NAD vs. Rotel cost -to-quality comparison


New member
Username: Hi_fi_guy

Post Number: 9
Registered: Nov-06
I have been doing a bit of initial tentative research with respect to upgrading to a pre-power setup.

I have come across some interesting aspects, price wise, which I did not expect.

I always thought Rotel and NAD operated in the same price band. However, the Rotel setup seems to be considerably more expensive, at least here in Mumbai, India.

Prices are as follows (In Indian Rupees. 1 US$ = ~ Rs.45) Also, all prices are MSRP without factoring in any discounts. However Rotel prices are excluding 12.5% sales tax and VAT :

NAD C162 pre-amp - Rs.39629
NAD C272 power amp - Rs.38268 (150 WPC)

Rotel RC-06 pre-amp - Rs.29500
Rotel RB-06 power amp - Rs.29500 (70 WPC)

Rotel RC-1070 pre-amp - Rs.30000
Rotel RC-1090 pre-amp - Rs.68000
Rotel RB-1070 power amp - Rs.41500 (130 WPC)
Rotel RB-1080 power amp - Rs.62000 (200 WPC)

I have compared two difference Rotel series to the NAD models. You will note that the lower series (06 series) which outputs just 70 WPC (less than half the NAD C272 rating) is more closer to the NAD.

The above difference exists in CD Players also.
NAD C542 - Rs.28139
RCD-06 - Rs.34500
RCD-1072 - Rs.41500

I have always seen the NAD C542 compared to the Rotel RCD-1072. However, you will observe that the Rotel is considerably more expensive. Additionally the lower end Rotel RCD-06 is also surprisingly more expensive than the NAD high end C542.

Now is this price characteristic just in India or is the same out there as well ???

If it is indeed so,
1. Is the Rotel gear that much better quality wise ?
2. Is Rotel generally more expensive and charges a higher brand premium ??

Basically, what I am trying to ask is, do Rotel products offer that much better quality of components inside their products, e.g. capacitors, transformers etc. as compared to NAD ?

Please note, this is not a query on "which brand sounds better ?"

Would be thankful for your inputs on the above.


Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 3725
Registered: Feb-05
"do Rotel products offer that much better quality of components inside their products, e.g. capacitors, transformers etc. as compared to NAD ?"


Rotel generally has a more heavy duty build quality but does not offer higher quality innards. The difference in sound amounts to preference only. I've owned many pieces of both and find that both are sound appealing. I find that Rotel is more musical for my tastes, however it took me quite some time to come to that conclusion. Again it is only my preference as both offer great value for the dollar.

Bronze Member
Username: Sukhoi30

New Zealand

Post Number: 57
Registered: Jun-06
Agree with Art, No difference in Quality innards however Rotels have bettter casing comparitively and feel more solid to operate.
Both are time tested and have a more than proven track record.

Nad's stick to the philosophy of putting in the money where it really matters and hence has just 2 colours and very basic look from outside.

Also i have noted that with time NAD amps take little longer to switch on gradually, so if a new NAD amp takes 1/4 sec to come on after a year or so of use takes around 1 sec to come on - dunno why this happens or if it was just my amp but sound was as good as ever.

Which sounds better?? Rotel - to my ears

Also what speakers do you plan to use .
Also both brands sound very very different - infact oppisite in some ways so it will be a matter of preference and what speakers you are wanting to drive.

Cant go wrong with either - just dont mix the two brands like NAD cdp and Rotel amp etc.

CDP - Rotel 1072 is better machine by a little margin in terms of build resolution but NAD 542 more musical to my ears.

hope this helps

New member
Username: Hi_fi_guy

Post Number: 10
Registered: Nov-06
thanks, art and saurabh for your inputs.

I do have prior experience with Rotel. I have a Rotel RA-971 Mk-II, 60WPC. It has great power, room filling sound.

I then upgraded to a Marantz PM 7200 95WPC because the Rotel was too bass heavy and was swamping out the higher frequencies.

I am using B&W 601 S2 bookshelves, by the way.

But now the Marantz, I find too harsh and fatiguing. It does not play as loud when asked to, has a much smaller soundstage and always sounds strained, even though ts power rating is much higher.

I have again hooked up the Rotel for now.

I am very interested to know if the new Rotel 06 series pre-power combo i.e. the RC-06 pre and the RB-06 power are more refined than the RA-971 MK-II or are they also too bass heavy ?? Mind, I do love bass, its just that it should not overwhelm the rest.

I have had just one long session in terms of exposure to NAD. I found the music extremely sweet and *importantly* non-fatiguing. I did find the flutes a bit more mellow than I was used to in the sense, the higher notes were not as sharp as I was used to on the Marantz, but I guess thats ok right ??

I mean, you shoot for too much of clarity, there is a fair chance it ends up being shrill.

I intend to give the NAD C162/C272 combo a thorough audition again.

MEanwhile as requested above, any inputs on the new Rotel 06 pre-power would be great.

thanks again for your inputs.

Bronze Member
Username: Hi_fi_guy

Post Number: 11
Registered: Nov-06
and oh...

speaker wise, I am looking very hard at:
Monitor Audio GS-10 (excellent, but expensive)
Epos M12.2
Paradigm Studio 20
Lithos Acoustics 2.1 system


Bronze Member
Username: Sukhoi30

New Zealand

Post Number: 58
Registered: Jun-06

Sorry, dont have first hand exp to RA-971 MK-II however i am sure that the 06 range or any newer (if there is a word like that) rotel are well ahead of what you are using.
We have heard quite a few times that Rotel and B&W are a match made in heaven but do i mean do listen to Monitor Audio with Rotel - better than B&Ws to my ears, much more smoother treble.
Rotels mostly have firm and taut bass and so do the 601s , how are you placing them?? room size?

You are right for whatt you said for NAD, one important thing is mre resolution etc does not mean more musical infact its the other way on many occasions.

I Just bought a new Marantz SA8400 (almost 2 to 3 times the price of NAD), much more resolution than the NAD 542 but my happiness was short as NAD 542 is still more musical - i do enjoy the SA8400 but you get so little for a lot more money going forward from NAD 542.

As earlier it is a matter of your taste, my choice would be MA with Rotels.

Try auditioning Rotels with MA speakers and do let us know whhat you think.

No comments on Marantz 7200 :-), somewhere on the forums from the top of my mind one member said that Marantz entry level products are very ok ok which is so so true.


New member
Username: Develara

Tennesse, Ny Us

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-06
hi VPI
I am using a RB 06 power amp along with RC 06 pre , the quality is very good. but it lacks the musical touch of NAD , the RB RC 06 is sounding similar to RB 960BX RC 960BX combination which is also from rotel. Now i have planned to replace RC 06 to NAD Pre cause Nad is better in Pre amp when compared to Rotel. The speakers i am using is Quad 22L which is now coupled with NAD208THX power amp and Carver C1 Pre.
happy listening

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