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REVIEW: Rotel RX-602 Receiver

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Model: RX-602
Category: Receiver
Suggested Retail Price: $50-150 used
Description: 50 watts-per-channel of m.o.s.f.e.t. warmth coupled with audiophile/dx quality f.m. section
Manufacturer URL: Rotel
Manufacturer URL: Rotel

Review by FRG7SWL ( A ) on May 19, 2004 at 10:13:01
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for the RX-602

It's oblong shape is your first clue that Rotel's RX-602 isn't just any auld vintage receiver. Upon power-up, out pours this refined yet relaxed tonality. After about a half-hour warm up, an expansive soundstage joins that magical mix. Classical music, such as provided by Capitol Public Radio's KXPR, sounds down right captivating to the uninitiated ear. Which apparently is this little beauty's sonic niche, along with classic-n-contemporary jazz. Hall and/or studio parameters are replicated quite effortlessly. Even from a pair of ESS Model 10s, whose soundstaging abilities are minimal at best. Through utility Advents, Utah Cadences, & Celestion Vintage 30s, though, performances are holographic! Rock-n-pop, however, can be somewhat disconcerting initially, when your ears aint used to sonic subtlties seemingly extending beyond those speaker frames. Once they are, however, you'll tend to wonder why the soundstage collapsed when listening to other amps, no matter how pristine the sonic presentation. Thus, you'll be glad Rotel's engineers included two phono preamps & two aux inputs, to complement an outstanding audiophile/dx quality f.m. section. For added flexibility, you can separate the amp & preamp sections for a myriad of outboard combinations. Only mod performed on this pup was replacing those thin stock m.o.s.f.e.t. to ampboard wires. Used Rotel units are rarities on the used market. If the RX-602's beguiling sonority is any indication, parting would be a bitter, not sweet, sorrow.

Product Weakness: Oblong size prohibits standard rack mounting
Product Strengths: Relaxed yet refined 50 watts-per-channel of m.o.s.f.e.t. warmth coupled with expansive soundstage, offering an inexpensive replication of high-end tube performance; two phono preamps, two aux inputs, audiophile/dx quality f.m. section, hi-fi a.m. reception of local stations; amp-preamp sections can be separated for added flexibility; excells with classical & classic-n-modern jazz

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Marantz MR-235, Sherwood 7100A, Sony STR-6800SD
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): none
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Pioneer CLD-980
Speakers: ESS Model 10s, Pioneer CS-33s
Cables/Interconnects: Radio Shack Monster Cables
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Blues, Classical, Funk, Jazz, Pop, Reggae, Rock R-N-B, Soul
Room Size (LxWxH): 10 x 10 x 10
Time Period/Length of Audition: six months plus
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: Rotel RX-602 Receiver - FRG7SWL 10:13:01 05/19/04 ( 2)