Our Verdict 
A likeable, fully featured performer that delivers much for the money
Unobtrusive character
powerful sound
build and finish
Slight shortfalls in transparency and agility
Reviewed on

In the UK, Rotel is best known for its long-running success with budget amplifiers. But the Japanese company is no slouch at higher price points. There's a feeling of real quality about this product, and the strong impression is that it's seriously built to last.

Our only real complaint is that the supplied handset doesn't match the quality of the main unit in either feel or ergonomics.

With its 200 Watt per channel power rating, the RB-1582 power amplifier (pictured beneath the RC-1580 preamp, above) is capable of high volumes without a struggle.

It's a real workhorse that just gets on with the job of driving a speaker without complaint or hardening up when pushed. There's a fair bit of speed on offer, too, not always a given with high-power amps.

Understated, yet enjoyable listenIn combination with the RC-1580, the power amp delivers an understated yet enjoyable sound. There's not quite the transparency or timing precision of similarly priced alternatives from the likes of Cyrus, but there remains enough of both to keep us listening.

More after the break

As you would expect, there's no trouble delivering the massive dynamics swings of The Dark Knight OST. Low frequencies are thumped out with control and venom, and scale and authority are both top class, too.

Given something smaller-scale and challenging, such as Nina Simone's Feeling Good, this pair pleases with its delicacy and drive. The midrange is expressive, while the highs are a neat combination of bite, insight and refinement.

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