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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at upgrading my antiquated Rotel preamp circa 1998 to a preamp processor with more up to date features. I have loved my Rotel for both music quality as well as the home theater experience. Candidly, I probably don't use all the features as I probably don't know how.


I am looking at the Rotel RSP-1570 and the Integra DHC-80.1. Both competitively priced between $2,100-$2,300. I can see the Integra has several more features (7 HDMI ports and Balanced Audio Outputs) as well as some functions Rotel omits (Auto calibration). Does anyone have an unbiased view as to functionality and overall performance? Is Integra or Rotel more reliable as a company? Rotel has a 5yr warranty and Integra has a 3yr warranty. Maybe there is another preamp processor I should consider in the $2,000-$3,000 area?


Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I think you would be able to find street prices for the Integra to be somewhat cheaper that what you will be able to do with Rotel.


That said, I think it comes down to Audyssey, features vs analog sound quality. While some will say that the analog SQ of the Integra to be great, I've read that that is where the Integra falters if ever so slightly. Digital input SQ to be comparable to (much) more expensive units.


Are you feeding these mostly digital or analog?


Other units: Marantz 8003, Emotiva UMC-1, or lesser Integra (40.1)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will be feeding it mostly digital inputs (i think?). Running mainly blue-rays, HD-video from cable and music via my ipod or itunes. I have had Marantz products in the past and was extremely disappointed. It seems everything I have read so far is that for sound quality, Rotel is probably the better way to go. For video and other miscellaneous features, the Integra seems the way to go. Does anyone believe there are too many bells and whistles on the Integra which means there are more things that can go wrong?


I have never heard of Emotiva. I will look into that. My Antiquated NAD CD player never failed me so I will look into the NAD processor.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Strasse /forum/post/18180103


I think you would be able to find street prices for the Integra to be somewhat cheaper that what you will be able to do with Rotel.


That said, I think it comes down to Audyssey, features vs analog sound quality. While some will say that the analog SQ of the Integra to be great, I've read that that is where the Integra falters if ever so slightly. Digital input SQ to be comparable to (much) more expensive units.


Are you feeding these mostly digital or analog?


Other units: Marantz 8003, Emotiva UMC-1, or lesser Integra (40.1)

Whether you feed it analog or digital input, ultimately the pre-out is analog.

If you feed it analog then it has to convert to digital first to do any processing like Audyssey and then again to analog when sending to the pre-out. So if the input analog signal is not good obviously the output will also be not good.


If you are always going to use the Integra in direct mode (no processing) there is no point spending $1000 on it. You can get an used analog pre-amp like NAD C162 or the current NAD C165 ($899) but I presume you are going to use it for HT in which case an analog pre-amp is useless for you.


There is a lot of hype about Audyssey. Some people swear that it does wonders and some have not been very impressed. Only way to find out is to try it. I have ordered the 40.1 If you have a higher budget you could get the 80.1 as it has Audyssey MultEQ XT and you can also add Audyssey pro to it.


Rotel has always been slow in keeping up with the latest technology. With the new line they have significantly increased the cost. For example the Rotel RCD-1072 CD player was $699 and was the best CD player under $1000. NOw the new CD player from Rotel is $1000. Why?

Same with NAD. They have bumped up the price significantly. Why is the new C275 amp $1299 when the C272 amp was some $700 and is still available for $529 new. So I dont consider Rotel, NAD etc. as value products any longer.
 

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Mupi,


To clarify;

*With analog source with zero processing (direct mode), I would agree that it wouldn't make sense to get the Integra if that is your main listening habit.

*With digital source, you are using an A-D conversion and then you need to worry about what unit does that best. The Integras seem spectacular in that regard (based off a review by Kal of an older model and assuming architecture is similar. that is indeed an assumption).

*Analog in WITH processing - now you are working on a A-D and then an D-A conversion. The multiple conversions here add some complexity.


I agree Audyssey is a see for yourself kind of thing. I like it with HT and not for music in my system as I've said in other threads. Could be any number of reasons for that including incorrect set-up on my end.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mupi /forum/post/18182753


With the new line [Rotel has] significantly increased the cost. For example the Rotel RCD-1072 CD player was $699 and was the best CD player under $1000. NOw the new CD player from Rotel is $1000. Why?

Same with NAD. They have bumped up the price significantly. Why is the new C275 amp $1299 when the C272 amp was some $700 and is still available for $529 new. So I dont consider Rotel, NAD etc. as value products any longer.

Depends on how you look at it, I guess. My current preamp (Rotel RSP-1570) listed for $2,200 in 2009 and replaced an Adcom GTP-880 that listed for $2,600 in 2004. In both cases I bought a preamp and amp together, and I got a 20-percent discount on the Rotel pair last October compared to 10 percent on the Adcoms five years earlier. So, in my mind, my Rotel setup represents decent value (and lots of power: 250W x 5).


That said, the choices for A/V preamps used to be very limited, but Outlaw and Emotiva and NAD have (inevitably) introduced a lot of moderate-cost options into the marketplace.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Brownstone /forum/post/18183529


Depends on how you look at it, I guess. My current preamp (Rotel RSP-1570) listed for $2,200 in 2009 and replaced an Adcom GTP-880 that listed for $2,600 in 2004. In both cases I bought a preamp and amp together, and I got a 20-percent discount on the Rotel pair last October compared to 10 percent on the Adcoms five years earlier. So, in my mind, my Rotel setup represents decent value (and lots of power: 250W x 5).


That said, the choices for A/V preamps used to be very limited, but Outlaw and Emotiva and NAD have (inevitably) introduced a lot of moderate-cost options into the marketplace.

If one just wants an A/V pre-amp without any room correction then there are options. But if you want room corrections then Audyssey is predominantly used in many mass market AVR's that could be used as A/V pre-pros and also in Onkyo/Integra pre-pros. Anthem ARC is another option for room correction but Anthem products with ARC are expensive. I am not sure if the entry level Anthem pre-pros like AVM30 and AVM40 have the ARC. Emo-Q used in Emotiva UMC-1 or YPOA by Yamaha are probably not that popular.


Unless one has great speakers and a room that is passively treated to not introduce any room effects, a room EQ is mandatory if improvement in sound quality is desired. Most rooms have nasty peaks at the low end which will exist no matter how good the speakers are. There are room effects at high end too. So in short a pre-pro with good room correction software is certainly something one has to consider. Unfortunately there arent that many room correction options to pick from if you want full range EQ in time and freq. domain.


May be one could consider a separate bass EQ in which case a pre-pro without room correction would be ok as the room influence is worse on the bass than at high end. This is what I am doing. I have the Anti-Mode 8033 for bass EQ. I have ordered the Integra 40.1 but I dont have high hopes that it will do miracles based on mixed opinions here at AVS.
 

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I have an older Integra and to be candid the normal audyssey calibration I could live with/without and not lose any sleep. I had a pro calibration done a couple months back and what a huge difference. Night and day. My room is fully treated and sounds much better post calibration. It is like magic--I even hate to say that. To be candid I have been playing around with my room for years and have spent a boatload of money buying treatments and measuring and this was the best bang for the buck period. Bass now sounds more natural and I can hear the dialogue much better.


My room is a bit on the small side at 12x22 and has a bit of a funny shape to it. When I auditioned the Klipsch Ultra2 set up it always sounded better until now
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the feedback. I think I am going with Integra. I hate the face plate with all the advertisements but oh well.
 

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First off I own a Rotel 1570. I love the sound of Rotel. Their customer service is exceptional.

HOWEVER.....if I was connecting to this processor through HDMI and not analog, I would be a little more cautious about the purchase.


If you are playing a CD through an optical device connected using just HDMI, there will be a 1-2.5 sec delay on ALL opening tracks on CD's. This is with the latest firmware installed. The way around is to connect an optical or coax digital for audio and use HDMI. However, you are not really using the benefit of HDMI as a single cable solution then.


If you spend a lot of time doing serious listening to music, I would go Rotel or NAD. However, if you will be using HDMI predominately and watch mostly movies, I would go with a Yamaha, Pioneer receiver (s) or Integra unit.

They handle HDMI much better than the Rotel IMO. Google Rotel 1570 and HDMI handshaking issues and check out a few results.


I know that everybody has HDMI issues. However in my experiences with demo"ing Yamaha and Pioneer, they handle HDMI much much better.

However, they don't sound as clean and transparent as the Rotel does using analog inputs. For watching movies, etc...I can't hear a difference.


If you are connecting any video components to this device using component or S-video, the Scaler is very poor. You can clearly see artifacts and jaggies. If you use HDMI, the onboard scaler is bypassed (a great thing IMO!) and it passes HD video perfectly. So, if you require video processing, look elsewhere!


Hope this helps a little.
 

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the above poster is right....If you are mainly a movie watcher the Integra is a no-brainer. No HDMI issues and has all the new bells and whistles to satisfy for atleast 5 years. The Integra 40.1 preamp is a good "value" based only on my own experience and the great feedback on the DHC 40.1 thread. I do, however, have NAD amps and will NOT replace them until they die
YMMV on the current lineup of AVR's/PrePro's....I had a yamaha V663 and it sounded bad compared to my trusty old Lexicon MC-1 (using even lossy codecs). The Integra is at least on par with the Lexicon....
 
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