|Rotel RDV-1060 DVD-A/V Player|
|Home Theater Video Players DVD Players|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Friday, 01 October 2004|
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Music and Movies
The first DVD-Audio disc I played in the Rotel was Medeski, Martin and Wood’s Univisible (DTS Entertainment). The track “Take Me Nowhere” had a good, solid sound to the guitar. I was easily able to make out the detail of each string, from the initial attack to the note’s decay. The surrounds were used judiciously to create a spacious soundstage without going overboard. The track “I Wanna Ride You” continued to provide great detail. With this track, my focus was on the drums. The drum strikes were tight and detailed and the cymbals very clear and sharp without being harsh.
I next listened to The Crystal Method’s Legion of Boom (DTS Entertainment) album on DVD-Audio. I had been fortunate enough to have recently seen The Crystal Method play at a small Los Angeles club and I was anxious to see how the album compared to the real thing. For those of you not familiar with The Crystal Method, they are not a traditional band, but more DJs who mix popular dance/electronic music that is very friendly to surround and high-performance AV systems – especially ones with subwoofers. The track “True Grit” did not have any of the gut-wrenching bass that this band normally utilizes, but it did have a frenetically paced mix that made excellent use of all channels. The sounds remained clear and distinct, despite the fast and busy pace. Moving on to the track “Realizer,” the Rotel continued to have no problems getting the detail off the disc without any etching that you have to learn to live with on many lower-priced DVD players.
The last disc I listened to before switching to movies was Queen’s A Night at the Opera (DTS Entertainment). This DVD-Audio disc also features one of the few DTS tracks encoded at 96kHz/24 bits. This particular disc is one of a limited number that has a 96kHz/24-bit DTS track; the Rotel is a player capable of decoding it. The hit track “You’re My Best Friend” had more texture, especially notable in the opening guitar, and was more open in the upper midrange with a smooth and extended treble then I had heard on other players costing more than the Rotel. I continued with the song “Love of My Life,” which confirmed my listening impressions. The DVD-Audio tracks played through the Rotel portrayed a detailed yet luscious sonic image in a large soundstage. Translation from audiophile-speak – this $899 Rotel DVD-Audio player sounds great, as you would expect from a company with a reputation built on a tradition of better sound.
The Rotel’s portrayal of detailed and luscious images was not limited to audio. While watching the movie “Under The Tuscan Sun” (Buena Vista Home Entertainment), there were many scenes where I noted great color detail in the house textures, fabrics and landscapes. I found the colors to be smooth in gradients without any unnatural transitions. The color detail had good saturation without any bleeding. The picture was sharp enough to provide good detail without any visible digital artifacts.
Next I watched “Monsters Inc.” (Disney/Pixar), a well-done CGI animated film. Animated films are good places to look for dot crawl, over-saturation and bleeding problems. As with “Under the Tuscan Sun,” I found lots of rich, vibrant colors. Admittedly, the colors in this movie were far from natural, but they remained smooth. The Rotel’s video playback circuitry was up to the job, with no signs of bleeding or dot crawl. The images had good depth and dimensionality, maintaining detail without artificial borders.
The remote control is not backlit. Some controls can get by without backlighting, via the use of uniquely shaped buttons. Not so with this remote.
The Rotel RDV-1060 plays every disc format out there except SACD. With Dual Disc coming and BluRay a few years away, I can make a strong argument against SACD as a format. However, if you are looking for the best in stereo and music in surround music right now, SACD has some pretty strong offerings.
I found the Rotel RDV-1060 to be very vibrant and smooth in both its video and audio presentation. The audio was commendable and had a sense of ease while maintaining a great amount of detail. Likewise, I found the video to be very smooth and natural without any artifacts. The Rotel is a serious contender for those seeking a natural and relaxed presentation, with no sacrifice of detail, of DVD and DVD-Audio discs.
When looking for the next level of performance above the mass market products, if your budget will not allow you to invest in the ultra-high-end players, the Rotel RDV-1060 is just the ticket.