Since you already own the amp and in a sense doing this backwards you are going to have to restrict yourself to speakers this amps measured 9 watts into 8 ohms will drive and the floorstanding Focals are not it.
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The Sopras were voiced on Naim gear, so if you want to hear them as the designers did, you might want to consider Naim.
Jackd, I’m interested in what makes this backwards. IMHO, I can live with the distortions of pretty much any speaker which I find consonant with the music, but the distortions of electronics are... well..electronic in nature. Better to find an amp that I can live with first and hang a speaker on it.
What's backwards is that if you don't want to be constricted to in your case a small group of speakers then you pick the speaker first and then find an amp that matches them. In the case of the SIT-3 the speakers most linked to it would be Avantgarde, Omega and others of that ilk or look at the multiple reviews and find what the reviewers found worked.
I LOVE my Focal 936's with my F5, but I would dream of pairing them with any of the SIT amps alone. 89-90dB sensitive speakers want too much power for a single ended amp at any kind of reasonable distance. Kanta No.1's, maybe... Certainly nothing that stands on the floor that Focal makes. If you're hell-bent on floor standers with a SIT amp, I strongly suggest putting an F4 between the amp and speaker.
Don’t think you’ll get the bass performance out of these speakers with the SIT3, 3ohms with -50 degrees of -phase angle not an easy load.
I have a SIT3 and Tekton Design Ulfberhts which are rated at 99dba at 4 ohms. The SIT 3 will drive them for most music but not all . Tekton just came out with a speaker made for SET amps. A friend of my heard it and was quite impressed. I think this speaker would be a great match for your new amp that you are very fortunate to have as with the right speakers it can be magical.
I'd think any of the SET tube guys speakers would be up your ally. I've tried and liked the above mentioned Omega SAM's, I own and love the Living Voice Avatar 2's (look further up the chain if your budget allows wonderfully musical speakers, also note UK pound makes these a much better buy right now), Tekton, Zu audio and Horns are a few others from the top of my head. Try searching high efficiency speakers here, there are quite a few good threads.
I run a SET 8wpc amp so I'm familiar with your issue and its not backwards you just need to focus on higher efficiency speakers above 94db, depending on your listening volumes maybe 98db if you like it really loud.
As I recall from a recent review of the First Watt SIT-3, they work well with speakers that are 4 ohm and have 88dB sensitivity. In the review, the reviewer raved about how the Magnepan .7i pair sounded. However, they have a 86dB sensitivity. I have an SIT-3 (as a second amp) and Maggy 1.7i pair which also are 4 ohm and 86 dB. They sound great. Of course the volume knob on my preamp turns more to the right to move up the volume compared to my more powerful amps. So I am due to take delivery of my new second pair of speakers, the Magico A3. They are rated at 4 ohms and 88 dB. So I’ll see how they sound.
I am very interested in this discussion. So, if the Spatial Audio M3 TriodeMasters are 12 ohms and 93 dB, that would not be a good match for a First Watt SIT-3, right?
I don’t want to hijack this thread, but that makes me wonder which First Watt would match the TriodeMasters well. I know they’re designed for tubes, but I’d like to try a lessor powered solid state amp with them.
my answer is probably backwards, but I currently have an F7 driving a pair of Rethm Maarga and it is doing a wonderful job. The retime are a wonderful sounding horn with built in powered bass. I am awaiting my SIT-3 which I suspect will also drive my Rethm beautifully. And I am planning on trading out the Maarga for Saadhana at the end of the year. They are 100 dB efficiency so fairly easy to drive. I would seriously consider auditioning a pair of Rethm before you make any final decision. not a dealer, just a big fan.
I have the SIT-3 (18 w @ 8 ohms), and the Audio Note AN-E/SPe HEs (sensitivity 97.5 db, impedance 6 ohms for most of the audible audio bandwidth).
I find music from this combination to be viscerally involving, totally satisfying, and very revealing. In "I don't believe in you," by "Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring," the bass is deep and resonant, the plucking of guitar strings is clear, and at times resonant, the vocals and treble are crisp and distinct, and the separation and depth make the music 3D. Similar to Herb Reichert's description in his review of the XA-25, for me the SIT-3 is very transparent.
In your search for a proper speaker match, I think a good place to start is Herb Reichert's real world review of the SIT-3, which compares how the SIT-3 sounds through different speakers. Here's a link to Herb's review of the SIT-3:
Then I would read Herb Reichert's review of the Pass Labs XA-25, which contains related comparisons. Here's a link to that review:
Here are links to other reviews that I recommend:
There is so much information in these reviews that I had to take notes. As an owner of the SIT-3, even if you've already read these reviews, they are an interesting read.
FWIW, Jeff Dorgay at Toneaudio said he was "hypnotized by the mixture of drive, clarity, and sheer space that [the SIT-3] delivers", driving the Sopra No. 3's. Also said it was "the cleanest window to music" he's ever experienced.