Thanks for the update on the Damping factor, appreciated.It’s the ratio of the amplifier’s output impendance to the impedance of the speakers.
So, an output impedance of 0.1 ohm into typical 8 ohms speakers, would be represented as a damping factor of 80.
Although higher damping factors can sound ‘tighter’ with certain speakers - ironically, not so relevant with your sealed box ATCs - it’s largely irrelevant. However, Hegel aren’t alone in making a big play of it.
Valve amps do have higher output impedances, generally, as hence have a different sound.
As to which amp to sample, ATCs own SIA-150 would be an obvious choice, or the more affordable 100.
The dealer I mention does have the ATC amplifiers, are they any good? I sort of put ATC in a 'Speakers' box and not look at other bits of HiFi they produce. I'm a bit like that with Rega as well they fit in the turntable box, certainly after demo'ing some of their CD players and Amps a couple of years ago I wouldn't rush to buy outside the TT range.
Maybe I need to take the blinkers off and see just what's around.