Rotel Hard Hitting HiFi

Friday, 5 February 2010 |

Rotel RCD-1520 CD player,
RC-1580 preamplifier and
RB-1582 power amp

Rotel fleshes out its mainstream 15 series with
new stereo components


...In most cases it is convincing, even the forward-sounding balance
had a positive effect by helping the system sound punchy and dynamic.
But it's the CD player that impresses us most of all. It still has a trace
of what was sounding suspiciously like the Rotel 'house sound'. It is a
little forward in balance, though only a little, but it is also surprisingly
sweet and open-sounding.

Image depth is impressive and lateral soundstaging is expansive. It
'breathes' in a way that contrasts favourably with other similarly priced
players. We also discovered that the Rotel player copes surprisingly
well with marked and damaged discs. It seems that a slot-loader
doesn't have to compromise usability, which is an obvious danger,
though it is worth practicing handling dics carefully to avoid getting
finger marks over the surface...

...Overall, the combination is tonally on the lightweight side of neutral
and there's a hint of untidiness, yet the presentation is also dynamic,
colourful and vivid.
Hi-Fi Choice issue 323, reviewed by Alvin Gold