Big Rotel Purchase Help!

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  • rcchang88
    Junior Member
    • Jan 2004
    • 3

    Big Rotel Purchase Help!

    First off, i am new to this club but have read many of your links. You guys really know a lot! Anyhow, I am building my stereo/video system and I would love some feedback from anyone out there.

    This is what I'm thinking about getting in the next couple weeks:

    Pioneer Elite H1110HD 50" Plasma
    Rotel RDV-1050 dvd player
    Rotel RSP-1068 pre/pro
    Rotel RMB-1075 or 1095 amp
    Rotel RCD-1072 cd

    So questions are:
    1. is this a good set-up? any suggestions?
    2. is the 1095 overkill...or should i just get the 1075?

    Notes: My living room is 24 by 13 and most listening is 2 channel (cd's). I don't want to spend too much over what is listed above. I have Vienna Acoustic fronts, center and surrounds. I own a Rotel RSX-972 Receiver that is 1 year old and am looking to sell.
  • Aussie Geoff
    Super Senior Member
    • Oct 2003
    • 1914

    #2
    Hi,

    Nice set-up. In terms of your 1075 vs 1095 question it will depend on:
    • Your speakers - your room is not that large but some (a few) really like the extra power of the 1095 but not many.
    • Your desire for quality stereo
    • Your desire for 7 channel.

    Given your CD listening I'd be tempted to get the RMB-1075 and RB-1080 for the front channels for the same price as the RMB-1095 on its own (there's several posts on this and I have this set-up). You get truly great sound for stereo from the 1080 driven by the RSP-1068 and the RCD-1072. And a 7 channel HT is a thing of rare beauty!! (PS – get some quality interconnects for the CD, pre-pro to Amp, and speaker connections – it makes a huge difference!)

    Of course if you have something power hungry like Paradigm Studio 100s or B&W 801s then the 1095 would be nice....

    Food for thought

    Geoff Costello

    Comment

    • Azeke
      Super Senior Member
      • Mar 2003
      • 2123

      #3
      Rcchang88,

      Just a quick recommendation, it seems you enjoy 2 channel music. I would then recommend the RMB-1075 and RB-1080 ( for your 2 channel enjoyment). Check out the previous discussions on the RB-1080 topic.

      Good luck,

      Azeke

      Comment

      • rcchang88
        Junior Member
        • Jan 2004
        • 3

        #4
        Thanks Geoff & Azeke...you guys think alike. I will check out the RB-1080/RMB-1075/RSP-1068 set-up

        This may be a stupid question but will the RSP-1068 pre/pro handle 7.1?

        Comment

        • Azeke
          Super Senior Member
          • Mar 2003
          • 2123

          #5
          Yes, absolutely.

          Azeke

          Comment

          • Andrew Pratt
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Aug 2000
            • 16507

            #6
            I'd agree with the 1080 plus 1075 combo since music is important to you. The other suggestion I'll make is are you set on the plasma TV? For much less money you can get a projector and screen that will give you a huge screen for movies. You'll also have enough left over to buy a smaller TV for regular TV watching if you like.




            Comment

            • DrBoom
              Senior Member
              • Dec 2003
              • 325

              #7
              Just out of curiousity, how different does the 1080 sound from the 1075 ?
              It's just that I too value stereo a lot, yet I find my 1075 not very detailed at all on my N805's which are very capable speakers but are very dependent on the amplifier driving them.
              So I was wondering if it would make a noticable difference if I got an extra 1080 for my front speakers, just for stereo.
              The 1075 goes loud enough, but it just lacks detail and speed.
              Or is this the character of all Rotel amps ?

              Comment

              • will1066
                Senior Member
                • Aug 2003
                • 660

                #8
                Although everyone's mileage varies, there definitely would be a noticeable difference. I experienced improvements in clarity, soundstage, "air" and transparency, dynamics, detail, bass strength and tightness.

                Comment

                • aud19
                  Twin Moderator Emeritus
                  • Aug 2003
                  • 16706

                  #9
                  I too vote for the 1080, 1075 & 1068 combo. I hope to add the 1080 to my 1075 & 1066 in the coming years as well for outstanding movie and even more outstanding stereo performance.

                  I've got to second Andrew's comments on a projector too. If you've got the light control it's the way to go and for less money you'll get a bigger and likely better picture. If you don't have the light control I at least recommend you look at a DLP or LCOS based RPTV. IMO they'll do an as good or better job than a plasma, also for less money. The only downside, again IMO, is not great black levels but that problem exists with Plasma's as well. I'm not a big fan of plasma as they just have to many drawbacks in exchange for being able to be hung on a wall. In fact unless I absolutely, with no options, have to hang a display on a wall you couldn't get me to spend money on a plasma.

                  Jason




                  Need a new display? Questions about new display technologies? Visit RPTVs, plasmas, and other monitors @ HTguide
                  Jason

                  Comment

                  • Aussie Geoff
                    Super Senior Member
                    • Oct 2003
                    • 1914

                    #10
                    DrBoom,

                    Detail and speed are two of the key improvements that I experienced with my RB-1080 in stereo. You just get way more control over the speakers, especially the more difficult to drive ones like the 801s. With speakers that nice, I'd be saving every penny to rush my dealer on one (or thinking interest free).

                    Now, some tips if you decide to do it:
                    • Get the latest model RB-1080 (it has 2 sets of WBT speaker binding posts on the back). They do sound significantly better that the old model.
                    • Give the RB-1080 time to "break in" They get better for a month and sometime in that period get suddenly better.
                    • Invest in some good quality ICs from CD to Pre-Pro and from Prr-Pro to Amp. They make all the difference. (Depending on what you have you may still get a worthwhile improvement now with the 1075 by selecting these carefully - the 801s are renowned for wanting quality speaker cable, and good detailed ICs make a real difference).
                    • Get a really good CD player (Rotel 1072, Arcam 92 etc) and use analog inputs if you can. If you can't afford this right now - cheaper player with the 1066/68/98 coax digital inputs (again quality cable) is still good (just not sublime!)


                    Enjoy!

                    Geoff Costello

                    Comment

                    • Scarp
                      Senior Member
                      • Mar 2003
                      • 632

                      #11
                      Geoff, I disagree with your statement that analog cd input is better than the digital one. I used the Rotel 991 (still rotels best cd player) on the RSP1098 both analogue and digitally and the digital solution was just as good as the analogue connection. The Rotel 1098 dacs are quite good.

                      However a good quality cd player will indeed make a difference, but connecting it analogue or digital will both give good results. Connecting a inferior player digitally is offcourse not recommended since the player makes a lot of difference even when connected digitally.

                      As far as Rotel amps go, I still find the RB1090 the best one from Rotel. The 1080 is different sounding and still less. The 1090 really gives music. Offcourse its a lot more expensive.

                      If stereo is the biggest part of your listening, then indeed go with the bigger amp on the fronts.

                      Comment

                      • Aussie Geoff
                        Super Senior Member
                        • Oct 2003
                        • 1914

                        #12
                        Scarp,

                        Sound is very personal, and each of us hears different things when we listen. I agree that the DACs in the 1098 are very good. Indeed for my older CD player (a 5 year old Aussie spec Sony ES series) the digital input to the 1098 was clearly way better (to my ears) than the analog one.

                        Let me first acknowledge your point (and I guess sum up the theme of the text below) by proposing a modified bullet point for my original recommendation in my post above (changed text is in blue:
                        • Get a really good CD player (Rotel 1072, Arcam 92 etc) and try the analog and digital inputs with a variety of cables to get the best sound for your ears in your system (analog was best for my set-up). If you can't afford this right now – a cheaper player with the 1066/68/98 coax digital inputs (again quality cable) can still be good because of the quality of the DACs in the Rotel processors (just not sublime!)


                        I trust that change now brings us into a greater level of agreement!

                        Now to deal with the issue in more detail

                        As I’ve covered HERE When I first tried the RCD-1072 - digital on it was very much better than digital on my Sony (much to my surprise and consistent with your experience). Analogue on the 1072 was way better than the Sony but different (not better) than the digital into the 1098.

                        Sparked by some postings on other forums (and with some assistance from my very helpful dealer who loaned me a variety of personally recommended cables in varying price ranges) I went on the Digital and Analog Interconnect cable exploration path.

                        I tried 3 digital coax cables – to my surprise, each sounded very different and one was very significantly better than the others, with a clearer more detailed sound with many of the "micro dynamics" coming through. I also tried several Analog IC Cables, one was worse than the digital, one (roughly) the same, one a little better and the other (different sounding), and a third one lot better. Interestingly the “right” analog cable for me was not the most expensive one.

                        For both the digital and analog cables I had my wife and son listening as well and they could also hear the differences along the lines of "buy that one". (Indeed they liked the improvement made on the best digital cable so much they just wanted to stop there – “why bother with the analog it sounds great!”)

                        I guess the net of it (which may align our seemingly different experiences) is that (in my view):
                        • The 1098 has very good DACS - better than many CD / DVD players, in which case digital will sound better than analog for CD input.
                        • However a really high quality dedicated CD payer with technical tricks up its sleeve like 8 times over-sampling etc can do a better CD only conversion than a 1098 since it only has to deal with one specific digital frequency and signal type (all the up-sampling tricks etc don't make sense with DVD Bit-streams).
                        • With the 1098 and a really good CD player, depending on the cables used the Digital or the Analogue can sound equal to or better or worse than each other.
                        • With a good set-up and carefully high quality digital and analog cables, the Analog input from the 1072 CD into the 1098 has more resolution, detail, "air" natural sound etc. IE is audibly preferable with high quality recordings.


                        Of course all of this only applies to the stereo bypass mode, where the 1098 doesn’t re digitize the analog signal! So I’ve now got both good digital and analog cables. I use the analog for “pure” stereo listening, and the digital for my son who likes 7 channel and for me when listening to “processed” music for which the analog input is just too revealing..

                        This also seems to align with the experiences of others such as Mazuly HERE

                        In fact re-reading this now – I can only totally agree with one of his quotes:

                        Finally I tested the analog output of the RCD-1072 to its digital output and found that the sound was very close, but better through the analog output. The timber, bass and all the characteristic of the sound was there but it just wasn’t 3D and seemed analytical. Every time I switched to analog feed, soundstage improved and the air around the instrument and singers came back. The RSP-1098 has an incredible processor inside, but it just could not match the sound of the RCD-1072.
                        Scarp – I know you are now beyond this anyway with the Parasound C2 processor (which may almost certainly has PLL clock regenerators and other technical tricks like the Lexicon, Arcam and Meridian processors to recreate the CD sound) so you probably are getting truly identical (or perhaps better) sound with digital and analogue inputs. However Others with Rotel 1098/68/66 processors and good CD players looking for the best 2 channel sound – I highly recommend that you try both analog and digital and try a range of cables to get the best sound out of your system. I suspect it will be a personal choice for each of us, some may find they like one better than the other (as I did). Personally, I was truly astonished at the differences between cables, especially for the digital cables where I had the “one and zeros are just ones and zeros” feeling until I (and my family) heard the very clear differences.

                        Anyway – Food for thought and it would be very interesting to hear other people’s experiences with analog and digital inputs.

                        Geoff Costello

                        Comment

                        • DrBoom
                          Senior Member
                          • Dec 2003
                          • 325

                          #13
                          Hi Geoff,

                          especially the more difficult to drive ones like the 801s
                          I'd love to get a pair of these one day, but untill i win the lottery my 805's are just going to have to cut it
                          As it happens, i've been cableshopping today, to see if I could find something to cure the lack of detail and very laid-back highs in my set.
                          I got a set of Nordost Flatline Gold (single wire), and a Kimber 8TC/4TC bi-wire cable (never seen this one before, it's an 8TC and a 4TC braided together in a bi-wire cable).
                          First cable I tried was the Nordost, which already made a huge improvement to my run-off-the-mill no-name 2.5 mm² copper wire.
                          Highs are crisp, midrange is detailed, bass is a bit leaner but tighter.
                          The overpowering lower midrange is now well defined, and more balanced with the higher mids.
                          The upper bass of which the 805 has plenty is a bit tighter now too, so all is well
                          I'm very curious how the Kimber is going to perform, but i'm saving that one for tomorrow or later this week.
                          I got the cables for an entire week so i got nothing but time
                          I'm quite happy that I've been able to solve the lack of detail with "just a cable", but i'm still going to consider your (and other people's as well) advice and have a listen to one of the stereo Rotel amps.
                          It's very clear to me now that cables make one hell of a difference and can make or break your entire system.
                          I experienced the same thing when I switched from cheap interconnects which came with the RSP1098 to VanDenHul D102's.

                          Thx for the advice

                          Kevin

                          Comment

                          • Scarp
                            Senior Member
                            • Mar 2003
                            • 632

                            #14
                            Geoff, thanks for your detailed explanation.

                            Sound is very personal and sound taste even more

                            Indeed the only recommendation one can give is: listen, listen and listen more.

                            The digital cable discussion is a nice one, which we shouldn't start, but I certainly agree that there are bit differences between digital cables. “one and zeros are just ones and zeros” is not true, since the clock sync is also transmitted through the cable, which can cause jitter and all other kind of effects

                            Actually the inputs from an unbalanced input is always digitized by the C2. The only bypass is from the multichannel input and from the balanced input. So putting unbalanced analogue connections to the C2 will usually sound a bit worse. Since I haven't got a source with balanced outputs I cannot check what that would bring.

                            But even on the 1098, I found both the digital and analogue modes very good. Note that I had a good analogue interlink (Nordost red dawn), which is a requirement for good performance. Digital cables have differences but give good performance for good value (less than analogue interlinks, which offcourse need at least two cables, therefor more expensive by nature).

                            I think our conclusion is the same:
                            For good quality players test whether or not the player DACs are better than that of the 1098. For "lower" quality players the chance of the DAC being better than that of the 1098 is lower, so in most cases a digital cable will give best results.


                            Putting low quality analogue cables between a good cd player and the 1098 will reduce the sound quality and a digital cable could be a better solution.

                            Ain't sound nice ...

                            Comment

                            • Aussie Geoff
                              Super Senior Member
                              • Oct 2003
                              • 1914

                              #15
                              Kevin,

                              So how did you go with those cables you were comparing. Personally - Although I knew cables made a big difference in the 1980s when I was into Lin Sondecs and Valve amps etc, I had to "re-learn" recently just how much of a difference they can still make and it has really put the final touches on my system - bringing out the life in my speakers...

                              Once you find the right ones for the fronts, I'd suggest the centre and rears as well in a simular cable (Im using lighly cheaper / thinner cable for the 4 rears with the long run).

                              PS - I have the Van Den Hul 102 III as well - did wonders for me into my Rotel Amp (just like those SilverCats that Lex sells in the USA and Canada)

                              Geoff Costello

                              Comment

                              • DrBoom
                                Senior Member
                                • Dec 2003
                                • 325

                                #16
                                Geoff,

                                yesterday I switched from the Nordost Flatline Gold, to the Kimber 8TC/4TC bi-wire.
                                The differences are again quite big, but now i'm wondering if this is because the Kimber is bi-wire and the Nordost isn't, or it's just because the Kimber is a better match for my system.

                                Here's what I've noticed, the Nordost leans toward bright side, where the highs are very noticable and sometimes sound detached from the rest of the spectrum.
                                The upper mid is a bit more powerful than the lower mid, which can make some voices sound a bit thin, but generally it sounds quite good.
                                As for the bass, it's there but it doesn't show, "lean" describes it best.

                                The Kimber, being a lot more expensive (around 3x more i'm guessing) is quite a bit different from the Nordost.
                                First thing that struck me was the overall balance of this cable, it just has everything.
                                Bass was very powerful yet defined, mids were clear and sounded very lifelike, without being too heavy in the lower mid, or sounding too thin.
                                The highs were less bright then on the Nordost, but sounded much more coherent with the mids, not so detached and over-extended.
                                Another huge improvement was that it made male voices a lot less coarse, and things like choirs had better separation of the different voices.
                                This became very obvious with the SACD from Era - The Mass.
                                Most music just sounded a lot less strained.

                                Too bad they didn't have the bi-wire Nordost Super Flatline, because I did like the sound of the Nordost and I'd like to see how it stacks up against the Kimber in bi-wire so I can make sure it's not just better because it's a bi-wire cable and the Nordost isn't.
                                Maybe I can borrow the Solar Wind, which costs about the same as the Kimber, that would be more fair in comparison.

                                Oh, and the center will be wired exactly the same as the fronts, for the surrounds I recently installed a normal 2.5 mm² copper/silver mix cable, Monitor Cobra 3-mix.
                                Because i need about 20m for my surrounds (7 + 13), i'd rather keep it affordable instead of using a Kimber 4TC for instance, which already costs around €30/m.

                                Comment

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