I am 100% elated with my innersound esl. It puts out 300wpc into an 8ohm load, is unconditionally stable into a 1/3 ohm load, and doesn't generate any heat. I don't even turn it off. Actually, I compared it to a Krell FPB-300, and it didn't fair badly at all. It has a very warm, tube-like sound. For the money, you can't beat this amplifier (~$2500).
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Check this out Budrew if you haven't read it yet.It will give you a crash course on digital amplifiers and their differences.The audio note dac is a different technology.
Budrew- If your goal is to run your transport directly into
the amp, the are two choices- the new Spectron MIII and TacT S or M2150. I've had both the older Spectron MII and TacT M2150 in my system. The Spectron MII has enough power
to drive just about anything out there and is very smooth
with excellent control. The TacT has alot less power(150 vs 500),but a bit more ability to present inner details. Not having heard the MIII, I don't how it's digital and analog inputs will compare to the TacT's. The Spectral gets a little bit warm to the touch(nothing compared to a regular amp), the TacT can be left on or run hard and barely gets warm(like you no AC; heat reduction was one of the main reason I tried these amps).
With your speakers the TacT should more than enough power,plus you can eliminate your preamp and the DAC. If you're interested check out the TacT forum-http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TacTAudioUsersGroup/. There's
also a reviews of both amp on StereoTimes.com.
I also bought a Carver 1600 for under $800, and sold my Classe 400 after hearing more bass, dynamics, openness, and volume from my 86db Mirage m3. They have an adjustable input so you can use a pre that has from only 2 volts to as much as 30 volts or more and match it nicely. The best deal in audio right now that I know of.
I've jumped the eAR ship to swim in the new H2O. This is a startup company that produces the affordable ICE based amp. The H2O has a robust analogue power supply to match the ICE module's analog modulation. It has 150,000 micro farads of power capacitance, and a kilowatt transformer. On the back of it's aluminum black anodized case are Cardas connectors. The H2O is fully balanced. The stereo model of this power house of a class D, is a modest $2k. The mono pair sells for $3k. I ran the stereo model successfully on my 1 ohm speakers.
People are leaving their EVO GENII amps, and, of course, a myriad of conventional amps in favor of the H2O.