About The Rotel A11 Tribute Stereo Amplifier
The Rotel A11 Tribute is a very special integrated amplifier that was developed in cooperation with the audio engineering legend Ken Ishiwata. It has been engineered to hit the price performance sweet spot with a wealth of analogue connections including Phono plus Bluetooth AptX built-in and a high current 50 Watt amplifier section that produces a smooth, effortless, dynamic sound. It provides high-resolution audio performance, yet it is very affordable, as has been the tradition with Rotel electronics for over 50 years.
The A11 Tribute is a Class A/B 50 Watt Integrated Stereo Amplifier developed in cooperation with the audio engineering legend Ken Ishiwata as a Tribute to his legacy spanning over 40 years in the industry. Upgraded components and meticulous tuning of all critical circuits deliver a richer, expressive, and true-to-life experience from the Bluetooth, RCA and Moving Magnet Phono Stage inputs.
The collaboration between Ken and Rotel’s own engineering design teams delivered on the promise of an even higher level of performance of the extremely successful and popular award-winning A11. Upgraded components and meticulous tuning of all critical circuits deliver a richer, more expressive, and true-to-life experience from all of the support source inputs including apt-X and AAC wireless Bluetooth, an array of 4 RCA analogue line level inputs and a Moving Magnet Phono Stage for vinyl fans.
Specially selected and improved components were chosen for the A11 stereo amplifier to provide even better audio performance over the entire signal path. In the amplifier stage, all 10 capacitors and two resistors in the signal path were changed. For the pre-amplifier branch, six capacitors were upgraded, representing over 50% of the components in the signal path. All six capacitors in the volume control were also upgraded. The mechanical chassis of the A11 was equipped with special damping materials to reduce resonance and to further isolate, effectively insulate and better dampen any vibrations in the product.
A Closer Look
The A11 Tribute integrated amplifier displays the same clean lines and intuitive operation as the Rotel A12 with output power rated at 50 watts per channel RMS into 8 ohms.
The front panel graphic display and IR remote ensure effortless control of the audio driven by a Rotel’s in-house manufactured oversized toroidal transformer. The resulting acoustic performance speaks for itself under all loading conditions with even the most difficult speaker loads.
All aspects of the design have been optimized to retain the full dynamic range and subtle nuances of your music. When chasing uncompromising audio performance there are many factors to consider and Rotel’s engineers are particularly proud of the work they have done on the A11’s power supply. The power supply is the heart of any amplifier and an area where considerable time and investment needs to be spent. Rotel don’t just buy in off-the-shelf transformers, they actually manufacture their own toroidal transformers in-house to high tolerances using carefully selected raw materials from high quality suppliers. The result is a rugged, highly regulated power supply that will effortlessly reproduce the most demanding music even under dynamic conditions or with difficult speaker loads. Even though this type of design is more expensive to manufacture, Rotel go to these lengths because they know the positive effects it has on music reproduction.
The printed circuit boards inside the A11 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.
Being the fully featured integrated amplifier that it is the A11 Tribute naturally has a selection of analogue inputs including an MM Phono input for a turntable. There are also Preamp outputs so you can add a second or larger amplifier or connect to a subwoofer or two.
There is also Bluetooth aptX built-in for streaming sound from a phone, tablet or laptop. Other convenience features include a fully featured remote control that can also control other Rotel products, A & B speaker selection, bass, treble & balance controls, front panel display dimming and a high quality headphone output.
In The News
“Ken Ishiwata has been widely admired in the hi-fi industry for his unique ability to identify the products most suitable for modification, and then define the musical references and component changes the engineers are supposed to implement, to take the performance of the products to new levels – often with only a modest increase in price.
Daren Orth, Chief Technology Officer at Rotel, described the partnership as follows: "Having both been in the Hi-Fi industry for a similar amount of time, I was in the same audiophile circles with Ken over the years, as were the Tachikawa family in Japan – founders and owners of Rotel. There was mutual respect of the talent and market position and a long desire to work together but the opportunity never arose. An opportunity did finally arrive in the late summer of last year when the initial discussions began, with the project becoming a reality in September. All of the Rotel engineering team were delighted at finally having the opportunity to work with Ken."
A joint decision was made to focus on the A11 and CD11 models, which Ken Ishiwata was already familiar with. Additionally, they had already won several awards, in particular the A11, voted "Best Buy Amplifier of 2019-20' by the prestigious EISA panel. The team felt that the A11, as a Class AB 2 x 50 W integrated amplifier, and the CD11 CD player were the perfect basis for creating something very special.
Ken Ishiwata made his initial assessment and agreed on a new specification with the Rotel engineering team. The first prototypes were then produced by him and his own long-standing contacts in the industry, while the final specification was agreed on with the Rotel team.
After Ken Ishiwata agreed to the changes and supervised the creation of the first prototypes, he passed away unexpectedly in November 2019, just before he could finalize the project. Some of Ken Ishiwata's long-standing contacts and partners in the industry – including his personal friend Karl-Heinz Fink – offered to continue his work with the Rotel team to complete the product and fulfill his original vision.
The result is an increase in resolution and detail, as well as a more musical presentation with improved rhythm and better timing for the A11 Tribute and the CD11 Tribute. Both carry the special Tribute symbols in honor and as a legacy of the man whose passion for music was the impetus that made them possible in the first place.” Rotel
One of the most revered names in audio and with a long-time association with Australian Retailers spanning over 50 years, Rotel is still privately-owned by the original family that founded it in the 1960s. No small feat in this day and age. Also extremely rare in this industry, the Rotel headquarters house all aspects of the brand in one place from the CEO through to the marketing team, production-line technicians and warehousing. The Rotel company is well-known as a family run business in the most fundamental definition of the phrase. Fostering a collaborative environment where everyone's ideas are heard and the entire company can work seamlessly under one roof as a cohesive team. Using zero outsourcing, each and every Rotel amplifier and component is hand assembled and stress-tested in-house by a small, dedicated team of skilled technicians.
With this wonderful heritage it’s really no wonder Rotel components are so great to use and listen to. And we’re not the only ones to think so as Rotel products have received hundreds of international awards and made lots of customers very happy all around the world. Audio Trends is proud to offer a diverse selection of Rotel components including preamps, amplifiers, CD players and home theatre processors.
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: 50 Watt Stereo Integrated Amplifier upgraded by Ken Ishiwata
- Audio Inputs: MM Phono, CD, Tuner, Aux 1, Aux 2, Bluetooth aptX dongle for audio streaming
- Audio Outputs: A & B Speakers, Headphone, Preamp/Subwoofer
- General Inputs/Outputs: External Remote, 12V Trigger In/Out, RS232
- Continuous Power Output: 50 Watts per channel (20 - 20kHz, < 0.03%, 8 ohms)
- Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.03% (20 Hz - 20 kHz at rated power)
- Intermodulation Distortion: < 0.03% (60 Hz : 7kHz, 4:1)
- Frequency Response
- Phono Input: 20Hz - 15kHz, ± 0.5dB
- Line Level Inputs: 10Hz - 100kHz, ± 0.5dB
- Damping Factor: 140 (20 - 20,000 Hz, 8 ohms)
- Input Sensitivity / Impedance
- Phono Input: 2.3 mV / 47k Ohms
- Line Level Inputs: 180 mV / 24k Ohms
- Input Overload
- Phono Input: 50 mV
- Line Level Inputs: 4 V
- Preamp Output / Impedance: 1 V / 470 Ohms
- Tone Controls - Bass / Treble: ± 10 dB at 100Hz / 10kHz
- Signal to Noise Ratio (“A” weighting)
- Phono Input: 85 dB
- Line Level Inputs: 100 dB
- Power Consumption: 160 watts
- Standby Power Consumption: < 0.5 watts
- Available Finishes: Black & Silver
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 430 x 93 x 345mm
- Weight: 6.85kg
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 2 Years
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE