The Home Theater Amplifier and the Atkins Diet
While the self-described "value-high-end" component manufacturer stresses the fact that the RMB-1077 contains seven fully independent channels, each delivering 100 for a grand total of 700 watts, that's only a secondary story as far as Rotel is concerned. What they feel truly distinguishes this home theater amplifier is the super-slim rack-mount chassis design.
Rotel's new amplifier design allows them to reduce the space normally needed for a high-power multichannel amp. In the case of the RMB-1077, the result is an amplifier chassis that's only 2.5" inches tall. Calling it the "future of audio amplifiers", Rotel America VP and General Manager Mike Bartlett refers to the configuration as "the future of audio amplifiers".
"Digital technologies and 'smart' power-supply design," he explained, "have finally evolved to the point where they can yield an amplifier that rivals and even out paces the performance of traditional, brute-force, 'copper-and-capacitors" designs."
Rotel claims that two proprietary technologies allowed them to design and build a multichannel amplifier with such a small form factor. First is Controlled Oscillation Modulation (COM), Rotel's term for the engineering that obtains higher efficiency, better stability, and more effectiveness from a switching-type digital power supply. Multivariable Enhanced Cascade Control (MECC) refers to a circuit topology that creates a "smart" amplifier - one in which the power supply and the amplifying circuits work cooperatively. This topology boosts efficiency to 90%. (In theory, the maximum efficiency of a traditional amplifier design is just under 80%. Real-world performance of such traditional designs is far short of that potential, however.)
Space-strapped owners of home theater systems crammed full of gear will appreciate the slender chassis - and the significant reduction in heat generated by the RMB-1077. In addition, custom installers will like the 12-volt triggers which are useful for integration in automated systems and the detachable IEC-standard power cord that makes the amp easier to install and remove from crowded systems.
The RMB-1077 is expected to be available sometime in the first quarter of 2005. The suggested retail price will be $2,499. (At 700 total watts, that makes the RMB-1077 only $3.57/pound - much less expensive than a great cut of finely marbled, hormone-free beef at your local grocery store. The RMB-1077 will also last longer, doesn't need to be refrigerated, and won't leave you worrying about Mad Cow disease.)