Jeff Rowland Model 2

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Brandon Hartwick

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Howdy guys

So I was browsing Canuck Audio Mart last night and I noticed one of the amplifiers I have always wanted has come up for sale. There's a Jeff Rowland Model 2 in all black recently listed for $2900 CAD. I'm seeing if I can beat him up on price a little bit more so I'm waiting for a reply.

I already have a JR Model 1 that directly powers the transformers in my Aerius I's and it works flawlessly and is very easy to listen to. From what I read the model 2 leans more towards air and detail instead of warmth and smoothness.

It might not be the best amp for the money but I have a soft spot for the Jeff Rowland amos since they're just so damn beautiful

Has anyone had any experience with these? Figured I'd check in.
 

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Great looking, indeed! Is that great big coffee can on the right additionally shielded toroidal(s)?
 
Nice one matey! The JR Model 2 is very well designed to handle difficult loads. Solid power supplies, and can cope with the impedence swing of Stats, no issues. Not only design and build quality but also a high level of musicality. I really like JR's earlier gear, and his Class A/ AB designed amps. They do a real nice job of everything a power amplifier is meant to do.

Wonder why the amp is being sold... possible upgrade to JR latest gear or a different higher level amp. To surpass this particular design, you're looking at 10grand minimum as a start. The sale price seems about right, just make sure it's in perfect working condition.

All the best, and let us know how it goes.
Cheers, RJ
 
I've reached out again after my first offer and requested some additional pictures (the ad only has a couple) and haven't heard back. It's a long weekend in Canada so I'll wait until next week before reaching out again.

I'd also settle for a second Model 1 just to have it, it always sounds great and just works. I'm starting to run out of patience with my vintage amps and tube gear breaking all the time. My Marantz 2230 has been fixed twice now and this is really getting old.

I'd love to replace this giant stack on my computer desk. The SAEs don't sound great and the tube amp will vaporize my cats, it also has a lot of hum.
 

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So I've been in contact with the seller and he's going to get me some more photos as well as the service history since he claims that it has been serviced but doesn't specify where or how much work was done.

I also reached out to Jeff Rowland Design Group to see if the epoxy potted modules are available. To my surprise I heard back straight away from the man himself with the correspondence below. I thought he'd retired years ago and was no longer involved with the company.

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Nice one! Certainly sounds like the legend himself is still going. After all, JR knows his stuff, and there are only a handful of such minds & talent left. The new guys... well can't comment unless they've been with the company for few decades to learn this stuff. In which case, doesn't really make them new guys... more or less old crew.
As long as the core design is not altered, it will remain a true original design. Similar to conrad johnson amplifiers, Jeff Fischel is the new head now but he's been with CJ for decades. Once you've got one of these chaps heading the outfit, you know you're in good hands.

JR Model amplifiers are definitely damn beautiful and very top quality, without a doubt!
Hope all goes well. That deserves a mighty WOOF! RJ
 
G'day B-H, hope all is well at your end of the woods.
Just wondering how did that JR amp go? Did you finally get it and now powering away...?
Cheers, RJ
I haven't heard back since my last email. I've already emailed this guy twice and I'm not getting much back. I'll give it a week or 2 and see if it goes anywhere. I'm not really in desperate need of an amplifier like this, I just have a soft spot for these beautiful JR pieces.

Currently I'm actually inquiring about a paid of active Klipsch speakers, either The Fives or The Six's for my computer desk. I can eliminate the entire stack of amps on my desk and get better sound quality to boot.
 
It's like that Dartzeel MK2 that I've had my eye on for a while. Then I brought home the Mk1 version and it handled the CLX's quite well. After about a year, the MK2 came to Aus, and that very same Mk1 was on sale at a special price. The distributors for Dartzeel in Aus called me straight away and asked if I was keen. Between that time, I had already tried out the mighty Pass Labs XA160.8 monoblocks and those took the performance into overdrive! It was a far cry from the Dartzeel, musically both very prominent but the pure Class A power of 160w on full range stats is on a different dimension! So after that trial, my next purchase on SS amplification is Pass Labs, currently sitting on top of the podium.

They say, when the iron strikes hot go for it... that Dartzeel Mk1 version was 60grand! The special offer on sale was much less but funnily still over-priced compared to the PB- XA160.8's, which were just under 40grand. So my decision is made. Simple enough.

I must say though, that front gold plate on the Dartzeel is mighty damn beautiful! I think, apart from the extraordinary high quality parts, that gold plate alone adds up over 50% of the cost. Could have been listening to it right now, as I'm typing this... could've been. Oh well, never mind. I'll pass.

Just enjoy what you have, after all it's those fine tunes.
Woof! RJ
 
Hey Dog. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the XA160.8s.

The gold isn't for everyone. Someone on another thread said they would purchase them due to the gold face.
I offered to make the face black for them. They would just need to send them to me for 3-4 years and I would return them once they were finished.

He had no interest. Imagine that.

Keep us updated on the change.
 
Hey Dog. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the XA160.8s.

The gold isn't for everyone. Someone on another thread said they would purchase them due to the gold face.
I offered to make the face black for them. They would just need to send them to me for 3-4 years and I would return them once they were finished.

He had no interest. Imagine that.

Keep us updated on the change.
Haaa! Funny that 😄
Yes, the Dartzeel pricing is over the top but that's the case with anything from the Swiss; Solution, CH Precision, Goldmun, even those new ribbons by Clarisys, damn expensive solely because it's backed by a Swiss parent company, even though made in Vietnam.

I've had the XA160.8's on home trial for nearly a month. In fact, I had the full XA series (XA30.8, 60.8, 100.8 & 160.8). The only ones I didn't try were the 200.8 top of the line. Those are massive! Reminds me of my old much liked Threshold Stasis SA/12e monos, huge affairs. Whenever I powred them up they would trip off the CB. So only one monoblock could be powered up at a time between a minute & 1/2 intervals before powering up the second one.

I can tell you more about the XA160.8's but I really don't want to hijack this thread. It's all about BH's Jeff Rowland amp... or least his desire to own a second one. Hence, the relation to owning that Dartzeel amp just for its sheer beauty.

On a closing note I will say this, even though the XA160.8's were mighty impressive in every sense of the term Class A monoblocks, the XA60.8's were just as fine. If at all, a tad more musical based on just 60w of Class A finesse. This 60w of Class A is MORE than adequate to drive the CLX's at full range, no issues whatsoever. In fact, at this very moment I'm using the conrad johnson monoblocks which are 60w Class A as well. These can output 150w in Class AB if required but I never listen loud, and being all tube design, they really perform optimally well with the CLX's. I'm never selling these CJ tube amps because they were fully custom made to drive stats. The Pass Labs gear is a second set of SS amps to have just as a different flavour and mostly during summers. So when the time comes to make that decision, it most likely will be the XA60.8's. Once that's done, it'll be my final.
Cheers matey, and enjoy those finest tunes!
RJ
 
Attn: BH

Even though that chap didn't reply to your last message/ email, perhaps he now wants to keep that particular JR Amp afterall. Unless he gets his pricing right, most who sell at this level may just hold onto their gear.
May be I'm wrong don't know.

Anyway, just to mention an interesting sale here; two JR amplifiers were sold as a trade-in deal for VTL MB400 monoblocks. These set of JR's were the top of the line monoblocks, meant to drive his Ren15a's. So looks like this chap decided to switch from tooobs to SS, good on him!

I'll most probably visit him on next Wednesday to have a listen. Should be a good one indeed. Those Ren15a's can handle high power, which they ought to bring high performance speakers.

Hope it goes well in your quest for that wonderful JR amp.
Cheers, RJ
 
@Big Dog RJ it should be very interesting depending on what topology those JR amps use, they've done a few different classes of operation over the years. I've always liked the big transformer class AB stuff, I'm not exactly sure what's inside some of those giant boxes that run class D.
 
Just returned from the audition, it was really really tops!
Yes, these are the newest ones, JR top of the line monoblocks. The design specs states that they mostly operate in Class A but is also capable of switching into Class AB when required. I presume that's to do with more power on demand or during loud passages and difficult loads but the playback levels I experienced today were simply effortless! An outstanding combination with ML stats, without a doubt. The Ren15a's just shifted several gears... it was like a formula one race car whizzing by and GONE!

At present he's using the VTL tube preamp and it partners quite well, although he's home trialled the matching JR preamp, and says things are more quieter. So it seems that pin drop silence is obviously better for playback systems with stats because you can hear every tiny detail.

I can certainly relate to that, quietness is very important and I simply cannot tolerate noise floor, tube hiss or trannies humming. Then again, I'm using a full array of CJ tube amplifiers, from top to bottom and it's very very quiet. It does make a difference when these unwanted noises are kept silent.

Cheers matey, enjoy those finest tunes!
Woof! RJ
 
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