A very successful Burning Amp was held on October 15th and 16th, both online via Zoom and live at Fort Mason Center. Nelson Pass donated a car-load of treasures for the auction and raffle. $5000 was raised at the auction. Thank you Nelson!
Videos of the event are now available on the VIDEO page. Enjoy!
Saturday afternoon was educational seminars with Art Noxon and Scott Hinson. (Update: Demian Martin was not able to present. Art Noxon presented in his stead.)
Saturday morning was the ACA Redux Build Camp hosted by Nelson Brock (limited seating, separate material fee required).
Sunday was the traditional full day Burning Amp Festival with audio projects on display, Pass room, and a listening room in Building C. Sunday morning also had Scott Hinson demonstrating speaker measurement techniques on attendees speakers outside the Firehouse.
At the Firehouse Sunday afternoon speakers were Jon Ver Halen, Tony Salsich, and Nelson Pass, followed by an auction, raffle, and social hour.
The traditional catered Indian lunch also occurred on Sunday with picnic tables set up next to San Francisco Bay.
If you missed it, see you next year!
Our stellar list of presenters:
Scott Hinson: Speaker Design and Measurement Techniques
Scott Hinson is probably best known to the DIY community for 70 plus loudspeaker design white papers at facebook.com/DIYRM, covering all aspects of design, measurement and construction. He’s been involved in DIY audio since 1995 when he ran “The Bass List” out of the listserv system while an engineering student at The University of Texas at Austin.
In the following years Scott designed medical devices, space rated high reliability battery management systems, amplifiers, power supplies and all sorts of things that could shock you. (One of which was the TEMS system for a multi-modal muscle electro-stimulation device.) Scott now researches renewable energy integration into the grid.
In the commercial audio world, Scott consults on and designs audiophile, pro-sound, and studio loudspeaker systems for numerous clients all over the globe.
Art Noxon: Something new in listening room acoustics: The Musical Clarity Response Curve.
Art Noxon is president of Acoustic Sciences and inventor of the TubeTrap. Art Noxon is a fully accredited Professional Acoustical Engineer with Master’s degree in both Mechanical Engineering (Acoustics) and Physics. He invented the TubeTrap in 1983, created Acoustic Sciences Corp in 1984 to manufacture and distribute the TubeTrap. A prolific inventor, he has 12 TubeTrap related patents and has developed over 150 other acoustic devices and counting. A scientist, lecturer, writer, and teacher of acoustics, Art Noxon has presented numerous AES papers, magazine articles, white papers, lectures and classes in the field of applied acoustics.
Jon Ver Halen: Why Full Range?
Jon Ver Halen graduated from Purdue with honors and then a masters degree in engineering, also from Purdue. He has been building speakers since his undergraduate days. At some point he took an interest in SET’s, designing and building a number of amplifiers.
Since his wife would not tolerate the big horns that he so desired, Jon turned to high efficiency single drivers systems. He started importing the Lowther speakers in 2000. While importing those speakers he designed a pair of commercial speakers, the Alerion and LOB (little open baffle). He is now the importer the Cube Audio line of speakers.
In his spare time Jon designs custom cranes that have been used by Space-X, Norad stations, various nuclear power stations and even Disney World. He also acts as an expert witness in civil lawsuits determining how products failed, and the liability of various parties. This work supplies the income to support his ever-more-expensive hobby.
Tony Salsich: The Hill Type I Plasma Speaker: How It Works, and How You Can Hear It
Tony Salsich worked for Alan Hill at Plasmatronics Inc. from 1977 to 1990. He helped design some of the electronics supporting the Hill type I plasma loudspeaker and worked the CES shows with Alan. During those years he got an incomparable education in pulsed power and laser physics. He currently designs welding and induction heating power sources for Miller Electric in Appleton, WI.
When faced with the 2020 Covid lockdown, Tony finally accomplished his dream of resurrecting his personal pair of plasma speakers; designing the high voltage power supplies and class A amps from scratch. Tony also plays the Gansa in a Balinese Gamelan group.
Nelson Pass: The Current SITuation
“Papa” Nelson Pass needs little introduction to the DIY community and to attendees of Burning Amp having been there from the start.
In 1974, he received his BS in physics from the University of California-Davis. While there he and Mike Maher founded the small speaker company PMA. From 1973 to 1974, he was employed at ESS and assisted Dr. Oskar Heil with crossover design, woofer selection, and final build cabinetry of audiophile, consumer grade loudspeakers.
After graduating in 1974, he and René Besne founded Threshold Electronics. Threshold is perhaps best known for the “Stasis” amplifiers . He sold Threshold Electronics in 1997. In the mid 1980s, Pass also designed the well-reviewed Adcom GFA-555 amplifer.
Pass Labs was founded in 1991. Notable Pass Class A product lines include the “Aleph” series of single-ended amplifiers. The X series amplifiers, which make use of the SuperSymmetry topology (patented by Pass) giving extremely low distortion levels, and the XA series, which combine the two. In parallel with Pass Labs, Pass also runs First Watt, a “kitchen table” commercial venture which produces, in very limited numbers, low-power / minimalist Class A designs. Nelson Pass holds multiple patents related to amplifier design.
Nelson Pass has been a champion of the DIY community for decades, beginning with a series of articles in Audio Amateur magazine introducing the “Zen” variations, amplifiers that answer the question “What is the sound of one transistor clapping?” His more recent designs introduced at prior Burning Amps, include the ACA (Amp Camp Amp), DIY Bi-Amp 6-24 Crossover, ACP+ (Amp Camp Pre-amp + Headphone Amp) and most recently the ACA Mini. His Moth SLOB (Slot-Loaded Open Baffle) was built at the Speaker Camp held this June in Sonoma County.
12:30 Zoom Session starts, Videos from Build Camp displayed.
1:00 Tom: Welcome remarks
1:05 Art Noxon: Something new in listening room acoustics: The Musical Clarity Response Curve.
2:30 Scott Hinson: Speaker Design and Measurement Techniques
4:30 Session End – Social hour at Radhaus (Building A)
12:30 Zoom session starts, replay project interviews.
1:00 Tom: Welcome remarks,
1:05 Jon Ver Halen: Why Full Range?
2:05 Nelson Brock: Report on Build Camp
2:10 Jim Tiemann: Support newcomers to our hobby and a DIY store update.
2:25 Tony Salsich: The Hill Type I Plasma Speaker: How It Works, and How You Can Hear It
3:20 Nelson Pass: The Current SITuation (or what to do with those Tokin SITs)
4:30 Mini ACA giveaway for Zoom participants.
4:35 Auction (live and Zoom), Pass Class A amplifier, Lowther PM6As, VFET essentials kits, TOKIN SITs
5:00 Zoom session ends. Raffle of donated items.
6:00 Social hour