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...

Zen Variations 8 — Nelson Pass / 2005

Thanks to a nice person on the Pass Labs Forum ( www.diyaudio.com ), I became aware that high current power JFET transistors are again available. You can check them out at www.lovoltech.com which offers a small variety of high current N-channel vertical JFETs in TO-251 and TO-252 packages. They don’t hold a lot of voltage 20-24 volts) or dissipate lot of power (69 watts, derated at 1.8 watts/degree), but they do deliver up to 100 amps peak. Clearly designed as switches, they nevertheless offer a linear operating region and are attractive for audio amplifier design. Small signal JFETs are routinely… More...

Son of Zen — Nelson Pass / 1997

The Zen has proven to be a popular and enduring do-it-yourself amplifier. The design addresses the audiophile's enthusiasm for singleended amplification, but is even more interesting for its exploration of the performance available at the extremes of simplicity, having only a single gain device. Judging by the mail, more than a thousand of them have been constructed, not including a couple of commercial rip-offs. Incoming mail is an excellent barometer of interest and taste among the readers. Letters suggesting design improvements provide the direction and the excuse to proceed with the Son of Zen. It responds to the following common… More...

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