I have the rotel 1090 the sound is very neutral .the bass is increadible .I can highly recommend it
14 responses Add your response
I owned the Rotel 1090. My local Parasound dealer was kind enough to allow me to bring in the Rotel to compare it with the A21. WOW! I was amazed how good the Parasound was. It was much more open,warmer,and had more detail. Short after the audition I sold the Rotel and bought the A21. I strongly recommend Parasound over the Rotel...but this is only my opinion. Any other questions feel free to ask.Good Luck, Matt.
I still own both.
Rotel RB-1090: In my experience somewhat more sober, more neutral sounding amp than Halo - nothing to add nothing to subtract... Powerfull to drive almost anything (according to Stereophile measurments, 380/700Wpc on 8/4 ohms, pumpimg not less than 2825W on 1 ohm..!!!). Two 1,2kVA transformers, 44000 microF filter capacitance per channel. True powerhouse...!!! Paired with Rotel RC-1090, drives Dynaudio Confidence C1 at the moment.
Parasound Halo A21: more euphonic amp, with somewhat "fat" mosfet-like mids and slightly longer "sustain" in highs. Perhaps a bit less density and compression throughout the soundstage. For a whisker, more musical amp, in my opinion... Tech: only one 1,2kVA transformer, 50000 microF filter capacitance per channel. Paired with primare PRE30 preamp, drives B&W 803S.
Two excellent power amps. Congratulations, whatever you choose!
The Rotel RC1090 is a dream amp of mine. It has one of the lowest distortion numbers of any amp available at any price. I think there have been 3 versions of the RC1090 some better then others which one to buy I don't know. if you don't like the way your set sounds with a RC1090 don't blame the amp. It is neutral to the extereme. Many amps add their own colour to the sound, we often like this kind of distortion, makes the music sound warmer or whatever audiofiel term you would like to use. I to like this but I believe this should come from the pre amp or speakers.
The power should be just that. Sure there are better amps out there then the RC1090. I have a RC1070 now and hoping one day I can afford the RC1090.
Sorry for the rant of mine.
I owned the Rotel and the Parasound HCA-3500 at the same time. I liked the Parasound alot more, more dynamic, much better bass. In comparison the Rotel had a veiled sound. Sold the Rotel. i have heard the A21 (thought it was nice)but not in my system, or side by side with the others. If I had to pick one of the three it would be the HCA-3500.
This is comparing the sound of the systems probably more than anything, so take it with a grain of salt. I think the A21 is probably a little more refined than the 3500. However it (or system it was in) did not have the presence of the 3500. midbass punch and bass depth, i am guessing goes to the 3500. i would class that area of the 3500 up there with the Krells I am using now. Its very hard to compare these two amps when I did not have them in my system together, like I did the rotel and 3500.
Downside of the 3500 is it is two amps in one box and uses two power cords. It needs power from the wall. Sound is big, detailed, fast, and powerful. midrange is detailed and clean. Built like tanks. I have also owned the JC-1s and didnt really find them much of an upgrade over the 3500. They did get rid of some grain from the upper most midrange and treble, but didnt have the weight behind the music that the 3500 did. I used the 2000 preamp with the Rotel, 3500, and off and on with the JC-1s.
Angela - frankly, if must, I would sell the Halo A21, perhaps because Parasound has another better model (JC-1) on the list, so Halo A21 isn't the Parasound best.
From the other side, in my ears Rotel RB-1090 remains Rotel's statement amp. I cannot live with their newer ICE powered hermafrodits... 500W in 10 kilos is simply not my cup of tea...
In my opinion both amps have approximately the same quality/compromise ratio - differences soundwise between these two amps may be welcomed when one combine elements in the chain... I would always mate the Rotel 1090's calm nature with somewhat "spicier" preamps, sources or speakers. On the other hand, Halo A21 may be better choice with somewhat laid-back preamps (like Primare PRE30 i own).
I've owned the RB1090 and gone up the Rotel ladder prior to that. I had Rotel preamps as well... so I am quite familiar with the Rotel sound.
The 1090 tightens up the image quite a bit more than any the other lower Rotel amps. Not as tight as a full class A like my current Plinius 102 or even a good a/b amp like a mid-end Classe. However, the 1090 is good for what you pay for, especially at used prices!
I would refrain from the Rotel preamps... you can get a better sounding 2 channel preamp for the same price.
IF I WERE YOU, I would get the 1090 and pair it with a Rogue Metis preamp for $550 used. Call it a day.
There's something to be said about a tube preamp and a good ss amp.