AudioAsylum Trader
Amp/Preamp Asylum: REVIEW: Jeff Rowland Model 201 Amplifier (SS) by fiji

Looking for a new Amp or Preamp? If you're after tubes, post over here.

For Sale Ads

FAQ / News / Events


REVIEW: Jeff Rowland Model 201 Amplifier (SS)

[ Follow Ups ] Thread:  [ Display   All   Email ] [ Amp/Preamp Asylum ]
[ Alert Moderator ]

Model: Model 201
Category: Amplifier (SS)
Suggested Retail Price: $4700
Description: 250 wpc monoblock amplifiers
Manufacturer URL: Jeff Rowland
Model Picture: View

Review by fiji ( A ) on November 07, 2004 at 17:07:21
IP Address:
Add Your Review
for the Model 201

Prior to owning a pair of Jeff Rowland 201 mono blocks, my system was powered by a Rotel RB1090 amp (380 w/ch). The sound was quite pleasing – well-controlled full body bass, tonally well balanced with good frequency extension. I had no immediate desire to upgrade the amp until I was offered to home auditioned the 201s.

What impressed me at first was the improved transparency and refinement to the sound. I heard more texture and image specificity without glare or forced projection to give the impression of greater clarity. The 201s sound quick, but there’s a natural non-fatiguing ease to its presentation. For such petite and gorgeous looking amps I was absolutely amazed with the weight and extension of the bass. Some may prefer a little more bloom and warmth to the 201s taut and vibrant reproduction of the lower frequencies. But I found this very natural and rhythmically compelling. Even at low listening levels the sound field remained detailed and balanced and without losing dynamics. The 201s had no trouble powering my current hungry B&Ws to very loud levels (25’ x 18’ x 10’ room). In fact those who own B&W 804s and feel they are bass shy should consider a better quality amp like the 201s. These amps sound neutral and don’t colour or emphasis any part of the sound spectrum. Because of their efficient power capabilities and musicality, I would imagine the 201s suiting a wide range of systems.

I later auditioned at home Jeff Rowland’s more powerful version the 501 mono blocks. These slightly larger but similar looking amps were ordered for my father-in-law who was so impressed with my 201s that he opted to buy the more powerful version (600watt p/ch) for his larger living room. The 501s amps sound very similar to the 201s. The only difference I could perceive, after several weeks of auditioning them, was that the 501s seemed a little more at ease with its sound presentation. The 201s never sounded strained or dynamically restricted, but the 501s seemed slightly better with handling large dynamic contrasts. Again this was only noticeable after careful A/B/A comparisons between both amps and I suspect further highlighted by the fact that my B&W speakers prefer a lot of current to sound their best. Although the 501s sounded good fresh out of the box, they didn’t sound quite as sweet or coherent as my well run in 201s. I suspect the 501s would improve with use as did my 201s. The 501s would be an obvious choice for those who have demanding (load) speakers, a large listening area and or like listening at high volumes.

Product Weakness: None
Product Strengths: Natural sounding and musically involving; Solid and very attractive construction; Effecient operation.

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Jeff Rowland 201 mono blocks
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Onkyo Integra 388P (Wadia direct connection used mostly)
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Wadia 301
Speakers: B&W Nautilus 804
Cables/Interconnects: Wireworld Gold Eclipse III+; Kimber BiFocal XL speaker cables; PS Audio Statement & LabII power cables
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Jazz, R&B, Rock
Room Size (LxWxH): 27 feet x 16 feet x 10 feet
Room Comments/Treatments: Wooden floors and walls
Time Period/Length of Audition: 6 mths
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): PS Audio High Current Ultimate Outlet
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
  VH Audio  

Topic - REVIEW: Jeff Rowland Model 201 Amplifier (SS) - fiji 17:07:21 11/7/04 ( 0)