Anyone play with the Zen Single-Stage Single-Ended Class A?

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Well I have to say, ever since I stumbled upon I have been engrosed with DIY projects. Everyone has been very very helpfull, and very willing to share information! I am planning to be quite busy in my spare time building TL's, and now adding an amplifier to into the mix. A "cudos" goes out to all who work hard in keeping this foram up and running! As well, I would also like to thank all who have helped me along my journey in into the DIY project!

So, getting with my enthusiasim out of the way, I am going to build the Zen Single-Stage Single-Ended Class A amp : > )

Does anyone have any experiance with this amp...just wondering if this is a good amp to be my FIRST...DIY amplifier.

Also is it possible to find PCB's for this amp, or would it be better (old school style) to "hard wire" it?

Can't wait to get started! I'll post many pics of my progression with the TL's and this lovely little amplifier!

Wish me luck...I have fat fingers, and they sometimes touch things they shouldn't...Ouch...that was hot...and live :>)

What is this about Toronto ... another DIY guy from Toronto!
After browing around in the Pass Labs threads for a while, you'll find a lot of DIYer's in your neighborhood and it'll also answer all your questions and concerns in regards to the ZEN's.
Yes Sir/Madam, you are correct...Toronto Canada!

Don't know why there is a huge following of DIY'ers in Canada...might be because it's difficult to find great audio gear/parts at a good price? Might just be a lot of people in this erea love to build, and learn all they can on interesting topics...birds of a feather? I wonder if there is some sort of club?

I can't answer why...I just love to do.
Joined 2000
Paid Member
It's a great amp for starters. Just be sure you understand the 8ohm requirements and it's slight ineffeciency and heatsink requirements. You can purchase the board from

Also, there have been variations on this amp on There is a more powerful and more effecient, the Zen Version 4, to be revealed soon. It will have a board that you can order directly from Pass DIY.

Good Luck,

Great information! Thanks!

This should be a good starter amp for me. Now I just have to source out the parts.

Question, it calls for 2 Toroid type trans. (one for each channel), would you go for that or source a single large trans. for the job.

As well, could I largen the caps for better power/filter transfer...I like good "Bottom end".

Rino Odorico
Disabled Account
Joined 2002
I play with Zen V2.
Good, good, good, bad, good, good, ugly, best.

The good?-- Simple and easy DIY. Easy p2p building if we want...
The good?-- The sound...
The good?-- The output coupling capacitor entirely protects the speaker...
The bad?-- On switching on, a short popping sound from the speaker at the moment of initial charging of the output coupling capacitor...
The good?-- The ¡°popping¡± action kicks dust on the speaker cone off...
The good?-- Easy to fix or upgrade...
The ugly?-- My box calls for a partial make-up...

The best? Many Zen fans can give you very helpful tech tips...

Bottom End

If you want Bass, I would suggest you wait for ZEN version 4 which will be out any day now. I suggest Version 4 simply because it has more power (~30w/ch) and it'll provide more "punch" to the bass.

If you have very efficient speakers, the original ZEN would do just fine.
Disabled Account
Joined 2002
They have the same "punch" to the bass--Zen V2 and V4.
Is it a misunderstanding?

Mostly, the difference would come from the upper frequencies with respect to the distorsion. In this case, Zen V4 would be better.

After all, I tend to agree with you about the waiting up for Zen V4.
Joined 2002
Hi Rino,

With a Zen, there i$ almo$t no $uch thing a$ too much heat$ink. You ju$t have to $ee that $ometime$ there i$ a limit.$$$:sad:

Actually, you don't want to run the FET's too cool, but with the Zen, that shouldn't be a problem because about 80% of the input power is turned into heat.:redhot:

So stay C@@L:cool:
Rodd Yamas***a
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