Now more than ever, high-end audio manufacturers are finding ways to create multi-function components that can do jobs that might once have required two or even three separate products. A classic case in point would be Rotel’s versatile new RDG-1520 Digital Internet Tuner ($999), which debuted at the recent CEDIA Expo 2009. In truth, the term Digital Internet Tuner only begins to scratch the surface of the various functional roles the product can play, so that a Rotel spokesman explained that the firm has coined the phrase “Digital Gateway product” in order to more accurately convey what the RDG-1520 can do.
Specifically, the RDG-1520 combines the functions of a conventional FM tuner, an Internet radio tuner (with DAB and DAB+ support in countries that use those formats), a DLNA and UPnP-compliant network media player complete with both wired and WiFi Ethernet connections, and a USB DAC (with easy-to access front panel connections, plus an included USB to WiFi dongle). All digital inputs can take advantage of the unit’s built-in, high quality Wolfson DACs and high-end analog output stages. In short, there’s an awful lot of audiophile-grade utility value on offer here, and in a very compact and affordably priced package.
But what is perhaps even more impressive is a companion product that goes even further to expand on the RDG-1520’s capabilities. Using the core design of the RDG-1520 as a starting point, Rotel has decided to recast the unit as its spectacular new RCX-1500 Streaming Media/CD/FM Receiver. Impressively, the RCX-1500 does everything the RDG-1520 can while adding the functions of a 100 Wpc stereo receiver plus the functions of a Rotel 1500-series CD player—all for $1499.
For more information, visit: www.rotel.com