Rotel Celebrates 60th Anniversary with Diamond Series Integrated Amp and DAC/CD Transport
By Chris Boylan
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, high-end HiFi manufacturer Rotel is giving us a gift – well, really two gifts – with the first components of its new Diamond series. The RA-6000 integrated amplifier and upcoming DT-6000 DAC transport combine Rotel’s trademark industrial design with a touch of modern styling to create a distinctive yet familiar look; and perhaps most importantly, a refined and extremely precise sound.
The new Diamond Series products are said to “honor the heritage” of the family audio brand, founded in 1961 in Tokyo by Mr. Tomoki Tachikawa. 60 years later, the company is still independently managed and is currently run by the founder’s great-nephew, Peter Kao.
Rotels Diamond Series RA-6000 Integrated Amplifier is designed to deliver 350 watts of stereo output power into 4 ohm speaker loads. It draws on technical concepts and component design cues from the brand’s current flagship Michi series, bringing a taste of that refined design and sound quality to a slightly more affordable price. The amp’s rear panel features a wide array of analog and digital inputs to accommodate virtually any modern or legacy source component. Onboard you’ll find three coaxial digital inputs, three fiber optic digital inputs, three analog inputs, a PC-USB input that supports MQA, an iOS USB port for Apple devices, XLR balanced inputs and a Moving phono input. Magnet for vinyl lovers. Analog inputs remain entirely in the analog domain, with no conversion or digital processing. The amp also supports wireless Bluetooth connectivity with AptX HD support for high performance wireless streaming.
Rotel Diamond Series RA-6000 Integrated Amplifier.
The Rotel Diamond Series DT-6000 DAC Transport unites legacy physical media (the compact disc) with digital music files and streaming media sources. The unit includes an integrated CD loading mechanism, a PC-USB input supporting MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) and DSD (Direct Stream Digital) audio playback, as well as fiber optic and coaxial digital inputs. The unit supports PCM lossless digital media with up to 32-bit precision and up to 384 kHz sample rate.
The “secret sauce” of the DT-6000 is its ESS Saber ES9028PRO 8-channel digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The unit is actually configured with eight dedicated mono DACs working as one: four DACs for each of the left and right channels. Redundant signal processing of digital data streams extracts every musical detail, while pushing background noise below the threshold of human hearing.
Rotel Diamond Series DT-6000 DAC transport.
The DAC network feeds custom-designed fully balanced differential output filters with individually tuned sound components for the most realistic and accurate musical reproduction. Power for the DT-6000 is supplied by a shielded toroidal transformer with high-efficiency split-sheet smoothing capacitors, which is manufactured in-house. These caps reduce spurious emissions to provide independent, isolated, low-noise power to all critical circuitry, further reducing noise and distortion.
But beyond all the buzzwords and technical jargon, the proof is in the pudding…or in this case, listening. I was treated to a demo of the new Diamond Series components at a preview event in New York earlier this month and liked what I heard.
With the DT-6000 playing standard red book CDs, powered by the RA-6000 amp driving a beautiful pair of Sonus Faber in-wall speakers and subwoofer, the system created a solid soundstage, exquisite detail and excellent bass control and extension. We listened to a few tracks from singer-songwriters Diana Krall and Sara Bareilles, as well as some more esoteric instrumental cuts. Although the speakers were mounted high on the wall, the picture looked great, giving us the illusion of real musicians and singers performing on a stage in front of us. I look forward to learning more about this system as the components go into full-scale production next month.
The Rotel Diamond Series RA-6000 and DT-6000 will be available in black and silver finishes from authorized Rotel dealers beginning in the United States in July 2022. Shipments to other parts of the world will follow soon after. A Rotel representative at the unveiling event told me that more components will follow in the Diamond Series over time. Details on this will be communicated at a later date.
SUGGESTED PRICE (MSRP)
- RA-6000 Integrated Amplifier: $4,499 (US) / €4,499 (Europe) / £3,999 (UK)
- DAC DT-6000 transport: $2,299 (US) / €2,299 (Europe) / £1,999 (UK)
The new Diamond Series components are offered in silver and black metallic finishes.
A look behind the new Diamond Series components reveals a huge selection of input options.
More information: www.rotel.com