Any Rotel love around here? Looking to power my Sonus Faber Olympica 3

Looking to power my Sonus Faber Olympica 3.  

I am going to use these speakers in my family room, my wife really wants me to complete this system soon so we can play christmas music and she can finally watch TV with some good sound. 

I am looking at possibly Rotel power for this. 

Either the integrated solution: 
Rotel RA1592

Or going separates:
Rotel RC1570 or RC1590 preamp
Rotel RB1582mk2 or RB1590 amp. 



The Rotel is nice gear indeed. Seek out the older models for separates.
The newest stuff id junk-sourced to china. The older gear is pure U.K.
There is a difference, IMO.

Happy Listening!
RB 1080 was a nice power amp (200+200W)
The 1066 or 1068 is a nice pre-amp processor as well.
The 1098 was the top pre-amp processor for many years.
All can be found on eBay.
I had the RC1070 preamp before. Also had the RB1070 and then the RB1090 in the past and I enjoyed them.

I like the look of the new ones and I want to make sure the capacitors and electrics are new so they last. I need it to be worry free because this is going to the family room... need it to be reliable.

Looking for pure stereo.  

I'm looking into new amplification for our system and I spent a couple hours with the Rotel RC1590/RB1590 paired  with the Rotel RCD1570, AudioQuest cabling and Bowers and Wilkins CM10 S2.

In a nutshell, it was fantastic. To elaborate a bit; great tone, detail and resolution, powerful, dynamic and so easy to listen to. There was such an ease and scale to the music. Whether played at background levels, cranked up or anywhere in between the music sounded excellent.

Part of me didn't want it to sound that good. It's at the top of our budget and I was hoping (just a little bit) that I wouldn't be impressed. Well, I didn't stand a chance. After about twenty minutes into the audition I knew it was going to be the set-up to beat.

I've listened to some great stuff under $5k and I'm going to check out a few more things this coming week but the Rotel RC1590/RB1590 is going to be very hard to beat. If you have the opportunity audition it



Thanks!  I heard the rc1590/rb1590 combo and I agree, very good combo!

I have been trying to locate the RA1592 integrated that's based partly on the rc1590 and rb1582mk2... But no one has it so far.
About 8 years ago I had brand new top of the line amp and preamp from Rotel and it was the low point of my 35 years in audio. When jafant says to buy the older stuff, he means pretty old. And I paired it with B&W speakers and it was horrible. The best part about it was I sold everything and went tube. NAD is tons better if that's your price range.


When you say "mediocre" sounding, which unit are you referring to and what similar price point would you recommend?  
Try an Exposure 3010S2D integrated. 

Rotel is OK, but I don't think it competitive with upper end lines, many of which are available for less than upper end Rotel. 
I have owned the RB1070, RC1070, RC1090, RB1092, RC1082, RB1550 and RB1582 - all treated me very well for the  music time-line in my life.  I would rate the Rotel as an upper mid-fi line.  And these models drove my B&W N804 and ASW800 sub.  Sounded great to me and many others.
My humble opinion is that a speaker of that quality deserves a shot at a JRDG integrated or a Krell etc. just bias but can't see Rotel w SF. Levinson makes a nice integrated too. I'm assuming that given the cost of the speakers you'll want all of the system to be special. just an opinion
I can see the Krell of yore, but the new stuff does not interest me.  

What about Arcam?  NAD?  Musical Fidelity? 

The only prerequisite I have is a plethora of options for input, including bluetooth, etc. 
Rotel are excellent - not a dynamic punchy sound but smooth. NAD make a nice option and you will like the look and similar sound but a bit more dynamic:

NAD C275BEE with C165BEE is good value.

The power amp is a tank with massive power supply. 

I would not recommend Marantz or Luxman - never had much luck with those. Luxman seem to smooth the highs so they are glossy and Marantz sound dull like a vintage sound and current Marantz quality is not good (just look at the MM7025 and the poor quality of build and inadequate power supply)


I spent a couple more more hours with the RC/RB1590 set. My impression hasn’t changed. They are outstaning. If budget wasn’t a concern for me I would have ordered a set and been done. Period. Thanks for starting this post.

I also spent about an hour listening to the Musical Fidelity M5si 150 watt integrated. Not exactly apples to apples comparison but it gave me a feel for the different presentations. The MF was a bit warmer and a touch softer. As you go up in watts with MF that may not be the case. If it wasn't for budget constraints I would investigate MF further.


Thanks for your comments on the NAD C165/C275BEE set. I have used an NAD 320BEE as well as 325BEE in systems for years. NAD makes great stuff. I’ve lived with an Arcam integrated (A19) for three years now and your Rotel/NAD comparison could apply to an Arcam/NAD comparison as well.

I’m trying my best to listen to the 165/275 but the nearest dealer that has them is three hours away. That fact and my budget constraints (which precludes me from going with the RC/RB1590s) leads me to the conclusion that I’m going to order the NADs from a source with a generous return policy and give them a go.


Don’t short change yourself with not mating the Olympica 3’s with high quality equipment. Using less than optimal amp,preamp, and source will not get you what you paid for in regards to quality of sound...

My brother has the MF6 integrated and likes it.  I think it sounds good as well.  DOes not have all the swiss army knife features of the rotel, which is why I lean rotel. 

The problem with going full Rotel RC1590/RB1590 stack is that the amp has to be placed outside the media console in the family room and my wife is leary of that... I have waf to abide by here.   haha...

otherwise, the RA1592 would fit inside the media console and would have all the doo-hickeys for her.  BT and ability to stream her iphone music etc.  

This system is more for her than it is for me, but obviously I am in the family room a lot so I want good sound too.  

I am constrained with positioning of the O3 as well, I cannot pull them out too far from the wall so I am sure there will be boominess. 

Plus a lot of the input will be from TV sources, DVR, netflix.. so it's not the highest quality sources either. 

I have gotten what I think is very good mid-fi sound with a Rotel RMB-1585 5-Channel amp (200w), so I have Rotel love. I feel like I have very good dynamics and sound staging. Instruments and vocals do all the magic things that decent speakers and an amp should make them do as they appear in the middle of the room and the speakers disappear. I get good bass impact to make it fun, and I haven’t ever felt like it lacks for naturalness. It is my rainy day English countryside amp. I mostly listen to Jazz and I am very pleased with it.

My Rotel was a compromise though, because I needed 5 channels of amplification and no space or budget for a separate 2 channel amp. I would dearly love a dedicated 2 channel amp for music, and if I were buying one I would probably look at something other than Rotel. There is just so much more out there that I would like to try. Pass comes to mind. My Rotel is also their top of the line offering, so I’m getting the best sound they offer. And above everything else, I believe my upstream components and system synergy are what really determines how things sound. I use a multi-bit dac and a tube pre for music, and I have carefully chosen cables to improve sound quality, I’ve done what I can for good impedance matching. Blah blah blah, I'm rambling,  Point is I like my Rotel amp, but I don't know how much credit to give to Rotel.  I owned the Rotel RMB-1075 (120w) a few years ago and it didn’t do much for me, but that was before I upgraded my front end. It was fine, but my inner audiophile wasn’t stirred by the music until I stepped up my game in a lot of other areas. Is the difference because I went from their budget amp to their best multi-channel amp? Probably/somewhat. I know the extra watts and the XLR input path helped. If I were buying Rotel, I would buy the best they offer and not choose something from the lower end of their line.

So yeah, lots of Rotel love here, but I would also love to try other brands. I like my sound, but you never know how good it can get until you try something else. Most owners think their systems sound awesome because they haven’t tried something from the next level up. I know that is true in my case. My next level probably wouldn’t be Rotel, just because I’m already at the top of the Rotel heap and I’ve read about so many more interesting amps on the market.

Also wanted to add that I don’t think you would go wrong with the RB-1590. Top of the line Rotel, and I love the power specs on that one, 350w. I would just try to audition lots of similar amps in that price range so you know you made the best choice.

I haven’t heard it or the RC-1592, but you are looking at their high-end so you are in the right ball park.
About a couple of years ago when I bought B&W CM10 speakers, I briefly experimented with Rotel gear. I paired my speakers with Rotel separates (preamp -> RC-1570; amp -> RB-1582). I was not very impressed. While the soundstage was wider, the clarity and details were just not there. 
I returned the Rotel gear and bought (used) Parasound A23 and P5. The improvement in sound was noticeable, at least in my system and to my ears. Very balanced across the band. Neither too clinical, nor too warm. I moved up the chain to Parasound A21 and couldn't be happier

newer Krell actually sounds great. some people don't like looks which is fine. A few older models w more classic design out there too. need to audition if possible. I don't think Rotel will be in Krell's or JRDG's league. IMO. Beyond budget but a used Dartzeel integrated would be the holy grail. What about a used Boulder integrated? Many great choices to go with such a fine speaker.


That's great you have heard the MF 6. With the power that the 6 has I bet you have really good idea of the MF sound.I really enjoyed the 5. I can imagine that the 6 is excellent.

Yeah, you'll have to find a lot of real estate on the floor if that RB1590 won't go into the cabinet. I don't think my wife would be thrilled with that scenario either.😮

The RA-1592 looks to be a great amp. It's based on the 200 watt RB 1582 MKll; I haven't heard it but from what I've been told the RB 1590 really is head and shoulders above it.

Although I believe the RC1590/RB1590 would be outstanding and fits your needs, I'm  going to throw a couple of "wildcards" out there since you're going to use this as an a/v set-up; the Peachtree Nova300 and the Arcam SR250. Two amps that seem to have a lot of potential for a multi-use situation.


I too had the pleasure to heat up a rb -1090 into my cerwin vega D-9's was a amazing combo!!!!  Bass, treble, maids, everything just was perfect, then I had my inrush limiter blow out in a nice blue/white flash followed by some white smoke, it still worked, but I could not turn it back on once off. Used it about 3 years. Loved it!

i would think any good high power rotel  would be great,  I loved mine, and I miss her. 
Left out the Levinson 585. Another excellent integrated that fits the quality of your speakers. Heck ARC and CJ make integrateds. Just can't imagine Rotel with the SF you've bought. 

I would not recommend Marantz or Luxman - never had much luck with those. Luxman seem to smooth the highs so they are glossy and Marantz sound dull like a vintage sound and current Marantz quality is not good (just look at the MM7025 and the poor quality of build and inadequate power supply)

You obviously have not heard any of the high end Marantz gear made at their reference factory in Japan.  It is not fair to site Marantz AV gear made in China like their anemic MM7025 and assume this is all they offer.  The performance and quality of their reference Marantz gear is off the charts good.  This gear along with the new Luxman products, like the L-505ux and L-590ax are far more preferable to NAD and Rotel.  Its true high end audio.  Suggest you give it a listen.

Thanks for the input on luxman and marantz, those are now out.
You may want to reconsider.

Would love to do boulder or some super integrated, but it lacks swiss army knife functionality of rotel, bluetooth aptx, usb in front, onboard dac. 

I think it would be a mistake to not at least check out Krell Digital Vanguard. I think it has the features you want and based on a Krell Chorus amp I have in a second system it's not the brighter Krell of years past. Very musical. Also have a Krell Foundation which is a complicated unit and it operates beautifully and sounds great. I will admit that I was surprised at quality of sound. Chorus amp was equal of Pass 250.8 which I had on hand at same time. I have no motive in this discussion other than to see those great speakers get special treatment up front. Spearit Sound might send out a demo which would be well worth it or pick one up on this site at a low risk price. It won't disappoint IMO.
Post a Krell thread and see what turns up concerning the new generation. 

On Marantz and Luxman, yes I agree they do make some excellent top of the line gear and vintage gear hence their deserving historical  reputation 

However i hope you will agree that it is scary that Marantz put their brand name on the low quality MM7025!!!!

Bryston or NAD and many other brands would NOT stoop so low as to do that!

Lots of good recommendations on this thread.... I brought my wife to magnolia yesterday and she likes the black Rotel RA1592, so I think I may be stuck guys.  
However i hope you will agree that it is scary that Marantz put their brand name on the low quality MM7025!!!!
If you re-read my post, I said the MM7025 was anemic. Its also part of their AV line of gear made in China and should not be confused with their reference line made in Japan that is true hi fi.. 

As far as putting their name on the MM7025, they also put their name on AVR's and other HT stuff because that market is where the real money is at.  Its not scary; its probably as smart business decision.
Bryston or NAD and many other brands would NOT stoop so low as to do that!
Bryston would not even though they have HT gear too.  But it's made in Canada and much better performing . 
NAD however is just as bad as Marantz with a line of affordable HT hear made in China aimed at the mainstream market.  No better than the Marantz AV stuff.


Your not stuck. Chances are you'll be very happy how well that RA1592 works with your SFs. Whats great is if it doesn't work out you'll be able to return it to Magnolias with no hassles.

So Magnolia still sells Rotel? It was a Design Center, correct? The reason I ask is because Rotel doesn't show up on Magnolias website.

I may still end up with the RC/RB1590 set if I can get a couple years interest free financing like I did for my B&Ws. I love Magnolias/BB for their no hassle returns and financing.:-)



Thanks for the kind words... I think I will be happy otherwise it will go back. 

No worries, my main system dwarfs this one.  I guess you can call this the wife's system haha
I smiled when i read your "I may be stuck" comment too. There are a lot worse things to be stuck with than Rotel.  I hope it turns out to be a great sleeper system. Good luck and report back about how it sounds in your room. 
@mward, so I was planning on getting the best Rotel initially prior to starting this thread, but then got diverted by the WAF.  

Atleast it'll sound good and hopefully she will like it.  

My other amp is a beast, so atleast I have that to fall back to.  

Oh yeah, I know about your big rig. This isn't the only neighborhood I hang out in:-) I wish my main system was as sweet as your SF/Rotel system will be.

I'm betting that set-up will sound great and you and your wife will love it.

Happy Thanksgiving!


For sure, you’ll be fine with that as a second system. I’d take that deal all day long.
I used to like Rotel and owned a RMB-1095 5 channel amp for 8 years.  Thought it sounded great until I heard what a good amp sounded like.  Bryston.  I dumped my Rotel 5 channel amp and 2 Parasound amps and replaced the Rotel with a 9B-SST THX.  That 9B puts the Rotel to absolute shame.  The Parasound (A51 and A23) amps have been replaced with 3 Bryston amps, a 2.5B SST2, 3B SST2, and 9B SST2.  The SST2s are mated with a Marantz AV8802A, made in Japan.  I could not be happier.  My other pre-amp is the AV7702MK2 mated with the older 9B-SST THX and sounds excellent too. I do have a Marantz AVR 7010.  It sounds good in a bedroom and is not something I would use in a serious listening room.

I held onto a RCD-1570 just in case. I'm not a fan of the slot loader but it works. Other than that, garbagio for the past 8 years.

Rotel? You can do better. I own an RB1070 and found it to be not only anemic (no "cojones" if you will), the sound is sterile and lifeless. Decent mid-fi but that’s about it.  Those speakers deserve far better, something less analytical and more musical with some warmth and balls to it.
The description of the 1070 matches my experience with the 1075, except I didnt even feel like I had analytical. And yet the new 1585 has slam, warmth, and all kinds of dynamics. It is a lively and fun amp with good punch. I agree Rotel spent a few years making some poorly received amps and misguidedly implementing class-D into their traditional line-up, but they have gone back to class AB in most of their amps, so i think it is hard to judge the new stuff based on the past. Each piece of equipment should probably be judged on its own merits and not with blanket statements.
Yeah, not much love for Rotel here. My default recommendation is Ayre, but I heard your exact speakers with McIntosh amps at Magnolia and quite liked the combo.  Very sweet sounding.  

Started my hifi voyage with a Rotel RC-1590. Liked it at first. Moved forward to their RDD-1580 DAC and CD player. Within a year the amp's volume control broke. Had it fixed but began demoing other integrated amps. Listened to luxman, modwright, and plunius. I found a great deal on a Primaluna Dialogue Integrated. No comparison to the Rotel. And preferred it much more than those other integrateds.  Even my non-audiophile wife will not let me sell it. 

If set on a SS amp, I've spend some time with a Krell Vanguard and it is very very good. Lower price point would be a Parasound Halo. Even this is WAY better than Rotel. 

As far as front end I've moved to an Auralic Aries and Vega. The Altair is also fantastic.

I have Rotel love and NAD indifference.
+1 on the Prima Luna; but there is a big diff in price, especially when you add a phono stage, which the RC-1570 has. (MM only)

Comparing Krell, Prima Luna Dialog, and some of the others mentioned to Rotel is ridiculous, I think. It's like comparing a good Chianti to a rare Amarone. I'd enjoy the Amarone more, but then I couldn't afford dinner.
Given the cost and quality of the speakers still think the Krell Digital Vanguard or std Vanguard should be checked out. Something out of whack here but none of my business.