ROTEL RX-975 Receivers

RX-975

  • 100 watts x 2 into 8 ohms
  • 4 audio and 5 video inputs with composite video
  • Phono stage
  • A/B speakers
  • Pre-out / main in

  • User Reviews (15)

    Showing 1-10 of 15  
    Herb_from_Stamford   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 08, 2003]
    Strength:

    Warm midrange for solid state, yet adequately handles the details of cymbals and violins. The sound is laid back, a quality I need when listening to Jazz that contains a significant amout of brass. Lots of inputs - excellent preprogrammed remote.

    Weakness:

    Unstable digital volume control which can be "max'ed" by the power on cycle of other Rotel products with unbuffered power switches. Lack deep bass and lacks dynamics. Early units had ground "hum".

    This review is a bit late in that this model has been replaced by the RX 1050. I hesitated to post this review in that I had many problems with the RX-975 and its companion CD changer RCC-955. I wanted a "warm" sounding 2 channel receiver, especially in the "presence" range. I planned to buy the Denon DRA-755RD but it was just discontinued at the time (Feb 2000). After listening to Onkyo and Marantz products I found and purchased the RX-975. The first sample had a persistent "hum" audible when music was played at low levels in quiet rooms. This "hum" came from the "preamp" section. I came to find that even the dealer's unit had this problem. Three units later both I and the dealer recieved the "modified" series which had a distinctive "blue" seal on the box. Though the new unit did not have the "ground hum", it did still produce a midfrequency "pop" in the speakers when turned on. I just accepted this as a high-end "feature" with a lack of "relays/capacitors" in the switching circuits. To summarize the sound, it has as warm midrange for solid state, yet adequately handles the details of cymbals and violins. The sound is laid back, a quality I need when listening to Jazz that contains a significant amout of brass. On the down side of the sound, the deep bass is lacking and the midbass could be better controlled. It also is a bit "slow" with dynamic "theater" sounds. I use the receiver with B&W DM-603/604 S2 series speakers. At times I used a Integra EQ-35 equalizer in the preout/mainin loop to boost the bass to my taste. This leads to my current and most troublesome problem. I found that the DIGITAL Volume control circuit to be unstable, especially when an external processor is used in the pre-out/main-in loop. When I bought the RCC-955 changer, the unbuffered power switch of the RCC-955 would cause an electical "pulse" to be send reciever and cause a high pitched "crackling" sound at the speakers. Also, the receiver's volume would "drop", though the digital display on the amp did not display this problem. One touch of the RX-975's volume control would restore the original volume level. No processor was used in this case. The worst aspect of this problem was when the Integra Equalizer was connected to the pre-out/main-in loop. In this case the unbuffered power switch of the RCC-955 would cause an electical "pulse" to be sent to the reciever and cause a high pitched "crackling" sound at the speakers at MAXIMUM VOLUME. Yet, receiver's digital display on did not display this problem and again one touch of the volume control brought the volume to normal levels. To avoid this problem, I removed the equalizer and made sure the CD player was turned on before or as the same time the Receiver was powered on. Again this digital volume control problem was due to the "noisey" power on ciruitry of the Rotel Changer. I did not have this problem with any other CD player or source. I would count this "volume" control issue as just bad luck with the RCC-955 changer if it weren't for the fact that the "volume control knob" now has problems increasing the volume of the unit even though the "remote" controls the volume properly. I had originally thought that the unit was "over built" but for the past year we have been hearing all sorts of "creaking" noises from the chasis as the unit plays for an hour or more. As much as I like the sound of this unit (and the Rotel sound in general), I cannot recommend it. I would caution other people to try in-home demos or ask the sales staff to turn on/off associated equipment when considering Rotel products. Just as an aside, the Rotel Factory seemed willing but unable to remedy these problems. The RCC-955 CD changer eventually died its own death out of Warranty despite the factory's attempts to save it. Also note that there are numerous postings documenting problems with the for the A/V Rotel RSX-965 off this same era.

    Similar Products Used: Denon DRA-755RD, Denon DRA-685, Onkyo 8511, Marantz SR-68, and older Onkyo TX-37 and TX-SV313PRO
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    strngcheesefan   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 09, 2002]

    I thought I should add the following to my previous review: I just conducted a little wiring experiment that is so good, it's become permanent. Yes, I think the Rotel has a pretty good preamp section. But if your CD player has a variable output, try plugging it directly into the receiver's preamp input. I'm now using a Denon DCD-1650AR, and its little volume control is better than the digital control in the Rotel. Soundstage much improved. Tube preamp is next. Happy listening. -Josh¿

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    TomP   Audiophile [Mar 29, 2000]
    Strength:

    Very musical & dynamic

    Weakness:

    (auditioned only via CD)

    Auditioning speakers for a friend, they were driven by
    the Rotel RX975. Just used CD input, but very impressed with soundstage, musicality, dynamics. Very clean out to
    frequency extremes. Sound quality was closer to separates than a receiver; though I'm a separates snob, I thought a
    positive review is in order here.

    Similar Products Used: Adcom, Classe, Nakamichi, Marantz, et al. Sundry
    high-end separates.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Eric Hogbert   Audiophile [Aug 20, 2001]
    Strength:

    Sound. Price. Build. Look.

    Weakness:

    Non that I've come across.

    This is my first entry into home audio as I've mostly dealt with car audio. I auditioned several receivers before I decided on the Rotel and at the end of the day it was a no brainer.

    All the other receivers sounded fine, but non compared to the Rotel. You'd have to go to seperates to achieve the same sort of sound. It's staging and clarity are unbelievable considering it's set up in my tiny apartment along with a pair of Pardigm 7's.

    I highly recommend this unit to a first timer if you can afford the it.

    Similar Products Used: NAD, Nakamichi
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Kurt Bartolich   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 11, 2001]
    Strength:

    Musicality, Clarity, Soundstage,

    Weakness:

    Size, no Tone Defeat

    Actually, model year is 2001. I've only had the RX975 for a weekend, and already I'm sold. The sound is rich, warm without being muddy, and engulfing...and it's not even broken in yet.

    The mids and highs are particularly smooth and detailed. I'm not a big bass fan but what it does kick out is tight. My Bonnie Raitt, EmmyLou Harris and John Mellencamp never sounded better through my Celestion A2s (outstanding in their own right).

    I would highly recommend this receiver to anyone who's not ready to step up to an integrated or separates. I think it sounds as good if not better than many of the integrateds I auditioned.

    My only complaints are the lack of a tone defeat switch and its size. I found myself having to ratchet up the bass/treble controls to achieve a desired sound. This thing is also a monster...it's literally 16-inches deep, making it difficult to fit into my stereo cabinet, and heavy, about twice as much as my old STR DE-835. But to me, its weight reflects the outstanding build quality.

    If you can live with these minor inconveniences, and care more about pristine 2-channel stereo than 5.1, DTS or DD, take your CD collection and audition this 100-watter. You won't be disappointed.

    Similar Products Used: Sony STR-DE835
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    BigO   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 17, 2001]
    Strength:

    Versatility, "price to sound quality ratio"

    Weakness:

    speaker inputs difficult to use with spade connectors

    I am a relative "newbie" to the audio world having started to read and explore for about a year. I wanted to get started with a "value" product, learn more and then move up to my ultimate system. I have not been disappointed with the Rotel as a place to start. It has provided satisfying sound used with a variety of older speakers(JBL 2600, Jensen 20 and HK 20s-going way back). With two sets of speaker inputs I have been able to run two sets of speakers which has allowed me to enjoy the music more. I recently purchased some Meadowlark Shearwaters and am breaking them in on this before I "move up" to a better integrated amp. Considering this unit has treble and bass controls it has allowed me to control the sound so that I can really enjoy a variety of music(I am a jazz and classical guy mostly but do enjoy acoustic guitar and rock as well). The sound is relatively detailed, with a reasonable sound stage(I think very good considering this is a "receiver"). I have compared it to a very good integrated tube amp(costing 3X as much) with the same equipment at home. There is a difference in the sound in the sense that in the mid-range and highs are lusher and more detailed with the tube integrated. The sound stage is also a bit more defined with the integrated. Bass(as in my rock CDs) was deeper with the Rotel but tube amps are generally not known for deep bass from what I've learned so far. Sound quality did seem to improve after a breakin period of a few weeks.

    When I first connected the T antenna that comes with the unit many local stations were cutting in and out which was very frustrating. I learned from the web site at Audiogon.com that an outdoor antenna makes all the difference. I mounted a homemade dipole attenna to the northeast corner of my house and stations coming from that direction are coming in very nicely now. I am planning to add one to the southwest corner next.The presets are very convenient.

    I've also learned that good interconnects make a world of difference in the sound quality from my old SONY CD player(CDP-500). For $150 a set of Audioquest Silvers gave much better definition and a warmer sound. Definitely worth every penny.

    I think this unit gives you alot for your money(100 wpc/phono line/headphone jack/ability to run 2 sets of speakers/very good sound quality for the buck). For me its not the ultimate but all things considered it's pretty darn good.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Ray D   Audiophile [Oct 10, 2001]
    Strength:

    Clean and powerful sound results in effortless control of the entire frequency range, more inputs than I know what to do with, nice programmable remote, excellent build quality

    Weakness:

    Speaker terminals don't seem up to the same build quality as the rest of the unit


    A whole season had passed since I accidentally shorted the speaker connections and fried my Kenwood VR-2080. I thought that thing (overrated at 100wpc) would keep me happy for a long time, but after its death, I started playing with much better stuff like my brother's Marantz SR-63, which I'm told is among Marantz most 'beefy' receivers.

    Because of the good experience I had with Marantz, I wandered to our trusted audiophile shop, GNP Audio Video in Pasadena, CA, with full expectation of purchasing a Marantz SR4120. I was then introduced the soon to be phased out Rotel RX-975. I gave it a listen and was very amazed with its performance and was instantly sold despite it being in a higher price range. when listening, the word "control" kept popping up in my mind. I took it home and hooked up my Clements 107di bookshelves. All I can say is GAWD! Sub-bass out of a bookshelf speaker! Indeed the 107's respond +/- 3dB down to 40Hz, which the Marantz SR-63 brought them down to often, but never with this much precision and musicality. I already loved the 107's, but the RX-975 made them sound like full range floor standing units. I can't wait to hear what it will sound like when I get my 207di(A)'s, Clements' top end bookshelf.

    Imaging was as crisp as ever, but the biggest draw to this unit is its authoritative control over the entire band of sound, no matter how challenging the music.

    My system:

    Marantz CD-46
    Monster Cable 300 MkII Interconnect
    Rotel RX-975
    Tara Labs Prism speaker cable
    Clements 107di (on spiked stands)

    Similar Products Used: Marantz SR-63, Kenwood VR-2080
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Joshua   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 23, 2001]
    Strength:

    crisp, detailed, powerful, easy to use. The thing is typical Rotel--built like a tank.

    Weakness:

    none come to mind.

    I stumbled onto this baby during my search for a good pair of speakers. I was building a system from scratch, and knew relatively little about audio. I discovered the Dynaudio Audience 52s, which are absolutely superb speakers. The shop that demoed them was powering them with this receiver, and the sound and build quality of the Rotel greatly impressed me. I had previously been considering 5.1 receivers, but I began to see that you can't touch this quality of sound with a 5.1 receiver, unless you want to spend over 2X as much. 700 bucks is a steal for this unit, and it should keep me happy for years to come.

    My system:

    Rotel RX975 Receiver
    Dynaudio Audience 52 speakers
    Velodyne VLF 810 subwoofer
    Sony CDP-CE375 cd player (eventually to be replaced by Musical Fidelity A3)
    Monster speaker wire, interconnects (also hopefully to be replaced)

    Similar Products Used: looked at various sony, denon, onkyo 5.1 receivers. hehe.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Randy   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 13, 2001]
    Strength:

    Build Quality, Ease of Use, A TRUE 2 channel receiver, very good pre-amp section. Plenty of connections.

    Weakness:

    Di-pole/AM Loop antennas are a joke. Speaker posts don't easily accept spade connectors.

    I purchased the RX-975 in June as part of a complete upgrade. In an effort to be a TRUE audiophile, I auditioned many separate pre-amp/tuner combos, but found that this "one box baby" sounded as good as components costing A WHOLE LOT more. While it's true that a very high-end pre-amp would likely provide some better imaging, the mid-level stuff sounded no better than the RX-975. This is one receiver that has a VERY GOOD pre-amp section - perhaps that's because it's geared towards 2 channel.

    Anyway, I added a Rotel RB-1080 power amp (200wpc) so that I could use the RX-975 as a pre-amp/tuner. The sound is wonderful and it really makes my B&W N804s sing. There seems to be a great synergy between the B&W/Rotel products, no doubt due to the fact that they're sister companies.

    In any event, you can't go wrong with this piece. I think it's the best 2 channel receiver out there. Great build quality, great sound and an affordable price.

    Similar Products Used: Too many to name.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Mark   an Audio Enthusiast [Jul 28, 1999]

    Of all the Recievers I auditioned this one blew them all away, with no doubt. Excellent balanced sound, unparalled clarity, and the deepest soundstage. Playing these with the BW CDM1se was incredible. I highly suggest this receiver for anyone, audiophile or not. Great Product.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    Showing 1-10 of 15  

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