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Replacing old Rotel power amp/pre-amp, need advice.


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#1 of 5 katclark

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Posted August 25 2012 - 10:00 AM

*Title should read "replacing old rotel power amp/pre-amp" but can't seem to edit thread title.* Hi All, I currently don't use my Rotel RSP-1066 at all because it doesn't have HDMI which means I've been relying on my crappy TV speakers. I'm not really an audiophile, but since I keep adding more and more gadgets that rely on HDMI, I thought i'd try to find a receiver that could serve as a hub. I've done some reading, covet the Rotel RSX-1562, but really can't afford it. Also, I can't tell if any receiver including the Rotel could stream to zone 2/B bluetooth. Current living room set-up: 8TB Raid with handbraked/digitized media connected to a Pogoplug. Streams to Hackintosh then to TV via Roku. Roku 1080 box with HDMI out. Hackintosh mini box running plex media server/pogoplug with HDMI out (but pogoplug serves up media wirelessly to Roku). Apple 1TB airport extreme Samsung Blu-ray disc player with HDMI out Nintendo Wii with HDMI out. Samsung 42" TV with 4 HDMI in, 1HDMI out. McTivia wireless PC streaming device with HDMI out B&W 601 S3 speakers X2 Rotel RB1050 amp Rotel RSP1066 pre-amp Small bose sub Airport express with y cable that I can use with airplay Upstairs bedrm: Bose sound dock 10 with bluetooth. Ideally I'd like to replace the pre-amp/amp with a receiver that is entry level but flexible because the technology is changing rapidly. Would like the following functionality: Different sound profiles set up and saved for each device/input (iPhone tends to be annoyingly bass heavy) Automatic loudness controller specifically for streamed signals. Wireless (wired is ok but not preferred) Airplay that can switch between devices ios app for both ipod/ipad for remote bluetooth (dongle is ok) 2nd zone with bluetooth functionality for the Bose sounddock. DNLA at least 6 HDMI in ports (preferably 1 in the front); 2 HDMI out (I could live with 1) USB in the front for powering devices. upconversion for some of my handbraked movie files that were from 720 DVDs Unfussy UI/GUI 1.) Does anything out there exist yet? I've been looking at the zone 2/b in some receivers but can't tell if it would actually work across bluetooth while someone was say, watching a movie in zone 1. And, definitely having trouble determining if this could be controlled via iOS. Also, I'd love it had an equalizer/sound profile setting because the Bose doesn't and it's definitely annoying that I can't turn down the bass at night. 2.) Again, not an audiophile so I don't mind compressed audio/video since I mostly just stream via Roku/airplay. Yes, I know, I don't have surround sound but I might get some eventually once I'm not living in a tiny "open floorplan" apartment. So, I'd like to maybe get a receiver that would handle a speaker upgrade at some point. 3.) Reliability- My rotel is basically a tank and has lasted me 10 years without an issue. It's just gotten too old in output ports/functionality. I can't really afford another rotel though. Any brands out there known for consistent quality? I've searched online reviews and almost all brands have their detractors. Sorry I'm such a beginner. Any help would be appreciated. Cheers. -Kat

#2 of 5 schan1269

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Posted August 25 2012 - 10:20 AM

I think you qualify as an audiophile... Anyway. About the only way to make Zone 2 "wireless" is to buy a receiver that has Zone 2 pre-out(not hard to find) and connect it with a system like the Rocketfish RBAUX(you need two...send and receive, but you can add more and create a "whole home wireless" network). However, that requires the second zone to use an analog input and have its own volume control. How much would you like to spend? Integra has the least expensive pre-pro at $1200. However there are receivers that you can purchase for as little as $600 that will do the same, you'll just not use the onboard amps.

#3 of 5 Type A

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Posted August 25 2012 - 11:35 AM

Welcome to HTF Kat :D

Ideally I'd like to replace the pre-amp/amp with a receiver that is entry level but flexible because the technology is changing rapidly.

Sorry I dont think that will happen. Seems to me someone used to make a processor with replaceable modules that would update features over the years. But I think it was very high end gear and expensive, not sure it even exists anymore. New features after a few years you can probably do without, things change fast but not so fast that you will obsolete in the next 5-7 years, IMO that seems to be the trend these days...

Automatic loudness controller specifically for streamed signals.

Cant think of a manufacture that offers this.

Reliability- My rotel is basically a tank and has lasted me 10 years without an issue. It's just gotten too old in output ports/functionality. I can't really afford another rotel though. Any brands out there known for consistent quality? I've searched online reviews and almost all brands have their detractors.

Heres the problem, in my experience Onkyo will come the closest to the numerous specific features you seek, however IMO Onkyo has the worst reliability and audio quality. Reliability especially in their HDMI control boards. Audio quality in that the Onkyo TX NR 3007, while it was the most feature-rich and flexible receiver Ive ever owned, it was also one of the lowest sound quality and HDMI performance receivers Ive ever owned. I replaced it with a less featured-laden Marantz that not only sounded better (to my ears) but had absolutely rock-solid HDMI performance in the time that I owned it (which is much more than I could say for the twitchy 3007). Not trying to scare you off Onkyo, as I do think they are the most likely choice to get most all of the features you are looking for, but just giving you a heads-up that Onkyo is hardly stellar in the "consistent-quality" category. Again, IMO.
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#4 of 5 Mike Frezon

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Posted August 25 2012 - 02:20 PM

Fixed your title, Kat.


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#5 of 5 Dave Morton

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Posted November 06 2012 - 12:47 PM

I'm kind of in the same situation. I have a rotel rsp 985 that's been no problem for the past 15? years or so. But now that I've finally gotten an HDTV (i know, late adopter but my 40" tube was/is still working), I think I need something with HDMI pass throughs as I'm maxed out with the 2 HDMI ports on the tv and have no room for expansion. I know it's vague, but I'm looking for a good value on a surround sound processor that is as pure/musical as can be. I'm only 5.1 with my speaker setup but want to have room for more in the future, although it does seem like many are now 7.1 capable. So any suggestions for a < $2k price point would be most appreciated. And of course, I'll be scouring the internet as well. :D
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