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Rotel Adds Multiroom Amp, Preamp/Process

Atlanta – Rotel expanded its multiroom amplifier
selection to three, added a second preamp/surround processor, and announced the
immediate availability of HDMI 1.4a firmware upgrades for components equipped
with HDMI 1.3 connections.

at the CEDIA Expo, the company also said it implemented a running change on its
assembly lines to add 1.4a capability to its 1.3-equipped components.

The new amp is the company’s first 1U-high
multiroom amp, joining taller 2U and 3U models. The $1,199-suggested RKB-1508
amp, shipping in October, uses Class D technology to deliver 8×65 watts into 8
ohms, 8×100 watts into 4 ohms, or 4×100 watts into 8 ohms. Two pairs of
channels have sum-to-mono switches. It comes with an expanding rack mount to
fit racks anywhere from 18- to 30-inches deep.

Rotels’ other multiroom amps are 6- and
12-channel models.

The new preamp processor is the
$3,999-suggested 7.1-channel RSP-1580, a flagship model that in the first
quarter of 2011 will join the current 7.1-channel RSP-1570. The new model,
shown as a working model, adds HDMI 1.4a ins and outs, an iPod/iPhone-USB input
that streams music from the portable devices in digital PCM form, 10-band
parametric equalizer, and a variety of performance upgrades. It features four
HDMI ins and four HDMI outs.

Though the RSP-150 doesn’t support HDMI
1.4’s audio return channel, the capability will appear next year in all Rotel
products that connect to TVs, the company said.

 The company also said shipments will begin
next week of two networked components unveiled earlier this year. One is the
$1,499-suggested RCX-1500 CD-receiver with FM tuner, two-channel amp, Internet
radio, iPod/iPhone-controlling USB port and the ability to stream music from a
UPnP-equipped PC or NAS device. The components streams Internet radio stations
via the Live365 aggregation site and taps into the Sirius, Aupeo and Pandora
music services.

 The other networked device is the $999
RDG-1520 tuner, which offers the same features but excludes amp and CD drive.