ROTEL RB-971 Amplifiers

4.73/5 (15 Reviews) MSRP : $400.00


Product Description

70 Watt Stereo Power Amplifier


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

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2014

Bottom Line:   
Can't believe my ears! I bought this amp from eBay for $70 as a substitute for my fried-channel Bryston 3B. This little amp is really something! Detailed sound, very musical! So good that I feel guilty for not caring if my Bryston gets back or not. Bare in mind that it'S a bit demanding on the other equipment, e.g. It immediately shows the difference between cables! And one other thing, it needs about an hour to start playing really good as it reaches the appropriate temperature. Really good amplifier!!!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fast Eddie a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2013

Bottom Line:   
I bought my 971 used on Craigslist. I had a Rotel pre-amp tuner that I've been using for years, and this amp matched the styling. I thought it would be nice to have a matched set.

I use this to drive my Acoustic Research AR3s. It's rated at 70 WPC into 8 Ohms. I'm not sure what it's driving into the 4 Ohm load of the ARs, but it has to be somewhat less than is often recommended for these speakers. But it drives them really, really well. I think it may have to do with the very high damping factor. I believe it is rated at 500, which is one of the higher ratings I've seen for an amplifier.

In my smallish living room, the 971 drives the 3s to any level you'd care to listen to, and seems to do so effortlessly. It always sounds as if it has more to give. Everything sounds wonderful, and the bass is well controlled.

The power supply on this little amp looks really beefy with a good sized torroidal transformer and decent size smoothing caps. I've read that any good amplifier starts with the power supply, and Rotel seem to have taken that to heart.

I keep all the gear enclosed in a cabinet and the amplifier runs fairly cool, even driving the difficult load at what I consider high volume for a good while.

It seems like this older, black styled Rotel gear is in less demand than the newer, silver faced gear. But if performance is what matters to you, that makes these a bargain. They're still built very well and perform well. I have another Rotel of that era driving five channels of my home theater set up and it is similarly solid and performs equally well. My "big" amp is a Denon POA 2400, driving my AR9s in the HT set up. Yes, it has more power than the Rotel, but otherwise, the 971 holds it's own against the much bigger Denon, and if you're using it, as I am, in an application where more power would be superfluous, the Rotel will keep you smiling and enjoying the music.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Audio Expert a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 10, 2010

Bottom Line:   
It´s often emphasized that these amplifiers sound very good in bridged mode. Granted, but there´s an even better way of doing it, namely "pseudo-balanced" mode.

You´ll of cause need two RB 971 power amps, and then you short-fuse one channel on each of the 971´s by the help of a shortfused jack. Then connect each channel of the cable connecting the pre-amplifier to the remaining channel on each of the 971´s - and the power amplifiers are now in pseudo-balanced mode.

The result is an astonishing amount of control, because the transistors on one side of this stereo-amplifier are now dedicated to dampening the signal when needed. The noise-floor comes down to virtually nothing and the dynamics are amazing, even compared with using them in bridged mode.

WARNING: You should NEVER pseudo-balance an amplifier that is in bridged mode. Make sure, that it is in the normal stereo mode before you try this trick. You can´t do this with a Class A or tube-amplifier either, but you can of course do it with any normal solid state amplifier.

I have listened to my combination of two pseudo-balanced 971´s for years and wouldn't dream of changing them for anything else. Well - not at this price at least. They are an incredible amp and easily knock spots off many of the much more expensive power amps on the market, even today.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by GrahamB a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I bought this amp and a NAD C160 pre-amp to replace my faithful old mid-80's college-era Harman Kardon integrated amp a few years ago. A single amp sounded good, but 70 wpc were a little underwhelming for my Mission 704's. I've just picked up a second, used RB971 MkII in fine condition and am now running the two of them in bridged mono mode, bi-wired. The soundstage is clear and the mids and highs are especially transparent, and jazz sounds great. Bass is tight. I was concerned that bridging these amps might result in increased distortion, but I can't discern any.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $265.00

Purchased At:   Steve's TV (Waterloo



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by James Grainger a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 16, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have this power amplifier bridged with another, being fed from a RA972 preamp. for the money this is an excellent amp and I would consider no other at the price. The combination in total is about £700 (English pounds, no American crap as is usual on audioreview) and has a much larger power supply than is common at this price point. This allows the dynamics in a musical signature to be reproduced realistically. Under-powered amplifiers do not have this capability that is common in high-end amps.To reproduce music realistically you need a wide bandwidth (10Hz-70KHz), Also large well designed loudspeakers are required to reproduce this frequency range. Though back to the point. These amps, as I have them in bridged mode will power almost any speaker above 4 ohms to its limit. I can't recommend these enough.

PS. At the date this literature was written, new replacement products were already released. Trust rotel.

B&W Loudspeakers are now distributing Rotel components. Since B&W are the best loudspeaker manufacturers in the world, I think everyone should trust their judgement!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $120.00

Purchased At:   225




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

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