Interconnects to get most from Rotel 1520

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
125
0
0
Visit site
Hello everyone...

O.K. pleasantries out the way - I recently "upgraded" to a Rotel 1520 amp - my system consisted of a NAD c660 CD (recorder)player, Mission 782se (well run in) Yamaha dsp-ax620 receiver, QED qnect 1 digital coax connecting CD and amp, ( bi-amping) A & B speakers running silver anniversary on Hi frequencies, unknown but quality cable on low frequencies. (All non used channels switched off)

1 month worth of running in - using Chord Crimson plus interconnects 0.5m.

My problem, the amp is clear, well separated and go’s loud, but lacks space, 3dness, ambiance, nuances, 'real' frequencies low down, the ability to project a voice well clear of the speakers. It sounds o.k but in short it falls well short of the Yamaha dsp AX620 (which was bought many years ago to go under the telly, but sounded so good, it replaced my Technics amp and as never moved)

Its neither the CD player (the player has talent) nor the Speakers (the missions are good) I believe the amp is capable but just needs the right interconnect to drag out its best. Many times I've read in the mag 5.1 receivers cannot out perform dedicated stereo amps. But I have an old receiver causing me to cry every time I play my 'new' 600 pound plus amp.

p.s
Originally bought an AudioLab 8200a but swapped it after nearly a month (really harsh amp) and methinks my exchange window just ran out and so as the patents of the good folk at Super-Fi
 

Big Chris

New member
Apr 3, 2008
400
0
0
Visit site
I'm a bit confused trying to suss out how all your stuff's connected together..... If I'm missing something, I apologise.

Popular consensus to achieve a more natural sound with less emphasis on the top end is to look at pure copper cabling, not cables which are silver coated such as your QEDs.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
From what I can tell you were previously taking a digital output from your NAD CD player/recorder into the Yamaha 5.1 amp, so you were only using the NAD as a transport to feed the built in DAC on the amp. As the Rotel is an analogue amp, I assume you are taking an analogue feed from your NAD into a line input on the Rotel, consequently using the built-in DAC on the NAD.

My theory is that the Rotel amp is exposing deficiencies in your CD player that you weren't made aware of when you were by-passing it's internal DAC. Upgrading part of a system often requires upgrading other bits in the end as well, otherwise you will never truly hear what your new amp is capable of.

I believe in using cables for fine tuning but I fear they won't be enough in your system and that you are going to have to improve at least your source in the long run. As for the speakers, they might be very good but that doesn't mean they match well with the Rotel. I'd definitely start with the CD player though. Maybe you could buy an external DAC which would improve the performance of the NAD and also open up more possibilities for streaming etc. later on.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Quad 77 MP? Are you bypassing the Onkyo's amp and using it as a source only?
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Ah, gotcha. The Quad 77 was an earlier amp - just wondered if you were trying out a different arrangement.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thompsonuxb said:
Hello everyone... O.K. pleasantries out the way - I recently "upgraded" to a Rotel 1520 amp - my system consisted of a NAD c660 CD (recorder)player, Mission 782se (well run in) Yamaha dsp-ax620 receiver, QED qnect 1 digital coax connecting CD and amp, ( bi-amping) A & B speakers running silver anniversary on Hi frequencies, unknown but quality cable on low frequencies. (All non used channels switched off) 1 month worth of running in - using Chord Crimson plus interconnects 0.5m. My problem, the amp is clear, well separated and go’s loud, but lacks space, 3dness, ambiance, nuances, 'real' frequencies low down, the ability to project a voice well clear of the speakers. It sounds o.k but in short it falls well short of the Yamaha dsp AX620 (which was bought many years ago to go under the telly, but sounded so good, it replaced my Technics amp and as never moved) Its neither the CD player (the player has talent) nor the Speakers (the missions are good) I believe the amp is capable but just needs the right interconnect to drag out its best. Many times I've read in the mag 5.1 receivers cannot out perform dedicated stereo amps. But I have an old receiver causing me to cry every time I play my 'new' 600 pound plus amp. p.s Originally bought an AudioLab 8200a but swapped it after nearly a month (really harsh amp) and methinks my exchange window just ran out and so as the patents of the good folk at Super-Fi

Try demo-ing a Chord Cobra Plus instead of the Crimson Plus. When I did this with my 1520 I noticed more presence and realism, also elements and details in the music that I hadn't noticed before.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
125
0
0
Visit site
The previous set up was connected as follows:

Digital Coax between CD player and amp.

Speaker A - QED silver Anivsery to the tweeters.

speaker B - Copper cable to mid/bass

All in phase.

New set up CD player to amp via Chord Crimson plus everything else as above with speaker connections. Bi-amping speakers as before.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
125
0
0
Visit site
Thanks Mathewpiano -

Seriously though, the NAD c660 is a very capable sounding player, it’s discontinued but if you have a minute look it up. It got 4 stars with What HIFI - lost a star on build, but the sound is excellent. The missions are also very good (the mid cones have been changed after the originals failed the known fault with them.)

They are a very neutral speaker, monitor like and will play what ever they receive. If it’s warm they play warm, clinical they do clinical. If I was to review them - The description given to the ATC 11's is how I'd describe them. They disappear.

The DAC theory is interesting,

Through the Rotel the sound I'm getting is a lack of 'real' frequencies, the ones that role through the floor, or makes your shirt or the legs of your trousers vibrate, you know what I mean? The low frequencies that add emotion to voices picks up the breathing, how close the singers face is to the mic, how hard chords are struck. The missions are capable of reproducing this and the CD player capable of delivering it and the AX620 amplified it. ( I hope its was'nt the DAC )

What I'm currently getting from the Rotel/Crimson plus is a wall of sound, left and right separation is fine, not a stage.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
125
0
0
Visit site
Thanks ChesterG

Tried the Chord Cobra in the shop it was lowder (more dynamic?) but again presented music as a wall of sound without finesse. I'm currently waiting for a pair of QED performance 2 ordered a week ago via Superfi.

I'm not a fan of Chord.

To Add, my music taste is very general, from Ray Lamontagne to D'angelo to Toni Braxton to Seasicksteve. I'm also looking at budget too, I really don't want to go over 50 english pounds.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
125
0
0
Visit site
I've been considering the DAC thing all day its not the DAC I have used other coax between cd & amp a fibre optic coax ( freebie with the Xbox) which sounds awful and I also have a QED SR7 coax currently feeding my sub and while it cost twice as much as the Qnect 1 it does not sound as open or dynamic.

just need to find the right interconnect.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
I refer to your comments in another thread, where you say your demo of the amp was with Epos M22i speakers and a Cyrus CD8 etc.

You aren't going to get that sound by changing the interconnects. The problem is more fundamental than that.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
125
0
0
Visit site
Mathewpiano I actually find your input really useful, thanks for taking the time to respond.

Let me explain, the Missions are such that they really reveal the differences between interconnects. I'm not changing the speaker cable and I'm stuck with the amp now. But trust me when I say the differences between cables on this set up are pronounced ( changing the direction of the Crimson makes a difference. My 14 year old daughter can hear it too in blind tests.)

I have an old pair of Cambridge pacific, some old Tandy interconnects a pair of QED digital coax's and the Crimsons. Not forgetting cheapo freebies lying around too.

Each one sounds different what I'd really want to hear from the readers are interconnects that do frequencies and ambience I don't have the cash to keep buying interconnects. But there are many brands I'm unfamiliar with. I got lucky on my last upgrade everything worked together great. I think the amp can do it too, it just needs that small piece.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
OK, if you are so sure about this, I'd suggest seeing if you can trial a pair of Atlas Equator II. I've got a pair of CrimsonPlus and a pair of Equator II, and I've also owned Chord ChameleonPlus. In my experience in several different systems, the Equator II are the most balanced and provide superb levels of detail and atmosphere. Certainly worth a try, but I say this with the proviso that I don't think just changing the interconnects will be enough. Hope this is helpful.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
125
0
0
Visit site
Atlas equators2 its in my price bracket to will check them out.

Still waiting for Superfi to get my QED performance 2.

For the record I tested some interconnects Chord Cobra, Chamilion and Crimsons at Superfi the assitant was shocked the differnce it made to the sound. He was selling the stuff and none of them had taken the time to test the various interconnects. But I find the differnces tangable on the set up I have.
 

johnbwfc

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
2
0
18,520
Visit site
I have a Rotel 1520 and have QED Reference interconnects. They were a half price offer so I thought I would try them. I must admit I am really pleased with the sound. I have only compared them with the ones that came with the amp so can't comment on how Chord etc sound. I have a Rega Apollo as CD player and MA RX1 speakers.
 

Thompsonuxb

New member
Feb 19, 2012
125
0
0
Visit site
O.k got me some QED Performance 2 interconnects - noticeable improvement over the Chord Company Crimson plus. (How did the Crimsons win product of the year?)

The differences, better definition at the frequency extremes, Hi end/low frequencies. Mid range more separated from the higher bass - space around vocals and a more natural sound to the Rotel 1520 amp. Leading edges on instrument strikes are also cleaner. Adds a dose of emotion to recordings.

It makes the amp sounds more powerful, able to present music with a full range (which I think was missing with the Crimson Plus)...less 'Wall of sound'

The vocals are also now leaving the confines of the speakers, and while the bass does not 'sound' louder, frequencies are now rolling over the floor to the other end of the room. (it sounds closer to the AX-620 - maybe better its not as warm but it sounds more incisive/attacking without being aggressive).

I dread the day hair starts growing out my ears when I won't hear the differences between pieces of wire.

....:dance:
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts