Not everyone has jumped into the multi-channel audio arms race, and the last time we checked, the majority of music was available in two-channel stereo format. Rotel has introduced a new set of 15-series components for just such stereo lovers. At the head of the stream is the RCD-1520 slot-loading CD player with a toroidal transformer and segmented power supply that promise not to gum up the Wolfson DACs with noise. The RC-1550 (pictured) and RC-1580 stereo preamplifiers do their level best (pun intended) to embody the "straight wire with gain" ideal; pair them up with the 2x200-Watt RB-1582 or the 2x120-Watt RB-1552 amplifier. Finally, if you're after all-in-one convenience -- or not into expensive interconnects -- there's the RA-1520 integrated amplifier that wraps a preamp and a 2x60-Watt amplifier in one tidy package. This is Rotel gear, so you know prices aren't cheap; but then again, if you're still chasing after stereo gear, you probably are used to that. Full details -- including an "Engadget-effect" macro shot -- after the break.
North Reading, MA-May 2009-Home audio electronics manufacturer Rotel has been known worldwide for creating components for nearly five decades that deliver very serious audio and video performance, at affordable prices. Since the introduction of the new 15 Series home theater components late in 2008, Rotel has set a new standard of excellence and now introduces new two channel components: Integrated amp, CD Player, stereo and power preamplifiers.
"The 15 Series is Rotel's most important introduction in many years," says Rotel VP of Sales & Marketing, Doug Henderson. "And while these new models incorporate a lot of the latest advanced technologies and include some important refinements of Rotel's unique amplifier design, the one thing they do not alter is our company's commitment to musical performance above all else." Henderson concludes, "These new models were conceived for the listener who truly and passionately cares about sound quality, first and foremost."
Hi Fi Components
Rotel believes that while the charms of such conveniences in this "content everywhere" age when you can fit an entire music library in a pocket-sized MP3 player are undeniable, there is a far more compelling musical experience to be had.
Continuing Henderson said, "Indeed, there is nothing more enjoyable than hearing a favorite artist in full lossless quality in the comfort of your own listening room through a high performance stereo system. Music comes alive in this setting, spreading out in a three dimensional space, revealing texture and dynamic nuance that makes music such a wonderful, life-enhancing experience. Rotel has built its long reputation on providing outstanding music components and the 15 Series stereo range will allow music lovers to rediscover an entire collection the way it was meant to be heard."
Stereo Integrated Amplifier
The RA-1520 is a music lover's amplifier and is ideal as a stand-alone stereo system. Its muscular 2 x 60 watt (into 8 ohms) design is based upon nearly 50 years of expertise in analog audio engineering and it delivers all of the musical performance the artist intended. Subtle nuances and large dynamics are both rendered faithfully from uncompressed digital, or classic analog sources with the included moving magnet phono. To complete its functionality, as well as its superb performance capabilities, there are additional inputs for tuner, tape, CD and Aux.
CD players have been around for over twenty-five years and have enjoyed such a progression of quality that they can hardly be compared to the original players released in 1982. Rotel has enjoyed a class leading reputation with CD player designs since the introduction of the landmark RCD-855 in 1990.
With the release of the RCD-1520, Rotel has produced a CD player that sets a new standard for the 21st century, taking full advantage of the vast wealth of music now available on compact discs. The RCD-1520 utilizes a segmented power supply with a large toroidal transformer to minimize power supply "sag" and reduce hum emissions. All rectifiers, voltage regulation components and BHC low-ESR storage capacitors are carefully selected, not only for tight tolerance specifications, but in particular, for their sound quality. Both analog and digital circuits undergo this careful scrutiny. For the digital domain, Rotel has specified the superb Wolfson DAC for advanced digital filtration and D/A conversion. The CD transport is a high performance slot loading mechanism. The result of this attention to detail is a CD player that will remain a part of a reference audio system for years to come.
A preamplifier must keep the audio signal as pure as possible while amplifying and routing various source signals to the power amplifier. The goal of the engineer is to achieve "a straight wire with gain" design, nothing more and nothing less. Of course, the realization of this goal is much harder than it seems, but Rotel's experience and meticulous circuit design has produced a string of exceptional stereo preamplifiers over the years, which has been taken to new heights in the RC-1580.
The RC-1580 is designed for the hi-fi purist in terms of its minimalist approach and absolute musical fidelity. Component parts such as an oversized toroidal power transformer and special BHC capacitors, along with circuit topology, have been carefully selected to obtain the best sound possible. For those who want the best of both audio and video worlds a unity gain stage has been included to enable a surround processor to feed straight through to the power amplifier thereby bypassing the volume control. The RC-1580 includes a low noise MM/MC phono with discrete, differential input stages, as well as CD, Tuner, and two AUX inputs. The preamplifier can be controlled by RS-232, or IR input. A tone defeat, media input socket, phones socket and remote control is included.
The RC-1550 delivers an extraordinary level of performance. Its rock-solid power supply is comprised of a custom made toroidal transformer and select grade BHC slit foil capacitors. RC-1550 features six line-level inputs in addition to a phono input for moving magnet cartridges. A convenient contour control allows easy and repeatable timbre adjustments. With two sets of main outputs, a 12 volt "trigger " jack, and a Rotel-system remote control for both the pre-amplifier and a companion Rotel CD, tuner, or DVD player, the RC-1550 brings the flexibility and sound quality of Rotel separates within easy reach.
Stereo Power Amplifiers
Rotel has been engineering and manufacturing power amplifiers for decades and the two amplifiers presented here build on the company's Balanced Design Concept engineering philosophy and feature refined Class AB output stages, over-sized power supplies with toroidal transformers and select grade components throughout.
Rugged, stable, and natural sounding, either model is the ideal foundation for a high performance music systems. Both feature 12-volt triggers for remote operation and include an IEC detachable power cord. Power output configurations are 2 x 200 watts for the RB-1582 and 2 x 120 watts for the RB-1552. The on/off operation of the amplifiers can be remotely controlled by 12-volt triggers. Optional rack mount rails are available for custom installation requirements.
All models are available late first quarter or early second quarter 2009.
Model Suggested Retail Price in USD $
RA-1520 Integrated Amplifier $ 999.00
RCD-1520 CD Player $ 999.00
RC-1580 Preamplifier $1,299.00
RC-1550 Preamplifier $ 699.00
RB-1582 Power Amplifier $1,499.00
RB-1552 - Power Amplifier $ 899.00
Gallery | 6 Photos
Rotel 15-series stereo components