diyAudio (
-   Pass Labs (
-   -   Best place for a newbie to jump in? (

Greggo 6th July 2006 08:16 PM

Best place for a newbie to jump in?

I am just getting started on my first speaker project (a P.Audio coaxial) and need to build an amp for the high frequency driver (already have a nice old Perreaux PMF2150B for the bass).

I think the driver is 100dB plus efficient, so I don't need much juice, will be using a cheapie Pyle active crossover unit to control signals to each.

So... I have zero electronics experience but need to start somewhere. What would you recommend as the best way to get started without setting myself up for too much frustration or failure potential. I just want to be able to get through the first project so I will have more confidence to tackle bigger and better things in the future (and of course my wife needs to see that I can do this without "F"ing it up, otherwise she becomes much less supportive of my DIY budget for parts and stuff...

Speaker will be used for instrument practice, home studio work, and background music while working on other stuff. Just need something nice and clean, not worried about the last word in audiophile paranoia. Have been lurking here on and off for a few years, like what I see so I thought I would start here and stay here for diy amps.

Thanks for your help.



Nelson Pass 6th July 2006 08:39 PM

The two dumbest amplifiers (and I mean that in the
good way) is either the original Zen or the Son of
Zen. They aren't the best performers, but they are the
most foolproof. Of the two, you probably want the
original Zen.


EC8010 6th July 2006 08:50 PM

Or you could go for a valve amplifier. Gingertube's "Baby Huey" might be a good place to start. If you're old enough to even talk about a mid-life crisis, you're old enough to take the care to make stuff that works first time.

steenoe 6th July 2006 09:11 PM

Greggo, for an amp for the tweeter end , I would go for a ZenV9!!
The ZenV9 is simply just sweet sounding as long as it doesnt have to drive a hungry bass-unit:) There is little doubt that the ZenV9 is the best amp for your purpose;) If you are lucky enough you could grab a pcb for it in the ZenV9 pcb thread:D
Dont hesitate to shoot more Questions;)


Greggo 6th July 2006 09:21 PM

Guys, thanks for the replies. I looked at PassLabsDIY at the store shelves are bare, I am about half way through the V9 thread and have two crucial questions:

Since I don't yet know how to read schematics and need extra help, am I better off looking for help in stepping through the article on the orginal Zen or tracking the new v9 and hoping that there is enough photo/explanation that I can figure out how to keep up?

Does anyone specialize in selling parts/boards/directions for Pass creations or do I need to start at the beginning and learn a bit about electronics before I attempt to assemble an amp?

edit: just finished going through the v9 thread, looks like I missed the boat. Still trying to figure out who sells what around here and what I will need to do to put together a basic plan that will work for me. Any more help on best ways to get started would be much appreciated. I don't mind going through tons of threads, but most around here seem to be geared towards readers at a much higher level than myself. Would I be better off looking for a full blown kit?



EC8010 6th July 2006 09:31 PM

You could always build an amplifier by "applicate part A to part B with appropriate soldering" but it won't be very rewarding. If you're serious, you'll want to understand why you're doing what other people have advised.

poobah 6th July 2006 09:48 PM

A chipamp might be a good first project. Circuit boards and kits are available... they are also dishwasher safe.


steenoe 6th July 2006 09:48 PM

Greggo, I suggest you take my approach:) On a seriuos note, you "could" start out building the ZenV1!! Why anyone would want to do that, excludes my mind:D The ZenV9 is just as easy to build as the ZenV1, so I dont really get the point, building something else.......?? Since the ZenV9 is a proven killer in the highend department, you have your answer!!! Please send me an email. if you want more info:)


Paul Ebert 6th July 2006 11:36 PM

I'm planning on building a ZV9 (or, perhaps, two) for midrange and treble duty, currently awaiting my PCBs. I anticipate it being a wonderful way to go, but there are some obstacles besides electronic knowledge. Mainly that the Zen series put out quite a bit of heat and getting suitable heatsinks can be a problem. Perhaps one of the earlier Zen amps is less demanding in this regard?

A chip amp is probably the most convenient option. Another super convenient option would be a Charlize ( or UcD based amp ( These two are 'class D' amps, which may or may not be a problem for you. Some claim they are not well suited to reproducing treble well.

Though I love them, I would recommend against a tube amp as they involve rather high voltages (like 300 volts or more - you had better know what you're doing! :bigeyes: ).

Should you wish to go the ZV9 route, hopefully there will be enough interest to warrant another PCB sale. If not, it may not be too difficult to do point-to-point wiring or to get PC boards made for yourself.

Good luck!


audiotux 7th July 2006 06:31 PM long as it doesnt have to drive a hungry bass unit ......

there are roumors on the www.
that First Watt releases the F4 monos (40 Watt)
in the near future !!

Thanks a million Mr. Pass !

hope the F4 is sold out as fast as can be ,
that we can see the schematic !

Greetings from Germany


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:34 AM.

Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 18.75%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2018 diyAudio