Used Rowland 302 or H2O Signatures CD Direct

I am looking for an amp to run a pair of Magnepan 20.1 speakers. I have heard great things about the H2O Signature Amps. My main concern is I have no preamp and don't plan on using one. I am using an Audio Aero CD Player directly. So the question is does the H2O amp require an active preamp? If so then would I be better served grabbing a used Rowland 302? Also I have read that the H2O requires a shielded Power cord. Does the unit come with one or would I have to buy one?

Thanks for your help...
All class D amps, including Rowland amps, would benefit from shielded cables. I bought Shunyata Snakebites, for the amps. For my other components, I made up some cords using 12 GA Belden cord in bulk. I think, with plugs, that all came to about $30 per cord. I first ran my H2O's with ordinary cords. It was the best sound I had ever heard. Adding shielded cables just made it better.

Why some people think a preamp degrades sound? If I had been running my previous amps, Pass X600 monos, direct, I still would not go back. I am using a used Adcom 750, soon to be upgraded.

The H2O can be run direct. I heard a prototype pared with a Wadia, and the sound was great. Still, I wonder what it would have sounded like with a strong preamp in the mix.

Oh yes, H2Os are being supplied with shielded cords.
To me it is not a matter of whether the preamp affects the sound. I have one component, a CD player which has an analog output with remote. I just don't see any value to adding a control unit when I already have one. Now if I had multiple sources then a preamp would make sense.
To me,preamp is more important than amp. You just need to find the right one. (usually costly)
Rowland's 302 is not a Class D amp -- it features serious analog power supplies and weigh 95 lbs. (the 301's weigh 110 lbs. each).

Can't answer your question, but as a general proposition, I have a real tough time believing that the H20's can compare in build quality and finesse to the Rowland 300 series. A more appropriate comparison would likely be to Rowland's 201/501 amps.
I can't answer your question about the amps but I am running an Audio Areo directly into my amps and it sound wonderful. I was using in my system a Supratek preamp which is an excellent tube preamp and both my wife & I could not tell the difference with or w/o the preamp. So out went the pre. Most peple have no idea how good the Audio Areo is plugged into the amp. So you are on the right track about no using a pre. Good luck on your amp search.
Semantics. If we just call the ICE module "analog." people will
think it's just another transistor amp.

Frankly, the H2O stands apart from both the 201/501, and 300 series amps.

It's hard to find info about the ICE modules used. Looking at the 201, I would
guess it uses the ICE 500ASP, a module with a built in digital supply. From
what I could gather at a Rowland website, the 300 series have Rowland's in
house digital supply unit.

The H2O has an analog 1k toroidal, and 60,000 + Uv capacitance power
supply. This amounts to tremendous reserves for any sustained dynamic
impulse, under any load. The analogue power supply gives the sound depth,
body, and weight, while preserving the liquidity, separation, and detail
provided by the ICE 500A.
I'd go with the Rowland. There's a lot greater chance they'll stay in business, and protect your resale value.
There is a Rowland 302 currently posted on agon with 4 of the output boards in it and it can be configured for 4 channels: this would be the perfect mix if you wanted to biamp your Mag 20.1 instead of using the passive crossover.

No association with the dealer selling.
Kana, with that attitude, we'd still be listening to Magnavox consoles.
Muralman1- Hopefully Henry will still be in business a year from now and your amps will still be functioning.

I nevered owned an Magnavox console, but I sure my mom leaves me her RCA stereo console. ;-)

PS- Supra LoRad is a better sounding shield power cable than the DIY Belden. DS has one.
There is no reason Henry won't be in business for many years to come. He is doing what he loves to do.

I know DS has a LoRad. I think the Belden will sound better. :)
According to Rowland,the switch mode ps converts to pure DC.Would this eliminate the need for something like a PS Audio Ultimate outlet or any line conditioning/regenerating devices,in an apartment house setting?Thanks.
The GCC-series of class-D amps by PS Audio have 5 inputs, and other intuitive convenience features that most other amps lack. I don't know how they compare to the H2O's or the Rowlands, but they sound very good in their own right. You may want to check them out.
When I used the Rowlands the PS ultimate outlet did not make any difference.
Muslover --

I might be fairly well qualified to answer your question as I too, own an Audio Aero Capitole 24/192, and I auditioned the H2o stereo amp.

Bottom line -- I was not overly impressed. While the bass was some of (if not THE) best I have ever had in my system, the sound was just "lifeless". It was eminently clean and detailed, but again, lacked dynamic contrasts and full harmonic structure.

As I have read and heard nothing but positives about the H2o's, I and also Henry @ H2o, came to the conclusion that their was some type of impedence mismatch, or some other "lack of component synergy" between th Capitole and the H2o.

My advice -- I wouldn't even audition the amp/s unless you could borrow a decent preamp.

Good luck!
So there you have it. Frankly, it doesn't surprise me. System synergy is important. I have stated it before, when one enters the realm of the H2O, one has bought into a system change, as well. Those who are particularly fond of going direct to the amp, they should look elsewhere for their amp.
"Those who are particularly fond of going direct to the amp, they should look elsewhere for their amp."

Muralman1- excellent point. That's why I went with TacT preamp or DAC is required, and now their new models eliminate the need for a separate room correction unit.

Oh but now that I have the excellent "over achiever" of a preamp (the TAD Signature 150), don't you know I'm gonna be callin' Henry for another audition...;>)
FYI -- In the upcoming April/May "issue" of 6moons, they have the H2O M250 Signature Mono's slated for review.

It's out! Check out the review @ 6moons...
Denf, If and when you do reaudition the H2O with your TAD Signature 150 please post your comments. I'd personally appreciate your observations and I'm sure others would, as well.