No-one talks about Rowlands anymore

It's Pass all over the place. Is Rowland going down big time or terribly and expensively up?

Showing 13 responses by guidocorona

+1 @DBallard601 and @TDimler...

See for example my Rowland Daemon Superintegrated review journal at:

Saluti, Guido

Hi Inna and all, if you happen to be at RMAF this weekend, you will be able to listen to a full suite of Rowland electronics wired with Nordost Odin II, and powering a pair of Magico speakers in the Nordost suite (Humboldt). The Rowland electronics consists of the ultra-caps-based Power Storage Unit (PSU) feeding the Aeris DAC and the Corus linestage, into a pair of the brand new M535 bridged amps. In bridged configuration as they are in the Nordost system, they yield about 900W / channel. The amps are derived from the M525 amps.... They have been enhanced with some of the the distortion minimization tecchnology drived from the class A/B M625 and M725 amps, as well as ceramic circuit boards, and other features.


The Daemon super-integrated is used in one of the large seminar rooms... Sorry, forgot the name of the room.


I believe that the Rowland suite is still on the 2000 level, just off the elevators.


It is worth pointing out that Rowland has amp designs in both class A/B and class D. Depending on the particular application, Jeff opts for one class or the other. For example, the M625 S2 stereo and the M725 S2 monos run in high bias class A/B.


While I will not venture to predict whether one will like the current Rowland sound, I find it incredibly musical, in addition to subtle and revealing... A far cry from the early Rowland incarnations of class D of some 10 to 12 years ago... Concerto, M201, M501, M302 (stereo), and early M301. If your concept of current Rowland sound is based on the amps just listed, it is quite obsolete... Do give the current crop a listen.... Huge difference.

I confess that in olden days I was also totally mythed by the original Rowland crop of class D amps... As much as I tried to like them, I really could not appreciate them.... The amp that made me fall in love again with Rowland, well past and beyond my beloved Model 7s with its golden glow -- was the M312.... With M625, M725, and M925 pushing the magic of my system steadily further.


I looked at the Red Dragon amp mentioned by George... It is based on a Pascal S-Pro2 module. Conversely, the Rowland Continuum S2 is powered by a Pascal M-Pro2... Yielding 400W/8Ohms and 800W/4Ohms per channel.


And whether a module is made in the US, China, Mongolia, South Korea, or southern Chile is immaterial.... Seems that we are not particularly squeemish about component provenance when we purchase our marvellous mobile phones, televisions, and even appliances.... Why we become suddenly fervent neo-protectionists instead when we consider audio equipment.. The contradiction  is beyond my grasp.


An evaluative article on Daemon appearing a few years ago -- positive or negative alike -- would be a little surprising... Daemon industrial production has commenced less than one year ago.


Saluti, G.

Hi JL35, I have not heard Daemon yet.... But if I ever decide to retire my enchanting combination of Roland PSU+Aeris, and M925 mono amps, I am going to consider consolidating, and so Daemon would become a prime candidate... Post launch comments I heard about it this far have been more than extremely positive.

Saluti, Guido

eHello George and Inna... as much as I fear that it might be futile to do so, I must invite you once again to... Get out of the house more often... You never know what novel beauty you might discover, unless you did so.

Ah yes, I did dredge up from my old files a lovely quote from our own Rodman9999 that ever puts a smile on my face....

"Just don't fall into the category of those whose minds, like concrete, are thoroughly mixed up and permanently set"

Another saying that I love might be from a song by Al Yankowitcz... It goes something like:

"Ah nostalgia, nostalgia... Even you ain't what you used to be!"



Inna, let's all admit it... It does feel  sooo good to lash out indiscriminately in 79 random directions, ain't it?


Ah, but I just remember one more saying... This one by Richard Strauss...

"Do not look at the trombones.... It only encourages them!*

Hi maplegrovemusic, actually Rowland has at least a triple presence at RMAF....

a full complement of Rowland gear can be heard in the Humboldt room, which is the Nordost suite, powering a pair of Magico speakers, and all wired by Odin II cabling.... There you will hear a linelevel stack formed by the PSU ultra-caps-based power supply feeding an Aeris DAC and a Corus preamp.... These feeding a pair of brand new M535 bridged amplifiers, that deliver some 900W per side into the Magico.

One of the amphitheater-style seminar rooms is powered by the big Rowland Daemon integrated.

Instead, the Rowland suite is kept deliberately quiet, so that audiophiles cam talk in peace with Jeff Rowland, Lucien Pichette, and others.

Hope this helps.


Hi Al, while listening to my M925 monos right now, I can't help it agreeing with you. As I mentioned so many times already, some folks need to "get out of the house more often". At least, if they still did not like the music made by well designed modern class D amps, they could base their preference on fresh personal experience.

Regards, Guido

Well Inna, now that we are all reeling from the staggering import of your momentous virdict on Rowland products, and -- having finally grokked the true truth -- are thus in a headlong rush to sell-out our JRDG components to the lowest bidders, what will your next trollesque adventure take us?

At least one of your devoted fans is, ahem... rabidly anxious to know... We's talking a real bad nail-biting audiophrenic anxiety attack  here *Grins!*

But please no no no no... Not Vienna Acoustics... I could not live if I heard that it is one more orphan brand revealed by the scaving Innesque wrath.... ANd pretty please, Not Esoteric... My X-01 is still serving me admirably after 10 long years of honorable service... Would hate to be confronted with the truth... its service has been most dishonorable instead... Mayhaps HFC cables? Or Cardas?! Oh Gaia oh Gaia, please let Inna spare my beloved music making system....

[... Sobbing miserably, the ancient wretched audiophile sinks to the hard floor, and wimpers himself into a fitful sleep, dreaming of short cornets and 4-valve copper flugelhorns... That's his secret... Inna does not know about them yet]   

Cari saluti, G.

Thank you so much Mike, you made my day!

Please post here the URL of your M535 youtube when you post it.

I have owned two class D amps from Rowland.... The M312 stereo, which sported ICEpower 10000ASP modules, and since 2013 the M925 monoblocks, where the output stage contains NCore NC1200 modules... M312 was wonderful, while M925 are totally staggering.

I have not heard the bridgeable M535 yet.... But I have heard about it.... Reports are that it is one more Rowland Homerun.... Stunning for its $5900 pricepoint per chassis.

Saluti, Guido

, but

Buon giorno Mike, I left Italy some 40 years ago, and live on the US East Coast.

I am very much looking forward to enjoying listening to your upcoming  test of the Rowland M535 amps in bridged mode.

Meantime, so that other followers of this thread have a better idea of what you and I are talking about, here is a temporary link to M535 features and specs from my Dropbox. I will remove the file as soon as posts an official M535 page:

Saluti e buone cose, Guido

Hello YYZ, @Alsteward might be able to tell us a bit about the sound of Daemon, as he has heard it at Expona.... I have not heard of direct comparisons of M535 with M825 or M925. However, all reports are that M535 is stunningly good for its $5900 USD per chassis. Meantime...

Neither the Rowland Daemon superintegrated, nor the M535 bridgeable are based on NCore modules

Here are some of the features and specs of the Model 535 bridgeable amp in a temporary leaflet that Rowland used at Expona 2018:

M535 utilizes the latest version of the Pascal S2-Pro power conversion module.

In the $38,900 Daemon superintegrated, a Pascal X2-Pro module in the output stage is responsible for its 1500W/8 per side… Yet it plays a small part of the total design. Here is the Daemon page from the Rowland site:

Saluti, Guido


Hello Jimmy, those M7 golden beauties might outlast  usthe both of ... Not bad at all for amps that were manufactured somewhere in the late 1980s.... by a company that "no one talks about any more". The only issue they ever had during the wonderful long years that they were in my possession since 1997 until you picked them up well over 10 years later were some output transistors that required a touch of resoldering... The 5-minutes Fix was applied by a good friend of mine at my place, under phone guidance by Jeff Rowland himself.

Now about the Rowland M535 bridgeable.... I have a pair in my system right now breaking in... Preparing a writeup for Audiogon.... These critters are magical... They remind me so much of my M925 monos... May be some 80% of the M925's authority, with a transparency and resulution that is utterly enchanting, particularly when one considers that a bridged pair lists a smidjin below $12K. I'll test M535 in stereo mode once I have completed evaluation in bridged mode.

Saluti, G.


Actually, Rowland produces a mix of class A/B and class D power amplifiers. Its monoblock M735 flagship, as well as the M625 S2 stereo amp, both run in class A/B.

See for example the M735 page at:

The only Rowland power amplifier product in production that  operates in class D is the entry level M125 bridgeable.

Conversely, both of its integrated amp offerings, Continuum S2 and Daemon, feature class D power amplification subsystems.

Regards, Guido