Gotta love Nelson Pass


SA/4e is nice!!!!

6f1a2153 182b 4e1d 9b49 1d18bbfcf099jpainter236
Man of few words....
Absolutely,I started with his gear with a 400a and my last was a Sit2,and had many of his designs in between.

Just a genius and brilliant amp designer that’s still fulfilling his passions.

Kenny.
First Watt F7 made a believer out of me:  Zen Master Pass.

+1 to kdude's accolade.

His 1977 A20 driving Quad ESL57's made me a believer, so much so, I morphed that amp into a massive 2 man lift pure 150w Class-A, that was water cooled, own pump, radiator, and cooling fan.

 http://www.firstwatt.com/pdf/art_classa_20.pdf

Cheers George
I was introduced to his expertise way back in his Threshold days with owning several of his amps...and have since settled into enjoying his Pass X2.5 Pre and 250.5 amps ... Pure enjoyment ! 

Slainte' Shad 
I've got a current model Adcom 555Se that is based on his design for Adcom in the 80's, which made the Adcom name legendary.  Audiophile sound for the masses, he later said he didn't charge Adcom enough for what he gave them.  It may be true, but I for one am thankful!
I have only owned the Pass XA30.8 and XP10 so my experience with all of the products are limited, but after spending quite a bit of his time discussing my desires/concerns with him, i recognized that he is not only a brilliant technical wizard, but he truly has a passion for the people listening to the music. A rare combination in a person. 
You got that right,complete opposite of some manufacturers now days,so sad.

Kenny.
He is an impressive guy. I love the fact that he routinely shows up at forums and discusses projects and donates designs to DIY'ers.

I am always amused at the wanna be engineers that try to redesign his products with after market products like PC, fuses, and other nonsense. If Pass Labs thought that these “mods” improved the sound of their audio they could incorporate them at a fraction of the “retail” price. But they don’t. I suppose he has to leave something to the bottom feeders.
I’m new to Nelson Pass stuff, being a tube guy i decided to try something different for my Zu Audio Druid speakers. I bought First Watt F2J current source power amp this month (only 100 made), then i quickly ordered the original First Watt B1 buffer preamp by Nelson’s advice. Pass Labs Aleph L and Aleph P were competitive, but for a much higher price, so i’m happy i ended up with First Watt B1. I bought everything used, but Nelson Pass was very helpful by email. So i joined the "club", hello
I would suggest a bit caution when using Nelson Pass's gear. Many of his products have very different appropriate applications.
Many of his products have very different appropriate applications.
Hello, @unsound  - will you please elaborate on that? 

Everything explained on firstwatt.com , even about discontinued models. For example my F2J current source power amp is designed for crossover-less, high sensitive speakers (full range drivers) and not suitable for the speakers with crossover. For traditional speakers he has different amps. 
^Yes, even some of the Pass Labs branded amps, like some of the Alephs have some limited applications.
Post removed 
Right, current source amps vs. volage source amps is a big difference. 

Active gain preamps vs. passive preamps with no gain at all is a big difference too. He has passive preamps which became active after the volume turned up to 9 o'clock (the aleph L series). 

But if you know what you need for your particular speakers then it's a benefit. For example i don't need much power for my full range crossover-less speakers with 101db sensitivity. Nelson said he use Zu Audio speakers himself (among others). So for my need current source F2J power amp of 5w per channel is enough. And absolutely neutral First Watt B1 buffer preamp (pretty small box) is good match for F2J power amp. 

Everyone should learn more about FW or Pass Labs products, but Nelson can help with a great support for his products. 

 
I used a B1 and a First Watt F3 amp for a while with my Superflys.  I called the B1 the Transparency Machine.  It works great but it's neutral and revealing as all get out, as if you are plugging your source straight into your amp.  So much so that a CD player I thought was reference level turned out to be much less so, LOL.
@whoopycat i guess so, but my source is analog only, no digital. Phono preamps will be connected to First Watt B1 buffer and it would be nice to judge the actual quality of the cartridge+phonopreamp. 
Whole Lotta Love/ Led Zep

You need cooling
Baby I'm not fooling
I'm gonna send ya
Back to schooling

A-way down inside
A-honey you need it
I'm gonna give you my love
I'm gonna give you my love

Want to whole lotta love
Want to whole lotta love
Want to whole lotta love
Want to whole lotta love

You've been learning
Um baby I been learning
All them good times baby, baby
I've been year-yearning

A-way, way down inside
A-honey you need-ah
I'm gonna give you my love, ah
I'm gonna give you my love, ah oh

Whole lotta love
Want to whole lotta love
Want to whole lotta love
Want to whole lotta love

You've been cooling
And baby I've been drooling
All the good times, baby
I've been misusing

A-way, way down inside
I'm gonna give ya my love
I'm gonna give ya every inch of my love
I'm gonna give ya my love

Hey!
Alright! Let's go!

Whole lotta love
Want to whole lotta love
Want to whole lotta love
Want to whole lotta love

Way down inside
Woman, you need, yeah
Love

My, my, my, my
My, my, my, my
Lord
Shake for me girl

I wanna be your backdoor man
Hey, oh, hey, oh
Hey, oh, hey, oh
Ooh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Cool, my, my baby
A-keep it cooling baby
A-keep it cooling baby
Ah-keep it cooling baby
Ah-keep it cooling baby
Ah-keep it cooling baby

Loved my old Alph 6. Have a new j7 and a couple of used First Watt amps. 

NP... Truly my audio hero!
Correction: j2
Oh yeah, I have a brand new, in box, XP 10 that I need to sell here. I upgraded to a new McIntosh C50 preamp
mikexxyz

 He is an impressive guy. I love the fact that he routinely shows up at forums and discusses projects and donates designs to DIY'ers.
I am always amused at the wanna be engineers that try to redesign his products with after market products like PC, fuses, and other nonsense. If Pass Labs thought that these “mods” improved the sound of their audio they could incorporate them at a fraction of the “retail” price. But they don’t. I suppose he has to leave something to the bottom feeders.

This needs to be posted up at the voodoo or shillers fuse forum
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/the-new-synergistic-research-blue-fuses

Cheers George
I've owned Adcom and Forte amps that at least were related to Pass, and have always been impressed by his style and the sharing info thing…cool…I've also noticed few (or any? Paul McGowan maybe, although I'm not sure he puts them in anything) serious amp designers endorsing "magic fuse voodoo," and there's a funny moment in a Youtube interview with Dennis Had (I have one of his Firebottle HO amps) where he laughs off the fuse thing…that interview directly preceded my Had amp purchase. If get tired of my tube "problem" (!) a Pass SA-25 in on my short list.
Youtube interview with Dennis Had (I have one of his Firebottle HO amps) where he laughs off the fuse thing
Like to see this wolf, got a link, might need some backup Ordnance one day.

 
Cheers George
BIG fan of Nelson here, starting with DIY B1 buffer, as great as people have written about above. Had F4, aleph 30 and now F7, best of the bunch for me so far (xa25 is on my wish list for the future). Had many other amps too but his class A designs combine all the best qualities for an incredibly satisfying listening experience. He is so generous with his time and advice, answering emails and writing on forums, great sense of humor in his writing too (wish I understood it all!) and that never ending curiosity driving him to the next innovation - wonder what the sit-3 will be like.
I have pass gear.  I call them from time to time for some suggestions and he still answers the phone on occasion.  Great guy and very knowledgeable.
Here ya go George: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLQsEeBKg1E
Ran an Adcom 555 for many years before I could afford to move on, bullet proof, clean and adaptable to many systems. Just great midfi that brought many hours of music. Nothing like it for the money, I’d say. 
Nice to see all of the thoughts on  Nelson Pass.   Howzabout we keep the thread crapping to a minimum with all of the comments on cables and fuses.  There are plenty of threads on cables in the cables section of the forum.
Another +vote for Adcom, Threshold and Pass Labs. All of these products offer excellent value at their respective price-points.
Happy Listening!
Right on,but also remember the Forte’s that Nelson designed.
They can be freshened up and make a very cost effective amp for the money.

I also agree,keep fuses and cables were they belong and give Nelson the respect he has most definitely earned.

Kenny.

One of Nelson's favourites it seems that he thinks highly of, was the Aleph L preamps, really different because it takes the best of both worlds and joins them together. 
It's a quality passive pre, but as the volume goes higher once it gets to 3 o'clock or higher it slowly turns into active pre for more gain if you need it for low gain poweramps or inefficient speakers. I've had searches out for a used one, but none of the owner ever sell them.

Nelson Pass
" I don't know why this invention didn't bring me fame
and fortune, but who can explain it.....
 At the 3 o’clock volume control position, the Aleph L offers a direct path from input to output.
The only component in the signal path is wire and switch contacts.
At positions below 3 o’clock, the volume control functions as a precision passive attenuator using discrete resistor ladders.
Above 3 o’clock, active gain is added to the output signal in 2 decibel increments, for amaximum of 10 dB.
As a result, you suffer the effects of active circuitry only when additional gain is necessary."

Cheers George

@georgehifi 

There was 2 versions of Aleph L preamps and only one of them works as you have described above. 

Versions distinguishable by how many wires go up tothe volume control – 6 wires = early version, more than 6 = later version.

   
Yeah the MkI was straight passive all the way, the MkII was passive all the way till 3 o’clock, after which it slowly became active.
Nelson introduced this MkII for very low gain amps like some of his, and very inefficient speakers <84db, that need more gain from the preamp.
But as he said you paid the penalty if used passed 3 o’clock because it’s now becomes an active preamp with added distortions/colouration’s.

Cheers George
@georgehifi 

I ended up with original First Watt B1 buffer preamp instead of the old and more expensive Aleph L preamp for a double price. Hope it was the right move, my speakers are 101db. Gonna get it tomorrow from the postman. Can't wait to check it out with my First Watt F2J power amp. 
I ended up with original First Watt B1 buffer preamp

No problem the B1 buffer is unity gain, which Nelson 1st designed to be a (no name), buffer for my passive "Lightspeed Attenuator" preamp so it could drive one or two very low input impedance amps of his which some of my Lightspeed owners had, this worked a treat for them.

Latter Nelson released it and called it the "B1 Buffer", and designed a diy around it on DiyAudio forums, and also I think a ready made retail unit First Watt B1 preamp.

Still to me if all is good between passive pre and the amp, no buffer is the best buffer whether it’s got gain or not.
And that’s why Nelson says "you suffer the effects of active circuitry only when additional gain is necessary" on the Aleph L, meaning passive sounds better on it up to 3 o’clock on the volume control after which the active buffer with gain comes in, then it’s not quite as good.

Cheers George
Post removed 
It’s all about the design Implementation and the overall parts quality second.Less = More for Sure.

Kenny.