our implementation - Zen may be defined as an intuitive looking into
the nature of things in contradistinction to the analytical or logical
understanding of it.
have used the name Zen Triode and the term Zen Designed since 1996.
It is not intended to be a religious statement in any way. But,
I feel it is important that you know I have a decent understanding
of Christianity and Zen Buddhism, not to mention dozens of other
concepts dealing with the one vs. the many. That is to say that
when I named our first product the "Zen" triode amplifier
it was a sincere and not intended as a buzzword, or an attempt to
add credibility or pizzazz to an otherwise unknown product or company.
magic experience of the original Zen Triode design was the Zen design
process itself. Very different from the scientific approach. No
calculators or scopes were used. The design evolved through a series
of choices that presented themselves as options solved through intuition.
The difficult part was keeping my radio dial tuned to the right
channel. Many times I'd get lost in my own ideas and start wasting
time. Then when I was ready to listen, new ideas would present themselves.
Being a fairly new experience (Zen Design) I paid great attention
to the "signs" that would confirm or deny that I was on
the correct path.
experience provokes some insane experiments and forces you to spend
a lot of time in the "gray" areas of performance curves
and specifications in general. There is a great amount of trust
involved, or faith perhaps, that if seen to it's end is very rewarding.
The success of the SE84C Zen Triode amp is pretty much testament
engineers who are friends of mine and do not understand this enjoyable
design technique give me tons of grief because they do not fully
understand my methods, and have deaf ears upon being offered an
a Zen design it is suicide to use a scope because of the basic weakness
of man to believe his material eyes over his mind's eye. Seeing
the scope and looking at square waves, distortion components, and
power characteristics creates a simply overwhelming urge to "correct"
the circuit to comply with what your eyes think they should be seeing.
This severs the link between designer and his source of ideas, impulse
and instincts. It ultimately waists a lot of time, unless of course
you want the quick and easy way out, and are willing to create a
product that is just like every other bloody boring product on the
market, and no better.
the popularity of our amplifiers it's starting to seem as though
Zen is becoming a popular "buzzword" as of late in the
high end audio industry. New manufactures are squeezing the word
"Zen" into their company names, and older more established
manufactures are creating products now that use the word "Zen".
I hate to see this happen, especially knowing that none of these
company's actually know what Zen is, much less employee similar
my knowledge Nelson Pass was the first one in the high end audio
industry to use the name "Zen" in association with one
of his products. During the years I was self absorbed in the design
process I took time for little else, and lost track of what's what
and ultimately became somewhat embarrassed when I discovered he
also had named an amplifier the "Zen amp" and had done
so long before I did. He and I talked about it and felt it would
be prudent to rename our products to avoid confusion. He from that
point on called his the "Pass Zen" and I called ours the
though in talking to Mr. Pass I learned he did not employee the
same Zen design technique, it was obvious how well the term Zen
described his ultra simple amplifier, a less is more very simplistic
approach to amplification in favor of purity vs. power. At least
that's the way I see it, and I'm sure he would agree. He has to
get the credit for originally coming up with the association and
using it to name a product. I'm completely certain I stand alone
in the use of my specific technique ( best described as an intuitive
looking into the nature of things in contradistinction to the analytical
or logical understanding of them). God knows I have some engineers
(usually the ones right out of college) totally bent out of shape
from time to time, and no one has ever come to my defense to help
me explain to them how their minds have been programmed with specific
and absolute boundaries from which to think inside.
of the most precious gifts that come from being self taught is the
absence of boundaries and ideals. Although the process is at least
100 times harder and takes about that much longer, the depth of
understand it brings is something I wouldn't trade for all the degrees
in the world.
Zen and metaphysics are linked, I want to clearly state that no
metaphysical things are claimed to be responsible for the sound
of our fine amplifiers. While each one is hand built by people
who sincerely love the amp and a certain amount of karma can be
associated with that, we do not make any claims to have signed them
with magic pens. The amps sound good because they are good, and
because they are a product of passion. They don't need the name
"Zen" to add credibility or notoriety.
- now becoming an overdone buzzword - sad.