Well, this is huge mystery in the reproduction of the few first milliwatt and I very much applaud to what Nelson Pass is trying to do. Being muse a proponent of high sensitively and low power I very much experienced with the fact the high power amps do not work well in ultra high sensitively load. I am very welcome to any SS low power class A1 single-ended amps, perhaps even with output transformers SS amps. Unfortunately very few explore this area. Nelson Pass is trying to talk about it, Eduardo de Lima made a large 15W SS single-ended amp that was very nice and he spoke a lot about making SS with SET-like signature… The direction is very cool.
However, I do need to express some less enthusiastic attitude about it as well. Though the strategic route is very motivating from my point of view but I am not so enthusiastic about what Nelson Pass does. Once again – I appreciate that he look in this direction abut I do not like WHAT he does. Nelson Pass is very experienced and skilled electrician: he might design a well-performing machinery for automated cow milking or a space telescope navigation system but he should not touch anything related to Sound. He is pretty much clawless about the sonic result of his implementation and this is very much visible in sound of any of his amplifiers ( I do not know his phonocorrectors and line-stage – I never had them).
The very same Nelson Pass does with his First Watt project. The idea is there and I very convinced that his low power SS amps do a wonderful job to drive Nelson’s oscilloscopes and distortion analyzers, so what? In the past I read a lot Nelson’s comment about his First Watt project and I always was put off by the comment like this:
“At this point you should be able to listen to music. This amplifier has less gain than most, but at 15 watts rating, it should not need it. If you need to turn the gain up on your preamp, then do so. If you can't get enough gain, then you are probably using either the wrong speaker or the wrong amplifier. Talk to your dealer if this is the case.”
Do I need to comment on it or it is too obvious?
A few years back Mr. Pass initiated a project to make high sensitively loudspeaker to propel his First Watt project. Whatever they did they always came up with full range, back-loaded Lowther of Fostex – the incredible crap in my books – and then they spent a lot of time discussing the idiosyncrasies hot to make the First Watt amps to get better sound of the Lowthers mount in empty TV packing boxes. As Chris Rock (US stand-up comedian) would be saying “I hate this shit!” and I do not anticipate anything interesting from THAT approach. It is all that I call the DIYAudio.com-level of audio: the boys and girl participate in recreational soldering. It is not wrong, better then sniff cocaine, but it also have no reason to deliver more than an entertaining results.
http://www.firstwatt.com/downloads/cs-amps-speakers.pdfRgs, Romy the Cat
So, I do very welcome the milliwatt-capable SS amps but I personally doubt that any interesting result would come from Nelson Pass Company. I have to admit thigh that I have had in my room the First Watt amp….
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche