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.
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