Thursday, June 1, 2017

Rotel RA-820AX

Continuation from Plinius 2b and VII

This was the original amplifier my flatmate was using at the time, the Rotel RA-820AX.

Pix form Google
Pix (rear) from Google

He bought it over from Australia, as he had just graduated and started working in NZ (later half of the 1980's). Unfortunately for the Rotel, it's 20W RMS per channel output had a up hill task of driving a pair of then newish Celestion SL6s!!! Even so, the components in this puny amp did not burn up as per the Plinius Plint - you had to crank up the volume before any decent reproduction came out of the SL6s ...😆

For those not familiar with the Celestion SL6 series of book-shelve speakers, they have a reputation for being power hungry but sounding sweet and decent once driven properly.

It was a shoe string budget setup, so you can't expect much. Reason why he then started on his quest for a proper amplifier to drive the SL6s.


  1. Hi.
    im wondering, from your experience, what do you think of the sound comparing to other amps in it's price or above?
    back in the days the 820 series was praised a lot.

  2. Honestly I did not find the original Rotel sound to be transparent. Too much flabby bass. The 850/870's had too much HF ... not well balanced at all. Have not heard a Michi before though...

  3. Hi, just a short note to say the Rotel 820AX had an output of 30watts RMS per channel, not 20. I have an original manual for one that confirms this.