Rotel revives Michi high-end hi-fi brand
Rotel introduced the affordable high-end Michi series in the early 1990s, only to retire the name a few short years after release. Now it's back with the launch of three new flagship components.
As many audiophiles will know, gathering together top-notch hi-fi components can be a very expensive exercise indeed. Rotel says that the new Michi brand offers "outstanding audio performance with the highest build quality and an elegant and modern design – all delivered with exceptional value." But the three new components are still pricey, just not eye-wateringly so.
"Michi is taking Rotel's values of excellent performance and value into the hi-end segment with models that offer new levels of engineering, build and design while setting new reference standards for audio performance," said the family-owned company's Managing Director, Peter Kao. " We have used all of our 55 years of design and manufacturing experience to create our best ever products."
It's taken three years of development to get to this stage, with designs that include high efficiency, slit foil, bulk storage capacitors capable of supporting up to 32 high-current output transistors and custom oversized toroidal transformers mounted in epoxy-filled enclosures for minimum noise and vibration.
The US$3,999.99 P5 Preamplifier features a Class A circuit fed by dual 32-bit/768 kHz AKM DACs (digital-to-analog converters) for the promise of "detail, accuracy and the highest musical fidelity while maintaining crucial rhythm and timing for all musical genre regardless of listening style." This model is home to two toroidal transformers that drive 17 independent voltage regulators for stable power delivery to all circuits.
Elsewhere, there's a phono input stage, balanced XLR ins and outs, and Bluetooth with aptX and AAC codec support. Total harmonic distortion is reported to be less than 0.002 percent, frequency response via line level inputs is 10 Hz to 100 kHz and 20 Hz to 20 kHz over digital and phono.
Both the S5 Stereo Amplifier and M8 Monoblock Amplifier share the same $6,999.99 price tag, and also Class AB circuit designs. The S5 delivers 500 watts into 8 ohms or 800 W into 4 ohms, has a signal-to-noise ratio of 120 dB, a total harmonic distortion of less than 0.008 percent and features balanced XLR inputs. The M8 can manage 1,080 watts into 8 ohms and 1,800 W into 4 ohms, and has a total harmonic distortion of less than 0.018 percent.
They each feature twin-matched, over-sized 2,200 VoltAmp toroidal transformers, 32 high-current output devices to reduce the individual component load, and 188,000 uF bulk storage capacitors.
Each of the new Michi hi-fi components sports a high-resolution display panel to the front, comes with an IR remote and features RS232 and Ethernet ports. All three will land on US shores from January, 2020.