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Rotel To Make Broad Audio Launch

Denver — In its biggest product launch in years, Rotel will come here to next week’s CEDIA Expo with its new flagship 10-SKU 15 Series of audio components, which include the brand’s first two AV receivers and first preamp-processor with HDMI 1.3 connections and internal decoding all Blu-ray surround formats.

The selection also includes multiple multichannel amps, including the brand’s first 12-channel model.

Behind the broad launch is Rotel’s desire to refine styling, add new technology, and become more installer-friendly, said sales and marketing VP Doug Henderson. The brand decided “to refine the styling to achieve a more aspirational appeal,” he said of its sleeker styling. “We want the industrial design to highlight our new technology platform, which includes improvements in all areas, from DSP processing to analog circuits, and of course HDMI 1.3 with internal decoding of the new high resolution formats.” In addition, he said, “we are addressing the need to be more custom-installation friendly.”

For that reason, almost all of the new amplifiers are standard rack heights “as the industry evolves steadily toward stealthier applications,” Henderson said. One model is the company’s first Class D 1 U height model. The company is also supplying rack-mounting hardware to eliminate the need for third-party shelves and trim parts, and some amps feature such installer-friendly features as input bussing and front-panel attenuation controls for each channel.

“This is Rotel’s most important intro in many years,” he said, but “the one thing they do not alter is our company’s commitment to musical performance above all else.”

The products ship in the third and fourth quarters.

In AV receivers, Rotel is launching the 7.1-channel, 7×100-watt RSX-1560 at a suggested $2,599 and the 7.1-channel, 5×100-watt RSX-1550 at $1,999. Both feature HDMI v1.3a, Faroudja 1080p/24 Hz processing/upscaling, and HDMI support for Deep Color (enhanced color-depth) and xvYCC (extended color-gamut).

The 4U rack-mountable RSX-1560, as well as RB-1572 top-end home theater amplifier, incorporate a new generation of Rotel’s high-efficiency Class D amplifier topology for accurate, high-output sound in a small cabinet. The 1560 is the company’s first AVR with Class D amplification, and it sports assignable channels for biamping or second-zone use, four HDMI 1.3 inputs, assignable 12-volt triggers, and RS-232C serial connectivity for integration with multiroom-audio and home-control systems.

The RSX-1550 AVR offers similar features but uses a five-channel Class A/B amp.

The $2,199-suggested RSP-1570 preamp processor incorporates the functionality of the flagship receiver, but without amplification, in a 3U (4.5-inch-tall) rack-mount cabinet.

With add-on amps, the AVRs support a total of four audio/video zones. The 1560 offer S-video outputs for zone operation, and the 1550 offers composite outputs.

The company’s first 12-channel amp is the 12×100-watt Class D RMB-1512 at a suggested $2,999. Its rack-mountable chassis is only 3U (4.5 inches.) in height. Installer-friendly features include input bussing, front-panel attenuation controls for each channel, and buffered link outputs that maintain signal integrity as a multiroom system expands.

The top-end home theater amp, the $2,799 RMB-1575, is rated at 5×250-watt into 4 ohms with 3U rack-mount chassis.

The only Class A/B amp in the series is the $999 6×60-watt, 3U-tall RMB-1506.

The other Class D amps are:

* 5×100-watt $1,299 5×100-watt RMB-1565 with 2U (3-inch) height.

* 2×100-watt $799 RB-1562 with 2U height.

* 2x250watt $1,299 RB-1572 with 2U height.

* and 2×65-watt $499 RB-1510 with 1U height.