The new Jeff Rowland 535 amp

Mar 13, 2013
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#1
I have had the opportunity to listen to a new 535 amp really break-in. It sounds very good out of the box, but a month of playing makes this amp sing! It is nice to have the same width as the other Rowland products, but it is the sound that really impresses. The snap and delicacy of cymbals and bells is distinct and sound “true”, especially as I have a brass cymbal, bells and wood “clackers” around the house to compare with. Decay, on recordings that have it, seem to last almost forever. Bass is clean and powerful; tuneful and textured, and real kick-drum impact. And voices, well there is a “there-ness” that can startle and jaw-drop. This small package delivers for an under (barely) $6K amp.
There are some interesting new developments in this amp: the use of Cardas wire wound input transformers and a capacitor bank that i haven’t seen used in a “D” amp. Something special.
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2010
6,135
143
63
La Jolla, Calif USA
#2
Interesting Mrdean, could you tell us what the ancillary gear was that you heard the 535 amp on.
Personally, I am no real fan of the Class D amps, way too sterile for my liking, but I do respect Jeff’s reasoning for going down that path.
I would guess that at some point a Class D amp may be made to overcome the problems that most of us hear with them, perhaps Jeff has now made that happen....I need to listen to this new amp myself.
 
Mar 13, 2013
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#3
It is difficult to get past the Moniker of “Class D” and the preconceived notions, as there is an assumed sound that permeates the audio society, much like the sound of:”CDs”, “tube”, “S.E.T”, “ High feedback”. All you really need to hear is one great example, and that is proof that the method is capable. I think Jeff Rowland has pushed this “Class D” envelope farther than anyone else, and after hearing M925s on TAD Reference, Magico and Peak Consult speaker systems, well, the results truly speak for themselves. I still love my custom 300B SET amps with Magnequest QS025 all-silver-wired transformers, but sometimes more power is nice.
The system I have experienced the 535 on is a rather eclectic custom speaker system with a Rowland Aeris/PSU running directly to the amp. The 535 is a big step up over its predecessor, the 525, which is a very nice sounding “budget” amp. Sue,I don’t get the body and texture of the SETs, but I’m not sure what other amps can really do that. I’m sure the SETs are more colored, but those are some fine rose-colored lenses!
If you get a chance to evaluate the 535, I really recommend it has AT LEAST 1 month of real playing time. And who knows? Maybe it continues to improve. Those input transformers take a long time to break-in.
 
Likes: johndoe21ro
Mar 13, 2013
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#5
Well, the 625s2 is a GREAT amplifier. Probably the best stereo A/AB amp Jeff has every made. I keep wondering if there will be a s3 upgrade, with the Cardas wire Transformers. Maybe if all the owners of 625s and 725s start bugging Jeff...
 
Likes: johndoe21ro

johndoe21ro

Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2012
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Europe
#6
I'd love to hear one of those 625 S2's as I've heard only good things about them. I'm a long time fan of Jeff Rowland's designs (including their class D amps) even though I've moved to BAT and recently to Vitus.
 

GuidoCorona

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2010
327
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Summerville (SC)
#7
M535 is an amazing amp in its own right.... Nothing sterile or class-Diish in its tonal complexity, subtlety, broadness of frequency range, and musical immersion. I have run a pair in bridged mode for over a year, before taking delivery of the Daemon that I have been reviewing here on WhatsbestForum.

I would rate the musical refinement of a pair of M535 to be some 75% of the big M925.... Except that a pair of M535 exceed M925 in stage size and sheer transient power.

The very ultimate performance of a pair of bridged M535 is achieved by slipping on the custom capacitor networks onto the bridged output terminals.... These little networks can be obtained at no charge from the Rowland factory.... But beware, do not use them on an M535 in stereo mode.... You are likely to fry the electronics, and void your warranty as an added benefit.


G.
 

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