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Introduction

Now I have owned this amp for quite some time now so have had plenty of time to play and listen to how this power amp performs, just some back ground to what I have owned in the past, I have owned quite a few Power amps which include the Lexicon LX7 / Meridian G55 and Parasound A51 & A52 also a few high end Integrated AV amps and 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 speakers and crossed over at standard THX recommendation of 80Hz, so all the low end is taken care of by the sub, this takes a lot strain away from the amp and therefore THXUltra2 spec AV amps have no problems powering them, and this has worked well with great results and superb movie performance, but since the new higher resolution formats have been released there is more benefit from owning a good power amp IMO.

First Impressions

The new Rotel RMB-1575 comes in 2 finishes Black and Silver with black being my preferred colour, as in most Home Cinemas black can disappear when dark much easier, although the silver is a lovely finish too, and if you have your kit is on show then it certainly does do justice to your system and credibility on looks, the only negative point on the looks is the power button which has a seriously bright blue halo affect light around it and when on it can be quite distracting, I think this will annoy quite a few people with light controlled rooms, this is just a small negative point though and can be resolved by covering the button or hiding away in the AV rack, the rest of the amp is finished to a very high standard and certainly looks high end.

What also is good with these newer Class D amps is the fact that they run extremely cool and that is even after continuous use, with it barely feeling warm to the touch.




Power wise this amp has huge amounts and is rated at 250watts into 8ohms and a staggeringly high 500watts into 4ohms, and considering its weight is quite hard to comprehend as usually for this sort of power you are looking at 30kg plus!

The amp comes in at a relatively low weight of 11kg which for amps is featherweight compared to others, I have owned Lexicon and Parasound in the past and they are very heavy compared to the Rotel, the reason for such light weight is down to this amp being class D which is also known to some as Digital.


Connections and ease of Use

At the back of the unit you get unbalanced connections and a 12v trigger switch so can be linked with a processor to power on, they have omitted balanced connections and this obviously keeps costs down but tbh I do not see this as a problem as most connections are RCA anyway and only really require balanced when long runs are required, the binding posts are of high quality and gold plated connectors are used for them and the RCA too.

Music and Movies Performance

Moving on swiftly to the most important part and that is the audio performance of the 1575, I have a lot of material for use and also quite a few sources to play with, BD and DVD is taken care of by the superb Oppo BDP83 and this is considered by many as a reference player which also is the first universal player and SACD / DVD-Audio can be played too, I own lots of these with preference being DVD-Audio for audio playback and also CD, I am using an HTPC for movie use too but can only use LPCM and standard DD & DTS on the HTPC, I am now using the new Arcam FMJ AV888 as my processor (previously using an Onkyo 905 as a processor) and it can handle all the new HD audio formats and also SACD & DVD-Audio via LPCM and the usual vanilla flavours DD + DTS.

The Arcam review can be found here and is an impressive processor which is reference for both movies and music, what I can say about the Rotel is that it is a very neutral sounding amp and does not add or take anything away from the incoming signal, it just allows amplification and by goodness does it have power and takes grip of my M&K's with lightning speed stop and starting on a dime, dynamics are fantastic and I find it to be an excellent partner for my existing equipment.

I listen to a lot of music especially lately and with the Higher resolution DVD-A and SACD the power shines through as the higher sampling rates allow for greater dynamics, a great example is Simple Minds Album "Once upon a time" which is superb and gives the amp and speakers a good work out, but it is also great when listening to more subtle tracks and Joni Mitchel "Both Sides Now" is another good recording on DVD-A to allow the quality of the Arcam and Rotel combo to shine through.

A favourite 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 is a similar story and 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 and the soundstage that my Arcam and Rotel combo create is huge with greater attack and the opening scene is one of the best of any of the new Disney films to date.

My favourite BD discs though at the moment are the Transformers movies 1 & 2 which are incredible sound moments if you ever want to see what a good setup is capable of, also the Batman movie The Dark Knight gives an outstanding show of how an action movie should sound.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Out of the many amp combinations I have tried over the years I would say that the new Rotel RMB-1575 is just as good if not better than some 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 is also has the advantage of running extremely cool to the touch being class D and 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 and this will please the greener parties out there.

I have no reservations in recommending this amp and at $2,799 it is a bargain!

Here is another Review of the Rotel RMB-1575 at Home Theater Review
 

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Re: Rotel RMB-1575 Review Specs

Model RMB-1575

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)
400

Gain
27.1dB

Input Sens. / 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) mm

431 x 144 x 407 mm

Dimensions (W x H x D) in.
17 x 5 5/8 x 16 in

Front Panel Height
3U / 132.6mm / 5 2/8 in

Weight (net)
11 kg, lb.
 

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Very nice review, John! I like Rotel equipment a lot and they were one of top choices when I was looking into amplifiers.
 

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Thanks Jon, it really is a nice amp and I have had it for a little while now but it works so well in my system, considering its price point it really does deliver :)
 

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As previously mentioned, very nice review. I didn't realize Rotel equipment was priced so reasonably. In the past I always found it to be way beyond my price range.

I have read in the past objections to class D amps for music but it sounds like it's not an issue. I guess the technology has really improved.

Thanks.

Bob
 

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Hi Bob, yes it works extremely well and I also know of someone else who powers his B&W 803D in a 5.1 setup with great results, like I said it is neutral and allows the quality of my processor to shine through not colouring the sound at all...

It uses ICE modules in particular 2x ICEpower500ASP and 3x ICEpower500A modules...

http://www.icepower.bang-olufsen.com/en/solutions/speaker/A_SERIES
 

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There seems to still be quite a bit of controversy with ICEPower in general. Back about 10 years ago, they really weren't very good for full frequency usage. ICE was primarily used for subwoofer ams and was especially popular among car audio enthusiasts. Technology has improved quite a bit now that they are fully capable of full frequency spectrum reproduction, though and while many still argue their sound quality, I can say that I honestly don't care what people say. ICE amps really sound amazing to me. My D-Sonic amp really serves me well and I cannot express how cheap they are for the amount of power they output to the speaker. Problems musically? Absolutely not. It certainly is a lot more musical sounding than my previous amplifier, the Emotiva MPS-2. The top end has more noticeable detail yet is not as harsh sounding. The midrange and low end both have more impact and resolve more texture as well. The amplifier opened up the sound stage quite a bit, too, and also improved on the three-dimensional depth of the sound.

Again, I urge people to listen to ICE amps and see what they think of them personally. For me, I am sold on the technology. On top of the sound quality I've experienced, it's also nice to know that they are so incredibly efficient, power consumption-wise.
 

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Hello,
John, another stellar review. You really are an excellent writer and reviewer and truly an asset to our Forum.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Thanks John and Jon for filling in more details regarding the technology. I am definitely going to look into this amp as a replacement for my Outlaw.

Bob
 

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I was pleasantly suprised when I first listened to this amp Bob, I have had experience of subs using Digital amps but never multi channel amps and the Rotel is a star performer, another amp also worth looking at is the NHT Power5 amp which also uses ICE technology and has had some very good feedback.
 

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NHT and Rotel are great suggestions.

Less-known brands to look at are PS-Audio, Wyred4Sound, D-Sonic as well. There isn't too much variance between ICE power modules. I know that Wyred4Sound specifically is one company that alters the module just a bit, though. I don't remember the modificiations that they make to the modules, but you can probably find that information on their website. Most other companies just put the ICE power modules into their own specific chassis untouched.
 

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Again, John and Jon thanks for the additional information. I located a store not too far away and plan on listening to the Rotel next week. I will also check out the other brands mentioned. I didn't realize there were that many class D amps on the market.

Bob
 

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Again, John and Jon thanks for the additional information. I located a store not too far away and plan on listening to the Rotel next week. I will also check out the other brands mentioned. I didn't realize there were that many class D amps on the market.

Bob
Have fun next week Bob and let us know what you think about the Rotel and any other Class D amp you can get to listen to?
 

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Cool review John. :T

* I recently read another review on this same very amp, and it was also very positive.

** My only distress, is at the price. At $2,799, I personally don't call it a bargain.
I guess it all depends on each one's point of view.
For that same amount of money, I'll go with a combination of Emotiva amps and a high-end SVS sub as a Bonus.
Remember, this is just my opinion.
 

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Thanks Bob :T my comment with it being a bargain comes from comparisons of other amps that are considerably more than what the Rotel costs...
 

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Also, there are not a lot of amps that will deliver 500 watts into 4 ohms at that price level. But Bob makes a very good point and that's why recommending home theater equipment to another person is very tricky. If you think about it for a minute, here are what affects an individual's choice:

1) Source. Everyone listens to different things. How well is the source made in terms of acoustics?
2) Environment. Everyone is going to be listening in a different environment. How good or bad is it?
3) Speakers. Everyone has an opinion on speakers they like and dislike. Also, how well does the speaker fit into the environment?
4) Electronics. How good are the electronics driving the speakers?
5) Hearing. While most people have 'normal' hearing, some have issues at certain frequencies. Plus people like their music/sound certains ways (maybe a lot of bass or softer mids, etc).
and finally, the point that you touch upon
6) How much money does one put into all of it? I definitely think that there is a line to cross where the price increase does not yield enough improvement in the sound (to an individual) that warrants the extra cost.

I think the trap in this hobby is that once you hear good sound, you always are trying to see how much you can improve it and then you start buying into the advertising.

I want to look into the Rotel because I'm driving 4 ohm speakers and would like some headroom. Plus I'm interested to see if it does provide a better sound.

Anyway, this is how I see it and I'm sure there are other points of views.

Thanks all.

Bob
 

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Very true Bob and there is so many variables when choosing equipment, the biggest upgrade in SQ that I have made was buying the Arcam AV888 which has made a massive difference for both movie and music viewing/listening pleasure, the Rotel just slots in nicely but that may not always be the case for everyone, dependant on Room/Source Equipment/Preamp/Speakers...but it is good to have available reviews for comparisons and equipment used to then base what you may or may not require, one thing the Rotel has is plenty of power when needed....
 

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John,

I finally got around to listening to the RMB-1575 and it is everything that you say it is. The people in the store were even good enough to hook up speakers that came close to my LSi15 and have offered to let me take it home over a weekend so I can listen to it on my setup. I'll move forward with that in the very near future.

In the meantime, I updated my pre-pro from the Outlaw 990 to the Onkyo 5507 and should be receiving it on Saturday. The Arcam was just way out of my league. Also looking very hard at the Pioneer 141 plasma display but have to make a very quick decision as they are vanishing fast. Busy time.

Thanks again for the review.
Bob
 
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