Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (4)

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    crack'n corn an' I don't care
    Posts
    6,622

    Default Rotel RB-980BX: First Impressions/Review

    Let me begin this by stating that the route I chose in procuring this piece is not to be recommended, as I braved the dark waters of Fleabay with more than a few red flags dotting the landscape. As it was, the Rotel RB-980BX could be had for a few ducets off the normal "going rate", if one were willing to risk it's "sold as-is" status from a mass Ebay vendor providing limited pictures (one) and absolutely no means of hooking up the unit to determine functionality. This could very well have been a lame duck, and it seemed that I wasn't the only one harboring these thoughts. So it sat... largely unnoticed.
    "Other items for sale", though not directly linked to any particular individual, included a Rotel Pre-Amp and a dedicated CDP, while the rest of the vendor's wares looked to be more of the figurine and babydoll variety. So I defended my interest by telling myself that if an individual was dumping a dog, he was more than likely dumping three. Plus, the one picture showed an original manual and no noticable wear and/or tear.
    So I took a chance, got the unit for a fair price --- and stewed with apprehension, as my "all sales are final" showpiece made it's way to Kentucky courtesy of FedEx. My first fears concerning cosmetics were immediately stifled upon opening the package. I think it is very possible this unit had been used once, maybe twice, and then stored away. It is pristine!!!! Sparkling! Beautiful for a piece as old at is. Someone really provided this unit with TLC above and beyond the call of duty, or forgot it even existed and relegated it to the attic upon purchase. Stroke of luck, I say (and I won't test it twice). Even the original manual had nary a crack on the binding.
    As for the meat and potatos of its performance.....
    I know this is where the elders generally chime in with their "wow, gotta get me one of those amp thingys". As you should, because it must be an absolute mystery as to how one can go so long without one. My 70's are unbelievably open now. The additional headroom was more than expected, and the detail coming from these oft-derided speakers is absolutely startling. Sure, I threw in the CD's that have always sounded good (my references, if you will). Stop Making Sense (remastered) by the Talking Heads. At Dawn by My Morning Jacket.
    But the true test came with those favorites of mine that just sounded like garbage before due to the limited capabilities of my system. Most notable of these is Up the Bracket by the Libertines. Lo-fi, independent offerings are often limited by their lo-fi, independent nature. Part of their charm, and I generally overlook these shortcomings. Truth is, these recordings tend to sound like garbage on my system, and transitively, make my system sound like garbage.
    So you can imagine my sheer delight when CD's by the likes of the Libertines, the Cramps, and the Raveonettes suddenly came alive. No longer was I listening to a two-dimensional wall of guitar distortion. There was actually crystal clear dilineation between the vocals and all the instruments. Performances came alive, and the presentations was absolutely effortless. The amp has yet to break a sweat.
    The most obvious improvement came in way of the left/right channel separation (don't know the proper term...). Where before, I would become obsessed with adjusting the levels between the two channels due to the fact that my listening position is "off-center", now there is so much separation that I can still enjoy music with both channels running on the same level (if that makes sense...) This translates to a beefed-up sweetspot, and less stress over speaker placement.
    Of course, I noticed sounds I hadn't noticed before. Highs had that extra shimmer and glimmer. And for once, the two lower "sub" drivers on the 70's came alive and ate up my PSW10 and rendered it obsolete. Oh well.... I guess it's time for a new sub.
    Last but not least, if the Rotel is meant to be "warm sounding" or as the local dealer here in town likes to say --- "European", than the Harman Kardon is biscuits and butter. Whereas, I thought my system would sound even more laid back (if not more powerful) with the addition of a Rotel component, it actually headed a litte in the other direction, if not by much. That being said, the two are a match made in Heaven.

    I could go on for much longer.. but as many before me have said in one form or another
    "sorry for the long post, but...."

    Jason
    Last edited by zombie boy 2000; 05-30-2006 at 01:16 PM.
    I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country: Rushmore. Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich and you're going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can't buy backbone. Don't let them forget it. Thank you.Herman Blume - Rushmore

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Quincy, MA
    Posts
    11,634

    Thumbs up

    :D LOL! We like getting happy endings!!!!

    Enjoy your NEW system Jason!

    One thing though, Please learn the use of new paragraphs! That was the hardest read I've had to do in a long time!
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (4)

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    crack'n corn an' I don't care
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cfrizz
    :D LOL! We like getting happy endings!!!!

    Enjoy your NEW system Jason!

    One thing though, Please learn the use of new paragraphs! That was the hardest read I've had to do in a long time!
    LOL!!! Sorry Ms. Frizz, I think I'll go back and "touch it up".:D

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (4)

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    crack'n corn an' I don't care
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    Actually, the "preview" feature shows that I was using new paragraphs. Wonder what happened?

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Harrodsburg, KY
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Sounds like you find a great piece of equipment for the money! Good deal!! ;)
    H/K AVR 635 receiver
    Rotel RB985 (100 x 5)
    Panamax 5100
    RTi8 fronts (200 watts/channel from bi-amping)
    CSi5 center
    FXi5 rears
    SVS 20-39 PCi
    AQ Type 8 speaker wires (fronts/center)
    AQ Type 2 wire for FXi5's
    AQ Diamondbacks-Fronts & center powered by Rotel
    AQ I/C throughout

    Harmony 880

    My System Pics

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sconnie
    Posts
    11,808

    Default

    Congrats on the new amp. It's a wonderful new world when you get one. I recently had my amp cherry popped, and it's awesome!

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (4)

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    crack'n corn an' I don't care
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    Tell me about it Demi:D
    I've got nuthin' but love for the separates now

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (5)

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    northern nj
    Posts
    6,608

    Default

    I got one of those amps, its currently pulling surround duty in the theater driving a pair of LSi9's.

    its not that recievers arent good, but the next step is allways seperate amplification. it makes a difference. glad to hear another success story, but I'm certainly not surprised by it. have fun Zombie
    Theater - Polk LSi15, LSiC, LSi9 speaks, DIY Sub (142.5L box, SVS plus driver, 500 Watt plate amp)...Outlaw 990 pre/pro, Carver TFM45, 2 X Outlaw M200 . Rotel RB980 . PS3, Monster 3600 power center

    2 Channel -
    Anthem Pre 2l, Jolida JD100 CD player, CAL Sigma DAC, Carver m4.0, Polk LSi9 w external modified Crossovers (thanks Trey!)

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (6)

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    16,222

    Default

    Good review, glad it worked out well for you. Rotel makes great stuff.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
    DAC: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Linestage: Placette RVC Passive
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    6,245

    Default

    Ive had this very amp also.... great amp. I think the 980 had a less forward high end.(highs) . BUt great low end bass
    MY HT RIG:
    Sherwood p-965
    Sherwood sd871 dvd
    Rotel 1075 amp x5
    LSI15 mains
    LsiC center
    LSIfx surround backs
    Lsi7 side surrounds
    SVS pb12/plus2


    2 Channel Rig:

    nad 1020 Pre-amp
    Rotel 1080 stereo amp
    Polk sda 2B
    kenwood grunt Tuner
    realistic lab 450 TT
    Signal cable IC

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    614

    Default

    I have had one of these amps with the matching RC-980BX pre since 94 when I bought them new. They were a huge improvement over a Pioneer ntegrated amp. They are now used upstairs in the second system. Even after all these years, I still have no plans to replace them.

    Enjoy your purchase.

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sconnie
    Posts
    11,808

    Default

    Zombie, how do you like the SignalCable interconnects? Have you used any other cables before them?

  13. #13

    Member Sales Rating: (11)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Spokane, Washington
    Posts
    15,835

    Default

    Jason,

    congrats on your Rotel amp.. sounds like from your read.. you are moving in the right direction with your system. External amps do make a difference.. just like good interconnects. ;)

  14. #14

    Member Sales Rating: (4)

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    crack'n corn an' I don't care
    Posts
    6,622

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Demiurge
    Zombie, how do you like the SignalCable interconnects? Have you used any other cables before them?
    Mostly just Acoustic Research IC's and Blue Jeans Cable speaker wire before I snagged a pair of SC Analog Ones off the 'Gon. Opened up my system beyond measure. And best yet, it wasn't something I was expecting, as I was just getting something cheap off Audiogon to establish myself and get used to its system of doing business. Plugged em in without expectations and was immediately floored for a variety of reasons. Their speaker cables provided another very obvious improvement -- though it should be noted that the "bi-wiring" was a simultaneous upgrade. It's crazy when you hear such a drastic improvement when you're not expecting it. So in the mean time, I've been placing orders with Frank here and there to see what each of his wares are capable of. To the point, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (especially at the price point).

    The cables are stiff though....
    I never had it like this where I grew up. But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country: Rushmore. Now, for some of you it doesn't matter. You were born rich and you're going to stay rich. But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down. Just remember, they can buy anything but they can't buy backbone. Don't let them forget it. Thank you.Herman Blume - Rushmore

  15. #15

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    316

    Default

    The 990 is an excellent amp. I had one for about 5 years, did quite a bit of auditioning of various amps before settling on the 990. Last year I moved up another notch to a Plinius and then my current Bel Canto, but I will always have a soft spot for the 990. That effortless headroom makes a difference...
    Steve Carlson
    Von Schweikert VR-33 speakers
    Bel Canto eVo2i integrated amp
    Bel Canto PL-2 universal disc player
    Analysis Plus Oval Nine speaker cables and Copper Oval-In Micro interconnects
    VH Audio Flavor 4 power cables
    Polk Monitor 10B speakers, retired but not forgotten

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. Krell 400xi vs Rotel RC1070 + Rotel RB1090?
    By Joey_V in forum Electronics
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 06-16-2010, 03:22 PM
  2. Help me choose ADCOM 7807 / B&K 200.7 / ROTEL 1095
    By tapeshc in forum Electronics
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-10-2003, 11:06 PM
  3. Rotel RSX-1055 Review: Part II (LONG)
    By TonyPTX in forum Electronics
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 04-30-2003, 12:10 AM
  4. Rotel RSX-1065 vs. B&K Reference 50/AV125.7 combo
    By polkatese in forum Electronics
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-28-2003, 06:50 AM
  5. Mantis-what's the best for these speak's
    By SPEAKER7 in forum The Clubhouse
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 08-29-2002, 10:50 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts