ROTEL RA-971 Integrated Amplifiers

RA-971

60 Watt Stereo Integrated Amplifier (1997-1998)

User Reviews (35)

Showing 1-10 of 35  
Joe   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 01, 2004]
Strength:

Clarity,detail(but never harsh in the upper registers) POWER! Dynamic range, Good with rythmic music(Boogies)High standard build Quality for the money

Weakness:

Could have a bit more warmth in the bottom end...but none really

I listened to NAD c350, Denon, Marantz, etc..But this one stood out as the best to my ears.The Nad seemed to have a warmer bottom end, but sounded a bit grainy and tizzy.This amp is very clear and fast and has great dynamic range, plays at high volume without any change in the sound.It is great with rythyms.Pitty the tone controls are so subtle...non the less a great amp.I have it running with Tannoy Mercury M2 speakers wired up with heavy duty sheathed automotive cable with soldered Radiospares banana plugs...cheap but good cables.The CD player is a C.D.C. 540 which was 30$ from an op shop, and I have an anolouge Phillips 191 tuner which was 20$ from a hock shop.The whole setup sounds good.I think the power rating of 60 watts RMS is pretty underated,this setup shake the windows in my place with the vol at 10 o'clock. o

Similar Products Used: old Rotel RA-712 amp old Sony 30watter Nad 3020 amp
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John Villanueva   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 31, 2003]
Strength:

Clarity, Mid-bass, deep soundstage

Weakness:

Tends too be choosy on recordings.

After looking for a year to match my B&W 602 S3's, This int. amp is highly recommended for people who look for clear, crisp and wide soundstage. When I first brought it home, I was contented with the clarity of audiophile recordings. However, when I bi-wired the 602's, it produced a deeper soundstage, concert like environment on 24-bit recordings. If used with ordinary recordings, its either heaven or hell. Sounds great for female voices like Eva Cassidy, Jheena Lhodwick, Allison Krauss. I paired it up with RCD-02 and clarity is perfect. Bass output is dependent on the recording. Clarity and deep soundstage is guaranteed. Although invest in good cables please !!!! It really makes a lot of sense. My Set-up ROTEL RA-971 Mk II Int. Amp ROTEL RCD-02 CD Player B&W 602 S3 Kimber Interconnects Eccose 2.3 Speaker Cables (bi-wired) By the way, I'm looking for a perfect power amp (100-200 Wpc), not expensive, not too cheap that would give me added bass, same clarity and musicality. If you happen to read this, could you recommend and email me at johnmartin.villanueva@equitablepcib.com

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
John Villanueva   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 31, 2003]
Strength:

Clarity, Mid-bass, deep soundstage

Weakness:

Tends too be choosy on recordings.

After looking for a year to match my B&W 602 S3's, This int. amp is highly recommended for people who look for clear, crisp and wide soundstage. When I first brought it home, I was contented with the clarity of audiophile recordings. However, when I bi-wired the 602's, it produced a deeper soundstage, concert like environment on 24-bit recordings. If used with ordinary recordings, its either heaven or hell. Sounds great for female voices like Eva Cassidy, Jheena Lhodwick, Allison Krauss. I paired it up with RCD-02 and clarity is perfect. Bass output is dependent on the recording. Clarity and deep soundstage is guaranteed. Although invest in good cables please !!!! It really makes a lot of sense. My Set-up ROTEL RA-971 Mk II Int. Amp ROTEL RCD-02 CD Player B&W 602 S3 Kimber Interconnects Eccose 2.3 Speaker Cables (bi-wired) By the way, I'm looking for a perfect power amp (100-200 Wpc), not expensive, not too cheap that would give me added bass, same clarity and musicality. If you happen to read this, could you recommend and email me at johnmartin.villanueva@equitablepcib.com

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
John   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 22, 2003]

this review is for the 971mkii, i listen 90% to techno/electronic music. i didn't want to spend an arm and a leg to replace my dying kenwood. could have paid more for one of the newer rotels but wasn't impressed compared to the 971mkii, though the units i tested may have suffered from a lack of burn-in. wanted to check the arcams but got a very dodgy "no we don't have them oh yes we do, just give us a few days to dig one up" kind of response from the local "distributor." closest competitor was the nad350 that I could have gotten direct from a much more professional distributor, nad lost out slightly on the headphone output, the 971mkII seems to suit my sennheiser hd590's to a t, I do a lot of headphone listening. the onix lost off the bat here as the headphone output seemed much inferior. wanted to check the rega creek etc but was already quite happy with what i heard from the rotel and couldn't see spending the extra cash PLUS for a headphone amp. was also happy to get the 60w as that is the minimum rating of my speakers, I have a feeling less would have been ok but was unable to determine that definitively and didn't feel like lugging them around to check. well after a month or so of listening i am fully pleased with the purchase. have it teamed up in a large bedroom with eleciss speakers (8ohm 60-120w 90db), cambridge d500 with replaced power cord (onix), random but good quality cables and interconnects. bought the speakers randomly several years ago and was never disappointed with them but the rotel has really brought them to life, much more bass response and sound imaging than I imagined i would get from them. the whole set-up sounds very good and powerful to me, I want to listen to them more than the headphones which wasn't always true before!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
isaacsibson   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 22, 2003]
Strength:

Awesome power. This will rattle the windows at 10 o clock on the volume control, and doesn't sound remotely stressed in doing so. Good clarity. Plays everything well.

Weakness:

With my partnering kit, it can be very harsh at times, although I suspect this will be mitigated somewhat when I get a new CD player. Controls feel very light and cheap (compared to the alu controls on the marantz), but I guess that shows where the money went.

I wanted an RA-971mkII for a long time, but never got around to it. Until now. I picked up one for £200 as "ex-dem". When it arrived, the box was still sealed with rotel tape. This thing had never, ever been opened or used. So I plugged it in and gave it a few minutes to warm up, before swapping audio connections over from my Marantz PM-66SE amplifier. So the Ra-971mkII was fed by my Marantz CD63 and out to my B&W DM602 speakers. First impression wasn't great. I was somewhat underwhelmed. I started thinking "was this worth it?". Half an hour later, any such thoughts were long since forgotten, and the amplifier continued to improve for a couple of days. I am astounded that the Marantz was in the same price class. The rotel sounds WAY better. Superb clarity, timing, awesome power and control... This is an amp that punched WAY above its weight, and will likely become a classic to those in the know.

Similar Products Used: Marantz PM-66SE Pioneer A-103 Audiolab 8000A
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Afonso Sousa   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 13, 2002]
Strength:

potente,bem construido,puro.

Weakness:

sem controle.

Excelente escolha pelo preco.

Similar Products Used: Marantz pm-63
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
stephane   AudioPhile [Apr 29, 2002]
Strength:

power and detail

Weakness:

bass needs room to breathe.

Please note that this is a review for the MKII version. System : NAD 521 cd player Rotel RA 971 MKII amp Wharfedale diamond 8.3 speakers As some other people here said, this amp is all about power and detail. First of all it is very revealing cd''s quality, which means that it can sound fabulous on audiophile recordings, and damn harsh on others. But isn''it what hi-fi is all about ? All tracks long, you will hear instruments you never heard before, like background guitars or subtle bass line. Bass ? this amp kicks out a huge bass when it is asked to, bass deepness depends totally on the cd you''re listening. With Marcus Miller " M squared", bass is so deep that you need to give the loudspeakers room to breath. At least 2 or 3 feet from rear wall, if you are using floorstanders as I am. With Mighty sam mac lain "best of", bass is shorter and faster. I also found out that reversing the electric plug can improve bass quality. If it is plugged the wrong way, bass can be a little slow. But once you''ve got it, get ready to feel drum''n bass like never before. This amp also has great dynamic range, and you probably won''t need to turn volume more than 9 or 10 o''clock (please note that my speakers are 86 db and 6 ohms). Well, I overall sound might improve even more, since I bought it only 2 days ago, but I can already tell you this is a very coherent amp. Treble, middle and bass are played in a integrated way, to create a coherent musical whole. Moreover, at this price, it is definitly a bargain. Of course, you''d better get a sweet cd player to make the most of it.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Peter Lankaster   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 08, 2002]
Strength:

Sound is transparet, clear, very many details

Weakness:

middle is sharpness. In rear panel, trouble connected wire vith more 2mm

Middle is very brigt. Beautifool details. Sound is transparent, but very sharpness in the middle. In my system - speaker Eltax Liberty3+, DVD Player SONY NSP-700 Quality like Yamaha AX-492

Similar Products Used: Yamaha AX-492
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
John Ivanoff   Casual Listener [Apr 04, 2002]

No deep bass, dry mid-bass, forward mid-range, harsh treble, good dynamic, plenty of power, poor finish, filmsy knobs, over-priced.If you like Rotel''s sound (it''s you choice!) buy a Yamaha, its value for money is far, far, far, far better.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Peter Quotrup   Casual Listener [Apr 04, 2002]

No deep bass, dry mid-bass, forward mid-range, harsh treble, good dynamic, plenty of power, poor finish, filmsy knobs, over-priced.If you like Rotel''s sound (it''s you choice!) buy a Yamaha, its value for money is far, far, far, far better.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 35  

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