just curious, what are your results?
do you like them?
do you like them?
You can search the archives, this topic has been covered many times before. IMHO, the Models 2/6/8/9 series of the mid to late 90's were when Jeff Rowland was at his best as a designer. Earlier Rowland efforts were warmer, but lacked the definition, while later Rowland efforts became even more revealing, at the cost of musicality. The Models 2/6/8/9 were the sweet spot as far as balancing musicality with definition, again, that's just my $0.02.
Model 6 monos I have seen. . . but I have not heard yet.. My understanding from talking to Jeff Rowland himself, is that they may have been as involving as the newest 312 stereo, but perhaps not quite as revealing/transparent. Current JRDG offerings range in price between $1500 and $30,000. It is worth comparing sound of Model 6 to 312 and 301 only. . . lower end devices are of necessity design to meet a different price range and musically behave accordingly. G.
Philjolet-I will focus on the soundlabs as they are my primary speakers and just obtained the ushers;I'm not familiar with their sonic signature being driven by tubes.
My m2's were driven by Cary Slam 100's.Manley Ref 400 mono's and now Audio Valve Challanger 180 mono's;output tubes on the cary's and 180's were/are jj kt88's and 6550c's
on the Manleys.
I listen to mostly acoustic,vocals,jazz,organ with choir and sometimes Pink Floyd will visit.
I seem to really enjoy the midrange sound that tube owners seem to fall in love with;as that was the hook that moved me from solid state to tubes after auditioning a MFA-D75 amp.My solid state amps were David Hafler dh-500, Forte model 4,B&k M200 sonata mono's and then McCormack DNA-1 monoblocks;these amps were all very good with the dna-1's being the best of the 3 driving at the time Merlin 4B+'s;until I heard the MFA.
Now with the model 6 monoblocks I think this is as close to
being able to reproduce that liquid midrange as I have ever heard with great control of the panel over the entire frequency range;as Jmcgrogan2 called it "musicality".
I have never heard any of his products and if this is his older work I can only imagine what his newer products sound like.
I own a JRDG 312 and am in love/lust with it! I wrote a capsule article on issue 188 of The Absolute Sound on the amp, part of a longer article on the Vienna Mahler V1.5 speakers.
The musicality, resolution, and authority of the device is -- at least for me -- truly enthralling. Even at RMAF last week the system containing JRDG 312 was my favorite.
Unfortunately I have not heard the JRDG 301 monoblocks yet. . . perhaps some of these days (sighs!)
Rleff, I have heard a few Pass amps, and many of Nelson's older models (Threshold). I also had the opportunity ti hear a Boulder amp at a show (860?) a couple years ago. It may be unfair to compare at a show, but the Boulder was very unimpressive for the cost...clinical sounding, like Levinson gear ...to me at least.
As for SS (I am a Tube fan), I do think that Nelson's designs are about as good as SS gets. I do like the Pass XA-60.5's very much....maybe Nelson's best work since the Threshold SA-12e....
If you want more of the best of Jeff Rowland, you may want to try his Model 8TI.....
Rleff, I have actually listened to Boulder 2060 and Rowland 312 for several hours in the same system while I was in Denver for RMAF. The amps were set up in the main showroom at Soundings Hifi, just across the parking lot from the Marriott hotel. The rest of the system consisted of: Boulder CD player, Boulder 2010 preamplifier, and Vienna Die Muzick speakers. Speakers had undergone considerable placement setup by Rod Tomson using the MasterSet methodology. All wiring reamined constant/consistent: a mix of Transparent and Analysis Plus.
It seemed a reasonably unanimous impression of all audiophiles present that 312 was preferrable to 2060 in the areas of overall musicality, transparency, micro resolution, harmonic exposure, linearity, extension, ease of listening. Where things really surprised everyone, is that 312 seemed to yield also greater macrodynamics and authority than Boulder. Conversely, Boulder 2060 and JRDG 312 seemed comparable in imaging and staging.
Unfortunately I have never heard Pass amps, so I can't comment.
I have to agree with JMCgrogan2 that the sweet spot of Jeff's line were the 2/6/8 and 9s. My model 8 with choke is IMHO far warmer than the later class D amps.
I have compared this amp to several ss amps and the only other ss amps that I could live with at all were the Symphonic Line amps. In an 'AB'in my system with the mono Levinson 436's, the group preferred my 8 in all areas!
He's sweeping up and taking out the trash down at Soundings where Rod Tomson is working on the super master set and forget speaker density and retrieval system Mark V, Revision II. Dave'll be back soon. He's breaking in a new broom. Only 327 more hours and it will be able to exhibit the purity, majesty and clarity of the Soundings cleanup in full throat.
Guido and Dave seem to be great people but I have to agree about the relentless promotion. I love my Rowland stuff.
Hi Daveyf, your JRDG Model 8 vs 501 findings do not surprise me. JRDG 501 was a relatively early design using ICEpower, besides not being intended as a Model 8 follo-on. Have you tried Bel Canto Ref 1000 Mk.2? It is a more recent design perhaps, with a little more advanced power supply regulation. . . I suspect you may find those more musical than JRDG 501s.
As for other brands, I freely admit that my musical/sonic preferences are idiosyncratic. When I find other devices that I enjoy, I'll gladly talk about them. . . until such time, I am comfortable speaking about what does not play havoc with my musical enjoyment.
At this point I am intrigued by the potential of GamuT, Belles, an upcoming Wired4Sound reference device, and Chapter Audio. . . all more or less green energy efficient devices. If they turn out to be synergistic with my system and with my ears I'll definitely write about them. . . until such time, whoever insists reading my scribblings may have to bear with the little I know and love (grins!)
Hi Davef, I have no experience with Tenor and CAT. I have heard several times ARC tubed amps and thought them to be very nice. . . mainly Ref 220, VT-200, and also Lam hybrid monoblocks. Spent quite a bit of time in the VTL suite at RMAF: they used the new MB450 II monos and the sound was quite captivating. I spent an entire afternoon and evening at Albert Porter's place in Dallas: his system used VTL 750s at the time, and the sound was magnificent. Guido
I owned the Model 1, 2 and jumped all the way to the 8 (no battery pack) some years back driving my previous Avalon speakers, I could not tell of any "house-sound" except from the fact thet they were all great in my system - natural, musical and dead-silent.
Saying that - I switched to Gryphon amps and never came back.
Rleff- I am back to tubes now with a short period with SET, now I am resting with a class A Jadis amp.
Almost all my life with Rowland amps were with Avalon speakers (you might be aware off the business/friendship relationship of Neil and Jeff years back) and, to make a very long story short, I found the Gryphon amps more dynamic, energetic with a great sense of life-like presentation vs the Rowlands - but please take note that this happened in my system/room configuration. I could live happy with any one of this two great brands again.
On the point of "life like presentation" and adding to this the emotional intensity and conveyance of music i also preferred Gryphon to Rowland, at least from the perspective of their respective latest model integrateds