New from Rotel are two integrated amplifiers and a CD player. The A11 MkII and CD11 MkII amplifiers are updates of the previous Tribute models, named in honour of the late Ken Ishiwata, a renowned audio engineer. The A10 MkII is an update on the A10. Pricing puts all the models firmly in Hifi Starters territory. Specifically: –
- A10 MKII $599.00 € 599.00 £ 549.00
- A11 MKII $799.99 € 799.00 £ 699.00
- CD11 MKII $599.99 € 599.00 £ 549.00
Both amplifiers benefit from 67 internal upgrades to components and circuit design, aimed at increasing resolution and detail retrieval. Functionality of the amplifiers has also changed.
The A10 MkII’s power has increased slightly to 2 x 50W per channel (Class A/B) into 8 Ohms, and a remote control is now included. Conversely its connectivity has taken quite a haircut, with the tape connections, pre-amp outputs, two auxiliary inputs (one front mounted) and the second set of speaker outputs being dropped. That leaves 3 line inputs and MM phono, together with a single set of speaker outputs. In practise that should meet most needs though. The front fascia is also simplified over the original A10, which is a benefit. The bass, treble and balance controls remain though, as does the headphone output.
The A11 MkII’s output remains the same at 2 x 50W into 8 Ohms (Class A/B), as do its tone controls and headphone output. One auxiliary input is dropped, replaced by coax and optical digital inputs that handle up to 24bit/192kHz signals. aptX Bluetooth remains. The front fascia is much simplified, there being no need for menu buttons now, which in turn negates the need for the A11 Tribute’s small screen. The new model is also noticeably slimmer than its predecessor.
Externally the CD11 MkII CD player is the same as the previous version, retaining its simple fascia layout. There’s also still a coax digital output on the rear to use the CD11 MkII as a transport into an external DAC should you wish. Changes are focused on the digital circuits around the Texas Instruments PCM5102A 32-bit/384kHz DAC, including upgrades to 10 key components.
Overall Rotel’s approach seems to have involved trimming some largely superfluous facilities (who uses two sets of speaker outputs now?) allowing it to focus attention on the internals of the devices. The A11 MkII’s newfound digital capabilities (it previously only had Bluetooth) are also a real bonus. All of which gets the thumbs up from Hifi Starters as long as the component and circuit upgrades make a difference sonically. We’ve requested a review sample of one of the amplifiers to find out.
Availability of all models is scheduled for August. More information can be found here.