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Rank of FirstWatt amplifiers


jwc
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Looking for those that have had personal experience with these amps.  Could you rank the ones you've heard such as SIT-3> SIT-2> F8 and so on.  If you have heard only one...fine if you want to say you love or don't love it.  Reviews of the amps is optional if you have the time.

 

Also curious if you have heard these compared to the PASS Class A lineup or any other Class A.

 

thanks

jc

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I would have thought someone here would have posted before now since I know there are many here using FW amps. I have built clones of most all of them except the 3 you mentioned being no one has or can obtain any of the SIT transistors Nelson has made to clone one of them but I have built the PP V-Fet and just finished the SE V-Fet this month. V-fet's are static induction transistors, SIT and designed by Nelson so the sound should be similar. With some research you will find most claim the SIT1 and SIT2 sound much like a SE 300b amplifier. The F7 is one of the more popular FW amplifier he has designed and is still selling well. Of the FW clones I have built the M2 will probably be my favorite one but I do have one called the BA-1 which I like most of all. It is a diy one so not retail. The BA-2 diy amplifier I think is real close if not the Passlabs XA-30.8. The FW clones I did not particularly like are the F5 and F6. Very revealing amplifiers better suited for conventional speakers IMHO but then there are many here that like them with our horns. 

 

Other brands of Class A amplifiers should be very similar sounding as well. PP (push pull) or SE (single ended) in class A is something to consider as well. 

 

Maybe owners of FW amplifiers will post their opinions now. 

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Since I only have one FW, I can only compare it to other amps I have.  I find that digital music has more stereo separation than analog and I do not get a good center image.  My J2 very slightly brings the image in the center back into focus.  But it is subtle.  Other amps are VRD (tubes), McIntosh (solid state), Quicksilver(tubes).

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