- Written by Jared Rachwalski
- Published on 08 November 2007
$21,000 Lamm monoblocks, and Mark Levinson power amplifiers, which are among the finest in the world. What you pay for is the amount of rise that occurs. The flatter the curve, the more neutral the sound. The higher the rise, the brighter the sound. If the rise starts at a lower frequency, the result might be heard as a midrange "bloom".
The tradeoff with the RB-1092 is that you have an enormous amount of power that will deliver better dynamics than a lower power Class A/B amplifier, but with more brightness (less neutral). Of course, this depends on the design. There are some Class A/B amplifiers out there that are somewhat bright as well. And, this is not necessarily unappealing. It is all based on the listener's preferences. Many consumers like the brightness, which adds an edge to the sound. Midrange bloom adds body.
In fact, Jared said that the sound was great at high volume, although I suspect he never came near 300 watts being delivered to the speakers. So, my feelings on this are that, at conventional volume levels, the amplifier should be fine. For the transient peaks, which might require 300 watts or more, everything would be distorting: amplifier, speakers, and probably your ear drums, and it would be for a very short duration.
Some people enjoy having mammoth sized amplifiers costing megabucks. Others don't have the space, the money, or the spouse approval to do so. Clearly, manufactures are aware of this and are adding components to their lineup that are able to meet these requirements.
You have always been able to buy small efficient switching power amplifiers. Unfortunately, they were often very expensive, terrible sounding, or worse . . . both.
We are seeing more choices now of smartly designed, quality components that deliver the goods without taking up too much space. It doesn't come absolutely cheap however, for $2500 only gets you two channels. Of course that is two channels of virtually bottomless power mind you.
In fact, the power delivered by this amp was astounding and the B&W 804 towers are able to throw forward some serious sound when pushed hard. I never found myself wishing for more power or being fatigued with extended listening even with my heavier discs.
I love hearing new layers within my old music, and the Rotel amp did just that. Rotel has constructed a high quality dual-mono class D that excels from the bottom up.