The Rotel aced two favorite low-bass tests—Patti Smith’s cover of “When Doves Cry” from the Land anthology [Arista], and Chuck Prophet’s “You Did” from Age of Miracles [New West], without imposing a hint of harshness or glare on the midrange or treble. Musical details unfolded from a dark background, almost of their own volition. There was never any sense of effort or strain; the amp applied itself equally to every task regardless of the complexity of the music or the level at which I wanted to hear it. The Rotel is a worthy contender for the attention of serious music lovers
It’s also a worthy contender for the attention of movie fans. As a replacement for my hefty Halo A51, the Rotel proved not only that it could deliver big-production surround sound, but that it could do so with the same grace and effortlessness as it had playing music in two-channel mode. Sound effects in the battle scenes in Star Trek: Insurrection and Black Hawk Down were startling not only for their percussive impact, but for their localized precision. So were quiet spatial cues, as in the scene in O Brother Where Art Thou? where the three hapless escapees stumble upon the Sirens.
There’s no amorphous everywhere-buthere dimensionality with the Rotel. Every sound seems to be exactly where the film’s designers intended—not merely present, but present with delicacy or impact as program material demands. With any reasonably sensitive loudspeaker system, it would be difficult to understand why anyone would need more than the RMB- 1077 offers. It’s simply a great performer at a great price. TAS