Having owned the 1080 I have to agree with the statement that there is much better out there on the used market. for a few hundred dollars more,I went from the 1080 to the marsh A400 and the difference was immediate.
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You might want to check out the Parasound and Rotel forums on htguide.com
There are a lot of people who have compared the two (Parasound Halo and Rotel) and can give you an idea of the difference. From what I remember, the Rotel is great value for the money but you can get better sound and quite a few felt it was a worthwhile upgrade to go to the Parasound Halo amp.
I have owned both Parasound and Rotel. I found them both too analytical. When you list, what appeals to you? I agree with Larry. I have a Mccormack DNA-1 R1 mod and a PS Audio HCA-2 and they are heads and shoulders above either. They are just more musical. I'd rather listen to the music than the equipment. But I have been through so many amps and pre amps and speakers. It's a never ending and enjoyable quest.
Be careful when referring to Parasound. The Classic line sound is different from the Halo sound. The Halo line is a significant step up from the Classic line. Yes, some have called the Classic sound analytical. I wouldn't put the Halo line in that category although I certainly wouldn't call it tubey.
That being said, I concur the McCormack is an excellent amp (I loved my DNA-1 Deluxe). But of course the Halo and McCormack come at extra cost compared to the Rotel...
I had the Rotel 990bx (200/ch) a while back. It was a big step from the late 80's Adcom it replaced. The Rotel was a real powerhouse (bet it would work well for woofers in a vertical bi-amp).
I switched from the Rotel to a DNA-1 and that was big step up. The McCormack is far more refined, big reduction in grain. This reminds me that I need to sell the DNA-1 at some point.
I now use an Edge NL10.1, which is a major step up in cost.
Also tried the Belles 150 and Belles 150A Hotrod. The former is very smooth, the Hotrod adds more resolution, but falls short of the DNA-1, IMO. Also tried a Plinius and found the DNA-1 to be smoother.
Look into the Odyssey Stratos power amplifier as an alternative. You can get stereo or mono block, stock or modified versions and all come with relatively high to very high current capacity and dampening factors to keep a grip on your speakers and stay ahead of demanding musical passages. Definitely more neutral than the big Rotel. If you are considering the 1080, I assume space is not necessarily an issue?
Another alternative is Rotel's new digital power amp which has received good reviews.
I switched from a Rotel RB-1080 to an Odyssey Stratos Extreme SE a month ago and the difference has been astounding. I am ashamed to think I actually lived with the Rotel for a year. The evolution of my system will revolve around this wonderful amp, and ,if need be, it will receive some upgrades. This amp seems to have a wonderful range of upgrade iterations available.
I had an RB1070 for maybe....8 months w/Maggie 1.6s
Not a real good match. The Rotel wasn't really happy driving 4ohms, though it NEVER ran warm, even in my poorly ventilated enclosure. The replacement PS Audio ICE integrated is a real improvement and has limitless feeling dynamics.
Don't forget, at least for the '1070, there is no factory 4ohm power rating.....and a limit of 8ohms bridged.
The 1080 has no such limit.
I’ve heard the Rotel 1080 a while back and while it was quite good for the price but the highs were a bit grainy when not paired with the right speakers.
However, the new and current model of Rotel 15xx series class AB amps are way way better than their old 1080 or other old 10xx series amps. The newer 15xx series amps such as the RB-1582 Mkll or the RB-1590 or the RMB-1585 class AB amps are way more refined and musical than their old 10xx serlies amps and that grainy treble that you heard from the old 1080 is gone. The new Rotel RB-1590, RB-1582 Mkll or the RMB1585 class AB amps have very smooth highs, midrange bloom and the tonal is warm whereas the old 1080 sounded kinda cold. The new 15xx series amps are voiced very differently from the old 10xx series amps.
The new 15xx series class AB amps eg RMB-1585, RB-1590, RB-1582 Mkll are much more fluid and solid And have more body and texture with much more fuller sound with better image depths than their old 10xx series amps such as the 1080. And the new 15xx class AB amps are much quieter than the 1080 as a result of a better better noise floor (S/R).
And the new 15xx class AB amps run much cooler than the old 10xx series class AB amps due to better internal heat management and heat dissipation system and better heatsink design too. I remembered the old 10xx series class AB amps run warm to the touch. The new 15xx series class AB amps run cool at all times no matter how hard you drive it.
Even the Rotel RA-1592 stereo integrated amp sounded spectacular and musical especially for its $2500 asking price and has good sounding built-in DAC for what it is.
Rotel newer current products especially their amps have been vastly improved in comparison to the old Rotel 10xx series amps and the price increases are totally worth it. However, I wouldn’t get the Rotel class D amps though. But I highly recommend their new 15xx series class AB amps such as the RB-1590, RB-1582 Mkll or the RMB-1585 amps.