The new Rotel CD14 CD player is the only one of its kind in the 10 range, having cast aside almost all of the technology used in earlier models. In fact, Rotel has competely reworked this CD player in order to be able to offer its customers performances that were previously unheard of in this price range. For example, it uses the ‘Balanced Design Concept’, which involved hundreds of hours of listening on the part of the R&D team to determine the best possible choice of components.
It has the brand’s signature anodised aluminium front panel, available in silver and black. In the centre is the CD tray and a blue backlit screen above it. To left is the On/Off switch and to the right is a set of 6 small buttons.
The mechanism of this CD player has been carefully selected for audio purposes only. It is positioned as low as possible in the body of the device in order to lower the centre of gravity, which also has the advantage of making the body as rigid as possible and reducing mechanical vibration. The CD14 uses the excellent 24-bits/192kHz Wolfson Premium DAC for its digital to analogue conversion. The power supply is provided by a metal transformer with several secondary coils which drive the digital and analogue sections separately. These individual sections are also stabilised, filtered and regulated by different circuits.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Rotel products in this series are fitted with ‘Rotel Link’ connectors. These are 3.5mm stereo jack sockets which mean that the CD14 can be connected to other devices (A12 integrated amp, A14 integrated amp, T14 tuner, etc.), and be controlled from an iPad or iPod through an iOS application (available from the Apple Store).
The potential of this new Rotel CD player is clear from the opening bars, offering more than a device worth 2 or 3 times its price. The sound quality is rhythmic and highly expressive. It is consistently bright and transparent, without any over-emphasis in the upper mids. The bass is articulated and very present, without being exaggerated. The sound stage is beautiful and precise enough to ensure the perfect placement of each individual musician.
This is an opportune moment to invest in a first-rate CD player, as they’ve never been so cheap. The Rotel CD14 is an excellent long-term investment that you won’t regret. It is the perfect companion to the Rotel A12 and Rotel A14 integrated amplifiers.
We highly recommended it! Franck
Intermodulation distortion: 0.002% @ 1kHz
Phase linearity: ±0.5 degree
Output level: Digital (Coax): 0.5V
Output impedance: Line: 100Ω Digital (Coax): 75Ω
Total harmonic distortion: 0.002% @ 1kHz
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz ±0.5dB
Signal-to-noise ratio: >118dB
Dynamic range: >99dB
DAC: Wolfson 24-bit/192kHz
Channel balance: ±0.5dB
Channel separation: >115dB @ 10kHz
Dimensions (W×H×D): 430 × 98 × 312mm
Standby power consumption: <0.5W
Net weight: 5.9kg