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Have you compared the sound between the Jeff Rowland 8T and Threshold SA-4e amps? I saw your article: "A Lifetime of Solid-State Amplifiers: Reflection on the Heavyweights." I'm trying to see if you've heard these amps and what they sound like. Thanks.


I used to own a Jeff Rowland 8T amplifier, and although I have not heard the Threshold SA-4e, I did own the class-A/AB variant, the SA-550e. Overall, both amplifiers are quite good, but I would have to give the nod to theThreshold. The one glaring weakness that the 8T had was in the bass: it sounded soft and woolly compared to any number of good solid-state designs. The Threshold produced much more powerful, controlled bass and an extremely focused soundstage. If given the choice, I'd go for the SA-4e in a heartbeat. . . . Jeff Fritz


In your article dated September 6, 2009, you visited Rockport Technologies and alluded to the active Arrakis loudspeaker being on the drawing board. I know you have the original version of the Arrakis as a reference, and your article piqued my curiosity because I do not see anything about an active version of the loudspeaker on the company’s website. Is there an update on the Arrakis in active form that you could tell me about? And if so, can you provide any details and the price? Also do you think the Arrakis, in either passive or active form, would be the ideal speaker for a 30' x 27.6' room that is heavily treated? I’m moving on from my beloved Kharmas because they just do not have the bass output I need and I’ve had no success with the subwoofer designed to address this shortcoming. Thank you for the informative website.

Ferdinand R. 

I recently spoke with Andy Payor of Rockport Technologies and the subject of the active Arrakis did come up. It seeems that this project is very much on track and the speaker will be available in a matter of a few months. The active Arakkis is a reality. As for details, here’s what I know: It will come with an active crossover designed and built by Rockport. The bass section will be active and the rest of the speaker will essentially be a passive three-way design. So, basically, you’ll have four active 15” subwoofers -- enough bass horsepower to easily fill a super-large room like yours. The tweeter will be a new beryllium-dome unit custom made for the Arrakis. The price will be $225,000 per pair. . . . Jeff Fritz