NELSON PASS: A Message from First Watt’s Nelson Pass

Watt’s New

This has always been about making amplifiers.

Dick Olsher famously remarked that “The first watt is the most important watt.” With this in mind, I created First Watt in 1998 as a “kitchen-table” effort, exploring unusual low power amplifiers with an emphasis on sound quality. I wanted to explore a variety of amplifier designs in what I think of as neglected areas – amplifiers that might not fit into the mainstream and are probably not appropriate to my more commercial enterprise, Pass Labs.

Fourteen years later I have accomplished that goal, but along the way it seems that I have created a commercial enterprise that has outgrown my ability to handle alone. I tried addressing that by hiring my nephew and son to help, but they wandered off to their own careers (as offspring will do), leaving me with all the work.

Don’t get me wrong, I like work – It’s good for you. Building product is fun and keeps me grounded, but production demands are not leaving me with enough time to pursue the vast array of yet-to-be-designed amplifiers.

So I am doing the logical thing, which is to hand the business end of First Watt over to Pass Labs, bringing my three business partners to the table as well. My relationships with these people stretch back to 1972 with ESS, through the Threshold years and for the 25 years of Pass Labs.

Starting in April, Pass Labs will be building First Watt amplifiers and will also take responsibility for marketing and distribution. Support and service policies will remain the same.

I will continue at what I do best, the fun part.

Nelson Pass

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