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Rotel RSP-1582 AV Processor Preview

Rotel RSP-1582 AV Processor

Rotel RSP-1582 AV Processor


  • Product Name: RSP-1582
  • Manufacturer: Rotel
  • Review Date: February 05, 2015 08:00
  • MSRP: $3,499
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool



  • Total Harmonic Distortion        <0.008%
  • Intermodulation Distortion        <0.008% (60Hz : 7kHz, 4:1)    
  • Frequency Response            10Hz - 100kHz, ±1.5dB (Analog Bypass), 10Hz - 20kHz, ±0.3dB (Digital Input)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio            100dB (analog bypass)
  • (A-weighting)                92dB (Dolby Digital, DTS) 0dBFS
  • Input Sensitivity
    • Line Level:                 250 mV/100k ohms
    • Balance Level:                 250 mV/100k ohms
  • Output Level    
    • Line Level (RCA):                1.0 V
    • Balance Level (XLR):            2.0 V
  • Channel Separation            >75 dB (at 10kHz)
  • Digital Audio                Dolby TrueHDl, Dolby Digital EX, DD+, DTS-HD,  DTS-ES,  DTS-ES 96/24,  LPCM (up to 192kHz 24bits)



  • HDMI standard:                Audio Return Channel, 3D, Deep Color, 2K, 4K Pass-Through    
  • Input Resolutions:       480i, 576i, 480p/576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p 24Hz, 2K, 4K
  • Output Resolutions:            480i, 576i, 480p/576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 1080p 24Hz, 2K, 4K
  • Deep Color Support:           24bits



  • USA:                    120 Volts, 60 Hz
  • EC:                        230 Volts, 50 Hz
  • Power Consumption            45W
  • Standby Power Consumption        <0.5W    
  • BTU                    140 BTU/h



  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 431 x 188 x 417mm / 17 x 7 2/5 x 16 2/5 in
  • Front Panel Height:           4U (177mm, 7 in)
  • Weight (net):              12 kg, 26.46 lbs

Rotel just took things up a notch in their product line by introducing their RSP-1582, a new 7.1 channel, surround-sound preamplifier/processor home theater component that can serve as a master control for all audio and video components in an upscale home theater system.  Although Rotel and Classe are part of the same B&W Family, the RSP-1582 does NOT share the same design platform as the new Classe Sigma SSP.  The RSP-1582 has ALL of the latest hardware to support HD Audio and Video but is missing  support for Dolby Atmos just like its Classe Sigma SSP brother. 

 I asked Doug Henderson, president of The B&W Group why this was the case, and he responded accordingly:

The vast majority of consumers are happy with 5.1 surround; relatively few (less than 20%, maybe much less) ever went to 7.1.  The real challenge these days is to convince people that a proper surround system is preferable to a simple sound bar!  It will take some time for the market to respond to the idea of these various 3D audio systems, and we will continue to evaluate the penetration they are having and make a considered move in this direction if the market demand develops.  In the meantime, we will keep our focus on providing the best audio quality for the dollar in the system contexts that still define the majority of consumers' needs.  Interestingly, good old fashioned 2-channel stereo is enjoying a big renaissance!

This seems to fall right in line with our research discussed in our article Dolby Atmos Home Theater Paradox.  

Audio Highlights

For two years, Rotel engineers painstakingly evaluated every circuit design and feature requirement of the RSP-1582, challenging themselves to produce the very best audio/video performance possible for home entertainment. Rotel believes the RSP-1582 incorporates all of the functionality and video performance that any home theater enthusiast could want.

DACs featured in the RSP-1582 preamp/processor consist of six 24-bit/192kHz  Wolfson WM8740 chips, four dedicated DACs for the Front Left, Front Right, Center and Subwoofer channels and shared stereo DAC's for the rear and surround channels. Also included is a Texas Instruments PCM1804 audio-performance analog-to-digital converter (ADC).  It's interesting to note that Rotel is ganging a stereo DAC for each of the front three channels DAC's for the benefits of reducing noise and distortion.

Multichannel soundtracks are decoded by a Texas Instruments Aureus TMS320DA808 DSP chip with a 10-channel Parametric Equalization (PEQ).  Each channel PEQ can be set independently, including the subwoofer.  So there are dedicated EQ settings for each of the 7.1 channels.  The EQ functions as a 10 band EQ with 8 bands of PEQ (configurable Center frequency covering all frequency 20Hz - 20kHz, Q setting of frequency bandwidth and boost/cut +2dB to -12dB.  There are 2 Shelving EQ function with adjustable frequency starting point with boost/cut for allowing roll-off of either high or low frequency.  This is a welcome feature that can really aid a custom installer in tweaking out the sound of the system after proper speaker placement and setup has been optimized.  

RSP-1582 Backpanel

Rotel RSP-1582 AV Processor Backpanel View

The RSP-1582 has an analog Bypass function for relevant input signals, which circumvents the DSP section to obtain the purest analog signal path.   Digital inputs include: optical (3), coaxial (3), PC-USB input supporting 24bit/192kHz audio, and an embedded aptX Bluetooth receiver for CD quality wireless connectivity.  The analog inputs include: Phono stage, Auxiliary (4), XLR balanced input, 7.1 channel input, and conventional stereo analogue inputs (6). The analog pre-outputs are presented on fully balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connectors, both with twin subwoofer connections.  The volume control permits fine adjustments of level in increments of 0.5dB with .5ft distance configurability.

Although the spec sheet for the RSP-1582 shows the unbalanced analog outputs to be rated at 1Vrms and the balanced to be 2Vrms, this is NOT a maximum rating.  The voltage output on unbalanced RCA connections can reach 4 Vrms  with XLR Balanced outputs 8 Vrms measured before the clipping point with a THD+N measurement of < 0.008%.  This is plenty of output to drive any power amplifier to full power so there should be no worries about premature preamplifier clipping from the RSP-1582.

Video Highlights

The RSP-1582’s eight HDMI 2.0 4K video pass-through inputs utilize a Silicon Image Sil9573 2K/4K HDMI transceiver. There are also two HDMI 4K video pass-through outputs (one ARC/CEC enabled). And a convenient front-panel HDMI input with 4K video pass-through.  The HDMI inputs and outputs will support 4k at 30fps with 24 bit color.  Rotel doesn't specify if the RSP-1582 supports full 18.2 Gbps HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 but we're guessing it doesn't since the silicon is just now becoming available meaning we probably won't see such products surface till the end of 2015 the earliest.  Again we are guessing most people won't care since there is currently no physical disc media, let alone software or streaming support for this higher resolution video.  Only time will tell if consumers will embrace UHD Blu-ray targeted to be released by the end of the year and if they will be willing to upgrade their displays, AV processors and Blu-ray players for what many only provide marginal improvements in video quality to most.

Feature Highlights

  • A 7” TFT display on the front panel facilitates easy adjustments of all audio and video parameters.
  •  Front-panel USB input for Apple devices with 2.1 ampre charging capability.
  • Operating software updatable via USB port or network connection.
  • RS232 and IP network interface for control of custom installations.
  • Two IR output connectors for IR pass-through and wired IR remote input
  • Three source independent trigger outputs.

In addition to the RSP-1582’s prowess for upscale audio and video performance, custom installers will find it ideal for any installation, for these reasons: RJ45 network connection, USB front-panel connector to support software updates, three source independent trigger outputs, a wired IR remote input, RS232 and IP network interfaces for automation system control, two IR output connectors for IR pass-through, and front-panel navigation of setup menus. 


It's nice to see Rotel focus on build and parts quality above having the latest streaming service, 3D Immersive surround codec, or other bells and whistles that most folks either won't use or can access directly from their SmartTV's.  While we would have liked to seen the new RSP-1582 based on an open architecture platform that is upgradeable overtime, the truth is most competitor products that make such claims often see  obsolescence before their first upgrade.  The RSP-1582 will be available in black or silver.  Target ship date in March/April 2015 with a suggested retail price of $3,499.

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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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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