Mark Levison's New Brand:

Red Rose Music

Showroom Visited

03 March 2001








I was in New York during he first week of March and wanted to take the opportunity to make some audio related visits. My friend Cemil Gandur had informed me that Red Rose Music headquarters was on Madison Avenue next to Whitney gallery (in fact the correct address is 943 Madison Avenue). So, one sunny afternoon I decided to walk there.

In fact what I call "headquarters" is a relatively small size store (1) with a (approx. 6 m x 6 m) demo room (2) at the back.

I've auditioned the R3 speakers ($3,500.-/pair) driven by Model 5 integrated amplifier ($8,000.-). R3's are a two-way design monitor-like speakers (3) using ribbon tweeters. Their efficiency is on the high side: 97 dB/W/m @ 8 ohm. The Model 5 integrated amplifier (5) has two EL34 output tubes per channel with a rated power of 45W/channel.

I've listened to various LP's and CD's (unfortunately this time I did not have my own test CD's with me) of mainly acoustic jazz and classical material. Some of the recordings were house made in the very same demo room. And they were excellent, by the way.

What struck me most was the huge size of the sound stage. It was as if the bigger R1 speakers (at the back) were playing. The only limitation was of course the bass extension but even this point was not really apparent on most programs. Otherwise bass seemed to be very detailed and crisp, mids had body and naturalness and trebles were extended and silky. Again, I must emphasize the amazing width, height and depth of the sound stage. I found the result very satisfying on most music material. The synergy between the speakers and the power amp seemed perfect.

I had a conversation with Mr. Jonathan A. Halpern who is the company manager (and who happens to know my web site). Contrarily to my belief he told me that Mark Levinson, the President and CEO of Red Rose Music is not involved with the technical side of the design. There are other people in charge of electronics. Mark Levinson is a multi-instrumentalist musician, playing double bass, trumpet and recently tambura (see the bottom picture (6)). He is basically the person in charge of "voicing" the products (which is probably the most vital part of the project).

I noted with much pleasure that Mark Levinson: the man behind such reputable brands as Mark Levinson and Cello, both of them exclusively producing solid state amplifiers, now switched to tubes and high efficiency speakers with his new brand Red Rose Music. Well done Mr. Levinson! Better late than never.

Although I was not lucky enough to meet the legendary figure of high-end audio, I still left the store with a smile on my face.

I strongly recommend all audio lovers to try to audition the Red Rose Music products.


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