Mark at Reno HiFi is good at answering those sorts of questions...... and at sending one, the other or both out for audition. www.renohifi.com
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My intuition would lead me toward the SIT monoblocks given your efficient speakers.I`m sure the Pass amp would sound very good .Based on reviews if seems the SIT-1 is 'special' and with its ultra simple,single gain stage clas A design is likely a purer,more natural and transparent sound.
Could be a case of very good amp compared to a sublime amplifier,Nelson Pass seems especially proud of this particular First Watt amplifier. If I were to venture to a SS amp the SIT-1 would be my destination. Good luck to you.
Gon member 213 cobra has first hand experience with both of these amplifiers and he thought the SIT-1 were superior.
It`s hard to know if it would be better than your SET amp or just different. I agree with you the only way to positively know is to get it in your system.
I`m curious to hear it and compare to my Coincident Frankenstein 300b SET. So far it is the best I`ve heard(for my priorities and taste) especially with the marvelous Takasuki 300b tubes in place.No amplifier is without some flaw or degree of compromise in some aspect of performance.It really boils down to what particular characteristics matter most to a listener.
Best of luck and sucess to you.
I have a horn system in my home, efficiency is a bit over 100 dB / watt. There is only one solid state amp. that I have ever heard that I would consider running with it, the Pass Aleph J. Literally, almost indistinguishable from my 300b amps.
I have owned the RWA Signature 30.2 as well. I like the amp alot, the sound is very, very different though. Very full, thick and warm sounding, where as the Aleph J was as delicate and light and pleasant as a 300b amp. If I had less efficient speakers, the RWA would probably be better as it would have a little more grunt, but if you are running comfortably on a few watts, the Aleph J is a winner.
All that being said, if your tube amp is noisy, it is simply a poorly designed tube amp and or some bad tubes. I have a pair of Audio Note Kits Interstage Monoblocks that are completely and utterly silent with my horn setup. I have also auditioned a Yamamoto and Wavac that were completely silent as well. My 2 cents.
Having read Charles's post for quite some time and having had a slight dealing with him in the past, I give much weight to his opinions.
I also agree with Martin's remark about your tube amp being noisy. There must be a problem which could easily be remedied. My speakers are Beauhorn Virtuoso's (106 db) which are pretty similar to yours. Mine with Lowther DX4's. They are used with Wavelength Cardinals 300b or Wavelength 45 Amps. No noise ever, whatsoever!
I am not sure a Pass would move quicker. Pass Labs is well known. But I have sold 3 First Watt amps. None has taken longer than 2 days to sell. They have quite the devoted following, despite their low power and niche applications.
Anyway, not to get sidetracked. I would say buy whatever you think will match best with your speakers (Mark at Reno HiFi could help with that and has a return policy, if there are no dealers in your area). No need to buy with resale value in mind. Both Pass and First Watt amps have active markets for them.
I had a Pass XA 30.5 in my system and I loved it until I too replaced it with a Coincident 300b. Though my auditory recall is not great, the Pass was excellent and very hard for me to sell. I've had a few nice amps and the XA30.5 was at the top of my list. I have not however heard the new SIT amps or a First Watt Amp.