CD Player advice - Problems with Rotel Tribute CD11. What should I do?

Longchops

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Oct 15, 2020
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Hello everyone, wondering if anyone can give me some advice here. I recently treated myself to a new CD player, to replace an ageing Technics that required servicing beyond economic viability and my own ability (I did try)

I went for the Rotel CD 11 because it had good reviews and, when I first plugged it in, WOW. the sound quality was really something else, absolutely blew the Technics away, I fell in love with it immediately. Spectacular sound.

Unfortunately the build quality seems bad. The first machine I had had a problem where it wouldn't play long CDs, it would just cut out in the middle of a track for no reason. It was very intermittent, it would do it once maybe every 5-6 days or something. I had trouble getting the retailer to accept this and they were adamant they needed to test it to replicate the fault themselves. Obviously this would be difficult to reproduce in a busy store and I felt they were just desperate to prove me wrong somehow anyway, the guy even suggested it could be a problem with the electrics in my house(!). I complained about the fault since day 5, and it took until day 28 to get a replacement, after leaving a bad review on their website and head office finally stepping in.

I have had this replacement for 5 days now. And I was delighted with it.....until yesterday. It unfortunately has exactly the same fault. It cut out in the middle of track 11 of a (brand new and shrink wrapped) 15 track CD. CD1 took 2 attempts to play, and CD2 took 3 attempts, it kept stopping during the last 2 tracks. This is absolutely infuriating. I looked on the Rotel site and the latest software is 1.01. Which is strange because the unit is running 1.02. Maybe I should hold out for version 1.03? I think it's highly likely this is a software issue with the unit, I don't think there is anything mechanically wrong with it, although this is just a guess.

What would you do in this situation? What are my rights here now? It's about 33 days since my original purchase (on a credit card). I had kind of hoped a £350 CD player would be able to actually play CDs tbh. Should I try and back it? Or should I just accept this fault and get another player as a workhorse and keep this one for shorter CDs? I stress I do really love the sound of it, but this fault is driving me crazy. If I did back it, what should I replace it with? CDs are a huge part of my life, and the machine is in use for 6-8 hours a day, every day. I want something that works and sounds good and not have to worry about whether its going to cut out or not.

As an aside.....I also had the Rotel A11 tribute amp. That glitched the first 5-10 seconds of every track I tried to stream on it, by playing it really fast before gradually finding the right tempo. Did it on phone, computer, iPad, everything. Luckily that was off a different retailer, they stood by it and just took it back and refunded me. What's the deal with this company though? Anyone else have a similar experience with their stuff?
 

Gray

Well-known member
Can only tell you that someone linked to a sound clip of his hissy new Rotel amp.
The hiss was unacceptable. He said that his dealer and Rotel Service told him that his amp was normal.

Maybe yours and his are isolated incidents 🤔

I'd be a bit reluctant to go for yet another of the same in your position - but it really depends on you.
 

hifi

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Feb 8, 2023
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Hello everyone, wondering if anyone can give me some advice here. I recently treated myself to a new CD player, to replace an ageing Technics that required servicing beyond economic viability and my own ability (I did try)

I went for the Rotel CD 11 because it had good reviews and, when I first plugged it in, WOW. the sound quality was really something else, absolutely blew the Technics away, I fell in love with it immediately. Spectacular sound.

Unfortunately the build quality seems bad. The first machine I had had a problem where it wouldn't play long CDs, it would just cut out in the middle of a track for no reason. It was very intermittent, it would do it once maybe every 5-6 days or something. I had trouble getting the retailer to accept this and they were adamant they needed to test it to replicate the fault themselves. Obviously this would be difficult to reproduce in a busy store and I felt they were just desperate to prove me wrong somehow anyway, the guy even suggested it could be a problem with the electrics in my house(!). I complained about the fault since day 5, and it took until day 28 to get a replacement, after leaving a bad review on their website and head office finally stepping in.

I have had this replacement for 5 days now. And I was delighted with it.....until yesterday. It unfortunately has exactly the same fault. It cut out in the middle of track 11 of a (brand new and shrink wrapped) 15 track CD. CD1 took 2 attempts to play, and CD2 took 3 attempts, it kept stopping during the last 2 tracks. This is absolutely infuriating. I looked on the Rotel site and the latest software is 1.01. Which is strange because the unit is running 1.02. Maybe I should hold out for version 1.03? I think it's highly likely this is a software issue with the unit, I don't think there is anything mechanically wrong with it, although this is just a guess.

What would you do in this situation? What are my rights here now? It's about 33 days since my original purchase (on a credit card). I had kind of hoped a £350 CD player would be able to actually play CDs tbh. Should I try and back it? Or should I just accept this fault and get another player as a workhorse and keep this one for shorter CDs? I stress I do really love the sound of it, but this fault is driving me crazy. If I did back it, what should I replace it with? CDs are a huge part of my life, and the machine is in use for 6-8 hours a day, every day. I want something that works and sounds good and not have to worry about whether its going to cut out or not.

As an aside.....I also had the Rotel A11 tribute amp. That glitched the first 5-10 seconds of every track I tried to stream on it, by playing it really fast before gradually finding the right tempo. Did it on phone, computer, iPad, everything. Luckily that was off a different retailer, they stood by it and just took it back and refunded me. What's the deal with this company though? Anyone else have a similar experience with their stuff?
Have tried contacting Rotel direct ?
Rotel Europe
Dale Road
Worthing, West Sussex
England BN11 2BH
+44 (0) 1903 221 710 (T)
+44 (0) 1903 221 501 (F)
support.bw@soundunited.com
 
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Longchops

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Have tried contacting Rotel direct ?
Rotel Europe
Dale Road
Worthing, West Sussex
England BN11 2BH
+44 (0) 1903 221 710 (T)
+44 (0) 1903 221 501 (F)
support.bw@soundunited.com


I haven't no, because that address actually belongs to Bowers & Wilkins. who are the importers, and not really people I would turn to for advice if I'm honest. Rotel don't appear to have any presence at all the UK. They don't seem to have any presence on the entire internet tbh, they just seem to be hiding behind a global network of dealers, a very mysterious company,....

I do very much appreciate the thought though, thank you!
 

Longchops

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You beat me to it. B&W are very helpful when I phoned them about my Rotel CDP.


Can you elaborate on this at all? Why did you phone them/what was the issue, and what did they do to help?

I have a dealer in between me and them which I feel I should go to first, but if they genuinely are as helpful as you say then I might consider that as the next option
 

Longchops

Well-known member
Oct 15, 2020
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Can only tell you that someone linked to a sound clip of his hissy new Rotel amp.
The hiss was unacceptable. He said that his dealer and Rotel Service told him that his amp was normal.

Maybe yours and his are isolated incidents 🤔

I'd be a bit reluctant to go for yet another of the same in your position - but it really depends on you.


Interesting, I admit I didn't hear a hiss, although it doesn't surprise me. A lot of people on the US store crutchfield are complaining about dead channels on that amp. I've now had 3 Rotel products and all 3 have been faulty so I think it could be time to call it quits tbh

I just played the CD that failed last night and it played through perfectly all the way through too, so it is a very intermittent thing. Its such a shame as it sounds so good and I really love it apart from this fault
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
I haven't no, because that address actually belongs to Bowers & Wilkins. who are the importers, and not really people I would turn to for advice if I'm honest. Rotel don't appear to have any presence at all the UK. They don't seem to have any presence on the entire internet tbh, they just seem to be hiding behind a global network of dealers, a very mysterious company,....

I do very much appreciate the thought though, thank you!
They are the importers, so they are the escalation point above your dealer. They are the UK presence, and have been for decades. Legally however, your contract relationship is with the dealer, and I suggest you reject the replacement and seek a full refund.

But before that, can you try these two errant discs another machine or two? I’ve a couple of iffy discs outs of several hundreds. Some players have weaker error correction, but unless these discs are obviously defective, something’s up. Maybe Rotel had a bad patch of manufacturing, in which case the importer must know?
 

Longchops

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They are the importers, so they are the escalation point above your dealer. They are the UK presence, and have been for decades. Legally however, your contract relationship is with the dealer, and I suggest you reject the replacement and seek a full refund.

But before that, can you try these two errant discs another machine or two? I’ve a couple of iffy discs outs of several hundreds. Some players have weaker error correction, but unless these discs are obviously defective, something’s up. Maybe Rotel had a bad patch of manufacturing, in which case the importer must know?

That's good solid advice, thanks....I assume I am still within my rights to reject the replacement even as it's been longer than 30 days since my original purchase? I have actually read that link you provided in some depth before posting here and it seems to suggest that yes I can....

I have another 3 disc players, I've tested every disc that stopped in the Rotel and they all work flawlessly on the other machines.. It's 100% not iffy discs.

I'm not the only person complaining about this fault either. This is an American site, but if you read the reviews people are saying the exact same thing about not just not playing long CDs.
Rotel-CD11-Tribute-Black.html

This is my second Rotel CD11 and both of them have this fault, so I suspect this is how they are, and I suspect Rotel have known about it for at least a year judging by the date of those reviews.


If I reject it, what should I get next? I was thinking the Marantz 6007 but I was wondering if that might be a step down in sound quality....that would be disappointing....
 

Gray

Well-known member
If I reject it, what should I get next? I was thinking the Marantz 6007 but I was wondering if that might be a step down in sound quality....that would be disappointing....
I doubt the Marantz would be too much worse (if any).
If you've got a decent DAC, you could compare 6007 analogue out with the sound via the external DAC.....or just buy a CD transport for use with a DAC.
 
Can you elaborate on this at all? Why did you phone them/what was the issue, and what did they do to help?

I have a dealer in between me and them which I feel I should go to first, but if they genuinely are as helpful as you say then I might consider that as the next option
Of course.

B&W are the UK distributor for Rotel, they share the same building and voice their speakers to Rotel amplification.

I phoned them about a missing rubber edge on my Rotel RCD 975. They sent that off to me FOC.

Also it was starting misread any random disc I placed. They suggested the laser was weakening. They gave me reference number to give to my local Rotel dealer, they would replace the laser FOC as I was a long-term owner of their CDP.

Sadly, a few weeks later the CDP became worse and decided to change to Arcam CDP.

EDIT: Sorry, memory is failing. B&W suggested I send it back to them in Worthing and they would fix the laser. Because the box was ripped, there was no way of getting it transported.

My Rotel dealer Infeidelty Hi-fi had looked at the CDP about the rubber sides.
 
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Longchops

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Oct 15, 2020
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Of course.

B&W are the UK distributor for Rotel, they share the same building and voice their speakers to Rotel amplification.

I phoned them about a missing rubber edge on my Rotel RCD 975. They sent that off to me FOC.

Also it was starting misread any random disc I placed. They suggested the laser was weakening. They gave me reference number to give to my local Rotel dealer, they would replace the laser FOC as I was a long-term owner of their CDP.

Sadly, a few weeks later the CDP became worse and decided to change to Arcam CDP.

EDIT: Sorry, memory is failing. B&W suggested I send it back to them in Worthing and they would fix the laser. Because the box was ripped, there was no way of getting it transported.

My Rotel dealer Infeidelty Hi-fi had looked at the CDP about the rubber sides.


Thank you. That's very interesting because these brand new Rotels have disc reading problems too. It just says 'Loading' and scans it for ages. Another common fault it seems, but again very intermittent so I didn't even mention it here. Also another problem is that sometimes it repeats the last track endlessly. The 1st player did it a few times, the replacement has yet to do it. But I'm sure it will. Makes me wonder if it's actually a laser fault then....on two players in a row.....

And it's even more interestesting that they pair their speakers to rotel amplification..........because so did I.....
 

Gray

Well-known member
....these brand new Rotels have disc reading problems too. It just says 'Loading' and scans it for ages. Another common fault it seems, but again very intermittent so I didn't even mention it here. Also another problem is that sometimes it repeats the last track endlessly. The 1st player did it a few times, the replacement has yet to do it. But I'm sure it will. Makes me wonder if it's actually a laser fault then....on two players in a row.....
Taking all the above into account....no matter how good you think it sounds, I would not be going for another one.
 

hifi

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Feb 8, 2023
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last resort after a call too Rotel UK I would take the player and the discs you mention dont play back too the dealer and let him see/hear for him self and play the same disc at the dealer in one of his players .
 
Thank you. That's very interesting because these brand new Rotels have disc reading problems too. It just says 'Loading' and scans it for ages. Another common fault it seems, but again very intermittent so I didn't even mention it here. Also another problem is that sometimes it repeats the last track endlessly. The 1st player did it a few times, the replacement has yet to do it. But I'm sure it will. Makes me wonder if it's actually a laser fault then....on two players in a row.....

And it's even more interestesting that they pair their speakers to rotel amplification..........because so did I.....
It makes financial sense to pair Rotel with B&W speakers.

They were very helpful but it won't solve the apparent inherent problems of disc reading.

If you like Rotel then Exposure CDPs should hit the bullseye. I have an old CD 2010 which first came out in around 2004, and in the 3 years I've owned it (touch wood) not had a single issue. And they are as cheap as chips on the used market.
 
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Longchops

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That's very poor - as the player is faulty there should be no issue with getting a refund. I think I'd be trying to get video footage of it happening to ease any potential friction with the dealer, and would not be using them for the replacement as the seem to have been unhelpful (at best).
I've been trying....but it's very difficult to video a fault that happens once every 5 days. When the CD gets to the end I tried setting up my phone on a stand to film it play the last few tracks but even that takes huge amounts of memory. I would need to buy professional recording equipment to verify this fault and its not worth the hassle

last resort after a call too Rotel UK I would take the player and the discs you mention dont play back too the dealer and let him see/hear for him self and play the same disc at the dealer in one of his players .

The trouble is if I can't replicate an intermittent fault in my own home there's no way some guy in a noisy hifi shop is going to be able to do it. The only way I could think of is telling him to put the CD on repeat for a week and see when it stops. But I don't have time to do this myself, I certainly don't have time to carry the sodding thing back to the store, lend some guy my CDs and wait for the confirmation from him that I am not a liar. I've wasted enough time with this thing now and am beginning to get fed up of this store and this brand
 

hifi

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I feel for you shame you cant mention the store ! try calling Rotel and see what they say i think they will help you sounds like a bad dealer .

I had problems with my BT3 bluetooth took it back too the store he connected while i was there and replaced the speakers !

Ring them .
 
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Longchops

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It makes financial sense to pair Rotel with B&W speakers.

They were very helpful but it won't solve the apparent inherent problems of disc reading.

If you like Rotel then Exposure CDPs should hit the bullseye. I have an old CD 2010 which first came out in around 2004, and in the 3 years I've owned it (touch wood) not had a single issue. And they are as cheap as chips on the used market.

Shame it doesn't make so much acoustic sense. I suppose it depends what sort of music you listen to but I found the performance between 4-10kHz to be......interesting.... I suppose would be a polite way of putting it....

I'll have a look at Exposure thanks, not heard of them before tbh. As long as they work, play CDs and sound reasonably good in at least a mid range sense without clipping or distorting then that would be good enough for me.....
 

Longchops

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Oct 15, 2020
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I feel for you shame you cant mention the store ! try calling Rotel and see what they say i think they will help you sounds like a bad dealer .

I had problems with my BT3 bluetooth took it back too the store he connected while i was there and replaced the speakers !

Ring them .
The store have been a mixed bag, one of the guys was a complete jobsworth but the other was very helpful. A very nice guy. Their head office are also very helpful. Theres a chance they might put this right still but I won't ever buy anything from their stores ever again. Internet only from now on, seems to reduce the amount of muppets you have to deal with significantly plus you get much better protection.

A funny thing was when I bought it originally it had a price sticker for £299 on it if you joined their VIP club (which I have done) but when I went to the till it came up as £349 and mr jobsworth practically accused me of lying, I had to walk him back to his own product and show him his own price sticker. Apparently the VIP deal expired about a week earlier and they forgot to take the tag down. He sold it to me for the price on the ticket though.

So I ordered it, they had one left in stock, and he was like 'well that should arrive this week, if that went through'

'What do you mean IF that went through?'

'Well, someone from another store might have bought it in the last 10 minutes and I have no way of checking. But hopefully it should have gone through'

A very impressive buying experience, I'm sure you will agree lol. Its just been a disaster from the minute I walked in there.

I will definitely send Rotel an email though, that's a good idea. I would very much like to keep the player if they have a way of fixing this fault somehow.
 
I've been trying....but it's very difficult to video a fault that happens once every 5 days. When the CD gets to the end I tried setting up my phone on a stand to film it play the last few tracks but even that takes huge amounts of memory. I would need to buy professional recording equipment to verify this fault and its not worth the hassle
I take your point!

Hopefully as the dealer has replaced in once they will be more co-operative the second time. It sounds like you are genning up on your rights, which should help if they try to fob you off.
 

hifi

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Feb 8, 2023
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The store have been a mixed bag, one of the guys was a complete jobsworth but the other was very helpful. A very nice guy. Their head office are also very helpful. Theres a chance they might put this right still but I won't ever buy anything from their stores ever again. Internet only from now on, seems to reduce the amount of muppets you have to deal with significantly plus you get much better protection.

A funny thing was when I bought it originally it had a price sticker for £299 on it if you joined their VIP club (which I have done) but when I went to the till it came up as £349 and mr jobsworth practically accused me of lying, I had to walk him back to his own product and show him his own price sticker. Apparently the VIP deal expired about a week earlier and they forgot to take the tag down. He sold it to me for the price on the ticket though.

So I ordered it, they had one left in stock, and he was like 'well that should arrive this week, if that went through'

'What do you mean IF that went through?'

'Well, someone from another store might have bought it in the last 10 minutes and I have no way of checking. But hopefully it should have gone through'

A very impressive buying experience, I'm sure you will agree lol. Its just been a disaster from the minute I walked in there.

I will definitely send Rotel an email though, that's a good idea. I would very much like to keep the player if they have a way of fixing this fault somehow.
dont email them call them .
 

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