solid state amp power


Currently I have an LFD Mark IV (60 watts) driving a pair of Harbeth C7ES-3. I've caught upgrade-itis. I'm thinking about going to the Super HL5-Plus and if I do that I'm going to replace my whole system. The reason being that I want to use a PS Audio Direct Stream DAC as the source, in which case I no longer need an integrated amp. I want to try running the DAC directly to an amp. My question is then, which amp to get?

I want to use a solid state amp but I'm finding it diffictult to find an interesting amp that is not integrated and produces less than 100 WPC. Additionally, I don't want an amp that runs hot at idle. Currently I never turn my LFD over 30% volume unless I'm listening to it from the next room so, even 60 WPC is far more than I need. 

If I can't find an amp I like under 100 WPC, I may try the Classé CA-D200, which is 200 WPC. Is this powerful amp going to be too loud for me at even the lowest settings?

Any advice is welcome.
e91811
not cheap, but Pass Labs or First watt amps. SHould be able to find one that meets your demand. I am using a XA30.8. I however use a preamp. 
Recommend you keep your integrated (for now) and buy a used pair of Harbeth M-40.1's.   Despite the 40.1's low efficiency rating, they have a benign impedance curve and are relatively easy to drive.  The 40.1's are a major step up in sound quality from the smaller Harbeth's in my experience.  If you go with 40.1's and eventually feel you need more power and want to stick with solid state, you can upgrade to a JOB 225 amp ($1,700 new), a used Bryston 3BSST2 or a Pass Labs 150.5 around $2K used.  I prefer tube amps and have successfully used and recommend the following tube amps with M-40.1's:    VAC PHI 200 ($5.5K used) or McIntosh MC275 MKIV ($3.5K used).   Once you experience sound from a good tube amp you may find it hard to go back to solid state... at least that has been my experience.

I have heard good things about Pass amps but I thought they had the reputation of room heaters. Is this not true?
I have owned Pass Labs XA30.5 and XA60.5 amps and although they are fairly warm to the touch, they did not heat up my medium sized room at all!

Put the amps on stands, and they will run cooler, than on a shallow shelf or directly on the floor.

The much bigger ones, and the newer XA.8 amps generate more heat, and use more electricity.
Look for an Audio Research 100.2. It's one of their best solid state amps. I used to own one and it's an incredible amp. Nothing touches it for the money.
Try Modwright KWA100SE.  Plenty of power with fabulous mid-range. 
I would be more concerned about the nature of the gain provided by the Direct Stream DAC than the wattage of the amplifier. I would think one would want to drive an amp using 30- 70% range on volume control of the DS DAC. Other may chime in on my thinking on this.

I think that by considering 50-100wpc amplifiers one opens up far greater possibilities. That wattage would not be over-kill for your speakers.  
I run a DAC directly into my gorgeous sounding 30 wpc Pass XA30.5. Probably one of the of the top 2-3 in the under 100 wpc category.

These show up frequently on the used market. The newer replacement model is the XA30.8. About $6000.

They run warm, but not hot, at idle. In standby mode they are cold.
I purchased the Hypex NCore NC400 Bridged Mono Block class D Power Amplifiers ($2,980) from James Romeyn Music and Audio, LLC (James). He was very helpful answering my many questions and I suggest you contact him for more information on his custom assembled Hypex NCore power amplifiers (he offers 3 models).

This is my first class D power amplifier and, based on my results, sounds terrific. Of course, everyone has a different opinion on this subject. You never know “how it really sounds”, until you listen in your room and system. Specs are 200/400/600Wpc @ 8/4/2 Ohms, 1 Ohm minimum, mono w/SMPS600 or stereo w/SMPS1200A400. Draws about 4W @ idle per NC400.  Bridged mono bloc 400/800/1200W @ 8/4/2 Ohms, 1 Ohm minimum.  These power amplifiers are capable of driving any speaker and do not get hot.

I am thrilled with how good my system sounds since I am hearing details, imaging and bass that I have not heard before. I highly recommend you contact James for information on his Hypex NCore power amplifiers.  My speakers are the Sonus Faber Olympica II Speakers.
   
http://jamesromeyn.com/old-pages/home-audio-gear/hypex-ncore-nc400-build-service-on-time-or-free-bui...




Mesch: that's a good point about the gain, I may have to email ps audio about that
e91811,  Matching the gain form the DAC to the power amplifier is very important.  In my case, we decided to remove the R141 (circuit) from my Hypex NCore NC400 bridged mono blocks, thus lowering gain by 14 dB, requiring 14 dB higher Bricasti M1 volume setting for same playback level.   Bricasti says the goal is to have the M1 CLOSE to 0db front panel attenuation. If you reduce the volume on the M1 DAC, you cause more bit reduction meaning you lose sound quality. When you connect the Bricasti M1 DAC to a power amplifier, you have to balance the M1 DAC to the power amplifier in order to achieve your M1 volume settings CLOSE to 0db.