I have had the Krell 300cx for 6 years and am delighted with it. Not your grandfather's Krell -- as "musical" as any amp I have heard in 35 years of this mania, with all the slam you need. Cannot comment on Rowland 7 as have not heard it.
The Rowland amp is an old design. It's very warm sounding and a nice amp but should probably be updated with new caps. The Krell is quite good. If it is a "C" or "CX" it is pretty current.
I have heard the FPB series and you can't go wrong. They are one of the better sounding ss amps I have had the pleasure of listening to. I did hear an older JR lower powered amp and it was nice but not my cup of tea. Was not resolute enough. They are seductive but just too laid back or warm for me.
The FPB sounded pretty good initially to me but after sitting with it for a week or two the "Krell" bass was just not there in comparison to the KSA series or even the Pass Lab X series. It has a high number of small capacitors opposed to the few larger beer can type that made it quick on transients but thinner on bass qualities. That was my observation pretty quickly so I sold her her.
Then went on to the Pass Labs X-350 which sounded much more in command as well as bass beefier until I heard the Parasound JC-1 monoblocks and there was NO comparison. I have those to this day and doubt there is much better at even twice the price.
Classe CAM 350's ain't chopped liver either.
332.5 is another really good amp. I heard the 331.5 which is approx 80% the 334. Personally I would rather have the Levinson than all the ones you mention. I have owned the 27, 27.5, 29, had the 331.5 in my system, and a buddy has the 334. The 334 bests all of the other ML amps I have heard.
There are better amps you can get for the price of used FPB300 (~$2700). Pass X-250 is one of them. I had a chance to compare them side by side in my system - Pass is by far much more transparent, open on top, soundstaging is much better etc. They are just not in the same league.
Interestingly, the X-350, doesn't sound as good as X-250 IMO.
The other amp worth investigatong is Cary CAD-500MB. You can get one used below $3k if you are lucky. It is even better than the Pass X-250, and MUCH better than FPB-300 or X-350.
See I disagree with Elberoth2. I didn't care much for the Pass X250 in my system and like the Krell better. The Pass was too resolving and fatiquing for my taste. The .5 series is warmer from my understanding.
Please explain "too resolving".
I don't believe in an excess of resolution.
However, system incompatibilites are far more likely the issue.
The Pass is too resolute for my system. The BAT sound matches my speakers much better and my speakers (Tyler Acoustics) are not bright at all. I consider them fairly neutral.
I understand excess of resolution but it can be fatiguing in some systems. I feel the Pass X250 would match warmer or darker sounding speakers.
One more time.
There is no such thing as excessive resolution.
You have either system or personal preference issues.
If you had build your system around BAT, which has rather distinctive sound in my expirience - dark with limited microdynamics and resolution (I have owned 51SE and have auditioned VK200 and VK-500), and you are happy with it, then it is no suprising, that you find Pass to resolving and too bright.
Like I said it depends on your speakers. If my speakers were laid back and dark sounding so to speak then I would like the Pass X250. It is a nice amp for sure and the bass is probably the best I have heard but just doesn't match my speakers. But overall it is an amp with lots of resolution and a bit on the brighter side of the spectrum do you agree?
>>that you find Pass to resolving and too bright<<
That's really funny.
Must be amateur night.
what about if i using passive pre to match them? krell ksa300s and fpb300, which one better?
>>that you find Pass to resolving and too bright<<
>>That's really funny.
>>Must be amateur night.
It is thats why your answering ;)
In my opinion the FPB series is more refined and airy. Maybe Bill or other Krell users can comment. The KSA series does have better bass output IMO.
I believe the Rowland 7 is a magical amplifier. Its a little dark and soft on top but the inner detail retrieval is outstanding. I had a pair of MKIIIs in the main system for several months this year and was captivated by their (life like) micro dynamics. Its Strange how a soft amp (like this) can retrieve so much detail. You dont see that many for sale--for good reason I suspect.
i also found 2nd hand jeff rowland model 8Ti but prices a bit higher than used fpb 300, will 8Ti outperform fpb300?
model 7 mk3 and 8Ti both on sales, model 7 mk3 USD5800, 8Ti USD8300, which one better? i thinking maybe model7 mk3 too old, but how is the performance compare with this 2 amps?
I cannot say for sure, but I would suspect that the Model 9 would be the natural competitor for the 7, not the Model 8. The Model 7 holds its own with the Jadis JA-500 in micro dynamics and shear music believability.
when i decided to buy a used jeff rowland 8Ti, another guy offer Plinius SA250 MK IV, it USD1,800 cheaper than jeff rowland, which one too choose?