Rotel RC-1590/RB-1590 Reviewed

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 |


Rotel has been widely acknowledged for 50 years as a leader in affordable high-end electronics designed for serious audiophiles and home-theatre fans. They've been in this game long enough that when we hear model denominations starting at RC and RB, it automatically pops up images of respectively pre- and power amplifiers on the retina. And this time it concerns models in Rotel`s absolute top class, where Rotel even implies that they compete with cost-no-object amplifiers costing many times the price.

We take a look at the latest Hi Fi News Review – ‘This new heavyweight, but disarmingly affordable, pre/power combination sits at the top of the Rotel range. Can it challenge the big-hitters of high-end hi-fi ?’

Hi Fi News says -

"Both preamp and power amp are solid, neatly turned-out and have controls with a precise and well-engineered feel. And as you'll see from the internal shots on these pages, both also have a clear, logical layout, and use high-quality components"

"The detail on offer here is always impressive, particularly in the way in which ambience and the size and acoustic character of a recording venue is conveyed - and especially so with higher resolution files. It just goes to show that this heavyweight amplification isn't all about 'going loud', but rather it has refinement and clarity to match its muscle."

"It does a fine job of delivering a wide range of music with detail and excitement intact. That Rotel has managed to offer all this for very sensible money, along with wide-ranging input flexibility and fuss-free behaviour, is a tribute to its design and manufacturing."

‘There’s nothing to complain about when it comes to fit and finish’

Hi Fi New - Verdict –
There’s no denying that the Rotels deliver a lot of bang for the buck, and though in absolute terms this isn’t the most refined amp combo in the world, it does a fine job of delivering a wide range of music with detail and excitement intact. That Rotel has managed to offer all this for very sensible money, along with wide-ranging input flexibility and fuss-free behaviour, is a tribute to its design and manufacturing.

Sound & Image -  Verdict - 
We have always been impressed with Rotel and this combination ticks all the right boxes for us. Perfect combination of power and control. The Rotel RC-1590/RB-1590 is for the discerning audio enthusiast and provides the highest levels of performance. 5 stars from Sound & Image!

Specifications –


RC-1590
Stereo Preamplifier

·                     Twin toroidal transformers to maximize analogue/digital circuit isolation
·                     TI precision volume control IC
·                     MM Phono input
·                     Three line-level analogue input stages (CD, Tuner and Aux),
·                     Six digital input stages (three coax; three optical)
·                     32bit 768kHz Asahi Kasei Digital to Analogue Converter
·                     Internal Bluetooth module supports both APTX and standard SBC
·                     Front facing USB input for iPod/iPad connections with 2.1A charging capability
·                     Rear panel PC-USB 24bit 192KHz input supports Windows, MAC and DoP (DSD over PCM).
·                     Tone control cut/boost up to 10dB
·                     Balanced (XLR) input stages
·                     Twin balanced (XLR) and single-ended (phono) output stages
·                     Twin sub-woofer outputs
·                     Front panel status display

RB-1590
Stereo Power Amplifier

·                     Output power 350W per channel, both channels driven, 20Hz-20kHz
·                     Twin mono-block construction
·                     Slit-foil reservoir capacitors, total 80,000mFd
·                     Twin speaker terminals for each channel
·                     Balanced (XLR) input stages 
·                     Two stage power-on circuit
·                     12-volt trigger control
·                     Thermal, over-current and over-voltage protection circuits
·                     5U chassis

Both the preamplifier and the power amp are available in black and silver finishes. Give us a call or visit us at either branch to audition the new Rotel additions for yourself.

Sound & Image Menlyn 012 368-1440
Sound & Image Sandton 011 884 5165