Rowland JRDG 501 and Wilson Audio

I plan to buy WP/8 or Sophia 2. Is this a good match?
What will be an alternative speaker choice?
I will keep the Rowlands for amplification.
Hi Soundoc. The 501s are high current amps capable of driving even difficult loads. I can't see any problems them driving Wilson speakers. To maximize the musicality and low level detail of your 501 monos, you may want to add a pair of Jeff Rowland PC1 external power factor correction units. These transform the AC into a 385V steady DC stream and keep all the 501 charge caps at an optimum charge level without ripples. the PC1 is said to bring the 501 quite close to the musicality of the big JRDG 312 amp.
I personally like the WP8s better than the Sophias. A brand of speakers that is known to work marvellously with Rowland electronics is Vienna Acoustics. I have fallen in love with the Vienna Mahlers in 06 at RMAF and now am proud owner of a pair. I have heard them both with 501s and the 312. But if you are considering the pricepoint of the WP8, the new Vienna Die Muzik may be of interest as well. They should become available in September or October for about $25K.
Both Wilson and Vienna make wonderful speakers. . . it all depends on your particular preference. . . more detailed the Wilsons, while the Viennas are thought to be profoundly musically involving. I like them both for different reasons. . . . and I am delighted about the long term enjoyment of my Mahlers.
I had 201s on Sophias and didn't like the combo at all. YMMV.
Hi Keith, what was the problem you experienced with 201s? In fairness, the 201s sound quite a bit different from the 501s, particularly for headroom, authority, detail, ability to handle transients bass definition. 201s tend to get 'glassy' very quickly at the first sign of excitement. . . not so the 501s.
I use Wilson-Sophia with Pass Labs X1 & X250.5 and it simply sounds amazing! Jeff Rowland's Class D Amps were NOT a good match for me. I have found PASS LABS (current models) and Krell Evolution to be among the best electronics that I have yet to hear with Wilson Sophia & Watt/Puppy Speakers.
Tusa, what JRDG class D amps did you try with your Sophia speakers, and what specific issues did you experience with them?
Most ICe amps will sound painful in combination with the Focal titanium tweeter Wilson uses. Perhaps the 201/501 would be less bad with Rowland's new outboard power supplies, but I would still think you want an analog amp with Wilsons (PS - What made you decide to buy Wilsons?).
For what it's worth, the only times I heard the
Watt Puppies sound really nice and smooth was with Levinson 33Hs and
Transparent cable at the old Soundex in Pennslyvania.
I think the preamp was Levinson also.
Otherwise they sound scratchy to me.
Are there Spectron Musician owners that are using Wilson speakers?
RGS92, what model of WaTT Puppies did you listen to? G.
I found the 201s had no soundstage or depth on the Sophias. Quite stale/sterile sounding and suffering in dynamics.

I had Nuforces Ref 9s on my Sophias that sounded phenomenal. As I said earlier, ymmv.
Yeap, that's the problem of the 201s. . . they definitely lack 'lung' capacity for relatively large speakers like the Sophias or my Mahlers. I am not surprised that the NuForces did well on your Sophias. . . I have used the Nuforce Ref 9V2SE on my own Vienna Mahlers, which are probably more difficult to drive than Sophias, and Nuforce monos control them with aplomb. On a different system I have also heard the JRDG 501s being plenty confy on the Mahler's. . . conversely the 201s can't drive the big Vienna Mahlers to any satisfactory degree.
Those were WP6's way back in 1999. By the way,
I owned them with a Pass X350 and they sounded tizzy.
what do you mean with "painful". are the focal titanium tweteer with the Rowlands to sharp in the high frequencies? is this also the case with ceramic or diamond tweeters?
I have a large listening room and I need a fullrange system. So I decided to go with Wilson Audio.
Why spend customers thousands of dollars to treat their listening room, when in the least case only a Wilson plays music?
Hi RGS, I remember not being fond of WP6s because of their tizziness. . . but have heard the newest WP8s driven by both Bat and CJ electronics and found them to sound very graceful instead. Have not heard them yet driven by any switching amplification, so I can't venture to guess how they would sound with JRDG 501s, even if PC1 PFC units were added. G.

The Focal titanium tweeter Wilson uses has a resonance that is audible in the presence region, between 4,000 to 8,000 Hz. There has been a lot written about the problem here and at the Asylum. In any event, go listen for yourself.
Just another 2-cents here--The last I heard the Watt Puppies was at the NY HE show in '07, and although much smoother than my WP6 setup, I still could not relax when vocals (female ones) were playing. There is some low-level annoyance factor with them. (I always have to say though that I think Wilson has the best bass, one that never calls attention to itself but you know is there in all its glory.)

I thought the big JM Labs Grand Utopia BEs did a better job. About 5 years ago at the NY show, I really liked the Eggleston Andras for a big-speaker sound. The Andras are too big with too much bass for my room, but if I had a big room, they would be on my short list.

Many say the Sophias are more relaxing than the WPs, but I have not heard them.