The Jeff Rowland Model 2 is an amazing amplifier and I would choose it over the Classe 25.
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The Model 2 has 2 gain settings and it is quite beefy as long as it doesn't have to drive through a black hole :-) The Avalons aren't so critical. The Model 2 is from sound quality definitely a class of its own.
It also has 2 different input impedances, it can be matched with a lot of preamps. Maybe there is a chance to get in touch with the Manufacturer to get a good information about speaker matching?
Both amps sound warm and musical. But a sharp individual focus they both do not have. Avalon ( which I sold for over 6 years) can give a deep and wide stage. But misses the sharp individual focus of instruments and voices. These amps have the same properties as the speakers. At the end you miss.......yess the individual focus. For me it is that simple! Like 1 and 1 is 2.
Aspac, there are *many* amplifiers available in your price range that would drive your speakers quite well. If I was making the purchase, I would err on the side of having plenty of power, 150 watts/ch. or more should do nicely.
I have a 5.1 surround sound system and was very happy with the Butler TDB-5150 that I used to drive my Gallo Reference Series speakers. It had 5 channels with 150 watts.channel. Additionally, it is a "hybrid" amp - it uses both tubes and MOSFETS.
Butler also has a 2-channel model called the TDB-2250 with 250 watts/channel. All of the Butler amps are *very* well-made and sound very good. A brand new one will cost you about $2995. Here is a link for it:
Another very fine amp is a new offering from Emotiva.com, an internet-direct company. Their power amps are very well-built (with a 5-year warranty!), use very good parts, and sound very, very good for what they cost.
Their newest amp is called the XPA-1L. It is a mono-block design, it is a single-channel amp, you need 2 for stereo. It has 250 watts into 8 ohms and 500 watts into 4 ohms - very powerful. In addition, it is a combined Class-A and Class-AB amp and runs fully-balanced. This means that for the 1st 35 watts of output, it runs in pure Class-A mode. Many folks here will tell you that Class-A is the best-sounding solid state type of amp. Let your ears be the judge.
Anyway, these are very good amps and cost only $699 each with free shipping. And all Emotiva products have a 30-day in-home trial period and come with a 5-year parts/labor warranty. 2 of these would cost you $1400 - it would be almost impossible to find a better value on the market today...
I have a Classe 15 in my secondary system. I also heard the Classe 25 many times over the last 15 years. The Classe house sound is a little dark sounding. If you don't like bright, this is an amp to consider. I am running my Classe 15 amp with a tube preamp and Vandersteen 2CE speakers. It is mostly used for background music while I am on my computer, but it is a very musical sound.
Keep in mind the Classe 25 amp is at least 16-17 years old and if it were I, I would probably think about replacing the caps if they are leaking. The Classe is 250w a channel at 8 ohms, 500w at 4 ohms and 1000 watts per channel at 2 ohms. It is perfectly stable down to 2 ohms. My Classe 15 amp has been 100% trouble free. The power supply in the 25 is very overbuilt as is the heat sinking.
I know nothing about the Rowland amp.
I owned the Avalon Eclipse's for over 10 years and drove them with both Rowland and Classe amps. The Avalon's are a 4 ohm speaker ( I'm pretty sure of that ) and the Eclipse's are a sealed enclosure speaker that was originally designed by Charles Hanson now of Ayre. Hanson and Rowland worked very closley at that time. I do believe that the two companies were at one point operating together and then later seperated operations. The Rowland Model2 comes from a time when I thought Rowland made some their best stuff...( the Model 6 and 8 were also of that time ) it is only a 75 watt amp - but pleanty of current. The Classe is good stuff and I also owned the DR 25 which is getting long in the tooth if that is amp you are looking. This amp was designed by David Reich ( hence the DR ) which was a real good amp. If it is just the Classe 25 - good but if you are looking for opinions - go with the Rowland - it is a well made match
This would be my choice for driving those Eclipes. I've heard this combination and its very nice. M200s pop up every couple of months. The last thing you want is to under power them and blow an irreplaceable tweeter.
Garebear, thanks a lot for your post, they're so useful. Which JRDG model did you use with Eclipse? I ask so because my budget not enough for bigger JRDG, while I'm wondering about 75wpc of Model 2.
Another thing, can I use 2 JRDG model 2 as monoblock? I may buy one more if I have a chance in future.
Aspac, You ignored my question regarding what preamp you will be using. You should have included that information with your original post. IE if you are using a Classe preamp the responses to your post may be different.
Avalon Eclipse is not 8 ohms. It is 6 ohms. This has a lot to do with available power from the Rowland amp.
Classe DR amplifiers are much better than the later Classe amplifiers.
USPAC, the M2 manual asserts that the amp delivers 75 Watts over 8 Ohms and 150 Watts over 4 Ohms. Your speakers having an average of 6 Ohms would enjoy an average of max 110W from the amp. M2 appears to deliver a maximum continuous current of 20 Amperes with a peak at 35 Amperes.
If you were concerned about these ratings, you may want to look at a more powerful amplifier.
Bo1972, frankly this is 1st time I heard the Eclipse has 1st & 2nd version. I just purchased them from:
So what is the differences and what version my speakers is?
All: Model 2 (75wpc) & model 5 (150wpc), which one better for my speakers?
Thanks a lot.
USpac, Rowland Model 5 is a much more powerful amp than Model 2, and can be bridged to mono operation if you like even more power. Here are some of the M5 technical specs clipped out from the manual:
150 watts RMS continuous, 8 ohms
300 watts RMS continuous, 4 ohms
475 watts RMS continuous, 2 ohms
Greater than 175, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, 8 ohms
40 amps peak, continuous
90 amps peak, 0.1 ohm, 20 msec, 1 kHz
Concerning bridging to mono ops, here is what the Model 5 manual states:
"Bridged-mono operation with a single-ended output preamplifier
The following is the procedure for each amplifier: Insert the interconnect from your
preamp into the right channel non-inverting input. There is a small switch, labeled
"BRIDGE," located between the right channel XLR input and the AC standby switch; flip
this switch up, into the "ON" position. Insert one of the XLR shorting plugs into the right
channel XLR input. Connect the "hot" conductor of your speaker cable to one of the right
channel outputs; connect the "ground" conductor of the cable to one of the left channel
Bridged-mono operation with a balanced output preamplifier
The following is the procedure for each amplifier: Insert the output of your preamplifier
into the right channel differential XLR input. There is a small switch, labeled "BRIDGE,"
located between the right channel XLR input and the AC standby switch; flip this switch
up, into the "ON" position. Connect the "hot" conductor of your speaker cable to one of
the right channel outputs; connect the "ground" conductor of the cable to one of the left
channel outputs. (NOTE: Do not use the XLR shorting plugs with this application.)"
True, the Rowland Model 5 has more power than the Model 2, but they are not the same amplifiers. The Model 2 has superior sound. You might like having more power at first, however, that will wear off very quickly. The Model 2 will be enjoyable over the long term because there is something very special about it that the other amplifiers do not have. Bryston is not in the running.
I owned the Avalon Eclipse in the past and they do have something special about them. Properly set up and with the right equipment and source material, they were truly holographic. I actually sold them to my brother at a deep discount just to keep them in the family.
I cannot comment specifically with regard to the two amps mentioned, though older Rowland amps were always suggested to me by those I trusted as great matches with the Eclipse. The Classe CA-400 amp did an admirable job; the Levinson ML27.5...not so much. My favorite was a Manley NeoClassic 250 and used this amp for most part.
Good luck...the right amp can really make those Eclipses sing!
Hi Rrog, you have convinced me this far that you much prefer M2 over M5. Unfortunately, not knowing your sonic and musical preferences, nor what parameters are important for you, nor how much experience you have had with either amps, I remain totally confused on the audible differences between the two devices. G.
All you can do at this point is buy both amplifiers and decide for yourself. That's what I do and that's what buying used equipment is all about. You can buy it and if you don't like it you can sell it without losing a ton of money.
I wish I could help you more, but I am not a reviewer and I don't pretend to be like many people on this forum. However, I know some reviewers who call me for advice about equipment. I don't go into detail with those guys either.
One thing I have noticed is when something sounds good everyone agrees it sounds good, but when the sound is not right opinions become devided.
Aspac - I had a Classe CA 2200 along with the Classe CA700 driving the Avalon Eclipse's for at least three years....the Classe CA 2200 was a very sweet sounding, but detailed amp and really worked well with the Avalon's. The Classe gear replaced ( all of the different ) Rowland gear I had during that time which included the Rowland Model 5, Model 2, 102 and the 501's.
........it just came down to, I could not afford the ''newer'' Jeff Rowland equipment. I lost interest after the I bought the 501's when they came out and was not happy at all with them. Classe had come out with some new products that sounded great and were within my budget. I have all Pursit Audio Design 20th Anniversary cables and PAD Limited Edition Power cords.