1098 hardware upgradable

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  • rosros
    Junior Member
    • Feb 2004
    • 10

    1098 hardware upgradable

    Spoke to Mike Sheenan at Rotel. I pointed out that the 1098 is set up like a computer with cards based pci slots. I inquired if this set up would allow the 1098 to be hardware upgradable; much like a computer by swapping out boards. More specifically I asked if the 1098 would allow for the new 5 series processors or multiple processor upgrade to take advanatage of auto speaker set up, parametric equalizing, better zone controls etc. Mike responded that it was never Rotel's intention for the 1098 to be hardware upgradable (like the Krell, Lexicon processors which are also pci card based motherboard layout), only software upgradable. I inquired if Rotel ever thought of replacing the not used svideo card with dvi card. This seems to be a durable option. Mike did not rule out this possiblility. In essense, I felt that by his reaction, the 1098 will be short lived and be surplanted with a 1099 soon. So much for future proofing. Hopefully the next generation would be a significant change and not a evolutionary one like the 1066(they left out dvi, auto speaker setup, bass equlalization); features that higher end receivers from yamaha, sony, denon have already in production.
  • Aussie Geoff
    Super Senior Member
    • Oct 2003
    • 1914

    #2
    Rosros,

    The good news is that all the things you have asked for are already on the "Club Rotel" Wish List for the RSP-1098 here.

    Some observations and informed comments FYI:
    • The backplane of the RSP-1098 doesn't treat the plug in boards uniformly - making hardware upgrades / swaps for different types of boards difficult.
    • Hardware board level upgrades are possible but more for similar function boards.
    • Those processors with full upgrades (B&K Ref 30 to 50 or Lexicon as an example) tend to chard high prices for the upgrades (e.g. $800 to $900 or more) and even charge for software upgrades (Lexicon $300 as an example)
    • Rotel with features like the analog bypass etc is sonically ahead of any of the receivers you mention.
    • However the mass market receiver market is hotly competitive and key players such as Sony, Denon, etc have new "hero" models every 12 to 18 months to encourage replacement buying. These new models incorporate new features such as DVI etc - though usually each manufacturer will have one or two "killer features" to differentiate themselves. These are relatively low cost items and it is not uncommon for buyers to get (say) the latest mid priced Denon (3801, 3802, 3803 and then 3805 every year or two to keep up.
    • Rotel are clearly aware of this hence the replacement of models like the RSP-1066 and the receivers with the newer models after less than 2 years.
    • Most HT Processor Manufacturers have longer upgrade cycles (smaller markets and R&D cycles and longer customer product retention. This in turn means that (with a couple of exceptions such as Meridian) they do not lead in the feature stakes in terms of connectivity etc. This applies even to major players like Lexicon.
    • I would sense that Rotel will need to introduce a new model RSP-1098 style unit in the foreseeable future to address some of the emerging market demands for yet more video connectivity options.
    • However the RSP-1098 is a powerful processor and there is plenty of upgrade life possible for a while in its audio processing capabilities.
    • We should think of ANY HT Processor or Receiver as a short term investment. Receivers I'd be thinking 2 years, and processors 3 to 5 years. After that the new formats etc will make the urge / need to upgrade overwhelming of the other parts of ones system are also being upgraded.
    • I guess that's why we are into separates.


    Not sure that this helps your points – but useful information. I personally would not be expecting any longer upgrade life from the RSP-1098 as for the RSP-1068 or RSP-1066. But I would expect (as with those other products) market feedback, including from Club Rotel, will help drive both software upgrades (where possible) for the life of the existing products, as well as new features on the upgraded products.

    Geoff

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