Review: Rotel RSX-1055 Receiver Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

The Rotel RSX-1055 sounded great when used as a tuner, pre-amp or in the traditional role as a hometheater receiver.
My musical tastes tend to be a bit more laid back these days, but whether it's my usual Nora Jones, Mark Knopfler,
Eric Clapton or my hard edge TOOL or Metalica, this receiver was able to crank out some righteous sound with effortless ease. In spite of the modest power rating, the
100x2 in stereo mode was easily enough to power my less than efficient speakers. In cinema mode, the sounds from Star Wars:Attack of the Clones was fast and accurate, much more so than my old Marantz digital pre-amp. The tuner section was what really suprised me, with it's ability to pick up stations I was previously unaware of, it produced a good solid signal with hardley a trace of background buzz.
The air cooled chassis also provided a nice change from my prior amplifier fan noise.
For me, the extreme low-end along with nice crisp highs are usually things that get left out, but not with the RSX-1055! I was suprised at it's ability to reach way down deep for a terrific sense of depth, yet high enough to satisfy most of the picky listeners out there.
The warmth of a live recording was not lost with the Rotel, much like many other products that either sound too crisp and sharp - or exaggerate a particular range - or worse yet, supress the extreme low or high-ends in an attempt to create the feeling of warmth.
It only took a few minutes to realize the profound difference this one piece made in my system, I can hardly wait to hear the difference it will make using multichannel
music sources. After only a week, I'm very satisfied that the many hours of research I did prior to purchasing this unit has paid off.
Although I was happy with my Marantz AV-550, I had no idea I was missing so much. The Rotel has indeed expanded my horizon.
For the money, you cannot beat the functionality of this piece, and for only a few bucks more than the RSP-1066, (which it essentially is!) this unit is a steal!
So were does this unit fall down? Well, the remote seems great, until you want to start changing input sources. You have to do more than just select some easy to reach button, it requires moving access panels and flipping menu's. In low light conditions? Forget it. Turn the lights back on.
Sure, if money was no object I would have that Classe or Krell Reference system, but for those looking for a great value and lots of performance, this unit is awesome!

Associated gear
Vandersteen 2ce's (main & center)
Paradigm Reference Studio 20 v2 (surrounds)
Sony S1000 DVD
Marantz CD67 changer

Similar products
Rotel RSP-1066 Pre-pro
Anthem AVM-20 Pre-pro
With reference to Caryj's review, I am in complete agreement. I own an older Denon AVR-2000 (circa 1993), which provides Dolby ProLogic at 80W for the R, C, and L channels and 25W for the rears. In spite of being an older receiver, the sound is decent. But to quote Caryj regarding the RSX-1055, "I had no idea I was missing so much".

I also wanted to underscore the fact that the amplification capability of the RSX-1055 is understated. The 75W per 5 channel / 100W per 2 channel should be rated higher. It complements my Bryston 3B SST (150W/channel) very well and competes with it toe-to-toe for most sound tracks.

This has to be the top surround sound receiver in its price range.