Which amplifiers for ultra-sensitive horn speakers (Klipsch La Scala)?


The thread starts:  Some ginormous La Scalas have arrived in my small to medium sized rooms. It is a shock. The Harbeths have gone upstairs, where they have more space to breathe. BBC Monitors in a big room; Huge horns in a small room. It's an upside down world.

The trouble is that all my amps are pretty powerful. My Harbeths really love the Unico Pre/DM but with the La Scalas 160W is silly. It's more the high gain on the pre that is a problem though - after all I don't need to use all that power. To cut a long story short - after trying many different amps it seems that the pre-amp stage is critical. Any gain is a problem.

My temporary solution is to use my DAX Discrete Variable as pre-amp. This works very well with Croft 7R, Croft 7, and currently, my Albarry mono blocks, which sound very clear and compelling in this set-up. I'm attenuating around 40dB most of the time. But digital attenuation is the devil's attenuation and I can't use my turntable! Any ideas?

I'm thinking either;

a) Passive or Unity gain pre, then experiment with power amps.

b) look for something like a 300B SET integrated. Also 12a7 has been suggested.