Jeff Rowland Design Group • Daemon Integrated Amplifier $38,800 Review
March 13, 2020 § Leave a comment
“The first thing to note is the absence of a ground post on the Daemon (I finally found something Rowland overlooked), meaning that I had to ground the tonearm via an unused input. With that minor inconvenience sorted, the HP boards delivered a nearly silent background, even at high volume levels. More importantly, they exhibited exactly the sort of easy musical expression and flow that you should expect from a good record player. Differences between cartridges were clear, with the benefits of the big Clearaudio particularly apparent. But what really intrigued me was just how comfortably the Denon DL-103 generator, rehoused in a milled-aluminum body, dovetailed with the Daemon amplifier’s sonic characteristics. Big and bold, rich and rounded, the ‘103 has never been a high-res cartridge, but its body, presence and broad tonal palette gave the Daemon just what it needed to make the most of an otherwise modest front-end. Sure, the added dynamic range, impact, separation and detail of the Goldfinger were sonically spectacular, delivered via the Daemon’s willing power delivery, but the Denon delivered spectacular value in purely musical terms.