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First Watt SIT-3 Preamp Pairing Advice


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Hello,

 

I have Nelson Pass's First Watt SIT-3 power amplifier. I am using a  ~15 year old VAC (Valve Amplification Company) Standard Preamplifier using NOS Telefunken 12AU7 and 12AX7 tubes for the 2 stages. I am looking to upgrade the preamp and am considering the Passlab XP-12 or the Linear Tube Audio MicroZotl MZ3 preamp. My impression is that both preamps are fairly popular when pairing with First Watt amps. Anyone have paired both these preamps with the SIT-3 and can provide impressions that might help me in deciding? Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

Andrew

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On 2/5/2021 at 11:35 AM, longinc said:

Hello,

 

I have Nelson Pass's First Watt SIT-3 power amplifier. I am using a  ~15 year old VAC (Valve Amplification Company) Standard Preamplifier using NOS Telefunken 12AU7 and 12AX7 tubes for the 2 stages. I am looking to upgrade the preamp and am considering the Passlab XP-12 or the Linear Tube Audio MicroZotl MZ3 preamp. My impression is that both preamps are fairly popular when pairing with First Watt amps. Anyone have paired both these preamps with the SIT-3 and can provide impressions that might help me in deciding? Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

Andrew

I find the Pass pre's a tad bland, for similar money you could try the Cary SL98 against the MZ3 (havent heard). Cary sell direct. 

https://www.caryaudio.com/products/slp-98/

 

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On 2/4/2021 at 10:35 PM, longinc said:

Hello,

 

I have Nelson Pass's First Watt SIT-3 power amplifier. I am using a  ~15 year old VAC (Valve Amplification Company) Standard Preamplifier using NOS Telefunken 12AU7 and 12AX7 tubes for the 2 stages. I am looking to upgrade the preamp and am considering the Passlab XP-12 or the Linear Tube Audio MicroZotl MZ3 preamp. My impression is that both preamps are fairly popular when pairing with First Watt amps. Anyone have paired both these preamps with the SIT-3 and can provide impressions that might help me in deciding? Thanks in advance for any advice.

 

Andrew

 

Beautiful! I have several NP amps including the SITs, J2, M2 etc.

 

I am going to go with the First Watt B1 buffer which is essentially a pure current amplifier (reduces impedance) if your DAC doesn't have sufficiently low output impedance. 

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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8 minutes ago, longinc said:

Thanks @jabbr for sharing. The B1 is interesting but unfortunately with the low gain of the SIT-3, I will need some gain in the preamp in my set up (speakers are 89db sensitive) unless i move into higher sensitivity speakers.

 

Hmmm ... the First Watt amps including the SIT-3 really work best with higher efficiency speakers

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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I was emailing Nelson and he actually said my setup would be fine at reasonable listening levels. I usually listen between 65 to 80 db (sometime peaking into 85db) measured from my seating position so i am not at the risk of even surpassing 1-2 watts on the amp. Also, based on Nelson's white paper, and a few others have experimented, the SIT-3 actually sounds the most optimal with a 4 ohm load (my speakers are 4ohms). All that said, i do have this curiosity "what if" i tried a more efficient set speakers :) this hobby is a never ending quest.....

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