What's your budget?
If you have $3+ K to spend I highly recommend Opera-Consonance Cyber 800 tube mono blocs deliver about 80watts per channel. That is the discount new price. Not too many used around.
Before any suggestion can be made, 3 things to look for in an amp and source that will be a perfect match for a 10kohm passive, be it LDR, Potentiometer, Switch Resistor, and some TVC’s.
Then there will be no compromises, and you'll get the most transparent/dynamic/extended sound from your system.
1: You need to get an amp who’s input sensitivity voltage is the same or lower than the sources output voltage.
Amp 1.5v (input sensitivity) in for full output
Source 1.5v or higher output.
2: An amp that has higher than 33kohm input impedance, which most are.
3: Sources output impedance should be lower than 1kohm (1000ohm) which most are.
Interesting to read Mechans suggestion. I'm using a Schiit Freya (can be operated in pure passive, JFET buffered or 6SN7 tube mode) with a Taranis Class D. Have also used it with the Cyber 800SE mono blocks that Mechans mentioned. With either amp, I'm greatly enjoying this pre-amp's JFET buffered mode, though the sound in pure-passive runs a close second.
Your point no. 1 is so right and that is all I have focused on, since getting a TVC. GAIN - that is the important point when it comes to LDR/TVC.
OP, consider the Parasound A21 which needs 1.6V for full output, I believe. Most CD players output at least 2V. So you should be fine. From a loudspeaker sensitivity perspective, you are all set.
OK let me try to clarify few things in my mind.
I assume every amplifier manufacturer gives the input sensitivity as per watt not at full power.
Let's say there are two amps.
Input sensitivity: 500mv
Input impedance: 100kOhm
Power output: 40 watts in 8 ohms
Input sensitivity: 100mv
Input impedance: 30kOhm
Power output: 100 watts in 8 ohms
So Amp A should be 500mv x 40 watts =20000mv/2v
Amp B should be 250mv x 100 watts = 25000mv/2.5v
Some amp manufacturers write 1.5v for input sensitivity in their specs. Does this still mean per watt? Because if so then at full power it is crazy high. Say if they mean 1.5v per watt and its output is 80 wpc. Then the input sensitivity is 120v!!!
One last question:
I have a DAC at 3v output. And my music streamer is connected to my DAC via coaxial, has 2v output. Don't know if the streamer's numbers are important here or not??
However, what I just wrote above is different than this. The specs below is from Nelson Pass First Watt J2.
Output power in 8 and 4 ohms respectively.
30 watts @ 1% THD, 1KHz
15 watts @ 1% THD, 1 KHz
Input Sensitivity 280 mV = 1 watt, 1.4 V = rated power
According to what I wrote above,
280mV x 30 watts should be 8400mV but this is 1.4V at rated power.
OK let me try to clarify few things in my mind.I’ve only ever seen the input sensitivity (in volts or millivolts) for amps as stated for the amps full wattage output just before clipping. Unless specifically stated for only 1 watt of output
Speakers sensitivity (where you maybe getting confused) is stated as sensitivity in dB for for 1watt input .