sure, the levinson sounds better if you're into thin, dry, lifeless sound. if you prefer "tube-like" liquidity, balls-to-the-wall power, albeit with a bit of "darkness," and superior bass control, go for the JRDG. recognize, in either case, that you'll be a couple of generations behind....but that ain't all bad. BTW, so you know my prejudices, i've owned several JRDG amps that i've mated with several pairs of different avalon speaks (current setup is model 8ti and eidolons). levinson gear, especially the older stuff, sucks big time with avalon. it's ok with pre 5.1 watt/puppies, but that's another story.
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The best advice ANYONE can give you is to go listen for yourself. 99 people out of 100 might tell you that A is better, but guess what? You might be #100, who prefers B! Personally, I prefer the Jeff Rowland, but that should mean nothing to you. I am constantly amazed that people are willing to spend 1, 5, or 10 thousand hard earned dollars on an amp they've yet to hear. Or enter it into a competition with a product that sounds quite different. How is that possible? Is it just a status thing, to own a Rowland or a Levinson? I could never fathom dropping that much cash on an amp without a detailed, exhaustive audition. Even if the closest dealer was a day's drive away, I'd do it. It would only be $15 in gas. But if the amp was a product I hated, I'd be out the money, and now would be faced with the problem of unloading it. And I'd still be longing for an amp to make me smile. Go out and listen. Then see which one is better(for you)!
These guys answering you are in agreement with my experience. If I were to buy transistors (I am a tube guy) Roland and Gryphon (Sweden, now no longer imported) are two of the only amps at the state of the art end of the price scale that I would consider. If you are pressed for money, the McCormack is absolutely amazing for very little cash.
I would definitely rather have the Roland 7 monoblocks. I have the Roland model 5 Amp. Which is the Stereo version of the Roland 7 Mono blocks. The Roland 5 sounds very smooth and sweet. The Levinson 20.5 Amps are pure Class A. Your electric bill will be so high using Class A Amps. I prefer Class A/AB amps like the Roland. [email protected]