Pass Labs Zen Amplifiers

4.8/5 (5 Reviews)


Product Description

10 watt/channel DIY Single Ended Mosfet Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bernd Dworrak a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2000

Bottom Line:   
It took a lot of time to built this unit since it is difficult to get all the part you need in Germany where I live. Nevertheless, with a few changes ( usage of vishay resistors for instance ) I built the amplifier as shown on Mr. Pass's webpages.

I found a metal-worker who did the chassis for me ( milled alloy of course ).

The units of my listening chain are Technics SL-10 turntable with Grado Signature tonearm and Grado Signature pickup; Technisat DVB sat-tuner; Wadia WT2000 CD-Transport with WADIA X64 D/A converter; AudioResearch SP 11-MKII preamplifier. The loudspeakers were among others ProAc Response 2.5; Klipsch LaBelle; JBL L200 and a pair of NEAR 15M that are my own.

The equipment is completely wired with IBM-Twinax-Cables and Audioquest Dragon LS-Cables. I use ST-Type glas-fibers for the connection between the sat-Tuner/CD-Transport and the AD-converter.

To see what the ZEN can do I would like to show you what it always does no matter which loudspeaker were in use. Of cause the Klipsch and the JBL's fitted wonderfully besause they need less power, but also the other speakers could show the benefits of the Pass-design.

Air is the first thats comes in mind, when you listen to this amp. Take Edvard Grieg Songs with orchestra from CD Deutsche Grammophon 437 519-2. Gotheburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Jaervi conducting. Feel the air dancing on the strings and hear all nuances inBarbara Bonney's wonderful voice. If you like vinyl take the Verdi Ernani on LSC-6183 out of your bookshelf. You can get the atmosphere of this recoring done in Teatro la Fenice with a wonderful Leontine Price and Carlo Bergonzi.

For those of you prefering popular music: there are three records I recommend because they are really good to evaluate a listening system.
the first is 'detunized gravity' of De-Phazz on mole-cd 067-2. You want bass you will get it.The secong album is Faithless' 'sunday 8pm'. I've heard this group last summer in Cologne during Pop-Art Festival, whre tey played with Portishead and others. Why I recommend it, well it's live and that is what you realize when you hear this album and also because there is only one way to hear Faithless better than on the system desribed above - to hear them live.
The third record I recommed for listening is St Germain - Tourist on BlueNote 7243 5 26201 2 8.
The rhythm rolls through all octaves from the bottom to the top. There is nothing hidden listening to the Zen.

I final question. Does anyone know, why Mr. Pass does not built this amplifier as a standard model ? Is there anybody out there :-) who is afraid of not having enough energy to drive their speakers ? My Zen has a mere of 20 VA. In my living room that is about 5.5 m x 6.5 meters and my NEAR M15 I never had the chance to go to the amplifiers limits because my neighbors then would ask me whether I'm deaf.

Any suggestions may they be equipment on records or anything else there are welcome.

Bernd Dworrak M.A.



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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by keachie rené a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I`m a member of the association of audiophile of montreal and I`d bring the zen for a sesson,every one was happy 25 people with smile on their face . the components used for the test are copland top of the line dc player,williamson home brew preamplifier, the zen,and JBL le15a for the bass 2425j mid with horn and 2405 treble this is good for 96 db of effiency .The room was quite large for ten watts approx:15x20 feet the bass needed a little more control on loud passage but in my house there is no problem you can`t find something at a better price.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Bill a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 19, 1999

Bottom Line:   
proper speaker matching is critical with this amp, but you will be rewarded for your hard work with unbelievable performance!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Zoxx a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 4, 1999

Bottom Line:   
WANTED !!!I listen Pass ZEN. I really impress with that sound. Can anyone send me Electrical Schemes for this.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast



Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Brandon Law a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 27, 1999

Bottom Line:   
This Amp sounds really good!!! The hours and the hardwork put into it paid off. The High-midrange of this amp sound is unbelievable. The Bass is Sloppy, and I mean SLLOPPPY. I Guess low frequencies are purposely filtered out. Instruments that have both high and low frequencies in it sounds quite odd, like the snare drum for example. I recommend this amp as an tweeter amp. If your a mosfet lover, you should really try this one. If your a Glasso-phile, well, just throw away those tubes for a week and try some mosfets!

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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