Nelson X3 arrival questions - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Amplifiers > Pass Labs
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Gallery Wiki Blogs Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Pass Labs This forum is dedicated to Pass Labs discussion.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 24th April 2004, 04:21 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Houston
Default Nelson X3 arrival questions

Ok, I must admit that the biggest reason I cannot yet tell much about my X3, is the guy I got it from didn't feel a very key point of interest was note worthy. Every amplifier that I have used to date has a 5 way universal binding post, while the X3 has really one of them in spades, which make my locking banana's pretty tough to fit. They also have the mini holes where you can lock down the wire, but no wire I possess would fit in those tiny holes, which left my 1300 dollar cables going to the side, and back to the buck a foot monster wire, with it wrapped around the terminals.

I was shocked after talking to this guy 10 times and many people using banana's, or one of the other ways, that he never thought it note worthy to mention. I did plan on trying about 5 new cables to match this amp, but I hadn't planned on getting new one's to make it play.

My questions
1) My Theta usually with my Krell and even the 150 wpc substitute I used in between the Krell and this had about the same level on my Theta to get the same sound level in my room, but for some reason this X3 requires about 12 more numbers on the dial, and goes from very low to quite loud in about a 4 number movement where the other 2 did so over about 12 numbers.
a- What would explain needing so much more on the volume to get normal listening level
b- why would the range from good listening to flat out loud be 1/3rd the range of the other 2 amps.

The 1st part you just get used to , but teh 2nd I would like to defeat because it gives me less flexibility with sources

I like the sound even with cheap cables and as a 5 month old unit it is broken in, but I can't judge relative when all others were hooked to 1300 dollar cables and this is poorly connected with 30 dollar wires with no connectors. I will be getting a banana to spade attachment from EPO, the local get everything electronic gismo place in Houston tomorrow, and trying the 1st of the 5 cables i planned to see what this puppy likes. My current cables may even work, because this thing sounds deep and recessed, somewhat similar at least with cheap cables to another amp I was thinking of trying, but yours won instead. I say that becasue my Straightwire Serenade is a little bright with Krell's current amp, but was wonderful with it's predescessor, although it was weak on mid definition, and upper extension, which is not the case here.

The other cable I am going to try, I am really curious about, because it is teh one I always use to test amps, to see direction. It is made by BEL labs, which is a one man company that is really Brown Electrical labratories, and in addition to a wonderful pair of hand tweaked mono blocks, he makes a seriously neutral cable, that will gives the speaker whatever it asks for and nothing more. These cables will shut down unstable power supplies and low current output amps, and I love doing it to friends with top receivers, when they think their amps are great, but when matched with a true beast, of which on paper this X series certainly appears, they just make speakers sing. The only question is will deep and recessed love deep and recessed? I am only saying this because when I tested 20 types 5 years ago, selling them used for fun, these cables at 695 beat everything up to 1500 with 10 tested from 1000 to 1500 a pair. They also make amps sound more like your amp sounds even hooked up with crap, so I have no idea what will happen together.

You may actually know this gentleman, because he has been doing this since the 70's and is quite a little boutique amplifier maker. Do you know who I am talking about?

More to come when I get hooked up right, but the amplifier comes very well boxed one of the best I have seen, and is much more awesome to look at then the picture you have on your site. A blowup would really help those that like the visual appeal of an amp, because this thing is so subtle, but so well defined, and the flaring vents look much better in person than in that little picture.

Thank you for all the help, and I am very curious about these 2 effects and any advice or ideas you have.
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2004, 09:13 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Netherlands'

The firs is easy because the gain is much lower of you new amplifier and therfore you need to crank up the volume.
The second is more difficult at what numbers are you talking I have the Theta CBIII.
But what I suspect because your volume control is logaritmic the firs part raise the volume very slow and the last part very quick.
So tha could be the problem that you adjust soundlevels in the top part of your volume control.

  Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2004, 03:04 PM   #3
moe29 is offline moe29  United States
diyAudio Member
moe29's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Florida
Send a message via AIM to moe29 Send a message via Yahoo to moe29
... $1,300 for cables. Cost more than my Aleph 3! (used price)

Addicted Help!!

Did you do any research at all on this amp before buying? If you
go over to the Pass Labs web page you can read all about the
X - Amps and see pictures and everything! Somewhere in there
the literature even comments about speaker cable...
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2004, 05:15 PM   #4
The one and only
Nelson Pass's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2001
The gain figure for the amplifier is 30 dB, so that's not it.

If using single ended inputs, are you also using the necessary
shorting jumpers between pins 1 and 3 on the XLR inputs?
New amplifiers are shipped with these in place.

Regarding the output connectors, that's just the way it is. Most
of these amplifiers are shipped into countries with interesting
ideas about protecting the consumer from the output voltage,
although I am unaware of any case of a user getting a shock
from the output of a 100 watt amp. In any case, the alternatives
which would make you happy are either not legal for export or
very expensive or don't fit the metal we have in stock.

Our supplier is currently working up an output connector which
will fill the bill, and no doubt it will be put in the product
someday, along with a price increase.
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2004, 05:25 PM   #5
paulb is offline paulb  Canada
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Calgary
Default Re: Nelson X3 arrival questions

Originally posted by Addicted Help!!
... These cables will shut down unstable power supplies and low current output amps, and I love doing it to friends with top receivers, when they think their amps are great, but when matched with a true beast, of which on paper this X series certainly appears, they just make speakers sing. ...
You want cables that make amplifiers shut down? What the heck is wrong with them? And you call them neutral?
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th April 2004, 05:44 PM   #6
The one and only
Nelson Pass's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Default Re: Re: Nelson X3 arrival questions

Originally posted by paulb You want cables that make amplifiers shut down? What the heck is wrong with them? And you call them neutral?
Most likely they are of the low inductance / high capacitance
variety. If that's the case, then they can sometimes cause
oscillation in amps with higher feedback because they are not
generally terminated in their characteristic impedance, which
is lower than conventional cable. If unterminated, they will
ring, usually at around a megaHertz, which is often the
vulnerable frequency range of power amplifiers.

The solution is to terminate the cable at the speaker end with
something resembling its characteristic impedance, say a .1 uF
capacitor in series with a 5 to 10 ohm resistor.

There is more on this subject in the speaker cable article at
either or (I forget which)
along with some nifty photos of speaker cables ringing like this.
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th April 2004, 06:26 AM   #7
diyAudio Member
b-square's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Seattle, WA
I was shocked after talking to this guy 10 times and many people using banana's, or one of the other ways, that he never thought it note worthy to mention.
As the buyer, it is your job to figure out if what you are buying meets your needs. Considering you asked all your questions about the amp on this forum _after_ you placed the order, it's not all that surprising to learn you didn't make an informed decision. From what you said it seems _you_ never bothered to mention that your $1300, amp-busting cables are terminated with bananas. Are you actually faulting the guy for not reading your mind?
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th April 2004, 07:48 AM   #8
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Houston
Default Geting remedial but ok

YOur posts seem to rely on factors that are consistently unknown, but also the opposite of what you assume, and this is no exception. The guy was told specifically what cable and termination that I use on multiple occassions, which is my central point.

Also, and this is key, that I guess you don't know this, but almost all multi channel amps, every one I have ever used or seen have what is called 5 way universal binding posts, which accomodate many types of connections, and when for your over a decade of experience with such amps, and more than 200 actual units bought and sold on the used market you have never seen even one that wasn't that way, you have no reason to even suspect one is out there. I dont' want to beat a dead horse, but I can't see how you dont' get that obvious point.

If I owned an amp, that was the one amp in say a 100 that had this extremely rare single way of the common 5 to hook up only, even if I wasn't told that the other guy had banana's which this guy was in plural, I would tell him upfront that this was the case, because to assume everyone uses spades is stupid, when you are considering everyone else should not for a moment consider you might use one of the other 4 major ways to hook up speaker cables. Your own logic suggests that he can't assume I use something that is a 4 in 5 shot I do, but I should assume that this thing does use something that is a 1 in 5 chance, and every other one with 100's seen has had all 5 for over a decade, and I actually told him multiple times what I did in fact use. I hope you find that funny when you realize it, because that is with numbers what you said. I don't make many 1 in 5 guesses, but 4 in 5 is a pretty good educated guess.

If I hadn't told him, than I wouldn't have posted that, but since you don't know me, continually assuming ways that make a good argument, but are not in fact what happened, may not be the best way to proceed accurately.

I do not find this fun or productive, and I really don't know why you even got into this thread, but I am here for information and fun, and am getting neither from these types of posts, so I would like to suggest that we just quit this, and I will not visit any of your posts, and hopefully you can do me the same favor. Response not needed to confirm.

I could list a whole slew of attempts by 3 different mediums without success that led me to having to find Nelson here for the more complicated questions, but what would be the point to you? I have no dealer, live in the 4th largest city in teh US, and love Nelson's past amps. I bought this without ever hearing a Pass labs product, and was pretty sure I would like it , and it appears I was right. People that ask questions with the detail that I did completely from memory, are rarely accussed of not doing their homework, but I did find that part entertaining if you are in fact serious.

Lets see memory
X3 4295 150x3
x5 4500 125x5
x150 4000
x250 6000
x350 9000
x600 18000
x1000 24000
xa 160 18000
xa 200 didnt get price because person didnt have list on that call

The X3, 5 and 150 all share 40 output devices with the 150 20 per channel and when they get the 3 and 5 same amount split up 8 per on the 5, and I got 2 answers on the 3 where it was 13, 13 and 14 center on one call and 14, 14 and 12 on the 2nd, still not sure. My point is without a dealer, their main info guy-(PETER) on vacation the week I looked into it, I did more homework than most people do by far, but since asking about someting you didn't even know existed , and when directly told, the prior owner didnt' even snap too is my obstacle, I think it is really more clearly a case of you just liking to give strangers crud for sport.

I even knew that on Pass site the X3 is rated at 85 pounds as packed and in reality is exactly 70 pounds packed, which was a little interesting. I hope you will honor my request to just avoid one another, because life is too short to randomly mess with complete strangers. I have read both your posts twice and have no idea why you keep listing the value of my speaker cables, but the point of mentioning that was for the irony, that the guy that I bought this from knew exactly what cables I had, what connections I had, and never mentioned that they wouldn't work despite being told this several times, so I have these 1300 dollar cables, that catagorically will not work at this time. I guess you missed the irony of that, or maybe you hate speaker cables, or something else, but I don't make random guesses with strangers, so all I can do is emphasize the reality of what I said in possibly a clearer context for you, so maybe you will now understand what the point of listing that was.

Good luck again, and happy listening.
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th April 2004, 02:03 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
Brian Donaldson's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Texas, Love it or leave it
I and a lot of the people around here would agree that unless these cables are made from solid gold, they'er not worth more than $150.00. Sorry if that offends anyone. I'd suggest selling them (hopefully you can find someone who equates money with quality) or cut the bannanas off of one end and solder on spades.
Hope you enjoy the amps. I agree that they are lookers.
  Reply With Quote
Old 25th April 2004, 05:00 PM   #10
The one and only
Nelson Pass's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2001

You did not answer my question about the jumpers on the
XLR connections, and I am still curious.
  Reply With Quote


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thermistor questions for Nelson. gl Pass Labs 4 23rd July 2007 03:52 AM
A late arrival... acoustixman Introductions 30 2nd March 2006 05:20 PM
Is it mystery .... ? Questions to Nelson nar Pass Labs 14 23rd July 2003 07:15 PM

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 03:26 AM.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2017 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2