|Rotel RA-1060 Integrated Amplifier|
|Home Theater Power Amplifiers Integrated Amplifiers|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Friday, 01 June 2001|
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My criticisms of this piece are fairly minor and relate to what was missing, rather than things done incorrectly. Before discussing sonics, I need to mention some ergonomic quirks having to do with the remote. The buttons are hard to discern by touch alone and difficult to read in low light. The only intrusive addition to the sound through the Rotel was a very slight bit of grain, which was not noticeable on all recordings. The most noticeable shortfall, in relation to the other components discussed above, is its smaller soundstage. The sonic image portrayed by the Rotel, while close to the listener, is somewhat reduced in size. This may be related to the reduced sense of space around the individual instruments and the roll-off at the extreme upper end. Lastly, the Rotel is, not unexpectedly, lacking in the detail found in my Bow Technologies Wazoo integrated amp ($3,500).
The Rotel is a very solid buy at $699. Comparing the Rotel to the Magnum Audio integrated amplifier, I would have to recommend the Magnum Audio for die-hard tube aficionados and the Rotel for the rest of us. The Rotel provides a full-featured integrated amplifier, as well as an upgrade path by way for an external amplifier, making this piece a good starting point for building a high-end system. Rotel makes it hard for anyone to justify buying mid-fi from a mass market retailer, when for the same price, one can get so much more.