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Old 19th December 2004, 10:29 PM   #1
judge is offline judge  Austria
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: AUT
Unhappy Idiotīs guide to building Pass amps?

Hi all!
Iīm new to diyaudio.com, I registered cause I am interested in building one of Nelson Passīs amplifiers, and possibly a preamp. I have been digging the net about nice amplifiers and reviews cause Iīd like to have a new one (currently use an old tube Klein+Hummel), and stumbled across several tests of the obviously superb Pass Labs products, which sparked my interest to learn more about that company, and led me to passdiy.com, which I read from a-z.
I found the circuits and explanations to be intrigueingly elegant, and some simple enough to not be put off from the beginning.
Although Iīd be perfectly willing to buy a pair of XA-160s plus fitting preamp, boxes, and CD-player, Iīd probably not survive my preceding bank robbery attempt Which leads to a logical conclusion: DIY.
Now, I hardly have any experience in practical electronics engineering, nearly forgot all of my high school physics and very basic university applied physics education, so Iīd like to hear your opinion about a complete rookie building one of Nelson Passīs devices.
My requirements would be: An amp plus power supply that is easy/fun/interesting to build, works with a CD-player (donīt need phono at the moment), and a pair of Triangle Titus boxes (90dB/2,8V/1m, sensitive enough for a small Zen?). Would there be any way around a preamp? If not, which one would be fitting?
I suppose a Zen 4 would be the right choice cause I could order the PCBs as far as I know (are they shipped to Europe, credit cards accepted?) and wouldnīt need to mess around with etching my own or untwisting knots in lengths of cable between the parts. What would be the roughly estimated building costs?
Iīd especially like to hear about experiences from Europeans building Zen amps, do I need to substitute parts that are not available or difficult to get in Europe, preferably Germany/Austria/Switzerland area (I am from Austria). What about 110V vs 230V?
I do have access to basic and advanced tools and helping hands(including lathes and milling machines, oscilloscopes and digital speaker measuring systems which I am sure I would need ), as one of my friends is an experienced tube amp builder as well as plastics and hydraulics engineering type, and another is studying audio electronics engineering (worked with AKG in the past) and is designing and building his own speaker systems, so I can always ask for help if anything occurs that exceeds my limited grasp of current and voltage
I am grateful for general opinions, any hints, tips and pointers to relevant threads and topics. And yes, I am using the search engine and am reading up on the topic, but it takes quite a lot of time to filter out the relevant info and understanding even half of what most of you are talking about with my electro-dimwits brain
Thanks in advance!
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Old 19th December 2004, 10:50 PM   #2
stefanobilliani is offline stefanobilliani  Italy
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Italy
Default SOZ + BOSOZ

I lived almost 2 years with the SOZ .
It was just little more than 5 Watt for a 90db/W/meter speaker .
I was more than enthusiast as it was a first and successful project.
As you know it is fairy easy to build . It match perfectly with the BOSOZ
The BOSOZ is a wonderful sounding preamp ; there are some boards around if you decide to go with PCB.
So if you are willing to try what 10 watt can do ( a lot ) than this is the starting point .
In a second time you may need some more damping for a conventional speaker , and "X ing " the SOZ is the consequence of that need ,with the possibility of discover the famous SuperSymmetry patent.

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Old 19th December 2004, 11:25 PM   #3
moe29 is offline moe29  United States
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Location: Florida
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Building a Zen 4 (Penultamate Zen) would be a great option for
you. There is a great instruction article, and you can get PCB's
and a Q-pack with it. Pass Labs does ship internationally.
(see the Pass DIY website for info).

I think the additional output power of the Zen 4 might be a better
match for your system.

You will need a preamp to run it. A Balanced Zen Line Stage would
do fine, and would have balanced outputs if you decide to build a
SOZ, Aleph, or Aleph-X later.

So just find big heat sinks for your Zen and have fun!
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Old 20th December 2004, 12:33 AM   #4
uli is offline uli  Austria
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Vienna, Austria
Default parts

Hi judge,

if you need some parts drop me a line I live in Vienna too.



'Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny' F.Zappa
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