I'm considering buying the Vandersteen 2Ce Signature loudspeakers, and I'm looking for an integrated amp to power them.
There's a promotion on the Arcam A85 (85W, EUR1200 (was 1500)). Furthermore, I was told about the Densen Beat-100 MK V (70W, EUR1350).
In reviews on the Vandersteens I read that they are relatively low in sensitivity and need more power than you would expect. Furthermore, the loudspeakers are claimed to be high resolution loudspeakers, requiring highest quality electronics.
Am I looking in the right quality range with the proposed Arcam and Densen models? Do they offer enough power?
Here is a link to the measurements in the Stereophile review. They are pretty good, BTW. It is a fairly low sensitivity, moderately low impedance speaker. However, it does not seem to be a particularly difficult speaker to drive for any decent amplifier. Try the speakers out with the amplifiers to see whether they are adequate.
Although I don't own these speakers, I've spent some time seriously listening to them, and I like them very much. Your general approach about powering them is correct. These are very high quality speakers that benefit from a good amplifier. However, that doesn't mean that they won't perform well with less expensive amplifiers. When I listened to them they were driven by a B&K receiver (a high priced USA make) that delivers about 125-150 watts per channel. That was plently of power for them. The power level you require of course varies with the size and acoustic properties of the room you have and your listening preferences.
Vanderstein rates the efficiency of these speakers as 86 dB, with their impedence as a nominal 7 ohms (4 ohm minimum). He recommends amplifiers that deliver from 40 to 160 watts into 8 ohms. I'm not familiar with the amps you mention, but they seem to be in that range. Perhaps you can buy the speakers, and try various amplifiers at home before you commit to buy them.
How big is your listening room?
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
How loud do you like to play your music?
I've listened to the Vandersteens through a good 100 wpc solid state amp, in a fairly large room. Seemed to be enough amp to me. I believe in quality over quantity. A good 80-125 wpc amp should do fine. But depending to your answers to my questions a larger amp might be called for.