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Tag Vs Rotel Power Amps

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Brad_Porter, Jan 28, 2003.

  1. Brad_Porter

    Brad_Porter
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    Hi all,

    I need someone with experience to tell me why the £3,000 TAG 100x5R is better then the £1,750 ROTEL RMB-1095.

    I have heard a few suppliers suggest that the TAG is 'streets ahead' of the ROTEL.

    What I really want to know is how true is this and what is the sound comparison of the two units in comparison to the extra £1,250 added onto the TAG.

    Real insight is needed here guys and would people with true experience please give there opinion as it could be a costly mistake!

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Haven't heard the Rotel, but I have a very low opinion of the Tag. Get an Arcam P7 instead.
     
  3. warrj

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    At a slight tangent, the hi-fi dealer from whom I bought an Arcam AV8 carries both Arcam and Tag gear. He reckoned that the Arcam P7 was superior (and cheaper) than the Tag 5-channel power amp. In fact the consensus seems to be that whatever the qualities of the rest of the Tag range are the 100x5 power amp is way overpriced.

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  4. bob007

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    Not from what I heard yesterday.

    It just so happens that I went for a demo of some TAG equipment as I am looking at a pre amp to go with the Rotel I have at the moment. Sorry to say I was unimpressed with the TAG set up, I couldn't believe I was listening to the backbone of a £10K system, Yes this was the price excluding speakers and veiwing source.

    There is no way that the equipment I demoed was £8k better in power, processing and picture quality than the system I own, yes there was a difference but in all honesty it was only subtle. I actually rented the dvd that I had the demo with as I didn't own it and ran the same scenes through my system last night. For power the TAG seemed thin where as the Rotel has more punch, the processing was.........well not leaps ahead of my Denon, and to finish, though PQ is not in question here, the £4k player was hooked up to a 50" plasma and I am chuffed to bits with my results from my Tosh 520 and Tosh 56" RPTV when compared to what I saw yesterday.

    My advise would be go listen for yourself, it has opened my eyes, I was a little upset with the results as I wanted to go the next level, but it looks as if it's only tiny inclines from here.

    For me it would have to be the Rotel.
     
  5. Brad_Porter

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    Thankyou all so much for all your valued replies. I used to work in sales years ago and can spot a retailer telling me 'porkies' or spot a man who hasn't got a clue what he is talking about a mile away!

    By AVForum Law, I am not allowed to broadcast the name of the (well known and major) retailer that tried to convince me of the TAG, but it serves as an example of what commission they will get on the three grand TAG as compared to the 1,750 ROTEL and what length they will go to sell it too you! Name and price does not automatically mean the best quality.....!

    This forum, you guys, and my ears truly are the only things you can trust. :)

    If you really want to know what retailer it was (!) then PM me and Ill send you an e-mail as not to violate the rules here. If you don't want to know, don't ask though!

    Thanks again.....
     
  6. alexs2

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    Brad....as you can see,I'm a Tag owner,and whilst I have no issues with the build quality or upgradability,which are amongst the factors which convinced me to buy,the power amps,I feel,have a long way to go when compared with other makers....the preamp/processor is a different item altogether,with very good sound quality,and to fully realise that,it does require very good source components.

    The amps sound shut in and lacking depth in the mid and upper ranges,and whilst(on paper anyway)quite powerful,they also lack bass slam and control,especially when compared to Krell and Chord amps.

    For the money,the Rotel does represent very good value and sounds pretty good as well,as you have seen from other contributors comments.
     
  7. Brad_Porter

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    Thanks alexs2, your honest opinion is appreciated......
     
  8. Matt Horne

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    Brad :eek:

    You hav'nt got the upgrade bug again already (not that I can talk :blush: )


    Does the missus know yet :D

    Matt
     
  9. Brad_Porter

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    :D

    This is for a 'friend' of mine Matt. I would never be interested in such high-end kit for myself. :p
     
  10. dawogboro

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    I demoed the Tag and the Rotel 1095, and I opted for the Rotel. To me it sounded better that the TAG, and price was not what swayed me either. It sounded better period. I have also demoed the Arcam P7 which I have to admit sounds better than the TAg and the Rotel 1095. the difference between the Arcam and Rotel is noticeable if not significant. I have had the Rotel since dec 2000 and mine doesn't have the 12v triggers, I gather that ones sold now have such triggers.

    I have also never has a problem with it and I use it for both Music and Cinema driven quite hard.

    Although, I did feel the Arcam was just better than the Rotel (I could notice better sonics IMHO), It wasn't enough to convince me to get it.

    The Rotel is a great amp for the money and most people will be staggered by its performance for the money. For the £1750 the question to ask is how much more do i spend to improve it and is the different what the money.

    Listen to the Rotel, very few people have complaints about it.

    Incidentally, I demoed the rsp-1066 (and tried to like it), but to no avail, I didn't think it was that good, I also demoed the Arcam processor and that I thought was better than even the Tag av192, however the one that blew me away was the NAIM Av2 (i think it is), AWESOME!!

    Hope this helps
     
  11. Brad_Porter

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    Thanks dawogboro, appreciate your opinions.

    Seems that TAG has some competition from ARCAM and is losing in the power-amp divison as well.
     
  12. bob007

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    Forgot to mention, also had a demo with Sherbourn, this is an American make and for one had never heard of them, price very similar to the Rotel and gave just as good a performance as my Rotel.

    As far as I can remember the model demoed was for multiroom installations but in this instance the12x75watts was bridged to give 6x150 watts. But almost sure they do a 5x200watts.



    Might be worth a look. ;)
     
  13. gringottsdirect

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    So for you, pre-pros:
    1. Naim
    2. Arcam
    3. Tag
    4. Rotel

    I never really looked at Rotel's latest before this week, don't know why, but having heard them I was surprised how good.
    I'm curious as to what aspect of Rotel you didn't like and what aspect of Naim you did ?
    Tag £3000, Naim £2200, Rotel £1000 in my desired spec, Bryston SP1.7 too expensive in U.K.
    Having investigated a range of products over last few months, the Rotels float my boat, if 1066 had 24 / 192 then I would buy it I think.
     
  14. gringottsdirect

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    Me same, I like the Bryston combo, SP1.7 & 9B SST but U.K. price rules them out, maybe a cheap flight to Canada is the answer, but hassle and duties put me off.
    Better to buy in Britain ! ( I think :) ).
     
  15. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I was doing some shopping around for a Bryston SP1.7 the other day. A shop called called Lintone Audio in Gateshead quoted me £3495. Place called the HiFi Hut in Harrogate asked me what the best price I'd been quoted so far was, I said "£3495 from Lintone Audio in Gateshead", there was a very long pause, then I was offered £3450. This is still a lot of money, but it's a lot less than the full price of £4250. I did come across a couple of places that would offer two years interest free credit (on the full £4250, obviously) as well.
     
  16. dawogboro

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    When I demoed the NAIM at Billy Vee in SE London, they used it in combination with a dedicated stereo Pre-amp, I can't quite remember the model name, but I can get this as I have it written down somewhere. Basically the Naim has a special link which allows it be coupled with one of their stereo pre-amps which will then use this for normal 2 channel audio and also for front Left and Right during cinema use. It simply allows the volume for the pre-amp to be controlled via the AV processor.

    The NAIM seemed to resolve a lot more resolution that the Arcam and Tag. The Rotel is good for the money, but I was prepared to spend the considerable extra for the better sound I could get via the Arcam or NAIM. The total cost of the NAIM kit I demoed was about £3000 (which makes the stereo pre-amp used about £800). I spent quite a considerable amount of time comparing the Arcam and NAIM ,also listening to tracks I know very well, and I was absolutely convinced that the NAIM was better. Better resolution, more detail and fantastic imaging. The only catch is if you go the NAIM route you are tied into NAIM KIT, there is no way to integrate into say a Rotel AMP. The Arcam came a close second and probably more suitable being a one box solution using standard connectors. It also had more gizmos which some might find useful. I gave up on the TAG very early on during my demo not because it wasn't good, but because the NAIM and the ARCAM consistently sounded better to me. The Naim was also brilliant in home cinema mode, but I have to admit that I couldn't really discern if it was better than the Arcam in this mode.

    The rotel RSP-1066, I thought was way behind all of them certainly for 2ch audio, and I am a big fan of Rotel. I think the RSP-1066 is a stop gap till the new arrival sometime soon of their newer model. Putting it all in perspective, the RSP-1066 (@£1000) is probably worth every penny but don't expect it to compete with the ARCAM and NAIM or even TAG.

    The Rotel, I could have lived with for cinema but definately not for 2ch audio. I gather that Rotel are about to release another processor which supposedly is going to be very good.

    If 2ch audio is your primary concern then IMHO the NAIM combo has been the best I have heard so far. I have never even seen the Bryston or Lexicon so I do not know how they sound.

    However, I do believe that the Rotel RMB-1095 is an absolutely awesome amp, with the Arcam Amp being better but only just and certainly not worth the extra money - again IMHO.
     
  17. martintyler

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    Nicolas, you have probably spent more than that 800 quid different in all your phone calls and travel to demos :D

    When are you going to bite the bullet and buy? have you decided on the SP1.7?
     
  18. NicolasB

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    I was at Billy Vee a couple of weeks ago listening to Linn, Naim, Arcam and Lexicon kit. :)

    My perspective is a little different as I'm primarily interested in film sound. From that perspective the Naim (hooked straight into Naim power amps) is good, but definitely not as good as an Arcam AV8/P7 combination. The Naim has a slightly muffled quality to it somehow. Good value, but not the best in absolute terms.

    The Linn 5103 really doesn't cut it for home cinema - very mushy in the surround channels - but it's a pretty amazing stereo pre-amp.

    Comparing a Lexicon MC-1 with an Arcam AV8 for home cinema use is fascinating. They're completely different, and yet both rather good. The Lexicon isn't exactly precise - if you focus one particular sound it's somehow not absolutely spot on - but it's tremendously atmospheric. In particular the integration between the speakers is remarkable. With the Arcam I was always aware of where the speakers were, but with the Lexicon the sound completely enveloped me. By contrast the Arcam made me feel as though it was doing a better job of making each individual sound come across precisely as intended.

    But in stereo mode, the Lexicon is dreadful. After listening to it for a few minutes I just really didn't want to listen to it any more. The Arcam is pretty good in stereo, and even better when you put it into "Stereo Direct" (bypass) mode with a good CD player. (The MC-1 doesn't have an analogue bypass at all - this is part of the problem).

    The Bryston SP1.7 is a superb stereo pre-amp - one person on here reckons that it bests a Lexicon MC-12 in that respect. But of course it's in a different price bracket from the Arcam.


    I make all my phone calls from work. :blush:

    No, I think (sadly) that I cannot quite justify paying £3450 in my present financial situation. I've tracked down a couple of second hand meridian 568s (the mark I version) which are looking interesting. Did get one place to quote me £2500 for a new Arcam AV8 as well.
     
  19. Brad_Porter

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    This has turned out to be quite the little thread......thanks for all your input guys......:)
     
  20. Spligsey

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    Actually, you have to hand it to Nicolas..He has managed to demo almost every single proc/power combination known to civilisation.
    Martin's comment raised a smile!.
    By the time Nicolas has chosen his kit, the Arcam AV9/P10, Meridian 568.3, Lexicon MC-8d & TAG AVR192.Udo will be on the shelves ready for his perusal.

    Gotta hand it to him for his leg/ear/voice work.

    I reckon certain retailers see him across the road, and flip the 'Open' sign to 'Closed'
    :D

    You're alright Nicolas.......keep going mate...

    Adzman
     
  21. NicolasB

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    One shop (which I will allow to remain nameless) refused to allow me access to their demo facilities unless I paid a £250 deposit, only refundable in the event of my actually buying the equipment being demonstrated. :)
     
  22. Brad_Porter

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    I was just about to say that -I bet you are the shops worst nightmare!! :D

    What equipment do you actually own?
     
  23. gringottsdirect

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    dawogboro,
    Excellent reply, thanks.

    NicolasB,
    Thanks for the info on prices.
     
  24. CounterWhine

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    I hope that's a joke.

    Having said that, I can think of one multiple that would stoop so low.

    D.

    PS. Keep this thread going, it's fascinating reading.
     
  25. Orbital

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    I must also say what an interesting thread this is. No "mine is better than yours" just honest opinion on the kit concerned. Great stuff! :D

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  26. NicolasB

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    I think the guy was quite serious. I'd like to tell you more about that, but if I do I risk accidentally giving away which shop it was. I have no compunction about embarassing the person in question, I think he's a pompous twit, but I if I generate any bad publicity for the shop then I adversely affect other people I don't know anything about.


    So far just an Arcam DV27, Bryston 9B THX power amp and a pair of B&W Nautilus 803s. (Plus some much older, cheaper stuff that's auction sale issue - a Philips integrated amp and Sony bookshelf speakers). TV is an old Panasonic widescreen model - TXW32D4DPC. Haven't actually got any use out of the 803s or amp yet. :( I was planning on using the TV as a Prologic decoder, feeding the line outputs straight into the power amp, but when you turn the volume down low enough to do this it sounds like absolute crap compared with feeding them (at a much higher level) into a cheap integrated amp. As I don't currently own anything that can act as a pre-amp I'm stuffed. :mad: Still, should be buying a processor in the next few weeks....
     
  27. ReTrO

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    The linn 5103 is 5 years old this year and is being replaced by a new THX Ultra 2 Spec'd processor.

    I think the deicated Naim stereo pre-amp mentioned earlier is the NAC 112 which is the 5 series pre-amp.
     
  28. dts_boy

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    so no mention of the cyrus processor then? i too am looking at trying to sell my denon 1se and getting either cyrus av8 with Arcam p7 power amp, or going the whole hog and getting the av8/p7 together cos thats what i really want. trouble is selling the denon amp, i have found that the upgrade is still availible and wonder is it worth getting it done and then living with it a while longer? i went to have a look at the Naim processor recently, i won't name the shop but they practically insisted on a home dem and wanted to bring it round the same evening! i guess sales must be slow for them:laugh:
     
  29. NicolasB

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    Cyrus AV8 is good value for money, but won't compete in absolute terms with the Naim AV2 or Tag AV30R, never mind the likes of the AV32R, Arcam AV8, 568.2, etc. While I haven't tried this you might find that using the pre-outs of a Denon A1SE into an Arcam P7 sounds comparable to using a Cyrus AV8 with the same amp. If you can arrange a home demo then I suggest you try it.
     
  30. Lowrider

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    Back to the original question... :blush:

    I had Rotel 1080 + 993, and they where ok with my SF Concertos, but would clip at medium levels with my new SF EAII, so I upgraded to Bryston, better in all departments...

    A friend had Rotel 1095 and bought TAG, he finds it better enough, but tried the Bryston, and now wants to upgrade again...
     

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