Speakers for First Watt SIT-1 amp

My favorite sound seems to come from an SET amp and single-driver speakers but I want to leave the amp on all the time and I have kids in the house so I decided to exclude output tubes.  I went on a hunt for a solid state amp with an SET sound and landed on the First Watt SIT-1 monoblocks which I love.  I'm using them with Omega Super Alnico High Output monitors and it's a great combo but I wonder how much better speakers like this can get with this amp.  I have my eye on Voxativ, Teresonic, Audience, and maybe Audio Note or Daedalus.  Any suggestions?

I also have a set of the SAM’s and they are a special speaker you may want to look at adding a subwoofer with SAM’s or preferably two of them.

I run SET 300b tubes and have been also looking at many speakers suitable for low power. I have a very nice and wonderful sounding set of Living Voice speakers 94db. These are some of the most musical speakers I have ever owned.

I’ve also owned AudioNote AN/E’s another great speaker but they do need a room with two corners to sound their best. they are not quite as efficient as the spec’s claim though.

Voxativ’s are a more refined (and much more expensive) version of what you have with the SAM’s but I have only heard an older first gen version but they are nice as well.

I did a write up of the SAM’s here a week ago and covered much with the AN/e’s and LV’s when I compared them to the SAM’s.

coincident speaker, spatial audio, Prue audio project, Zu audio, tekton and supravox field coils are a few others that come to mind that make high efficiency speakers.

Charles1dad is another member who has had much experience with low power amps and high efficient speakers he may chime in and give you some more suggestions.

I’ll be honest the SAM’s do some things that only full range drives can do and you may miss that with something else, I know i’m seriously thinking of selling my Living Voice speakers and buying a couple subs or possibly the HO floor standing version.

just to add its not necessary to leave tube amps on all the time. and frankly class A amps don't need it either 5 mins and your fully heated up.

In this day and age there is not reason to waist the energy turn them on grab a drink, kiss the spouse and go listen.

I'm using Tekton open baffle speakers with Valvet mono blocks. They are also single end ss amps. They put out around 18 watts at 4 ohms. Not sure what the first watt is rated at, but the Tekton/Valvet combination sounds spectacular.  
Srajan Ebaen of 6moons discusses the SIT 1 driving the Cube Audio Nenuphar in his review of these speakers. I'm considering them. Take a look. 
@boxer12  I can imagine that being a fantastic paring. I considered Valvet for my Tekton speakers also. I recently reconsidered their latest monoblocks for another application. I'd love to hear more about your system. Hope you are open to sharing some additional information here. Thanks.
Given the SIT-1’s very high 4 ohm output impedance, and the fact that it has a lower power rating for a 4 ohm load than for an 8 ohm load, I suspect that the sonics provided by the amp itself would be significantly improved if you were to go to speakers having considerably higher impedance than the "4-6 ohms" of your present speakers.

Regarding the mention of Daedalus, I am a very happy owner of Lou’s Ulysses model, which have a particularly flat and benign impedance curve, but I suspect that their 6 ohm nominal impedance would result in their being a less than optimal match for the SIT-1.

To add to the candidates that have been suggested, if it fits your budget you may want to consider the Devore O/96 (96 db/1W/1m, 10 ohms nominal, 8.75 ohms min).

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al
I will second glennewdick's recommendation of the Omega SAMs.

I would also suggest you try to audition the Coherent speakers from Canada.  I have a pair of 8s in my office and they sound stunning.  The 10s and 12s are even better and there is no need for subwoofer augmentation.

I have own both and listened to a friend's SIT-2 amp.  I still prefer my SET amp but it was far and away the best SS sound I have ever heard.

Be glad to:
Preamp / Jeff Rowland Consonance
Phono Amp / Audio Alchemy PPA-1 with optional power supply
Transport / Cambridge
DAC / Audio Alchemy DDP-1 (shares above stated power supply)
ExactPower SP15A (Transformer) 

*Details of analog system are posted in last nights (could be early morning) "Whats playing on your turntable tonight" thread (several posts)
glennewdick, I bet you’re right that if I move away from single-driver speakers I will miss them. I should find out more about how the other single-drivers compare to the Omegas. As almarg said, I should probably zero in on some with higher impedance.

The only way I really find my Omegas lacking is with instrument separation with busy music.  Should any of the other single-drivers help with that?
When I decided to change amps the SIT-1's (or new SIT-3) were on my short list. I, too, was hesitant to go with tube monoblocks as I have a small child and did not want to deal with the typical tube concerns (heat, short life, biasing, etc.). However, I got the chance to hear the Linear Tube Audio "Ultralinear" amp and was awestruck by the sound. Also, the amp is a unique design that promises extended tube life (10K hours+) and produce very little heat (much less that your class- A SIT-1s). You may not be interested in changing amps at this point but thought I would mention the LTA's, which are very special. I ran my Ultralinear with Daedalus speakers and the match is ideal. I've go new Daedalus Apollo's on order and am confident that this is going to be a great pairing. Next step is to add another Ultraliner and run them as monoblocks--should be fun.
Both Zu and Spatial make high efficiency high impedance speakers. I have a horn-loaded single driver speaker system as well and have heard a couple of mid-line Zu speakers and in both cases, almost regardless of the pairing amps - tube, SS, low or high watt, they all sound somewhat congested at higher volumes playing complex orchestral music content, As much as they excel in imaging while playing more intimate musical genres, they don't seem to be suited for rock and/or western orchestral classical music. Just my experience.
That's just the type of music I'm having issues with.  Has anyone heard single-driver speakers that don't sound congested with busy music?
Hello ggking,
You have created a very interesting thread and I will add that you have what is considered a unique and well regarded amplifier. You have received some very thoughtful posts from Audiogon members who are quite respected on this forum.

For all the positive attributes of a single driver speaker they have a few acknowledged shortcomings (as do any speaker niche). Playing complex or "busy" music and particularly at higher volumes is one of them. David_ten mentioned the Cube Nenuphar a new speaker from Poland. It was given a stellar review by Srajan Ebaen of 6 Moons. com. I find this very relevant given his extensive experience with single driver speakers (including the expensive Voxativ from Germany).The Nenuphar seems to have reached a new level of performance in this genre.

Another option is the Coherent Audio speaker (Toronto Canada). This is a 2 way design with a very simple crossover, 95db with an 8 ohm impedance load that is reportedly very flat. Based on owner word of mouth and professional reviewer show reports it sounds fabulous driven with low power amplifiers. I suspect it could be terrific with your S.I.T.-1 mono blocks.

BTW in the 6 Moons review Ebaen found the Cube Nenuphar to sound superb paired with the S.I,T.-1 and S.I,T.-3 amplifiers. He gave a slight preference to the S.I.T.-1.
Good luck ,
Id vote for a Voxativ ...perhaps supplemented with  a REL sub.  They have a FIT model now with a 5" driver ... perfect for mid size rooms.  $5700 with the AF2.6 driver. 
FYI, I owned a FirstWatt F7 and my Voxativ sounded lifeless with it.  I almost opted to try the SIT3 but the reviews were meh.
ggking7, I can comment on my own experience with single driver speakers vs multiple. I listened to Lowther in fideleo cabinets for about 17 years exclusively. They are wonderful speakers. Great imaging, very dynamic etc. I have to tell you I don't miss them after trying the Tekton open baffle speakers. Again, it's not that the Lowther's were by any means bad, but the Tekton's took the system up a couple notches in regard to just about everything. The place the Lowthers better them by a small margin, is width of the sound stage. The Tekton however give me more detail (without anything close to analytical), speed, stage depth, & instrument presence.      
charles1dad, thank you for the recap. I had missed that Cube Audio does single-driver speakers. Wow the 6moons review of the Nenuphar is exciting, especially since I already have the SIT-1. It looks like the Magus and Bliss C each go for around half of the Nenuphar’s price. I think I’m between Cube and Voxativ at this point. My impression is that Cube is a better value. Does anyone have a handle on how the speakers from these outfits differ as far as performance?

I should also mention that I'm using a Rythmik sub but it sounds like it wouldn't be needed with the Nenuphar.
Hello ggking7,
If you really decipher Srajan's glowing praise it would suggest that he's quite possibly more unimpressed by the Nenuphar than the voxativ models he is very familiar with. Send him an email for his thoughts  on this. He's actually pretty responsive to inquiries from readers of his site. .  In your case  particularly as he owns your amplifier (for several years) and holds it in the highest regard. He seems genuinely moved by the sound quality of the Cube Nenuphar and this would explain the very rare award he bestowed on it. 
You mentioned the Cube Magus (8 inch driver) this speaker received the coveted Blue Moon award last year. So you know how impressed he was with its performance. It appears that the Nenuphar with the newly developed 10 inch driver and very powerful motor/magnet unit (and special cabinet) is clearly superior (to his ears) and explains the justifiably higher cost. This seems to be a very  upper echelon speaker.
Has anyone heard single-driver speakers that don't sound congested with busy music?

ggking7, If you get the chance please check out Charney Audio. Charney builds full range single driver horns based on the tractrix theory. I have a pair of the Maestro with Omega RS7 drivers that sound great with SS and tube. Uncongested engaging sound with whatever you throw at them with no need for a sub! Performers are in the room with exceptional imaging, sound stage, and 3D presence. From soft passages to highly dynamic music are presented in clean clear emotionally engaging  sound.
Charney builds 4 models with your choice of drivers from Omega, Lowther, Voxativ and AER.  The Moderno, Maestro, and Excaliber are the same horn but with a different cosmetic look depending on your decor. The Concerto is a largest of the group.

Charney is located in Somerset NJ and will be at Capital Audio Fest in November. Make an appointment, bring your S.I.T. 1, or stop by the room if your at the show.


Voxativ and Charney (with Voxativ driver) are among the better full range systems I've heard.  The best full range driver I've heard is probably the old Jensen/ERPI M-10 field coil driver.  But, even with this driver, I prefer the sound with a tweeter on top (the M-10 run full range with a simple 6 db/octave high pass to a tweeter, preferably a 597 field coil tweeter).

I heard a friend's home made SIT amp that utilized the First Watt schematic.  I really like that amp.  I heard it on a custom-built horn system, so I don't know how it sounds in a system that is harder to drive.  I would wager that it would work well with Audio Note speakers which are somewhat efficient and are easy to drive.  
A couple of clarifications for those following the thread and the Cube Audio posts, specifically.

The Cube Audio Bliss C was awarded a Blue Moon Award by 6Moons in Oct/2017.

The Cube Audio Magus was released after the Bliss C and was not reviewed by 6Moons. There is an excellent review of the Magus by HiFi Knights here:


The Cube Audio Nenuphar was awarded a Lunar Eclipse Award by 6Moons in 8/2018. It is Cube Audio’s latest driver / speaker.

The drivers in each speaker are as follows:

Bliss C > Fc8

Magus > F8

Nenuphar > F10

The Nenuphar is best suited for large rooms, the Magus for moderate sized rooms (per the Cube designer).
I read the Magus review on hifiknights.com and he loves the speaker but am I reading it correctly that he loves the PureAudioProject Trio10 Voxativ more?  Any soldering required to put the Trio10 together?

I suppose the Trio10 runs the Voxativ driver at full range and just clips the mid and upper frequencies for the woofers?

The Charney Audio stuff is really interesting.  I wish there were more listening impressions/reviews online.  I'm not near enough to NJ to visit unfortunately.
8ohm 99 db Klipsch Heresy IIIs...best 1500 bucks I've ever spent, they sound sublime (and un-congested) with my little SE tube amp and a couple of RELs. Besides, they're from Klipsch so there's zero snobbery as you can say they belonged to your dead uncle Bob.
Re: the The Cube Audio Nenuphar

I would love to order the drivers and take a crack at building the cabinets myself.

Doesn't look to hard - right?
Hi David
Thanks for the correction regarding the Cube Audio Magus and the Cube Audio  Bliss C models and 6 Moons review/Blue Moon award. I should’ve looked it up to be sure rather than relying on memory.
Charles, you are welcome.

@ggking7 I recommend reading their review of the PAP Trio 10 later in the same year (12/2017).

Understand that you are comparing 2 10 inch woofers per OB speaker (from 300 Hz and below) to the LF from an 8 inch single driver TL speaker.
Regarding the SIT amps and high impedance loads.  I tried out a SIT2 with my Coincident Super Eclipse III speakers (14 ohm nominal, 10 ohm minimum) and Nelson Pass had me buy a couple different resistors to add across the speaker terminals in order to increase the load.  He said that the SIT2 would sound a little dry and clinical when coasting on those easier loads and would warm up if I added some additional resistance.  Apparently using different resistor values was equivalent to using the manual adjustment knob on the SIT1s.  I just bring this up because I think Nelson made the amps with a nominal 8 ohm load in mind (or at least something below the SEIII's 14).  

If I were you, I'd consider e-mailing or calling Pass for a few speaker suggestions. Probably no-one knows as well what speaker will excel on your amps, and both Nelson and Kent English at Pass are always super nice and happy to provide input.  Personally, I think it would be a disservice to your search not to find out what they suggest.
I was thinking Cube Audio was the way to go but based on that review (and others) it's hard not to second-guess.  It sounds like the Trio10 Voxativ is at least as good as the Magus if not better.  What I especially like about Cube though is that Srajan heard them with the SIT-1s and gave the combo the thumbs up.  The Trios require some (I think, basic) assembly and naturally they have crossovers although I hope the Voxativs have a direct line to the amp.  It's a tough call.  I do like the idea of four 10" drivers.
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Curious here...Has anyone recommending the Cube speakers actually listened to them?

Amps? Front end? Room? Impressions? 

Does Cube offer a return policy? 

6Moons is a pro review site that sells advertising...Hmmm makes me wonder...

ggking7 the best way is to set up an audition if possible. Shelling out big bucks and hoping Cube meets your expectations? Big gamble!
No one to my knowledge is suggesting the "shelling out of big bucks".
The review is recommended simply as a source of further information. Home audition is certainly desirable if it can be arranged.
I’ve found Srajan Ebaen’s reviews to be particularly candid, detailed and accurate over the years as I’ve heard a number of components reviewed by him. YMMV. I do make the assumption that ggking7  is a mature and intelligence adult who recognizes this is subjective and he will perform his due diligence if he decides to pursue further.
You might want to try the Spatial Audio Triode Masters.They are made just for SET amps and I have seen only good reviews on them.
Probably won't be making a move on this in the near term.  I need to sell off some gear to gather funds.

For the last three weeks, I've driving a DIY version of the SIT-3 with AN K LX speakers.

The SIT-3s sit next to the DIY F4s and a pair of DIY Aleph 2.

There's also been a DIY SIT version of the XA25 ( SAS252) which I want.

After that... I might just have achieved nirvana, I think.