Opinion needed - Rotel/Jolida/Denon

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by kevitra, Jan 4, 2003.

  1. kevitra

    kevitra Second Unit

    Apr 24, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I'd like your opinions on some decisions I have to make.

    My current system is:
    ACI Sapphire IIIs (90db efficient)
    Jolida 302b integrated tube amp (50w x 2)
    Denon 3802 (used for HT)
    SVS 35-31

    My dilema is that I am upgrading to the new ACI Sapphires (86db efficient). The new Sapphires go much lower than the IIIs, and I have a feeling that the 302b might not have enough 'oomph' to drive them. It can easily drive my Sapphire IIIs, but at loud (85db) volumes, the volume knob is turned up quite a bit (75%). I normally listen at low volumes, but once in while I turn it up a bit.

    I will not get the new Sapphires until the end of February (maybe earlier, maybe later), so I have some time to decide what I am going to do.

    My options:
    A) Sell the Jolida and buy a Rotel amp (130x2 or 200x2) and use the Denon as a preamp.

    B) Sell both the Jolida and Denon and buy a Rotel 1055 receiver.

    C) Keep the Jolida and use it with the new speakers.

    The 'catch': The only money I am 'allowed' to spend is to buy the new Sapphires. I know for a fact that I can get enough money from the Jolida and Denon to buy the Rotel 1055. I also can get plenty of money from my Jolida to get a used Rotel amp.

    And the part I left out (too embarrasing). My cd player. A Sony 400 disc player. I run my system one of two ways:
    Sony right into Jolida OR Sony->Denon 3802 DAC->Jolida. Both are bad, as using the Denon DAC I am basically using the Jolida as an amp and the Denon as a preamp. It does sound better than running the Sony directly into the Jolida.

    So I guess I should add option D) Find a way to get a used Rotel CD player.

    If I go with option B, I'll be using the DAC in the 1055, plus the added benefit of a great preamp. I am just a little concerned about the amp section. It is a Rotel, and they don't skimp on their amps, but this is a receiver. I question if a separate amp with the Denon will be better than the Rotel receiver. I know the 1055 and 1066 are very similar, so my thinking is that the preamp section will provide me with a larger gain than going with the denon/rotel amp combo.

    I know that auditioning these options in my home is the best, but if I go with the external Rotel amp I will be buying it used. I don't want to borrow my local dealers new amp and then buy a used one. If I decide to go with the 1055, I will do an in-home audition since if I like it, I will be purchasing it from them.


    (note to admins: I accidentally opened this thread in the 'sources' board. Please lock the other thread).
  2. jack x

    jack x Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 27, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Hi Kevitra,
    I have a Rotel RSX-1055 driving 3 ACI Sapphire III LEs (DIY) and 2 paradigm ASE 300 in-wall speakers. I am really happy with the sound quality, although I have not really conducted any A/B tests with other receivers. I did demo a ~$400 Kenwood and a Denon 1802 in home with my Sapphires. The Kenwood was crap; 6x100 - watts my ass. In comparison, the Denon 1802 was remarkable better. However, the 1055 blows them both away - in terms of musicality and clarity/volume!
    I came across your thread in my search for info regarding tube pre-amps/amps, which I want to research more. I have never experienced tube equipment with Sapphire speakers.
    I wish I could offer some feedback on the sapphires with the 1055 vs. the sapphires with a tube amp or pre-amp. The best I can offer is that the Rotel/ACI combo is great!
    Best of luck,

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