By Eric Yang
on 8.10.12
Photo by Rotel

Between Spotify and iTunes (Remastered) in the cloud, it’s fast becoming a disconnected world for the hi-fi holdout. So it’s good to see stalwart brands modernizing their wares for the times without forgetting their audio-centric roots.

Rotel, if you’re not already familiar with them, has a storied history in disciplined audio, which marries British and Japanese engineers and designers who work in tandem on everything from layout, to compomentry, to critical sound evaluation. Rotel calls it a “Balanced Design Concept” and the result is a myriad of invisible engineering marvels like Symmetrical Signal Trace (identical signal paths) and Star Earthing (single plane grounding). What that means for you: stunning sound without mind-boggling costs. Needless to say, we’re long time fans.

The long-awaited 12 Series lineup includes a variety of mix-and-match components ranging from the RCD-12 audiophile slot-loading CD player to the Rotel RT-12 network player, which boasts the ability to stream a massive range of Internet radio formats along with every practical file format including Ogg Vorbis, AIFF, FLAC, AAC and of course MP3. At the Series’ core, the range topping 60-watt per channel RA-12 integrated amplifier (the lesser powered RA-11 and RA-10 are also available) comes equipped with a Wolfson 24 bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter paired to a variety of analog, phono, and digital inputs including a fully-Apple compatible USB input. Controls can be managed via remote, front panel buttons and of course, a handy iPhone/iPad app. Head to your nearest local hi-fi shop and get auditioning, and in case you’re wondering — yes, the 12 Series also comes beautifully murdered-out in flat black. We recommend pairing them with Bowers & Wilkins PM 1 speakers.

Buy Now: $425+

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