Rotel RMB-1575 Amp Review Introduction
I have owned this power amp for quite some time and have had plenty of time to play and listen to how it performs. For the record, I have owned the Lexicon LX7, Meridian G55, Parasound A51 and A52, as well as a few other Integrated AV amps. I had more or less settled on an "all in one" solution previously as I felt that the performance gains were minimal when running the speakers that I own, which are M&K S150THX crossed over at the THX recommendation of 80Hz. The low end is taken care of by the sub, which takes a lot strain away from the amp allowing it full attention to the main speakers. This has worked well with great results and superb movie performance. Since the new higher resolution formats have been released it is my opinion that there is more benefit from owning a good power amp. From the Manufacturer
Larger listening environments require prodigious amounts of power to deliver room filling sound. That’s exactly what you get with Rotel’s 5 x 250 watt power amplifier. Rotel’s RMB-1575 is a true high current audiophile design and can double its output to 5 x 500 watts at 4 ohms with all channels driven. Pure muscle alone, however , does not make a superb amplifier. The RMB-1575 excels at extracting all of the smallest audio details from both music and movie soundtracks alike. Best of all, even with its high power capability the RMB-1075 runs relatively cool, extending the components lifespan thanks to its innovative Class D design. First Impressions
The new Rotel RMB-1575 comes in Black and Silver with black being my preferred color. In most Home Cinemas black can disappear in the dark much easier, although the silver is a lovely finish too. If you have your amp on show then it certainly does do justice to your system. The only negative point on the looks is the power button, which has a very bright blue light with a halo affect and can be quite distracting. This is probably a minor issue and the rest of the amp is finished to a very high standard and certainly looks high end.
These newer Class D amps run extremely cool and even after continuous use it is barely warm to the touch.
This power amp has plenty of power rated at 250 watts into 8 ohms and 500 watts into 4 ohms.
The amp comes in at a relatively low weight of 11kg thanks to its D class specification. My previous Lexicon and Parasound amps were very heavy compared to the Rotel. Connections
On the back of the unit are RCA unbalanced connections, speaker binding posts and a 12v trigger. All connections are gold plated and appear to be of high quality. Music and Movies Performance
I am using the new Arcam FMJ AV888 as my processor which can accommodate all the new HD audio formats, SACD & DVD-Audio via LPCM and the usual DD + DTS formats. The Arcam review can be found here
I listened to quite a bit of source material using the superb Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray/DVD player. My preference for audio playback is DVD-Audio and CD. The Rotel is a very neutral sounding amp and does not add or take anything away from the signal, taking grip of my M&K's with lightning speed. Dynamics are fantastic and I find it to be an excellent partner for my existing equipment.
Listening to the higher resolution DVD-A and SACD music, the power shines through as the higher sampling rates allow for greater dynamics. A great example is the Simple Minds album "Once Upon A Time", which is superb and gives the amp and speakers a good work out. It is also great when listening to more subtle tracks. Joni Mitchel's "Both Sides Now" is another good recording on DVD-A that shows the quality of the Arcam and Rotel combo. A favorite SACD of mine is Roger Waters, "The Wall - Live in Berlin", and is a great of example of SACD recorded and mixed well, yet again the Rotel pounds out the music with aplomb and controls the speakers with a vice like grip.
Movies are a similar story and this amp does not leave you wanting. The new HD formats, Dolby True-HD and DTS HD MA are the ideal codecs for good pre/pros, as the higher bit rates allow for greater dynamics in movie soundtracks. Bolt, the new Disney film, has an excellent mix with one of the better opening scenes in a while. The Arcam and Rotel combo create a huge sound stage and excellent dialogue.
My favorite BD discs at the moment are Transformers 1 and 2, which are incredible sound moments if you ever want to see what a good setup is capable of. Also Batman: The Dark Knight gives an outstanding show of how an action movie should sound. The Rotel did not fail in any way with any movies or music. Manufacturer Specifications Power Output
All channels driven 250 Watts x 5ch (20-20 kHz, 0.03% THD, 8 ohms)
500 watts x 5ch (20-20 kHz, 0.03% THD, 4 ohms)
THD (20-20,000Hz) 8 ohms, all channels driven < 0.03% IM Distortion
< 0.03% Damping Factor (8 ohms)
27.1dB Input Sensitivity/Impedance
1.5 V / 8.3 k ohms Frequency Response (+/-1 dB)
10 - 80 kHz (+3dB) S/N Ratio (IHF A)
109 dB Power Consumption
600 Watts Dimensions (W x H x D)
431 x 144 x 407 mm
17 x 5 5/8 x 16 in Front Panel Height
3U / 132.6mm / 5 2/8 in Weight
11 kg. Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Out of the many amps I have tried over the years I would say that the new Rotel RMB-1575 is just as good if not better, and allows the movies and music soundtracks to be played at very high levels with relative ease due to the huge amounts of power on tap. It also has the advantage of running extremely cool to the touch being class D. In this day and age where people are more conscious of the power we consume and how it affects global warming, this is a very energy efficient amp.
I have no reservations in recommending this amp. Please use the Rotel RMB-1575 Amplifier Review: Discussion Thread for Questions or Comments!