Rotel Surround-sound Preamp Makes Elaborate Systems Easy

Long known for quality and value, Rotel has introduced an advanced surround-sound processor/preamplifier intended to simplify operation even when used with a multi-room system. Wideband video switching capabilities, ease of operation, and unusual flexibility are but three attractive features of the RSP-976.

The unit's audio input capacity includes eight analog and five digital sources and a separate 5.1 channel input. The digital inputs can be assigned as users desire. Precision devices from Crystal Semiconductors handle surround decoding and digital-to-analog signal processing. Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic sources all work flawlessly with the RSP-976, which features additional synthesized surround modes for use with two-channel sources. Five video inputs will accept either composite or S-video signals, and two others provide for component video sources. An HDTV-compatible component-video monitor output guarantees an excellent image.

Unlike some electronics products, the RSP-976 is designed with real-world users in mind. An LCD display on the simplified front panel makes operation easy, and the on-screen menu does likewise for system configuration. An "Independent Zone 2" audio output allows secondary distribution for multi-room or multi-zone use, with an independent volume control which can be operated by IR repeater or keypad (not supplied by Rotel). An RS-232 system interface enables integration of the RSP-976 with many popular touch-screen remote-control systems. Two 12-V- DC trigger outputs allow the RSP-976 to control external components such as power amplifiers, and a built-in timer/clock allows automatic turn-on at a pre-determined time. A programmable remote control is standard equipment.

Rotel has gone the extra distance to make the RSP-976 easy to use---even for the "most techno-phobic customers," said Michael Bartlett, Rotel's V.P. & General Manager. "Before we finalized this design, we took the opportunity to simplify both internal circuitry and the user interface . . . we've made the RSP-976 easy to integrate into even the most complex custom-installed system." The RSP-976 is available now at a suggested retail price of $1199.