Rotel A14 mkII Amplifier
Introducing the new Rotel.
Replacing the much respected Rotel designs wasn't easy. The Amplifiers sold in great numbers and have been one of the top selling products in America and Europe. Regarded as superb value for money, they bring a taste of hi-end to affordable price points.
How to improve on something that is already close to perfect, especially when it comes to price/performance and the materials used for production?
The Tachikawa family in Japan – founders and owners of Rotel, finally had the opportunity to work with Ken Ishiwata, a highly respected engineer behind much of the success of rival brand Marantz.
Ishiwata is known for elevating sound quality by a combination of changes - both mechanical and electronic, with the application of damping materials helping to deaden vibrations in both the top cover and main chassis. The DAC stage sees the replacement of eight capacitors and one resistor with upgraded types, while all nine capacitors in the PSU have also been switched for preferred alternatives. Furthermore, the electrical ground paths within have been re-routed
The objective was to create the best sounding units for those with critical ears and limited budgets, and a feature set demande by Audiophiles in the 2020's:
- 80 Watts per channel of analog Class AB amplification - enough to drive Floorstanding Speakers.
- Analog and digital inputs, also wireless aptX HD music streamer, also Phono MM input
What is aptX HD?
Now for aptX HD, which is essentially an updated, beefed-up Bluetooth with the ability to transfer music in a way that permits better sound quality
It was released in reaction to the increasing popularity of hi-res audio and it supports audio at 24-bit/48kHz. Compression remains at a ratio of 4:1, with a bitrate of 576kbps.
Short of adding a streamer like Bluesound Node 3, this is a convenient way of playing digital music wirelessly at very close to CD quality.
Product of the year - Stereonet
"Not many hi-fi brands have endured for many decades, but Rotel has"
"The company has always offered high-value products that are relatively devoid of frills – with amplification being a particular speciality. Forty years ago, its classic RA-820BX integrated was a huge hit, and this is a sort of latter-day version of that – it packs sensible facilities and sweet sound into a compact package. The result is a great performing product at the price, with build quality and features to match"
"I love doing reviews on gear from companies I know well, the brands that convinced me to fall head over heels with this hobby so many years ago"
"The Rotel A14 integrated amplifier is an incredible tool for not only exploring music, but getting into music streaming for the first time"
read the review in Part Time Audiophile
"The A14MKII is clearly one of the best and most capable integrated amplifiers below $2,000 on the market. The review sample is headed back to Japan, but I’ll be ordering one for myself in the very near future. Absolutely too good to not have in my home with the Q Acoustics 3030i bookshelf speakers in my office system"
read the review in Ecoustics
"I was hugely pleased with the A14 integrated amplifier. One of the crop of modern integrated amplifiers with a very capable internal DAC and Bluetooth connectivity, it’s ready to support virtually any source you might choose, even an mm phono cartridge, which sounded utterly delightful. With power a-plenty to drive most of the speakers you’d likely partner to, it’s a superb choice for a modest audio system, whether for a beginner, an office, or a bedroom, or even for a main audio system. While I appreciated its long list of features, what really impressed me the first time I heard it was its sweet, musical sound which encouraged long listening sessions. Highly recommended."
read the review in Absolute Sound
- 80 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.018% THD
- Class AB amplification with custom-designed toroidal transformer
- premium Texas Instruments 32-bit/384kHz digital to analog converter
- built-in Bluetooth® with high-quality aptX audio coding
- frequency response: 10-100,000 Hz (line inputs, ±0.5dB); 20-20,000 Hz (phono input, ±0.5dB); 10-90,000 Hz (digital inputs, ±2dB)
- signal-to-noise ratio: 100 dB (line); 90 dB (phono); 103 dB (digital)
- support for MQA and MQA Studio files
- Roon-ready (subscription required)
- detachable power cord
- remote control
- 5 unbalanced RCA inputs
- dedicated phono input for turntables with moving magnet cartridges
- 2 optical digital inputs and 2 coaxial digital inputs (up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution)
- USB Type-B input for connecting a computer (up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution)
- USB Type-A port on front panel handles audio signals from an iPod®, iPhone®, or iPad®
- USB Type-A port on rear panel for device charging only
- Rotel Link input/output
- allows connected Rotel products to communicate with each other and be controlled via the Rotel app for Apple iPhone
- 3.5mm IR input
- dual 3.5mm 12-volt trigger outputs
- RS-232 port for use with third-party control systems
- Ethernet port connects the amp to your home network for software updates and integration with 3rd-party control systems
- RCA preamp output
- front panel 3.5mm headphone output
- A/B speaker outputs with binding posts
Dimensions and warranty:
- 17"W x 3-11/16"H x 14-15/16"D
- weight: 19.7 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years