@Viber6, glad you liked the lovely Mola Mola Kaluga, so did I, when I heard it
extensively at RMAF, listening to much the same repertoire as you would. I also
agree that at $16K for the mono pair, Kaluga might be a relatively stiff
proposition for many audiophiles, even though it is worth every penny of its
you enjoyed Kaluga, you may love the new Rowland M535 bridgeable that I am evaluating,
and for which I am preparing a detailed scribbling that I will post on
Audiogon… Below are some preliminary thoughts.
the years, I have found few amps that not only deliver the main content of the
music with authority, resolution and precision, but have enough subtlety to let
me experience the thought and emotion of the composer and the performing artist....
And even fewer that let me glimpse into the hesitations and misgivings that the
performer might be having about the music.
thing is that this rare magic can happen with amps of any class and topology....
Be they tubed, such as the AudioResearch Reference series amps, SS like the Soulution amps, or certain class
D amps like the Mola Mola, Merrill Element 118, the Rowland M535 bridgeable and
the M925 monos. Soulution, ARC, and Mola Mola
amps I have very much enjoyed during long listening sessions at RMAF.
Rowland M925 I have owned and very much loved for several years. While Merrill
Model 118 was a promising early prototype when I had it in my system for far
too brief a time last spring…
to M535, as I mentioned previously on this thread, I have inserted a pair of
Rowland M535 bridgeable amplifiers in my system. With over 700 hours on them,
the devices seem by now to be fully broken in. I am absolutely stunned by the
coherence of their presentation, the musicality of the tembre, the vastness of
the stage, the concreteness of images,
the complexity of the harmonic exposure, the
abscence of distortive artifacts in complex and simple passiages alike, the
living silence between the notes, the majesty of their authority, the
tunefulness of the entire audible spectrum from deep bass to high treble, the
elegant luminosity of the overall presentation, their mesmerizing toe-tapping
drive, and last but not leas the sheer emotionality and immersiveness of what I
is a family resemblance with my Rowland M925 monos, of which M535 achieves a
significant fraction of the performance level for most parameters. Yet, for
certin details, such as openness and resolution of the treble, I venture to say
that M535 may even graze a smidgeon above my M925. If M535 listed at $46K for
the pair I would merely call them splendid.... Yet, M535 lists at a smidgeon
below $6K per each 22Lbs chassis.... I scratch my head trying to find the right
word to define what I am experiencing.
It is clear to
me that in 2018 class D amplification has reached an audible level of maturity,
for which we can find fabulous and not so fabulous examples, with the same frequency
distribution of any other classes of amplification, and that can deliver at
least the same level of musical beauty.
What I find even
more interesting is that some class D amplifiers seem to rise well above the
performance level that I would expect for devices of the same price range. Thus
in my system, M535 is not simply being "Good for a class D amplifier", nor is it just a good
amplifier in its own right..... Rather, for me it is an astonishing instrument
for making music in absolute terms, regardless of its class of operation. Ah
yes, in case you wondered why M535 has no cooling side fins…. It runs as cool
as a proverbial cuke, as it appears to be approximately 97% efficient.
As my L-shaped listening
area is relatively large, consisting of about 19ft x 24 for the main area, with
an additional a 10x10 extension on the rear short side, and the Vienna Die
Muzik speakers are not particularly efficient, with an impedance curve somewhat
less than linear, I am running the bridged pair delivering 700W per side… I
will try a single M535 chassis in stereo mode in a few days… I am thinking
though that if your speakers were gentler to the amps than mine, a single M535
should fit you Viber quite nicely, with 250W/8, 500W/4, and 30A peak current.
Here is the M535