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Rotel RC-1590

Stereo preamplifier with built-in DAC and Bluetooth® (Black)

Item # 440C1590B

This versatile preamp from Rotel offers discrete, low-noise signal pathways for your analog and digital sources.

This versatile preamp from Rotel offers discrete, low-noise signal pathways for your analog and digital sources.

Discontinued item
1 question - 1 answer

Item # 440C1590B

60-day returns

If you don't love it, send it back.

Free lifetime tech support

Whenever you need a hand.

Since 1974

Years of experience making people happy.

About the Rotel RC-1590

A preamp with a very clean, efficient design

I can tell you what stood out the first time I looked at the specs for the Rotel RC-1590 — the presence of two of the company's custom-designed toroidal transformers. One is dedicated to the analog signal pathway, and the other to the digital. It's the kind of detail that lets you know Rotel will go to great lengths to eliminate noise and interference, so you get nothing but gorgeous, uncluttered sound from any component you connect to this preamp.
Rotel RC-1590 preamplifier

Dual custom-made toroidal transformers isolate digital and analog circuit pathways to reduce noise and interference.

A preamp with a very clean, efficient design

I can tell you what stood out the first time I looked at the specs for the Rotel RC-1590 — the presence of two of the company's custom-designed toroidal transformers. One is dedicated to the analog signal pathway, and the other to the digital. It's the kind of detail that lets you know Rotel will go to great lengths to eliminate noise and interference, so you get nothing but gorgeous, uncluttered sound from any component you connect to this preamp.

Convenient connections

The RC-1590 offers an array of analog and digital inputs. There are four analog RCA inputs on the back panel, including a phono stage for connecting a turntable with a moving magnet cartridge. And the balanced XLR input helps you get the best possible sound with a compatible source component, like Rotel's matching RCD-1572 CD player. Two stereo RCA preamp outputs and two stereo XLR outputs let you send the signal to one or more Rotel power amplifiers.

The integrated amp's premium digital to analog converter ensures clear, precise sound from all your digital sources. There are three optical and coaxial inputs, as well as optical and coaxial outputs for passing digital signals to an outboard DAC. A rear-panel USB Type-B port lets you connect a PC, and a USB Type-A port on front panel that handles audio signals from an iPod®, iPhone®, or iPad®.

And there are a wealth of control options, including an IR input, RS-232 port, and dual 12-volt trigger outputs. A proprietary 3.5mm Rotel Link input/output allows connected Rotel products to communicate with each other and be controlled via the Rotel app. An Ethernet port lets you connect the preamp to your home network for software updates and integration with third-party control systems.

About Rotel

Rotel has been crafting high-performance gear for music and home theater enthusiasts since 1961. They focus on creating the best signal path possible, using premium capacitors, transistors, diode bridges, and custom toroidal power supplies to get the most from music and movie soundtracks. Crutchfield is proud to offer a diverse selection of Rotel components including preamps, amplifiers, CD players, and home theater processors.


Product highlights:

  • stereo preamplifier with digital and analog inputs to handle a variety of music sources
  • premium 32-bit/768kHz digital to analog converter
  • dual custom-built toroidal transformers provide isolated power supplies for analog and digital signal paths
  • frequency response: 10-100,000 Hz (line inputs, ±0.1dB); 20-20,000 Hz (phono input, ±0.2dB); 20-20,000 Hz (digital inputs, ±0.5dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 112 dB (line); 80 dB (phono); 108 dB (digital)
  • total harmonic distortion: 0.002%
  • dimmable front-panel display
  • remote control
  • 4 unbalanced stereo RCA inputs
    • dedicated phono input for turntables with moving magnet cartridges
  • balanced stereo XLR input
  • 3 optical digital and 3 coaxial digital inputs (up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution)
  • USB Type-B input for connecting a computer (PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution and DSD up to 5.6MHz)
  • USB Type-A port on front panel handles audio signals from an iPod®, iPhone®, or iPad®
  • dual stereo RCA preamp outputs
  • dual stereo XLR outputs
  • 1 optical digital and 1 coaxial digital audio output
  • dual mono RCA subwoofer outputs
  • front-panel 3.5mm headphone output
  • Rotel Link input/output
    • allows connected Rotel products to communicate with each other and be controlled via the Rotel app
  • 3.5mm IR input
  • dual 3.5mm 12-volt trigger outputs
  • Ethernet port connects the amp to your home network for software updates and integration with 3rd-party control systems
  • RS-232 port for use with home automation control systems, like Crestron
Dimensions and warranty:
  • 17"W x 5-7/8"H x 13-3/4"D (3U rack spaces; rack ears available separately from the manufacturer)
    • Crutchfield's in-house depth measurements are made with all relevant cables in place
  • weight: 20.3 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # ROT1040003

What's in the box:

  • Stereo preamplifier
  • 58" AC power cord
  • Remote control (RR-AX100)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 5' USB-B to USB-A cable
  • 57" Ethernet cable
  • 40 Stereo RCA cable
  • Two 40" Stereo minijack cables
  • Owner's manual on CD-ROM
  • Warranty Information
  • Important Safety Instructions

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<< >>

More details on the Rotel RC-1590

Stacey B.

Features & specs

RCA Inputs 4
XLR Inputs 1
3.5mm Inputs 0
Phono Inputs 1
Phono Input Type Moving Magnet
Optical Digital Inputs 3
Coaxial Digital Inputs 3
Digital XLR Inputs 0
USB Type A ---
USB Type B 1
Ethernet Port Yes
RCA Outputs 4
XLR Outputs 4
Optical Digital Outputs 1
Coaxial Digital Outputs 1
Digital XLR Outputs 0
Subwoofer Outputs 2
Discrete Sub Outs No
Headphone Output 3.5mm
Audio Features & Specs
Frequency Response 20-20k
S/N Ratio (Phono) 80
S/N Ratio (Line) 112
THD 0.002
DAC Bit Depth 32-bit
DAC Sample Rate 768 kHz
Home Theater Bypass No
Wireless Features
Bluetooth Built-in
Bluetooth Formats Supported SBC. aptX
Wi-Fi N/A
Frequency Bands N/A
Apple AirPlay No
DTS Play-Fi No
Chromecast built-in No
Roon No
MusicCast No
BluOS No
Music Services
Amazon Music No
Apple Music No
Pandora No
Qobuz No
SiriusXM No
Spotify No
Tidal No
TuneIn No
YouTube Music No
Apple Control App Optional
Android Control App No
Amazon Alexa No
Google Assistant No
12 Volt Trigger Out (2)
IR Control In
RS-232 Yes
Other Specs
Width (Inches) 17.0625
Height (Inches) 5.75
Depth (Inches) 15.125
Parts Warranty 5 Year
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research



High Performance Stereo Preamplifier: The RC-1590 stereo preamplifier has been engineered to the highest audio performance levels and provides an incredible level of sound reproduction. Rotel engineers created this reference quality stereo preamplifier to match with their new RB-1590 stereo power amplifier. Every aspect of component selection and circuit topography was designed and carefully evaluated during multiple listening sessions to ensure the highest fidelity. For example, analog and digital circuits were designed separately, by specialized Rotel teams. Analog inputs are all very low-noise circuitry and include a high performance moving magnet phono stage. The digital inputs are fully isolated and feature a precision 32-bit/768kHz digital-to-annalog converter (DAC).

Balanced Design Concept: Balanced Design Concept is the essential Rotel design philosophy that revolves around three major areas - Parts selection, circuit topology, and critical evaluation. These aspects influence final sound quality significantly and illustrate the holistic Balanced Design Concept approach to Rotel's product development. Thanks to the Balanced Design Concept, Rotel components easily exceed the performance of many mass produced audio products that offer plenty of features but skimp on audio quality, and compare favorably to components that are many times the price. Rotel continues its pursuit of extraordinary audio performance, which elevates the home entertainment experience through their core values of sonic accuracy, reliability, and affordability.

  • Parts Selection: Rotel engineers select premium capacitors which provide better performance across both power and frequency spectrums to produce a more accurate and musical reproduction of the audio signal. High quality power supply capacitors provide a more efficient transfer of energy with fast charging and discharge time to ensure the circuits have the reserve power when needed. At each stage of development, Rotel engineers listen to circuit prototypes and revise the design when they feel they can gain a sonic advantage by using a particular component from another manufacturer or by specifying tighter tolerances. Since Rotel is an independent manufacturer, they are free to source parts from highly respected suppliers around the world to fit their requirements.
  • Circuit Topology: It’s not enough to simply use good parts. Where you put them is equally if not more important. That's why Rotel keeps their circuit paths as short as possible, so there's less chance that spurious emissions and unwanted leakages will corrupt delicate signal nuances. That's also why Rotel often uses more expensive "on-board" relay source switching, rather than routing a signal from a rear-panel input to a front-panel control. Rotel also relies heavily on something called Symmetrical Signal Trace design. This keeps each channel's signal path identical to the others to preserve the imaging and soundstage. Rotel also uses electrically superior "star" grounding techniques to improve performance because star grounding routes all ground connections to a single point to reduce potential loops that might introduce noise or produce hum.
  • Critical Evaluation: Rotel's development team places a lot of importance on critical listening sessions before the final product is sent to market. Rotel electronic and acoustic engineers, both in the UK and Asia, have honed their aural acuity over the course of decades of collective experience to evaluate each stage of product development from working samples, through pre-production and, finally, to verify that final production is the same as the pre-production units. Some sessions evaluate different circuit elements: capacitors, resistors, and active devices such as transistors or operational amplifiers. Others focus on differences in circuit layouts or differences caused by power supply elements. Only after this tuning process is complete with sonic performance confirmed will the product be launched to the market. 

Dual Toroidal Transformers: The RC-1590 employs two Rotel custom-built toroidal transformers for maximum efficiency and low magnetic fields, these transformers provide low-noise isolation between the analog and digital signals. They are part of a reference grade power supply consisting of individual analog and digital regulator circuits with custom-made slit-foil capacitors. Slit-foil capacitors have very quick charge/discharge times and low signal loss ensuring tight bass performance.

Symmetrical Circuit Traces: The preamplifier's printed circuit boards (PCB) are designed with Symmetrical Circuit Traces. This ensures that the precise timing of the music is maintained and faithfully recreated. The circuitry uses metal film resistors and polystyrene or polypropylene capacitors in important signal paths. All aspects of this design have been examined to ensure the most faithful music reproduction.

32-bit/768kHz DAC: The Rotel RC-1590 stereo preamplifier features an onboard 32-bit/768kHz DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that has been optimized to retain the full dynamics, detail and subtle nuances of your Hi-Res music collection -  rendering a musical performance exactly as the artist intended.

Mounting & Placement Options: Rotel recommends installing the RC-1590 stereo preamplifier in furniture designed to house audio components. Such furniture is designed to reduce or suppress vibration which can adversely affect sound quality. Ask your Crutchfield Advisor for advice about component furniture and proper installation of audio components.

Note: The Rotel RC-1590 stereo preamplifier does not support rack-mounting.


Balanced & Unbalanced Analog Connectivity: The Rotel RC-1590 stereo preamplifier is outfitted with balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs and outputs. Balanced XLR connections guard against induced noise and allow long cable runs without compromising sound quality.

  • XLR & RCA Inputs: The Rotel RC-1590 is equipped with one balanced stereo XLR analog audio input and four unbalanced stereo RCA analog audio inputs (including a MM Phono input) for connecting multiple source components. You should choose only one method of analog connection from a source component to the RC-1590 stereo preamplifier. Do not connect both the RCA and XLR outputs of a source component to the RC-1590 at the same time.
  • XLR & RCA Preouts: The RC-1590 features two balanced stereo XLR analog audio preamp outputs and two unbalanced stereo RCA analog audio preamp outputs for connecting an external amplifier(s). The second set of XLR and RCA outputs can be used in custom system configurations to drive a second power amplifier or to supply an audio signal to a special signal processor. Do not connect both the XLR and RCA preouts to the amplifier at the same time. Changes to the settings of the Volume, Balance, & Tone controls will affect the signal from the XLR and RCA preamp outputs.
  • Stereo Line Output: There is also a stereo RCA line output that can be used to send the analog audio to a separate processor device; these outputs bypass the volume encoder and are full-line level output all the time.

MM Phono Input: There is one Phono input which supports the connection of a turntable with a MM (moving magnet) cartridge. There is also a ground terminal for the Phono input to prevent hum and noise.

Digital Audio Inputs/Outputs: The RC-1590 is equipped with a total of six digital audio inputs; including three optical (toslink) digital inputs and three coaxial (RCA) digital inputs. All six digital inputs will support 2ch stereo PCM audio up to 24-bit/192kHz. The RC-1590 even features an optical (toslink) and coaxial (RCA) digital input for connecting an outboard D/A converter or other digital processor.

Note: The digital audio inputs/outputs do not support Dolby Digital, DTS, and other multichannel audio formats.

USB-B Port: The rear-panel USB-B port allows connection to your Windows PC or Mac computer, so you can playback your laptop or desktop music libraries through the RC-1590 preamplifier. The RC-1590 supports both USB Audio Class 1.0 and USB Audio Class 2.0 modes for playback of 2ch stereo PCM music files up to 32-bit/384kHz, as well as DSD 64 (2.8MHz) and DSD 128 (5.6MHz).

  • USB Audio Class 1.0: USB Audio Class 1.0 supports playback of 2ch PCM audio up to 96kHz sampling rates (DSD not available). Windows PC and Mac do not require installation of a driver for USB Audio Class 1.0. The unit's factory default setting is USB Audio Class 1.0.
  • USB Audio Class 2.0: USB Audio Class 2.0 supports playback of 2ch PCM and DSD audio up to 384kHz sampling rates, as well as DSD 64 (2.8MHz) and DSD 128 (5.6MHz). You will need to install the Windows driver supplied on the included CD-ROM for a Windows PC. Mac computers will not require a a separate USB driver.

Note: You'll still control search and playback functions, as well as view song/artist/information from your your Windows PC or Mac computer (not the RC-1590).

Front-Panel USB-A Port: The front-panel USB-A port can be connected to an Apple iOS device with Lightning (including iPod touch, iPhone & iPad) connector for music playback through the preamplifier. You'll still control search and playback functions, as well as view song/artist/information from your Apple iOS device (not the RC-1590). The front-panel USB can also be used to charge your Apple iOS device and other smartphone or tablet devices; it is rated at 5V/2.1A.

Note: USB MSC (mass storage class) devices, such as USB thumbdrives and hard disk drives are not supported.

Bluetooth Audio Streaming w/ aptX: Thanks to built-in Bluetooth, you can wirelessly stream stored music libraries, music apps, and other audio content from your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to the Rotel RC-1590 preamplifier. In addition to Bluetooth's standard SBC codec, the RC-1590 supports Qualcomm's aptX audio technology. aptX delivers "CD-quality" audio (16-bit/44.1kHz) wirelessly over Bluetooth. Android, Windows 10 and Mac OS all support aptX (Apple iOS does not not support aptX).

Note: You'll still control search and playback functions, as well as view song/artist/information from your Bluetooth enabled source device (not the RC-1590).

Headphone Output: The front-panel headphone output allows you to connect a set of headphones for private listening. The headphone output consists of a 3.5mm (1/8") jack. Plugging in a set of headphones does not cut off the signal to the preamp outputs. You'll need to manually turn off your connected power amplfier.

Dual Mono Sub Outputs: There are two mono-RCA sub outputs for connecting a powered subwoofer. These mono sub outputs are summed with both the left and right audio signal. They are parallel outputs (not discrete) allowing two powered subs to be connected to the RC-1590. The dual mono sub outputs are full-range, so you must have a powered subwoofer with its own built-in low-pass filter control.

Detachable AC Power Cord: The detachable 58" AC power cord (IEC 2-prong) plugs into the back of the preamplifier and into an AC wall outlet or surge protector/line conditioner (sold separately - see Accessories Tab).


Front-Panel Display & Controls: The Rotel RC-1590 stereo preamplifier is equipped with a front-panel display and front-panel controls. The front-panel display shows the source selected, volume level, and tone settings. The display also provides access to the setup and configuration menu options of the amplifier. The front-panel display does not support song/artist/album information. Front-panel controls include Power, Source, Volume, and Menu.

IR Remote Control: The included IR remote control provides wireless operation over the RC-1590 stereo preamplifier. It can also operate a Rotel CD player (such as the CD14, sold separately).

Note: The play and search controls on the remote only operate a connected Rotel CD player. They do not support playback and search functions for USB-B, and Apple iOS, and Bluetooth devices.

Tone Controls: Bass & Treble circuits are bypassed at factory default to ensure the purest possible sound. You can choose to adjust the Bass & Treble to increase or decrease low and high frequency sounds. There is also a Balance control that adjust the left-to-right sound output of the connected speakers.

Rotel Link: The 3.5mm stereo minijack input/output (labeled "Rotel Link") can attach to Rotel network enabled products. This allows the attached Rotel products to communicate with each other and be controlled via the Rotel App (for Apple iOS 6.0+).

IR In: The IR input (3.5mm) receives command codes from industry-standard infrared receivers via a hard-wired connection. This feature is useful when the unit is installed in a cabinet and the front-panel sensor is blocked. Consult your your Crutchfield advisor for information on external IR repeater systems (sold separately - see Accessories Tab).

12V Trigger Outputs: The RC-1590 is equipped with two 12-volt trigger outputs (3.5mm) that can be connected to two different components with 12-volt trigger inputs, allowing the components to turn on automatically with the RC-1590 preamplifier.

RS232 Port: The Rotel RC-1590 preamplifier can be controlled via RS232 for integration with automation systems. The RS232 input accepts a standard straight DB-9 Male-to-Female cable.

Ethernet Port: The rear-panel Etherent (RJ45) jack on the back of the preamplifier allows IP control for integrated with automation systems. The Ethernet jack alslo allows software udpates to be downloaded from the internet.

Auto Power Modes: The Rotel RC-1590 preamplifier offers Auto Signal Sensing and Auto Standby for automatic on and off.

  • Auto Signal Sensing: Thanks to Automatic Signal Sensing, the integrated turns on automatically when an audio signal is detected at one of its analog or digital inputs.
  • Auto Standby: The RC-1590 can be configured to automatically power off if unused for a specified period (1, 2, 5, or 12 hours). If there is no audio signal or no control within the specified time period, the unit will automatically go into standby mode.

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Customer Q&A

1 question already asked

I have AMP jbl sda 2200 with marantz integrated amp can this rotel make a difference compair to my marantz 1250.I have cornwalls iv,forte iv and klipsch rf-7111 hook right now?
[ Carlos  Aug 15, 2021 ]
1 answer
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget.
[ Kenny  Aug 16, 2021 ]  Staff

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