Among the very last available Nelson Pass designed First Watt Sit 3 new in the box. Only a very limited number were manufactured. Last ones available at $3950. Fidelis is an authorized Pass Labs/First Watt dealer. With warranty.
Description: Solid-state, class-A, stereo power amplifier with no feedback, using custom-made static induction transistors (SITs). Inputs: 1 pair single-ended (RCA). Outputs: five-way binding posts. Power output: 18Wpc into 8 ohms (12.55dBW), 30Wpc into 4 ohms (11.75dBW). Frequency response: –0.5dB at 10Hz, –3dB at 50kHz. Voltage gain: 11.5dB. Output impedance: 0.26 ohm. Input impedance: 200k ohms. Distortion: 0.2% at 1W at 8 ohms, 1kHz. Power consumption: 150W.
Dimensions: 17" (430mm) W by 6.75" (170mm) H by 16" (405mm) D. Weight: 32 lb (14.5kg).
Nelson Pass is that rare type of audio-engineering maverick who measures and listens with equal facility. He's not wasting his time and your money trying to cram a thousand crap watts into a marketing department's bling box. He does not believe that all measurable "distortions" are, willy-nilly, enemies of high-fidelity sound. Instead, he focuses his considerable intelligence and resources not only on reducing various types of distortion, but also on studying the essential natures of those distortions. He uses blind listening and ABX testing to understand how experienced listeners perceive distortion, and the role that distortion might play in helping our brains reconstruct the original musical event. In the SIT-3, Pass has allowed a carefully prescribed dose of negative-phase second-harmonic distortion to appear at low levels, with a tiny touch of third-harmonic distortion at higher powers. The second harmonic, he says, "fosters an illusion of expanded space and image specificity; the third appears to improve dynamics."
I consider this type of thinking radical intelligence, and my experience with the First Watt SIT-3 suggests that it is among Nelson Pass's finest achievements. It's too bad that SemiSouth went south; it's too bad Pass will make only 250 SIT-3s; it's too bad that so few audiophiles will ever experience its unique, information-rich pleasures; and it's too sad that even fewer audiophiles will comprehend the 100 years of engineering wisdom distilled by Nelson Pass into this modestly priced masterpiece. Bravo, Maestro!