New Member, New Rotel RSX-1055 (giving my humble opinion)

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  • spizzi
    Junior Member
    • Aug 2003
    • 11

    New Member, New Rotel RSX-1055 (giving my humble opinion)

    What's the word big birds? I am joining this forum per the recommendation of a reviewer from audioreview.com that read my latest review. I have some qualms about my purchase as I used to be a faithful Marantz owner and it looks like this is the right place to rock.

    Not that you want to hear background about my purchase but it might help potential new buyers. I initially was drawn to the RSX1055 because of its natural good looks. Say goodbye to the ubiquitous black cases that seem to dominate the A/V market. I originally never ever thought I would purchase a receiver over $1000 but after merely seeing this receiver and reading rave reviews, I was convinced this would make me break the $1K barrier. And break it I did.

    I am going to start with my disappointments first:

    1. I thought the blue (for the silver faceplate) ring around the volume knob was to light up. It never did. For some reason before I bought it (there wasn’t a demo unit on the showroom floor), I had the understanding that it did light up (according to specific pictures I saw on websites). To me this was a selling point perk as I love the attention to detail. So you can only imagine my surprise when mine did not light up. I seriously sat there for 30 minutes after unpacking it trying to figure out if it was broken. I even called into the store to see if their floor unit lit up red around the volume knob for the black unit. It didn’t. Whatever; I wasn’t about ready to return it and be refunded. I felt even better to know the 1065 (which naturally costs more) did not light up as well.

    2. Despite reviews (both professional and consumer) saying it sounds like it plays louder than 75W per channel. It really does sound and play at 75W per channel. This is minor.

    3. The Marantz had an “Auto” feature that automatically sensed the signal being fed to it (whether CD, DVD etc..) and it would automatically switch the surround mode to 2-Channel (CD/MP3 playback) or DTS (if DTS was sensed) or Dolby Digital (if it was sensed). The Marantz would switch back and forth as it sensed the signal being fed to it. The Rotel doesn’t do this…here’s a perfect example. If I am playing a CD in 2-Channel on the Rotel, and then pop in a DVD with DTS, the 1055 DOES switch to 5 channel surround. However, when I stop the DVD and pop back in a CD, the Rotel throws the signal into Dolby Prologic II. THIS IS SO ANNOYING!!! I want it to read the signal and throw the CD playback back into 2-Channel!!

    4. As an extension to #4 above: When the Rotel RSX 1055 receiver automatically switches surround modes (2-channel, DTS, DD, etc…) on its own, there is an insertion of silence in the playback before each mode kicks in. So you end up missing about 2 seconds of sound before the sound kicks in. It is most noticeable and annoying when watching a DVD because the introduction sound information might be in 2 Channel, then when the DVD automatically jumps into the menu, the menu might be in 5-Channel DD, then when the movie finally starts, it might be in 5-Channel DTS and switches again. It causes a lot of sound to be lost during the switchovers. In comparison to my Marantz SR7000, the Marantz actually detected the signal being fed to it much further in advance than the Rotel RSX 1055 so it would switch over in a quicker manner thus eliminating the loss of sound. This has to be fixed.

    5. Receiver randomly sends a power blip to my subwoofer causing it to "rumble" when nothing is playing (CD/DVD player is off).

    6. Static "click" always happens when playing a DVD movie and pressing the "EQ" button. To remedy: stop the movie first and then press this button.

    Wow, I never thought I would be so picky with my equipment since I do not consider myself to be an audiophile. However, I do have expectations due to the fact that my old receiver cost me about $600 less and did not have the annoyances of a more costly receiver (the RSX 1055 for this example).

    So why did I keep it? Because it sounds damn good when you take away all of those issues I have with it. Do the benefits outweigh the annoyances? To some degree yes, to another degree, no. If the breaking point is the price, then since I have paid more for a receiver that causes me more annoyances than my Marantz (which was almost half the price of my new Rotel) then the answer is yes, I am disappointed. But I think the biggest reason why I am keeping it is based on two things: 1) upgradeability and 2) the way it sounds.

    In all seriousness, I am banking on the hopes that Rotel will send a software update to fix all of these problems that I have listed (except for the light around the volume knob). This would be the coolest thing I could witness with an expensive receiver; having the manufacturer do what it actually claims (the ability to be upgradeable).

    Sorry for taking you from pillar-to-post with this mixed review/posting. Just thought I would share my opinion of this otherwise fine receiver.

    Candid feedback is encouraged. Thank you.
  • efarstad
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Jun 2001
    • 2231

    #2
    Thanks for sharing your views...but one thing to consider is that if you just got new speakers too...then that will DEFINATELY make a difference in what you're hearing (more than the Rotel IMHO). So wait until your B&Ws have a chance to settle in and I think things may change on you!

    E





    The Norwegian A/V Nut!
    E-Cinema

    The Norwegian A/V Nut!
    E-Cinema

    Comment

    • spizzi
      Junior Member
      • Aug 2003
      • 11

      #3
      Correct, I forgot to mention that I do understand new speakers also affect the sound. But I was more concerned that my Marantz did not sound as poor as the Rotel when first taken out of the box and played on brand new speakers. As an update, my speakers and receiver sound 200% better than it did when I first set up the package. Thanks for your feedback!

      Comment

      • Gordon Moore
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Feb 2002
        • 3188

        #4
        The RSX 1055 sounded so poor out of the box hooked up to my brand new B&W DM603s (bought all at the same time) that I thought I got taken for the proverbial ‘ride’! When I drop more than $1K on something, it better meet expectations. Of course, I was not expecting it to sound like a $20K system, but I expected it to be enjoyable. This just was not the case. The soundstage was narrow, no depth, laid back, and compressed. MP3s sounded absolutely disgusting



        Because it sounds damn good when you take away all of those issues I have with it.

        You've lost me here... :huh:




        "A RONSTER!"
        Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.

        Comment

        • Gordon Moore
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Feb 2002
          • 3188

          #5
          As an update, my speakers and receiver sound 200% better than it did when I first set up the package
          I guess that answers that




          "A RONSTER!"
          Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.

          Comment

          • Energeezer
            Senior Member
            • Sep 2002
            • 147

            #6
            Spizzi
            Having owned recievers from Sony, Marantz, NAD, Onkyo, Yamaha and now the 1055/1075 combo I will say your review is right on at its heart.
            By that I mean that it is easily bested by recievers @ 1/2 it's price in conveience features and in Yamahas case gadgets. But it all comes back to the sound. I've still never heard a unit it's match at it's price as far as sound goes and that keeps me happy.
            Everyones tastes are differnet and mine differ from yours in that I would not want the circular blue area around the volume to light up of the logo. In fact I often turn the displays off any of my equip that will allow it.
            If sound is number 1 then you made the correct choice. If not then I think you did not do enough research as it has been stated over and over that the 1055 is about the sound.
            Steve




            The Future of HT lies in FP SPREAD THE WORD
            The Future of HT lies in FP SPREAD THE WORD

            Comment

            • spizzi
              Junior Member
              • Aug 2003
              • 11

              #7
              Sound is the number 1 compelling reason for me to purchase an expensive (relatively speaking) receiver. I do feel I made the correct choice after being pleasantly surprised with the break-in. However, I feel the issues I have stated should not be an after-thought as these really are issues to do with the playback of the unit (except for the light-up of the ring around the volume knob). They are legitimate weaknesses (power blip to sub, 'clicking' noise when activating the EQ switch from the remote, sound drop issue when the receiver automatically detects the signal being fed to it) and I am really hopeful they can be remedied by Rotel.

              Thanks for your feedback!

              Comment

              • Andrew Pratt
                Moderator Emeritus
                • Aug 2000
                • 16507

                #8
                First off welcome to Club Rotel glad you found us:T

                Now let me see what we can do about answering your questions...

                1. I thought the blue (for the silver faceplate) ring around the volume knob was to light up. It never did. For some reason before I bought it (there wasn’t a demo unit on the showroom floor), I had the understanding that it did light up (according to specific pictures I saw on websites). To me this was a selling point perk as I love the attention to detail. So you can only imagine my surprise when mine did not light up. I seriously sat there for 30 minutes after unpacking it trying to figure out if it was broken. I even called into the store to see if their floor unit lit up red around the volume knob for the black unit. It didn’t. Whatever; I wasn’t about ready to return it and be refunded. I felt even better to know the 1065 (which naturally costs more) did not light up as well.
                Don't feel bad you're not the first that's thought the same and in fact we had to add a comment about that in the FAQ!

                2. The RSX 1055 sounded so poor out of the box hooked up to my brand new B&W DM603s (bought all at the same time) that I thought I got taken for the proverbial ‘ride’! When I drop more than $1K on something, it better meet expectations. Of course, I was not expecting it to sound like a $20K system, but I expected it to be enjoyable. This just was not the case. The soundstage was narrow, no depth, laid back, and compressed. MP3s sounded absolutely disgusting (my Marantz made them sound better than this Rotel). CDs sounded slightly better but not enjoyable.
                New gear..esp speakers often need time to break in properly which is one reason for speakers not sounding their best at home. Combine that with the fact that your room plays as big if not larger role in the sound you hear and you'll always find that what you heard at a dealer won't sound like what you hear at home. That's the primary reason we all advocate for in home demo's when ever possible.


                3. Despite reviews (both professional and consumer) saying it sounds like it plays louder than 75W per channel. It really does sound and play at 75W per channel. This is minor.
                I think what they're getting at is that the Rotel really is an honest 75 watts...vs the 29 that the marantz put out when all channels were driven. Very few receivers actually meet their rated power on the bench when all channels are driven at the same time full bandwidth.

                4. The Marantz had an “Auto” feature that automatically sensed the signal being fed to it (whether CD, DVD etc..) and it would automatically switch the surround mode to 2-Channel (CD/MP3 playback) or DTS (if DTS was sensed) or Dolby Digital (if it was sensed). The Marantz would switch back and forth as it sensed the signal being fed to it. The Rotel doesn’t do this…here’s a perfect example. If I am playing a CD in 2-Channel on the Rotel, and then pop in a DVD with DTS, the 1055 DOES switch to 5 channel surround. However, when I stop the DVD and pop back in a CD, the Rotel throws the signal into Dolby Prologic II. THIS IS SO ANNOYING!!! I want it to read the signal and throw the CD playback back into 2-Channel!!
                You should be able to set each device to a specific default mode...and the latest firmware fixes the pro logic II issue you have. See the FAQ for details on how to upgrade and what's been fixed lately.

                5. As an extension to #4 above: When the Rotel RSX 1055 receiver automatically switches surround modes (2-channel, DTS, DD, etc…) on its own, there is an insertion of silence in the playback before each mode kicks in. So you end up missing about 2 seconds of sound before the sound kicks in. It is most noticeable and annoying when watching a DVD because the introduction sound information might be in 2 Channel, then when the DVD automatically jumps into the menu, the menu might be in 5-Channel DD, then when the movie finally starts, it might be in 5-Channel DTS and switches again. It causes a lot of sound to be lost during the switchovers. In comparison to my Marantz SR7000, the Marantz actually detected the signal being fed to it much further in advance than the Rotel RSX 1055 so it would switch over in a quicker manner thus eliminating the loss of sound. This has to be fixed.
                See FAQ for the new firmware....

                6. Receiver randomly sends a power blip to my subwoofer causing it to "rumble" when nothing is playing (CD/DVD player is off).
                I don't have a clue what's going on there :?:


                7. Static "click" always happens when playing a DVD movie and pressing the "EQ" button -- stop the movie first and then press this button.
                That's because Rotel uses true relays to switch vs cheaper electronic switches...in the case the clicking is a sign of quality.




                Comment

                • spizzi
                  Junior Member
                  • Aug 2003
                  • 11

                  #9
                  Awesome! Thank you!!! BTW, the power blip to the subwoofer is really random and has not happened in a while. And as for the clicking noise, I do feel better, however I was more concerned that the "clicking" noise would harm my speakers because it is LOUD. Thanks again.

                  Comment

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