Well the silence is deafening. I guess that it speaks for itself. But I did ask for first hand experience. Maybe I should have phrased the question differently.
Anyway, I'm wondering, considering the specs of this amp, what you all think? I don't see too much else in this price range that comes close. Or am I missing something? I've always been led to believe that Rotel was a middle of the road product and as this is a $1600.00 amp I guess that is true. But it does have some nice features like 60,000uf storage capacity and balanced as well as unbalanced connections.
So let me know what you think.
I had it for a few weeks. Didn't care much for it . Too warm, missing details - at least in my system. I replaced it with Parasound A23, which was much cheaper. I preferred it over the Rotel. It had better resolution, and more balanced over all. I was so impressed that I upgraded to Parasound A21 which I love.
I've owned Rotel pieces, not that one exactly, but experienced their version of mid-fi. They don't overcharge for what you get, it's just boring. Why not an Odyssey piece?
What do you want it all to do? You've left so many gaps: room size, source, speakers, listening styles and budget. That's probably why the initial silence. This is not CSI, share something.
Room about 24 x 24. Listening to some Jazz, lots of Blues & Adult Rock. Some Classical.
I do not own a modern turntable but plan on buying something in the future so it's mostly CD & USB from thumb drive & PC.
Speakers are B&W CM6 S2.
I was going to try tubes but have since decided that they will not work too well with the speakers. As I do not intend to change speakers right away I'm sort of stuck with transistors.
arafiq, you mentioned the Parasound amps. As I am using this for 2 channel music only. I'm curious about the THX certifications. Does that get in the way of a strictly music set up? In other words, would I be paying for something I don't want and, as it is designed for home theater also, is it an infringement on my needs?
Haven't mentioned what your preamp is?
Yes I didn't mention a preamp.
Eventually I want to go with a tube preamp. This is going to be a one piece at a time deal. So currently I have a very nice Yamaha R-S700 receiver with a "main in/pre-out" RCA connection. So my intent would be to use the Yamaha until I decide on a Tube Pre. (as my wallet allows me too)
Not ideal, I know and I can only guess how it will sound. But it will be temporary.
I also realize that with these speakers I do not need all of this power from the Rotel amp. But again, eventually I will upgrade the speakers as well as my bank account dictates.
Thanks for the replies, and I'm curious of any thoughts on the Yamaha as a pre-amp if only for a short time.
wcc10, I don't have any experience with Rotel, but I do have it with Parasound. I don't think you will find any issues with 2-channel performance with either the A23 or A21. There are plenty of reviews on the net and testimonials here and on other forums to support their capabilities.
I'm curious about the THX certifications. Does that get in the way of a strictly music set up? In other words, would I be paying for something I don't want and, as it is designed for home theater also, is it an infringement on my needs?
Just because it its THX certified, doesn't mean it is designed for HT use only. And your not paying for it. Parasound is by paying THX for the certification. So consider this a bonus.
I have had Parasound THX certified components in the past and it is excellent, high value gear for 2 channel application. I wouldn't hesitate getting another HALO amp.
Thanks for the input on the Parasound amps. I have had my eye on them, but wasn't sure what to think. Will read any reviews I can find.
Since you are going to use your Yamaha as a separate amp or pre I would purchase the pre 1st as it would add the most toward an upgrade. I, and several others on this forum, truly enjoy the tube pre/SS amp combo. You then have a choice as to improving your digital front end or go the TT phonostage route as sources. Do you have an budget estimate you are willing to spend on this system?
Now, if the Yamaha amp doesn’t drive you speakers to the extent you want, then buy the amp 1st. Regarding amps, I would go with a Parasound or Odyssey amp (lean toward this somewhat more). I own a Jolida Fusion pre that I think is great value (at$1350).
I take it that you currently have a CD player. If so does it have digital out? ItIf so it could be used as a transport with an external DAC. The DAC could also support a computer as a server.
Once you get to considering the TT you need to consider the TT/cartridge/phonostate as a unit to obtain the best synergy.
Again consider this an enjoyable journey. Keep the music 1st, and upgrade components as a means to this end.
Somewhere along the line you'll need to consider the impedance match between whatever power and pre amps you get; so you might want to decide which of each you ultimately will get regardless of timing. Another consideration might be to go the integrated amp route.
Good points all.
My budget on the amp is $2,000.00 or less.
I thought of going with the pre first but I'm not sure what that would add to what I would hear out of the speakers. Thus my thought of amp first and Yamaha "pre-out" until I could go with a tube pre amp.
MECSH you mention Jolida; I was looking at their Fusion intergrate as well as their tube Pre amps & amps. I did read some reviews that the intergrate & seperate amp lacked some in the "umph" department. In other words, did not do all that well driving Hard to drive speakers.
My CD player is (again) a Yamaha CD-N500. Not sure what you mean buy "digital out." Honestly, this is a really good cd player with Burr-Brown 32-Bit/192kHz DAC. It sounds very good especially with FLAC file CDs. Wish it handeled DSD.
As for impedence, I've always been a fan of 4 ohms. But considering my limited budget I think I will get most for my money sticking to 8 ohm speakers.
As for inergrate, I'm already there with a 100 watt Yamaha Intergrate. Sure, there are better receivers on the market but going with seperates will allow me more advantage as far as tweaking in the future as my bank book allows.
Another priority for me is sound stage and separation of instruments. I get that to some degree with the Yamaha integrate with a good FLAC or DSD file. But not nearly to the point where I can picture the instruments in their respective locations. Some of this my be due to the speakers but I believe separate amp/pre amp will help this a lot. Thoughts anyone?
Aside from the speaker impedance you need to consider the input/output impedances of the pre an power amps
Understood. Is impedance matching more important with a tube pre & ss power amp combination?
I read a rule of thumb might be about a 10:1 to about a 100:1 ratio, power amp input impedance to preamp output impedance.
Again, does this hold true for both tube & solid state? Don't want to hurt the speakers!
I went through a similar glide path in gear mixology over the past few years. I looked at the Rotel line and in listening to various Rotel gear I appreciated the fit/finish/sheer heft of the gear, but I was never sold on the sound. I’ve run through a range of gear at home, and I have to agree with the voices speaking up in favor of Parasound in your general price range. To me, it is a great bargain overall. Looks great, and sounds excellent — very quiet (black) with proper power (I am a PS Audio Powerplant fanboy, works great).
Are you familiar with the Parasound z-line of gear? It lends itself very well to a component upgrade path, and I swear this stuff is bang for the dollar. It loves every reasonable upgrade you throw at it in terms of power quality, ICs, speaker cables,... I have NOT (but now that I think of it, I will!) used my Parasound home office z-stack to drive my Avalon Acoustics speakers so I really can not tell you how well the amps hold up to outstanding and large speakers.
Sure the z-line is low on output watts, but your speakers will probably fit well. If there isn’t enough power then you can inexpensively add a second zAmp for each channel (it’s setup to enable that on the back). The z-line really sounds excellent at your price point — PLUS: you can easily recycle (into a second small system) this gear as you upgrade... I have to say, it sounds great with a proper phono stage and good TT setup. I have driven all manner of small to mid-sized speakers (Mourdant-Short, Energy, Martin Logan, ...) with it to great success. This gear is a scaled-down and minimalist-feature version of bigger Parasound gear. ...And, you can frequently get the amp or preamp on special deals online.
I have not seen the Parasound z-line on the Audiogon listings. But I would strongly suggest punching above your retail price by looking for either a good deal on some Parasound or other gear on Audiogon. Speaking of which, I recall paying a nice price (somewhere around $1400) for a Cronus Magnum integrated tube amp that resolves and images really nicely for that relatively low cost. It does NOT have a black background, however. But it’s an analogous situation with vinyl: If you are taken by the overall vinyl sound, you will overlook the surface noise issues. The Rogue is bang. ...But it’s not as clean as other much more expensive tube gear (I ended up with Ayon).
Yes it seems I am being driven in the Parasound direction! I have given the z-line a cursory look but will give it a more thorough examination. I was looking at the Halo line which looks impressive and the Halo 23 is well within my price point for sure. At 125 watts per it is probably ample for my current needs. My only thought is, will it suffice with a view towards future upgrades? You have addressed that question in your response from your own experiences. I appreciate that.
My current speakers (B&W) I believe do not work too well with tube power amps. I can't say that from personal experience but from input here on Audiogon and by at least one tube amp retailer. So for the moment I'm limited to solid state although the Jolida line interests me especially for it's pricing.
As you may have read on this forum, I will use whatever I end up with for 2 channel audio only. I do not have much need for in home theater, but I do want to get as much as I can out of my music system as dictated by what I have to spend. As it is that more than one person has responded with suggestions to look at Parasound I have to consider that line seriously. I do not mind spending all that I can on one item within my audio system and building from there. And as it stands now, I consider myself starting from scratch and will add & build as I can. One question; are you using a Parasound SS pre-amp in your system? Have you tried a tube pre-amp with any success?
Thanks to you and all of those who have answered my questions.