Stereo Power Amplifier (2004-08)
Power output: 130 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo), 330W into 4Ω (mono)
Frequency response: 4Hz to 100kHz
Total harmonic distortion: 0.03%
Damping factor: 500
Input sensitivity: 1V
Signal to noise ratio: 120dB
Speaker load impedance: 4Ω (minimum)
Dimensions: 430 x 121 x 350mm
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Reviewed Nov 30th, 2015 by Wildcat
After hearing of how great Rotel amps were, I finally got my hands on one, the RB-1070. I was coming from a Carver M-500t, which due to age is in need of an overhaul (new capacitors, mainly).
As far as appearance goes, the Rotel is attractive. The frosted silver pillar in mid-panel sets itself off nicely from the black fins surrounding it. The blue LED is highly annoying, but at least it is highly visible. Build quality seems to be solid.
Now, about the sound. While I knew the Rotel had a slightly lower power rating (about half, which is only -3dB down from the Carver), there were several things I noticed that went beyond its lower rated power. First, the amp sounded anemic. When pushed, it ran out of power far earlier than -3dB would suggest. That makes me believe that it does not have the peak power reserves of the Carver. It always strained to provide that low-end grunt that I was used to. This is the little amp that couldn't.
What struck me more was the basic sound of this amplifier. I found it to be very bland, very unmusical. Clinical and sterile? Yes. It may be good for someone who likes this type of analytical transistor sound, but it did my music no favors.
Instead, I now own a Nelson Pass-designed Stasis power amplifier that is rated at 200w/channel. Yet it seems to have far more reserve power on tap that the Rotel could only dream about. It has a richer, more musical sonic characteristic than the Rotel. Everything just sounds right about this amp. Strangely, I found the Carver to be more similar to the Stasis, but don't forget that the Carver was voiced to be similar to a Conrad Johnson power amp.
Overall, the Rotel might be good for those who prefer a cold and analytical sound, but I found it grating to listen to, and very tiring after only an hour or two, and also found it lacked the muscle needed for true low-end drive. There are far better amplifiers out there. This Rotel reminds me of every bad characteristic of typical solid state amplifiers. I do not recommend it.