ROTEL RC-980 Preamplifiers

4.29/5 (7 Reviews) MSRP : $550.00


Product Description



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

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2010

Bottom Line:   
I bought this pre amp rotel rc 980 bx form a flea market , I just wanted to try it out with my carver power amp the volume
was high but did not habe a strong bass, I put it aside only later that I hook it up my mark linvinston ml 23
I was blown away by the clear sound that comes out of the speakers.
The highs and lows are very good.
I am still using this pre amp. the speakers are wilson Audio watt puppy.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by hyperpsyched a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I initially bought the preamp to replace the preamp section of a NAD 306 integrated. This turned out to be a mistake. Not that the sound was bad... it was just lacking something. It was so grating to me that I ended up switching back to the preamp section of the NAD 306 and selling the RC 980.

What was the issue with the preamp? Well, the sound stage of the RC 980 seemed totally flat and somehow pinched. I did not once have that sensation of the speakers disappearing and the music flowing from the speakers and just filling the room. Even the NAD 306 preamp section was able to turn this trick with the right recording. I played around with speaker placement but sound stage and imaging did not improve. I could understand this if I were using some non-Rotel power amps but I am bi-amping with two Rotel RB-03's so there should be no questions concerning compatibility.

Also, the bass response of the RC 980 was seriously lacking. This I realized only after acquiring a second hand NAD 316 preamp from an eBay purchase. Where as the bass response of my speakers using the RC980 seemed anemic, they came alive after switching to the NAD 316. The 316 delivers much better low end punch and the sound stage is much wider and deeper with cd's. Noticeably better than the NAD 306 and certainly better than the RC 980. Hey, all three components are mid-fi audio products at best so I am not expecting holographic imaging here but the 316 gave it a good run. The 316 is just (in my opinion of course) the better preamp. Much less fatiguing. With the NAD 316 the speakers once again seem able to perform their disappearing act and the music often seems independent of the speakers.

Most importantly, I am a vinyl nut and the NAD phono amp is far superior to the Rotel's. This was also the case with the NAD 306's phono section and is the initial reason I stopped using the RC 980. The imaging on both NADs seemed almost holographic, at least with the right record.

So while this may seem more a review for the NAD 316 I think the comparison is valid. Both are only available now on the used market. Both are very simple components with high-end aspirations. No tone controls and only a balance control to offset any power-amp channel issues. Yet, in my very humble and completely unprofessional opinion the RC 980 sounded tiring. I can only recommend the NAD 316 because I have listened to it. Hey, even the preamp section of the NAD 306 sounded better to me. The problem is that the listening experience is so subjective. As evidenced by the other reviews the amp has its fans. I guess you take your chances either way.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $190.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by briano72 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 12, 2006

Bottom Line:   
very clean sound. makes my sony ta-e9000es sound like a pile of puke

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   ebay



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

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I went from a lifetime of receivers to seperates with the purchase of this preamp. I've known the Rotel name for decades, having grown up with a 102 receiver.
What appealed to me about the 980 was the simplicity of the front panel. One on-off switch, one big volume control and two source controls - listen and record. Why? That's all I want out off a preamp. No tone controls, no coloration, just get the signal from the source to the amplifier. However, it does have a phono stage, something I couldn't live without!
I've had this for years now and have been nothing but thrilled with it. The fact that I don't know it's there is probably the best thing I can say about.
As with all Rotel gear, quality is top-notch and perfomance is perfect. Highly recommended.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996

Price Paid:    $480.00

Purchased At:   Somewhere in Temecul



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Jeff Dailey a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: August 18, 1998

Bottom Line:   
I just got a Rotel RC980BX. I also just upgraded to a Rotel RB 993 on my main system and had to find something to do with my old Marantz MA 500 monoblocks. I decided to pickup a afordable pre amp and and use it in my office with my B&W 602s. I've got to say it sounds awsome!! Of course my office is a nice small room. And I've got a 12" 100w powered sub under my desk Makes the work day go by fast.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




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

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