Rotel has introduced three new stereo components, as part of its 15 Series: the RA-1572 integrated amplifier (shown here, $1,699), the RC-1572 stereo preamp ($1,099), and the RCD-1572 CD player ($899). The RA-1572 features a 100-watt-per-channel Class AB amplifier and a wide variety of analog and digital inputs (including balanced XLR analog ins and DSD-capable USB), as well as built-in Bluetooth with aptX and a subwoofer output. More details on all three Rotel products are available in the press release below.
For over half a century, Rotel has been manufacturing award-winning hi-fi components that set new levels of audio performance within and often above its class. The tradition continues with the latest introduction of three new stereo components as part of the 15 Series.
RA-1572 Integrated Amplifier
Long recognized as a central component in superb yet cost-effective music systems, the integrated amplifier’s job has evolved substantially as many music lovers have migrated to digital sources. The RA-1572 is one of the best examples of melding classic analog design with contemporary digital circuits to bring all sources to life with surpassing fidelity.
As typical of Rotel amplifiers, the RA-1572’s circuitry draws on a high-capacity power supply based on a Rotel custom designed and in-house manufactured oversized toroidal transformer. In addition to providing an abundance of voltage and current for all operating stages, the transformer’s toroidal shape helps prevent stray radiation patterns from corrupting audio signals as they pass through adjacent circuit stages.
Subsequent power supply segments built with tight-tolerance parts including T-Network capacitors provide the exact voltage and current requirements to ensure stress-free signal reproduction.
The RA-1572’s input section is substantially more flexible than that found in most integrated amplifiers. In recognition of the predominance of digital sources available today, the RA-1572 has a built-in state of the art 32-bit/768-kHz AKM digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and analog stages of the highest quality. The DAC and surrounding circuitry supports a vast array of source inputs including DSD capable PC-USB (32-bit/384-kHz). A front panel USB input is provided for easy connection of a wide variety of music storage devices including Apple iPods, iPhones, and iPads. The Bluetooth input supports aptX for superior performance with compatible devices. In addition, two each coaxial (RCA) and optical (TOSlink) inputs provide easy connections for LPCM music sources including popular streaming devices with up to 24-bit word lengths sampled at 192 kHz. Very usefully, it is possible to fix the level and set an auto-on option with digital inputs for use with devices that provide their own volume control for convenient “hands-off” use. Analog inputs include a pair of balanced XLR connectors in addition to conventional RCA jacks and MM Phono input.
The Class AB output stage uses discrete devices to ensure precise reproduction of all signals regardless of origin with virtually any loudspeaker. The power output, conservatively rated at a robust 120 watts per channel into 8 ohms, is substantial as it is a continuous “both channels driven simultaneously” rating fully in keeping with real-world requirements and Rotel’s tradition of providing extraordinary value. A mono subwoofer output is also provided.
User conveniences include two 12-volt triggers to control on/off operation of other components, a highly visible VFD display for setup, internet-based software updates, as well as RS-232 and IP control capabilities.
Suggested Retail: USD: $1,699
RC-1572 Stereo Preamplifier
The heart of an uncompromising audiophile stereo “separates” system is the preamplifier. Separate components hold the promise of the best possible fidelity, since each device is optimized for its role in the sound reproduction chain. The new RC-1572 stereo preamplifier leverages the design of our flagship RC-1590 preamplifier including its 32 bit/768-kHz AKM stereo digital-to-analog converter to handle critical signal conversion. Among many refinements, the RC-1572 utilizes relay switching for analog sources instead of an IC based switch to maintain the integrity of the signal path for RCA, phono and XLR inputs.
Beneath the clean lines and user friendly fascia of the RC-1572 lies highly sophisticated engineering. Both analog and digital sources have been given equal consideration as today’s listener often has several digital sources, but may also enjoy legacy formats like vinyl LPs. A large toroidal transformer and regulated power supply ensures stable current and voltage requirements to all stages under dynamic conditions. Premium circuit components have been selected only after extensive listening evaluations. Careful routing of all low level signals has been practiced to ensure impressive signal-to-noise levels. The result is effortless musical dynamics, impressive detail and scale.
The RC-1572 stereo preamplifier is also extremely flexible. Four digital inputs (2 coax and 2 optical), support up to 24-bit/192-KkHz audio, plus the rear PC-USB handle digital sources up to 32/384 resolution. The 4 inputs are designed for sources such as TV set-top boxes, flat panel TVs or Blu-ray players for stunning playback. Very usefully, it is possible to fix the level and set an auto-on option on these sources for use with devices that provide their own volume control for convenient “hands-off” use. The PC-USB input supports DSD signals. Integrated Bluetooth aptX is provided. Analog inputs include balanced XLR connectors, perfect for connecting the RCD-1572 via its XLR outputs, in addition to four pair of conventional RCA inputs. A moving magnet phono stage rounds out the source capability. XLR and single ended outputs are provided along with a mono subwoofer output, as are two 12-volt triggers to control on/off operation of an amplifier and/or other components. For custom integration, control options include RS-232 on a standard DB9 connector, as well as an Ethernet port for IP control and software updates. In short, the RC-1572 is a tremendous value and the perfect upgrade for owners of older analog-only preamplifiers.
Suggested Retail: USD $1,099
RCD-1572 CD Player
Since 1982, when the CD was introduced, Rotel has been refining technology and evolving circuitry to bring you extraordinary sound from the familiar silver disc. As most music lovers have a substantial collection of compact discs, a high quality CD player is still an important part of most music systems. The RCD-1572, the outstanding CD player in Rotel’s 15 series, focuses careful refinements to reveal even the most subtle nuances buried in a CD’s pit spiral.
The RCD-1572 elevates performance by utilizing a purpose designed and built CD mechanism along with other circuit refinements. One of the RCD-1572’s most important features is the Wolfson WM8740 digital filter/stereo digital-to-analog converter. Originally developed for high resolution sources, it is the product of extensive research and real world testing and processes digital signals up to 24-bits in length at sampling rates from 8 kHz to 192 kHz.
While word lengths and sampling speed may seem excessive for CDs delivering data at far lower rates, this high speed facility adds reserve capability to ensure proper reproduction under all circumstances. As the most crucial link between a CD’s digital data and the analog world in which we listen, this converter boasts significant attributes in addition to its superb high resolution capabilities.
The post-converter analog circuitry benefits from Rotel’s decades-long experiences in crafting the finest sounding pathway from the DAC’s internal output to RCA and XLR rear panel connectors that bridge the gap between the RCD-1572 and down-stream components. All circuit components–resistors, capacitors, inductors–are chosen only after their positive contribution to sound quality were quantified and verified qualitatively by extensive listening sessions.
All of these circuits draw on a power supply based on an oversized custom Rotel-designed and precision-manufactured toroidal power transformer that, in turn, feeds precise rectifiers, tight-tolerance voltage regulators, and advanced Slit-Foil low-ESR storage capacitors, all globally sourced to ensure musically accurate operation under even the most demanding conditions.
This is all part of Rotel’s long-proven Balanced Design Concept. It’s yet another way of assuring customers that the RCD-1572 evidences a level of attention that will make it part of a reference-level music system for years to come.
(iOS control App (requires connection to 15 Series RA/RC models)
Suggested Retail Price: USD $899
• Visit the Rotel website for more product information.
• Rotel Introduces Multichannel RAP-1580 “Amplified Processor” at HomeTheaterReview.com.