Rotel Michi P5 preamplifier Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog sources: Kuzma Stabi R turntable & Kuzma 4Point 11" tonearm; EMT TDSN MC phono cartridge.
Digital source: Asuslaptop, BorderPatrol DAC SE.
Preamplification: Shindo Allegro.
Power amplifiers: Mytek Brooklyn AMP+, Shindo Haut-Brion, Rotel S5 Stereo.
Integrated amplifier: Rotel 1572.
Loudspeakers: DeVore Fidelity O/93.
Cables: Interconnect: Shindo Laboratory, Triode Wire Labs Spirit II. Speaker: Auditorium 23. AC: Triode Wire Labs Obsession NCF power cord, manufacturers' own.
Accessories: Kuzma Plastis 65 isolation platform, IsoTek EVO3 Aquarius line conditioner, Salamander five-tier rack; IKEA Aptitlig bamboo chopping boards (under preamp, power amps); Mapleshade maple platform (15" × 12" × 2", under turntable), mahogany blocks (2" × 2" × 0.5"); 3"-thick studio-treatment foam damping (ceiling, walls).
Listening room: 12' L × 10' W × 12' H, system, set up along long wall; suspended wood floor, 6"-thick walls (plaster over 2×4), wood-beamed ceiling.—Ken Micallef

The Rotel Co. Ltd.
US distributor: Sumiko
6655 Wedgwood Rd. N, Suite 115
Maple Grove, MN 55311-2814
(510) 843-4500

MFK's picture

Thank you for a thorough review of the preamp's technology and performance. For the money, this looks like a winner. It's beautiful to look at and sounds very good. I'm shocked, shocked (!) that the China bashing hasn't begun. Tony, where are you? :)

tonykaz's picture

I don't bash China, I'm disappointed with Domestic Manufacturers abandoning their labor base, I abandon them for it.

I was a Rotel Dealer in the 1980s when the gear was made in Japan, it was competitive but nothing special. ( or so we thought ).

I'm impressed that Mr. Micallef felt the device comparable with his Haut Brion gear, was it good enough to keep close to hand ? was it a keeper ? Reviewers keep great gear ( or should I say borrow on a long term loan basis ) to help frame other reviewed gear.

Reading this review has me starting a hunt for a Haut Brion piece for my personal evaluation.

Overall, this was a strong Haut Brion endorsement on the small shoulders of a glossy do-it-all Rotel.

Mr.Micallef is a gifted writer, he reads like he's speaking directly to me. phew, he's talented.

I know what I want out of life and I know what I want out of a Pre-amp: I want a phenomenal singing voice. ( which comes from carefully selected Russian Tubes in a simple electrical circuit )!

It just seems that the P5 is a Glossy piece of China made to catch eyes while sitting idle on a Dealer Shelf. It might do everything well or it might not.


If I wanted or craved glossy Chinese I'd certainly have the pure Chinese Woo Firefly sitting on my shelf. Made in Long Island, NY 11101. ph.917-773-8645 ( for 1/4 the price of the Best Buy Rotel piece )

Tony in Venice

ps. proud to be the sole Chinesium basher of these pages.

PipHelix's picture

Made in Long Island City, NY to be fair, part of the borough of Queens and thus part of NYC, not the suburban wasteland east of the city. Not to be a hater, but I escaped those suburbs a few decades ago.

But thanks for saying this! I had no idea there was serious audio equipment being made within a 20 minute walk of where I live now!

tonykaz's picture

don-cha think ?

I wonder which of the Bouroughs have the highest density of Audiophiles. ( maybe Brooklyn ? )

Tony in Venice

JaimeB's picture
James K Byrnes's picture

I am finally in the market for some hi-fi gear. I did an audition of the Michi X5 and was blown away, but I can't help but wonder if the P5/S5 might sound even better. Any input would be greatly appreciated.