ROTEL RB-985 THX Amplifiers

4.45/5 (44 Reviews) MSRP : $1000.00


Product Description

5 Channel Power Amplifier - 100 Watts (1995-1998)


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Reviews 1 - 5 (44 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: January 25, 2009

Bottom Line:   
This amplifier has great power output. I've never ran out of power, at all.
The reviews, both professional and enthusiast, have raved about this amp's abilities and sound characteristics.

My thoughts are a bit different. I think for the money, perhaps, this amp is amazing, combining power and sound quality. However, if you are looking for a smaller 2-channel amp, for less money, the Rotel RB951 is actually a much better sounding amp. The laid back, sweet sound, so near to that Hi Fi sound, is much more apparent in the 951 than the 985 MkII. I advise the smaller amp for a stereo setup.

Now, for a five channel, the bigger Rotel, being 5 channels, THX certified, and the boost in power it offers, makes it a fine choice for the money. I personally use the 985 and the 951, to give a 7.1 setup.

NOTE: If you are a Rotel fan, please note that I also owned the RB980BX, bought it new, and the 985MkII has a very similar sound, except X5.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995



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

Date Reviewed: April 27, 2007

Bottom Line:   
This is a gem at the price - if you want to get better than this, you're paying a huge premium. The RB985 has buckets of headroom, resolves detail as I have never heard in this price range, has a ditto soundstage, and remains calm and collected even when played very very loud.

Mine is fed by a Rotel RSP966 preamp/processor, and it feeds 2 Infinity Alpha 50's at the fron, an Infinity Beta 250 center speaker, and two B&W DM110's at the rear. With movies that try to shake the earth, the system is assisted by a Rel Strata II sub.

I wanted this amplifier because I wanted to get believable Dolby Surround without sacrificing stereo music reproduction quality. The RB985 does both with ease.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   secondhand



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

Date Reviewed: April 27, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Classic Rotel stuff. Buckets of headroom, excellent stereo imaging, believable surround capabilities Kind of Blue from Miles Davis on surround SACD actually sounds good, and the aplifier plays the movie Gladiator with ablomp.
Even when played really loud (King Crimson's song B'BOOM, which is basically a Bill Bruford/Pat Mastellotto drum duo, at a realistic level), it still resolves beautifully, doesn't get harsh or fall apart.

I've got the older version (with the plain rather than ribbed front, and with a 5x100 Watt specification). I mainly bought this amplifier for its stereo capabilities - surround is an accessory to me (my wife watches more movies than I do), so while I was willing to accommodate surroud, I didn't want my music to suffer from it.
It's fed from a Rotel RSP966 preamp/processor, and it drives Infinity Alpha 50's (front), an Apha 250 center speaker, and B&W DM110 (surround). For surround, this set is supported with a REL Strata II.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1997

Purchased At:   secondhand



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by S3 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 3, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I've had this amp for almost 2yrs now, and let me tell you, this baby sounds awesome! Very smooth, robust, quiet, and fast, very fast. I have the B&W 603s3, lcr6s2, and 601s2 setup, sounds incredible, like a perfect match. Not only does it play 2ch well, this amp really shines in multichannel either music/movies doesn't matter.
Example: The soundtrack to Michel Camilo's Live At The Bluenote on SACD sounds incredilble! just a trio but the dynamic scale is awesome. You can clearly hear everynote played by each musician and feel the impact Michel Camilo expresses. The Rotel RMB 985 not only delivers but delivers a fast robust sound without a sign of fatigue.
Definitely a classic rotel amp.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   audiogon



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

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2003

Bottom Line:   
MAN, I'VE HAD THIS AMP SINCE 1996.
I'VE HAD SEVERAL PREAMPS, AND RECIEVERS FOR IT THOUGH..... I REFUSE TO GET RID OF IT..... THIS BAD BOY IS KICK ASS..... IT IN MY OPINION IS A CLASSIC.... I'M ABOUT TO BUY ANOTHER PREAMP.... AND I AM NOT LETTER THIS AMP GO..... I THOUGHT ABOUT IT ONCE AND CHANGED MY MIND....

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Price Paid:    $799.00

Purchased At:   ALMA'S HIFI




Reviews 1 - 5 (44 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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