Hello Everyone,

First time poster....not a newbie but somewhat of an amateur audiophile.

For years I've been very happy with my Rotel based system which consists of:

RB-970BX amp thru RTC-940AX Preamp/Tuner. A recent CD upgrade to a Rotel RCD-02 single disc player was a huge improvement. For speakers I'm running a set of Paradigm Mini Monitor v.2's. My listening space is 10' X 14', wood floors, etc.

Yesterday I saw a Rotel RA-970BX Integrated Amp or sale on Craigs List for $150 USD. Although I didn't really need it, I snatched it up as it was in perfect shape, original owner, etc. I hooked it up to my CD player & speakers (bypassing my regular RTC tuner/preamp) and immediately noticed more bass and arguably better detail all around.

I'm confused....as the two amps should perform similarly based on specs, wpc, era of build, etc. But there is a CLEAR difference in the sound out of the integrated RA-970 vs. my regular amp + preamp/tuner setup. The RA seems like it would blow the speakers at less than half of full volume...while my RB seems like its slightly underpowered.

Anybody care to venture a guess as to why I'm hearing such a noticable difference? Is the interference of running through the tuner/pre-amp really going to affect the sound that much?

Up until now I've been pleased with the concept of the preamp/ tuner RTC as it's a great value and combines 2 components into one slick, space saving unit (w a remote) So I'm not convinced that I'm ready to trade off my old gear and replace it with the RA-970 and a separate tuner.

Thanks for your comments...