I'd spring for the new concerto integrated at $6500.
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I've had both the 383 and the Concentra. Both have their strengths; Rowland is warmer sounding but Levinson might be a bit more accurate. Really depends a lot on your own musical tastes. I would think the Levinson would mate up a little better with the Merlins which are a bit laid back and a little lean.
FWIW, I preferred the YBA Passion Integre over both. Beat the 383 with ease. The Concentra II is a killer integrated. I liked the sweetness of the Passion. BTW, Absolute Sound reviewed the Passion Integre, this month. It's a dead on review from my experience, so I'll hold the ubiquitous adjectives. You can read for yourself. Significantly less $$ that the Concentra, as well. Hey, you got a high class problem, here, choosing one of these integrateds. peace, warren
I've owned both the No.383 and the Concentra II, it's a no brainer to me, the Concentra II; I could happily own one again. Someone mentioned the new Concerto integrated by Rowland that is due out soon, I too believe this will be a nice piece; they quoted a price of $6500, I suspect that is with phono, I believe without phono its list is $5900.
There are any number of situations where the sound of the Concentra would be preferred over the Concentra II. The primary difference is in their treble presentation with the Concentra II being far more explicit in this area. It's not that one is "better" than the other, but more of a system matching question.
I appreciate the quantity of the feedback I've gotten so far, and the quality even more. Especially from you guys that have owned both.
***********You may want to also check out the MF 300 Trivista Integrated. Its a killer.**********
I haven't heard the MuFi Trivista, but I know that their Limited Edition products are wicked - but they make very few of them and dealers often hike up their prices due to this.
Judging from your responses, I would assume the Rowland is closer to what I'm looking for. I guess I'll wait for the Concerto.
I still hope many others will drop their two pennies worth on this matter - I believe there are hundreds of other rookies like myself who will have to decide between these great integrateds...
If you can wait a few more months there will be plenty of Concentra II's for sale with owners buying the new Rowland integrated. The used prices will be better if there is a glut of them. I came very close to purchasing the Concentra II about a very ago. It is a great product and you should be very happy with one.