Rotel RB-1590 or Parasound A21+?

BjornB17
BjornB17 Posts: 752
edited December 2019 in 2 Channel Audio
I have the opportunity to acquire either of these two amps to power a pair of RTiA9's (also supported by pair of Rythmik F18's). From what I can tell, both of these amps are smooth, sweet, and slightly warm of neutral which should go well with the A9's. Is either of them a clear choice over the other? Functionally the Rotel works a little better since the shape fits better into my furniture but can make the Parasound work as well. I'm thinking either will be almost equally good but I'm still stuck between the two. This will be in a fairly big room (26'x18'x11'), mostly home theater but a bit of music and general media streaming as well.
KEF Q150 | Rythmik F12 | Yamaha Aventage RX-A780

Comments

  • I had A21 that drove RTiA9s and I enjoyed it. Even better if you can get something that delivers even higher watts. Clarity/details goes up with more juice...
  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 18,546
    edited December 2019
    Parasound will have better woofer control. It is a better amp IMO
  • Upstatemax
    Upstatemax Posts: 2,516
    I find the Rotel amp to be warmer and more musical.

    Great control of the soundstage and plenty of woofer control. I just find the A series parasound amps to be a bit sterile.

    The RB 1582 MKII has been handling my Venere S speakers wonderfully. The 1590 I heard was fantastic.

    I was contemplating buying one myself, but they announced the Michi line. Now I’m dying to get my ears on those amps!
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : XBOX One : Roku Ultra : Oppo UDP-203 : Pioneer Elite SC-87 : APC H15 : Focal 806V mains : Focal 806V Surrounds : SVS SB2000 : SVS SB12-NSD

    2Ch:
    Sonus Faber Venere S : Rotel RB 1582 MKII : Oppo UDP-205 : Furman Elite 15 DM i : Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with Acryl-It Platter :
  • BjornB17
    BjornB17 Posts: 752
    haha, great feedback - sounds like people are split on which is better. The warm+musical combo sounds good to me. I would likely be wanting the black version of either.
    KEF Q150 | Rythmik F12 | Yamaha Aventage RX-A780
  • gudnoyez
    gudnoyez Posts: 7,646
    I find my A31 Halo a perfect match powering my A9s and CSI A6, however that Rotel is probably very capable also. Let us know what you end up getting.
    Home Theater
    Parasound Halo A 31 OnkyoTX-NR838 Sony XBR55X850B 55" 4K RtiA9 Fronts CsiA6 Center RtiA3 Rears FxiA6 Side Surrounds Dual Psw 111's Oppo 105D Signal Ultra Speaker Cables & IC's Signal Magic Power Cable Technics SL Q300 Panamax MR4300 Audioquest Chocolate HDMI Cables Audioquest Forest USB Cable

    2 Channel
    Adcom 555II Vincent SA-T1 Marantz SA 15S2 Denon DR-M11 Clearaudio Bluemotion SDA 2.3tl's (Z) edition MIT Terminator II Speaker Cables & IC's Adcom 545II Adcom Gtp-450 Marantz CD5004 Technics M245X SDA 2B's, SDA CRS+

    Stuff for the Head
    JD LABS C5 Headphone Amplifier, Sennheiser HD 598, Polk Audio Buckle, Polk Audio Hinge, Velodyne vPulse, Bose IE2, Sennheiser CX 200 Street II, Sennheiser MX 365

    Shower & Off the beaten path Rigs
    Polk Audio Boom Swimmer, Polk Audio Urchin B)
  • gyosa
    gyosa Posts: 584
    I vote for Parasound ....

    Bk
    Parasound A21 , Yamaha wxc-50 , Polk SDA 1c’s ( my first love .. ) , Kimber Kable 4TC, Sony 42” - BEDROOM

    B&K EX-442 ( it will go in my casket when I die ... ) , PS Audio 4.6 preamp ( old school , but it still jams on ... ) , Yamaha wxc-50 , Boston Acoustic voyager 7’s - POOL

    PS Audio Stellar S300 , Cambridge Audio 851n , Yamaha wxc-50 , Kimber Kable 4vs , Salk Supercharged Song towers ( difficult choice between these and my family if I had to choose ... 😩 ) , Sony XBR-A8F 65” OLED , Onkyo TX-RZ610 - DEN , MAIN RIG

    Onkyo TX-nr609 , Polk atrium 7 , Boston acoustic sound ware (4) , Boston acoustic sub , B&W center , Sharp 65” TV - PATIO

    DAYENS AMPINO ( thanks Verb ! ) , KEiiD streamer ( this was only 60 bucks ?? ) , Polk atrium 8SDi’s - KID’s BEDROOM


  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,311
    I vote for the Rotel
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 1,950
    If the opportunity is local, maybe you could audition both, and then decide.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • mpitogo
    mpitogo Posts: 446
    I have the Rotel RB-1590 and recently put it back into service repurposed as amps for the front left/right in my HT. I don't have experience with Parasound and can't compare but I can say the Rotel is a very nice capable piece.
    Living Room Music-2.0 Polk Legend L800 | McIntosh C70 | McIntosh MA5200 (Treble) | McIntosh MC452 (Bass) | Sublimeacoustic K231 Active xover | Denon DP-2500A | Marantz HD-CD1 | Denafrips Aries II | Amazon Music Ultra HD via iPad Pro
    Family Room Home Theater-7.2.2 (Atmos) Polk LSiM 707, 706c, Dual DSW microPRO 3000, LSiM 702 F/X [x4], RC65i | Marantz SR7009 | Marantz PM-10 [FL/FR] | Marantz SA-10 | Sony UBP-X800 4K | Xbox One S 4K | AppleTV 4K | HTPC | Sony 75” XBR X850D 4K
    Office Home Theater-5.1 Polk RT55, CS400, PSW450, f/x 500 | Onkyo TX-SR705 | AppleTV | Samsung 55”
    Office Music-2.0 KEF Q100 | Sansui AU-6900 | Topping DX7s | Sansui FR-1080
    Office Music 2-2.0 Klipsch RP-600M | Topping DX7s (BAL out) | PASS ACA (kit) Class A balanced monoblocks
    Master Bedroom Music-2.0 Totem Hawk | Rotel RA-1570
    Patio Music-2.0 Polk Atrium8 | AMC 2445 bridged
    Airplay zones: Family Room (HDMI), Family Room SA-10 (optical), Master Bedroom (Optical), Office (HDMI), Office DX7s (optical), Living Room Ares (Optical), SR7009 (AVR direct) and Patio (analog). Apple Music multi-stream to any, combo or all.
    Spares: Polk LSi25, LSiC, CS300, 4pr T15, Martin Logan Motion 40, 50xt, Dynamo 500, Rotel RB-1590, Denon AVR-4802R, Onkyo DX-C540, DVP-S500D, PS HX-500,
    Maintenance: Pro-Ject VC-S Record Cleaning Machine
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,019
    The A21+ will be more refined and smooth sounding, the 1590 more powerful but also grainier. I would pick the A21+ for two channel but the 1590 for home theater, or the smaller 1582 may be a better choice. The RTi speakers are not tough loads to drive.

    If using an entry level AV preamp to run into the amp the choice of amp is not all that important really. But either amp can be around for a long time as the rest of the system grows around it.
    1. Polk LSiM-707, LSiM-704C, LSiM-702FX; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A31 and A23 amps; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 and JC5; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Anthem Pre-2L SE; Parasound A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; PS Audio Power Director 4.7; MIT S3 cables
  • BjornB17
    BjornB17 Posts: 752
    Since the A21+ is a little too long, what about getting a pair of A23+ and running them each in bridge monoblock mode? 500 wpc when bridged!
    KEF Q150 | Rythmik F12 | Yamaha Aventage RX-A780
  • F1nut
    F1nut Posts: 45,744
    BjornB17 wrote: »
    Since the A21+ is a little too long, what about getting a pair of A23+ and running them each in bridge monoblock mode? 500 wpc when bridged!

    Bridged amps have a higher noise floor.

    I agree with Emlyn that the Rotel amps are grainy.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • BjornB17
    BjornB17 Posts: 752
    F1nut wrote: »
    BjornB17 wrote: »
    Since the A21+ is a little too long, what about getting a pair of A23+ and running them each in bridge monoblock mode? 500 wpc when bridged!

    Bridged amps have a higher noise floor.

    I agree with Emlyn that the Rotel amps are grainy.

    I just heard back from Parasound and they confirmed the higher noise floor and that THD doubles when bridging.

    Maybe I should just roll with the A21+, it is a little long but I can work with it. Also costs a little less than the Rotel.
    KEF Q150 | Rythmik F12 | Yamaha Aventage RX-A780
  • Emlyn
    Emlyn Posts: 3,019
    If you are buying new, Audio Advisor has the A21+ on sale now.

    If you are looking to primarily do home theater with an amp, the A31 in its "legacy" finish is a great deal while they last...I just got one myself. Gives all three front speakers the same amplification.

    https://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PAHA31
    1. Polk LSiM-707, LSiM-704C, LSiM-702FX; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A31 and A23 amps; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Parasound JC2 and JC5; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Marantz SA8004 SACD; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio P1000; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Anthem Pre-2L SE; Parasound A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; PS Audio Power Director 4.7; MIT S3 cables
  • I vote A21+ :)
    2ch rig:
    Speakers: LSi9s with VR3's Fortress mods
    Preamplifier: Parasound P5
    Amplifier: Parasound A23
    CDP: Denon 1520
    Cables: Wireworld Equinox 7 XLR ICs, Wireworld Ultraviolet 7 USB
  • CH46E
    CH46E Posts: 3,139
    edited December 2019
    While I have only had a Parasound HCA750A and a Parasound 2250 v2 (Never a Halo)and have only worked at a place that sold Rotel, I think I'd go for the Rotel. But that might just be because I have owned Parasound and not Rotel. I always really liked what the Rotels sounded like in the showroom.

    No matter what way you go, I think you will enjoy.
  • Mike Reeter
    Mike Reeter Posts: 4,070
    edited December 2019
    BjornB17 wrote: »
    haha, great feedback - sounds like people are split on which is better. The warm+musical combo sounds good to me. I would likely be wanting the black version of either.

    There isn't much out there that is Sexier than a Black Halo piece of gear.

    5t1x8mg2ox8d.png







    SDA SRS 2.3TL's/SDA SRS 3.1TL's/SDA CRS+4.1TL's and some other stuff
  • Upstatemax
    Upstatemax Posts: 2,516
    F1nut wrote: »

    I agree with Emlyn that the Rotel amps are grainy.

    Are you basing this opinion on the RB 1590 and RB 1582 MKII specifically?

    Because my own hands on experience with them has shown the exact opposite.

    With the Rotel amps in, soundstage was wider, better midrange clarity and warmer.

    With the A21 we noticed the midrange shrink and push back, soundstage shrink and a top end glare.

    I don’t think a single person in that room would have called the Rotel amps grainy.

    I bring this up because I know Rotel amps in the past suffered from what you’re describing, but I feel that the current crop are a whole different animal.
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : XBOX One : Roku Ultra : Oppo UDP-203 : Pioneer Elite SC-87 : APC H15 : Focal 806V mains : Focal 806V Surrounds : SVS SB2000 : SVS SB12-NSD

    2Ch:
    Sonus Faber Venere S : Rotel RB 1582 MKII : Oppo UDP-205 : Furman Elite 15 DM i : Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with Acryl-It Platter :
  • Dr_Wu
    Dr_Wu Posts: 214
    I've had both Rotel (RB990BX) and Parasound (A21) for 2-channel. Liked them both. Like the Halo better. But, it IS a beast.
    Speakers: Polk SDA-CRS+ 4.1TL/Wharfedale EVO4.3; Amp: Parasound A21 Halo; Pre: NAD C165BEE; Regenerator: PS Audio PerfectWave Power Plant3; Streamer: Auralic Aries Mini/TeraDak LPS; Phono: AT LP-3/VM540Ml; CD: Onkyo C390>ProJect DAC Box S2+/TeraDak LPS; Cables: Wireworld Silver Eclipse7 speaker, High Fidelity Cables Reveal IC (pre/amp), Wireworld Silver Eclipse8 IC (streamer; DAC), Wireworld Silver Starlight digital coax (CD/DAC); Power cables: NRG Custom Cables "The Five" (regenerator; amp; streamer; DAC); Subwoofer: REL T/5i; EQ: Soundcraftsmen RP2212
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,311
    Now that we've totally confused the OP. Do you have a quarter? Flip it. Heads for Parasound, tails for Rotel. Problem solved. :D
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • CH46E
    CH46E Posts: 3,139
    I could see the Class D Rotels being considered grainy by some. But that 1590 is a Class AB amp and should be superb.
  • BjornB17
    BjornB17 Posts: 752
    Well now I am thoroughly confused :D
    KEF Q150 | Rythmik F12 | Yamaha Aventage RX-A780
  • Upstatemax
    Upstatemax Posts: 2,516
    Your best bet is to try and get your ears on both and figure out what amp works better for you.
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : XBOX One : Roku Ultra : Oppo UDP-203 : Pioneer Elite SC-87 : APC H15 : Focal 806V mains : Focal 806V Surrounds : SVS SB2000 : SVS SB12-NSD

    2Ch:
    Sonus Faber Venere S : Rotel RB 1582 MKII : Oppo UDP-205 : Furman Elite 15 DM i : Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with Acryl-It Platter :
  • CH46E
    CH46E Posts: 3,139
    My next amp purchase will likely be a Rotel. It's just what's next in my line.
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,311
    I'll throw this in the mix of confusion:

    https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649576017-bampk-sonata-pro-10-preamplifier-and-m-200-200wpc-monoblock-amplifiers/

    These rarely come up for sale. I'm having my restored to the tune of over $1,000. Wouldn't cough up this kind of money unless I liked them. The Pro 10 is extremely rare. One of the best solid state pre amps made and mate perfectly with the amps.
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
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