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CF-4 Owner Looking to Upgrade from Rotel RX-1052


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Hey everyone!

I've had my CF-4s for about a year now, and I love them. They are pictured living at my buddy's place, set up next to his gear since I've been in a small apartment the last year. But I had to jump at the chance to buy them, and in fact now I'm shopping for a house for them (okay, for me too).

I have read mixed opinions as far as how many watts the CF-4s should be powered by, and currently I'm giving them 100w. I've been keeping an eye out for a used Rotel RB-1080 which is a 200w amp I could pair with it. But in my search, I came across Rotel's RA-1592, and RA-1592 Mkii. That unit presents an interesting proposition because I use an external DAC as well as external wireless casting device with my old-fashioned RX-1052, and the RA-1592 could not only upgrade my power to 200w, but could also eliminate the need to use any other external gadgets and gizmos, which would be great.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the RA-1592/RA-1592 Mkii, or any other recommended units I may not know about that would also give me 200w, bluetooth, and a good DAC for digital inputs? Please keep in mind that the Rotel, at around $3k new and hopefully a bit less used, is already questionable for my budget so I'm not likely to go way over that price point. Like I said, shopping for a house right now so that's the priority for my dollars.

 

Thanks!

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I like Rotel.  For several years, had the RB-991 on my CF3's.  The 1080 would be a nice choice.  Haven't heard any of the newer Rotel amps or receivers.   

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I currently have 200w on my CF-3's and CF-4s which are awaiting mods. It's way, way more than you need. I plan on downsizing to sub 50 watts, and considering all sorts of options from 3 watts to 50, but with a magical midrange in mind. I feel my RSW15 can fill in anything i may be missing in the low end.

If you end up in a big room, perfect. If you are in a small apartment, with future plans to move to a medium sized room in a house? I'd say look for a good clean low powered amp with musicality in mind rather than just power and punch. Also i don't know about bluetooth, but i recommend the Denafrips Ares II dac on the used market for near the same price range of that DACMagic.  The Ares II will make your digital music sound analog. It's really an incredible value. Klipsch and R2R Dacs were made for each other.

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I will be in a medium sized living room in a house with the CF-4s. I guess I was thinking I needed 200w, but even if I don't now the main appeal is packaging everything I need into one box with the bluetooth and digital inputs. It would be great to get rid of all the cables and pieces I have to assemble together externally. So thats why I was leaning more towards the newer Rotel stuff. I've read reviews that the newer stuff has been improved in sound as well, which makes sense given the higher prices compared to my mid-2000s era Rotel.

 

But yeah I'm open to other brands with modern features too. 

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I have the RA 1570 powering CF2s.  It's 120wpc and plenty of power to drive the 98db CF2s. I think the CF4s are even more efficient at 102db so that 1592 should blow the doors off the neighbors house down the street. 

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16 minutes ago, Harleywood said:

I have the RA 1570 powering CF2s.  It's 120wpc and plenty of power to drive the 98db CF2s. I think the CF4s are even more efficient at 102db so that 1592 should blow the doors off the neighbors house down the street. 

 

I could also go for the 120w RA-1572 mk2. Probably comes down to what I can find on the used market because these things are expensive new! My 100w RX-1052 sounds great, but I'd like some updated features as well as the additional wattage. 

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13 minutes ago, bpplaysguitar said:

 

I could also go for the 120w RA-1572 mk2. Probably comes down to what I can find on the used market because these things are expensive new! My 100w RX-1052 sounds great, but I'd like some updated features as well as the additional wattage. 

The 1570 retailed for $1699 new and I think the 1592 is upwards of $2200 new maybe more now since mine is almost 5 years old. Audiogon website is where I bought mine. Might give them a look. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/11/2022 at 10:21 AM, JohnA said:

You already have 2 to 4 times as much power as you need and a good amp.  Be happy.  Spend that money on DVD-Audio discs or quality vinyl.

I don't use either of those media. I have sold the RX-1052 and bought a 200w RB-1582mkii.

Interesting thing about the power. Was the 100w enough? Yeah. But I wanted to give these 300w RMS speakers more, for the sake of knowing what that would sound like (along with this new sonic signature people are raving about with Rotel compared to my old one, and some more up-to-date features like Bluetooth and a good DAC). Before someone snatched my RX-1052 off eBay, a fellow speaker-head and I did some testing at his house, where my CF4s have lived since I bought them last year (I live in small apartment, had plans to buy house, house now obtained and moving in gradually). We did some listening to my CF4s, his Fortes, and his Choruses, powered by my Rotel RX-1052, his Marantz 2230, his Marantz 2238B. All the combinations. We listened to vinyl as well as Bluetooth audio. Here's the kicker: We tried every receiver on its own power, and run into my new 200w amp, and let me tell you there is a difference between 100w and 200w. Sidenote, many have said Rotel's new stuff may be rated a little conservatively. Adding power made a difference in every speaker/receiver. Worth the price? Maybe, maybe not depending on who you are and what speakers you have, but even at modest volumes, the sound was fuller, more details within the mix jumped out, it was more dynamic. It was a fun experiment, and it got my friend, who has used nothing but 30-some watt Marantz receivers for a decade or more, considering adding a vintage Marantz amp to his main room. That same friend has always believed in what he calls "the Best Buy effect," where if you're looking at six TVs on the wall at Best Buy all together, you'll notice the differences, but any one of them alone in your home would make you happy, so don't sweat the nuances. And that's still true of that day tinkering with more power, but if we're evaluating whether there's a difference, there's a difference.

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38 minutes ago, 82 Cornwalls said:

 

3 dBs 😉

 

I have experienced the opposite more than once, going down in power made a nice improvement.

Quality over quantity every time for me. 


Our ears weren't crunching numbers, they were listening. Nothing of reduced quality was introduced, just more quantity. But the great thing about speakers, like instruments for my friend and me, is everyone can like what they like, and everyone's right.

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3 minutes ago, Shiva said:

Congrats on getting a house for your Epics.  Always fun to test out different amps with a friend too.  


Thanks! You just know I can't wait to move them into their house, haha. And yes, also like instruments, half the fun is just trying different things.

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59 minutes ago, 82 Cornwalls said:

 

Everything being equal it should not make a difference, were the lower power amps clipping?

I have never seen anyone explain how more unused power can sound better.

You may have liked the sonic signature better, but that has nothing to do with 3dBs (not much) more potential output.

 

I'm not sure how it works. But it reminds me of the time I brought my 100w guitar amp in to test speaker cabinets for it, and I told the guy at the store (who builds guitar amplifiers) I was leaving its switch on "low power" mode, 70w, and the guy told me to just keep it in full 100w mode and it will always sound fuller and fatter, even at lower volumes. I don't know the science, I'm guessing he did. And yep, my guitar amp sounded better from then on. Something similar to having more torque, regardless of whether or not you need to spool the RPMs (engine, not vinyl) up high to wring out maximum horsepower?

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No clue about the Rotel, but have CF-3's. But; switched from a Marantz 2252B (52wpc) to a Kenwood M2A (220wpc) and there was a tremendous improvement :) 

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