JRDG Company Special – Concerto pre
Available around 2007-2008
Retail price in Germany in 2007 – 4998 euro
After the original Concerto never made it past prototype status, the final Concerto was likely the same electronics in a more conventional )for Rowland standards) housing. Inside is a beefy linear power supply and room for two ICE power modules to make this preamp an integrated amp. The Concerto was in production for only a couple of years and it has now vanished from the Rowland site, as if it never existed. It was available as preamp and as an integrated amp.
The Concerto has the same width as other Jeff Rowland components such as the Synergy and Coherence II. Its display can be set to be always on or to switch off after a few seconds. The more recessed display can be harder to read from a distance than the brand’s red and green displays.
Note the linear power suppy (hurray) and lots of space. The space is for the IEC power modules as the Concerto was also available as an integrated amplifier. However do note that for the integrated version, the linear supply is removed, and the preamp apparently being fed from the integrated ICE power modules’ supply.
The backpanel circuit board contains all the electronics for input swicthing as well as the preamp circuit itself. The large centrally placed metal container conceils the IEC inlet and its filter.
The Concerto sounds very good to me, even exceeding the Synergy and Coherence II in some aspects. It combines the treble air, resolution and creaminess of the Synergy IIi with the bass power, fulness and dynamic expression of the Coherence II, and has no trace of the Synergy’s woolyness or restraint. The Concerto also has very lifelike timbre and dynamics, in these areas even better then either the Synergy 2i or Coherence II.
I find the Concerto to be something of a last expression of the now classic Jeff Rowland sound. Its successor the Capri s2 sounds markedly more neutral and decidedly less ballsy and colourful. Corus and Criterion are equally neutral but much more refined and subtle, and even though they do not mimick the brand’s classic components typical creaminess, they mark the very best that I have heard from Jeff Rowland. Interestingly, these latest products have the dynamic expression to satisfy people who dismissed the brand because of this previously, while maintaining, and even improving upon, the natural smoothness and liquidity inherent in the music.
Coherence, Synergy, Concentra, and Concerto IR Remote Control lock-up
The remote controls for the above listed products have an internal capacitor that can cause the microprocessor to lock when the battery has been nearly drained. This problem will continue even after a fresh battery has been installed. This capacitor allows the remote to continue to function even after the battery has become very weak. The solution to this problem is simple: remove the new battery and allow the remote to stand overnight with no battery installed. Once the battery is reinstalled in the morning, the remote should function properly again.
It can happen that the Concerto locks up when you operate many buttons at the same time and also adjust the volume. All you need to do is unplug the powercord, wait for 10 seconds and reconnect. If you reconnect too quickly, the Concerto may not work. The same is true if you swap the power cable or change the position in the extensionblock. As a rule of thumb: always wait 10 seconds before reconnecting the power.
Two pairs XLR input connectors for balanced system configurations.
Three pairs RCA input connectors for unbalanced system configurations.
Two pairs of parallel, high-current, balanced line level preamplifier outputs to allow driving of external amplifiers, subwoofers, zones, etc.
Fully-balanced transformer-coupled inputs provide universal compatibility with other components and eliminate ground loop noise and EMI.
Fully-balanced circuit topology implemented on all inputs and outputs.
Bypass function allows for transparent use in combination audio/home theater systems.
Regulated, high-current, linear power supply provides stable operating voltage with the lowest possible noise and distortion artifacts under all operating and line conditions.
Low power consumption permits constant power-up operation to eliminate warm-up time.
Optical encoder type volume control maintains quiet, trouble-free performance and accuracy over the entire lifetime of the product.
Dual range volume control allows large volume level changes when knob is rotated abruptly, yet allows small, precise volume level changes when knob is rotated slowly.
Six function, hand-held infrared remote transmitter.
Ultra-low resonance, structurally rigid chassis, precision-machined from a solid block of aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum.
Optional plug-in phono cards (installed internally) convert Line Input 2 to high performance phono inputs. Three gain and loading options can accommodate moving magnet (MM), moving coil (MC) cartridge types and high output moving coil cartridge types.
99.5 dB, 199 Equal Increments
0.5 dB, +/- 0.03 dB Over Entire Range
10 Hz – 280 kHz, -3 dB
Maximum Input Level
15 volts RMS @ 0 dB Gain
Maximum Output Level
13.5 volts RMS
CCIF Intermodulation Distortion, 19/20 kHz
Output Noise Level
43 Microvolts, Unweighted 20 Hz – 20 kHz Bandwidth, 0 dB Gain
Common Mode Rejection Ratio
> 90 dB, 20 Hz – 20 kHz
40K ohms Balanced or Unbalanced
> 90 dB, 20 Hz – 20 kHz
2 pair Balanced (XLR)
1 pair Unbalanced (RCA)
Unity Gain (Bypass)
3 pair Unbalanced (RCA)
2 pair Balanced (XLR) Line Level
21 lbs. / 9.8 kg
Overall Preamplifier Dimensions (H) x (W) x (D)
3.2” x 17.3” x 12.9” 80mm x 440mm x 328mm