The problem isn't the CD player. Its a combination of your amp and speakers. Of the 2, I would replace the Rotel integrated first. Its an entry level amp. You need find something a high quality preamp. I had my 1072 paired with a Creek 5350SE.If you can find a good used one, that would be ideal. The aluminum tweeter in your speakers isn't helping either.
1st try the CD player in a friend's system
did the Sony CE595 sound better in the same system? same room with nothing added (like, say, a rug)?
Yes, the Sony was used for a long time in the same room/system. The sound wasn’t steely and edgy like it is now once the Rotel player was added.
Rotel/B&W combo would benefit from using Transparent cabling instead of Audioquest.
I would try a different power source. Although I never personally heard a Rotel RCD-1072, I've read excellent things about them. I think the flat, sterile, dry sound you are experiencing may be the weakness of the preamp section of the RA-1062. I think Rotel makes great CD players and power amps, but I've personally never liked the sound of their preamps. The last one I owned was a RA985BX. I remember being in a similar situation and ended up pin-pointing the problem down to the preamp section. Since the 985 had pre-out/main-in jacks, I tested it using the pre-outs of a Denon DRA-625. The difference was amazing... and keep in mind, the Denon's preamp section isn't all that great to begin with. Sfall's choice of a Creek 5350SE or even an Exposure 2010s would be very good. Another option is a Simaudio Moon 250i/i1.
I compared the 1072 to the Cambridge 640c many years ago and the Cambridge player easily bested the Rotel. Cambridge was more natural sounding, the Rotel more clinical and antiseptic. They make fine amps, but their CD players have always been their weakest link IMO.
Rotel, NAD, Cambridge...etc., will have a different presentation than the Sony.
Take the AC plug of the Rotel and put a cheater adapter on it.
Now Flip the ac polarity or orientation of the AC plug into the wall.
Listen to see if you prefer it.
Johnnyr, that's an interesting suggestion. I have a few cheater plugs that you can't flip because one prong is wider than the other. Do they make cheater plugs that can be flipped as you describe? Just curious as I don't think I have any ground loop issues.
just trim the cheap cheater with nibblers so it can fit.
you are doing this so you can flip the polarity and listen.
In your other post make sure you can hear that Codex sometime
its a real honey.
Rotel products in general are detailed but unfortunately flat, sterile, dry and bright.
I owned in the past Rotel CD,pre and power for 2 years till I couldn't hear my system anymore its sound was cold as ice and boring ,so decided to change my system to McIntosh day and night difference.
Johnnyr, thanks for the recommendation. Since I need a toslink and USB input, and balanced outs, the codex seems like a perfect match for my needs. I am anxious to try it. Thanks again.
Let us know when you experience the Ayre Codex.
I will also predict after a few days you'll be hearing your whole system
reach a new level of engagement.
JohnnyR, I am auditioning the Codex now and am very impressed with it It is dynamic, musical, revealing, and just plain fun when listening to music I thought I knew well. What an overachiever. Not quite as impressed with the toslink as I am with the USB input. Thanks for the suggestion. This will be way less expensive than upgrading my pre, at least for now.
Glad you are loving it
wait till you get the Ayre Pre amp going in there it will be a real treat
itzhak1969, did you upgrade to Mcintosh SS or tubes? My dream system consists of Mcintosh components and Sonus Faber Olympia towers I heard at Magnolia last Christmas. Best system I've heard in a long time.
do you still own the Rotel gear?
Just a quick update -- yes I still own the Rotel gear. I finally found the culprit which turned out to be the AudioQuest cables.
Earlier in the year, I replaced the AudioQuest cables (Bedrock, King Cobra, and NRG-4's) with Acoustic Zen Matrix Ref, Satori, and El Nino. As soon as I made the change, it made a dramatic difference to the sound of my system. The AZs brought natural tone, bass, and a sense of involvement which was never there before. No longer did everything sound bright and artificial. I don't know which brand is "correct" (i.e. accurate, neutral) and what is colored, but all I can say is that my ears love the sound of the AZ cables. There is a sense of playful tunefulness in everything, it just makes the Rotel gear sound more like music and not like 80s early-gen CD like the AudioQuest did.