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Rotel RMB-1585 and RMB-1555 Power Amplifiers Preview

Rotel RMB-1585 Amplifier

Rotel RMB-1585 Amplifier


  • Product Name: RMB-1585 & RMB-1555 Amplifiers
  • Manufacturer: Rotel
  • Review Date: April 24, 2013 18:30
  • MSRP: $2999 (RMB-1585); $1699 (RMB-1555)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool


  • Power Output - 5 x 120 watts, all channels driven simultaneously
  • Frequency Response - 20Hz-20kHz (+/-1dB)
  • Power bandwidth - 4 Hz - 100kHz (+0.5dB, -3dB)
  • Distortion (THD & IM) - <0.03%
  • Impedance - 8 ohm load
  • Damping Factor (8 Ohms) - 500
  • S/N Ratio (IHF A) - 120dB
  • Input Sensitivity/Impedance - 1.6V/12kohms (RCA inputs)
  • Power Consumption - 400 watts
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) mm - 431 x 188 x 340 mm
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) in - 17 x 7.4 x 13.4 in
  • Front Panel Height - 4 U (7”)
  • Shipping Weight - 31.6 lbs.
  • Class A/B Design
  • Discrete output transistors
  • Heavy-duty speaker terminals
  • 12-volt remote control trigger
  • Single-ended RCA inputs
  • Detachable IEC-type AC cord


  • Continuous Power Output (20-20 kHz, < 0.03%, 8 ohms) - 200 watts/channel, 5 channel driven
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (20Hz-20kHz, 8 ohms) - < 0.03%
  • Intermodulation Distortion (60 Hz : 7 kHz, 4:1) - < 0.03%
  • Frequency Response (+0.5, –3dB) - 10Hz - 100kHz
  • Damping Factor (20-20,000 Hz, 8 ohms) - 260
  • Speaker Impedance Signal to Noise Ratio (IHF A network) - 4 ohms minimum 116 dB
Input Impedance/Sensitivity:
  • Unbalanced - 12k Ohms/1.9 volt 
  • Balanced - 50k Ohms/3.8 volt
  • Gain - 26.5 dB
Power Requirements:
  • U.S. version - 120 Volts, 60 Hz 
  • European version - 230 Volts, 50 Hz
  • Power Consumption - 800 Watts

Misc Specs & Features:

  • Dimensions Width x Height x Depth - 431 x 237 x 454 mm ; 17 x 9 3/8 x 17 7/8 ins.
  • Front Panel Height - 5U / 221mm / 8 3/4 ins.
  • Weight (net) - 36kg / 79.3 lbs.
  • Class A/B Design
  • Discrete output transistors
  • Eight British-made BHC Slit-Foil 15,000 µF caps on output section
  • Six individual power transistors per channel
  • Dual cooling fans
  • Heavy-duty speaker terminals
  • 12-volt remote control trigger
  • Single-ended RCA or XLR balanced inputs
  • Detachable IEC-type AC cord

New Rotel amps. For some people, those three words will cause them to get out their phone and check their bank accounts...because they are about to spend some serious cash. For others...well it is like when a new muscle car comes out. They can't wait to see them but they know their marriage wouldn't survive the purchase. For both audioholic types, sit back and get ready. Rotel has released two new multichannel amplifiers—both aimed squarely at the home theater market. The first, and smaller of the two, is the RMB-1555. This is an update (of sorts) to the RMB-1565 (we know, we've never seen a model number go down like this either) currently offered by Rotel. The RMB-1555 has a bump up of 20 watts per channel over the previous model which brings it up to 120 watts into 8 ohms. It features discrete output transistors, heavy-duty speaker terminals, and unbalanced RCA-style inputs.



The biggest difference between the new RMB-1555 and the older RMB-1565 is the amplifier type. The older model was a Class D design while the new one is Class A/B. We're not sure if this is in reaction to sales or amplifier trends. We are not seeing a lot of Class D amps being released any more, so Rotel may be moving away from those types of products. It could just be that they are expanding their home theater amplifier offerings to include both amp types as well. This amp weighs in at 31.6 pounds but is only rated into 8 ohms.

The RMB-1585 is the flagship of the series and is the successor to the RMB-1575 (which was Class D). The new RMB-1585 is Class A/B like the RMB-1555. Though the model number is higher, the RMB-1585 actually sports 50 fewer watts than the RMB-1575. At 200 watts per channel, the RMB-1585 is no slouch, however, and Rotel has put a lot of technology into it to make sure that it not only will put out a lot of power, but will deliver the best performance at any volume. It weighs in at a whopping 79.3 pounds and is rated into 4 ohms.


They started with the wall (power, that is). Rotel has included dual toroidal transformers (their own design of course with rectifiers, regulators, and capacitors that server to not only provide the power that the speakers require but help filter incoming AC power. Rotel says the toroid shape itself tightly focuses stray emissions to avoid their potentially negative impact on sound quality. Rather than use traditional capacitors, Rotal has included a Slit-Foil variant. In their own words:

The Slit-Foil is named after the many precise cuts made in the aluminum conductors. These cuts or “slits” minimize the eddy currents that reduce a conventional capacitor’s ability to store and supply energy efficient. The power supply of the RMB-1585’s output section benefits from eight British-made BHC Slit-Foil caps, each with a capacity of 15,000 µF.

The RMB-1585 utilizes six individual power transistors per channel to ensure stable power delivery to all speakers in the system even under the most demanding conditions. It also has two fans to help regulate heat. It adds to the RCA-style inputs a set of XLR balanced inputs. As you might expect, this extra power and technology comes at a cost. While the Rotel RMB-1555 has a MSRP of $1699, the flagship RMB-1585 will cost nearly twice as much at $2999. But, it's Rotel. One expects to pay those prices for their products.


This time, Rotel has got something for your home theater. The RMB-1555 is a five channel, 120 watts per channel offering that should please all but the most demanding of users. For them, there is the 200 watt RMB-1585. The biggest change from the last generation of home theater amps from Rotel? The switch back from Class D to Class A/B.  In our opinion this was a good move as linear amps tend still provide the most reliable amplification for the widest range of loudspeakers.  Even if you don't have the money for these babies, you probably want to see what they came out with.  Check them out at your local Rotel dealer if you can and have a listen.

For more information, please visit www.rotel.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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