The Musical Fidelity A5 integrated is also within your price range, and outputs 250 wpc into an 8 Ohm load. I recently had the opportunity to hear the kW-500 at the same dealer, which is a little over your budget. I was blown away, almost literally. I came away with the belief that either one of the new MuFi's should be capable of driving just about anything.
The McIntosh MA6900 is absolutely fantastic. It has a rare musical capability that few others can match.
With a sensitivity rating of 83 db, I'd be more tempeted to use a higher powered integrated than 100 wpc. I think the the Musical Fidelity A5 would do just fine.
I've on order a Blue Circle NSCS. 110wpc
I've done my measurements - 100W would be just enough.
I was thinking about Mcintosh MA6900 - but, I personally consider McIntosh stuff a little bit overpriced.
MA6900 overpriced? You wont think so in 2 years when its upgrade time. Buy one now for 2900 to 3200...its money in the bank!
As an owner of a Musical Fidelity kW500 I gladly recommend it, on the used market, as to fit your budget; also used, consider the Jeff Rowland Concerto and Concentra II.
I also like the MAC,easily sold if you do not like it. What about Plinius, Rowland, BelCanto, or other digital/chip amps. Or, 2 monoblock chip amps[maybe CIA 100 or 200 w/ch] with a sweet tube preamp, you could hide the little monos.
The most amazing 2 integrated amps I have ever heard are the Jadis Orchestra Reference, but only about 40 watts - main down-side is that it is a bugger to bias - you have to take it apart - and, even more impressive in many ways, the Bel Canto SETi 40. This is a remarkable sounding single ended int amp, with a digital-logic 0.5 db stepped remote volume control and that pure, involving, unique SET sound. (845 tubes)
But then 40 amps have to be enough. But what incredible 40 watts. Call Matt at Bel Canto - he's a helpful, honest and smart guy and will tell you if it's enough power for your speakers. You'd have to find it used. It's $6K new - used about $3500.
I recommend the 6900. I have it after auditioning the Ayre and the Musical Fidelity A5. Both were very good and I could have lived with the sond of either. The A5 was more detailed but lacked the bass control of the Mac. The Ayre was very nice but I liked the look of the Mac.
I owned an Electrocompaniet ECI-3 and loved it. I am sure the ECI-4 has the same sonic character. I would glady suggest this amplifier. You should be able to get a deal here on a used unit. I would also strongly suggest the Musical Fidelity integrateds. Good luck to you!
and how about bvaudio integrated, A300S is very musical, if not even the best out there.
No one has mentioned Plinius' intefrated 8100/8200.
Throw in the BC501 DAC($3695) and you are just a bit above your target.
I have not heard them but after scrounging around various reviews and what not, from Germany;
Accustic Arts Power Drive 1
Try the new Rowland Concerto. It has 250 wpc of ICE digital power and sounds absolutely gorgeous. It drives my VR-4 HSEs with ease and is a marked improvement over my old BAT VK-300x tube unit. Retail is $5,900, I believe.
I second the Blue Circle NSCS idea.
Blue Circle amps sound beautiful!
I second Jeff Rowland Concerto