ROTEL RB-971 Amplifiers

RB-971

70 Watt Stereo Power Amplifier

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
Nicholas   AudioPhile [Mar 14, 2014]

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!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Fast Eddie   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 15, 2013]

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Audio Expert   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 10, 2010]

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.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
GrahamB   Audio Enthusiast [May 30, 2003]
Strength:

Good price to quality ratio. Ability to bridge amps adds considerable "oomph".

Weakness:

Power cable is built-in; it would be nice to have the option to replace it with something heavier. I've read some reviews suggesting the importance of a good pre-amp with this amp, but am pleased with the NAD/Rotel combination.

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.

Similar Products Used: NAD, Rotel, H/K, Marantz.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
James Grainger   AudioPhile [Jan 16, 2003]
Strength:

Power, Quality, Ability to drive a wide range of loudspeakers.

Weakness:

In bridged mode cannot drive speakers below 4 Ohms

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!

Similar Products Used: Similar products used within price range: Arcam A85, Cyrus 8, Roksan Caspian, Naim 8, Linn Kolector combo.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
TonyS   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 21, 2002]
Strength:

Very excellent sound. Good midrange and highs. clean bass. For the price, it is bargain.

Weakness:

Not the last word in style. I wish it had an IEC power inlet. Not the last word in bass extension.

I have had this amplifier for a couple of months and I did not appreciate how good it is until I acquired a considerably more expensive amp and listened to both side by side. The midrange and highs are very brilliant. It does not have the last word in bass extension but even then the bass is very clean. In my opinion you will be hard pushed to find a better amp for this kind of money. Note of caution it requires a very decent preamp to sound at it's best. I went through three preamps before settling on my present preamp. The reported system Preamp: Rotel rha - 10 Source: Sony SCD XB940 Speakers: Kef 35.2 Interconnect: TCI Tigers Speaker Cables: Shark silverplated high caps

Similar Products Used: exposure Super 18 Stereo
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
pigcome   AudioPhile [Aug 15, 2002]
Strength:

Midrange and sweet high. Overall tonal balance..

Weakness:

may not suitable for rocks.

I bought the RB971 after reading tons of positive reviews about this fabulous amp. It was nominated as one of the best value amplifiers under $1000 in both Europe and Asia. I pair it up with the Pre-amp RC972, they work perfectly well. What really stood out the voice of this amp is its warm, open midrange. And this is what I prefer since I love to listen to female vocal and Jazz. It sounds very sweet and musical with Jazz and acoustic instruments, also giving you sufficient dynamic on low frequency. I have not discover the needs to use it in bridge mono to gain 180W per channel considering I only have a small 10’x 15’ room. Here’s my setup: CD: AMC CD8b Pre: Rotel RC972 Amp: Rotel RB971 Speaker: B&W 602 S2 Interconnect: Audience Au24 Speaker cable(Bi-wired): Audience Au24 (high) and Kimber 8VS (low)

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
EOG   AudioPhile [Aug 08, 2002]
Strength:

High value for money consider its price. Sweet, musical, beautiful jazz vocal, good soundstage, air....

Weakness:

Probably not enough dynamic at low frequency, (this could not be the case if it's used in bridge mode, 180W)

I bought the RB971 after reading tons of positive reviews on this product. It has been listed as one of the most valuable budget components by many audiophile reviewers in Europe and even in Asia. I pair it with the RC972, they work perfectly well. What really stood out about the RB971 voicing was its cool, open midrange and tubey female vocals. If you are a fan of Jacintha or Dianna Krall you would agree with what i said. The RB971 is also very musical when playing Jazz and acoustic instruments. For music lovers and entry level stereophiles, it's a steal to begin with this component before you pouring out more green notes to high ends. If you are willing to pay an integrated amp under $1500, i would strongly recommend you to get an audition on the RB971 1st. Here's my setup: Room: 10'x 15' CD source: AMC cd8b player PreAmp: Rotel RC972 PowerAmp: Rotel RB972 Speakers: B&W DM602 S2 Interconnect(CD to Pre):TaraLabs Interconnect(Pre-Power):Kimber silver streak Speaker cable: Bi-wired with Au24 for high and Kimber 8VS for low.

Similar Products Used: Integrated Amp: Audio Analogue Puccini SE, Creek 4330R, 5350SER, .....
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
maarten   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 03, 2002]
Strength:

price! sound quality and build quality!

Weakness:

speaker terminals are a bit cheap.

This is just a great amplifier for this price but i have to say that the sound is stunning! ooh i forgot i use it in the brigged mode whit te RC-972 pre-amp and ELAC-elt 10 speakers and a denon cd-player but i''m looking for another one, i''m thinking about the Musical Fidelity X-RAY or the Rotel rcd-1070 does somebody have experience whit cd-players in combo whit the RB-971 .This is just a very good combo for this price! Very low bass just the way i like it and the trebble is very clear.and power is unlimeted in this brigged mode.I reccomend everyone to buy a nother RB-971 and use them brigged.

Similar Products Used: marantz PM-8000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
maarten   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 24, 2002]
Strength:

price,and just the great sound there''s no competition at all!!!!!!!

Weakness:

speaker terminals are not gold plated and a bit cheap.

This is probeply one of the best buy''s in it''s price class great sound!!! i use it in the brigged mode and whit the Rotel RC-972 pre-amp and ELAC elt-10 speakers the amp is in one word ''perfect''

Similar Products Used: marantz pm 8000, yamaha
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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