Reviewed by: straw_hut (Audio Enthusiast)
Review Date September 12, 2010
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Value Rating 4 of 5
Used product for 1 to 3 months
I was looking for an integrated amp to replace my 1980′s Luxman integrated. The reason was that my Luxman’s buttons stopped working so i couldn’t switch between sources. Also, every time i wanted to change the volume, i had to walk up to the unit….lol. I was more than happy with Luxman’s sound and my standards were already quite high from having such a remarkable unit.
I owned a Marantz home theater receiver back in 2006 and wasn’t happy with it’s musical performance. I was also very displeased with their customer service so i was not going to ever buy a Marantz product again (i sold the Marantz and my home theater…it was too messy with wires going everywhere and wasn’t the best for music). It was either Rotel, Nad, or possibly Cambridge audio for my next integrated
I demo’d a Cambridge audio integrated connected to B&W CM + 685 bookshelf’s and found that the sound was distorted at moderate volume levels. I found Nad integrated amps to look a little bland. I decided on the Rotel. It didn’t sound amazing in the listening room and the salesman said the reason was that it was hooked up to the room’s switching unit which tainted the signal. I decided to trust my gut instinct…after all, a company like Rotel can’t be in business for 45 years or so if they made crap products.
I brought it home (it was wrapped and packaged explicitly) and connected it to my Monitor Audio RS6 towers along with my Nad c545 bee. The RS6′s have a lot of bass naturally and I found that the amp tamed the bass and made things balanced. Overall an improvement in imaging, dynamics and balance. I hooked up my old Luxman after a month of listening. iIdid find that the Luxman was more warm sounding and more natural with high notes; whereas the Rotel was a bit clinical. I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other. It depends on what you like.
Overall I am pleased with this amp. It’s gorgeous, build quality is top notch, and the sound quality is good. Not a lot of people can afford a $1000 two channel amp (especially in these economic times) and my buddies are wondering why i bought that when i could have bought something that has 7 x 150 watts for cheaper. I put on Sarah Mclachlan’s “Angel” for them and their jaws drop at how the sound is so precise that you feel that you’re listening to her live in a room. Also, integrated amps never lose their value like HD receivers with their ever changing hdmi specs + 3d crap.
// editors note – Some touch ups where added to the review. Click on product page link to read original.
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