Processors

Rotel RSP-1069 7.1 Surround Sound Processor

ARTICLE INDEX

In my system the RSP 1069 was connected to a 5ch Rotel RMB-1085 for powering my Paradigm surround and center speakers, a 2channel Jaton AP2300 for my Raw Acoustics OB2x front left and right speakers, an Oppo 981-HD for SD DVD, and music playback, and my HTPC. All video was sent via the component cables to my Optoma H27 projector. The Rotel and Optoma did not play nice when using HDMI with my 35' cable, instead I could use only my 15' HDMI cable which did not reach my Optoma projector. The Rotel does convert HDMI to Component however this does limit you to 1080i video resolution.

Sound Quality

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For music listening I put a wide variety of formats through the RSP-1069. I started with Gwenyth Herbert's new album; download from the new B&W music club. Her dynamic voice passed from my HTPC through the HDMI port into the RSP without loss, or degradation and the quality was startling. The bass line on My Mini and Me solidly provides foundation to the steel guitar laid over top. The detailed soundstage and depth found on this track is a great test of lossless compression.


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After that I fired up the Oppo and put in the DVD-Audio QuAUDIOPHILIAc disc by Dweel Zappa comprised of multitrack recordings Frank made in the 1970's. This disc is far ahead of its time and is a great recording to show what multitrack mixes should sound like. The Oppo will not send DVD-A through the HDMI port and so the multi channel analog inputs were used. The Rotel applies a fixed 100Hz crossover on the multichannel inputs allowing for basic bass management. This disc puts you on the floor with the band, not quite in the center, just back far enough to feel like your watching the performance. I particularly enjoy Chunga Basement as the layers of percussion frame the guitar work and when done right the mix makes you feel a part of the jam.

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Next up was the DVD Mulholland Drive. David Lynch's TV pilot turned movie is a real head scratcher. The highlight is the Spanish version of Crying sung A cappella by Rebekah Del Rio. Without fail this scene will grab you by the throat and hold you tight, you feel her crying inside with every note and the Rotel did a great job of allowing her emotion to flow through.










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Finally I threw in the clean and powerful Burn to Shine by Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. The first track drips with atmosphere and layers. The strong bass line is punctuated with a sharp triangle and is all held together with Bens' lap guitar/skateboard. The rising emotion of the song caries though till the final triangle note held through to the next track. Changing tempo is the hard charging Burn To Shine with a tight bass line and crunchy guitar all lead by the versatile vocals from Ben Harper. Again, no faults found as the processor has a solid analog section which allows the music to come through clean and clear.