If this is the case, and your willing to go with this size. Comparing this to some of Emotiva other offering would be a better comparisons. Also, I've found out that if you push the a-100s more the transparence will come through. Speakers push them way more than the HE-500s would, I get loads of transparence with the HE-6s. These speaker amps are meant to be pushed to get the best out of them.
This sort of brings up a question for me. Here are 2 scenarios to compare :
1. Use line out from E9K to Emo and only control volume on the Emo. This ends up at 9 o'clock or so most of the time on the Emo.
2. Use pre out from the E9K to Emo and control volume using both the E9K and Emo. Maybe, put Emo at 12 o'clock and dial in on the E9K to comfortable volume.
Will #2 push the Emo harder than #1? If yes, will this connection loop have any negative effect on SQ?