Rowland 625 versus Audio Research DS450

I'm a big fan of Rowland Products. I heard the 625 at CES and was rather impressed by its huge solid soundstage, and the detailed yet mellifluous sound. I was rather depressed by the price tag. I was hoping it would be in Rowland 501 range.

I also heard the Audio Research DS450 with Magnepans at CES. While the sound was very relaxed and tube like, I didn't hear as much bass, as I would have liked. Perhaps it was the speakers or the recordings played?

I noticed both manufacturers avoided the term Class D or "Ice Module" like the plague. I think Class D has become a dirty word among some audiophiles...

Any other thoughts on how the sound of the Rowland 625 compares to Audio Research's DS450?

I would like to save up for one of them. The DS450 or even DS225 seem like they might be "better bang for the buck" (in relative terms). Appreciate your comments. Tks!
Raquel, Icepower amps by definition should be less sensitive to power line than linear supplies since SMPS are both line and load regulated.

In reality all supplies are switching only frequency is different. Linear supplies switch at 120Hz polluting mains with narrow current spikes while 120Hz ripple on the secondary (amp) side requires a lot of caps to clean it up. For that reason Rowland started using SMPS even in preamps (Capri) where efficiency is not important. Also newest Rowland class AB amps (625, 925) use switching mode power supplies. PC-1 is further improvement (energy storage) but main supply of voltage to speakers is SMPS.

SMPS got bad rap from cheap computer supplies but properly executed deliver great performance with very little noise (zero voltage, zero current switching). I'm not sure how Rowland made it at 1MHz since it is difficult to get good efficiency because of limited slew rate switching losses (but easy to filter and get very fast load response).

Rowland posted few articles/answers on switching power supplies:
Have to agree with Raquel... I also think that the 2/6/8/9 amps would be a tough deal to produce today due to the smaller market. I have heard most of the current amps--exception the 625, and IMHO, while nice; they don't really play in the same arena as the 2/6/8 and 9.
Hey guys, apparently no one above has heard the 625. I have it along with Jeff's Criterion Pre. It is by far and away without a second thought far better than ANY of his older stuff. For a relatively small amp, it kicks! You need to go listen. Your jaw will drop. Aloha, David.
Hi Kawika - My guess is that it may be an understatement that you're a big fan of the 625.

Just curious, how does it compare to amps such as the Audio Research DS450, Rowland Model 10/12 and Levinson 400 series amplifiers...? Is the Continuum 500 even close? Appreciate your thoughts.
Seems no one has pointed out a basic answer to the original poster's question about missing bass and the ARC/Maggie combination. Maggies are "bass light" which is why most Maggie users have ongoing discussions about whether or not to try and add a sub-woofer to their system. I was just listening to my 1.6s (driven by an ARC SP-8/150.2 combination) and going through that same discussion with myself. Granted, my vintage and "entry level" ARC components don't fall in the same league as the DS450, but I think the largest contribution to the "minimal bass" issue is the Maggies. Of course I'm a Maggie-lover, and willing to sacrifice the low end for the wonderful midrange, but that is another discussion.