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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Melbourne, Australia

    New to the forum. Problem with my RB 951 power amp.


    I dedcided to purchace Rotel as a friends dad has had a rotel RX-830 reciever with Rotel RL870 speakers since the late 80's, and I found the sound very clear and good quality. So when looking for a system, I purchaced the system below.

    Rotel RC-972 control Amp
    Rotel RB-951mkii power amp
    Monitor audio RS252 bookshelf speakers.

    When I set the system up, I let it warm up for an hour, just to be sure.. When I Played a CD, I found the sound very clear, But lacked a lot of natural sound (not sure on terminology). Its as if the system is in another room, with the door half closed. I then tested my friends SX-830 and the sound is much better. The Sx380 brings the vocal and instuments into your longe, whereas the RB-951mkii, doesn't.
    I then did a combination of tests including swaping the speakers over, no diference (although the RL870 speakers sound much better). then ran the RC-972 control amp through the tape input on the SX-830, made no difference to the sound. Both tests show there is nothing wrong with the speakers or control amp.

    I'm now wondering now if I have bought a dud RB-951mkii power amp, or weather it is meant to sound like this, But just needs better suited speakers like, B&W speakers.

    Any help would be great.


  2. #2
    Suspended markw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Noo Joisey. Youse got a problem wit dat?
    I don't know what to say. By all logic, the more powerful power amp, particularly from the same manufacturer, should do at least as well driving those speakers.

    Rotel is noted for a detailed sound but as to what you're describing when you say "When I Played a CD, I found the sound very clear, But lacked a lot of natural sound (not sure on terminology). Its as if the system is in another room, with the door half closed.", I'm at a loss. Those two sentences seem to contradict each other.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Central Ohio
    I once had a Rotel RA 970BX that was warm and detailed. When it needed a small repair the store gave me a RA971BX as a loaner. It was very bright and unlistenable. I hope this is not the case for you but I never looked at Rotel again.

    You might want to try some interconnects that are warmer and also speaker cables. Good luck.
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Monitor Audio RS6
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  4. #4
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Springfield, Mo
    I have heard people say that Rotel has their own sound but from my experience their sound has changed over the years in different models. I used to sell high end in the 90's and Adcom and Rotel were a couple of the brands that we sold as affordable higher end stuff and both brands had models that were on the warm side they also had models that were on the nuetral side or sometimes bright side in few models. But from my experience the Rotels had the largest variance from model to model in the way their sound changed. It is very possible that Comparing an 80's Rotel amp to a new Rotel amp will not give you the same sound character. Heck even very high end products like Pass Labs are the same way. Pass's ALeph series amplifiers of the 90's do not sound like his current x, or xa series amps.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center

  5. #5
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks Markw.
    What I meant, is that the sound is very clear and detailed, but the lower frequency bass is lacking warmth (my cheap Yamaha produces better bass) and, a large amount of mid range is dull (or neutral like harly mentioned). I like live and vocal music, old bands like dire straights and a bit of electronic/house so want to hear all the instuments like you are at a live gig. The sx830, its very warm, boardering on the bright side, but has a nice deep bass to compliment it.

    John Michael. Thanks, Yep I bought good quality cable with banana plugs, so all good there.

    Harly.guy07. Thanks. Thats the answer I was after. Sounds like there's nothing wrong with the amp, just that its more neutral compared to others.

    I'm going to take the amp to the local hifi store tomorrow and see if they'll let me test drive some speakers to see what I like. If i can't find the sound I'm after, I guess I'll Have to buy a different amp.

    I'll post how it all goes. thanks

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