Jeff Rowland 301's.
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Digital amplifiers or class d amps have high power and run alot cooler than class a amps.
I may be wrong, but the Rowlands and some other digital amps are running the B&O Ice modules. They have good power and should do the job fine. It just seems like a heck of a lot of money for a digital amplifier.
Yes, the 301's retail for $30k per pair.
Jonathan: Rowland's 300 series amps do use the ICe modules, yes, but it is my understanding that they are not, strictly speaking, digital amps, as they have analog power supplies (which explains much of their weight and cost), not the digital switching power supplies found in typical Class D amps. The people at Rowland go to some lengths to explain that the amps are not "digital amps", and Rich Maez of Rowland provides tutorials to anyone interested in understanding the technology behind the 300 series. I must say, however, that I lack the technical background to know whether their explanations are truth or marketing.
The H2O is much less expensive than the Rowland 301, but gives nothing away to the Rowland sound wise, according to listeners. Unlike the Rowland, the H2O utilizes a big analog power supply, while the Rowland is fitted with a digital power supply. Looking at B&O's web site, we are told the ICE module is analog. Analog to analog sounds like a natural fit to me. It sure works sonically. I use to own Pass X-600 amps. There is no looking back with the H2O. I sincerely feel this may very well be my last amp.
The X600 was powering my 1 ohm Apogee Scintillas. I had used the X-150 on Apogee Duetta, and liked the sound very much, at the time. I figured, if the X600 can't be the best amp for the Scintillas, what could? We are talking about a lot of power. I still had my 4 ohm Duettas, when the X600 arrived. The sound was warmer, and fuller with the X600. A reviewer friend of mine liked the X150 better.
A fellow Scintilla owner told me he had tried an ICE powered eAR amp on his speakers, and it was the best sound he had ever heard. I didn't believe him at first. How could a little cold amp sound better than two behemoths with Supersymmetry? I took a chance anyway, and found the fellow had been too modest. The eAR gave better bass, and much clearer upper octaves.
When a fellow Scintilla owner, and talented amp builder came out with his own ICE powered amp, I didn't hesitate. I have the H2O Signature monos. These are the best. They sell for $5,500 direct. They are not in a pretty box, but they will power anything with the most stunningly real sound I have ever heard. check out the reviews at Agon, the Asylum, and at the ICEH2O site.
Rowland also makes the 201 and 501 monoblocks. The 201 is less than $5K/pair and delivers 250/500 watts. The 501 is double the power. These amps are very small, run cool to the touch (always) and consume practically no power at idle. The 301 is a different architecture, and much more expensive. All of these are based on the ICEpower modules.
I have auditioned the Rowland 201 and 501's before I auditioned the H20 monoblocks (standard version). I own the H20 Signature Monoblocks. That should give you an idea of my feelings between the two. The Rowlands have a much nicer "jewelry box" look to them, than the industrial, simple look of the H20. My purchase was based upon what sonic merits the amp exhibited... for more info there is a review I posted on this site.
Rowland's small 201 and 501 digital amps are a fraction of the cost of classic Rowland gear and were developed to serve a home hi-fi market that has become 90% home theater.
The 300 Series is Rowland's statement amp line for two-channel users. The 300 series amps feature the sonic and build quality (and price) that people expect from Roland.
One more note on the H2o amps, they have a satisfaction guarantee. If you aren't satisfied with the performance, you lose the cost of freight both ways. This tells of the confidence the designer has in his amp... not to mention being manufacturer direct allows you to purchase his "statement" monoblocks for $5,500 retail is a steal compared to some of the amps it has replaced costing more than 2-3 times the retail price. My $0.02...
Ericp- to quote Audiofankj- "One more note" -the TacT/Boz amps are true digital amps, and don't require an analog preamp, and the additional ADC/DAC conversion stage. The H2o amps still require the use of an analog preamp, and at $5.5K is hardly a "steal." The TacT powerDACs directly connect to the digital outputs of your processor, transport or DVDP. If you want cool running digital power, don't go halfway. My $0.02...
I feel I should note most H2O owner reviews are about their S-250 amp, a
At what price can one expect to pay for the "Boze?" BTW, is that
an unfortunate choice of name, or has Tact merged with Bose?
One thing that bothers me about TacT, is that there is no freedom in
choosing one's DAC. For instance, I much prefer the sound of non-
upsampling DACs. I don't think one DAC fits all. One thing that audiophiles
love to do, is tweak their systems.
V- First, its Boz, not Boze. The new line is name after Tact's chief designer Radomir Bozovich, whos nickname is Boz. See the article on:
Pricing will be announced on 1/31/05. Its expected to be priced between their current M2150 and Millennium amps.
One thing that audiophiles love to do, is tweak their systems. I agree, thats why the TacT gear is so great, digital room correction, digital crossovers and digital parametric equalizers. Everything you need to tweak a high
performance HT system like Ericp's.