That's a little like asking what you think of Michelin. What is it you care about?
12 responses Add your response
Yo Tireguy, the best way that I can describe the sound of a Rowland is that it has no sound. They don't sound warm or dry or lean or anything...they sound like music. I will say that they sound better when you are driving them with a Jeff Rowland preamp. Build quality is up at the top of the scale. They will reveal any problems that the rest of your system has but they will deliver magic if none are present. The biggest problem with Rowland is that Stereo-pile hasn't reviewed any of their newer generation amps(M2,M6,M12,M112,M8TiHC,) or they would be on a 2 year wait like Harleys. If you get one, remember you have to feed them Cardas cable or they pout.
Be prepared to be seduced, romanced and then you will eventually marry it. At first you might not be sure, should I commit or should I continue to look around. But you will come back and you will stay with them. I own an 'old Model 5 and the Consummate Pre Amp' and I have stayed faithfull for nearly 9 years now. ( hey come to think of it longer than my own marriage , yea I got the audio equipment ) Also great company, great people and usually good dealers. Oh, and by the way they also love music and isn't that why we all listen and then buy !
One of the most musical and better build pieces of electronic gear around.If you look hard you can find some amps. that do certain things better, but you will be hard pressed to find one that does every thing so good. Models 8(not sure about the others) have a very usefull gain switch which is very usefull with Wadia(or other front end that has digital volume control) in driving the amp. directly.They go very well with XLO or JPS cabling.
I have been using Rowland electronics for over ten years and in my opinion Rowland cannot be beat at the longevity in the enjoyment it brings as well as the emotional response it elicits from the music. I does all the normal audiophile things superbly, and then goes one step further to capture the true magic of music.
I don't agree with the Cardas recommendation. I have had tremendous success with Stealth Cables. In my opinion, Rowland and Stealth is a match made in heaven as they are both true to the music in all critical areas.
I am currently using the Rowland Model 112, which is a tremendous amp for the price (or for any price), while I wait for my Model 12s to return from the factory for repair. Rowland electronics are generally extremely reliable, so don't read anything in to the fact that my amps are back at the factory.
I've used Rowland gear for over ten years. Old original Coherence One preamp and Model 7 monoblocs. Very very good sound and completely bulletproof. My preamp and amps have been on (the preamp doesn't even have an "on/off" switch) for over ten years and have performed beautifully and without complaint. Can't say anything first hand about the "new" generation of stuff from Rowland, but their reputation is first rate.
I don't think you can go wrong if you like the sound...