High Output Preamp for First Watt SIT-3?

I'm new to the audiophile world and recently purchased a First Watt SIT-3 with Magnepan .7s.  I have a Mytek Brooklyn Bridge for streaming, though I prefer to play vinyl with my Mofi Ultradeck.  The Mytek serves as the phono stage (69dB gain for MM?), and I don't use a preamp;  the Brooklyn is connected directly to the First Watt. 

I understand that the SIT-3 is only 11.5 dB of gain, and that's extremely low compared to most amps.  I like most everything about the system except for the fact that I have the Mytek maxed out volume-wise many days.  Certain LPs are cut quieter, and I wish I had more power.  There are times streaming where the Maggies aren't getting to their sweet spot.  I realize the Maggies are a lower sensitivity speaker. 

What should I look for in a preamp to fully drive the SIT-3?  Eventually, I'd like to replace the phono stage instead of relying on the Brooklyn.  Is there a tube preamp featuring a phono stage with sufficient output to drive my amp in the $4k range?  Otherwise, I'm eyeing the Modwright PH 9.0 and a linestage preamp, realizing that this will probably be costlier.  I'm looking for a warm sound, not analytical but engaging. 

Any help is greatly appreciated.  I'm a working musician with a basic understanding of related electronics but little experience in this world. 

the SIT3 only requires 3V to full output/clipping. most digital sources exceed that alone. It’s a low gain amp and low power, but should be able to be driven by most anything. I have a SIT3 on its way and will be pairing it with the PASS XP12.
I am currently using the XA25 with it. Was told I just need to turn it up higher than most other amps, yet it will still be all attenuation as I’m coming off a DAC in balanced mode, 6V

If you are so inclined would you post your listening impressions/comparison of these two highly regarded amplifiers?
@charles1dad , Will do !  looking forward to breaking it in and hearing what all the fuss is about... !
Have a good weekend !

The SiT is a class A device with the transconductance qualities of a triode... so I would not define it as ’solid state" sound.

Now, the other amps... Maggies. I got 1.7s and 12s. Also got clone F4, F5, A2 and mono A5s. ( Plus a set of SiT transistors for the next amp).  And an ARC D70-II.

My preamp is a tube CJ that can swing 20V.

The SiT / Maggie combo will sound great at lower levels, but truly, they come alive with lots of power. Just like my F4 and F5 sound extremely good, when I plug in the A2 the music simply comes alive, not just the "sound of Aleph" but also the reserves of power: it sounds like an additional deep down octave came on line and the dynamic range snaps to life.

THAT, IMHO is the big difference: the lower power amps will drive the Maggies to good sound levels but you lack the dynamic range. Adding more, clean, power, lets you play at the same level but now you have dynamic range... it just sounds "louder" because the bass suddenly appears, also, the treble is cleaner as temporary peaks will not drive the amp into the harshness of clipping.

BTW, in my main system I’m currently driving the 1.7/A2 and Elac Unifi B52/F4. The F4 is fantastic (really needs those 20V from the preamp)... but ultimately the Maggies with 200wpc are the more satisfying sound - whole, top to bottom.

My advice to the OP:

(1) Your preamp should swing 20V.

(2) Get a pair of used Aleph 2s for the Maggies ( clones are fine ). If SS, it must be a class A amp... or perhaps a used ARC D115-II, VT100, etc... must have over 100 watts!

(3) Find a pair of efficient speakers for the SiT and post that here... because I’m also looking for that.


IMHO, the SiT and Maggies are a system for the brain... but sometimes, you need to feed your heart.