Had you ever listened to Cello products, say 3-4 years ago? The bigger Red Rose electronics sound like Cello with tubes to me (i.e., on the warm side of neutral). I only experienced a pre/power combo once though, a S. Yorke TT. Very musical result, so I don't remember much more (i.e. critical reproduction aspects). We listened through Avanti III and Genesis V, and I had the impression we could have moved to more difficult speakers, easily... I DO remember a tough price tag!
My understanding about Red Rose is they do not manafacture or design the electronic products they sell rather they have taken the approach of buying products of small companies and putting there label on them. The Red Rose Petal MC Cartridge for example is a Miyabi Cartridge but at 3k is priced below the regular Miyabi. There electronics have to go thru the red rose markup so they can be a bit expensive but most all other high dollar products go thru a similar retail markup in price thru the more tradational dealer structure. Every product must be judged on its own merits.
Avguy, Red Rose isn't a new company; I am not sure when he started it, but I have known of it for, I would say, a couple years now.
Heard his ribbon monitors (the R3?) at the Stereophile show in NYC the year before last, driven by a Red Rose amp and preamp (and, if memory serves, either an Electrocompaniet or Audio Aero CDP). Sounded pretty darn wonderful. In fact, stood out as some of the best sound at the show, to my ears (which folks have and may again take issue with. But, hey, they're mine--they ears, I mean.) He's got a little boutique-style shop up on the upper east side in NYC, right next to the Whitney museum, which I've peered in the window of on a number of occasions (on the way to said museum) but have never been in.
I remember reading somewhere, I believe the Asylum, it could of been here, his equipment was identical to some Korean, I think, equipment that can be purchased, um, cheaper. DO NOT TAKE THIS AS FACT! I am just stating what I recall reading.
I've been to the Red Rose showroom in NYC... I found the speakers to have nice craftsmanship to be be fairly strong in the bass and mids. But all the speakers sounded a bit bright to my taste... the ribbon tweeter on the small speaker (the R3?) sounded downright screechy. (My wife nearly put her hands over her ears.) However, when I heard those speakers at the big Home Entertainment Expo in NYC in 2001, they sounded pretty good.
I think Brian (see posting above) may be referring to Korsun, which I believe is a Chinese manufacturer. As for Red Rose electronics, be careful... some searches on audioasylum.com might be worthwhile.
All that said, the Red Rose SACD (title is something like, "Live at Red Rose, Volume 1"), is excellent.
There seems to be a great deal of confusion about the Red Rose products so hopefully I can clear up some of the confusion.
There is the original Red Rose tube line which is a joint venture between Audio Prism and Red Rose. The Audio prism tube line was upgraded and came out as the Red Rose line.
The $8000 model 5 integrated amp is part of that line, along with the Model 1 Amps at $25,000, the model 2 A amp at $5000, the model 2 A Silver Signature amp at $7000, the Model 3 A preamp at $5000, and the amazing Model 3 Silver Signature preamp at $10,000. My 2 personal favorite pieces are the Model 5 integrated and the Silver Signature preamp. Expensive no doubt but very good especially the preamp.
There is also a solid state line that is made for Red Rose in Asia somewhere. I don't carry the solid state line so I am not up to date on it. But expect alot of products to start coming from Asia being built for US manufactures the prices are so reasonable for the quality - - look at the Shanling CD player.
Hope this helps. The integrated is a great piece of audio gear. It is one of the few store demo's that I have ever sold and my wife has stated, "why did you sell the Red Rose", she never cares.
Thanks SOS for the clarification.
A little search on Google revealed the following link in regards to the Red Rose Rossette being made by the aforementioned Korsun, http://www.geocities.com/super_bq/Korsun_2.html. According to this, the Korsun version is $200 while the Red Rose is $2000, but nothing was confirmed whether it is changed at all.
The aforementioned Shanling, I had read that it is made by Denon; anyone know for sure?
I remember hearing the AudioPrism Manas, the precursors of the Model 1 amps. Now, I don't know what the "red rose markup" actually is, but the Manas were very, very good at 12K and I'm wondering what magic wand was passed over their chassis to transform them, via $13K, into the Model 1's?
I remember a story. I was at a CES one year for a mag and talked to a famous foreign designer known for his ultra products. He had just come out with a SS amp and told me that at first he couldn't sell it. I asked why given his reputation and he said because rich people didn't think they were getting something better than the not-quite-as-rich unless it carried a certain elevated price tag. He doubled the amp's price and sales rocketed among that clientele.
I've heard that ML has a grand showroom fronting an art museum to give it that just certain cache...
If he is looking for that certain cache, the decision to retail some of the line via amazon.com seems strange. Ran into a bunch of "Red Rose Music Spirit" line stuff on their site. It struck me as odd at the time, even odder given comments above...