Are Rotel Pre/Pro's any good?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim_C, Jan 8, 2002.

  1. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    I'm currently flip-flopping between the receiver route and the separates route. As of right now when I upgrade my receiver I'm planning on going with separates.

    I'm 99.9% sure that I'm going to go with the Rotel RMB-1075 amp. I was wondering how Rotels pre/pro's are? I seem to remember some time ago reading about some problems with decoding DTS. Does anyone use Rotel pre/pros or have suggestions for other brands in the 1-1.5k range? I'm aware of Outlaw and I'm watching the 950 issues closely.

    I'd love to get a pre/pro from Cinepro, Citation, etc. but they're just too far out of my price range.
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I have owned Rotel separates in the past and have help set-up many systems containing their separates. They are excellent values for the money. I think the problem you describe was mainly prevalent in early builds of the '965' receivers and tuner/preamps of a couple of years back. Don't overlook the RSX-1065 receiver. It is quite competitive with the separates. It should be interesting when they update their top of the line preamp soon. If you want to go with separate and can go up a bit in budget- the 'Primare' is as good as anything out there sonically I have heard, www.sumikoaudio.com. In terms of sound and build quality, Rotel generally offers excellent values at those price points
     
  3. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    Jim:
    I have the 1075 hooked up with the Rotel RSP-976 pre/pro. For the money (bought it as a floor model for just under $1,000) it certainly does a great job both for HT and music. Note that there is no analog pass-through for two-channel music, but I don't use it as my primary music system.
    I haven't had any problems with the DTS decoding. I'm using B&W speakers. Truly a great combination. Even my wife likes what she hears.[​IMG]
    The pre-pro is well put together, as is the 1075 amp.
     
  4. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    You'll love the amp. I have had one for a couple of months, and am continually amazed at how much better everything sounds (Yamaha 995 as a preamp).

    I am in the same boat as you. I want to sell the Yamaha and get a preamp, but do not know which way to go. Rotel, Outlaw, Atlantic Tech, who knows?

    Keep us updated as to what you decide.
     
  5. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Yeah, based on the various reviews that I've read I'm pretty sure I'm gonna love the 1075. I'm going to pick it up right after I get my long delayed SVS. I plan on using my current Yamaha as a pre/pro until I get an actual pre/pro.

    I've read so many threads that talk about the benefits of separate amplification that I'm pretty much convinced this is the way to go. The receiver option remains but it's chances of winning the day are minimal at best.

    I've looked at the 976 owners manual and I have to say that it seems to have most of the features I'm looking for. I'd like a 6.1 setup so perhaps Rotel will have a new 6.1 pre/pro sometime this year. I'm also interested in seeing how/when the new DVD-A interface gets implemented.

    As Mark mentioned the price of the Rotel stuff is hard to beat. Outlaw has a chance but I'm a 'keep it in the same family' kinda guy. Hopefully Rotel will come up with that 6.1 pre/pro. I'll have to check out that Primare. I've never heard of that but then again I'm new to the separates world.
     
  6. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    I just went to the website to check the Primare. You'll have to up the budget considerably more than "a bit" over the 976, as the MSRP for the unit is $3500.[​IMG]
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    You might want to check out Rotel pre/pros on www.audioreview.com . Needless to say, some oddities have been experienced by other users.
     
  8. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    I've checked Audioreview for more info. The reviews for the 976 (listed as the 975 on AR) seem reasonable. I haven't read the reviews for the other pre/pros but I will in the near future.
    I'll be interested in any new offerings from Rotel this spring. I saw mention of a new pre/pro in another thread.
    The Primare is beautiful but definitely 'a bit' higher than my budget.[​IMG]
     
  9. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    The new Rotel preamp should be in dealers hands withing 1-2 mos. and has a $1,499 list. They have lowered the price on their 5-channel amp to $995. Most dealers will sell the pair for $2,200-2,300.
     
  10. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Thanks Phil! Great news on the lower price for the amp. I'm looking forward to the new pre/pro as well. I'm going to do some serious comparisons between it and the new Outlaw (Atlantic Technology) pre/pro.
     
  11. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    I remember auditioning the Rotel RSP-976 in a local showroom early last year, along with the now discontinued RMB-985 amp, as well as the Anthem MCA-5, paired with the Paradigm Monitor 9 and the top of the line Adcom CD player then. What I heard didn't impress me at all. The sound was rather harsh, flat and hollow. Changing to a McCormack RLD-1 preamp yielded a much smoother sound, but still not satisfactory, but then again that's in a totally different price range.

    Anyway, it was probably the showroom acoustics that was playing a major part too, because I can't seem to find anything I like in that showroom. Everything sounded pretty bad, even the acclaimed Paradigm Reference Studio series speakers.
     
  12. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    I listened to Rotel quite some time ago and I can't really remember my 'listing' of it's sound. Where do others consider it to be: neutral, warm, bright? I'm not sure what 'dark' sound means.

    I'm planning on matching the Rotel with Klipsch. I've been told that they're a good match. Any comments on that combo?

    How does Rotel's sound compare to say Denon, Yamaha, Marantz?

    Finally, how much influence does the pre/pro have on the sound? Is Rotel's 'sound' based on their amps or pre/pro's?
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    Rotel is generally much more musical. I was in a store the other day when a customer bought a Marantz 8000 demo with a return option and wanted to hear it vs. the Rotel 972 and it only took 30 seconds for the customer and everyone else into the store that the Marantz was not close on music. So it may depend on what ones priorities are. They may be more subtle differences on HT. The Marantz SR-18 was tried as well and it a drop better than the 8000 but not as good as the Rotel. It is a lot harder to differentiate things with 5.1 channels playing. The Rotel dialog seemed cleaner. As far as pre/pros again the answer is dependent on how important music is. I have heard the Bryston SP-1 with Rotel amps and it did a great job on music. So if you don't have extremely taxing speakers that require true mono amp designs with separate power supplies on each channel that is quite a nice package.
     
  14. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    PS - the new Rotel preamp for $1,499 list also will have a port on the back for software upgrades.
     
  15. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    >>PS - the new Rotel preamp for $1,499 list also will have a port on the back for software upgrades
     
  16. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    If the Rotel has an adjustable crossover(I'm assuming it has most of the other new pre/pro goodies) and the sound is there, then it's in the lead with me too.

    Can someone wipe my chin, I'm starting to drool.
     
  17. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Larry. I've been looking at reviews on the net of the 1065, but none seem to mentionif it has an adjustable crossover. I'll guess I'll just have to hang in there n wait a little longer for some spec on the new pre/pro.
     
  18. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Legairre,
    The following is from the online manual for the RSX-1065:
    The CROSSOVER setting activates a low-pass
    filter for the subwoofer and a corresponding
    high-pass filter for all SMALL speakers in the
    system at the selected frequency. To adjust the
    crossover frequency, highlight the CROSSOVER
    line using the UP/DOWN buttons. Then, use
    the +/– buttons to chose one of the following
    options: OFF, 40Hz, 60Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz,
    or 120 Hz.
    If the new Rotel pre/pro does have these settings it just got much more attractive.
     
  19. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Jim,

    Thanks for the info. For $1500.00 with all the bells and whistles it definately a contender. I'll be waiting for the reviews.
     
  20. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Jim

    Have 2 Rotel amps and they have been nothing but trouble. Ended up using then in the bedroom and bathroom...not much use and good for those rooms. Went the Sony TAE/TAN 9000ES and much happier.

    If you go the Rotel route, hope you have better luck than me;but I wouldn't sell them to my worst enemy

    Grant
     

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