Not even a ridiculous parking ticket in downtown Brooklyn could deter me on a glorious sunny day from previewing the new Rotel Diamond Series which pays tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Japanese manufacturer.
Rotel and McIntosh Group invited Chris Boylan and myself to preview the new components at Cafe Kitsune on Bond Street, and while it’s not the most formal presentation, we’re pretty confident that the new Rotel Diamond Series are very well designed components that offer more than just a taste of the famous Rotel Michi Series which we reviewed in 2021.
The Rotel Michi X3 is a terrific piece of audio engineering and one of the best integrated amplifiers we’ve had the chance to test in the past 3 years. The biggest downside is the price – which continues to climb due to supply chain issues and inflation.
New Rotel Diamond Series RA-6000 Integrated Amplifier is $4,499, making it $1,000 cheaper than the Michi X3. The build quality of the new integrated amplifier is superb and we both agreed that the silver finish is stunning.
I could hear the similarities when it came to its almost effortless power delivery to a pair of Sonus Faber Olympica Nova Wall Speakers which sell for US$9,000 a pair.
Cafe Kitsune mounted the rather large Italian speakers near the ceiling in the bar; they are usually connected to a Rotel Michi X5 and Pro-Ject turntable. The placement of the speakers was a bit high from our listening positions at the bar, but Chris and I felt the RA-6000 drove them with very little difficulty and we could both feel the impact bass throughout the room.
The Olympica Nova Walls are usually sold with McIntosh amplification or the Michi X3 or X5 so it was impressive to hear the RA-6000s driving them so well; the mid-range had excellent resolution and detail, but it was impossible to really gauge the depth and width of the soundstage based on how they were mounted on the wall.
The RA-6000 incorporates aspects of the Michi X3 but it is clearly not the same product nor does it have the same functionality. We were really happy to see a MM phono stage included; which makes sense given the number of Pro-Ject turntables sold with Rotel systems today.
The RA-6000 integrated amplifier delivers 350 watts of output power into 4 ohm speaker loads leveraging the technical and performance designs of the brand’s flagship Michi series models.
The RA-6000 benefits from Michi circuit design, acoustic components and power supply engineering methods, with further upgrades found in recent Rotel MKII models.
A range of source inputs provide connection to modern and legacy audio sources including coaxial (3), optical (3), analog (3), PC-USB supporting MQA, Bluetooth with aptX HD for wireless streaming high performance, balanced XLR, iOS USB for Apple devices.
The second part of the Rotel Diamond series is the price of 2,299 USD Rotel DT-6000 DAC Transport; The unit includes a PC-USB input supporting MQA and DSD audio playback and outputs 32-bit/384kHz PCM music files through the coaxial and optical inputs supporting music streamers and media players with the mechanism of Included tray loading CD provides playback flexibility.
There’s quite a long design development history regarding the DT-6000 that has convinced us that the Rotel development team went back and forth for over a year trying every possible DAC chip before settling. install on a heavily modified version of the DAC referenced below.
Their initial enthusiasm for the ESS Saber was met with a level of disappointment when it failed to deliver the all-around sonic performance they were looking for in such an expensive CD/DAC player.
Rotel went back to the drawing board until they felt ESS got it right.
The focal point of the DT-6000 is the 8-channel ESS Saber ES9028PRO digital-to-analog converter configured to dedicate 4 mono DACs each to the left and right channels. Redundant signal processing of digital data streams extracts nuances from audio with clarity and crisp detail with exceptionally low background noise.
The DAC feeds custom-designed fully balanced differential output filters with critically tuned sound components for realistic reproduction of audio.
The DT-6000 is powered by an in-house manufactured shielded toroidal transformer with high efficiency split foil smoothing capacitors reducing spurious emissions and providing independent, isolated, low noise power to all critical circuitry, further reducing noise and distortion.
Price and availability
The Rotel Diamond Series RA-6000 and DT-6000 will be available in the United States in black and silver finishes through authorized Rotel resellers with shipments beginning in July 2022 and in the rest of the world shortly thereafter at the following prices (MSRP):
- RA-6000: $4,499 / €4,499 / £3,999
- DT-6000: $2,299 / €2,299 / £1,999
For more information: rotel.com