newbie need help on decision on buying an amp

first of all ,this is my first post and want to say hello to all the audigoner.. now here is the question..i am planning to buy a tube amplifier(KR anteras) .this amp produce around 20W which is very low for my Vandersteen 3A,to listen to my normal volume level.i have to turn it up to 4/5 of the maximum level.the question is..if i have to crank up the volume level so high..would it run short on the life of the amp? over work the amp?another word.i dont know if this the the right way to run the amp?please give me some advice because i dont know whether if i should buy this amp or not?. my pre-amp is the krell 250P..thanks in advance....
Hello newbie that has 3A!
Not a bad speaker for the beginner I dare to admit.
Here is my list:
Rogue M120 magnum
Pathos Twin Towers(don't pay attention to 35W/ch) since they can drive leterally anything.
Audio Research VT100.
Hi Tt; The Vand. 3As would benefit significantly from more power, especially in bass control-- they have 8 and 10" woofers. Look for a good McCormack DNA-0.5 or DNA-1 (or up-graded version) for a really synergistic combination and good power/bass control. The McCormack amps-- especially the Rev. B & A up-grades are very smooth, liquid and tube-like. If you're really into tubes though, something more powerful would still be desireable, IMO. Good Luck. Craig
Two situations can arise out of your question. Either your source component and preamp don't have enough output to really drive the KR or the KR is too small of an amp for what you want to do with your system.

If you've had the same sources and preamp with another amp, how far did you have to crank up the volume control and what type of amp was it ? If you were able to achieve good levels with the volume somewhere between 10 o'clock and 1 o'clock, that means that the problem is PROBABLY not in the sources or the preamp.

If the situation is the latter one, you are working the tubes to death. As such, i would NOT advise going this route since you'll be chewing up tubes on a rather fast basis. Sean
I'm not familiar with your amps, but I'm quite familiar with the Vandsersteen 3a's. They need more power period! Vandersteen audio suggests between 100-200 watts for this speaker. I have ran them with 60 watt tube amplifiers, but have found the bass to be a bit lacking. I have also owned a McCormack DNA-1 while it did drive the 3a's quite nicely, I didn't consider it liquid and tube sounding. But then how could it be? It is not a tube amp.

The Krell pre is a mismatch for a tube amp, I would think your ears got to be bleeding because of the harshness on the highs. It is not a good idea to have a solid state pre combined with a tube amp. If you insist on using solid state then you might try using a tube pre and a solid state amp. Personally I think everyone should run a tube pre and a tube amp.
Go the Rogue route.
There is nothing wrong with Solid State pre. and tube amps. Just do your homework and match inpedance.
If your budget will permit, I'd try the Berning ZH270. It will drive your speakers very well and has the some of the best sonics at any price. Your Vandersteen 3A's will literally sing like songbirds!!

Good Luck,
While I have never owned the 3's, I have owned 2 pairs of the model 2 speakers.
I did once drive them with a 30 watt tube amp, but this was in a small (12x15) room. When I moved them into a 12x26 room, the amp did not have enough power. Bass and highs were rolled off and when I push the amp too hard, the sound would distort and soundstage would collapse.
That said, the 3's need more power than the 2's. If you want tubes and they sound good with tubes, I suggest a pair of the Quicksilver Silver 90 monoblocks. You will have to hunt or wait for these to come up for sale, but you will see them from time to time.
I agree with Philefreak. Manufacturers recommendations are a good start.
i used a small 20-30 watt amp with a pair of Vandersteen 1-b's and it sounded pretty good at low volumes. Then one day i had it cranked...sounded great. Then the amp clipped and it sounded expensive. get a bigger amp
Also agree with Todd Philefreak: low power amps have caused an awful lot of blown tweeters - while going the other way (more than rated power) rarely results in problems when applied judiciously.
The obvious amp/preamp choice would be Audio Research, it is the most used combination with Vandersteen's and what Richard V. himself used to use at a lot of trade shows.

My brother has the 3A Sigs and drives them with the solid state AR 100.2 and tubed LS-16 preamp. I spent a month staying at his house while he was on his honeymoon and found the 100.2 to have plenty of power(100 wpc) and a firm grasp of the 3A's woofers, athough I personally felt that the LS-16 gave music a "woolly" and unfocused feel. But, that is an entirely personal opinion and my brother also has his system in far too small of a room(~10'x12') for critical listening. It's no wonder things sounded a liitle muddied.

Anyway, definetly audition ARC with your Vandies.