ROTEL RCD-855 CD Players

RCD-855

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
Jason   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 07, 2011]

Bought this player from an online classified for $40. Having tried the Rotel RCD 02 and a NAD 542, this player is phenomenal for its age. Love the warmth and detail. Found the NAD to be a little bright for my listening tastes, this was mint. Nice low end punch and terrific highs. Cannot believe I almost paid $300 for the other units, when this one is just as good if not better. Was kept in wow condition. For being 20 years old, this is a steal for me. Was also considering the new NAD 545bee, again for $40 compared to $700 can't beat it. Very happy, has opened my eyes and ears to vintage gear.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tony   Audio Enthusiast [May 28, 2011]

I paid $125 on ebay for a second hand one of these after reading some good reviews. It was money well spent, the player looks and performs like new, no dust inside so I suppose I got lucky there.
As for sound well I haven't heard better on my gear. Loads of personality and detail. Very musical, packed with grunt (again to my taste).
Apparently it is easy to modify but I'm not going down that road. The player sounds great as it is. However for those who do listen for detail over the song this player is the perfect second hand buy. Its built far better than most of todays players (mainly quality German parts) so is destined for a very long life.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Niels Høg   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 13, 2007]
Strength:

Cheap player, oldschool design, heavy (I suggest this is equal quality)

Weakness:

Can´t really find some. Not at that price!!!

I got this player for 9 bucks!! Im very suprised by the sound. Midrange is VERY nice. And the design is oldschool. I like a lot! It sounds better than my Sony X202 ES, but not as good as my Rega Planar 1 cd player (try googling it!)

As always, Rotel makes the best products for the price ;)
I also have 2 Rotel RB-890 amplifiers. I got them both for 100 bucks! I like Rotel a lot..

Similar Products Used: Sony X202 ES, Rega Planet 1, Nad C521BEE etc.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Fewtch   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 26, 2006]
Strength:

Musicality, smooth treble

Weakness:

A bit light on bass, soundstaging could be better, ultimate resolution lacking

Recently picked up the RCD-855 and I must say that I'm extremely pleasantly surprised. A player with this old a DAC I was expecting to not stand up to even a stock Toshiba SD-3980 DVD player, but this leaves the latter in the dust. I can't tear myself away from the music! Sweet black background and superb tonality and refinement, this player truly deserves to be called a classic. Such effortless musicality. The few things that are lacking (a little less resolution than modern DACs, slight bass lightness and just average soundstaging) don't take away from the wonderful sonic characteristics of the Rotel. Also, it's built like a tank and is likely to last yet another 15 years. Great stuff.

Similar Products Used: Toshiba SD-3980 DVD player (stock), various vintage portable CD players.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
gads   AudioPhile [Jul 20, 2003]
Strength:

SO MUSICAL,without coloration,,lively, pace, vocal presentation.

Weakness:

limmited soundstage, not as quiet in the background, less dynamic than todays.

The coming of the rcd-951 marked the end of an era. of cd sound in general, and of Rotel's in particular. Untill this model, apart from the rcd-850, all of Rotel's players consisted on a Philips main board: cdm 4/9, SAA filters, foil caps, op-amps, and in addition, Rotel put their own high grade transformers BlackGate output caps, high quality diodes and wiring. That resulted in a most involving sound with exellent and realistic midband, fantastic pace and overall musicality. As the years went by Rotel kept the same board configuration while trying to keep up with the advance of technologey, mainly in the DACs domain. Some models came out better and some did not. A good example is the rcd-965bx, in its time its overall sound was considered fantastic, but the bitstream chip with its cheap sorroundings produced high jitter and over-creamy sound, especially in the bass reagon. This review is on the rcd-855, wich I came across by accident when left behind in an audio shop, as one did not want to pay for its fixing. After fixing the v.regulator of DAC, the player started to sing. Ofcause it did'nt have todays openess (usually making players sound with more depth and ambiance along with more digititis and metalis sound). It was less lively and outgoing, but it was one of the most deep digging in the musical sense that I've ever heard. It was so much fun to listen to it, and so enjoyable, voices and backings were captivating in their realism, and technique of singing was so revealed. Bass notes were so tight and articulate leading to a great sense of pace and attack, highs were not rolled off but neither hard thou lacking some ambiance. Staging is fair and tidy. You may think I'm reviewing a high-end machine here, well ofcause not, this player has many shortcomings as well and sounds old fashioned and unsophiticated when compared to todays mid priced. but for the amount you pay to get one, and when comparred to some mid-fi ones of todate its an amazing music maker.

Similar Products Used: this'n'that
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ashok Madhavan   AudioPhile [Aug 05, 2002]
Strength:

Bass slam , rugged, easy to modify.

Weakness:

Plastic gear on the tray is poor and can break up. Note that the Philips CD850MkII uses the same type of transport and the gear on the Philips is of better quality. I guess one can replace it with that one.

This is a great player.I have had it for 10 years.It was noted for its bass slam which was still very good compared to players in the late 90's. It uses the very well regarded TDA 1541 DAC . It did have limitations in the high frequency end compared to newer players. I took out the DAC signal to a passive filter and a 6SL7 tube amp and bypassed the players analog circuit. This mod has transformed the player into a fantastic machine. Deep tight bass and beautiful HF.Not as sharp as a Marantz CD63 but far more musical than that. Mid range is really great. Those who have this machine must upgrade it. Even a passive filter with OPA2134 chips sounds great. I will be trying out the AD 825 with this machine. It will be worth all the trouble.Good to know that this machine still compares very well with modern machines.

Similar Products Used: Marantz CD-67SE MkII, Philips CD850 MkII,Marantz CD-63 SE
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Philip Canard   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 09, 2002]
Strength:

As good as it gets at the price of $400 when new, or used at around $100 or less.

Weakness:

There is no index icon on the digital display. You may have tray bounce problems and need to remove the rubber o-ring tray stops.

I paid $339 new in 1991. The player has given me over 11 years of service and is still sounding as good as when I got it. There was one small problem with the CD tray bouncing back when it opened which would cause it to close unless you manually caught it on opening. I took the top off and removed a couple of rubber o-ring bumpers on the tray stops, and the problem was solved. I have never heard anything else at this price point that sounds better, but I have heard some slightly more expensive units that sounded less musical. I have played this unit for thousands of hours, so I know the laser has a very long life. I have seen several on eBay sell for less than $100, and at that price this unit is a steal for a backup or entry-level CD player.

Similar Products Used: Technics SL-P230. This is a cheaper unit that is very good at it's original selling price, but not quite in the RCD 855 league.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Marantzguy   AudioPhile [Jun 09, 2002]
Strength:

Very well made and heavily constructed, smooth drawer action, responsive to commands, excellent overall sonics.ê

Weakness:

No headphone output for monitoring, which seems to me a gross oversight, but what the heck!

Please don't kill me! I "stole" this player the other day when I found it sitting on top of a pile of used clothes in a local Berkeley, CA Goodwill Store! Unbelievable! The player had the smallest of scratches on it, and was missing the remote, but for $24.00 would you complain? Not I! The player compared favorably with the sound of my HHB-850 "stand-alone" CDR recorder, which I use when I go on the road to make my own recordings of live classical music. A bit weak in the bass area, compared with the HHB unit, but this is a remarkable player for the paltry amount I paid. Rendering of stage depth and width is more than acceptable, too. BTW, I don't know how different it would sound with very "high-end" cables, but I used some I made up for my recording work, which are made from Mogami "star-quad" and gold-clad RCA connectors--so there! What I was really concerned about was how well this player would handle the CDRs I made on my HHB unit and it played them with ease and the sound was great, I must say. Since the Rotel 855 comes with a digital out, I am now curious to experiment with my HHB 850 to see if it will pass start id information along with the digital stream, so I can copy material from one machineto the other in "real-time". Most higher speed duplication methodologies introduce errors and using a computer with a hard drive has been another choice, which so far, I have decided to avoid, if posible, for similar reasons. Highly recommended!

Similar Products Used: HHB 850 stand-alone CDR. 1992 vintage Panasonic "MASH" player. Sony CDP-670r
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
JOHN MANUEL   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 30, 2000]
Strength:

I WANTED TO SEE HOW THIS PLAYER RATED AFTER ALL THESE YEARS SO I CHECKED IN HERE. AND YES IT'S STILL A GREAT SOUNDING PLAYER AND YES IT HAS BEEN PLAYING HARD ALL THESE YEARS.

Weakness:

I'VE HAD TO GET IT SERVIVED A COUPLE OF TIMES BUT IT WAS UNDER WARRANTY AND IT CAME BACK FIXED AND SOUNDING DAMN GOOD AFTER THE SONY I USE FOR BACK-UP.

THIS THING IS A TANK THAT SOUNDS LIE A FARRARI!

Similar Products Used: DENON,SONY, THIS THAT
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Duane Barker   an Audiophile [Sep 22, 1998]

This CD Player- a 1990 model- recieved a rave review in Stereophile magazine and was considered to be one of the best players on the market for less than $1000.At a retail price of $399 that's saying a lot. I have owned and used this player for eight years,so I am very familiar with its sound.It is slightly less "lively" sounding than most other players,but also less fatiguing in the treble.Bass has good weight and punch,especially at the low end.
This player sounds great through the midrange and in presentation of images.It is a very neutral player with few colorations.It is also very well-made with a large transformer and power supply- this accounts for a lot of the player's 16 pound weight.
One should use good quality cables with this player.I have used Cardas Twinlink and found it to work well.Even better is Peterson Emerald,if you can find
it.Regardless of the cables used,this player should give a neutral,unfatiguing sound with a naturalness that many players lack.This is simply a fine player.Four stars.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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