Jeff Rowland Design Group MODEL 12T Amplifiers

MODEL 12T

200W/ch into 8 ohms or 350W/ch into 4 ohms, 85-264Vac power supply with power factor correction, monoblocks, 4-chassis system (2-chassis for mono amps, 2-chassis for power supplies)

User Reviews (1)

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Jim   Audiophile [Mar 27, 2000]
Strength:

I have had these amps in my system for over 6 weeks now, and I have to say that these are extremely resolving and musical amps from Solid State that I have ever heard. I have recently owned a pair of the Linn Klimax for 8 months. My system consists of Wadia 270/27ix via Aura Symphonic Optimism for clock link using Transparent Ref Balanced for Digital and Transparent Ref XL for Interconnect, and Tara One Speaker cable with Wilsn Benesch Act 1 Speakers. This should lay some foundation for my review if any of you are familiar with these products used in the comparison.

First, compared to the Linn Klimax, the Jeff Rowland has much deeper bass. There are much more layering of music, and if you are big band or classical listener, you will most likely prefer the Model 12 over the Klimax. The mid range was equally resolved on both amps but the Rowlands had more sweetness to the mids with less aggressive characteristic. Both amps will allow you to feel that throat of that jazz singer in front of you to a point you feel choked up by it (awesome display of sonic truth). The bass on both amps are nothing short of Phenomenal, but the Rowlands will go deeper and rattle your insides almost to the point of shivering your collar. The Klimax will have a shorter bass depth but none the less very impactful and deep (stops short of the shivers). The highs on the Rowlands are way out there but with a sense of sweetness you do not get from the Linn Klimax's. Non the less the Klimax has an extremely good high end response with absolute resolution with incredible speed. The Rowlands are not as "fast" but faster then any other solid state I have ever heard (including the 8Ti's, Krell 600mc, ML 32, ML 32H...). The speed difference in both amps are liek comparing a hummingbird's wing flaps to that of a bee. Both are extremely fast one just a touch faster. The Rowlands are extremely well balanced tnally, so true, that you may be surprised on some CD's how flat or lively the recordings are. On the other hand with the Klimax, most all recordings sound a touch more sparklier, but I don't know if that is good. The Rowlands are significantly better in layering of music and recreating depth of music versus the Linn. The Liinns are more in your face with 2-D staging. But this works better with Rock, POP, and JAZZ in some cases. However, in Classical and lot of JAZZ, the Model 12 gives you significantly better depth and 3-D staging. The buld quality of both amps are extrordinary, but I have to give the extra edge to Jeff Rowland, which is extremely well built with highest precision machined Billet Aluminum using custome made Cardas Power Jumpers with teh new Cardas Binding posts using Machine Aluminum Spindle. The other advantage to the Jeff Rowland is the it has Balanced in and out to be daisy chained for Bi-amping applications in the event you have a power hungry speakers that might demand two pairs of these amps, where are the Linn Klimax only has single ended in/out. Also the Rowlands use Solid Copper Bus bars for high level signal transfer instead of the circuit board foil which significantly increases the richness with full bodied sound that the Linn's were missing (this was a very apparent piece of the A/B listening experience). I have also learned by trying many types of cables in my system, that the Transparent Ref XL Balanced Interconnects worked and sounded the best period end of story. (Compared to NBS Monitor 1, NBS Staements, NBS Signature II, Kimber Sleect 1130, Tara One using ISM, XLO Ref, Synergistic Designer Series Ref Squared with active shielding, just to name a few). The Transparents will give you the absolute sound reproduction and remove any trace of graininess from your front end and give you the most authoritative bass response and absolute black back ground with extreme extension on the highs, but most of all the timeing and pace is the most accurate of all cables I have heard. This matched the Wadi

Weakness:

Long break in, left on 24 hours a day and played about 3 hours a day and it took abot 4 weeks before it really opened up. Also the amps are fairly warm where as the Linn Klimax's are very cool.

For retail of $14,500 this amp is a steal when comparing to the Linn Klimax at $19,000. The things that the Rowland amps do better far out weighs what Linns do better for the price difference. If cost was no object I may have a tough decision, but with the cost difference, it is a "NO BRAINER". The Rowland Amps are extreme in every sense of the word, and I have to say that it is an engineering accomplishment using the Switch mode power supply technologyto its fullest potential. There are also technical advantages to Rowlands deployment of Switch Mode power supply technology versus what Linn does (i.e. use of Power Correction Factor Technology to further pre condition the line voltage before it hits the power supplies, and also the use of 20 amp IEC connectors which provide much better AC Connection. I would urge anyone who is in the market for a referance amps to try the Rowland's as well as the Linn's. Depending on your tase, you will find what you are looking for in either of these amps. It is however very important to use the right front ends and cabling to really appreciate these amps.

Similar Products Used: Linn Klimax Amplifier
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
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