Rotel RMB 1555 Owners Thread

wayden

Active Member
Hi everyone,

I could hardly find any information about this amp, so I decided to start a new thread.

First of all some background information.
For sometime, I have been thinking about going the separates route. I currently have the Denon AVR 4520 which can configured to behave like a pure pre-amp ( turn off the amplification and only use Pre-outs). I have also realized that in the world of high-end AV equipment, at times the Pre-amp price can be double the cost of the matching power amp. Quite strange really as it is the pre-amp that will be rendered obsolete quicker by the early updates being made by manufacturers.

The amps considered were:-
1. Emotiva XPA 5 - Has great reviews, however the retailer and support network in Europe is limited.
I found a dealer in Hungary (Hazimozi) but for some reason by bank transfers
were not going through. Price was 1111 Euros delivered to Germany. I must admit
however I was bit concerned when I learnt about the Nakamichi AVP1 amp. It
seems to be very similar to the XPA. I know that the current Emotiva amps are
made in China by Tonewinner but it made me question how much of the
engineering was done by Emotive not denying, however, that the XPA-5 amp has
a good reputation.

2. Marantz MM8077 - Having owned Marantz AV receivers, I am familiar with the quality of Marantz
products. It is rather expensive, the cheapest price received was 1750 Euros.

3. Rotel RMB 1555 - I am new to this brand. I have listened to their amps before both Class D and
Class A/B. Rotel seems to have a good reputation landing somewhere between a
Boutique shop brands and the top brands like Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer
etc. Best price 1400 Euros.

4. ATI - Reputation for making well built amplifiers. However, the price was way out of my
range for the AT1805. 2400 Euros.

I decided for the Rotel because :-

1. Well known Brand in Europe and should get a better price on the used market than Emotiva here in
Germany. When asking around none of the hifi stores visited and many persons had no idea about
Emotiva. The same for ATI.

2. Mature Support network should I have an issue with the amp. It is worth the 300 Euros price
difference. The peace of mind.

I have had my new amp for the last 2 days, so I can give an initial opinion. Please note I am NOT an audiophile and I don't pretend to be. This is my opinion based on what I think sound good. So here goes.

- Comparison to my Denon AVR4520

Well, it does not sound worse. I cannot do a side by side testing as all my speakers are now connected to the Rotel so it is based on me having the Denon for the last 2 years. I have recalibrated with Audyssey and I think the Rotel seems to be bit more dynamic for lack of a better word but then again some reviewers of the 4520 have claimed that it sounds better in Pre-Aamp mode. I don't know. I listened to some music and also the opening scene of the Fellowship of the ring - No complaints whatsoever, the sound was awesome maybe a little better (Dynamic, better soundstage). It felt more engulfing. But I must admit I also enjoyed the sound with my Denon as well, I just think the Rotel gives a little bit extra.

Was the Rotel worth the money? I think so especially because it sounds good to ME:thumbsup:.
Which at the end of the day is most important. It does not really matter whether you spend 4000 Euros on an amp or 400. As long as you are very pleased with the amp. This hobby of ours is a Journey and some of us (myself included) seem to go through a lot of gear in a short space of time often to the dismay of our other half. But it is fun that is why we do it.

The next will be to replace the 4520 with a dedicated pre-amp. I have been looking at the Marantz Av8802a and the Yamaha Cx-a5000/1. Current deals are available for the CX-a5000 but will need to re-tank by wallet before doing another purchase. Would it be better? I don't know but I am curious to find out.

If anyone is interested,as interconnects between the Rotel and the Denon, I am using Cordial cable. Not really end-user brand. They specialize in making cables for studios and the stage. I spent like 11 euros for a pair of 1.5 meter RCA cables. If it is good enough for musicians it is good enough for me.;) The cables work well. I will upload some photos shortly.

Special Shout-Out to DodgetheViper who has been a great help and resource.

Cheers,
Wayden
 

wayden

Active Member
Just 2 photos.
Have had to make space for the Rotel. Gone are my PS3 and my Sony Bluray player.
The postman complained that it was more than the marked 21 Kg. Yeah I also think it is very heavy.
My Setup.jpg
Rotel RMB1555.jpg
 

wayden

Active Member
Just a quick note. The Rotel seems to run much cooler than the Denon.
The Denon is warm to touch but after 1 hour of playing music loudly the Rotel is still cool to touch.
Maybe I am not stressing it enough ;).

Wayden
 

kahlua

Well-known Member
thanks for the mini review,have been looking at this amp over the holidays,as you say not much feedback for it,let us no how you get on with it after a bit more use.
 

wayden

Active Member
So I have been using this amp for a little while now and I have come to the following conclusion.

The amp is very neutral meaning it does add or remove anything from the sound. For home cinema it is great. For music this will be a matter of taste. Here it will be more important things such as what speakers are being used. I recently some other home cinema fans, for st one said he loved how yamaha receivers sound, while the other said he just sold his 3040 because he was not pleased with music playback.
In my case, I prefer having a neutral amp. Just amplify the sound and that's that.
What I found it the source is not up to scratch you will hear it.

Cheers,
Wayden
 

kahlua

Well-known Member
so for hc its a improvement over the denon ?,does it sound more powerful better headroom and dynamics.
 

wayden

Active Member
Hi Kahlua,
I watched Avatar again and the sound was pretty good, it did not feel as if it lacked any power.
Unfortunately, I cannot compare anymore as I sold my Denon amp last night and I have now ordered the Yamaha Cx5000. It should be delivered tomorrow. I will post my findings after I have everything connected.

Wayden
 

wayden

Active Member
Just a small thing. The Rotel has a different sound signature from Denon.
 

kahlua

Well-known Member
this is my problem buying blind,i love the marantz sound the rotel pa will obviously change that,congrats on the new pre.
 

wayden

Active Member
So, i have just spent the last 5 hours setting up the Yamaha CX-A5000. Once again, I don't care about Dolby Atmos and DTS X, as I cannot do more than the current 5.1 Setup in my living room.
Are there difference between the Denon 4520 and the Yamaha CX-A5000??
... Yes there is. With the Denon my Kef Speakers sounded bit restrained, as if there was a curtain before my speakers. To be quite honest, for awhile now I was worrying if I lost my hearing :D, as I always wondered why it sounded like this. I don't know if it is because of the combination with Rotel. I don't know. I asked my wife for help as she is always the first to say "why did you buy something new, I hear no difference".

Music
We listened to Gregory Porter, Ken Kravitz (my Wife's CDs), via the built in Network interface, we listened to Eagles - Hotel California, Commodores - Oh No, Gorillaz - Dare, Zucchero, Buena Vista Social Club - Chan Chan just to name a few :).
My wife was impressed with the sound , I was also. Is it better than with the Denon - For MY Tastes - YES:clap:. The voices were spot on and did not necessarily feel like I was listening a recording. With the Denon the voices sounded a bit more laid back. The Yamaha has more separation between the voices and the instruments. I was very good.

Movies.

For this test I grabbed my trusted Avatar extended edition Blu-Ray. Yamaha has the nose a bit in front of the Denon especially if you play with the different DSP modes. I tried Spectacle,SciFi and Adventure.
I will spend some more time watching Blu-Rays before I give a final evaluation.


Other Things
- Heat
The Yamaha is still relatively cool after 5 hours, the Denon is relatively warmer.

- Network Media player
Well- I think the Denon interface looked better. However, the Yamaha is quicker with browsing and playing files.

-Remote App
I am using my 10 inch Asus Zenpad. This way more advanced than the Denon. Devon should invest money and update the App. Yamaha has all the toys, bells and whistles you could imagine. The App also responds quicker than the Denon.

The Rotel has no XLR connections so it only uses RCA. I don't know if this is a disadvantage. From my understanding (I could be wrong) the main benefit of XLR is for longer cable runs. My RCA cables are all 1.5 meters long, I don't know if this qualifies to be long.
Just based on MY initial impressions, I think the Rotel and the Yamaha make a pretty good match.

Thing to note. I asked my dealer for an offer for the Marantz AV8802A (3300 Euros), the Yamaha is on a special close out sale now for 1290 Euros ( new price 2290 Euros). He recommended still the Marantz even though it would have been a bigger sale. He still recommended the Yamaha with the Rotel. I was a bit skeptical but it is really good. I expected Yamaha to be really good with Home Theater but with Music I was not expecting it to be even as good as the Denon. It is really good.

I guess I need to watch some more movies to be quite certain how good it is.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Wayden
 

wayden

Active Member
Just a quick update. My wife and I have been listening a lot of music and we both came to the conclusion that the sound is pretty good but it could do with a little more bass. I have now changed the some settings and I have the right amount of bass. Meaning , I have clarity for the voices with enough bass without having to turn the volume up. The 4520 after audyssey gave more bass but the voices were not so clear. Sorry cannot find a better word for it.
So is the Yamaha better? It depends what you are looking for. For pure home cinema feel, I would give Yamaha the edge with all its sound fields.
For two channel music, it is a matter of taste. The Denon 4520 is very good but so too is the Yamaha.

Is it worth it? Separates vs Av Receiver. Yes and no.
Separates are normally more expensive than Av receivers. With the fact that Av processors normally depreciate worse than Av receivers.
The best bet is to buy at end of life where the prices are more normal. For e.g. the cxa5000 was 2300 euros New, I bought it for 1290 sale.
The Rotel RMB 1555 I could only get 300 euros discount.
The Rotel seems to very neutral. It does not add or remove anything. It drives my 5 speakers pretty easily but then again I have no 4 ohm speakers.
It also runs very cool never gets hot. All the connections on the back are pretty stable and look and feel expensive.
Only RCA no XLR. It also comes with rack mount ears. Also comes with 5 years warranty once registered with Rotel

Cheers,
Wayden
 

wayden

Active Member
Current setup. Moved the center speaker up. I did this to improve the dialogue staging already with the 4520.
 

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Hatlesschimp

Active Member
Just 2 photos.
Have had to make space for the Rotel. Gone are my PS3 and my Sony Bluray player.
The postman complained that it was more than the marked 21 Kg. Yeah I also think it is very heavy.
View attachment 662385 View attachment 662384
Ive got the 1585 I love the face plate design but damn that led is bright LOL. That picture is pure beauty! Im thinking of buying the 1555 for my 4 atmos 4 ohm speakers. I love Rotel! #QUALITY
 

wayden

Active Member

wayden

Active Member
In the meantime, I have decided to focus only on Home Theater and that stereo sound.
In the end I was watching movies at least 3 to 4 times a week and maybe twice a month listening to music. I have sold my KEF XQ40, KEF IQ60C and KEF Eggs. They have all been replaced by Elipson Planet Speakers. For the Fronts I am using the Planet L and the 2 rear Elipson Planet M. I have also changed my media lowboard.
 

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Rick84

Well-known Member
I currently have this amp on home demo, it'll be replacing the Audiolab 8200x7.

I can't seem to get the 12v trigger to work? Any problems with the trigger at your end?
 

wayden

Active Member
I currently have this amp on home demo, it'll be replacing the Audiolab 8200x7.

I can't seem to get the 12v trigger to work? Any problems with the trigger at your end?

Hi Rick,
I have no issues whatsoever. It works really well.

Cheers,
Wayden
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
Ready to go :)
 

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wayden

Active Member

Hatlesschimp

Active Member
Hi Hatlesschimp, I think it should be able to. Lowest rated impedance is 4 ohms.

Wayden
I bought a second hand 1075 cheap. From the brief quick testing at home i cant hear too much difference between my 1585 and the second hand 1075 through my Kef Ci3160RL-THX Speakers.
 

wayden

Active Member
I bought a second hand 1075 cheap. From the brief quick testing at home i cant hear too much difference between my 1585 and the second hand 1075 through my Kef Ci3160RL-THX Speakers.

Cool. Thought the 1585 would be way better.
Wayden
 

Hatlesschimp

Active Member
Cool. Thought the 1585 would be way better.
Wayden
The 1585 is a beast but the 1075 still goes ok. But i feel like the 1585 has way more head room. Havent fully tested yet. Just trying to work out what i do for the last speaker. I have 5ch powered by the 1585 (LCR + SL SR) and 5ch powered by the 1075 but I want 11ch atmos. There are a 1552 and 1582 available second hand and another 1075. All with in a 200 of each other. Im wondering if the 1582 will power my front L & R better because its got the bi amp posts. If i got the 5ch 1075 i guess im ready for 13ch & 15ch atmos whenever that comes to consumer friendly priced AVRs
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
Hi,

It's only been setup since Thursday evening due to being on holiday. I borrowed a demo unit for a week and was very happy with it, hence the purchase :)
 

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