Some more info on your system,room,budget,etc. will get better responses.Just a thought.
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Rotel's amps are pretty good bang for the buck. What about it do you not like?
Some thoughts of amps with good price to performance ratios include McCormack (DNA 0.5, 1, 125), Monarchy (70, SE-100), Parasound, some of the older Musical Fidelity (A3cr, A3.2cr), van alstine, Conrad Johnson Sonographe, Marsh (A200,400).
We can provide a better answer if you have some idea of the change in sound that you would like to achieve, as well as what speakers you are planning on using and, as mentioned in the previous post, information about your room.
As previous posters said, more info about the rest of your system, what you are trying to improve, etc would be helpful.
Here's a thought, though: I had B&W CM4 with Rotel RB1080 + Rotel RC1070 pre and Roted CD player (my first system) and sounded good to me. Then I upgraded speakers to B&W 804S and started feeling the trebble was harsh (unlike what I heard at the dealer's). I ended up upgrading the amp to a McIntosh MC275, which is tubed. Believe it or not, the 275 outperforms the 1080 even on bass (at least when matched with the 804S), despite what specs might suggest. This combo is so much more enjoyable. Great match. And in my case tubes have been maintenance-free, and fun rolling them.
Maybe don't rule out tubes without auditioning them. In the case of McIntosh, a similarly priced SS amp is the MC252, but then you haven't given us any budget so I might be way off the chart.
I hope this helps.
If BAT find a vk 500 w/BAT pack.
If looking in that price range of vk 200 think about an Odyssey Stratos extreme.
An ATI 2000 2ch would be a step up IMO.
I'd think really hard about a Butler TDB amp too. Although a Hybrid amp, I feel it's a no brainer in the under $2K preowned mkt... it's SE only though, if that matters. With a TDB 5150 you could bi amp your speakers.
My budget is $1000 or so, my room isn't really a factor because I am renting and will be moving in April. If all goes well my new place will have a dedicated listening room, maybe 18x 12 just not sure but I am looking for a place with that in mind. I am really not a audiophile and more of a music lover. With that in mind how should my rotel be sounding, what should I hear? Maybe that's a silly question. Thanks for all the info.Scott
Scott,what other equipment will you be using,speakers,pre,source,etc.?This info really helps.
Here is a real simple explaination of ICE amplification.You can find out more by searching the web.
9. What Are ICE Amplifiers?
I see you intend to move.
I'd put off extensive changes until the move is done and you have your space reserved. Than you can intelligently plan your equipment upgrade.
As a music lover, aim for something that evokes real, live music.
If nobody answered your question:: ICE is a tradename for B&O's version of class 'd' power amplification. It is highly efficient and therefore runs fairly cool. This technology is used by many aftermarket resellers. Bel Canto, and I think also Rotel? Other companies make there own version. Onkyo A9555 gets good reviews as do the $$$$ Spectron amps.
My ICE amp was made by PSAudio and easily runs my power hungry Magnepans. Some 'modules' come with included power supply.
I have a Stereo amp from International Rectifier out on my bench, awaiting a power supply. You could easily fit 4 stereo modules into a large cigar box and have 5 ch sound AND power to the sub.
Waiting to hear what everything sounds like in a new place is sage advice. You might forgoe any exchanges then or not.
The 1080 is a nice amp. Good bass, a tick on the warm side. Not huge and weighty. Easy to manage and can be run xlr or se. there are any number of different sounding amps, and arguably many better sounding amps too. If that $1,000 on hand funding for another amp does not include the resale of the 1080, you might add that in too and your chances for a definite step up improve a lot. Otherwise, youll be gaining perhaps not a lot better sound, but in exchange, simply a different sounding amp.
It would also be a good idea to wait and see, so you can get a feel for your DIY speakers needs and be better able to more precisely feret out the direction your preffs an speaker needs will take you then.
I recently upgraded from my Rotel RB-1092 and RC-1082. I spent 8 months auditioning various makes, and as mentioned above, Rotel is a good bang for the buck component. I listened to Krell, Bryston, Classe, W4S, Edge, Bel Canto and finally settled on McIntosh (C2200 pre and MC252amp). I had to spend substantially more than my inital Rotel costs to improve on the sonics. My Rotel eqipment retailed for $3800 and the McIntosh retailed for $9900. I bought the preamp used so my real out-of pocket after deducting what I got for my Rotel equipment was $5300. My point is it will be hard to upgrade for $1000.
I am taking your advice and waiting on my new space, but in the mean time just researching. The other reason I mentioed belles is I had a hot rod 150 at one time but didn't have this setup and can't recall how it was different from the rotel. To be quite honest I didn't think a power amp effected the sound as much as from what I have been reading. If I came off as being short in my above post forgive me had a emergency root canal this morning.Scott