Long recognized as a central component in superb yet cost-effective music systems, the integrated amplifier's job has evolved substantially as many music-lovers have migrated to digital sources. Rotel RA-1572 is one of the best examples of melding classic analog design with contemporary digital circuits to bring all sources to life with surpassing fidelity.
As typical of Rotel amplifiers, the RA-1572's circuitry draws on a high capacity power supply based on a Rotel custom designed and in-house manufactured oversized toroidal transformer. In addition to providing an abundance of voltage and current for all operating stages, the transformer's toroidal shape helps prevent stray radiation patterns from corrupting audio signals as they pass through adjacent circuit stages. Subsequent power supply segments built with tight-tolerance parts including T-Network capacitors provide the exact voltage and current requirements to ensure stress-free signal reproduction.
The RA-1572's input section is substantially more flexible than that found in most integrated amplifiers. In recognition of the predominance of digital sources available today, the RA-1572 has a built-in state of the art 32 bit/768 kHz AKM digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and analog stages of the highest quality. The DAC and surrounding circuitry support a vast array of source inputs including DSD capable PC-USB. A front panel USB input is provided for easy connection of a wide variety of music storage devices including Apple iPods, iPhones, and iPads. The Bluetooth input supports aptX for superior performance with compatible devices.
In addition, two each coaxial and optical inputs provide easy connections for LPCM music sources including popular streaming devices with up to 24-bit word lengths sampled at 192 kHz.Very usefully, it is possible to fix the level and set an auto-on option with digital inputs for use with devices that provide their own volume control for convenient "hands-off" use. Analog inputs include a pair of balanced XLR connectors in addition to conventional RCA jacks and MM Phono input.
The Class AB output stage uses discrete devices to ensure precise reproduction of all signals regardless of origin with virtually any loudspeaker. The power output, conservatively rated at a robust 120 watts per channel into 8 ohms, is substantial as it is a continuous "both channels driven simultaneously" rating fully in keeping with real-world requirements and Rotel's tradition of providing extraordinary value. A mono subwoofer output is also provided. User conveniences include two 12-volt triggers to control on/off operation of other components, a highly visible VFD display for set-up, Internet-based software updates, as well as RS232 and IP control capabilities. Suggested retail price of the RA-1572 will be $1699. Info and photos by Rotel.