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Rotel A11 Tribute & CD11 Tribute

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matthewpiano

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Ah, thanks, good of you to share your experience. It's pleasing to know that Rotel's specific entry-level Hi-Fi dedication to Ken's work and legacy is, simply say, worthy.



I've taken a quick look into CD6007, there happens to be this on-site review:

Firstly, its priced the same as CD11 Tribute. Secondly, I zoned-in to:
"The older [CD6006 UK Edition] player has more solidity through the midband and gives Irie’s voice a sense of body and natural warmth the CD6007 doesn’t quite match."

Let's say whoever has the sway now at Marantz to finalise-the-sound is proving to shift the emphasis away from Ken's keenness to maintain a-warmer-midband. Will this destabilising be in a good way or bad? Depends on our personal definition of success, does the product sell (brand's criterion), or does (preferably the performance rather than look of) the product move our emotions (consumer's criterion).

Are you in a position with your dealer to borrow the 2 players home for auditioning?

And for readers who haven't seen A11 Tribute:

Amp has an "apt-X and AAC wireless Bluetooth" feature.
I ended up buying both players and I currently have both complete sets - the Rotel A11/CD11 Tribute duo, and the Marantz PM6007/CD6007. I've experimented widely with all possible combinations, and continue to do so, also trying individual components with other kit I have.

Both CD/amp combos are extremely competent in their own right, and offer good value for money at their matching price points. Marantz fans will be pleased to know that the house sound is very much in evidence - the warmth is still there combined with good levels of clarity. In many ways the CD/PM6007 are business as usual for the 600x line and capable of surprisingly captivating performance that wouldn't disgrace higher price points. They make good partners for speakers that offer clarity. I have enjoyed them with the B&W 606 and the Monitor Audio Bronze 200, but found the partnership with Wharfedale Linton 85s leaning a little towards sounding lifeless. Channel matching at low volume levels is good, noise levels from the amplifier are low, and the CD mechanism is quiet. I'd say the CD player is the champion out of the two, and it reveals even more of what it can do with the Roksan K3. Out of the two CD players I think the Marantz can withstand more downstream upgrades than the Rotel, for reasons that will be evident below.

In some respects the Rotel duo feels slightly more solid than the Marantz pairing. There's no exposed screw-heads on the side panels of CD player or amp and, of course, the trademark Marantz curved plastic front-panel ends aren't anywhere to be seen. Features are similarly matched overall. The A11 Tribute doesn't offer digital inputs like the Marantz PM6007 does, though both have aptX Bluetooth capability. The Rotels are quirkier in operation. The A11 Tribute has a display that shows active input, tone control status and volume level. As the volume is adjusted there is an audible switching sound through the speakers with each step. Volume adjustments are nicely progressive. The A11 Tribute's noise floor is noticeably higher than that of the Marantz, though only when with ears fairly close to the speaker and with no signal, and the hiss doesn't change with volume level adjustments. The CD player is a little noisier than the Marantz in its transport operations, but makes no noise that is perceptible from the listening position during playback.

The Rotel combo certainly has a more sprightly sound than the Marantz one, and if pace and timing are your thing you may well prefer the Rotels. Despite this, as a duo they never become overly bright or uncomfortable to listen to and further experimentation suggests this is down to the balance between the CD player and amplifier. Trying the CD11 Tribute with the Roksan K3 reveals an inherent brightness, exacerbated by the Roksan's infamous 'party animal' temperament. Matched with the A11 Tribute it offers a very well balanced sound, even with the brighter and more forward sounding B&W 606s. They get more life out of the Linton 85s than the Marantz combination, but the Wharfedales ultimately prove a little too exposing, showing some smearing of inner detail that they don't expose with the Marantz.

Overall, both are solid combinations in this sector of the market, and it's down to personal preference as well as speakers and music choices as to which will best suit an individual user. My choice out of the two would be the Marantz duo as the basis of an affordable system that would be more capable of luring most listeners into longer listening sessions. The 6007 components offer fine balance across a wide range of music, and the CD player in particular could prove a longer-term companion through further upgrades of amplifier and speakers.
 
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plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
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I ended up buying both players and I currently have both complete sets - the Rotel A11/CD11 Tribute duo, and the Marantz PM6007/CD6007. I've experimented widely with all possible combinations, and continue to do so, also trying individual components with other kit I have.

Both CD/amp combos are extremely competent in their own right, and offer good value for money at their matching price points. Marantz fans will be pleased to know that the house sound is very much in evidence - the warmth is still there combined with good levels of clarity. In many ways the CD/PM6007 are business as usual for the 600x line and capable of surprisingly captivating performance that wouldn't disgrace higher price points. They make good partners for speakers that offer clarity. I have enjoyed them with the B&W 606 and the Monitor Audio Bronze 200, but found the partnership with Wharfedale Linton 85s leaning a little towards sounding lifeless. Channel matching at low volume levels is good, noise levels from the amplifier are low, and the CD mechanism is quiet. I'd say the CD player is the champion out of the two, and it reveals even more of what it can do with the Roksan K3 and NAD C368, making a particularly enticing sound with the latter. Out of the two CD players I think the Marantz can withstand more downstream upgrades than the Rotel, for reasons that will be evident below.

In some respects the Rotel duo feels slightly more solid than the Marantz pairing. There's no exposed screw-heads on the side panels of CD player or amp and, of course, the trademark Marantz curved plastic front-panel ends aren't anywhere to be seen. Features are similarly matched overall. The A11 Tribute doesn't offer digital inputs like the Marantz PM6007 does, though both have aptX Bluetooth capability. The Rotels are quirkier in operation. The A11 Tribute has a display that shows active input, tone control status and volume level. As the volume is adjusted there is an audible switching sound through the speakers with each step. The A11 Tribute's noise floor is also noticeably higher than that of the Marantz, though only when with ears fairly close to the speaker and with no signal, and the hiss doesn't change with volume level adjustments. The CD player is a little noisier than the Marantz in its transport operations, but makes no noise that is perceptible from the listening position during playback.

The Rotel combo certainly has a more sprightly sound than the Marantz one, and if pace and timing are your thing you may well prefer the Rotels. Despite this, as a duo they never become overly bright or uncomfortable to listen to and further experimentation suggests this is down to the balance between the CD player and amplifier. Trying the CD11 Tribute with the Roksan K3 reveals an inherent brightness, exacerbated by the Roksan's infamous 'party animal' temperament, and it even manages to tip the NAD C368 into a touch of hardness - not normally a trait. Matched with the A11 Tribute it offers a very well balanced sound, even with the brighter and more forward sounding B&W 606s. They get more life out of the Linton 85s than the Marantz combination, but the Wharfedales ultimately prove a little too exposing, showing some smearing of inner detail that they don't expose with the Marantz.

Overall, both are solid combinations in this sector of the market, and it's down to personal preference as well as speakers and music choices as to which will best suit an individual user. My choice out of the two would be the Marantz duo. The 6007 components offer fine balance across a wide range of music, and the CD player in particular could prove a longer-term companion through further upgrades of amplifier and speakers.
may i ask what cables you are using with both the marantz and rotel units ?
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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may i ask what cables you are using with both the marantz and rotel units ?
I've tried both with the following:

Chord Company Rumour X speaker cable with Clearway interconnect

Atlas Equator 2.0 speaker cable and interconnect.

I should also add that the phono stages are decent on both amplifiers, for use with affordable moving magnet cartridges such as the Ortofon 2M Silver on my Project.
 

plus 1

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Dec 5, 2019
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I've tried both with the following:

Chord Company Rumour X speaker cable with Clearway interconnect

Atlas Equator 2.0 speaker cable and interconnect.

I should also add that the phono stages are decent on both amplifiers, for use with affordable moving magnet cartridges such as the Ortofon 2M Silver on my Project.
thanks for the reply / answer. may i also ask are you using the supplied mains cables and are they plugged direct to wall sockets or into an extension block ?
 

plus 1

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No problem.
I'm using the supplied mains cables and they are plugged into the Tacima CS947 I always use.
thanks for reply again. i always used my cd / amp (combinations) plugged direct to wall so was just wondering whether either the marantz or rotel amps (in particular) performance changed if plugged direct to wall.
 
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matthewpiano

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thanks for reply again. i always used my cd / amp (combinations) plugged direct to wall so was just wondering whether either the marantz or rotel amps (in particular) performance changed if plugged direct to wall.
It's not something I've thought about, as there isn't sufficient plug sockets on the wall to cover this. At previous homes with equipment in the past I've never found it to make any difference. I use the Tacima for protection as much as anything else.

I've used 'upgraded' power cables with some amplifiers in the past and found them to make no difference at all, but I know there are different schools of thought on these things!
 
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matthewpiano

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Just to add, the CD6007 is the only part of these two combinations that will be a permanent fixture in my system. The Marantz amp will stay as a back-up but the Rotels will be sold at some point as I have neither the space or funds to keep everything. The amp in my main system is going to be the NAD C368, and my second system upstairs is going to be based around the Bluesound PowerNode 2i as it offers good performance and fits in with the space available and surrounding decor. It will also make multiroom easy in conjunction with the Node 2i I've bought to replace the Audiolab 6000N.
 
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plus 1

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Dec 5, 2019
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It's not something I've thought about, as there isn't sufficient plug sockets on the wall to cover this. At previous homes with equipment in the past I've never found it to make any difference. I use the Tacima for protection as much as anything else.

I've used 'upgraded' power cables with some amplifiers in the past and found them to make no difference at all, but I know there are different schools of thought on these things!
same here !

i tested 2 "upgrade" mains cables (a russ andrews powerkord and a clearer audio ferrite filtered model) on my musical fidelity m6i amp and heard no difference...

maybe the amp had sufficient filtering in its power supply ?

(the transformer never hummed or made any sound unlike the sony 930 it replaced...)
 
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Wil

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Just to add, the CD6007 is the only part of these two combinations that will be a permanent fixture in my system. The Marantz amp will stay as a back-up but the Rotels will be sold at some point as I have neither the space or funds to keep everything. The amp in my main system is going to be the NAD C368, and my second system upstairs is going to be based around the Bluesound PowerNode 2i as it offers good performance and fits in with the space available and surrounding decor. It will also make multiroom easy in conjunction with the Node 2i I've bought to replace the Audiolab 6000N.
I'm pleased for people happy with their Hi-Fi, kudos to whatever is the most suitable product.

My suggestion to you is try out the Filter options in 6007 duo. I've communicated my fondness for their DSP filtering before. I believe they can change the-behaviour of the Source media e.g. KI's meaning from yesterday's quote.

Screen Shot.png
Filter 2 may be especially good for reedy vocals of problematic recordings, and AV dialogue too (fed into PM6007's Digital Audio In).
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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I'm pleased for people happy with their Hi-Fi, kudos to whatever is the most suitable product.

My suggestion to you is try out the Filter options in 6007 duo. I've communicated my fondness for their DSP filtering before. I believe they can change the-behaviour of the Source media e.g. KI's meaning from yesterday's quote.

View attachment 1691
Filter 2 may be especially good for reedy vocals of problematic recordings, and AV dialogue too (fed into PM6007's Digital Audio In).
Thanks for this. I'm aware of the filter options on both CD and amplifier. I don't use the digital inputs on the amplifier as the CD player and my Node 2i have more than capable DACs built-in. I've experimented with the same two filters on the CD6007 and would say the differences are noticeable but quite subtle. I mostly prefer Filter 1 as is sounds more natural.
 
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matthewpiano

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Matthew

1. How do you find the NAD C368?
2. Why did you purchase the Bluesound Node 2i instead of adding the BluOS module to the C368?
I'm very pleased with the NAD. It's got all the involving qualities that I've enjoyed in NAD amps previously, but with more refinement and a real ability to bring the inner details out without throwing everything forward at full pelt. It's also consistently good at all volume levels, which is very important to me as I generally listen at relatively low levels. It seems like a natural partner for the MAs.

I carefully considered the MDC BluOS module, but I just decided to keep the streamer and amp seperate. The MDC module isn't quite as straight-forward to fit as you might expect, requiring removal of the amp's top cover in order to check that the connections are seated properly, and I didn't feel like taking my new amp apart. It also means I can choose between the Node 2i DAC and the amp's DAC, but also leaves me with more flexibility to try DAC upgrades in the future.
 
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matthewpiano

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Rotel is a cheap brand that doesn't deserve a tribute. Move on people...
The 'Tribute' isn't to Rotel. It's to Ken Ishiwata, who was involved in the tuning of these versions of the CD11 and A11 before he passed away. His philosophy was to get the best possible out of affordable hi-fi by upgrading key components and details without pushing the price up.

Rotel's biggest commercial successes have been at the affordable end of the market, but they are anything but a 'cheap brand'.
 
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manicm

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Rotel is not a cheap brand, but their products are slightly old school now.

And Cyrus haven’t updated their integrated amps for ages now, except for an optional updated internal DAC.
 
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matthewpiano

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Rotel is not a cheap brand, but their products are slightly old school now.

And Cyrus haven’t updated their integrated amps for ages now, except for an optional updated internal DAC.
I'd be interested to hear what you feel is 'old school' about them.

With regard to Cyrus, perhaps they feel it would simply be change for changes sake rather than being able to offer any real upgrade in performance.
 

manicm

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Rotel have one streamer, and they don’t even push its capabilities on its website.

The Michi range doesn’t even have a streamer. Is this a clue as to where their priorities lie, or maybe they’re happy to let buyers choose from 3rd parties.

Cyrus seem to be pushing their One series components. Their 6 and 8 integrated amplifiers themselves haven’t been updated for over 5 years if I’m correct.

Naim, even if I guess their Uniti now being their bread and butter range, have found time to update their entry level amps and cd players.
 

Al ears

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Rotel have one streamer, and they don’t even push its capabilities on its website.

The Michi range doesn’t even have a streamer. Is this a clue as to where their priorities lie, or maybe they’re happy to let buyers choose from 3rd parties.

Cyrus seem to be pushing their One series components. Their 6 and 8 integrated amplifiers themselves haven’t been updated for over 5 years if I’m correct.

Naim, even if I guess their Uniti now being their bread and butter range, have found time to update their entry level amps and cd players.
I guess you do what you do best and hopefully are happy with sales.
Making an amplifier that is simply that these days is a bold move and Rotel make some excellent a mm amps, just wish I could afford those Michi pair.
The need to include a streamer in your line up is not necessary with the amount already on the market. Better to stick with what you do best I guess.
 
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Wil

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Doubling back, I've found one of the links I bookmarked when searching why optical digital…:
"Toslink is the worst of the interfaces because the electrical to optical and optical to electrical conversion adds to the jitter. Toslink creates additional stages that the clock must pass through, picking up jitter due to power/ground noise and uncertainty of when the edge (logic change) transitions get detected."
http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue22/nugent.htm


The understanding Ken tried to convey to me was most likely that, since analogue is the endgame, he oversaw the implementation of it as good as can be. Digital Outs are imperfect…

Hi,
I would disagree with that optical is the worst. In fact it is the best. There is no electrical connection between the two units, so noise is not an issue.

I have seen it written on another forum that optical connections also transmits noise between units, and this is, quite simply, utter rot.

There is phase noise possible with optical, as with all systems, but as long as the transmitter and receiver are implemented correctly, then there are no data errors. The phase noise has to be very high for bit errors, or synchronisation/clock recovery problems.

At the end of the statement, there is talk of a patent. Is this discussion a precursor to presenting a fix for a problem that does not exist ?

Regards,
Shadders.
 
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Wil

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Ken was open-minded… and to be more generous to the buying public reading this Thread, I'll make clear and easy the links to the-competing-products in What Hi-Fi? Awards 2020 for Best stereo amplifiers & CD players:


Incidentally, his ultimate buying advice:
"What I always tell people is 'Whatever product you listen to, if your emotion is moved when playing back your favourite music then that product has a value to you. But if that does not happen, even if a product is very expensive, it has no value to you.'"
 
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matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Incidentally, his ultimate buying advice:
"What I always tell people is 'Whatever product you listen to, if your emotion is moved when playing back your favourite music then that product has a value to you. But if that does not happen, even if a product is very expensive, it has no value to you.'"
This sums the whole thing up for me.

It's very easy to get carried away with the name on a piece of equipment, its legendary status and/or how 'high end' it is. In the end, if those components don't make a system that involves you in the music, having them is more about vanity and showing off than it is about having the right tool for the job.
 
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