Pre-amp for RB 1090, thinking C 162 or RC 1090??


New member
Username: Richardcandy

Gold Coast, Queensland Australia

Post Number: 1
Registered: Feb-06
I really need help with this one! At the moment i have just been looking around the internet and talking to eveyone i know who knows HiFi, and i get more and more confused all the time! If anyone can help me out i would be extremely gratefull! Basically im just trying to get a few products in mind so i can go out and hear them. Ive been looking at the NAD C 162 and the Rotel RC 1090 pre-amps, any others out there, within a reasonable price range (not more than $800 usd), im also looking at getting some new speakers to match up a bit better.... Thanks guys.

New member
Username: Ravbains

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-06
Hi Richard,

as far as I know, NAD and Rotel are the only main-stream manufacturers still making pre-amps at affordable prices (sub $800USD).

I am sure both are good pre-amps, but I have only heard the NAD.

The NAD house sound is warm and smooth, and the C162 fits this category well, also it has a great MM/MC phono stage built in. So that makes the NAD a great buy IMO.

I have not heard the Rotel pre-amp you mention, but I have listened to many Rotel integrated amps over the years. The Rotel sound is clean and crisp, and very detailed also some people may find it lean and bright as compared to NAD. On the plus side the Rotel gear is usually a bit better built than the NAD stuff, but I am sure both are 'good enough' to get you started.

Have you considered looking at 2nd-hand gear on EBay. The Musical Fidelity A3.2CR pre-amp is a great sounding pre-amp, and may be available used within your price range. The A3.2CR pre-amp is head and shoulders above the NAD and Rotel in terms of sound quality. The sound of the MF pre-amp is closer to the NAD sound, but has warmth and is highly detailed at the same time.

I don't think anyone could go far wrong with either the NAD C162, or the MF3.2CR pre-amps. The Rotel I find is less of a safe bet, you need to check if you like the Rotel sound, if so then great.

Best of luck, hope this helps.

New member
Username: Nottingham365


Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-06
I own a NAD C160, predecessor of the C162. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with all the technical adjectives to provide you with much information on its "sound". I will say that it definitely provides fine imaging and soundstaging (at least in my setup with the companion C270 power amp).

You might consider the current Adcom preamplifier lineup. The GFP-750 is highly respected by some and features active and passive options. It does NOT feature a phono stage, in case you are a vinyl guy. (The NAD and Rotel models that you mention offer phono stages). The Adcom GFP-750 retails for around $1,500.00 but can be found used at frequently. The asking price on audiogon is usually $700.00 but I believe you could pluck one in fine shape for $650.00 at the right time. (Many sellers will consider reasonable counter offers). The key is to check the listings frequently. Adcom also offers the GFP-715, which does feature a phono stage. For discontinued Adcom preamps, the GFP-565 comes to mind. It is purported to feature a fine phono stage and sells for $300.00 on audiogon. That model sells quickly on the website, although I don't know how it performs relative to current products, whether Adcom or other brands.

A few links:

I don't know much about Musical Fidelity products but the build quality looks amazing.

Best wishes,

New member
Username: Ravbains

Post Number: 6
Registered: Mar-06

I did not mean to sound pretentious when I was talking about "the sound" of NAD versus Rotel.

It is just that to my ears at least the NAD sounds warm and smooth and full, whilst the Rotel sounds crisp sharp detailed, and just a little lean and bright.

The MF A3.2CR pre-amp for me offers the best of both worlds, nice smooth warm full sound, with no compromise in detail either. A real peach of a pre-amp for the price. (It is no longer in production BTW, it was replaced by the A5, so only way to get one is EBay or Audiogon....)
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