How does Red Rose compare to older Levinson stuff?

I don't have a way of listening to this stuff, but I have experience with Mark Levinson ML1 era stuff as well as newer Madrigal lab period stuff. How is the sound? Detail, soundstage etc? I'm looking at the integrated amps.
My one and only experience with Red Rose was about 20 months ago.

Regarding your first question, I have no idea. However, as I was driving thru Kansas, I stopped in at Acoustic Sounds in Salina, KS. In the owner's office was a nice little Red Rose Music setup that included the speakers, stands, and amp.

As I recall, the Red Rose equipment together retailed for about $5k, but it sounded substantially better than some $50k to $100k systems I've heard. Rich, full, warm, a nice natural bloomy midrange, yet detailed enough presentation (and I've never particularly been a Levinson fan).

In fact, to this day, that little system remains one of the better systems I've heard. But keep in mind that I had only listened with the owner playing blues with a single vocal and one or two instruments. How it fairs with more complex music, I have no idea.

I believe this setup may have been the smaller Red Rose amp and speakers. Regardless, that system had much to offer and depending on one's requirements, I'd put it in the top contenders list of must listen.

I have heard the Affirmation (the biggest integrated) with Classic speaker in a showroom. It was a nice sound, dynamic, but warm, lots of details. Some friends bought its chinese version (original OEM?), the Korsun V8i. They are absolutly happy with that for a 1/7th price of the Affirmation. One uses the Korsun instead of Pass Aleph, the other instead of Mcintosh 6800. Both are happier with the Korsun. I hope this helps.
The new things are all China made and while most sound fairly good,they sell for far to much. I think they are out of business again.
The tubed Red Rose components were formerly built and distributed by Audio Prism. ML bought the line from them, and they supported the manufacturing and development efforts. They have now parted ways, which is why ML went with the Korsun stuff (IMO).

The Audio Prism equipment was truly excellent. Great parts quality and exceptional power supplies (that was their expertise anyway). I have an Audio Prism Mantissa preamp and it is exceptional.

Of course when ML bought their amps and preamps he doubled their retail prices. Who wouldn't - they were competing at that level anyway.

Not sure if these are the Red Rose components you are talking about, or perhaps you are looking at the Korsun stuff.

Good luck,
I was just looking for something that would be upgrades to my ML1 Levinson preamp and Audio research d100 amp. Integrated is what I'm leaning towards.
Try used Audiomat Arpege, Prelude, or Solfege; you will not be disappointed. It is a passive line stage/amplifier all tubed.
You can still buy the Korsun V8i here in Hong Kong for less than US$1000. I have had two for over a year now and they are great; fantastic build quality, plenty of power and, above all, excellent sound.

Cosmetically at least (and from the photos I have seen, both internally and externally) the Affirmation and V8i are identicle. I would seriously think twice about spending US$7000 on the RR version - for less than U$2000 you could run a pair of V8i like I do.

Yes, it means I have two (remote) volume controls to contend with - but the dials are perfectly accurate and 99% of the time they adjust in sync with each other from the remote. For my 'inconvenience' I get genuine dual-mono and bi-amping (plus massive horsepower!) with their attendant benefits, plus I kept over 5k in my wallet.


PS. you can also buy uncannily similar RR look-alike speakers here for about US$500/pr. Superb finish, real wood veneers, great drivers, fittings and x-overs and these too sound fantastic. Does anyone smell Fish?