Rotel is one of the most established leaders in value-oriented audiophile gear. As part of the group that also owns Classé Audio electronics and Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) loudspeakers, Rotel is the Volkswagen of its lofty AV brand lineup, giving home theater enthusiasts and audiophiles meaningful performance without a staggering price tag. One of the categories that Rotel has succeeded in most recently is in their digital multi-channel amps. With real power ratings (not the trumped-up BS you will find with other brands currently in the market) you can get five channels of clean, quiet and bountiful power in an absolutely stunning chassis that borders on the levels of the uber-amps out there. The sound of the Rotel RMB-1575 ($2,799) is noticeably void of noise, a quality desirable to audiophiles in Class-A, Class-B designs. Class-D "digital" amps put the other designs to shame in terms of their quiet operation. Rotel's RMB-1575 also provides a very immediate sound, as it has so much more real power than even the top of the line AV receivers. This is valuable to home theater users pumping the latest HD audio codecs like Dolby TrueHD and or DTS Master Audio via HDMI from Blu-ray, who will now have the amplifier power to keep up with the increased dynamics of the new formats.
• Dollar for dollar, the power you get with the Rotel RBM-1575 makes it a killer value. It cannot be compared with even the best AV receivers as it has so much more power. It is clearly a step above.
• The "quiet" or low distortion sound of the amp is truly alluring for music lovers and movie enthusiasts alike, especially with the new HD audio codecs from Blu-ray.
• The casework on the Rotel RMB-1575 is gorgeous, comparing with the best in the business.
• The Rotel RMB-1575 runs cool as a cucumber compared to traditional amps.
Read the Low Points and the Conclusion on Page 2Low Points
• Class-D "digital" amps have tons of power and run quietly and cool. However, they tend to lack the heft on the low end that you get from the best Class-AB amps, such as a Krell or even a comparably-priced ATI. Those amps are far heavier, larger and run much hotter, often with more distortion, yet there is no question as to the difference in sound. It is not a "one is better than the other" valuation. Class-D amps just sound different than traditional Class-AB amps.
Competition and Comparison
To compare Rotel's RMP 1575 amplifier against its competition, please read our reviews for the Parasound Halo A52 amplifier and the Anthem PVA-8 amplifier. You can find more information in our Multi-Channel Amplifier section and on our Rotel brand page.
It should come as no surprise that Rotel is back with another bang-for-the-buck winner with the RBM-1575 five-channel Class-D digital amp. It is a good-looking contender that is the logical companion to today's latest AV preamps with the power needed to blow away even the best, most expensive AV receivers, especially on audiophile sources like DVD-Audio and SACD and, even more dramatically, on HD audio sources from Blu-ray.