For $1400-1600, you should be able to pick up a Meitner PA-6i with phono and a pair of Meitner MTR-101 monoblocs. Nothing else will come close. That's my 2 cents' worth, anyway. Joel.
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If you do not need the additional power you may want to consider the Musical Fidelity A3 amp (85 watts/channel) at $500.00 less. It has better writeups and reviews. I use Musical Fidelity X components and am very pleased with the sound, though the A series having a slightly cleaner sound would be a better match with your Vandersteens IMO. I have also listened to the Classe at a shop and enjoyed its smooth top end, but this was on a pair of much brighter speakers than yours. I would give the A3 a try as well, as you never know until you listen in your home.
Both are well thought of with (I think) the MF being a newer design (which may be meaningless). If there are any significant differences which would be apparent to you, it should be you who makes that decision, since essentially everyone has a set of variables which are unique to them. I think that you would be satisfied with either one. But, if you must have a choice, then do very well controlled side-by-side. It's more difficult than you might expect.
I have the Classe CAP-150.....never auditioned the Musical Fidelity, though I've heard great things about it. I could tell you that the Classe is superb throughout the musical spectrum and has tight, controlled bass. I am driving Thiel 2.2s and it sounds incredible. Thiels are slightly on the bright side and the Classe does a great job at moderating this. All this being said, I'd try both of them (and others) in YOUR system. That's the only way you'll know for sure.
I have owned both and I prefered the Musical Fidelity A3 over the Classe 100 and 150 by a wide margin! It really depends on your taste in speakers too. I think that dual monaural power supplies are an important consideration in the cleanest sound, which means the MF components are a better design. Ironically I own neither now...I have picked up a pair of Antique sound labs KT88 monoblocks and have heard their integrateds. Clearly more musical to me that either of the solid state integrateds mentioned and a lot cheaper..oh well, this is off topic.
I recently purchased the A300. After auditioning the Cap 150 I was ready to make it my amp of choice when a freind had me over to listen to his new A300. All I can say is I was blown away! The A300 sound IMHO,was more dynamic, bigger soundstage and very musical. I have since matched this amp up with the A3 CD, running into CDM1NT speaks-great system for a great price!
Frmont: Have you auditioned the less expensive (and less powerful) Musical Fidelity A3? If so, what is your take between it and the A300 in regard to tonal characteristics? I have read that it is a bit drier, but this was just noted in a couple of reviews (that may have been influenced by each other). I have not listened to the A300 myself, just the A3 and I own an X-A1.
Sam: Hi-Fi Choice gave the A3 a so so review. They also did not try it with a variety of equipment. For example my X-A1 did not work well with Linn Tukans during a home demo but sings with the other speakers that I have thrown at it. I like Hi-Fi Choice, but they do not seem to be putting as much energy as they used to into their reviews. One mis-matched piece of equipment in the line and everything falters IMO.