Dazed & Confused. Your thoughts please...
My current setup is a pair of XTZ 100.49 speakers driven by a Nakamichi PA-5 (not the II) through a Musical Fidelity X-P100. Sources are a Logitech Transporter (70% of the time), iTunes (20%) and a Nakamichi MB-3s CD player (10%). No home theater (HT) use. I listen primarily to classical music - sonatas all the way through complex and dynamic symphonic works - although some modern music also of course.
For reasons not important here the PA-5 and the MB-3s are being shunted off for use elsewhere so I am in need of a new amp. I have budgeted a max of USD 1000 although if I could come in for less than that I would prefer it.
While the Nak's 100 watts have proven reasonably satisfactory with the XTZs I would like something with a little more oomph. I have been prowling e-bay and the marketplace here for candidates. I am thinking of the Adcom GFA-555 II, the Parasound HCA-5500 (the original or mark II), the Nak PA-7, the Adcom GFA-5802, the Parasound HCA-1500, and I am also looking at a Parasound HCA-3500 (although it will probably be outside my price range). I cannot listen to any of them before buying so I am at a loss on which way to go. I want good bass response and detailed musicality in the mid and upper ranges and also want something quiet enough that there will not be unwanted noise during quiet musical passages. While a lot of the specs for the Adcoms and Parasounds seem to be quite similar the Adcoms' dynamic headroom tends to be in the 2+ range while the Parasounds' tend to be in the 1.x range. I don't know whether that is hugely important but I think for very dynamic music it might be a consideration.
Additionally, I am tempted by the Emotiva XPA-2. Although it is not currently available I am not in a huge hurry. It has the advantage of being new and under full warranty as opposed to the used items. While the amp seems to have more than sufficient power I have the impression (purely subjective and not based on any first-hand experience) that the Emotiva line is geared more for use in HT and may lack some of the finesse and musicality I am seeking.
I apologize in advance for the long post but I think that when asking for advice like this the more information the better. I would be interested in peoples' opinions on the above as well as recommendations of other makes and models I should be considering given my setup, listening habits and budget.
Your comments are much appreciated.