Rotel has thoroughly updated its A10 and A11 integrated amplifiers and CD11 player to give them second-generation status. The fittingly named A10MKII, A11MKII and CD11MKII follow in the footsteps of other Rotel 14 Series components (namely the A12, A14 and CD14) which have spawned sequels over the past two years.
The trio remains competitively priced in the budget-to-midrange market but benefits from upgrades to “critical components” and circuit design. The A10MKII amplifier, for example, supposedly features more than 65 component upgrades over the original, including in the power and amplifier gain stages, in the name of improved performance. The Class AB, 50-watt-per-channel integrated is well furnished in the analogue department with three RCA pairs and a moving-magnet phono stage, plus a 3.5mm headphone output, though the same can’t be said for the digital side of things – this is a pure analogue-only design.
The A11MKII is not, expanding on the A10MKII’s analogue connectivity not only with coaxial and optical inputs but also aptX HD Bluetooth. Indeed, the Class AB, 50-watt-per-channel amplifier utilises Texas Instruments’ PCM5102A 32-bit/384kHz DAC, which marks one of over 22 component upgrades in the digital circuitry compared to the A11 Tribute model it replaces. Rotel’s Tribute Series models were inspired by, and co-operatively engineered with, the late Ken Ishiwata, so the aim here is to remain true to his design while enhancing performance.
The CD11MKII is also a successor to a Tribute model (the CD11 Tribute), justifying its existence by featuring over 10 critical components upgrades in the digital circuits surrounding its Texas Instruments PCM5102A 32-bit/384kHz DAC. Rotel says the smooth-action CD tray mechanism, LCD display and intuitive front panel controls remain to ensure easy operation. The CD11MKII also includes a coaxial output allowing the unit to be used as a CD transport.
Available in black and silver from August, the latest Series 14 MKII are priced as follows:
• A10MKII stereo amplifier: £549 / $599 / AU$tbc
• A11MKII stereo amplifier: £699 / $800 / AU$tbc
• CD11MKII CD player: £549 / $600 / AU$tbc
Our pick of the best stereo amplifiers you can buy
And here are the best CD players on the market