There are 18 watt amps out there that cost almost $30,000. The most talked about amp these days (the Tenor) is 70 watts and costs $20,000. Heck, there are 3 watt SET amps that are priced comparably to some of the Rowland models. The simple answer to your question, though, is that there's a lot more than power that goes into getting great sound.
When bying Hifi gear, you have to pay for a lot of
different "values".You pay for a certain brandname,for
design,for the prestige of owning expensive equipment;
the last declaration wouldn´t apply if the price of the product was diminished considerably.In fact, some goods actually sell in larger quanties, if the price is increased....
Of course, some of us are more conserned about the inherent
qualities of a product.
The bottom line is, that it is up to you, the consumer,
to decide if a product is worth its price.
Thus;if Jeff Rowland amps are to expencive I can´t tell.
Regards from Sweden
When it comes to high dollar per watt, did someone mention the Audio Note models ??? Sean
Kelly, I KNOW that it's killin' ya NOT to participate on this one, eh?
Aron, Please do a search on Rowland in the forums, much has been writen about them and your answers may be there.
you made a wise choice, my friend
Find a picture of a Model 2 or Model 8 with the cover off.
Then see one in the flesh-close up.
Quality, Quality, Quality.
aj- I was thinking the same thing-poor kel is pacing back and fourth contemplating whether or not to post, sipping his drink, and ripping my horrible grammer apart(which I am sure I will hear about any way); or he could simply be laughing which would be my guess of his traipsing through the forums.
oh yea and as far as the thread is concerned JRDG amps are among the most highly regarded solid state amps in the world, they do so much so well. Though I can't say to much about this because in my early years here at audiogon I posted a VERY similar question asking in general about jeff rowland amps and have learned A LOT since.
So I'm guessing most people are agreeding that JRDG is pretty much worth the price. Another question would be....let say a JRDG amp is Rate at 100 watts compare to a 300 watt Adcom, which will drive a 86 db sensitive speaker better? Are there more technical things about an amp to tell if they're able to drive a low sensitive speaker other than the wattage rating?
Aron, an amp in the quality range of a Rowland will absolutely tear up any Adcom or similar amp driving any speaker you care to throw at it (BTW, 86dB is average sensetivity). Do not place too much emphasis on rated output wattage - it really means very little by the time you get to 100w or above for a top-quality SS amp with most speakers, unless you're trying to reproduce concert levels (even less for tubes). And believe me, you don't want to hear a mediocre amp with high rated-output numbers play your music through any halfway-decent speakers at a really loud volume anyway. You owe to yourself to just go down to your local shop and audition a comparision like what you're asking about. I promise that after such an ear-opener you will never give the question a second thought again, especially if you can actually afford the better amp and all the rest of the equivalent-quality components and cables you will need to do it justice - and if you can, I envy you!
Hi Aron ,Att is the best explanation on the planet for your question of Amplifier power and rating for a given speaker load.
Watts is an overated term. It doesnt dictate quality or characteristics of an amp. Another thing too is that all companies use different methods to distigush power. The quality of parts inside an amp is much more important then its output.
The only time I think watts is significant is when you are comparing different models of the same brand. Even then when you go up the line to more power, more times then not, you also get better parts.
Aron, a couple of months ago I was shopping for a new amp. I had already listened to several SS and tube amps and was at a dealer that carried Classe' and Rowland, both well respected brands. I went there thinking I might buy the Classe' CAM-200s or CAM-350s since they seemed to offer a lot of sound and build quality for the amount of money spent. First, I listened to the CAM-350 (driving Avalon Eidolons). These 350W mono amps are $7000/pair, about the same price as the 150W stereo Rowland Model 10. After listening for about an hour with a wide variety of music, I thought they were OK but they really didn't grab me. As a point of reference I had just spent a week listening to a Cary V12 tube amp in my home so I had become accustomed to the tube midrange. The Classe's sound bleached out and kind of harsh in comparison to my memory of the tubes.
Then the dealer hooked up the Rowland Model 10. Within 10 SECONDS of listening to the Rowland I had completely discarded the idea of buying the Classe' amps. The Rowland sounded so much more natural, it was amazing. It had that ultra-pure tube midrange sound without the tube's limitations in the bass. I continued to listen to the Rowland for another hour and ordered one that day. Once you hear the Rowland, the price does not seem that high.
I had Eidolons and the difference between the Rowland Model 10 and the Accuphase A-50V was substantial. The sort of diffence that you can hear easily in 30 seconds: depth, transparency and bass control. The Accuphase does it all! Of course the Accuphase's retail price is more than double that of the Rowland so I can't really say that this is a fair comparison. OTOH, based on comments I have read on the Model 12, I have no doubt that the Accuphase would handily beat that combination as well.
Linkster, was your experience on the same day, with the same equipment, etc.? If so, I'd like to hear the Accuphase. What about instrument tonality and transient speed? I've heard the Accuphase can be a little dark and kind of buttery-smooth which would complement the Eidolons nicely, which are kind of aggressive IMO, but would the Accuphase still work with more neutral speakers?
I would call the Eidolons among the most neutral deigns I have ever heard. If you think they sound aggressive, I would suspect that something in the signal path is not broken in. The Eidolons themselves have an extraordinary long break-in, needs 1,000 hrs IMO. I could easily hear the difference between 1,000 and 500 hours. Getting back to the Accuphase issue, it is the best solid state amp of is kind IMO (small Class A), although its rated power is deceiving. I preferred it over the big Boulders ($18K+). Much greater transparency and bass control over the Rowland, especially if run using its single ended inputs.