Rowland 625

Has anyone got their hands on the new Jeff Rowland 625. I know they've been displayed on shows like Rocky Mountain but I'm keen to have feedbsck how this new amps compare with previous models. I've seen the new website and they've been been advertising on magazine, looks solidly built like all Rowland amps!
I've got Rowland 501's with a pair of PC1 together with the Synergy IIi. My dealer has not got a confirmed date for delivery.
It is my understanding that M625 has just started to ship after RMAF. I have heard the device at RMAF side-by-side to the older M301 monoblocks.... M625 easily outperformed M301 for all audible parameters but one.... Only residual advantage of M301 over M625 was size of stage marginally larger.... After all, M301 yields at least 800W over 8 Ohms, versus the 300W of M625. G.
Thanks Guido, would you be getting your hands and ears on the Rowland 625?
It looks like Kawika will have an M625 in his system very shortly... He will be in a position of commenting on the sound before long. G.
Guido, Do you know if Rowland will be making the 625 and the 925 in black as well as silver?
Hi Husk01, I do not know if black will be available on M625 and M925.... I will contact the factory and will post back here. G.
Husk, as promised, I have checked with the factory.... JRDG has no immediate plans to offer either M625 or the future M925 in black livery.... These devices will be finished in Silver only at this time. G.
Thanks Guido.
Thanks, I'm looking forward to some user feedback on the Rowland 625. I'm a big fan and if they're be able to outperform the Rowland 501 + PC1 that would be cool. An additional plus would be that I could lose some power cords from the 501/PC1 combination!
Dtanclim, at the last RMAF a number of people, including myself, preferred M625 with very little break-in over a pair of well broken-in M301 monoblocks. Our own Kawika should receive his new M625 very soon. He might be able to share some impressions before long. Kawika is replacing an M312.

OK. Got it inserted and powered up this morn. We all know we shouldn't dare listen to anything cold and especially if it is totally unbroken in. I did anyway. Ouch. I was worried. I walked away with it running very low volume for 3 hours. When I got back I inserted a Chesky CD and sat down to listen with the Rowland Criterion pushing signal to it being fed from a pair of Esoteric 03 separates. OMG! Who dropped Acid in my coffee? It' was already outperforming my 312 in all but one area. The mids were a bit dark, but still way more information than the 312 ever put out. The slight tin pan tone of the switching/ice power circuits was completely gone. The bass was more evident, more extended and all across the freq range more dynamic. Jeff must have paid strict attention to getting the phase accuracy PERFECT everywhere in this thing. The imaging is spooky. Compared to my 312 the images have more density, are illuminated further back in the soundstage and have a strong 3D illusion to the point of feeling like you can receive information as to what the people, instruments, motion, lips, breathing, chest size name it Like I said, who dropped acid in my coffee. I am writing this as of tonight now with 12 hours’ time after opening the box. BTW, it runs almost hot. I suspect high bias to the output stage. You think? Duh! This amp perplexes me as to how it puts out 300 watts/8 ohm with so much control in such a tight compact package. So, any of you even thinking that this might be just a little better than your 201,501, 312, 301 etc….Don’t kid yourself. It’s not even close! This amp is already, after only 12 hours break- in, 25-30% better than any of these older switching/ice powered class amps. The 925 mono amps are going to rock this world when they arrive early next year.. I can near guarantee they will make product of the year. You watch!
Kawika, I have heard rumors that the bias of M625 changes as the device warms up, and moves more towards class A.... Keep us posted. G.
Well, that was the word I was trying to avoid in case I was wrong. I have had many amps in my life. The ones I admired most were either tube or Class A designs in Solid State. I awoke this morn and swapped Cd music. Now listening to Yellow Jackets. These above average CDs from Yellow Jackets now sound like 24/96 files! Great bass extension and fast dynamics. It’s fast down low without giving up either detail or any warmth (if it was there in the first place). To be very clear, this is NOT a tubey or warm sounding amp. It is absolutely neutral amp with the balls to take a bass signal and accurately amplify it. If your eyes were closed you’d swear there must be a hundred pound amp in the system. It has that sort of command and control over the speakers. The crappy Cds still sound like junk, but I don't find myself running for the CD drawer open button as quickly. I can listen to it for a couple of songs or more if the material is good. The 312 made be cover my ears like fingernails on a chalk board was in the room with this sort of poor CD. Don't get me wrong about the 312. It was and is a great amp, but I always found myself thinking about the minuses while enjoying the strengths of what I was hearing out of the 312. With the 625 there is just total enjoyable bewilderment! Folks, this thing is a total game changer in this price/size/ power category. Nothing I can think of can even begin to touch it. 300 watts of what sounds like class A bliss. A soundstage that is in the top stratosphere of amps I have ever heard anywhere. The dual mono structure inside gives super rock solid staging. You talk about blacker blacks of silence around performers and instruments...Holly Crow!!! Once you hear this, you'll have a very hard time going back to what you have. It's not cheap, but you get more than you can get from any other amp at double this price. Doubt my opinion? Go listen to it. Always listen before you buy. ALWAYS!
Guido, Do you know if the 925's will be on active display at CES? Just curious as to how hot they will run.
Husk01, no they wont. They weren't ready. There will be two rooms running a 625. Not sure who or what with.
I now have 30 hrs break-in time on her. The darkness in the mids has nearly vanished. If it gets much more open and transparent towards the rear of the stage I will be very surprised. It's already way beyond the 312. This thing reminds me quite a bit of the power and solidity in imaging of my Gryphon Antellion Signature amp, but with the transparency and depth of the 312. But like I said the 625 has greater imaging at the rear and filled in corners than the 312. I'll wait till I have over 100 hrs on her before reporting again. Happy New Year audiophiles! David.
Husk01, I do not know if M925 will run at CES. I have also no information on how hot M925 will feel to the touch: simply extrapolating from the M625 heat dissipation would be in itself a dicy affair.

Which brings me to a question to Kawika: How hot does M625 run after 30 hours of operation.... and how does heat generation/dissipation change with changes in sustained loudness? G.
Kawika,thanks for the updates. Certainly helpful to get user updates and I'll be spending some time at my dealer after the holidays listening to the 625. Which speakers are using with the 625 now? I've got a pair of MBL 116 which are fairly hard speakers to drive but M501 with the PC1 tamed these guys without a problem.
Hi David,

Congratulations on getting the new Rowland amp. It sounds like you are really enjoying what you are hearing. I am guessing that Guido is now salivating to get a Rowland 625 into his system as well.

Arnie, Kawika promised me that, if I behave on Audiogon for the next little while, he will visit me in a few weeks and will bring his M625 along so we can listen to it in my own system.... Want to join us? It will be loads of fun! G.
Guido, I am assuming that you are going to be among the first to own a pair of the 925's and will report back accordingly.
HI Guido,
Sounds good to me - let me know when.
Hi husk01, my M925 is on order. As soon as the amps are ready I'll be placed somewhere in the cue.

Arnie, David and I will definitely keep you posted.

Has Rowland indicated about when you can expect delivery?
Husk, the delivery schedule will be set only after the product is released. I have no hard information about release schedule. If anyone attends CES, they may ask Jeff or Brandon directly at the JRDG suite. Any info from them has a lot more value than any of my own speculations.

Just installed the Rowland 625 in my setup, its got less than 2 hours running therefore I'll only comment on the build. There are 2 pairs of binding which is a plus for me as I'm using 2 pairs of speaker cables to my MBL's. The IEC (power) is 20A so in the meantime I'm using an adaptor to fit my existing Shunyata 13A Ananconda Helix power cord. Might want to consider another Furutech since Guido's got some positive experience with them.

Interestingly the supplied feet are 3 sphere's which are to be screwed on the bottom of the amp. First time for me to see this on Rowland amps having owned the Concentra, 201, 501 and the Synergy preamp.

The amp runs warm to slightly hot at the moment very much like the Rowland amps of old like the Rowland Concentra. Fit and finish is the usual high standard and there are lots of pictures of the amp on the updated Rowland website. No owners manual just a well packaged amp with the usual Rowland signature red cloth. I'm looking forward to getting more hours on the amps.
Dtanclim, I noticed the spheres when I was at the last RMAF.... I asked Jeff Rowland about them. He told me that the spheres are made from Delrin, and he prefers their sonic effect to that of the traditional Sorbothane pads. I do not know if the audible improvement is real or not. I rather suspect that using the spheres as footers is mostly happenstance: they are derived from their use as chassis separators in multi-chassis devices like Criterion and the upcoming M925 monoblocks.
So Jeff now thinks that Class A/B amps are the way to go? Has he completely moved on from his ICE powered amps of the last few years?

How does this amp differ from the 10T 5 years back?

I tried a pair of 201s in my system and they didn't work for me one bit. Next to a Bryston 4BST, easily the worst amp I've had in my system.
Keith, as far as I know there is little or no commonality between 150W 10-year old M10 and 300W M625, except that both operate in class A/B, and use some forms of SMPS.

I have no real information whether Rowland has "abandoned" class D or not. Fact is that at this time tech detail is a little scant.... All I know beyond the product page on the site is that M625 and M925 operate in class A/B with some form of "variable self adjusting bias" (my term not JRDG's) and no "global feedback" (their term).

Technical commonality with M201 is even less, M201 being an entry level device and M625 far from it. As for M925, it will cost approx 10X M201... I sure hope there is some difference beyond chassis and price tag, or I'm going to be one unhappy camper when I finally get my own units (grins!)

As for the sound, I have not heard M625 and M201 in the same system, but purely from fickle memory, they do not seem to sound the same at all at all at all.

How much does M625 cost and how much is the cost of Corus preamp?
Anyone heard the Corus?
I am really curious. It seems 625 is not as heavy (and not rather large in size) as the 301 units and still it's not an ICE amp?
Better ask here, as you guys have the hands-on knowledge:)
Guido, are you here?
The 625 retails for 13,500. I think the Corus is 10,000. A bunch of us heard the Corus at RMAF, but it was being fed by a laptop into a Ayre DAC. I have a Criterion. When I got home with my 625 and let it warm up I was totally astounded to hear such a dif between the 312 I had and the 625. As for how much dif between the Corus and the Criterion....I hear it is only a very very minor dif if you use a top flight power chord on it. I use a pair of Esoteric digital separates. P03/ D03. To me I think this source is far better than a laptop into an Ayre DAC. I'd save money on the Pre and buy a Corus and put the rest into a better digital (or analogue!) front end. The 625 can do things with imaging and low level (very low level) detail that any of his ice powered amps could do. As for weight. It has more balls per pound of output that any amp I've ever heard. Again, it very much reminds me of a class A amp. Would I like more power or current? Yes, but but I do NOT find myself always missing it. In fact unless you're using very inefficient speakers(less than 85db), you'll never be wanting. I once had a Gryphon Antellion Sig stereo amp in my system. That thing was class A and weighed 198 lbs out of the crate. It had so much current you could arc weld with it, but the sonic effect of that much current is dynamics that will allow you to turn up your amp so loud and not damage your speakers, but your pictures will start to fall off your walls and ruin your pantry! I think that is what Jeff's new Mono 925 amps will be able to do. What the Gryphon could not do as well as the Rowland is total transparency and illuminated depth of sound-stage. It also did not have anywhere as good low level detail as this 625 amp. Tubes are about the best in low level retrieval, but along with that you get a whole host of other drawbacks inherent with tubes. All I can tell everyone is you must get out to your dealers, or if you know someone who has one, and listen! Aloha, David.
I just called the factory. To start with, at CES, JRDG appears to have 2 suites, probably in the Venetian:


The current price of M625 is $13,500; current price of Corus is $12,200.

Yes I heard Corus, but not in my system. I have not determined yet audible differences from the Criterion that I own.

There is no ICE nor other Class D technology in M625. Apparently the device is packed full of A/B circuitry. Device weighs 54Lbs or so. Finally some specs have been posted. You will find them in the M625 section of the JRDG knowledge base at:
Thanks Kawika and Guido!

I was able to find one EU dealer that had a price for Corus. It is extremely much higher than in the US. Almost double.
It is more than 5000 usd, more than C-500, in euro.
This is sick!
This was the case, and is still with Krell, Wilson Audio and Wadia also.
There are no way the tariff and tax cause a justifiable mean for that pricing scheme. European brands in US, are not near. Actually it's quite often almost same price.

The Corus+625 would be nice to try out.
Though, i can't understand the 625 didn't come out as a more heavy amp as it is class A/B with ordinary toroid transformers (i guess)?
Even so, it would probably outshine my loudspeakers!
I see the cause of your surprise.... M625 does not use heavy toroidal transformers in power supply. Power supply is high speed switch mode, preceeded by a power factor correction-based rectifier, hence the contained weight.
Guido, what do u recommend in terms of a power cord for Rowland amps. I know you had some success with Furutech power cords. I'm using Shunyata Anaconda Helix via an adaptor as my previous amps were 13A, not too sure if this compromises the sound but I'll probably use it for my DAC or transport later when I get a 20A replacement power cord.
Dtanclim, as you know I do not have direct experience with M625 in my own system.... My amp is still the Rowland M312. Furutech and Shunyata CX series worked for me remarkably well on M312 in a manner that I personally deem to be synergistic with JRDG sound. G.
Temperature update. I was running the 625 way up for about an hour and then felt the amp in several places. It was more than uncomfortable hot. She was Class A type hot! Not sure how this will effect the long term reliability or performance, but it sure holds together very well under heavy dynamic swings!
Love to know if the 925's will also run that hot.
Fair question Husk01... We won't know anything about M925 heat generation/dissipation until the amp is released. G.
I have heard the Corus coupled with the 312 : excellent but I couldn't make a direct comparation with the Criterion or the Capri. It seems that it's the same that the Criterion but without the battery part.

My dealer already sold two !! ... one buyer had a AR Ref 3 and replaced it with the Corus ... the other one I don't know

question about the 625 . is it making noise when switching on or of ?

yes the price in Europe are just disgusting !
Criterion in Swiss francs 27'000 .- yes it's completely crazy
Corus 16'500 .-
1 swiss franc = 1.05 $
by the way I heard dCS Puccini + Clock, Rowland Criterion + 312 on Magnepan 1,7 ... huge resolution, I have never heard the space where the recording sessions has taken place like this before ... I was shocked ...

I hope the 625 is really that good, I don't like the idea of being able to prepare my eggs & bacon on it for breakfast ;-)
Clavil, by coincidence I did try the on/off procedure on M625 for those very same reasons..... I could not hear anything what so ever from the speakers when I switch M625 to operation and then back to standby. Conversely, I always hear a very faint click from the right speaker when I turn on M312. Kawika is more qualified than I am to report on M625 powerup/down noises.... as he has an M625 at home.

Corus is much closer technologically to Criterion than it is to Capri. Did you see the used Criterion from Europe currently offered on Audiogon? Excellent price!

Clavil, no clicking output to speakers when power switch is cycled on/off/on. Don't worry about the resolution of the 625. It will way outperform the 312!
There was a question re the Corus pre-amp. I have owned the Corus for two months following an upgrade from Synergy IIi.
As compared to the Synergy, the Corus is more transparent, quieter, images more precisely and has deeper cleaner bass.
I really enjoyed the Synergy IIi which was I felt was very musical despite being fairly neutral. In retrospect I think the Synergy emphasized the mid-bass a bit as compared to the Corus which simply goes deeper without undue emphasis anywhere across the frequency range.
One caveat is the long run-in time – 1000+ hours – I was concerned when I initially plugged the Corus in and it sounded a bit “off”. Fortunately Guidocorona impression’s of the Criterion break-in was helpful. Also see search the very helpful JDRG Knowledgebase for “break-in”.
If there is one word the sums up the sound of the Corus to me it is “holographic” – in terms of providing precise 3D images that surprises by revealing the normally hidden music nuances.
BTW, the design of Corus is virtually the same as the Criterion except for the absence of battery power supply (compare internal pictures of the Corus and Criterion). I bought the Corus (without opportunity to audition) because of it’s overall mix of features (dual pre-amp paths),close to state-of-art JDRG preamp design and positive reviews of Criterion (assuming that the Corus is a very similar design). Fortunately the Corus has lived up to expectations.
For what I have read, I'll keep my Model 312, because I don't want to use the 625 to make coffee in the morning, listen to the news in my tuner and drinking coffee before go to work. As usual.
And the sound will not beat the sound of my Model 312/500 watts with dCS Paganini and Criterion. I use Nordost Odin power cord, IC Siltech Empress Crown and for speakers the Stealth Dream V10T.
As Clavil said the 3D is outstunning.

I can buy anything I want, but I'll keep the Model 312.
In my opinion we have the luck to leave in the same time that Jeff Rowland projected the 312.
This device will be legendary in few years.
As Jeff Rowland said, the Model 312 is the joy of my life.
It's true, man.

But I have just one consideration, I mean the Criterion, because Fernando Andreti review the DartZeel preamplifier and wrote wonderfull things about this device, and even said the DartZell beat his top of the line Accuphase and he bought one DartZell.
Let's see
That is exciting Isvaldo, DartZeal makes extremely fine sounding devices. if you ever have the opportunity of comparing Criterion and the DartZeal pre side-by-side, please let us all know your impressions. G.
it would also be fascinating to have an oportunity to compare the Criterion to FM Acoustic and Viola !
I decided to place a order for the DartZeel preamplifier, but as the dealer doesn't have it in stock right now, I'm going to receive it in two months.

I hope this preamplifier works fine with the future legendary Model 312.

At last I'll need to change my loudspeakers, perhaps for the Revel Salon2 that the reviews saying it's a wonderfull speaker.

Few words to help people who has the Puccini and the U'Clock. When I bought only the Paganini DAC the amount of sound information I've got was HUGE, with much more, but much more 3D sound and deeper backstage with stronger bass.
So I decide to buy the Paganini Transport.
By this time I've got a more neutral and sweet sound.
I'll keep my Puccini U'Clok.

Brazcole, I hate to say this, but I think you'll find the 625 superior to the 312. The Avalon suite had the 302 monoblocks driving their latest speakers before the 625 was introduced. The improvement was stunning and obvious to all, as hard as that is to believe. The DartZeel and the Dcs are wonderful pieces that will show off the 625 to great advantage. Kawika and Rowland tell me that the production 625 is even better than what we heard at the show and I believe them. Simply stunning. Jeff has moved the paradyme once again.
Dcstep I don't understand, you mean you have heard Avalon latest speakers (Avalon Time?) driven by the 302 and the 625 and that youcould compare ?

Claude, there was a typo in DCStep's post. Rowland suite initially featured M301 monos, not M302 stereo amp. His findings match my own. G.