ROTEL RA-1520 Integrated Amplifiers

ROTEL RA-1520 Integrated Amplifiers 

DESCRIPTION

  • Line Level Input: 10Hz-100kHz, +1, -3dB
  • Damping Factor (8 Ohms): 150
  • Line Input Sensitivity: 160mV / 24kOhms
  • Power Consumption: 300 watts

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-9 of 9  
[Jul 02, 2015]
Thompson
Audio Enthusiast

The Rotel ra-1520, this is an interesting amp - it improves with time, alot of time. You'll need to be patient though very patient.
Out the box it looks lovely. I have the black model - its heavy and the fit is solid. All buttons/speaker terminals feel high quality, they feel built to last.

Out the box the amp sounds 'good'. The top end is clean with excellent edges to instruments, well separated and defined. The bass goes deep and kicks too for its power rating.
But it's the mid range which initially causes concern. Voices 'lacked' something, the upper and lower frequencies. It's odd because the amp excels with uptempo music but struggles with more nuanced, ambient tracks to deliver 'emotion'

As someone else said the amp lacked timbre with vocals male and female, harmonies, mid-range detail and bass texture (the ability to differentiate between say bongos and a foot drum)

But after many months in and out of my set the amp started to click. It actually starts to surprise with its performance. Causing me to just look over at it.
The midrange fills out complimenting the detailed top end and the bass. That missing detail in the midrange starts coming through the soundstage widens and deepens.

Vocals do gain timbre, backing vocals, harmonies and instruments do separate and become defined and gain 'weight'- but it takes ages for all this to come through. A surreal experience.

It does evolve from a good sounding amp into a sweet sounding one. But you do have to persevere with it.

Not an amp to be judged when new but judged over time imo. But it's a 5star amp for sound quality and will drive comparible speakers well.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 04, 2011]
hannibal
Audio Enthusiast



A very good amplifier,
one the best a this price.
Great sound and good presence

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 17, 2011]
meir
AudioPhile

the rotel ra-1520 is a great unit all around. it is for my b&w 683
my rotel ra 1070 for my polk lsi 9.
the rotel ra 1520 is a full 5 stars amp.
thanks bro

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 05, 2010]
jsplice
AudioPhile

I purchased this amp to match up with my LSA1 monitors. The amp does have a few strengths. The background is very silent, and dynamics are fairly decent. It has a fair amount of power for its size. Also, the unit looks fantastic, and everything feels solid. All the knobs and switches feel like they are of high quality. However, for the most part I find this amp to be very lacking in areas that are extremely important to my own personal tastes. First off, this amp is all about rhythm and drive. It is clear that Rotel made that the highest priority when designing this amp. If your main thing is drums, percussion, rhythm, etc., you will love this amp. However, if you are like me and also value things such as delicacy, timbre, deep harmonic information, and overall fluency, you will not enjoy this amp. It seems to completely suck all the tonality out of instruments, and makes them sound artificial. I understand that at this price point, someone sacrifices must be made. But this amp leans way too far towards rhythm and pace at the cost of everything else. It just wasn't for me.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
[Nov 05, 2010]
jwglista
AudioPhile

I purchased this amp to match up with my LSA1 monitors. The amp does have a few strengths. The background is very silent, and dynamics are fairly decent. It has a fair amount of power for its size. Also, the unit looks fantastic, and everything feels solid. All the knobs and switches feel like they are of high quality. However, for the most part I find this amp to be very lacking in areas that are extremely important to my own personal tastes. First off, this amp is all about rhythm and drive. It is clear that Rotel made that the highest priority when designing this amp. If your main thing is drums, percussion, rhythm, etc., you will love this amp. However, if you are like me and also value things such as delicacy, timbre, deep harmonic information, and overall fluency, you will not enjoy this amp. It seems to completely suck all the tonality out of instruments, and makes them sound artificial. I understand that at this price point, someone sacrifices must be made. But this amp leans way too far towards rhythm and pace at the cost of everything else. It just wasn't for me.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
[Sep 12, 2010]
straw_hut
Audio Enthusiast

was looking for an integrated amp to replace my 1980's luxman integrated. the reason was that my luxman's buttons stopped working so i couldn't switch between sources. also, everytime i wanted to change the volume, i had to walk up to the unit....lol. i was more than happy with luxman's sound and my standards were already quite high from having such a remarkable unit.

i owned a marantz home theatre receiver back in 2006 and wasn't happy with it's musical performance. i was also very displeased with their customer service so i was not going to ever buy a marantz product again (i sold the marantz and my home theatre...it was too messy with wires going everywhere and wasn't the best for music). it was either rotel, nad, or possibly cambridge audio for my next integrated

i demo'd a cambridge audio integrated connected to b&w cm + 685 bookshelf's and found that the sound was distorted at moderate volume levels. i found nad integrated amps to look a little bland. i decided on the rotel. it didn't sound amazing in the listening room and the salesman said the reason was that it was hooked up to the room's switching unit which tainted the signal. i decided to trust my gut instinct...after all, a company like rotel can't be in business for 45 years or so if they made crap products.

i brought it home (it was wrapped and packaged explicitly) and connected it to my monitor audio rs6 towers along with my nad c545 bee. the rs6's have a lot of bass naturally and i found that the amp tamed the bass and made things balanced. overall an improvement in imaging, dynamics and balance. i hooked up my old luxman after a month of listening. i did find that the luxman was more warm sounding and more natural with high notes; whereas the rotel was a bit clinical. i wouldn't say that one is better than the other. it depends on what you like.

overal i am pleased with this amp. it's gorgeous, build quality is top notch, and the sound quality is good. not a lot of people can afford a $1000 two channel amp (especially in these economic times) and my buddies are wondering why i bought that when i could have bought something that has 7 x 150 watts for cheaper. i put on sarah mclachlan's "angel" for them and their jaws drop at how the sound is so precise that you feel that you're listening to her live in a room. also, integrated amps never lose their value like hd receivers with their ever changing hdmi specs + 3d crap.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jul 01, 2010]
burtonreed1968
AudioPhile

The Rotel RA-1520 has got to be the best integrated stereo amplifier I have owned, I have partnered my amp with B&W’s fantastic 684s, Marantz CD6003 CD player, QED silver anniversary bi-wired cables and audioquest interconnects. The amp sounds is incredibly natural, with sweet mids and tops yet it has enough power to have your neighbours knocking on your door in no time. I also found that the amp required a substantial amount of time to sound at it’s best, so please bear in mind if you planning an audition. I will recommend this amp for it’s high levels of build quality, excellent sound quality and great looks.
What are you waiting for? Buy with confidence!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 22, 2010]
coolranch@myfairpoint.net
Audio Enthusiast

I've had the RA-1520 for a month now and I'm loving it. It is running a pair of B&W CM7 towers with Transparent Audio cabling. The first few hours were pretty harsh. Give it some time and it is a beautiful sound. Bass is controlled and tuneful. It does not dredge the depths on some material, but it is plenty of bass for most listeners. Mids are clean and the highs are clear and detailed. Initially, the highs were very hard to listen too. It has mellowed considerably and it's a lot of fun to listen to now.
On a side note: The greatest improvement to my sound was replacing the interconnects to my CD player. I was using a AudioQuest Columbia w/ dbs. I switched to a Transparent Audio Music Super and it was an amazing difference in sound. Everything was more natural sounding, details were better and bass improved greatly. My wife almost came to tears listening to a song by Seal the night I changed the cables. Now that I have nice electronics, I'm finding cables are making more of a difference in the sound.
Overall, I love this Rotel. The look is awesome. The sound is just great fun to sit and listen to music again.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 10, 2009]
kizahifi
Casual Listener

ROTEL DID IT AGAIN
I really don't understand why people spend $10.000 on Amplifier. Is it just because they have money or because
of bells and whistles. Recently I have purchased NEW line of Rotel Integrated Amplifier RA-1520, 2 x60W.
After 60+ hours sound opened. Full extended bass, beautiful mids and crisp highs. Before Rotel I had
Plinius 9100. Something was missing, muddy bass, good mids but highs, like tweeter was covered with
something. Like I wrote above, sound opened after 60 hours. Even out from the box sound was good. Rotel
Amplifiers require 100+ hours in order to get the right sound. Don't be fooled with "only" 2 x 60w. It sounds
like 100w per channel.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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