvious enough. As simple as they are, the… More...

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