ROTEL RSP-980 A/V Preamplifier

4.43/5 (7 Reviews) MSRP : $1300.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by johnt a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 1, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Killer product on the used market! I hear all the little details of sound with TV, movies, and music. Music sounds great through this thing (avoid the music surround modes). For the money this thing goes for used, you simply can't beat it. A great product.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lupe' a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I don't need to reiterate all of the praises its gotten so far.
If you are using purely digital or purely analog sources this is a great unit. If you need to use both you have to get up and press the stupid button on the front of the unit to switch between the two. The remote is of the 5 dollar variety. There is also a delay cutting off the begining of every song. These are minor anoyances with a great product.

If you are of low budget or just starting out this is a great unit to start with as it can be had for under a grand with decoder and amps, less than most recievers, and sounds as good as many units costing 3 to 4 thousand.

I did have one problem with the unit and Rotel fixed it immediately, no questions asked.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Purchased At:   http://www.audio-logic.com



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Pat Zeller a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2001

Bottom Line:   
After a lot of reaearch, I found that I could take advantage of the advancement in technology, that being manufactures packaging Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital and DTS in the same box and placing those without the package out to pasture. I did not want or need a full receiver. I only wanted an amp and processor for movies and I didn not want to break the bank. I purchased the RSP980, the AC-3 (Dolby Digital outboard decoder) RDA 980 and a Rotel RB985 THX amp all for less than $1000.

I now have a remarkable system that sounds almost as good as my home stereo. The RSP980 is ease to use (all three are connected using the AD25 computer like calbes) and the only switching I do is between Dolby Pro Logic for VCR and the Dolby Digital for most DVD's. The sound, phasing and clarity is fantastic. I'm not sure what it would cost to reproduce this quality in the current product offering, but my guess is at least $3000 or more.

Don't be afraid to piece a like system together. There is a reason Rotel maufactured great outboard DD and DTX pieces and they work very well. If you have a keen ear, are starting your home theatre and don't want to take out a second on your home, look into this product.

System:
RSP980 processor
RDA980 Dolby Digital Decoder
RB985 5x100 amp
Panasonic A120 DVD
PSB 5T mains
PSB 9C center
PSB 2 rears
Bob Carver True Sub MKII


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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   internet



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cai Campbell a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2000

Bottom Line:   
The Rotel RSP-980 has to be the best value in a home theater/music pre-amp available today. It has been out of production for a couple of years, but can be found readily on the used market for a pittance! Given this fact, I'd have to say the RSP-980 is one of the most under-rated components to come along in quite a while.

Most home theater/audio enthusiasts are torn between a dedicated hi-fi or theater setup, conventional wisdom dictating that a single setup cannot do justice to either. I say this is a myth, and the RSP-980 proves it.

The RSP-980 supports THX and Dolby Pro-Logic. The fact that it does not have Dolby Digital or DTS decoding is probably the main reason that so many of these are on the used market. If you really need these capabilities, Rotel has outboard Dolby Digital and DTS decoders available that work brilliantly through a 5.1 connector available on the RSP-980. So, the RSP-980 should not be discounted simply because it lacks these features. It can be upgraded in this area as your needs dictate.

As for THX and Dolby Pro-Logic performance is concerned, the RSP-980 is a top contender. However, the RSP-980 has numerous synthesized "surround sound" modes that should be avoided at all costs. This is an unfortunate, although not catastrophic, downside to the RSP-980. There is no real need to use these modes anyway. If you want to listen to music in surround mode, Dolby Pro-Logic is the way to go, and it sounds great!

The RSP-980's remote control features are somewhat lacking. A few functions cannot be accessed from the remote, and this can be annoying. However, the most common functions are supported by the remote, so this is only a minor annoyance.

The circuitry design of the RSP-980 is outstanding, employing a "shortest path" approach, yielding crisp audio/video via its numerous A/V sources. This pre-amp will accommodate just about any configuration you can come up with via its very flexible design. The only concession made in this regard is the inability to watch one video source while listening to another audio source. I'm sure this feature would have compromised the integrity of the switching quality, so it is a very minor concern. I'll take quality over flexibility any day!

I've barely touched the surface here, and really cannot say enough good things about this unit. It supports both s-video and composite video on ALL video sources. It is fully integrated for 5.1 surround sound including various configuration switches to get the most out of your amplifier/speaker choices. The most important thing for me, however, is that it attains this high level of home theater performance and still sound spectacular as a stereo hi-fi pre-amp. It does. Oh boy, it really does. I totally love this pre-amp and know without a doubt that you would have to spend thousands more to find something that will perform better in all areas discussed here.


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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Thomas a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 10, 1999

Bottom Line:   
Six months ago I purchased brand new a Rotel RSP 980, RDA 975, and RB 985 for more then a 3rd off retail list price. Previously I had bought from the same dealer a used Denon AVR 3600 at a considerable discount. I agree with the previous reviewer's observations in all respects. With the exception of the few ergonomic inconviences (the need to manually switch to/from AC-3 sans remote) the Rotel gear performs at a much higer level then either the Denon AVR 3600 or Yamaha 2090 receivers I was using before.
Originally I had my high end stereo system and home theatre systems set up as two independent systems within the same room. Recently I removed my Sonic Frontiers Line 1 preamp from my stereo system, hooked up my B&W 802s for L/R, HTM CC, 805 RS/LS, and am now using the RSP 980 as both my stereo preamp and home theatre processor. Granted, the RSP 980 doesn't have the same resolution or transparency as the SF Line 1, but the Rotel provides better dynamics and is still musically satisfying to listen to. While this is temporary (I eventually plan to upgrade to a high end HT processor/preamp) I think for many the RSP 980 (or the new RSP 985) could serve both roles with 100% satisfaction. Considering the price, and for those steping up from a receiver, the Rotel gear will offer a significant improvement over a receiver and will be better than, or competitive with anything else in its 'purchase' price range.

For value and sound quality I give the RSP-980 five stars.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast




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