SIT3 First Watt first impressions

Mikem53

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Oct 1, 2020
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Good Day all, I thought i would post a few pics of the SIT3 as I removed the top cover for a peek.
Its been a few weeks now since using the SIT3 most of those days. It seems to be broken in, mostly so.
I admit to buying this amp on an impulse, too much forum browsing and cruising video reviews, and Nelson
Pass own comments on this amp, that and the limited number being produced was my motivation/excuse/rationale.
My speakers are 95db efficient into 8 ohms with a 1 ohm variance throughout the audible frequency range according to
Daedalus audio. So it seemed like a good candidate for this low power amp. The amp only has 11.5db of gain where most
avg around 26-32db. So I have to crank up the preamp to the Last 30% of it range to be in the volume loudness I usually listen in.
It hasn’t been a problem and I’m always within unity gain, all attenuation.
The amp is glorious sounding From the mid range up.. So “real” sounding. It is truly stunningly SET like in its presentation.
The soundstage is large, quiet and realistic. Instruments are all distinct and layered. The bass is softer than I’m used too, but
still mostly well defined and impactful but in a 7/8th kind of way.
Trio’s and vocals are where this amp shines for me.. Symphonies are enjoyable still, but lacking in weight.
it very much reminds me of a 300B SET sound. Not as lush As 2A3 SET, more direct sounding with Presence..
hard to put into words, but I like it !
in a few more weeks I will go back to the XA25 and see the differences as I get more used to the sit3 sound. The XA25 has
more weight and dynamics at louder levels with a dampening factor of 200 vs 30 for the SIT3.

I also have an XP 22 on the way, should’ve been here a week ago but UPS claims bad weather is holding it up. It’s been sitting in Alabama for a week 52° and sunny. I hate UPS! Rant over.
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Mikem53

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Oct 1, 2020
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Just to clarify.. My speakers are a 3 way design with a hefty crossover. the SIT3 would be better off being paired to horns or a single speaker or with a less complex Xover. Yet it still sounds amazing on most of my music... sigh..

E586B353-A663-4039-AD27-ECA89F0D9F9D.jpeg
 

jeffrey_t

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Jan 29, 2012
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I've been enjoying the SIT3 in my system for the last two months, absolutely outstanding amp. I demoed the XA25 on my system last week and it was an utter disappointment in my system. Very flat, unengaging and totally lacked the bloom of the SIT3.
 

Mikem53

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2020
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I've been enjoying the SIT3 in my system for the last two months, absolutely outstanding amp. I demoed the XA25 on my system last week and it was an utter disappointment in my system. Very flat, unengaging and totally lacked the bloom of the SIT3.
Was the XA25 broken in and warmed up ? I’m almost afraid to go back to it.
It takes longer for the XA to sound better.
 

jeffrey_t

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Jan 29, 2012
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Was the XA25 broken in and warmed up ? I’m almost afraid to go back to it.
It takes longer for the XA to sound better.
Well broken in as my friend is the second owner. It was warm and I think if was warm enough. It just sounded like another solid state amp to me, nothing special and not why I own efficient speakers. The SIT3 however is only SS amp that even gets close to a good tube amp.
 

cjfrbw

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Apr 20, 2010
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Pleasanton, CA
Defisit amps are interesting devices. Again, what strange inspiration made Nelson Pass devise the topology, or was it just a happy accident?

My Tokin Defisit similarly holds the tone and has some of the fluidity and dynamic open character of SET in the midrange and upper midrange, but I would not call it SET except in limited comparisons. It's almost impossible to stop listening to it with my particular system i.e. direct drive with no crossover to ribbons.

Thanks for the review. It is interesting it performs so well through that Crossover-Zilla.
 
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morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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I've been enjoying the SIT3 in my system for the last two months, absolutely outstanding amp. I demoed the XA25 on my system last week and it was an utter disappointment in my system. Very flat, unengaging and totally lacked the bloom of the SIT3.
We experienced the same disappointment with the XA25 and also the XINT model...
 
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cjfrbw

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Apr 20, 2010
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Herb Reichert, Steve Guttenberg, Jeff Day, the floridly verbose audio dialectic gatling gun Srajan Ebaen and some others have all done various SS comparisons. Reichert still seems to like his transmitting triode SET bestest, but is very fond of the XA25 and First Watt stuff.

I liked the XA25 at the audio shows (for SS). However, I still rank Tokin Defisit, (same topology as SIT 3), my Nelson Pass push pull 20 watt Class A Sony VFET DIY type (slimmed down version of his Sony VFET monster amps that he only made in five pairs), and the vintage Yamaha B2 as best SS amps I have heard and owned.

I am listening to the 50 watt Wavac today, and the damned thing is, well, wonderful in its transmitting triode basted glory.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
5,418
1,779
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Herb Reichert, Steve Guttenberg, Jeff Day, the floridly verbose audio dialectic gatling gun Srajan Ebaen and some others have all done various SS comparisons. Reichert still seems to like his transmitting triode SET bestest, but is very fond of the XA25 and First Watt stuff.

I liked the XA25 at the audio shows (for SS). However, I still rank Tokin Defisit, (same topology as SIT 3), my Nelson Pass push pull 20 watt Class A Sony VFET DIY type (slimmed down version of his Sony VFET monster amps that he only made in five pairs), and the vintage Yamaha B2 as best SS amps I have heard and owned.

I am listening to the 50 watt Wavac today, and the damned thing is, well, wonderful in its transmitting triode basted glory.
I still haven’t heard the “lesser” Wavac amps...yours is a darn hard one to find. Almost pulled the trigger on MD805 monos more than once and the small MD811 integrated. Maybe I still will one day...

I am like Herb I guess, I bask in the glory of my big transmitting tube monster SET...
 

cjfrbw

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Apr 20, 2010
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Pleasanton, CA
I still haven’t heard the “lesser” Wavac amps...yours is a darn hard one to find. Almost pulled the trigger on MD805 monos more than once and the small MD811 integrated. Maybe I still will one day...

I am like Herb I guess, I bask in the glory of my big transmitting tube monster SET...
I have a MD811 and a second Wavac 572 to sell. I won't ship them outside of USA unless somebody sends a freight pickup to retrieve them from my home. I would ship to an address to USA for re-shipping.

They are both working , but as with all vintage items, I can't warrant them in any way other than shipping insurance and very reasonable cost. Sold AS IS only without any conditions, returns, refunds or warranties. They are 120v. The 572 has been modified to accept 572b tubes (anode capped). With the 572, the tubes will be shipped separately from chassis. No glass cage for 572, but those can be fabricated by local glazier if desired. 811 is in original box with glass cage.

My second 572 is un-salable, but works fine, and I am keeping it because I really like it. It suffered twisted chassis and was severely tossed in a rail accident during shipping. When I got it, I thought it was toast, because the glass was shattered and all tubes were shattered as well, transformer cage was ripped off. Getting the tube bases out was a chore and required pliars. However, with new tubes, it lit up fine and has been working ever since for many years. The one I am selling is the more pristine of the two and had updated rectifiers installed locally by Audio Note technician.

Make an offer if you like, if you want me to send it somewhere in USA for re-shipping. Not trying to scam or overcharge, just get them back into use in somebody's audio system instead of sitting around.

If we decide to move I need to release the items in the audio museum.
 

DeadWax

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Apr 11, 2020
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I am like Herb I guess, I bask in the glory of my big transmitting tube monster SET...
Is Herb referring to his LM 518IA?
 

cjfrbw

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Apr 20, 2010
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Here is the Tokin Defisit version insides with the huge Tokin SIT (500 watts dissipation potential). Tokin Defisit.png
 
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Mikem53

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Oct 1, 2020
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Good day Y’all ... So today marks 30 days for the SIT3 and 6 days into the XP22 .. Wow.. about 2 weeks ago the SIT3 started to really sound good.. For sevral days the heat sinks were just warm to the touch. like the bias was set too low. Last week I noticed the amp was much warmer and now running almost hot and it sounds MUCH more alive !! The XP22 is sounding opened up as well and I have music once again!
Yesterday I swapped my XA25 back in the system, waited an hour and had a listen, first time in a month.
Oh my.. as @jeffrey_t stated, everything went flat and distant. I listened to my usual familiar tracks. The SIT3 sounds more Alive, more intimate in its presentation. After 4 hours I listened again to the XA, the heat sinks were hot and stabilized at 4 hours. It sounded more authoritative, but still didn’t display the micro dynamics like the SIT3 or as punchy in the bass !
The song “Broken” by Jack Johnson opens with acoustic guitars against a clear vocal, each pluck of the string stands out and sounds Live with the SIT3, with the XA25, it just doesn’t stand out, it blends in w everything else.. sounds nice.. but not alive.
The XP22 is sweet ! Even my better half noticed the difference between the 12 to the 22 and she only cares about my spending habits on this stuff.. She usually says, “it sounds the same, send it back”.
The PS chassis runs dead cold, overbuilt and underworked.. good stuff.
I have to slow down some, just a bit.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
5,418
1,779
483
Switzerland
I have a MD811 and a second Wavac 572 to sell. I won't ship them outside of USA unless somebody sends a freight pickup to retrieve them from my home. I would ship to an address to USA for re-shipping.

They are both working , but as with all vintage items, I can't warrant them in any way other than shipping insurance and very reasonable cost. Sold AS IS only without any conditions, returns, refunds or warranties. They are 120v. The 572 has been modified to accept 572b tubes (anode capped). With the 572, the tubes will be shipped separately from chassis. No glass cage for 572, but those can be fabricated by local glazier if desired. 811 is in original box with glass cage.

My second 572 is un-salable, but works fine, and I am keeping it because I really like it. It suffered twisted chassis and was severely tossed in a rail accident during shipping. When I got it, I thought it was toast, because the glass was shattered and all tubes were shattered as well, transformer cage was ripped off. Getting the tube bases out was a chore and required pliars. However, with new tubes, it lit up fine and has been working ever since for many years. The one I am selling is the more pristine of the two and had updated rectifiers installed locally by Audio Note technician.

Make an offer if you like, if you want me to send it somewhere in USA for re-shipping. Not trying to scam or overcharge, just get them back into use in somebody's audio system instead of sitting around.

If we decide to move I need to release the items in the audio museum.
I will send you a PM to discuss...can you provide photos? Can you describe the sound of the MD811 vs. 572? They both use the same basic circuit but I think the 572 has a larger chassis and transformers, right?
 

jeffrey_t

VIP/Donor
Jan 29, 2012
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Good day Y’all ... So today marks 30 days for the SIT3 and 6 days into the XP22 .. Wow.. about 2 weeks ago the SIT3 started to really sound good.. For sevral days the heat sinks were just warm to the touch. like the bias was set too low. Last week I noticed the amp was much warmer and now running almost hot and it sounds MUCH more alive !! The XP22 is sounding opened up as well and I have music once again!
Yesterday I swapped my XA25 back in the system, waited an hour and had a listen, first time in a month.
Oh my.. as @jeffrey_t stated, everything went flat and distant. I listened to my usual familiar tracks. The SIT3 sounds more Alive, more intimate in its presentation. After 4 hours I listened again to the XA, the heat sinks were hot and stabilized at 4 hours. It sounded more authoritative, but still didn’t display the micro dynamics like the SIT3 or as punchy in the bass !
The song “Broken” by Jack Johnson opens with acoustic guitars against a clear vocal, each pluck of the string stands out and sounds Live with the SIT3, with the XA25, it just doesn’t stand out, it blends in w everything else.. sounds nice.. but not alive.
The XP22 is sweet ! Even my better half noticed the difference between the 12 to the 22 and she only cares about my spending habits on this stuff.. She usually says, “it sounds the same, send it back”.
The PS chassis runs dead cold, overbuilt and underworked.. good stuff.
I have to slow down some, just a bit.
This is exactly what we heard from the SIT3/XA25 comparison on my system. There have been several comparisons of the SIT3/XA25 by "professional" reviewers and they all said the same if you really read into their comments. Of course they are more complementary of the XA25 because they can never actually give a negative review.

IMO if you need to use a solid state amp but you still want some of the magic of tubes, the SIT3 is the only option I have found.
 
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cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
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Pleasanton, CA
I will send you a PM to discuss...can you provide photos? Can you describe the sound of the MD811 vs. 572? They both use the same basic circuit but I think the 572 has a larger chassis and transformers, right?
OK. I'll wait for PM. 811 can use either 811a (metal plate) or 572b (carbon plate) @ 15 watts, MD 572 uses 572b tubes only @ 40-50 watts.
I have some photos I can dig out, 811 has been boxed for a while. It's hard to say which sounds better per se, but the MD 572 just has larger and better transformers as well as more power, so draw your own conclusions.
 
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