Rotel RA820BX4 - FIXED


New member
Aug 10, 2019
I have to following:

Rotel RA820BX4 Amp
Rotel RCD865 CD
Rega Planar 3 with RB300 arm and Linn K5 cartridge
Kef Coda 8's on Target stands
Cable Talk - Talk Talk speaker cable, and QED interconnects.

The Rotel Amp switches are getting a bit flakey and I often lose one channel, wiggling the switch fixes it for a while. Should I get it repaired or retire it ? What would I need to spend to get equivalent quality ? The whole system seems to be getting a bit loose, particularly the bass, although the turntable is better and output from VBox also sounds fine.

I know the CD and Amp have a reputation for softness but it does seem worse of late.

(I'm sure you learned advisors will remember the RA820BX4 is much better than the RA820)

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
I had the BX2 which was a bit dry and lean if I remember. It's going to cost you at least £100 to have it inspected and repaired, I expect, so I would buy a s/h amp - lots of bargains out there.


This wiggle deserves a second look. I guess your talking about a light fingered rotational force to find the right spot. This is how most respectful people behave. It cures the symptom but not the fault. Dirty switches need the corosion removing, not avoiding. fast and definate repeated action of the controls has a better wiping/cleaning effect. Switch it off and go nuts on one of the effected items. Dont try and break it off but put it through a good 20 seconds of fast action. You may find thats all it takes.

Next step up the ladder of repair is using a cleaning fluid. contact cleaner comes in aerosol cans and most switches and volume type controls have a small hole somewhere for the fluid to enter when using the tube like applicator. Its just like using wd40. iirc the rotel buttons are round, and the knobs pull off the splindles without opening the amp up. the cleaner can generally get in down the side of the then exposed spindle.

Its too many switchs and twiddly bits to replace them ecconomically. As its starting to age its perhaps pointless anyway as it sounds like capacitors are starting to fail. If the big heavy bit inside resembles a donut then i could offer you a pint for it and £10 postage. Least that bit could live on in a naim kit im thinking of building. Shame to bin it.


New member
Jun 23, 2008
Hi Gregs24,

When the channel drops out and you"wiggle" the volume switch, you say it cures the problem for a while. is this dependent on how long you've had the amp on?

My NAD preamp always suffers from channel drop out for about the first 15-20mins or so until it's warmed up. Once warm I don't have a problem. I guess if there's an iffy connection in my pre amp it improves when warm as everything expands?



Thanks for that, and no I'm not letting you have my torroidal transformer

£2.99 worth of contact cleaner and all is well. Easy access to the switch inside the case (don't take the top off if you don't know what you are doing) and a five minute job to fix. I took the opportunity to disconnect, clean and reconnect everything and the sound has tightened right up again.

I wont leave it so long between services next time !


but what about my amp? im not working with you again lol

Glad its fixed pal. Nice cheap repair too.

Just a cautionary word on contact cleaner. Its best left to fix broken things, not used preventatively. even the ones that contain a light lubricant will ruin the smooth action of many twiddly bits. Its great to get back broken kit, but ruining the action of a big fat volume control can really knock the wind out of you.


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