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Rotel Adds Multi-Room Amp, Preamp Surround Processor


— Rotel expanded its multi-room 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.

Here 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 multi-room
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
inches to 30 inches deep.

Rotel’s other multi-room amps are 6- and 12-channel

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 would begin at
the end of September 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
network-attached storage (NAS) device.

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