Pass Labs HPA-1 Loaner Program

Discussion in 'Sponsor Announcements and Deals' started by todd, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Todd Contributor
    HI All,
     
    Here is a chance for 6 lucky and qualified people to audition the new Pass Labs HPA-1 ($3500). First, you will need to be serious about purchasing the HPA-1. Secondly, it would be nice if you had more than one high end headphone but NOT a dis-qualifier if you are serious about this amp.
     
    So in addition to the normal rules, please send me the headphones you have/plan to use with the HPA-1.
     

    Loaner Program Rules:
     
    Send your name and address as well as a telephone number and  your Head-Fi user name to me at todd@ttvjaudio.com. Do NOT PM me as you will not be included in the program without an email.
    You will get the loaner for 1 week to use in your home with your system. After your one week is up, you must send it to the next loaner participant. Email me (todd@ttvjaudio.com) the tracking info so I can pass it on to the recipient. Write a review and post it on Head-Fi in the loaner thread. It must be posted in the same thread as the announcement for the loaner program. Please do not post it somewhere else!
    Once you have received the loaner, email me to let me know you have it and I will send the address for the next person.
    Our loaner programs are USA only. We are restricted from shipping/selling outside the USA on most products.
     
    Pass Labs has long been a favorite of TTVJAudio! Nelson Pass is a legend - certainly in my mind! His companies products are always excellent, beautiful, well built and sound awesome. And the HPA-1 is no exception. I am sending MY own personal unit out on this loaner program so the limit of 6 participants is FOR SURE. I want it back sooner rather than later.
     
     
    passlabsHPA1Front.jpg
     
    Here is some info on Pass Labs...

    About Pass

    Pass Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1991 by Nelson Pass.  Operating out of his shop at home, Pass developed prototypes of a single-ended Class A amplifier design.  At the same time, he and Mike Burley were constructing an in-house machine shop with three home-built CNC milling machines with which to produce the amplifiers when the design was finished.
    The first product, the Aleph 0, shipped in 1992.  It was a mono-block design rated at 70 watts into 8 ohms, and was unique in using three gain stages of power Mosfets including a push-pull output stage biased by a big constant current source.  The amplifier operated as single-ended Class A up to its 70 watt rating and in push pull Class A at higher wattage.
    The amplifier was highly acclaimed, and was called the “Amplifier of the Decade” in Sterephile magazine.
    At this time, Nelson hired his next-door neighbor, Elena Tong, to help with producing the amplifiers, and she manages much of the company to this day.
    A stereo version called the Aleph 0s followed after, along with a preamp called the Aleph P.  A larger version of the Aleph 0 called the Aleph 1 shipped the following year, and was a mono-block rated at 150 watts.
    In 1994 Pass Labs released a newer Aleph design which simplified the circuit from three gain stages down to only two stages and used a newly patented power current source to bias the single-ended output stage.  The new circuitry was incorporated into a revision of the Aleph 1, the 200 watt Aleph 1.2, and smaller models, the 100 watt Aleph 2.
    In 1994 Nelson was joined by Wayne Colburn, who began working on improved version of the preamp and on a new phono stage.  The company received two patents this year, one of them the design that became the SuperSymmetric circuit in use today.
    In 1995, the 30 watt Aleph 3 and Aleph L preamp were released.  Also in 1995 the Joseph Sammut left his position at Krell and became operations chief at Pass labs.  The following year he was followed by designer Desmond Harrington.
    In 1997 Wayne Colburn’s efforts bore fruit in the revised Aleph P, the Aleph Ono phono stage, and the D1 digital to analog converter.
    By 1995 the company had outgrown Nelson’s buildings, and building was begun in a new location.  In 1997 Pass Labs moved out of Nelson’s shop space and into a new facility in Foresthill.  By then, even more space was needed, and was leased for storage elsewhere.  Nelson’s original shop continues to house research.
    In 1998 the company released the X1000, the first amplifier using the patented SuperSymmetric topology.  The X1000 achieved 1000 watts with high performance, local feedback and only two gain stages:  a cascoded differential pair of transistors and a large bank of complementary output followers.  This ground breaking design has formed the amplifier products from Pass Labs to the present day.
    The X1000 also introduced Desmond Harrington’s signature mechanical design work.  The X1000 was followed by the mono-block X600, the stereo X350, and the stereo X250 and X150 models.
    In 1998 and 1999, Wayne’s preamplifiers X0, X1, and Xono were released, and Joe Sammut became the President of Pass Labs, freeing Nelson to devote all his time to product.
    In 2001 Pass Labs shipped the XVR1 active crossover and X2.5 preamplifier.
    In 2002 the first XA amplifiers were released, combining the X and Aleph topologies into balanced single-ended Class A amplifiers with many of the characteristics of both the X and Aleph series.  The XA200 was rated at 200 watts mono, the XA160 was 160 watts.
    In 2003 the company produced the X150.5, the first major improvement of the X150 amplifier, and followed it with “.5” revisions to the other X amplifiers through 2003 and 2005. 
    In 2007 Pass Labs is applying the “.5” advances to the XA series of amplifiers, with the XA100.5, XA60.6, and XA30.5 shipping as of this writing.  These revisions dramatically lower distortion and noise and also dramatically improved the performance of the amplifiers into low impedance loads.
    Also in 2007, Desmond Harrington assumed responsibility as President of the company.  Nelson and Wayne continue development work, Joe manages sales and marketing, and Elena and Kent English manage the rest of the company.  All these people still like each other, and sit in the same office everyday.  This way they can all can hear everything that’s going on, laughing about most of it.
     

    The best is in Robert Harley's  "Guide to High End Audio Vol 2 "Electronics"
    There is a chapter on Nelson Pass from ESS to First Watt.
     
    Later in the book, Nelson writes a chapter on groundbreaking amplifier designs and throws up the circuits.  Some of which is here
    http://www.firstwatt.com/pdf/art_cas_2015.pdf
     
    Over on DIYAUDIO.COM there is the Pass Labs forum...... where they've named Nelson "Papa"
    Things from Wayne and Jam as well
     
    BurningAmp.org, various Nelson Lectures over the years..... last year the whole thing was video conferenced and on youtube..  Here is the link to Nelsons vid.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk8CubrqTYU
     
    So as you can see, Pass Labs is not new to the High End amplifier market and there should be real excitement that they have delivered a headphone amp to the market!
     
    Todd

     
    BournePerfect likes this.
  2. TMoney
    I am very excited to be the first participant in this loaner program.
     
    For those of you in the Bay Area, I will be brining the HPA-1 with me to the Head-Fi meet in two weeks on Saturday, January 30 in San Jose.
     
    jelt2359 and BournePerfect like this.
  3. Mshenay Contributor
    Nice demo program, I'd love to try it but sadly it's way out of my budget atm. 
     
  4. ktmracer12345
    This is awesome! I hope it matches the hype!
     
  5. USAudio
    It's my understanding that this was not designed by Nelson Pass:  http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/ces-2015-pass-labs-upcoming-headphone-amplifier#FDGurHqmlk8r6oDK.97
     
    Still hoping for a "FirstWatt" headphone amplifier ... might be a long wait!  [​IMG] 
     
  6. HiFi Guru
    Hi Todd- Well I have an X350.5 for my home rig. Love it. My headphones are LCD-3 and HD-800. I would love to review the Pass headphone amp. I am in the market for it- as I already am a Pass Labs owner. How long is the trial period for?
     
    TMoney likes this.
  7. yage
     
    Might have to be called "FirstMilliwatt" if you're talking about headphones... [​IMG]
     
    TMoney and DoctaCosmos like this.
  8. dmhenley
    I would like to join the program. My Nighthawks and AKG would be my phones. Thank you.
     
  9. USAudio
    Ha! Good idea!
     
  10. singleended58
    I used to listen to Pass Labs power amp. Now I would like to try the HPA-1 for the headphones...
     
  11. glassmonkey
    I have a friend in the UK, @dill3000 who has built a FirstWatt open source design with some upgraded components and uses it for his amplifier for the HE-6. It's a power amp, so an external volume control is necessary. If I remember right, the power into the HE-6 is about 6 watts. One must remember that the rated output of 50W is into 4 or 8ohms on power amps. The amp sounds absolutely divine with the HE-6.
     
  12. Todd Contributor

    I guess I forgot to put up the loaner rules so here they are... I have 1 or 2 spaces left and will post the loaner participants order once the program is filled.
     
    Loaner Program Rules:
     
    Send your name and address as well as a telephone number and  your Head-Fi user name to me at todd@ttvjaudio.com. Do NOT PM me as you will not be included in the program without an email.
    You will get the loaner for 1 week to use in your home with your system. After your one week is up, you must send it to the next loaner participant. Email me (todd@ttvjaudio.com) the tracking info so I can pass it on to the recipient. Write a review and post it on Head-Fi in the loaner thread. It must be posted in the same thread as the announcement for the loaner program. Please do not post it somewhere else!
    Once you have received the loaner, email me to let me know you have it and I will send the address for the next person.
    Our loaner programs are USA only. We are restricted from shipping/selling outside the USA on most products.
     
    Todd
     
  13. Gray1
    I am interested in participating in the Last Pass HPA-1 loaner program as well, and have the new HD 800 S headphones on order to pair with it. I also want to compare it to the Schiit Ragnarok SS amp. Thanks!
     
  14. Todd Contributor
    HI All,
     
    Here are the 5 people who have been chosen to participate in the HPA-1 loaner program. I may be willing to accept 1 or 2 more if qualified. Email me and we'll see what I can do...
     
    The loaner amp is shipping out tomorrow.
     

    Pass Labs HPA-1 Loaner program participants
     
    TMoney
    jp11801
    musicman59
    smbuscemi
    Gray1
    singleended58
     
  15. TMoney
    The HPA-1 just arrived. I couldn't resist plugging her in to my office rig before I bring her home tonight for some serious listening.
     
    IMG_0004.jpg.e49a5ca1c3fea8634174a8a0312df353.jpg
     
    jazzfan likes this.

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