Need recommendation for power amp under $250

I know it's a small budget round' these parts.

I'm looking for a power amp that is extremely natural and clean. I don't need much power as I am driving pretty efficient (90db) speakers, usually at modest listening levels.

I have a fairly good grasp on integrated amps, but power amps seem to have quite a few names I know nothing about.

So, I'm looking for something used under $250... sort of a 'best bang for my buck' thing.

I've got a nicely modded Yamaha M-40 for $185 + shipping? It is switchable 15 watts class A or 135 watts A/B. Simple button on the front does it all. Has dual volume controls and speaker outputs for 2 pair of speakers (my mods eliminated the third pair of speakers).
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Thanks for the recommendations.

Just to make sure I cover my bases, how do Carver, B&K, Adcom, Rotel, and NAD stack up? Is there a clearly higher quality make, or are they all 'vanilla'? It looks like I could pick up any one of those for under $200 used.
If you can locate one in excellent working order then I would highly recommend the Amber series 70 amp. They are very well built,can be with a flick of a switch turned into mono and go for less than 200.00.
I would add ATI and drop carver from your list. That's the ATI 1502 (2x125W). Most of the B&K's are also excellent.

Just because you play softly doesn't mean you don't need power. More speakers are ruined by folks using underpowered amplifiers which distort easily....and that's what ruins the speakers. I suggest that you need at least 75W continuous per channel and you would be well advised to buy an amp with 100 or more watts, even if you only play at low levels. Your sound will be cleaner and you will not run the risk of blowing your speakers.
I can speak for Adcom, Rotel, and NAD - all very solid choices that will give you years of service. All regularly appear on industry "recommended" lists.
How does Dynaco measure up? There is a 200wpc recently listed on here for under $200...

Also, anyone heard of Sonance?
Well, Sonance is cheap... but I'm assuming sub-par to the others we have mentioned?
Would Sonic Impact Class D amps be something you'd consider? There have been great reviews on them all over the web, and you can easily pick up a Gen II for around $150. Save the other $100 and pick up nice cables for it, or maybe do a little mod or two.
Thanks for the recommend.

This is a bit off topic, but... If I pick up an amp with independent volume controls, is there any need for a pre-amp if I only nave need for one input and a volume control... or is it better to set and leave the volume controls on the amp and use a pre-amp for regular level adjustments?

It just seems like in my case a pre-amp would be unnecessarily complicating the chain if I only need it for volume control...
Hi Dj.

Couple of questions:

> With your budget, why are you not looking for an integrated?

> Which speakers do you have (make, model age)?
Hey everyone. Thanks for the input.

I decided to go with a passive pre-amp (NHT PVC) and a Yamaha M-40.

The speakers I will be driving are Green Mountain Audio Continuum 1s.