Pass Labs 1st Watt Rundown

I have become intrigued with the 1st Watt series and I am trying to wrap my head around the series and the differences within the series, but the internet discussions seem shallow.

Can anyone give me a rundown of the different models, versions, whatever?

What are the differences from one to another?

Did the newer iterations correct problems of the previous models and what were they, or did they simply address differences in power?

Stereo? Monoblocks?

What pre's and the sensitivity of the speakers you used with them.

Anything else you can think of as to characteristics of the different models.



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Yes, I have read the 1st watt page and several reviews. I find myself not trusting professional reviews anymore than I trust politicians. 😀

So I'd just like some honest comments from my brothers and sisters on the Gon.

I have owned two First Watt amps, the M2 and the Sit-3.  I would like to hear an F8.  Agree that the 6moons review goes into great detail and does a nice job comparing several models.  Of the two, the M2 had a bit more power (25 watts into 8 ohms) vs 18 into 8 ohms for the sit-3. I preferred the M2 to my Rogue Stereo 100 amp, despite the rogue having much more power. Better soundstage and detail.  So I sold the rogue amp.

I then got a sit-3 and thought it was again a bit more detailed with a larger soundstage.  I recently got some caintuck open baffle speakers, and in my small room (11x 14), the Sit-3 and the open baffles sound phenomenal, with jazz, folk, rock, piano music, ambient…  I think the sit-3 sounded better with the open baffles (94 dB sensitivity) than my ported bookshelf speakers (87 dB sensitivity), so they may do better with higher sensitivity speakers. 

i sold the M2s and kept the sit-3. Hope this helps

I built an F6 clone from the DIYaudio web site a couple of years ago. great site, great members and highly expd with great advice and willingness to help. It cost about $800 in parts and the cabinet, I think the F6 from First Watt is about 3500. Nelson is also active on the DIYaudio forums which is pretty cool. The amp sounds great, very musical and as I put it in a large housing with big heat sinks it doesn’t run that hot (it’s a pure class A amp). Like many of his amp it has a lower than average input sensitivity so when compared to other amps you may find you’ll need to run your pre- amp volume higher than typical, though if you’re running very efficient speakers it’s a moot point.

For what it's worth, I have owned and listened to the M2 since 2014, and I adore it. It is simply a wonderful amp that I will never sell. I drive it with a Quicksilver preamp and it powers my 89db-sensitivity Spendor 1/2s with all of the dynamics I could want. This amp is a gem among rocks!