Rotel's RSP-1582 High-End Reference AV Preamp/Processor

Does The Rotel RSP-1582 Justify Its High Price?

Rotel RSP-1582 Reference AV Preamp/Processor
Rotel RSP-1582 Reference AV Preamp/Processor. Images provided by Rotel

The Rotel RSP-1582 is designed to provide the best possible audio performance for both music and movies, as well as providing a complete control center for high-end home theater setups.

In its role as a preamp/processor and control center, the RSP-1582 incorporates all the source inputs, audio/video switching, speaker channel assignment, audio decoding and processing, video switching, and more that you might find on a home theater receiver.

However, unlike a home theater receiver, the RSP-1582 does not provide any internal amplification to power speakers - you need to purchase an additional power amplifier(s) in order to make full use of an AV Preamp/Processor in a home theater setup.

Front Panel Design

Visually, the RSP-1582 has a very pleasing and practical front panel design. In the center of the front panel is a 7-inch TFT LCD Menu/Status Display that is complemented by both onboard menu navigation controls (located to the left of the display) as well as a provided remote control (not shown).

Additional front panel features include a master volume control on the right (adjusts volume is .5 dB steps - rather than continuously), as well as six more feature-direct access buttons on the bottom left and right of the front panel. Power/Standby button is on the top left (there is also a master power switch on the rear panel (shown in the bottom image). There is also a USB port (for connection of and charging of compatible Apple Devices) and HDMI input located just below Menu/Status Display.

Connectivity - Inputs

The Rotel RSP-1582 provides the following audio and video input options:

Connectivity - Outputs

The Rotel RSP-1582 provides the following audio and video output options:

  • Two parallel HDMI outputs are provided, which means that the AV processor sends the same audio and video signal to both outputs. However, the main HDMI output is Audio Return Channel and CEC compatible, which provides added flexibility for compatible TVs.
  • A set of 7.2 channel preamp outputs (both XLR and RCA) is provided. This is necessary so the RSP-1582 can be connected to the required external amplifiers.
  • Bluetooth is included, which allows direct audio streaming from compatible smartphones and tablets (including AptX-encoded files).
  • An Ethernet connection is provided for connection to home network for firmware update download purposes only (no local or internet streaming capability provided

Audio Format Support

Support for most Dolby and DTS surround sound formats including TrueHD and HD Master Audio.

For additional audio support, the RSP-1582 incorporates six 24-bit/192kHz Wolfson WM8740 DAC chips (are assigned to the Front Left/Right, Center, and Subwoofer outputs and the other two shared between the surround and rear channels). For additional support on the input side, a Texas Instruments PCM1804 analog-to-digital (ADC) chip is also included.

In addition, for Dolby/DTS surround sound audio decoding, and additional surround processing, a Texas Instruments TMS320DA808 with built-in 10-channel Parametric Equalizer function (PEQ) is included.

Video Processing

Up to 1080p and 4K pass-through (No upscaling function is provided - what comes in is what goes out).

Control Options

The RSP-1582 comes with a standard IR remote control, but custom control integration via RS232, 3 12-volt triggers, one IR sensor in, two IR sensor outs, and "Rotel Link" is also provided.

What the Rotel RSP-1582 Doesn't Offer

The RSP-1582 looks impressive in terms of its core audio capabilities and control options. However, there are some things missing that you may, or may not want to take into consideration for your specific setup, such as:

  • No Dolby Atmos, Auro3D Audio, or DTS:X support. There are indications that Rotel may add compatibility for one, or more, of these newer surround sound formats via future firmware updates. However, if Dolby Atmos and/or DTS:X is added via firmware update - the only compatible channel configuration that the RSP-1582 would be able to support, based on the number of physical preamp outputs it has, would be 5.2.2 (center, left, right, surround left, surround right, height left, height right, and up to two subwoofers).
  • No 2nd or Multi-Zone features.
  • No video upscaling or additional video processing features provided.
  • No Component video or Composite video inputs or outputs. This is important to know if you have older video source components, such as a VCR, or DVD player that does not provide HDMI output connections.
  • No local or internet streaming capability included (despite the inclusion of a built-in Ethernet connection).

The Bottom Line

The main thing to point out about the Rotel RSP-1582 is that it is an AV Preamp/Processor, not a Home Theater Receiver. This means that you need to pair it with an additional power amplifier(s) in order to power a home theater speaker setup (Check out some offerings from Rotel)

Also, this product is not for the bargain hunter, with a price tag of $3,499.00, it is definitely on the high-end of the home theater spectrum, especially when you consider that you also have to shell out for an external amplifier(s) in order to use it in your home theater setup.

In addition to that high price, there are some features desired by many that it does not include, such Dolby Atmos/DTS:X audio decoding, and only video pass-through switching is included, no added video upscaling or enhancement is provided. Also, other than Bluetooth, there is no access to internet streaming content, you would have to connect and external media streamer or rely on a smart TV.

On the other hand, for high-end users that are looking for core audio performance and features, and don't feel inspired to upgrade to Dolby Atmos/DTS:X or need a AV processor that provides additional video enhancement capabilities over and above what their Blu-ray Disc player, TV, or video projector can perform, the RSP-1582 might must do the job.