SET amp suggestions 1000$ or Integrated 2500$

Hi, I am thinking of changing directions, and flipping 180 degrees. I have decided to try out some efficient speakers and I'm a bit scared of having them hooked up to a 1000W McIntosh. I would love some suggestions for a SET or other low powered tube amp/ Integrated for the suggested prices above, so I can spend my next few sleepless nights reading and obsessing.
I currently have a Cary slp-98 and really like the sound although, I would be okay with selling it if I could get better performance from an integrated. I have also owned a sli-80 which I enjoyed, and is a consideration, but basically I know nothing about 5-22 watt tube amps, I have read about their strengths and weaknesses, but like most things in life you really have to try it yourself.

Transcendent SE OTL - probably one of the best amps on the planet. The only down-side is 1.5 wpc @ 8 ohms so needs around 95 dB or better. Doubles to 3 wpc @ 16 ohms.

This is an amazing amp with the right drivers.

There is 1 for sale on A'gon now. Not mine and I do not know the seller.

Good luck,
Jim Bailey
Have you or do you have the ability to listen to set-up's similar to what you're considering? Maybe there's somebody in your local area who would let you listen to their set-up.

I love my Klipsch & John Hogan 6sn7/76/300B set-up.

There's a John Hogan SET right now on A'gon. Realize that they are not a "looker" but MAN, they deliver.
If you're just worried about the speakers,as your second sentence implies, there's nothing wrong with using high efficiency models with your Mac.Just show some restraint with the volume knob.Good luck and enjoy the music.
Tpreaves, using a 1K Watt amplifier at less than one Watt is a total waste, because the amp will be playing in the crossover distortion region.
The first watt of a any tube amplifier is its best Watt. Except for pure Class A SS amps, the first Watt of a SS amp is its worst (it has more audible AND measurable distortion).
BTW I am a BIG Mac fan. I am also a firm believer that component matching can make or break a system.

My suggestion to Hanaleimike is to audition first as many high-efficiency speakers as possible (they have their quirks). When you find a speaker that you really like, then find a tube amp that does it justice.
Hi guys,
Thanks for the replies, I have looked into the suggested amps currently for sale.
I do not have access to audio stores so all my purchases are done online and unheard. I really appreciate the help and suggestions.

Casouza, are you saying using highly efficient speakers with the mc2500 will not sound very good, as the first watt is the worst? Don't even bother?

Vman, is the John Hogan listed under a different name?
FWIW; I have not heard this, but it looks interesting -- found as i started reading about John Hogan stuff
To use a car analogy, powerful SS amps have a very rough engine idle speed, like a race car, while tube amps idle like a Lexus. Unfortunately, SS powerful amps will work in the "rough-idle", high crossover distortion region with high efficiency speakers.
I am not familiar with the MC2500. My Mc402 sounded smooth from the first Watt up, though I could still hear a slight veiling/graininess at very very low late night listening levels.

You may want to make a simple test: play a good recording with piano, vocals and cymbals late at night, at a very low level, say 400mW on the Mac VUs and listen close to your current speakers. 400 mW was the average level I used to drive my high-efficiency ZU Druid speakers with an Mc402. The sound pressure level in-room was about 90 db, pretty high, so you see there is a method to my madness!

If you hear any graininess/veiling during this test, as compared to normal listening levels, I believe you would be happier with a tube amp or a class A solid state amp (e.g Pass Labs) driving hi-eff speakers.

My personal amp history may help explain my POV:
BEL 1001 (50 Watts/channel)
Gamut D200 (200 Watts)
Mc402 (400 Watts)
ASR Emmiter II (500 Watts)
have you noticed the power race trend? They all sounde fine, but something wasmissing.
happiness with an 845 20W SET amp and 90 db efficiency / 8 ohm speakers.

SETs plus hi-eff speakers have a special mojo, a magical midrange, clean highs, great soundstaging and excellent inner dynamics. What they do best is not easy to describe in Hi-Fi terms, though easier to describe in musical terms: there is more emotion in the air.
If you want your music really loud, look for speakers with 96 db/watt or higher efficiency and a smooth impedance curve around 8 ohms.
Good luck