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Rotel RSP-1570 7.1 Processor/Preamplifier   Print E-mail
Home Theater Preamplifiers AV Preamps
Written by Robert Mead   
Tuesday, 07 April 2009
Article Index
Rotel RSP-1570 7.1 Processor/Preamplifier  
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“Hey Nineteen” was up next, and this was the lone semi-hit song that Steely Dan would wrap up the 1970’s with. It is a much lighter tune than the previous song, and the high-end abilities of the RSP-1570 was brought to the forefront as the 2-channel audio kicked into a much higher gear. The processor / preamplifier was able to handle the much higher background vocals with an adroit ability to focus on sending the high-end audio to the “sweet spot” of the B&W tweeter drivers. The natural musical sounds of the snappy piano playing drove the song along to its conclusion in a very organic way, replicating a ‘live’ musical environment very skillfully and flooding my ears with a good measure of melodious warmth.

The good people at B&W were kind enough to send Premiere Home Entertainment a compilation CD of various types of music that would highlight their series of loudspeaker’s ability to enhance musical arrangements, no matter what genre of music was being showcased in the home theater store’s showroom. With that in mind, I began playing the jazz portion of the compilation CD so that I could discern if the Rotel RSP-1570 could disperse the exact amount of 2-channel audio to the loudspeakers needed to fill the room with the confluent rhythmic sounds of a fairly small jazz group composed of a drummer, bass player and saxophonist, with just some background vocals mixed in for good measure. The CD did not have any liner notes attached to the accompanying CD cover, so I did not know who the musicians were on the CD, but the jazz group started off the first song with a strong emphasis on the lone saxophone player. The cool, musical elegance emanating out of the saxophone really brought out the lower-to-mid-range tones of the RSP-1570 with a special clarity and dynamic range that really needs to be heard to be believed. But take my word for it, this sleek and powerful processor / preamplifier has what it takes to manufacture pure 2-channel audio to any speaker system it happens to be hooked up to with an adroitness that borders on perfection.

After hearing how well the RSP-1570 handled the lighter musical tones of a small jazz ensemble, I decided to test the processor / preamplifier and find out how a much larger musical pop/jazz group would fare in this same audio configuration using the B&W CM9’s, with the attached Rotel RDV-1093 DVD/CD player. The next CD up was from the Richard Elliot release “Crush” (Verve records 2001.) Elliot is an accomplished saxophonist with many years of experience under his belt; and with “Crush” he went looking for thirteen like-minded musicians that could elevate the genre of jazz-pop to a higher ground of sophistication, and with this CD release, he found the right personnel to accomplish this goal. The quasi-jazz hit “Crush” opens this album with a strong burst of energy as Elliot’s saxophone is first heard over the explosive percussion section of congas, drums and the compelling bass notes of fellow musician Roberto Vally.

The RSP-1570 pumped out the precise amount of low-end to set a solid foundation on which Elliot’s accomplished musicians could build their propulsive and rhythmic instrumentation of smooth jazz stylings on. The final song I was finishing my demonstration with was the slightly slower instrumental number, “Q.T.” The four members of the horn section really showed their talent for taking a slower song structure and compelling it to hit new heights as the song progressed in a slow-building crescendo of convergent musical notes. The processor / preamplifier showed how it could spotlight mid-range audio and high-end musical interludes with a dexterity that never came into question.

Downside

While the Rotel RSP-1570 7.1 certainly has what it takes to reproduce a vast portion of surround modes for an excellent home theater experience, this receiver could show some improvements in the display screen as far as relaying to the owner just what the most important audio input levels are at any one time. It’s always nice to avoid hitting a variety of surround sound mode buttons on your remote when changing to another audio source.

Also, just having one HDMI output integrated into the back of this unit means that if you really need to hook this processor / preamplifier up to more than one high-definition video display, you will be out of luck.  It would benefit audio manufacturers such as Rotel to include at least two HDMI outputs to accomplish this task. The RSP line from Rotel are constantly being upgraded from year to year, so hopefully this HDMI output problem should be remedied very soon.

Conclusion

The overall design of the RSP-1570 is very refined and sharp, while the bulk and weight of the unit is very compact. The silver buttons laid out on the metal paneling of the component serve as an aesthetically pleasing element of the design, while also serving as a functional way to change from one audio source to another. For the amount of surround sound modes that you get with the RSP-1570, the retail price of $2,599 is a reasonable one for the home theater purist. The integration between the Rotel and the attached B&W CM9’s were flawless for this demonstration, which means that any consumer who wants to experience the full sonic impact his own high-end speakers should consider purchasing the RSP-1570.





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