"Dick Olsher famously remarked that 'The first watt is the most important watt.' This sentiment has also been expressed by others as 'Who cares what an amplifier sounds like at 500 watts if it sounds like crap at one 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.

"Small amplifiers have a number of advantages over 'big iron' in that very high quality can be achieved with simple Class A circuits using little or no feedback.

"There is no such thing as a perfect amplifier. All audiophiles and their associated equipment have specific needs, but in each case there is such a thing as a best amplifier - the one that makes you happy.

"First Watt exists because 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."

— Nelson Pass


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