Rotel Michi P5 preamplifier $3999 Review

November 8, 2020 § Leave a comment

Beck’s Sea Change MQA (Geffen Records 0694935372, 24/384 Tidal MQA stream) rendering via the P5 was an unalloyed delight, each instrument full of tone and super-intimate, his voice dead center and massive in an upfront but rather flat soundstage. Morning Phase (Capitol Records XUNI30711F96, 24/384 Tidal MQA stream) was the best-sounding file of the MQA bunch that I played through the P5, a vast improvement over the 16/44.1 file in depth, impact, clarity, density, and aliveness. The sound was beautiful but also eerie in a way I couldn’t put my finger on.

My conclusion: MQA via the P5’s DAC is allowing me to hear deeper into these recordings for what they actually sound like. Each MQA file sounded very different. Some sounded incredible, some ordinary, a few hard to listen to. The Beck files were incredible on every level.

Overall, MQA files played through the P5 had superior resolution, clarity, weight, intimacy, saturated tones, and a seemingly bottomless noise floor, while also sounding somewhat “treated” and otherworldly.

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