The Rowland signature sound in present in almost all of their amp designs, I would describe it as velveted, nice soundstaging and very coherent in all the sonic soectrum (freq. response).
I have had more than five Rowland amp (including the Rowland 2 which is the foundation for the COncerto design) and you just cant go wrong with these one.
Are there somo other good options available for that price, maybe yes... but you will end up with a very nice - single box design, high POW and a very reliable amp.
I would highly recommend it, just look out for a good option in the used market.
the stuff you've got is superior to the stuff you want. if this is a 'space' thing, keep looking
I have had my concerto for 6 months or so. I love it. It has everything you could want out of an amp. High power, small footprint, almost no heat, looks great, great customer service and i could go on, and on. If you factor in no preamp and 1 less ic and pc, i think it is a bargain for $4300 used. I don't even think about amp changes anymore.I don't know why there isn't more talk about the concerto on the 'gon, maybe the owners are too busy listening to music. I know i spend a lot less time here.
First, many, many thanks to all for the response so far. Please keep the information coming.
Streetdaddy - many thanks for information. I agree completely - I too was surprised that I didn't find more information on the Concerto on audiogon or for that matter any reviews on it in any of the major audio publications. It looks like an excellent component and I would have thought it would be extremely popular. By any chance are you using the inbuilt phono stage on the Concerto? Is it setup to handle moving coil carts? What is the sound quality like? Vinyl is a big part of my musical joy so I need to seek out a component that would do this justice.
Streetdaddy would you please expound upon your customer service experience with The Jeff Rowland Group?
Sorry i can't help you with the phono, i have the linestage only.
I had a model 10 that i bought here on the gon a couple years ago. It went on the blink and i called and spoke with Jeff directly. We were talking about the problem and he said to send it in. He knew that i bought it used and he fixed it for free and didn't charge me for shipping. I thought that was pretty nice.
Well, Rowland has transferrable warranty...
I was going to pose a similar question on the Concerto integrated then I saw this thread: has anyone compared it to a 201/Concerto or Synergy Preamp combo? I am considering it but of course would rather spend less, but space is a key conern. Any thoughts or experience on how it compares to either of the two separates options (201/Concerto or 201/SynergyIIi)? Is it close? Dissapointing? Thanks.
Streetdaddy, THAT is the definition of customer service! Thank you so much for sharing it! Not only did he win a customer for life in you, but I believe your post will project on to others as well. While on the fence over the years, I believe you have inspired me to purchase a JRDG component at some point.
It never ceases to amaze me how few companies respond this way (Jeff Rowland, VAC), how little it costs for the company to provide this, and how richly they are rewarded in reaping good will and this type of publicity.
I have the previous model (Concentra 2) and it is awesome.
Have had this unit over two years and have it paired with Pro-Ac 2.5's and the FMJCD-23 player.
I spend much less time listening for the "audiophile thing" and really enjoy the music. The sound is absolutely perfect and I could not be happier.
I have completely stopped looking for any and all upgrades and just dig the music.
Jeff tells me the Concerto integrated is identical to my 201 and Concerto Pre combo. I bought mine before the integrated was available but now I wish I had waited.
I also have the phono card which is the same as the one from the Concentra but it sounds much better in the new preamp. For reasons you'll need to learn from the factory, these cards are not completely interchangeable. It has something to do with a DAC option as I recall.
I'm very happy to read about people moving past the audiophile thing and just enjoying the music rather than listening beyond it to analyze micro differentials.
I believe the reason why you don't see more of Rowland in the audio press is because he got fed up with their petulant preening and the political manipulation of the reviewers and their puppetmasters.
Since no one else seems willing, I'll say it now. Jeff Rowland makes the hands down finest audio equipment available today. You can see that and that is why you are interested. Go ahead and buy it if you want to. You don't need Stereophile's permission.
Rich Maez told me that the 201 + Concerto pre will outperform the Concerto integrated. Better low-frequency authority and punch, better channel separation, and better dynamics due to a larger preamp power supply. I wonder who's right.
Is Rich still with JRDG? I recently saw his name in connection with Boulder.