Who is Nick Doshi?

Several posters here have listed custom designs by Nick Doshi as being the best amps and preamps they have ever heard -- including the phono stage within the preamp.

However, I've never heard of Nick Doshi, and Google turns up nothing. Evidently he's an exremely private designer!

What's the deal?
He is the one whose name cannot be spoken. Those who wish to remain physically in one piece dare not mention that name.

Actually, he is not one person, but a manifestation of many private elves who work in a somewhat cool place far to the north.

Some say he has a cat with a very bright red nose.

Uh, maybe the Sudafed is kickin' in.
Dan_ed, are you referring to Saint Nick "Doshi" ?

OK Patrick, here is how to do the search:

"Nick Doshi preamp design" (I got several hits at Audiogon, Audio Asylum and other places), happy reading.
I'll second Cello's comment and add that what you hear about Nick's work is true. Just a few hours of listening and comparing with other preamps was enough to convice me. Thanks to Doug Deacon, I was fortunate enough to get my order (I'm going to try Nick's pre and phono seperates) in at the right time so I believe I'm next on the list. I'm hoping it arrives around the same time as my new Galibier.

I've got to start saving my pennies now since Nick is hoping to have a new monoblock out next year.
Sorry,you are all wrong.It states,in The DaVinci Code that the Holy Grail was not a cup,but a descendent of Christ.That person,and their lineage was protected by a "society" with the initials of "N.D."As centuries past,the additional linear descendents were STILL followed,and protected by a society known as "Opus N.D."!!
Clearly Dan Brown was alluding to the "Great" Nick Doshi!!

BTW-I have NO idea who he is!
Hi Patrick,

I'll third Cello's comment. Nick is up there with Mehran of SoraSound in the audio-nice-guys department.

There are some tidbits about Nick's amp and preamp on my system page. Googling doesn't produce much because Nick is indeed a private designer with no interest in going commercial. Each year he makes 10 or 12 reference caliber preamps (and even fewer amps) for selected clients/friends.

You get selected by being friendly (I lied on the application) and via introduction by an existing owner. Once you learn the secret handshake and unscramble "The Doshi Code" you can join the club.

If you think Nick is hard to research consider Raul's designer. All we know about him is his first name, Jose. Google that!
"No one knows the way to Raul's Jose" (song to the tune of a 1971 Carpenter's/Burt Bacharach pop tune"

Larry pointed this thread out to me yesterday. I am extremely flattered for the attention and the very nice comments (the checks are in the mail guys)

The information that Doug, Dan and Larry provided pretty much sums it up.
I started building audio equipment when I was 12 or 13. I have been involved with music since I can remember and chose to become a recording engineer which led to my employment in the Broadcast industry. I am currently a manager at a Television facility.
The preamp and individual phono/line stages came about as an experiment. I had built many designs that while boasting superb technical specifications, left a little to be desired musically. I chose tubes because they are an easy way to get a lot of gain in a single amplification stage, I chose tubes designed specifically for audio because this allowed me to operate them as intended without feedback and conservatively for a long life.
I realized that the sound quality of these units would then be dependent on how the circuit modulated the power supply and overall coupling and isolation of power supply, signal and drive ability.

Making these units for those who cherish them has been a great reward as I have been able to expand my musical horizons and enjoy stimulating company. I don't profess to have mystical knowledge, I have applied circuits that have been around for a long time in slightly innovative ways. I don't profess to match all components to .1% but I have paid careful attention to proper loading between stages, careful component selection and mechanical damping. I have nothing against matching components to .1%, I'll get to it right after I find tubes matched to .1% :-)

This thread has caused quite a bit of email traffic. I have convinced a close friend and Audio Professional Larry Marcus at Paragon Sight and Sound to field these inquiries for me. Larry was the owner of S/N 000 of my preamp (he only owns it because he refused to send it back, he is currently devising a system to make sure he has it in the afterlife, in case there's audio y'know).

Thanks for the nice comments. Enjoy music, tolerate equipment.


"Enjoy music, tolerate equipment." I wish I'd said that, and I may.

Thanks to Nick for stepping in. Looks like we blew his cover, but this looks like a good development ...

- for Nick, since it will free the time he spends handling inquiries to focus on equipment building and design. He has other products in the pipeline. Our amp is a Nick Doshi prototype and it's the finest we've heard below at least $10K, yet it cost us oodles less. (Hugs self.)

- for Larry Marcus, of whom Nick has always spoken most highly. Now he can show his customers the best preamp he knows, not just the best that's commercially available.
Of course they may have a long wait. The Alaap queue may grow to Schroeder-like proportions.

- for potential owners, who'll have a ready source of product info. There may even be demo units, though Larry will have to be careful. No "demo" that Nick sends out ever comes back. That happened three times last year. Larry's not the only Alaap thief!

There should be no quality degradation. Nick plans to keep making each unit himself. Production will be limited by his artistic soldering skills and the patience of his lovely wife and precocious daughters.

Paul and I feel honored to own one of the early Alaaps. Ours is s/n 11, one of only 12 built in 2005. Like Mr. Marcus and others, we know this is the finest component we own. As Dan_Ed can attest, it is also quite a bargain.

Enjoy music, tolerate equipment!
I'm really pissed about this!

All of those gold fish I had to swallow live, crawling through the hot, glowing coals, the hours spend memorizing the Alaap plebs credo. And that secret handshake gave me carpal tunnel!

Now I can't even look forward to taking it out on the newbies!
Stop whining. At least we let you eat the goldfish first.

It's tough to handle sushi after you get carpal tunnel. That's why we do it in that order.
BTW, where is Paragon Sight and Sound? Someday I might want to drop in an meet the new Grand Poobah of the Doshi sect.
Found it! (I really should Google more often.) Ann Arbor, Mich. Just a little out of my way.

Larry has graciously agreed to function as newbie for all existing owners. He does come out to the east quite often and if I can convince him that he is actually driving in europe, might agree to drive up to you since gasoline will amazingly have become affordable again.

:) Nick, if he can get as far as Doug's I'll gladly drive down and meet him half way. I'm assuming Larry would be coming from NYC or NJ.
Would be great to hear his phonostage or full func. pre in my system. If anyone in or near SoCal has his gear, let me know. I would be grateful for the opportunty to hear it.

I can travel certainly, but no matter where I hear his gear there is no way to translate what I hear to how it will sound in my system.

Too bad no demo pieces are available from the good St. Doshi :^(
Patience, Realrookie. It just might work out. Are you anywhere near Surf City? I could be persuaded to carry mine (once they're delivered) over to the left coast. But it would be coming home with me. :)
So maybe a US Sonic Summer Tour - eh - with a possible stop in the upper midwest? You could visit Pargon/Michigan then swing over across the lake as you wend your way leftwards. I'd love to compare the Doshi pre to my ACT2/Xono combo. With luck my 320 upgrade will be here by then. I'll even supply the goldfish (but it might be walleye instead.) heh.

Larry Marcus is now handling Nick's product inquiries, as per the post above. Nick needs to focus on his workbench! Larry can be reached via his website: http://www.paragonsns.com/

Nick's main product offering is the Alaap, a full-function preamp. There's lots of info on my system page.

There are multiple options. Each Alaap is custom configured during consultations with the buyer. This affects the price of course. My prototype was in the $6K neighborhood but Larry does the pricing now.

The queue is going to lengthen with all this talk and production is limited to what Nick himself can make. Don't dally if you're interested.

Nick also makes a very special power amp by modding a rare vintage unit that's becoming difficult to find. Availability is extremely limited. He is designing his own amps but it will be months before they appear.
I'm intrigued. Does anyone have a photo of the Alaap preamp he/she could share?
Randyk, if you go to Yahoo groups and search for alaapaudio you find a picture of one of Nick's components. That's the only picture I could find that is easily accessible.

Nick also does mods to Lectron JH50 amplifiers. I thought that would be easy to google a picture but I was wrong.