2012 is quite a year; we've had the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games are just beginning and now we have the launch of Rotel's 12 Series to celebrate!
Rotel's new range is a collection of hi-fi separates, offering a CD player, two tuners (including a streaming device) and three integrated amplifiers.
The RCD-12 slot-loading CD player (£499) features a two-line dimmable display, and a coaxial output as well as phono sockets. Its major selling point, though, is the high-end Wolfson DAC chip found within.
There are fewer options these days for customers wanting a simple hi-fi tuner but Rotel has an affordable option in the RT-11 tuner (£279). DAB and FM broadcasts are received via the combination aerial and, should DAB+ broadcasts be introduced, the tuner will receive them.
A more advanced tuner is the RT-12 (£649), which, as well as receiving DAB/DAB+ and FM transmissions, can also access (via Ethernet or Wi-Fi) internet radio stations and music stored on computers. Optical and coax inputs are also present. The Wolfson DAC is employed to bring out every detail supplied by the sources.
Rotel's amplifiers are particularly well regarded and no strangers to awards. They're well specified but not at the expense of sound quality.
The 12 Series' entry level amp is the RA-10 (£349). The RA-10 outputs 40 watts per channel (a considerable amount of power for such a shallow amp), offers tone controls, a phono stage, speaker A/B switching, and a 3.5mm input on the front for plugging in portable devices.
The RA-11 amplifier (£499) features all the goodies found in/on the RA-10 but drops the 3.5mm input in favour of an iPod/iPhone-compatible USB socket. The socket is also the home for the supplied dongle to access music via Bluetooth. But that's far from all; the RA-11 also can also act as a DAC for more conventional hi-fi sources, having two optical and two coax sockets, and has a clear display.
For another £100, the RA-12 amp offers the same superb sound and features of the RA-11 but has a power output of 60 watts per channel.
All Rotel 12 Series products are available in black or silver and some are really shallow in height and so will fit in gaps not big enough for most other separates. All the devices include remote controls with the exception of the RA-10 amp, which can still be controlled via the RT-12 or the Rotel Remote iPod/iPad app.
Call in to Hi-Fi Stereo and treat yourself to one or more of these great separates. This year's events feature diamonds and gold but it may be a black or silver Rotel item that makes your 2012!