Receiver Rotel? and Speakers Maggies? for HT?


I need to buy sound gear and video switching for our HT (front projector). Already have a 2-channel separate music system which I love (tube amp with Soliloquy speakers).

Room is about 16x30 with angled ceiling (1.5 story house) on the sides, so speakers for rear surrounds must be small/flat and wall-mountable. Detailed sound processing and clear dialog are number one priorities, without sounding too bright.

Since there do not appear to be any reasonably priced pre/pros ( = 100MHz bandwidth, I've resigned myself to buying a receiver with pre-outs instead. I've got a couple of 2-channel amps with an honest 100W/channel rating floating around, and could always buy another used amp if necessary. The top contenders right now are Rotel RSX-1056 and RSX-1067, though I'm not sure the 1067 (100Wx7) is worth $900 more than the 1056 (75Wx5 with 2 preouts for the other 2 channels).

Thought of getting the new Magnepan MMG W and MMG C speakers, augmented with a Dayton Titanic 10" sub (or 2 if needed). They look nice and fit flat against the wall, perfect for our room. Imaging and clarity are supposed to be their strength, and the lack of bass is made up by the sub(s). Trouble is, they are 4ohm speakers and supposedly difficult to drive. Question is, how are they for HT, would they be "loud" enough for our room, and can the Rotel receivers handle them or will I likely require outboard amplification?

Sorry for the somewhat lengthy post, but I figure more info is better than not enough. You may not have all the answers, but any advise or experience with respect to the above choices are greatly appreciated!

A friend of mine is considering a similar setup, although I am steering him towards picking up a used pre/pro (perhaps a Rotel RSP-1066) and multichannel amp (again, perhaps Rotel) instead of going the receiver route. He is also thinking of getting the floorstanding MMG's for L/R, with a MMG C for center and MMG W's for surrounds.

I will be interested to hear the responses to this thread, or is you go ahead and bite the bullet, please share!


I haven't looked at that possibility (used 1066), thx for pointing that out. Have to look at how much they go for and if they have 3 component inputs.

The outlaw separates at $700 for the pre/pro and $900 for the 7x100 watt(strong) amp is an infinitely better solution than ANY RECEIVER!...especially considering you doin Maggies. You won't be driving maggies with any $1000 receiver any time soon if you ask me. Also, you're crossing over at 80hz or higher! You must do that, yes.
The cheeper maggies(which by the way don't sit flat, they attach and fold out) could use some good extension and clear sound from an amp/pre pro, and the Outlaw offers that.
I've worked in 6 high end audio video stores over the years, and have sold/heard/installed all the receiver based systems you can immagine(including Denon 5803). The Outlaw combo is superior for any money to a receiver! Too clean a sound, too much power, too many features, great processing, pure analog passthrough inputs, etc. And built very well.
Basically, you'll not see me using cheep receivers with maggies any time soon.
The maggies are indeed clear and free from coloration. They lack top end extension for the cheep HT pieces, and are harder to drive for a receiver(even at 80hz crossover), and offer LOWWWWWW sensitivity, making things even more difficult. They are not as dynamic as other piston speakers in the bass reigion. But I suppose that's not a high priority for you. Still, crossing them over high enough, with a very good sub(or more preferably, perhaps smaller subs) will help, yes.
If you're sold on the Maggies, I'd consider Outlaw separates..couldn't recommend anything but maybe a big old Denon at $4k as a MARGINAL RECEIVER CHOICE for ya here, sorry.
Good luck

Thanks for your comments and recommendation. That's why I'm kind of leaning towards the smaller Rotel, in case I need more amplification and just end up using it as a pre/pro.
The Outlaw looks interesting and is kind of what I was looking for originally (separate pre/pro at a reasonable price), but lacks some key features (only 2 component inputs with a bandwidth of only 45MHz, no variable x-over but fixed at 80Hz, too low for the Maggies which stop at 100MHz).

I'm not stuck on the Maggies yet, they would just fit nicely in terms of size, placement, and decor, aside from their sound qualities. B&W's 600 series has some wall-mountable speakers as well and are supposed to match nicely with Rotel, so I may take a look at them also.

Why not soliloquy speakers all around since you already like them. You should be able to find Sat-5's for $400/pr and a center for $400. These would sound great with the Rotel.
You can find better speaker's than both Maggies or B&W's for their respected prices. I use to own Maggies and have auditioned B&W's. While I imagine they would both be speakers you can live with there are minor drawbacks to both in terms of musical reproduction.

The Maggies are problematic in a few area's such as bass and imaging as they do not have a wide area for off axis listening and the B&W's have a mid Bass suckout or hump which really bugs me.

I am due to get a set of AER speakers to audition and review shortly which have Kevlar drivers and it shall be intresting to see weather they addressed certain areas B&W has missed.

I will try to post alternatives to them in awhile.

Good luck!

Not sure what you mean by "mid Bass suckout or hump". B&W uses Kevlar drivers in their 600 series that I'm looking at, and they state the following:

"In the 600 Series 3 midrange and bass/midrange drivers, we have improved their response in the upper frequencies by better matching the stiffness of teh voice coil bobbin to the neck of the cone. A minor refinement perhaps, but it gives a smoother transition to the tweeter and improves the sense of openness."

Is that the weakness you referred to in your statement, and could they have corrected that with this improvement?

I also recently set up a second system for HT, seperate from my 2 channel rig and decided on the Rotel 1055 (good deal since the 1056 had recently come out) and Paradigm 60 v3s. The Paradigms work very well for HT and they pair up well with the Rotel. The system is in a large rec room (20x40) and has no problem filling the room. How much you want to spend is the deciding factor re: receiver vs seperates, but for HT I just don't find the price difference is justified by the small improvement. I'm not listening for nuances in the soundtrack of movies, just impact and clarity of speech that blends well and good surround effects. I'm not sure I'd go with Maggies for a HT application, especially if it's not used for serious music listening.

I looked at Paradigm's web site but could not find a 60 v3. Are you referring to the CS60R in-wall speakers?

It's nice to hear that the 1055 worked out for you given the large space. I suppose as long as I pick efficient speakers, the Rotel 1056 should do the trick (the 1055 doesn't quite have the component video bandwidth I'm looking for).

Frank, I have the reference studio series, the link below shows the various models in that line. Good luck.
Frank, the Otlaw processor has about as flexible a bass management system as there is! See review from SGTHT mag bellow:
..."The 950's speaker-configuration options are unusually flexible for a product costing under $1000, and extraordinarily simple to adjust. First, you step through your speaker groups (Center, Front, Surround, Surround Rear), indicating whether each group is Small (crossovers will be used), Large (full-range), or nonexistent (except for the main left and right). You can also select quite a few crossover frequencies (40, 60, 80, 100, 120, and 150Hz) by individual speaker group—again, uncommonly accommodating for so affordable a product. A final flourish is hidden on the rear panel, where an Analog Bass Management switch lets you enable an 80Hz highpass filter across the five full-range multichannel inputs. Any sub-80Hz bass contained in those channels is summed and passed along, in the analog domain, to the subwoofer.
As for the video switching for component, 45mhz is more than enough for DVD or High def broadcasts! If however you need a switcher with more inputs, dont' throw out the "Stereophile Award" winning Outlaw 950 pre/pro for this reason! You can buy an outboard Extron Video Switcher that's as good as you can ever expect. I wouldn't however personally go with a receiver as a video switcher for this reason. The Outlaw simply offer too much value and performance to ignore. To me, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE QUALITY!..The outlaw offers just that.
You really need mor than 2 Component video swiching dubties? You can always go dirrect to your video projector/monitor. Otherwise, I recommend the award winning Extron Switchers.
Hope this helps
i recently purchased the Rotel RSX-1056 for my 3rd system in my family room. this is currently just 2-channel with a 50" Fujitsu P50XHA30WS is installed in a closed cabinet with minimal ventilation. the RSX-1056 sounded better than it's big brother (RSX-1067), didn't get as warm, and has a very good interface. i did hear it at the dealer in multi-channel and i preferred it's performance to any of the 'Japanese black boxes' in it's price range. the styling is very pleasing and the build quality is at a higher level than others i considered. the amp seems to have more 'headroom' than it's modest watt rating would indicate.

i am a passionate 2-channel guy and was very impressed with the 2-channel performance into the modest but great sounding Dynaudio Audience 52se speakers. you can click on my system page to see my reference for 2-channel performance.

the HD video switching seems to be transparent.....i like my HD.

in the future i'll be using the 1056 in surround and feel it will do a great job. highly recommended.
All I have to say in Regards to the Rotel gear, is that's it's decent gear. It's not anything super special or anything. I know, I've sold it over the years on a retail level.
One of the best pieces they ever made for the money was the 995 100wx5 amp! It was the deal for the money back then(except the Outlaw 100x7 has it beat now!)
Still, I've talked to Rotel dealers around about what they thought of the Rotel products personally. They all tell me the same as what I gather. They tell me mostly "it's good product, and sells very well!...but that they wouldn't own it personally." This is about right. It's better than average midfi gear, not high fi gear!. And that about sums it up.
I think you're thinking it's the "bargain hifi gear around" I dissagree. It's reviewed a lot, and talked about a lot, like budget high-end. It's not, sorry.
Actually, NAD has consistently been much better sounding over the years! HOWVERE, I can't say the same about quality control from NAD. The Rotel was built a little better.
But, for the bucks, I'm tellin ya. The Outlaw stuff is superb!...simply excellent. Build and performance.
IN your case, you will only do worse sonically for the same or even more money. It has all the flexibility AND FEATURES you need for a high end experience.
Maybe you need more video switching. If that's the case, again, go biggie really.
For me, it's quality of sound and picture. Everything else is just 3rd best in importance, if not less. And the Outlaw has a winner at even double their price range!
Exertfluffer, have you heard the current versions of Rotel Receivers, processors and amps?

i am no Rotel champion.....only a satisfied customer of the RSX-1056. i have not heard recent NAD or the Outlaw products. i am just curious whether your generalizations and second hand comments have any direct listening experience to the Rotel RSX-1056 attached?