New Rotel Amp Vs Older Bryston, Krell, or McIntosh


Brand new to the community here, excited to start the journey haha. I wanted to get some insight on which amp I should purchase. I just bought a Rotel RC-1572 MKII because I love the feature of it being able to automatically turn on when it detects a signal. I use a SONOS Port as my source streaming Tidal, so having that feature and being able to walk in the door and play directly from my phone is valuable to me.

Speakers are B&W CM9 S2's, Audioquest cabling, Furman 15 PFi power conditioner.

Here's the question:

I am looking to pair an amplifier with it. I was debating buying a new Rotel RB-1582 MKii, which seems to be the obvious choice, but was thinking that there might be a better option out there from a higher end brand on the second hand market.

If I'm looking to spend around $2K, I was thinking that there may be a better value with something that has depreciated over 3-7 years but was more expensive new than the Rotel I'm considering. What I was considering was a Krell KAV 2250, Bryston 4B SST, or an older McIntosh. Given these other amps are older, is this something worth looking at or should I just keep it simple and pair it with the Rotel? And are new Amps from a brand like Rotel in the same league as older amps from brands mentioned before due to advancements?

Appreciate your input here.



@auxinput with the gain so low doesn't that mean I won't get as high of a volume compared to another amp because there is less volume to play with? 

And yes, the more I have been thinking about it, the happier I am with getting the Rotel over anything else. It's a good match to my current system and speakers.

I owned a Bryston 4B-SST and 7B-SST and also some ST line amps. The new GAN amps from LSA and others are what I would buy for 2K to 3K over the older Bryston amps. I owned the LSA Voyager 350 GAN. Rumor is that they are going to beef up the power supply in the next iteration. Though the current one is rather good. I kept a lower powered Benchmark AHB2 over the Voyager, but they were both preferred by me over the old Bryston.


@shanafee you could have a point.  I looked and the RB-1582 amp requires 1.9V on the RCA and 3V on the XLR inputs to reach full output.  However, it seems the RC-1572 preamp has a very low gain output of 1V for RCA and 2V for XLR.  This is very low because the typical output of preamps range from 1.4V to 2V for RCA.  I’m thinking that Rotel engineers screwed upon this one.  

@auxinput wouldnt you want a preamp with a higher output gain than the input gain of the amp it’s driving? I’m confused on how Rotel could have overlooked something like this if the components were designed to perform together. 

I see the input sensitivity on the rb 1552 MKII is 2.5v balanced as opposed to 3v on the 1582.  Why would these be different?