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daveyf
December 3, 2013, 03:26 AM
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Penthouse-D
December 3, 2013, 09:54 AM
I love the design of the new gear. Haven't had the chance to hear it though. You live in a beautiful town. I've been to L.J. many times. Wonderful place...

audio.bill
December 3, 2013, 11:40 AM
I run the Rowland 625 power amp (latest version) which sounds superb in combination with the Audia Flight Line and Phono preamps driving Piega C10 Ltd. speakers. The 625 uses a class A/B output stage with a power factor corrected switched mode power supply. :D
3964

BruceLet
December 3, 2013, 01:11 PM
My Concentra 2 is now in a friends system, along with my Rega P9. I still get to hear them. What a great integrated! The internal phono board is excellent, too.

Rick Vestal
December 3, 2013, 06:20 PM
Quad 201 monoblocks here. I was shocked to see a post in the JR subforum...

Rick Vestal
December 3, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Sexy beast!

socfan12
December 3, 2013, 08:56 PM
Thanks for starting this thread, Davey!

Long time owner of a Model 8TiHC amp. Superb sounding even after so many years, and responds beautifully to Shunyata Anaconda PC.

Davey, curious what the top plate and choke mods are?

Rick, Bill, great picks on JRDG gear! :cool:

daveyf
December 3, 2013, 11:27 PM
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GuidoCorona
December 4, 2013, 10:07 AM
Hi Davey, what an excellent idea you had to start this watering hole for Rowland owners on Audioshark!

I am proud owner of a pair of M925 monoblocks, a Criterion linestage, and -- as of two weeks ago -- of an Aeris DAC.

In the past I had M725 monos, M625 stereo (original version), M312 stereo, Model 7 monos, and Capri (original version) preamplifier.

I have started a thread here on Audioshark where I have logged my break-in experience with M925:

http://audioshark.org/amplifiers-8/experiencing-rowland-m925-monoblocks-2360.html

Saluti, Guido

daveyf
December 5, 2013, 01:59 AM
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Raidho
December 5, 2013, 02:16 AM
At Raidho we have often used electronics from Jeff.. We have on Shows used most if his electronics with great success.. We got the " best sound on the Show " this year both at the CES on the Munich Show.. Do we love his electronics... Absolutely yes.. :)
Lars
Raidho

GuidoCorona
December 5, 2013, 07:06 PM
Hi Lars, in fact at RMAF 2014 Rowland featured the new Continuum S2 integrated driving a pair of Raidho D1s using Cardas Clear Beyond speaker wires... I visited the suite several times... The music was magic.

Saluti, Guido

Mike
December 5, 2013, 07:38 PM
The Raidho/Rowland combo at RMAF was outstanding. One of the best sounding rooms.

BruceLet
December 5, 2013, 08:21 PM
I am looking forward to hearing the 625 and 925. I like Rowland amps and am happy they are making amps without the ICE power supply.

GuidoCorona
December 5, 2013, 09:45 PM
Hi Bruce, the only current Rowland amp that still uses ICEpower power conversion technoloogy is the new entry level M125 bridgeable amp, which is based on an enhanced 125ASX2 module.

The M625 midrange stereo amp is based on a class A/B circuit... The top end M825 and M925 amps have Ncore technology in the output stages, while the Continuum S2 integrated uses a Pascal module.

Interestingly, the Continuum S2 that Mike and I heard at RMAF, had less than one week of music on it, and yet it sounded great already.

Guido

socfan12
December 5, 2013, 09:50 PM
Hi Davey, what an excellent idea you had to start this watering hole for Rowland owners on Audioshark!

I am proud owner of a pair of M925 monoblocks, a Criterion linestage, and -- as of two weeks ago -- of an Aeris DAC.

In the past I had M725 monos, M625 stereo (original version), M312 stereo, Model 7 monos, and Capri (original version) preamplifier.

I have started a thread here on Audioshark where I have logged my break-in experience with M925:

http://audioshark.org/amplifiers-8/experiencing-rowland-m925-monoblocks-2360.html

Saluti, Guido
Guido,

I am so jealous of your Criterion pre. I would love a battery powered JR preamp...

GuidoCorona
December 5, 2013, 10:19 PM
Hi Allen, do you live in an area with particularly dirty AC? If you do, a Corus linestage with the upcoming Rowland PSU supply will give you at least the same isolation from AC grundge as batteries, but with probably better macro/microndynamics. PSU should be released soon... It is based on ultracapacitors and will deliver continuous DC to Corus and/or Aeris without requiring a recharge.

But if your power were relatively reasonable, like in Austin where I live, the SMPS in Corus or Criterion performs identically to the bateery supply... And in fact makes these devices largely invariant to upmarket power cords.

Saluti, Guido

Raidho
December 6, 2013, 04:27 AM
What I really love about the new Rowland electronics is, that they all have a much more black background to the music.. much more black than most of the High-end electronics we have been using together with our speakers.. We are happy that you found the Rowland and our D-1 sounding outstanding at the RMAF Show.
Greetings from Hanoi.. Vietnam..

kiwi_1282001
December 6, 2013, 05:41 AM
Hi Bruce, the only current Rowland amp that still uses ICEpower power conversion technoloogy is the new entry level M125 bridgeable amp, which is based on an enhanced 125ASX2 module.

The M625 midrange stereo amp is based on a class A/B circuit... The top end M825 and M925 amps have Ncore technology in the output stages, while the Continuum S2 integrated uses a Pascal module.

Interestingly, the Continuum S2 that Mike and I heard at RMAF, had less than one week of music on it, and yet it sounded great already.

Guido


Greetings Guido,

Would you happen to know what the key differences are between the Continuum S2 Integrated and the earlier Continuum C-500? Cosmetically at least the product looks similar. How is the S2 an advance over the C-500?

I raise the question because several years back I auditioned (twice) and reviewed (twice) a C-500. While I admired its high fidelity abilities I felt it struggled to get music out - leaving me emotionally detached and unsatisfied. I wrote at that time that the C-500 demonstrated an almost complete absence of soul incision and/or emotional nuance in the music. Further, I also felt that the Jeff Rowland amplifier whilst delivering amazing vocal articulation did not capture the 'body' of the vocal. There was if you like a fantastic high resolution outline to vocals but no real ‘density’ to them. Density in this instance should not be confused with soundstage depth. Whilst the Jeff Rowland exhibited brilliant depth abilities, density referred to here revolves around the ‘body’ most notably of the vocal image itself.



Thanks!

GuidoCorona
December 6, 2013, 10:13 AM
Hi Kiwi, did you review C500 or C250? The C250 lacked a PFC unit which helps to protect the ICEpower module from residual grundge and ripple... Hence C250 would sound a little sterile, somewhat like the M201 mono amplifier.

C500 did have a PFC unit, which was however different from the one found in the M312 stereo amp.... For some reason, the 312 sounded always amazingly musical, with instrumental and vocal images fully alive and fleshed out with harmonics and microdynamics (at least compared to its contemporaries), while C501 did not seem to reach the same degree of refinement, and could not yield the same emotional involvement to me... Yes, I heard them at length in the same system during the same session.... Rest of system was a Boulder CDp, Capri (original) on M312, and Vienna Die Muzik speakers. It is possible in theory that C500 may be handicapped in some way by the bank of output capacitors post power conversion module... They were designed to enhance authority and macrodynamics, but they might have been slightly detrmintal to subtlety.

Furthermore, C500 required a complete break-in of about 600 hours, before which it would sound sterile and hard.

You are correct also that the casework of Continuum S2 is based on the original C500. Internally things are entirely replaced/redesigned.... Different PFC unit, ICEpower is gone in favor of Pascal technology, different transformer coupling, and the preamplifier circuitry is that of the new Capri S2, which is very different from the original Capri.

There is a CS2 section on the Rowland Knowledge base where you will find 20 short articles with some more information:

Continuum S2 Integrated (http://jeffrowlandgroup.com/kb/categories.php?categoryid=211)

Bottomline is that I had some reservations about the performance of the original C500, while what I heard at RMAF 2014 from Continuum S2 and the Raidho D1s -- particularly on the third day (Sunday) -- was magical.

Guido

kiwi_1282001
December 6, 2013, 11:25 AM
Hi Kiwi, did you review C500 or C250? The C250 lacked a PFC unit which helps to protect the ICEpower module from residual grundge and ripple... Hence C250 would sound a little sterile, somewhat like the M201 mono amplifier.

C500 did have a PFC unit, which was however different from the one found in the M312 stereo amp.... For some reason, the 312 sounded always amazingly musical, with instrumental and vocal images fully alive and fleshed out with harmonics and microdynamics (at least compared to its contemporaries), while C501 did not seem to reach the same degree of refinement, and could not yield the same emotional involvement to me... Yes, I heard them at length in the same system during the same session.... Rest of system was a Boulder CDp, Capri (original) on M312, and Vienna Die Muzik speakers. It is possible in theory that C500 may be handicapped in some way by the bank of output capacitors post power conversion module... They were designed to enhance authority and macrodynamics, but they might have been slightly detrmintal to subtlety.

Furthermore, C500 required a complete break-in of about 600 hours, before which it would sound sterile and hard.

You are correct also that the casework of Continuum S2 is based on the original C500. Internally things are entirely replaced/redesigned.... Different PFC unit, ICEpower is gone in favor of Pascal technology, different transformer coupling, and the preamplifier circuitry is that of the new Capri S2, which is very different from the original Capri.

There is a CS2 section on the Rowland Knowledge base where you will find 20 short articles with some more information:

Continuum S2 Integrated (http://jeffrowlandgroup.com/kb/categories.php?categoryid=211)

Bottomline is that I had some reservations about the performance of the original C500, while what I heard at RMAF 2014 from Continuum S2 and the Raidho D1s -- particularly on the third day (Sunday) -- was magical.

Guido


Thanks for the reply Guido and for the link.

I auditioned the C-500 twice. The second time it had over 500 hours on the clock and I left it on for 48 hours before the audition began. The C-500 sounded dreadful on cold start and took forever to stabilize in temperature and come on song. I believe the C-500 internally used a pair of 501’s for power amplification and the Capri for the pre-amp section and come what may, I just could not connect to the music via them. A summary of my review is reprinted below:


“SUMMARY

What do you listen for when you play your system?

Those who want their sound clean and analytical, with carved from stone bass will find the Jeff Rowland near perfect. There is no mistaking this amplifiers power, headroom, transparency and resolution with the later underpinning the amplifiers ability to demystify complexity, allowing you to see from the front to the back of the soundstage. In pure high fidelity terms the Jeff Rowland is easily the most impressive amplifier I’ve auditioned to date. In terms of speed this amplifier can turn ‘on a dime’ and deliver fresh insight into your music library that is of the – “smack you in the face, jaw dropping, how could I have not noticed that?” kind.

One question however lingered – how long would one remain impressed and satisfied by attributes of high fidelity before the ‘rose tainted glasses’ gave way to more circumspect analysis anchored around physical connection to the music itself? The problem for me was the Jeff Rowland was not involving enough. Other amps feel better nourished, more sinuous and harboured a fluidity that invited the listener in and held you there enthralled. Sure I was impressed, enthralled even; by the Jeff Rowland’s big sound with its sparkling almost directly coupled clarity. But this misses the point which is sometimes amplifiers can get so wrapped up in the means of music delivery that they forget the meaning of the message itself. Put another way the Jeff Rowland Continuum 500 scores the highest grades for innovation, technology and musical delivery but fails, at least for me, and in direct comparison to some other amplifiers here, to recreate the emotional intensity of the experience.”

At that time the C-500 was compared with the GamuT DI-150; The Gryphon Diablo; the Plinius Hiato; AMR AM-77 and a couple of other top of the line integrateds.

While the link you provided does give some interesting technical information I am really wondering how the S2 differs sonically from the C-500? Do you have any insight on that? Not everyone was impressed at RMAF 2013

Ultra High End Audio had the following to say:


“This was one of the most disappointing rooms of the show for me. Given the praise Jonathan Valin has been lavishing on all things Raidho of late, I expected to be at least mildly impressed with the Raidho D1 standmount loudspeakers….. pairing with the brand new Continuum S2 integrated amplifier ($9800) what I heard was boomy, one note bass, an uninvolving midrange and an edgy treble. Soundstaging was imprecise….”

This seems to be quite different from what you heard? Could we put the differences down to inadequate run-in for the Rowland? I did not the photo showed the Raidho’s parked on what looks to be marble tiles – which IMHO is a sin.

I am asking the question because I have an Esoteric Kilo Zero Three source (mounted on Nordost Sort Kones of course) and Raidho D2 speakers and looking for an integrated amp to complete the picture.

Thanks
Ralph

GuidoCorona
December 6, 2013, 12:35 PM
Hi Ralph, Raidho speakers need long-drawn setup, particularly in small rooms, like the 13x19 suites at RMAF. If the UHEA reviewer visited the suite on the first day, or in the morning of the 2nd day, he would have heard traces of peakiness in the treble because CS2 was still relatively underexercized, and more than some mid-bass over-resonance from D1s. The Rowland team continued to dial in the speakers until they achieved optimum setup by Sunday... having said that, D1 would enjoy a breathing space that the RMAF standard suites simply won't afford to them, hence one needs to factor in the limitations of the environment... Admittedly, A double sized suite would have yielded enhanced synergy, but on Sunday, bass pitch unspecificities were hard to detect, except for occasional traces in double-bass bowed parts of large symphonic works.

Raidho D1s were set on top of blocks of carbon. I do not know what was between them and the carpet... Sorry, I have been blind as a bat for the last three decades, and do not do pics.

Concerning the sound of a cold C500... Yes, I fully expect it to have sounded horrid... That is an unavoidable characteristic of ICEpower modules coming out from deep sleep, inside amps from any manufacturer.... They do take about two days of exercising a signal before they yield best performance... Past full breakin, that is.

If I were to make a comparison from memory between C500 and CS2, using the 2nd movement of Dvorak's new world symphony with Bernstein and the Israel Philharmonic... C500 yields an intro low brass chorus where the stage is relatively two-dimensional, and the cuivree has hints of jarriness, so do the Tympanis at the end of the first cadenzas... The double bass line in the first thematic exposition is definitely well pitched, but has a wooden and non denomoinational quality to it... Yes, orchestral instruments are "transparent", but they lack ultimate harmonic and microdynaic subtlety... There seemed to be residues of edge... And the build up to the concluding cadenza on tutti of the first thematic exposition does slide into some further jarriness and detectable treble cross-modulation.

All above defects were completely absent on the Continuum S2-based system I heard. Staging in the chorus projected in 3D... Cuivre meant that the brass resonated, not that upper harmonics fought with one another to generate the nasties.... Tympanies sounded intense and present, rather than inducing you to avert your ears.... Double was pitched starting from the fundamental, and showed harmonics and small dynamic shifts... I heard no traces of treble cross-modulation... The experience was emotionally immersive rather than clinical.

As for technical details on S2... When I receive a full briefing, I will post them... Meantime, discount what you heard from old and withdrawn C500... 'Tis a dead horse. Beyond the casing, there is no commonality with S2...

G.

daveyf
December 6, 2013, 12:51 PM
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GuidoCorona
December 6, 2013, 01:21 PM
Davey, I am glad that ICEpower is of your radar... It is largely off Rowland radar as well, Only the very entry level M125 is still based on ICEpower. Conversely the balance of current amp production, like M525, Continuum S2, M625, M725, M825, and M925 utilize enormously more musical power conversion technologies.

Saluti, Guido

daveyf
December 7, 2013, 12:52 AM
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audio.bill
December 7, 2013, 09:23 AM
They all use variations of Rowland's power factor corrected switched mode power supply (SMPS) design, but the 625 and 725 use class A/B output stages. The 825 and 925 use nCore class D output stages.

GuidoCorona
December 7, 2013, 03:08 PM
Hi Davey....

the output stages of M625 and M725 are based on a moderately high bias class A/B design without overall negative feedback. Conversely, M825 and M925 are even more sophisticated designs with Ncore NC1200 modules in the output stage which run in class D.

I have owned M625, M725, and now M925.... M925 are superior by several country miles... Runs wide circles around the other two.

I realize that you and so many others in our community,understandably experience digestive cramps when hearing the words "Class" and "d" strung together.... For a very good reason.... By themselves, the old ICEpower ASP and ASX series modules were quite unbearable, as exemplified by the shrieking boxes of way too many low end integrators. I have experienced only two manufacturers who have managed with a lot of work to extract emotionally involving music from ICEpower: Bel Canto -- only with REF1000M (mk.2) monos, and Rowland -- with M312 stereo... If there are any other ones, I have not heard them.

The good news is that we are now in a brand new ball game, with class D modules that bear no resemblance to the previous generation.... Hypex Ncore NC1200 designed by Bruno Putzeys, and at least some Pascal modules are far cries from those inherently rough class D creatures of old which had only hidden potential of moderte refinement... The new breed of modules appears to be an inherently hi performance starting point for amplifier designers... Even basic Ncore implementations like the Merrill Veritas monoblocks deliver musicality that is at least uncommon in amps at higher price points. See my Veritas article at:

Merrill Audio Veritas Amplifiers (http://positive-feedback.com/Issue68/merrill_audio.htm)

Other engineers, including Bruno Putzeys himself with his own Mola-Mola Kaluga monos, as well as jeff, have instead created amplifiers that leverage the NC1200 as a springboard for their own advanced designs. M825 and M925 in particular, are, to the best of my knowledge, the most sophisticated amplifiers on the market that incorporate the stock Ncore NC1200 power conversion modules. Amongst other things, the Rowland devices, instead of including the Hypex unregulated Ncore SMPS1200/700 power supply, have implemented a multi-regulated 2500W custom SMPS prefixed by a PFC-based rectifier. As you can read in the technical information on the Rowland knowledge base,

Model 825 Stereo Amplifier (http://jeffrowlandgroup.com/kb/categories.php?categoryid=213)

Model 925 Mono Amplifier (http://jeffrowlandgroup.com/kb/categories.php?categoryid=212)

Ncore technology is but a small part of the M825 and M925 design. This is reflected by the sonic difference with the delightful Merrill Veritas -- a difference that is congruent with the respective pricepoints.

If you ever get the audiophilic itch to listen to the new Rowlands, Matt Aikawa is the dealer in California... He has considerable experience with the new series, and might be able to arrange a listen:

Matt Aikawa
Moraga, CA
Tel: 1 510 206-1766
nyatt@yahoo.com

Saluti, G.

daveyf
December 7, 2013, 06:18 PM
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mep
December 7, 2013, 07:07 PM
First we have this:


Like you, I have the utmost regard for all of Jeff's products. I believe that they are ALL classics in their own right and will hold a very well deserved place in the history of audio.

And then we have this statement:


Guido, I for one, cannot quite understand why Jeff has so much love for the ICE power modules. Of all his products, I feel that the ICE based ones are the worst. Frankly, when I see that an amp has ICE modules, it is no longer on my radar, period. I'm sure this could change, BUT for the here and now, it's totally the case.

How do you reconcile these two statements?

NorthStar
December 7, 2013, 07:18 PM
He was referring to the ICE power modules; for which he is not particularly fond of. ...But he has high regards for all other Jeff's products.

Me, I know nothing, only that all the reviews I've read of amplifiers (receivers) using Class D power, are not my cup of soup either.
But then, I didn't read (even less heard) all the reviews and amplifiers out there using the ICE (Class D) power module designs.

* Words are words, but there is a line of thought behind them, a context that we understand and that goes above them simple words.

daveyf
December 7, 2013, 07:34 PM
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NorthStar
December 7, 2013, 07:47 PM
Davey, to me he comes up as someone who's stalking you and a troublemaker.

Mike
December 7, 2013, 08:03 PM
Let's keep things on track here. Someone can respect someone, but also query their use of ICE in their earlier work.

daveyf
December 7, 2013, 08:44 PM
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socfan12
December 7, 2013, 08:57 PM
Davey, your sentiment of JRDG matches mine as well. I love their classic looks and the house sound they try to achieve in all of their products. But I also call into question their use of some technologies they've used, and it's not limited to just amplifier modules.:weird:

Davey, have you had your Model 8 serviced yet, i.e., recapped?

mep
December 7, 2013, 08:57 PM
Based on what I felt to be two very conflicting statements, I thought it was a valid question to ask. If everyone doesn't think there was a conflict between the two statements, I stand corrected.

daveyf
December 7, 2013, 09:01 PM
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GuidoCorona
December 7, 2013, 09:02 PM
Oh wow guys... I just left for a few hours and beer-bottles's gone aflyin' already?!

Davey, your skepticism is quite understandable... And I do respect your apriori preference for the tubier side of audiolife. Unfortunately at shows it is very difficult to find any suite that reflects the true potential of the gear shown... Acoustics is bizarre, the gear is just off the factory floor, synergy with ancillary equipment is often a case of wishful thinking.

If you ever visit Austin, drop me a line.... I will be happy to let you hear a well broken-in M925 under good field conditions... Bring along your own CDs / SACDs of course... Sorry no computer audio.... I am a veritable digital audiodino... If in the end you still find M925 to be an undigestable cup of class D musical tea, that will be perfectly fine with me...

Mike and all.... If you ever visit Austin, do come and visit as well!

Saluti, G.

Ritmo
December 7, 2013, 09:03 PM
I did see and hear the 825s at RMAF. The Joseph Audio room with the Pearl 3s and the 825 was very musical. One of my top 10 rooms at the fest.

Also, I spent some time talking with Jeff Rowland. Really good guy.

I considered the 725s and the 825 for my Revel Salon 2s. Jeff uses the Salons in his shop. So this is a great match.

daveyf
December 7, 2013, 09:04 PM
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kiwi_1282001
December 7, 2013, 09:32 PM
Based on Guido's earlier comments I will try to audition one of Jeff's new Continuum S2 integrateds. While I did not get on with the earlier Continuum C-500 integrated, technology continues to advance and class D has moved beyond fit for use as a sub-woofer amplifier only IMHO.

Nonetheless, I still think it is fair to say that the majority of audiophiles have greater confidence in class A / AB bias for amplification.

GuidoCorona
December 7, 2013, 09:33 PM
Hi Mike Ritmo, if your priority is ultimate authority and musical refinement, M825 is the ticket... But if monoblocks fit your system layout better, M725 is still a very fine amp.

Saluti, Guido

mep
December 7, 2013, 09:36 PM
Look at Mike's post above.

We are all still waiting for you to answer what is the true motivation of your original question...

I think my last response explained it quite clearly. I'm ready to move on.

NorthStar
December 7, 2013, 10:06 PM
ICE Power modules (Class D audio amplifiers) used now by several amplifier's manufacturers, including high-end Anthem audio manufacturer (Anthem Statement M1 - monoblock power amplifier), are B&O's development babies.

This is strictly as pure info from B&O's own company's website, and nothing more to do with some of JR's amps than any related implementation that it has, or not: ICEpower ? Class D audio amplifiers ? Our History (http://www.icepower.bang-olufsen.com/en/company/history)

And some additional information which some members might find educational: Attack of the Clone Amplifiers | Audioholics (http://www.audioholics.com/audio-amplifier/clone-amplifiers)

- The Anthem (ex Sonic Frontiers) Statement M1 ($7,000/pair) is a Class-D amplifier.

- The Mark Levinson No.53 Reference (monoblock amp - $50,000/pair) is a Class-I (IPT - Interleaved Power Technology) amplifier.

NorthStar
December 7, 2013, 10:16 PM
Couple interesting reviews from the two amps mentioned just above:

- Anthem Statement M1 monoblock power amplifier | Stereophile.com (http://www.stereophile.com/content/anthem-statement-m1-monoblock-power-amplifier)

- Mark Levinson No.53 Reference monoblock power amplifier | Stereophile.com (http://www.stereophile.com/content/mark-levinson-no53-reference-monoblock-power-amplifier)

daveyf
December 7, 2013, 10:25 PM
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GuidoCorona
December 7, 2013, 10:43 PM
Hi Davey, I thank you for the kind invite... If everything goes according to my evil skeemings, I might be able to travel to San Diego to present a paper at a conference in Mid March... In which case I accept and look very much forward... It will be my first opportunity of listening to the legendary M8!

Concerning current cabling adventures... I am working on some absolutely fascinating review projects... Hence my public silence on the subject. Unless I suffer from a sudden attack of Procrastinitis Furiosa, I will post an article on a complete loom of [redacted] by the end of February at the latest.

Saluti, G.

daveyf
December 7, 2013, 10:58 PM
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GuidoCorona
December 7, 2013, 11:00 PM
Hi Ralph (Kiwi), if you audition Continuum S2, do give it enough time in your system.... I am talking about several hundred hours of handling audio signals. Dealers are way too quick to declare that their gear is fully broken in. I have not tried CS2 in my system, but I suspect that 800 hours of break-in may not be an overestimate.

G.

GuidoCorona
December 7, 2013, 11:05 PM
Hi Davey, 'tis a deal! Guido

Myles B. Astor
December 8, 2013, 11:36 AM
I did see and hear the 825s at RMAF. The Joseph Audio room with the Pearl 3s and the 825 was very musical. One of my top 10 rooms at the fest.

Also, I spent some time talking with Jeff Rowland. Really good guy.

I considered the 725s and the 825 for my Revel Salon 2s. Jeff uses the Salons in his shop. So this is a great match.

The best Class D amp I've heard by quite a bit. I think most people would be fooled.

daveyf
December 8, 2013, 02:09 PM
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GuidoCorona
December 8, 2013, 02:44 PM
Hi Davey, the power conversion/uplift leg of M825 and M925 is served by Ncore NC1200 modules, which run in class D... That is from 0.0W up to 400W/8 (M825) and 430W/8 (M925).


G.

Myles B. Astor
December 8, 2013, 03:40 PM
Guido, I have heard the newer generation of Jeff's work. I have also heard the Mola Mola amps. I still hear in the Mola Mola's the slight dryness and glare that I dislike in these type of amps ( class D). Please remember that i am coming from a more tube based system and I guess for me these types of distortion(s) ( in class D) are more irritating. Like I said before, class D is a non-starter for me, at least for now.

There is zero resemblance between the Mola Mola and Jeff's new amps. Nor any other Class D. Dry perhaps, more like half the info they should have. OTOH, the 8s were somewhat on the overly lush and soft side.

GuidoCorona
December 8, 2013, 04:51 PM
Hi Myles... Apologies, but "Dry perhaps, more like half the info they should have. has a dangling pronoun "they"subject... Are you referring to Mola-Mola or M825? "

G.

Myles B. Astor
December 8, 2013, 05:03 PM
Hi Myles... Apologies, but "Dry perhaps, more like half the info they should have. has a dangling pronoun "they"subject... Are you referring to Mola-Mola or M825? "

G.

Apologies. Mola Mola or the other Class D amplifiers I've heard with the exception of the new Rowlands.

GuidoCorona
December 8, 2013, 06:25 PM
Thank you Myles.... In fairness, Mola-Mola Kaluga had only about 200 hours on it... My experience is that the Ncore Nc1200 module and the accompanying SMPS1200/700 power supply require approximately 1000 hour to achieve best performance... On the other hand, Mola-Mola monoblocks and Rowland M825 stereo have a 2X pricepoint differential... 4x between Mola-Mola and M925 monos.... An overall performance difference between the Ncore-based amps of the two manufacturers would not be surprising.

Myles B. Astor
December 8, 2013, 06:59 PM
I've heard the M&Ms several times :) Consistency isn't always a virtue.

musicargyle
December 8, 2013, 08:02 PM
I have had JRDG since the year he opened his doors (lots of Nelson Pass electronics as well) and very much enjoy my new JRDG electronics: Aeris DAC, Chorus preamp, 625 & soon to be 825.
All very musical to my ears & after 7 months "break in" sounding liquid & holographic. As it happens I have the Revel Salon's 2's & uber shotgun Cardas speaker cables JR use too. Very happy & likely my last system (give or take a few tweaks.) Enjoy all.

GuidoCorona
December 8, 2013, 08:35 PM
That is awesome Musicargyle!

When will you be receiving M825? Are you using a Complete Loom of Cardas Clear and C. Beyond in your system?

Guido

kiwi_1282001
December 8, 2013, 09:10 PM
I have had JRDG since the year he opened his doors (lots of Nelson Pass electronics as well) and very much enjoy my new JRDG electronics: Aeris DAC, Chorus preamp, 625 & soon to be 825.
All very musical to my ears & after 7 months "break in" sounding liquid & holographic. As it happens I have the Revel Salon's 2's & uber shotgun Cardas speaker cables JR use too. Very happy & likely my last system (give or take a few tweaks.) Enjoy all.

Hi Musicargyle,

I would be interested to know what prompted the upgrade from the 625 to the 825? Did you need more power? What was the 625 lacking?

Thanks

kiwi_1282001
December 8, 2013, 09:15 PM
That is awesome Musicargyle!

When will you be receiving M825? Are you using a Complete Loom of Cardas Clear and C. Beyond in your system?

Guido


Hi Guido,

I notice that Jeff Rowland and Cardas often seem to be used in the same breath. Is there a known synergy between these brands? Does Jeff for example use Cardas himself or for evaluations during the design stage? I have Nordost and Ansuz cabling. Do you foresee any issue using those brands with the Jeff Rowland Continuum S2?

Cheers
Ralph

daveyf
December 8, 2013, 10:02 PM
11111

daveyf
December 8, 2013, 10:05 PM
1111

GuidoCorona
December 8, 2013, 10:17 PM
Hi Kiwi, Rowland uses Cardas for all internal wiring, for output terminals, and I believe also for the custom DC power cords and cpontrol cables between M825/M925 power supply chassis and audio chassis... Lately he has also used Cardas Clear / Clear beyond at shows etc... The combination seems to work extremely well for what I have been able to hear at RMAF in two different rooms, but I have not evaluated Cardas Clear/Beyond in my own system yet.

The Nordost large suite at RMAF (Blanca Peak, I believe) featured a complete loom of the new Valhalla 2 wires connecting and powering Rowland Aeris, Capri S2 (or was it Corus), M625, and a pair of Audio Physics speakers. All electronics were supported by Nordost Sort Kones, while the speakers were supported by the new Sort Footers designed for heavy speakers. The combination was absolutely wonderful.

I also am very fond of Shunyata CX and Z-tron wires, which I have used in the past on my own Capri (original), Criterion, M312, M625, and M725.

Sorry, I have never listened to Ansuz wires.

Saluti, Guido

musicargyle
December 8, 2013, 10:31 PM
I was a beta tester of sorts for Audience AU24 SE IC & have all Audience AU24 SE IC/Au24 power C. loom except for the Cardas Clear shotgun speaker cable. I did get to audition Nordost V.2 and several other $$-$$$ speaker cables and found them to be too much for the Revels Salon 2 which can be a bit biting IMO. I know a few Revel/Rowland dealers & users who feel the Nordost is better in this context, but at the end of the day I like the tonal neutrality of the Cardas Clear & Clear Beyond speaker cable in the system synergy (not Cardas IC though.) It's a bit of a myth that the newest JRDG electronic are laid back: Very much the protean figure w/ endless capabilities given the chance.
As for the 825, having heard it a few times & having a very large listening space I think it would be perfect for me. I love my 625 and may well keep it just because I think it's so beautiful & organic.

Note: The Aeris DAC has taken very long time to come around/break (app. 500+ in but it has emerged after 8 months as a stellar DAC. I just upgraded to a very good Esoteric transport for redbook CD's & it has renewed my faith in the Aeris! The Aeris direct to the JRGD amp is less good to my my ears than the Aeris via the Chorus. Lots of opinions about this.
825 ASAP.

GuidoCorona
December 8, 2013, 11:10 PM
Hi Musicargyle, Audience does make good stuff.

Which Nordost wire did you try on JRDG gear? As much as I thought the original Valhalla may have been a little too slender and tippy-sounding for Rowland, the new Valhalla 2 series appears to be a very different creature.

Could you asses how many hours you had on Aeris before you experienced the breakthrough?

If you ever have the opportunity, Try to support Aeris with a trio of bronze Nordost Sort Kones salted by a single Titanium Kone placed under the middle of the bottom plate... The Aeris DAC appears to be sensitive to supporting structures... I would be very interested in finding out your experiences in this area. Let me know what you think.

Guido

middle

Albert
February 22, 2014, 08:02 PM
I have older JRDG gear, a model 5 power amp and Consummate preamp and phono stage. They work well with my Acoustat 2+2 speakers. I like the warmer sound of the older JRDG amps. I also use Ray Lumley M-100 tube amps so I guess I like the lusher but still detailed sound.

GuidoCorona
February 22, 2014, 09:22 PM
Hi Albert, my first Rowlands were a pair of Model 7 monos.... I fell in love with them and adopted them in 1998 at the end of a three year long amp quest... I found them used at American Sound in Toronto. Wanderful warm and golden sound! THey remained my reference amps for 10 years.

Undeniably, Rowland went through a transition phase during the days of M10, M12, M201, M501, M302, early M301, and the original Continuum 250 and 500, where detail ceme to be delivered to the detriment of ultimate musicality..

Since then, Rowland has returned to its musical roots... I am familiar with most of the current crop of Rowlands.... M925 (my own reference), M825, M725, M625, and Continuum S2. While the new amps are more extended than the old Rowlands of the 1980s and 1990s, the current designs deliver even more of the old classic Rowland musicality that we love, without grain and without effort.... But with lots more harmonics, resolution, and transparency that was possible back then... Worth a listen!

Guido

rww
May 7, 2014, 12:20 PM
Hello,

I'm a newbie here from UK.

I use Capri S2 and think it sounds great.

JR has almost no presence in the UK at all which is a terrible shame, given the quality of their offering.

joeinid
May 7, 2014, 05:57 PM
Welcome to the forum RWW! Thank you for joining!

kev313
August 31, 2014, 04:57 PM
I used a 625 stereo amp with a aeries dac and Magicos for about a year. Lovely system. Rowland is by far my fave in solid state.


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LenWhite
September 1, 2014, 02:33 PM
I'm using a JRDG Corus/625 driving Raidho C3's, Valhalla cabling, an XDS1 v2, and Windows 7 based music server. The JRDG gear is beautifully built, and synergist. Listening to music through my audio systems presence, timbre, dynamics, resolution, and imaging is a rewarding experience.

rww
September 2, 2014, 03:28 AM
Love my Capri S2... current system is:

Cyrus CDXT Signature Transport > Auralic Vega DAC > JR Capri S2 Pre > Revel B15a Sub (x2) > (high pass out) > ATC 50 ASL.

hongkong
October 27, 2015, 02:55 PM
Hello, I am new.
Beautiful sound with the Jeff Rowland.
Very expensive in Europe.
They replace my Proceed Amp2 and Pre.
Bye

hongkong
October 27, 2015, 02:56 PM
Hello, I am new.
Beautiful sound with the Jeff Rowland.
Very expensive in Europe.
They replace my Proceed Amp2 and Pre.
Bye

GuidoCorona
October 27, 2015, 03:17 PM
Hi Hong Kong, which version of M625 do you havve? The original, or the new redesigned M625 S2?

Regards, Guido

kiwi_1282001
October 27, 2015, 03:19 PM
Welcome to the forum Hongkong. The JR Corus and 625 are wonderful. Do you have the S2 625?

musicargyle
October 27, 2015, 03:36 PM
Actually I am currently using a 625 V1 stereo for top freq. above 150 HZ and two bridged 525 mono amps for low below 150 HZ on the power hungry Revel Salon 2 speakers. All Cardas Clear speaker wire, Audience AU24 SE IC & Audience AU24 SE PC's. The 625 is relieved of the work of driving the LF drivers (app.360 watts in a 5 ohm load) and the bridged mono 525 are pushing 900 watts per side down below. It really lets the 625 V1 shine, it's a much better amp than I realized prior to getting the 525 twins. If I do anything else I will trade up to the 625 V2 which I suspect sounds better than the 825 even (or so I am hearing from several folks). I love my Chorus, Aeris & the three amps & feel at the price point they are all very good products & hard to best at even greater price levels. The 525's do not IMO sound delicate & as good as the 625 & I even had four 525's to play with at one point. The 625 is a lovely amp.

audio.bill
October 27, 2015, 05:07 PM
I also own the original Rowland 625 and find it to be superb. I can only imagine how good the newer version sounds but I think I'll keep mine. It effortlessly drives Magnepan 3.7i speakers with great dynamics and an inherent musicality that I find very engaging. Of course having the fine Luxman C-900u preamp driving it certainly helps!

socfan12
October 27, 2015, 06:57 PM
Welcome to AS, HongKong! Former Rowland owner here for about 15 years. Love his gear!

Albert
October 27, 2015, 07:03 PM
I am still using my Consummate preamp with phono along with a model 5 power amp. I find it to be a musical amp as well in that I can listen for hours with no fatigue. I use it as my main amp during the summer and for home theatre. In the winter and for more critical listening I switch to my Ray Lumley M-100 tube mono blocks with KT-120's as they seem to work a little better with my Acoustat 2+2.

I haven't tried newer JRDG gear so I do not know how it would compare. Apart from my Oppo BDP-95 my system is mostly vintage components. I can probably do better but I think I am at a point where I can just enjoy the music now. Though I still get the upgraditis bug every once in a while. There is a pair of Classe DR-9's that are tempting me and I wouldn't mind trying an Esoteric K* player as well.

hongkong
October 27, 2015, 07:54 PM
I have the first version, not the second.
I don't know if there is many differencies between them ?
Why ?

audio.bill
October 27, 2015, 08:25 PM
From what I've been told the 625 V2 includes many changes, mostly in the power supply section incorporating some of the 725's design. It is supposed to be a significant upgrade but at a correspondingly higher price. The factory was considering offering upgrades to the original model, but they were expected to be very costly and the end result would still not be completely the same as a new 625 V2.

GuidoCorona
October 27, 2015, 09:10 PM
eAll, here is a list of at least some of the circuit enhancements on M625 S2.... As you can see, there is more on the new version than a power supply enhancement, or even the simple incorporation of M725 solutions:

Perhaps the most important... There are crucial enhancements on the circuit topology. Modifications reduce distortions to negligible levels from 2KHz up to beyond 20Khz. This alone, should yield incredibly sweet sound. This is done through new error correction techniques not known to have been ever used on amp designs.

The input section has been enhanced... There is a new custom designed input transformer and linear phase low pass filter for improved input signal buffering and EMI immunity.

Gold plated Cardas XLR input connectors with Rhodium contacts and teflon insulation is said to yield even better signal integrity than the original... Yes, also looks different from connectors on older version.

Boards have been changed... S2 uses ceramic Rogers circuit board material for reduced dielectric energy storage... Yep, this one is like the boards used on M725, M825, and M925.

And Yes, as other mentioned, the power supply section has changed as well... Power Factor Corrected regulated Power supply improves upon the original 625 by incorporating Jensen four-pole capacitors which offers nearly an order of magnitude
reduction of output impedance and noise suppression. Yep, this one too is something that is used on M725, M825, and M925.

Last but not least, there is more power... The power supply output voltage has been increased slightly to yield a 25 watt increase in total amplifier power output. So, 325W/8.

The list price of S2 has not changed from the original version.... I have checked with the factory: M625 S2 lists still at $15,900.

Regards, Guido

audio.bill
October 27, 2015, 10:14 PM
Guido - Thanks for all of the details on the 625 S2! When I contacted the factory several months ago after first hearing of the S2 revision, I was told that if they offered the upgrade to older models it would probably be in the $7K range and still would not have all of the changes that are in an actual 625 S2 amp. I greatly appreciate the updated info that you are providing.

hongkong
October 28, 2015, 01:43 AM
Thank you for your explications.

GuidoCorona
October 28, 2015, 08:36 AM
Hi Audio-Bill, yes you are right... Looking at the scope of changes, seems to me that an upgrade might affect almost all internals.... E.G. The switch to ceramic boards by itself means that all original board-based circuits would have to be swapped out for the new ceramic-boarded ones.

Sale of an original version M625 followed by purchase of a new S2 unit might be more functionally and financially advantageous than a necessirily partial in-chassis upgrade.

Guido

Mike
October 28, 2015, 08:43 AM
I thought the new Rowland Super Integrated was one of the best new products at RMAF this month.

I also thought the Rowland amp (525?) that was in the Vapor room sounded splendid.

GuidoCorona
October 28, 2015, 08:54 AM
Hi Mike, long time no talk!

I was not able to attend RMAF this year... But all comments I have gathered this far concur with your statement about Daemon, and the Vapor room after the insertion of the new class A/B Rowland.... M625 S2 stereo.

The M525 is instead a half-chassis class D bridgeable amp listed at $4.5K. It was not used in the Vapor room.

Saluti, G.

Mike
October 28, 2015, 09:51 AM
Hi Mike, long time no talk!

I was not able to attend RMAF this year... But all comments I have gathered this far concur with your statement about Daemon, and the Vapor room after the insertion of the new class A/B Rowland.... M625 S2 stereo.

The M525 is instead a half-chassis class D bridgeable amp listed at $4.5K. It was not used in the Vapor room.

Saluti, G.

I missed you this year! We always have such fun hanging out at RMAF. Hopefully you can make it next year. Thanks for clarifying that the Rowland was the M625 S2. That was a GREAT sounding amp. Real sweet and musical. The Daemon would be my dream integrated. I heard it paired with the YG speakers on the first day and it was the best room I heard that day for sure. When I went back Saturday and Sunday, the music selections weren't great, so it was hard to tell. But day one, it was sounding sublime.

GuidoCorona
October 28, 2015, 10:12 AM
Hi Mike, based on reports this far, Daemon would be my dream integrated as well.

According to Lucien and Jeff, the equipment in the Rowland room sounded even better on Saturday and Sunday... But the selection of music makes all the difference... Whenever music played are not our cup of tea, all is for naught, isn't it.

If all goes well I'll be able to attend next year... Would love to catch up! As usual, I'll bring along my trusty test CD.... Same old selections I have been using for the last 8 years... This time around I'll also make a copy on a USB stick.

Saluti, Guido

Mike
October 28, 2015, 10:19 AM
When I heard the Rowland/YG room sounding it's best was when they played vinyl on the Bergman table. It was really outstanding.

Jeff was noticeably very pleased with his latest efforts and they were sounding splendid. That 625 mk2 was really really impressive.


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GuidoCorona
October 28, 2015, 04:49 PM
I have obtained confirmation from the factory today that the price of M625 S2 has not increased since the original version. List remains $15,900 USD.

Saluti, G.

didge70
April 2, 2016, 03:11 PM
I have obtained confirmation from the factory today that the price of M625 S2 has not increased since the original version. List remains $15,900 USD.

Saluti, G.

I'm currently auditioning the M525 at home (Belgium). What do you think of the M525 compared to the M625 S2, which is unfortunately out of my budget , especially in Europe (about 20,000 Euros), and the M125?

Thanks