ROTEL RB-1090 Amplifiers

4.68/5 (37 Reviews) MSRP : $1999.00


Product Description

380 Watt Power Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by tilepronc a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 24, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I agree with most fo the past reviews,This beast (85+lbs) sounded better than I was expecting.Run cool, no hum, great lower end,good mids,and good highs.I know I could have gotten better for more $ but I think this amp is well worth the price .Even new @ 1950. Its well built and sounds great.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   audiogon



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by aztekkhundergod a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 23, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Hello there , thought id drop in my two cents on this marginally overated amplifier. ( i swear half of you reviewers must own stock in Rotel ). Some time ago i was in the market for a very powerful amp . So ( going partly because of the great review the piece had gotten right here on av reviews) i went with the rb 1090.
What wasnt to like ? The stats on this thing are monstrous , something like dual 1.4 kv transformers and 80k farads per channel.
The amp arrived and i hooked it up to my paradigm monitor 11.4 ( an excellant , easy to drive speaker at a very reasonable price). The first thing i noticec about the amp was a very complete musical sound from top to bottom with a very good soundstage. Low level treble detail was extraced very well by the rotel.

However the bass was not very defined at all, and not as extended as one would expect from a 380 wpc , 85 lb behemoth.

Worse yet, i couldnt crank the volume on this thing very much without it running out of power waaaay too soon.
Despite its shortcomings, the rb 1090 has a very musical sound, but it runs out of power too soon , and its bass is marginal in extension as well as definition.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Agon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tulfi a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 31, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I’m a critical audiophile. I want: high quality recordings on CD. And then: My hardware to pass it through as neutral as possible. I know the upgrade virus (or 'bottleneckshifting' )

Before I bought this 1090 recently, I read all the 33 reviews on Review.com. Some of them are more useful than others, but I learned a lot. Thank you all. I spent a lot of time on Google too, which offered me more reviews and articles.

I also know Rotel for quite some time now. History from 1995 on: RCD 975 (double dac) + Integrated amp RA 935 BX Mk 2 (wow!), RA 980 BX, RC 972 + RB 990 BX, and then RC 995 (Tuned version).

Cd player and Pre amp could be upgraded (I allready have an itch) but still they are very, very good! All are fed by Mainsstream powercords from Van den Hul (no uprgrade will ever be needed here I think).

I also have Vifa Carat speakers with upgraded cross-over electronics (highest quality of capacitors, copperfoilcoils and very large ‘Trafokernspoelen’ (that’s dutch. In english: transformer-core-coils?) on the low sector. All hardwired and built externaly, away from the units. After a long study and being sceptic at first, I added two pieces of audiofile REL Quake subwoofers. Believe me: it works: have a look at the reviews!. (I think of an upgrade there too....)

I use biwired Audioquest Bedrock speakercable with WBT connectors. My interlinks are homemade: copper / silver conductors with teflon shielding and Neutrik Profi connectors: very clear and open sound.

I thought that changing cd players would give a better soundupgrade than changing poweramps. And I allready have plans to buy a Rega Saturn or Creek Destiny cd player for instance (Rotel RCD 1072 isn’t good enough to give up on the RCD 975 I think). But after reading and dreaming, I knew I would first buy the RB 1090 poweramp. I got this one secondhand from a marketplace site. I paid 1300 euros (I believe that’s 1700 dollars) for this 3 year young machine. And now I know you can get a great upgrade at poweramplevel too!

Allways inportant to think of: the sound you hear, really comes from more than the Amp alone. Someone in these reviews said that if the other reviewer hears some disturbance trough the 1090, it's more likely the player or pre-amp. I agree and add to this: it could be the speakers, acoustics of your room or positioning (or combinations of them). Try to be sure of the source of insufficiencies you might hear! Of course the 1090 is not 'perfect' and of course there's ML and Krell and so on. Nevertheless I’m absolutely sure this 1090 is very good: with top recordings and setup: it’s impossible to say anything else! The fact Mark Levinson and Krell are so often named with regard to this 1090, is just a great fact: at this price! No-one can take that away.

The RB 990 is allready a great Amp: look at the reviews. I fully agree on them. I even didn’t think it would really bring much more to upgrade it. But it's really true: with the 1090 I hear a lot more information now: timbres in the lower frequencies, but also a more precise soundstaging and more transparancy (again: rb 990 is also very good at this!). It seperates the elements of music superbly and within the notes you hear more 3d info and colour. It plays with great ease but also with more bite. The presence is incredible. There's no hardware anymore! Only soundstage (except for the bad recordings: shame on these artists!) Definition is better and all sounds faster: I'm hooked on this now. I'm as happy as a child and long for this sound every day. Think of this again: my CD player and pre-amp could easaly be upgraded! I,m sure the 1090 has to offer even more then.

Rotel RB 1090: with a good study and setup: negative reviewing just isn't possible. Period.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   Web marketplace



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tulfi a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 29, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Before I bought this 1090, I read all these 33 reviews. Some of them tell you more than others, but I learn a lot by reading them. Indeed: the sound you hear comes from more than the Amp alone. Hardware (complete chain) acoustics and positioning are all very important. Someone said that if you hear some disturbance trough the 1090, it's more likely the player or pre-amp. I add to this: it could be acoustics or positioning, all in combination. Of course it's not 'perfect', but what is perfect?

I sold my RB 990 BX. I use my 1090 with Rotel pre-amp RC 995 and CD player RCD 975. These two could easily be upgraded (I allready have an itch) but still are very good! Have a look at the reviews. All are fed by the best powercords from Van den Hull (viva Holland).

I also have Vifa Carat speakers with upgraded electronics (highest quality of capacitors an copperfoilcoils, all hardwired and built externaly) I use biwired Audioquest Bedrock cable. Also homemade interlinks: silver/copper with teflon shielding: very clear and open sound. I added two pieces of REL Quake subwoofers, after a long study and sceptics at first. Believe me: it works. (Allthough I think of an upgrade there too....)

So I know Rotel for a long time now. History: Integrated amp RA 935 BX Mk 2 (wow!), RA 980 BX, RC 972 + RB 990 BX and up untill past week: RC 995 (Tuned) + RB 990 BX. All with RCD 975 (double DAC).

I also read a lot of reviews about the 1090. Thats why I knew enough to buy it secondhand from a marketplace site. Payed 1300 euro (I believe thats 1700 dollars) for this 3 year young machine.

I only had a few days of listening with it now. But I'm allready sure it's a very good amp. It's really true: I hear a lot more information now: timbres in the lower frequencies, but also a more precise soundstaging and more transparancy. I hear more detail overall and the souvernty is really outstanding. There's more bite, which I was looking for! The best upgrade will be from the source on, but this also proves to be a great one! I was very surprised and happy as a child. I long for it every day (childish, but o so true).

I will listen to it much more the coming weeks and months. I think I will return to this place to give you a short, but more refined review. I'm convinced this amp deserves it. Let's keep two channell listening alive!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   2nd hand marketplace



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dario@telvia.it a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Good boy. For the price it is a good deal.
Not really the best in audiophile area.
Lack of armonics and mid bass.

May be I am a bit overcritic because I listen it with maggies 1.6. which are very unpolite to any amplifier.
Anyway grain is quite high, compared to my mbl 8011 (but it costs 4 times as much!)
I am using a couple of this rb 1090 in biamping while my other amplifier is gone for manteinance.
one or two the sound does not change much.
If you find the right speaker this amp could be a surprise. Dynaudio 1.8 mkII fit it better.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   prefer not to say




Reviews 1 - 5 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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