Rotel RDD-1580 Digital to Analogue Converter


There’s no doubt this little DAC will breathe new life into many budget to mid-range CD players, but for playing the range of bit/sample rates in downloadable digital file format, particularly the higher resolution material, it really shines. The RDD-06 delivers a full-bodied and lively soundscape with a well balanced frequency range and precise imaging

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At its heart, the RDD-1580 makes use of Wolfson’s extraordinary WM8740 stereo digital-to-analogue converter. But where competitive products use only one of these converters to handle two channels, the RDD-1580 uses two WM8740s in a complementary configuration that reduces noise and distortion well beyond that which a single converter can provide.

Another RDD-1580 advantage lies in its input flexibility. A front panel USB input supports Apple iPod®, iPhone® and iPad® as well as streaming via Bluetooth with the included adapter. The rear panel PC-USB input will support files up to 24 bit/192kHz in asynchronous mode. Two sets of rear panel RCA-style coaxial and TOSlink optical digital inputs are optimized for LPCM data streams in any common format from the CD’s 16-bit/44. 1 kHz standard to high definition sources with 24-bit/192 kHz audio data.

As you might expect, a Rotel-designed and manufactured toroidal transformer sits at the foundation of the RDD-1580’s well-regulated power supply. Advanced Slit-Foil capacitors provide storage capabilities that ensure substantial and stable operating voltages and current to all circuit stages.

The carefully tuned analogue section is another example of Rotel’s vaunted Balanced Design approach in which specifications alone do not dictate which internal parts are used. Rather, extensive listening tests under controlled conditions provide the final “ears-on” determination. After this, the entire circuit is tuned to extract the most sonically accurate signal possible.

Two coaxial inputs, two optical inputs and an asynchronous Type B USB input – all of which support high-res audio files of up to 24-bit/192kHz – are plenty enough to plug in your streamer, CD player and laptop.

There’s another USB port on the front panel, which proves to be a versatile connection: you can play songs from a USB flash drive (but only up to 24-bit/48kHz), from any Apple smart device; or plug in the supplied Bluetooth dongle to give the RDD-1580 the gift of wireless streaming.

We should point out that you can only play Apple devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad) through the front USB port. It will also charge your device while playing.

You get two options for analogue outputs: a pair of line-level RCA plugs and a pair of balanced XLR outputs.

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