From anthem/pse to rowland seperates?

Alright guys, I generally come here to hear what you have to say about gear. I currently have an Anthem PRE1 and a set of PSE studio V monoblocks running my Infinity RSIIs. I love the speakers, they are staying... Source is a boulder modified squeezebox and a turntable that I may never finish assembling (no arm yet).

I am considering stepping up the front end on my system after hearing the difference in the boulder modded squeeezbox vs. the stock unit. The Infinitys are a pain to drive, and that is the one reason I would consider giving them up...

A friend of mine has a Rowland Model 5a & Consummate preamp for sale. It would cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,200 to buy them both. Ill be honest, this is a sum of money I have never even considered spending on gear.

Would this be a huge upgrade from what I am currently using? He says yes.. and I do believe him. It is a very difficult choice to make since audition is not in the realm of possibility.

Is there some other gear I should be looking at? I do have a lazarus balanced preamp and a 200/200 that need service. Would they be an upgrade from the anthem/pse combo?

Thanks guys, just looking around for suggestions. I don't have the money handy so it would have to be a "save up" kinda deal.

Your friend won't let you try out the equipment he wants to sell?Not much of a friend in my book but that's just me.
many might think the rowlands to be a upgrade, but the 'blue collar looking' pse stuff was some of the finest ss ever made. i don't see an improvment on'd have to try it and see. the speakers are legendary too. screw around with the front end if your bored.
Jaybo is right on. I have a PSE studio IV and it can hold it's own any time. You may consider getting them rebuilt if they have a ton of hours but mine has never shown any age. The Anthem came out as a budget version of Sonic Frontiers. It's nice but may be where to start? Try borrowing a higher end pre.
Cables and line conditioners have come a long way since your gear came out. Borrow some new interconnects to see what you can hear.
If he is a true friend Evan, he would let you listen to the Rowland gear in your room and let you decide if it's worth it or not.
Well, it is not so much that he isn't a good freind.. but the gear is located half the way across the country and shipping to me and back if I didn't dig it would cost a few hundred bucks or so.

I am starting to wonder the same thing about the preamp, maybe that is truely my weak link at this point.

I know the amps can be world beaters, but I need to get them into a skilled tech for a good spiffing up.

Jaybo, and others thank you for piping up. keep up the suggestions!


BTW, I am not running anything super special for cables and PC's right now. I have nordost flatlines for speaker wire, and some diy canare interconnects for sources. The Infinitys have been recapped and crossovers restored as well.
Crap, I hate the lack of post editing. I actually have the PRE2L anthem I think. it is the line stage with no outboard PSU.

but the gear is located half the way across the country and shipping to me and back if I didn't dig it would cost a few hundred bucks or so

That does change things.Sorry to question your friends worthiness !!!
Since everyone here seems to like the PSE amps as well, I am going to send them off to get tested and re-polished if needed. My buddy thought highly of them as well.

I see a preamp upgrade in my future. I am working on the repair of my lazarus balanced preamp. 12ax7s and 6dj8s. Ill report back if I can get this thing running.

I appreciate the insight.

Evan - I would dump the PSE V's - get into something else. By the way, when you do, let me know so I can take ownership of those V's to mate with the pair I already have and would never get rid of!
evan....i have to laugh, cause that little lazurus is killer too. i was gonna mention audible illusions, musical design, magus, bruce moore, and van alstine as some under- priced-over-achievers...but you're way ahead of most contemporary mega-buck-bling systems.... keep the faith.
Dan, please send me an email so I have your contact information in case I do decide to sell them. I appreciate your sarcasm. I have a lonely PSE studio II monoblock if you need a center channel amp.

Jaybo, the lazarus amp is going into a shop in chicago that is near my brothers place. It is a 200/200 and I am fixing the preamp. I fat fingered it and blew up a couple transistors in the B+

Thanks for the encouragement.