ROTEL RC 1070 Preamplifiers

RC 1070

Optimized for the real-world audiophile who demands flexibility and sound quality at an affordable price, the RC-1070 preamplifier delivers an extraordinary level of satisfaction. Featuring traditional Rotel engineering prowess, this unit features a power supply based on a custom-made toroidal transformer. The RC-1070 provides six line-level inputs in addition to a carefully engineered phono input for moving magnet and high output moving coil cartridges. A convenient contour control allows easy and repeatable timbre adjustments. With two sets of main outputs, a 12 volt “trigger ” jack, and a Rotel-system remote control for both the pre-amplifier and a companion Rotel CD, tuner, or DVD player, the RC-1070 brings the flexibility and sound quality of Rotel separates within easy reach.

User Reviews (22)

Showing 1-10 of 22  
vinniep   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 19, 2012]

This Rotel RC1070 is my first pre-amp but I try to be as objective as possible. I'm not an audiophile but I'll do my best. I got this pre-amp as a second hand product for €150 ($195). I had no intention to buy any amp any time soon but it was such a bargain that I couldn't resist myself. I hooked it up with NAD 912 power amp (which I also recently bought so this review touches both the Rotel and the NAD) and Monitor Audio BX2 bookshelf speakers. And I also use NuForce Icon uDAC 2 between pc and the pre-amp.

I was directly blown away by the sound. I found it very accurate and and the level of detail and segregation is great. I also seemed to locate the instruments better than I did with my integrated amp, NAD C 315BEE. The 315BEE is stronger with bass but still loses when the punch and accuracy of low frequencies are concerned.

Another thing that surprised me was the quality of the headphone jack! I used to hook up my headphones (Beyerdynamic DT-770 pro) directly to my DAC since it gave better sound than my former integrated amps. But I wanted to compare the DAC vs. Rotel. Rotel gave a great deal more detail and a wider soundstage!

As a newbie I'm bad at describing this product, so all I can say is that both my speaker and headphone listening just got a lot more exciting!

Pros:
Sound quality. Great looks. Headphone jack.

Cons:
Remote just looks way too retro (works great though). No bass/treble controls.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
caz223   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 09, 2009]

It's my first pre- and as a result, I just tried going with conventional wisdom and went to the stereo shop and picked up the 1070. I paid $400 and some change, but less than $450, and bought some audioquest diamondback interconnects while I was there.
The contour knob is functional, but I wish it had bass and treble controls. In my system the flat contour is too warm, the high boost makes the lows sound hollow, and the high and low boost makes the sound go all muddy. I have a adcom GCD-750, so I realized I really don't need the preamp, so it sits in my rack powered off waiting for something to happen. I want to upgrade to a hafler amp, and if I can find one at a good price, I can use the balanced outs on the adcom, and won't be able to use the rotel.

So, in review.
Pros: Good basic sound, nice looking silver face, functional remote, still works.

Cons: No XLR, no bass and treble controls, can't get the sound 'just right' For the damage this does to my sound, I'll use the gain controls on my amp for attenuation, and get along without it.
Not an audiophile piece.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
tilepronc   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 31, 2009]

Picked up one this week. My existing pre a vacuum tube pre. It still sounds great but wanted something newer. Read a lot of reviews here and lucky to have a honest audio dealer who happen to have a demo left. I personally think this unit sounds great. I experienced no hum and I thought it is very easy to listen to for 6+ hours. Can I get a better sound? sure for much more $$ My existing pre sounds a tad bit warmer and more musical but for the price this thing is a keeper. Don't understand why some knock the brand. Its a good product at a great price. Have it paired with a RB 1090. I'm happy until the upgrade bug comes back

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Ajani   AudioPhile [Jan 22, 2008]
Strength:

Sound quality, build quality, looks (minus the gull wings)...

Weakness:

Volume control on remote could be more precise & the gull wings are so ugly!!!

I purchased the Rotel RC 1070 Pre Amp and the RB 1080 Power Amp to replace my NAD C352 Integrated Amp. Nothing was majorly wrong with the NAD, but I was looking for more spice and a more open and engaging sound. To put it simply, the Rotel was all that was needed to really take my system to another level of performance. The highs were clearer, the mids more detailed, the soundstage was improved and I finally got complaints from my neighbours about the bass on my system (for the 1st time in 2 years!!!).... Not that my aim was to disturb my neighbours, but I was impressed with the amount of bass the Rotel combo was able to squeeze out ot my Mission Volare 63 speakers...

For anyone looking a good pre amplifier, but not interesting in spending mega bucks, I suggest giving the Rotel an audition. The same goes for the Power Amp.

Excellent value for money!!!!

Similar Products Used: NAD C352, Musical Fidelity XT100
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
RWC   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 17, 2007]
Strength:

Simple design
Nice big transformer
Very detailed, open sound
Quite "musical"
Excellent build quality
Great value for the money

Weakness:

None at this price point!

I have been slowly building a Rotel System: RCD-1072 CD player, RB-1050 amp and now the RC-1070. This is a wonderful pre-amp for the money. Simple, clean, quiet, detailed and nice imaging. I could not find anything better for more than twice the money.

I'm not sure why a couple others have talked about hum--this is a very quiet amp, even with headphones. I would just say, if there's a hum, there's a problem. Bring it back or clean up your own power situation. As for the guy who hated his and thought it was junk, he must have gotten a lemon and should have worked with his dealer to rectify the problem. I had a drive unit go in the 1072, which was a month past waranty, and Rotel fixed it with no problem, and quickly, too! I think it's a great company.

For someone just moving into "high end", but not ready or able to spend the dollars for the truly great stuff, this is a very sound piece of equipment to buy. There are comprimises, of course, but it will provide great enjoyment of the music; I can listen to it for extended periods without fatigue.

The whole system works nicely together and with my System-Audio 1550s (Danish company-nice speakers). I am very pleased with this product and with all of my Rotel gear.

Customer Service

Very responsive and forgiving. Great company.

Similar Products Used: NAD, Cambridge Audio
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mark_E   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 08, 2006]
Strength:

Clarity,
Clean, open and transparent sound,
Imaging and soundstage,
Build quality,
Price!!!

Weakness:

No XLR balanced outs which is odd since to my knowledge the RC1070 is the only preamp Rotel offers in Canada and probably North America, yet their RB1080 power amp has balanced inputs on it. To me, this would tempt some people who really want balanced outs to purchase a different preamp and possibly a different power amp if they wanted to use the same manufacturer for both. I know that Rotels RC 1090 has balance outs, but that unit is not available here for some reason.

I purchased the RC1070 a few months ago together with Rotels' RB1080 power amp. (which I also submitted a review on). These two pieces are a beautiful match especially when running my B&W 804 speakers through an Arcam 7se CD player which I will soon be replacing with Rotels highly acclaimed RCD1072. (Only due to the age of my 7se). The pre/power amp replaced an aging Carver amp. Interconnects are Audioquest Diamondbacks and speaker cables are Monster's Ultra 1000's. I find myself hearing things on CD's which I never did before. They provide such a transparent, clean and open soundstage. The preamp is solidly built and looks much more expensive than the price I paid which is Canadian $ by the way so equating to about $500US at the time it was purchased). It is simple in it's features providing only the necessary. I particulary like the contour control in place of tonal controls. This provides you with 4 combinations of highs and lows which in my opinion is all one needs and of course these can also be turned off. The knobs all feel solid with absolutely no play in them at all. I read somewhere along the way while doing my research that there is not a preamp on the market until you reach $2000US that can come close to this preamp and I honestly believe it. I am so impressed with the sound and build quality of these components that I wouldn't waste the money on anything more expensive. Bang for the buck, Rotel has everyone beat hands down!

Customer Service

The store was great to deal with and I will definitely purchase more there.

Similar Products Used: Arcam CD
B&W speakers,
Yamaha HT Receiver
Sony CD recorder,
LG DVD,
Paradigm speakers,
Toshiba widescreen,
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
AAG   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 20, 2005]
Strength:

Clean, crisp, detailed, nimble.

Weakness:

Can verge on over-brightness.

I bought this preamp to accompany my Rotel RB-1050 amp, and it is a wonderful match. For AUS$1,300 the pair I can't think of any equipment I've heard in 30 years that is better at the price. Whilst the transparency of more elite preamps is not there it would be unreasonable to expect it. Clean and crisp, but when very new a slight hardness, which is to be expected.

Similar Products Used: NAD, Pioneer, older Rotel, Technics, Arcam, Panasonic.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
aram gegaregian   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 19, 2004]
Strength:

Neutral sounding, good build quility fair to above average soundstaging characteristics, good phono stage and of course the price!

Weakness:

I will say that the remote could be designed a little better and I would have paid extra for balanced outs.

I don't know what "chevorlet man" is talking about. It seems to me that he is simply cursed by the Rotel Corp. I have to admit that I love my Rotel RC-1070! Headphone stage is excellent with my Seinheiser 580's and with the use of my SPL meter, I'm able to achieve a .5db differentiation between my two channels (with careful speaker placement). I use a pair of Sherbourn M-1/300 monoblocks with NHT 2.5i speakers and MIT T2 biwire speaker cable and T2 interconnects. Whether listening with my Denon DVD-2900 or my old faithful Empire model 208 turntable, this preamp performs at a price point that can't be beat (IMO). My preferrence is neutrality and I have played with a couple of different preamps...Rotel RC-970, Hafler 915, Parasound PLD 1100 and the affordable PPH-850. Now for soundstaging, I give it an above average rating, but certainly not one of it's stronger qualities. This preamp runs dead quiet and reveals plenty of detail that I feel the other preamps couldn't keep up with. Like I said, this preamp produces an uncolored listening experience no matter what material I throw at it. Hey, for five hundred bucks you get a nice phono stage, remote and quality yet simplifed engineering that Rotel is known for.

Similar Products Used: Hafler 915, Rotel RC-970, Parasound's PLD 1100 and the PPH 850 (Good sounding preamp)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chevrolet0500   AudioPhile [May 30, 2004]
Strength:

Makes a truly wonderful boat anchor!

Weakness:

Poor Quality control Awful sound quality My dog won't even urinate on it!

This poorly manufactured and engineered piece of excrement is by far one of the worst pieces on the market, don't buy one! I purchased this unit against ny better judgement in 2003. First off, I find it pathetic to have a $500 piece of equipment buzz through the headphone amp when the volume is being controlled with the remote (volume control motor). What really makes me angry is the fact that the left channel is louder than the right. For $500; can't Rotel's stupid clowns of engineers work a balance control into this boat anchor? I have a Technics home theater receiver that sounds better and is extremely reliable! I thought Rotel would offer good quality, I guess I was wrong. Rotel is certainly not the company it once was. This unit's sound "quality" is terrible! The sound is very muddy at higher volumes, the highs are not pronounced. If you use the headphone mode there is a constant buzz. You may think I purchased a bad one, I went through 4!! This thing is also made in China. Do you really want to pay that much for a unit that is constructed in China?? I can understand an inexpensive dvd player, not a $500 instrument!!

Similar Products Used: Harman Kardon Yamaha Rega NAD Arcam Technics (can you believe it, better quality than Rotel) B&K
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Anthony   AudioPhile [May 21, 2003]
Strength:

Price Well built Easy to install Remote control Great warranty Bi amp input a plus

Weakness:

More inputs Could use some more bells and whistles A little better phono section

If you are getting tried of the stereo salesman trying to sell you the 2,500 plus pre amps. Then look no further the Rotel is the best bang for the buck.40 years in the biz plus a 5 year part and labor warranty. They give you alot and ask for so little.Alot of the Hi end company's are closing up.

Similar Products Used: Adcom Naim Linn
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-10 of 22  

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