CD players are starting to become a thing again. There may not be as many but brands are jumping back in the game with updated and brand new models. Rotel has announced two new audiophile-grade CD players for 2022 in conjunction with the affordable new A12MKII Integrated Amplifier.
The second generation Rotel MKII compact disc players include the Rotel CD-14MKII ($899) and step-up RCD-1572MKII ($1099).
Both improve upon the first generation models and utilize a new Texas Instrument DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) capable of 32-bit/384kHz decoding. However, the DAC will mostly decode 16-bit/44.1kHz, which is the Red Book standard of all CDs. There is no upsampling capability.
Neither player supports SACD playback.
Overall both CD players are very similar in design and come in silver or black finishes. They share the same upgraded drive mechanism, new CD controller chipset and DAC. However, the more expensive RCD-1572MKII includes fully balanced, fully differential XLR outputs. In addition, we were also told the DAC is “tuned differently”.
To clarify tuning, Rotel stated, “The actual DAC chipset is identical in both units but it is all of the other components (transformer, filtering capacitors, power resistors, etc…) that contribute to ‘tuning differences’ and any discernible ‘character’ between the two units.”
The RCD-1572MKII stands slightly taller, meeting 2U height standards to fit perfectly within racks. Optional rack ears are available on this unit only.
Both CD players include a coaxial digital output, which allows them to be used as a CD transport connected to an external DAC. Neither model has an optical output.
Rotel says, “The MKII models includes acoustic and performance upgrades and innovations including enhancements to the power supply, printed circuit board and layout design isolation techniques and new acoustically tuned audio components resulting in a more accurate reproduction of the audio with richer and genuine detail.”
“The smooth action CD tray loader and front panel display ensures effortless playback of your favorite discs using the intuitive IR remote or front panel control buttons for seamless operation and the ultimate in convenience. The RS232, 12V trigger and IR remote input provide easy integration with popular control systems.”
The new CD players complete Rotel’s MKII music system lineup, which includes three more step-up integrated amplifiers — models A14MKII, RA-1572MKII and RA-1592MKII — released last year.
Price & Availability
- Rotel CD-A14MKII – $899 at Crutchfield | Audio Advice
- Rotel RCD-1572MKII – $1,099 at Crutchfield | Audio Advice
For more information: rotel.com
Related reading: Best CD Players (Note: it’s too early to know if the Rotel MKII CD players will make it onto the list since we haven’t tested them yet.)