Originally Posted by miatame
The Rotel is a terrific amp. Using a headphone out to RCA cable is going to destroy any idea of good sound quality.
I agree that Rotel amps can sound very good indeed.
I don't know about the idea
of good sound because that is in people's heads and I can't read minds. ;-)
But I can tell you about what happens to the signal technically.
The performance of audio interfaces in modern computers including laptops are roughly the same as that of a very good CD player.
This is typical:
Frequency response (40 Hz - 15 kHz), dB
Noise level, dB (A)
Dynamic range, dB (A)
THD + Noise, dB (A)
IMD + Noise,%
IMD at 10 kHz,%
Bottom line, the OP's laptop might perform worse, but an investment of about $5 in a cable seems like a reasonable risk.
I don't see any purpose in necessarily prejudicing a person against the equipment that they already own. ;-)