Question about Rotel RA-1520 pre out

So, I've been reflecting on my days with the Rotel RA-1520 integrated and matching RCD-1520 cd player.  I sold the pairing some time ago when I was still learning.  I had paired a new Yamaha A-S801 with new Kef LS50 speakers and hated it and wonder if maybe I didn't give either a fair chance having run both in for only a few hours?

I sold the Yamaha and kept the speakers and, tried the Rotel which I had bought secondhand. I just loved how smooth and easy it was to listen too but, somehow the timing was off in complex sections of classical music so, I sold the Rotel too.

My question is, at the time I didn't know what a preout was and, if I had have known and purchased a separate amp to power the speakers better, would this have made a difference to correct the issue I was having with the music getting muddled?

For now, I stream spotify through my headphones and, the speakers sit in the closet for the time being.  I would love to do them justice and, my thoughts are to audition a Naim Uniti Star for both streaming and cd.  I have my regret over relinquishing the RA-1520 and wonder if it would be worthwhile to re-purchase the Rotel set, add a wifi streamer (chromecast audio or comparable) and amp?


my guess is the preout means preamp out which should be plugged into a power amp.  I don't know the headphones you use, but in my experience, you need to put lots more money into your system to get the same experience as you get from the earphones....also, if you get a dedicated headphone amp, the sound will still be better.

Well, the headphones are just to get me by for the meantime.  I really want to find something proper for the speakers as they are power hungry and, I was wondering what other people's thoughts were.

but in my experience, you need to put lots more money into your system to get the same experience as you get from the earphones....

Very much this. Headphones are really good at telling you your system isn't cutting it anymore. 

I use to use a Rotel RA-1520 myself. I did just as you are thinking about and used it as preamp into a Bryston 4bsst2. In my experience it is a better integrated than it was a preamp. Used only as a preamp I found the sound very bright and aggressive. I’m guessing the amp section is very smooth because it never sounded harsh as an integrated.  I think you will have better luck purchasing another integrated or seperates but I wouldn’t bank on the Rotel sounding good as a preamp.