Jeff Rowland Synergy IIi versus Capri and Corus?

I currently have a Jeff Rowland Synergy IIi Preamp. I was wondering how it compares to the newer Capri and Corus Preamp.

Any thoughts on whether it is worthwhile to save up money to upgrade to either of these units...? Some have claimed that the relatively inexpensive Capri has bested preamps 2 or 3 times more expensive... Tks!
I posted this elsewhere: As compared to the Synergy, the Corus is more transparent, quieter, images more precisely and has deeper cleaner bass.
I really enjoyed the Synergy IIi which was I felt was very musical despite being fairly neutral. In retrospect I think the Synergy emphasized the mid-bass a bit as compared to the Corus which simply goes deeper without undue emphasis anywhere across the frequency range.
One caveat is the long run-in time – 1000+ hours – I was concerned when I initially plugged the Corus in and it sounded a bit “off”. See the helpful JDRG Knowledgebase for “break-in”.
If there is one word the sums up the sound of the Corus to me it is “holographic” – in terms of providing precise 3D images that surprises by revealing the normally hidden music nuances.
BTW, the design of Corus is virtually the same as the Criterion except for the absence of battery power supply.
Tks Mark! I currently have Rowland 201s and Thiel 2.4's, with the Synergy IIi. (I see you have Cambridge 840W monos.)

Just curious... do you think I'd be better off upgrading the preamp side of my system (Synergy IIi) or the amp side first?
The Rowland 625 looks pretty interesting...

I know this is sometimes pretty system dependent.
But it seems like you got a pretty big improvement from the Corus preamp alone. Appreciate your thoughts.
I'll recommend you go with the Rowland 625 upgrade. I've owned the 201, 501 + PC1 and now the 625; all the time keeping the Synergy IIi. You will find improved low's, definitely better resolution and detail moving upwards the chain. I'm not sure if its an upgrade if you go with the Capri preamp, my dealer when I enquired about the Capri recommended that I stay with the Synergy IIi. Have a listen at your dealer or better still get a home trial, quite an investment so trust your ears.
Tks Dtanclim! I have a feeling that I'll have to start saving up the pennies quite soon, as initial impressions (such as yours) have been very positive on the 625.

The Corus will likely have to wait for another day... To make matters worse, Rowland just had to come out with a new Dac! I have to win the lottery soon.
Optimus - tough question since I don't have any experience with the 201. But I did have a similar dilemma because I was overall very happy with the Synergy IIi - so I was in fact considering an amplifier upgrade. I eventually decided that upgrading the preamp first based on the logic that the 840W amplifiers are very good (and well reviewed to boot), that if there is any short-fall in the quality of an upstream component, then that will limit the overall potential of the whole system. So I followed my gut instinct and upgraded the preamp based on the assumption that the 840W amplifiers were not primary limitation in my system.
I must admit was surprised at the difference the Corus made because I did not perceive that the Synergy IIi to have any significant faults. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to borrow a BPS battery supply that did lower the noise floor of the Synergy IIi. So that was the one area I expected some improvement. My surprise was the additional detail, deeper bass, improved dynamics and more precise imaging from the Corus.
But do note that I still think the Synergy IIi is a great preamp with a big inviting soundstage. Finally more detail, bass, and dynamics does necessarily not equate to more musicality – I still believe that the Synergy IIi can hold it’s own in that respect.
Mark - Thank you for your observations and thought process on the Corus and Synergy IIi. Both your and Dtanclim's comments lead me to believe that Rowland's technology has improved on both the amp and preamp side, by no small measure. Assuming I can find a dealer in my state, hopefully they'll be nice enough to let me compare...
Finding the right system synergy is fun and frustrating!
Hi Optimus, I agree with your comments. Rowland have really impressed me with their latest line, and the stand out for me in terms of pure value was the Corus pre. I run a Modwright KWA-150 amp which is a perfect match for my Marten Coltrane Altos, so I don't feel any need to upgrade my power amp. The JRDG Corus really got me salivating...I think it will be a perfect match for my Modwright & Martens. And yes the process is fun and frustrating!
I listen to JR Synergy IIi at my friend's MBL system. Initially , he
used MBL 6010D, coupled with MBL 9006 power amp, driving MBL 111B,
source is MBL 1511 and 1521, sound so natural, rich and warm. After he
switch the MBL 6010D pre amp to Synergy IIi ,sound so different, latter
has cooler, thinner sound, less body and emotion. Personally, I prefer
MBL 6010D because 6010S is more musical. You just want to listen more
and more.

When Capri was in market, I read so many good users reviews from
Audiogon and elsewhere until I was tempted to try it. Luckily, I has
chance to buy a used one to try it out first. when I audition at
seller's system, the sonic signature is similar to Synergy IIi and not
much better than former. I wasn't very happy with it. But I knew,
different gear in different system will turn out differently, so I want
to take a chance after all so many users confirm Capri is the most
musical pre of Jeff Rowland.
Other Jeff pre amp I listened before are Coherent,consummate. All are
very clean sounding at the expense of cool sound, no right or wrong, is a
matter of taste.
Now after owning Capri for about one year, I find I love it more than
when I just brought it home. I match it with Accuphase A45 power amp,
drive Dynaudio 30th Anniversary speaker, Consonance Droplet 5.0 special
edition. I am quite happy with it. It is very musical. The key factor is
avoid using silver cable with Capri, I use only copper cable.
Now I am interested to listen to new pre Corus, though it cost more
than double of Capri.But if good, I may upgrade. Hope can read more of
user's reviews first before making any decision.
This is only my personal experience,I believe not every one will agree.
You are correct about using copper cables. You are also correct about the "cool" sound. I am not a fan of "bright" sound. Many people think a bright system is more open. I think you are hearing distortion, but that is just my opinion. I am using Cardas Cables. I know, they are expensive and maybe over priced, but they work very well with Rowland gear. I understand much of the Rowland gear is wired with Cardas internally. I use Museatex speaker cables (this Canadian Company is now out of business; Ed Meitner was the owner; if you don't know who he is, google him). This cable just sounds right to me. If you can find some, try it!

I have the Synergy IIi mated with Model 12 mono blocks. It's all the power I need to service my Revel Studio's. My source components are Ayre CX-7eMP and a Nottingham TT. I am lucky it all works, but 1st impressions are a dark presentation. After proper warm up, it is very nice.

I haven't listened to the new offerings by Jeff. After speaking with Jeff one afternoon, I have to believe the new gear is awesome. He says he only brings in a new line when it is better than the previous one. Enough said, huh?
Skb1 and Willyumm -
Just curious, specifically what type/model of copper interconnects do you use? Is Cardas Clear Light worthwhile to pair with Rowland? I agree with you on the copper. My friend used relatively inexpensive Wireworld IC's with his Rowland Gear, which sounded pretty musical.

In regards to MBL, unfortunately, I'm not so familiar with it. I have heard their funky looking speakers, which sound quite dynamic, but not so forgiving of bad recordings.

Willyumm -
Have you had the chance to compare the Model 12's to Jeff's more recent amps? Just curious about your thoughts...

Right now, I'm leaning towards saving up for a 625, over a Corus. My trusty old Synergy may be ok for the time being, with a good cable upgrade...
Hi Willyumm
Sorry for the late reply.
I am glad that we have the same taste of sound. We use the same cable too. I use Furutech Evolution II between CDP to Pre, Cardas Golden reference interconnect between pre and pow amp. Van Del Hul Jade speaker cable.
I love Cardas Golden reference interconnect, but have not listened to their higher range model yet.
However, my friend just told me Transparent Ultra interconnect is very much better than the Cardas Golden reference in term of Soundstage, tone , details etc but of course this is unfair comparission because Ultra is many time more expensive than Golden reference. Any comment ?
Sorry for the late reply.
I use Furutech Evolution II between CDP to Pre, Cardas Golden reference interconnect between pre and pow amp. Van Del Hul Jade speaker cable.
I love Cardas Golden reference interconnect, but have not listened to their higher range model yet.
However, my friend just told me Transparent Ultra interconnect is very much better than the Cardas Golden reference in term of Soundstage, tone , details etc but of course this is unfair comparision because Ultra is many time more expensive than Golden reference. Any user feedback ?
Regarding MBL gear, I listen to their reference line model 6010D pre combined with 9008A and also their Nova line, 5011 pre combined with 8011M pow amp driving MBL speaker 101 and 116 respectively.
The reference line is analytical, detailed , clean and more towards HIFI sound, less emotion and soul than the Nova line combination. The latter has more warm, relax , certain degree of colour(tube like sound without the much high degree of distorton of tube gear) and forgiving, compared with former.
In my another system, I own MBL 9006 match with Accuphase 2400 Pre amp, Esoteric P05 and D05, and Dynaudio C4 , it strike the balance of both world. Of course, this is only my personal experience. There is no right or wrong, good or lousy , is only the individual taste. Regards.
Optimus, have you bought either of the Jeff Rowland products?
Unfortunately, not yet...

I've had to re-prioritize my funds. Given the economy, unfortunately, it may be a while for me to save up for a new Rowland pre-amp or amp. I'm leaning towards the amp side first.

It is a real bummer.
My only hope is a killer deal on Audiogon!