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ROTEL RSP-1068 Surround DAC Preamplifier 7.1 channel Processor

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ROTEL RSP-1068 Surround DAC Preamplifier 7.1 channel Processor

Post by HiFiLab on Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:36 pm

Taking a page from Rotel’s flagship, the RSP-1098, the RSP-1068 Surround Sound Processor/Preamplifier combines flexibility, superior performance, and easy operation. Flexibility begins with enough inputs and outputs to easily accommodate the most demanding system configurations.

You can connect up to eight sources, five of them video-based, plus a CD player, external tuner, and an analog tape recorder. In addition, there are five assignable digital audio inputs, 3 coaxial and 2 optical. There’s also a direct analog stereo mode that bypasses all digital processing. To increase your viewing pleasure, the RSP-1068 includes inputs and switching/transcoding for five composite, five S-, and three component video sources. Custom ID capability lets users program the front panel display so it precisely confirms all of your A/V input selections. Advanced microprocessors from Crystal Semiconductor handle Dolby Digital (complete with dynamic range adjustments), Dolby Digital EX, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding. The RSP-1068 also automatically detects and decodes DTS ES, DTS ES Discrete and Matrix, DTS 24/96, HDCD, and MP3-encoded audio. There’s also DTS Neo:6 mode for cinema sound and music. Six other DSP modes (Music 1-4, 5 CH Stereo, and 7 CH Stereo) complement traditional two-channel stereo operation to make the RSP-1068 more than suitable for any source. An adjustable subwoofer crossover and “on the fly” center, surround and subwoofer level adjustments mean you can adjust the RSP-1068’s response to perfectly match your preferences. Do you want large front speakers for stereo, but small front speakers for Dolby encoded movies? The RSP-1068 can do that and more. Upgradeable software means you won’t be left behind by new advances either. The RSP-1068 integrates into advanced custom-designed systems with an RS-232 port, 12-volt “trigger” outputs, discrete on/off remote control command codes, multi-source/multi-zone operation with composite video, group delay settings, and a fully programmable universal remote control. Last – but certainly not least – is Rotel’s most salient point: Sound quality. Exacting care in parts selection, circuit design, and particular attention to the power supply complete with Rotel-designed and built toroidal transformers result in clearly audible superiority.

Music and Movies
No matter how numerous and elaborate the features, or how complex the various audio processing parameters, a preamp-processor ultimately succeeds or fails on the basis of its overall sound quality (and whether or not it visibly degrades the image quality). My usual routine in evaluating a pre-pro is first to listen to it informally for a couple of weeks, giving the unit a chance to break in, with just approximate settings. Once it seems that the component's sound has settled down, I then tweak the various settings and listen with a more critical mindset to some familiar music sources (CD, SACD, DVD-Audio), and watch/listen to DVDs.

My initial impression of the RSP-1068's sound was that it was clean, detailed, dynamic, and transparent, but a bit more bright and aggressive than what I remembered of the RSP-1066. It was as if, in designing the RSP-1068, Rotel had decided to go for greater transparency and detail while giving up some of the RSP-1066's more "forgiving" sonic character. Fair enough—this is a tradeoff that designers of high-end preamplifiers often make, and the RSP-1068's tradeoff was certainly an acceptable one.

With the RSP-1068
fully broken-in, the sound was very impressive indeed. "All That Jazz," on the DVD of Chicago, was tremendously exciting, the orchestral details coming through with great clarity, voices sharply defined in space, and no excessive sibilance or hardness. The surround effects were first-rate, and I was at times surprised by voices coming from the rear that I had not identified as clearly before. In the opening scene of Tomorrow Never Dies, the announcement of "One minute to impact" came very clearly from the PA system in the war room. My sense is that the latest DSP chips, as implemented in such products as the RSP-1068, continue to improve the effectiveness of decoding Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks, with gains in basic sound quality as well as improved directionality of surround effects.

The RSP-1068 performed very well in the analog mode, too. I played various SACD and DVD-A discs, and the RSP-1068 effectively demonstrated that these high-resolution formats indeed sound superior to Dolby Digital and DTS for music reproduction. When I switched between the SACD and CD layers of hybrid discs, the RSP-1068 was sufficiently transparent to reveal the more airy top end of the SACD layer.

Comparison and Conclusion
The last preamp-processor I reviewed, and which I still had on hand while reviewing the RSP-1068, was the Primare SP31.7 ($3995; see January 2004). The SP31.7 is a beautifully built piece of equipment that provided the best sound quality I've experienced in my home theater. When I reviewed the RSP-1068's predecessor, the RSP-1066, I described it as an excellent performer offering outstanding value for the price, but I thought it sounded just a bit "electronic" compared to a much higher-priced pre-pro, the Anthem AVM 20 ($3199). Because I consider the Primare SP31.7 to sound even better than the AVM 20, I expected the RSP-1068 to once again sound "good for the money," but not really competitive with the more-than-twice-the-price Primare.

When fully broken-in, the RSP-1068 came astonishingly close to the SP31.7 in sound quality. The overall clarity, dynamics, and surround effects fully matched the more expensive processor, and the Rotel's feature set and ergonomics are actually superior. The Primare still maintains a lead in the natural transparency of its highs, but the difference is very small indeed. Rotel has come up with another great product at an affordable price.

Video Section
•Video Transcoding

Audio Section
•Signal/Noise Ratio (dB) : 95
•96/24 Converters
•192/24 Converters
•DSP Modes : 6
•Audio Evolutivity : 7.1

Miscellaneous Informations

Supported formats
•Dolby Surround Pro Logic
•Dolby Digital
•Dolby Surround Pro Logic II
•DTS Discrete
•DTS Neo 6
•Dolby Digital Surround EX

Audio Connectors
•Audio Analog Inputs : 7
•Optical Inputs : 2
•Coaxial Input : 3
•Optical Output (TOSLink) : 1
•Coaxial Outputs (S/PDIF) : 1
•RS232 Input/Output : 1

Video Connectors
•Video Inputs : 5
•Y/C Inputs : 5
•Component Inputs : 3
•Video Output : 3
•Y/C Outputs (SVideo) : 3

•Dimensions : 433 × 121 × 334
•Weight : 7.6 kg
•Finish(es) : Silver

Price : RM 1800
Contact Simon Ting 012-3612507

Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider
Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider

Number of posts : 2291
Age : 39
Location : klang
Registration date : 2011-03-12

Character sheet

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Post by HiFiLab on Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:10 am


Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider
Dealer\Reseller\Trader\Service Provider

Number of posts : 2291
Age : 39
Location : klang
Registration date : 2011-03-12

Character sheet

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