Esoteric A-100 vs a03

I am currently using a Wavac 300B amplifier with my Tannoy turnberry SE speakers. While I am enjoying the luxurious Wavac ride but there are always times that I feel the 10 watts Wavac is not enough. Especially while listening to Rock and pop music when I would like to crank it up and have fun, the music doesnt sound very comfortable. I know I should not be doing this with a 300B tube amp but then I listen to all kinds of music and I dont own a 100db sensitive speaker.

The choice is now either to go with a powerful push-pull which has the overall purity of an SET or a more drastic step towards a good solid state amplifier. I have heard the Esoteric a03 and liked it a lot driving a pair of Maggies. But I have never heard the A-100. Esoteric says that A-100 sounds as pure and neutral as master tapes, thats a serious claim, but then they are manufacturers. Can anyone here give me an idea of which of these amps would be a better buy for sonic purity, neutrality and dynamics ?
How big is your listening room and how loud (in dBs) are you trying to comfortably achieve?
For your specific needs you may be better off with a higher power amplifier
for your speakers ( or find an easier Speake to drive). There are certainly SS

or push pull amplifiers you may discover and love but they won't mimic a
good SET amplifier's strengths. It just depends on what you really want.
Your Wavac 300b is superb with an appropriate speaker match.All
amplifier topologies will have inherent strengths and inevitable limitations.
Amp-speaker pairing is definitely a marriage. I've heard the Esoteric A 100
and it didn't remind me of a SET at all, but it could be more suitable for what
you desire (thus the better choice). I suspect that the Tannoy line of
speakers varies and some models are easier loads to drive than others.
Good luck,
Charles, can you please elaborate a little more on the sound signature of the A-100 ?
I attended a dealer demostration several years ago. The system was
Esoteric digital, their C-03 line stage and A 100 amplifier driving Wilson
Sashas. A variety of music was played and I listened for a good while. My
point is someone may or may not like the sound produced. It didn't sound
at all like what I'm accustomed to hearing with high quality SET set ups. It
was IMO drier, less fluid, less organic and mechanical sounding relatively
speaking. It lacked the life, emotion and vibrant presence of the SETs I've
experienced. However the Esoteric amp is more powerful and allow greater
flexibility in speaker choice. SETs really require the right matching
That's just me however and only reflects my taste, for what you want it
could be potentially ideal and preferable to your Wavac.
Hi Charles,
Your observations are very informative. Just to get some more idea, which Push-pull amps have you generally liked ? Please list some models please. Basically I am coming from a mixed background of solid state and pure SET amplification. I have not touched push-pull yet. I can easily relate to your SET reference. Have you heard any push pull amps which give you a similar sense of enjoyment as good SETs ?
How big is your listening room and how loud (in dBs) are you trying to comfortably achieve?

Onhwy61, my room size is pretty small, about 170 sqft with a usual 10ft ceiling height.
Needless to say that my opinions are strictly based on personal
encountersand everyone's experience is unique. Prior to using my SET
amp I used a custom built PP amplifier (Response Audio Bella Extreme V
cap version) by Bill Baker (Purity Audio).This is a100 watt/60 watt triode
with 6550 or KT88. This and a friend's VAC Phi 300.1 were the best
sounding PP I've listened to compared to ARC, VTL, Quicksilver, Rogue etc.

What I came to realize is that regardless of the PP amplifier they just didn't
have the "thereness" presence or ultimate realism I get
convincingly with a proper SET -speaker match. In my case it was an easy
and in all probability permanent change. Of course your outcome may be
different from mine. I really enjoyed my Bella Exreeme PP amplifier until I
got the Frankenstein amplifier and directly compared them.
Based upon your comments I imagine you will be happier sticking with tube amps. Coincident, Atmasphere and David Berning all make not too expensive tube amps that can provide you with roughly 6dB more headroom. As a less costly alternative you might consider the Van Alstine Ultravalve 70. Keep us updated.
For these particular speakers an 845 SET or good PP amplifier may be what you need to satisfy your objective.

I have an Ayon Triton 1 integrated amp and like it a lot. It's 125WPC pentode, 80WPC triode; Class A operation with no negative feedback. Uses KT88 tubes. If that sounds like enough power for you there's one listed now but with about 18 hours left in the sale. You might consider it.

Charles, I have heard quite a few 845 tubes based amps, both SET and PP. They just dont make the grade for me. Yes, they have bone crunching dynamics and they sound big but they dont have the nuance and delicacy. Everything sounds blown up out of proportion, even voices sound unrealistic. Unfortunately I heard something similar even with Wavac 805 based models. Looks like some of these big tubes have been forced into audio.
I find it difficult to generalize due to the relatively wide range amongst products. Somec845 amps are better than others as is the case for 300b amps. Implementation seems to be the major factor in determining successful outcomes. I'm familiar with the Absolare and Viva 845 SETs and could be very happy with either. Other people have often touted the Audion Black Shadow as an excellent 845 amplifier. It's hard to avoid generalizations as we call only report what we've experienced. Pani it may be that given your speakers(and stated objectives) a PP amplifier might be what you're seeking? Your Wavac 300b is highly regarded but in your case it may not be ideal for your specific Tannoys.
From my current PP amp 35/ 25 wpc ( ultralinear / triode ) , In my next amp upgrade dream I have put as first choice : Lamm M1.1 which is a push pull hybrid amp with 90 wpc. I wonder if that would meet your needs , considering Lamm 's reputation it should be among the very best PP amps in its wattage rating .
Sorry for a mistake in my earlier post. I wrongly referred to Lamm M1.1
My correct reference to the model should have been Lamm M1.2 Ref. , Hybrid , 110 wpc . ( I believe it is Push Pull , pl correct me if I am wrong ) .