ROTEL Michi P5/S5

MJ01.07.2020

Power amplifiers

The design of the Michi kombo is in a ´Fifty shades of Black´ style and perfectly fits within the contemporary industrial design. The metal and glass elements are precisely matched as if a BMW and Samsung team was behind the creation of the P5/S5. In the course of the review I never stopped being mesmerized by the ‘Amoled’ display of the S5 that marks a triumphant return of peak-hold segment meters of the golden era of tape decks. It is a smart step up from the ubiquitous analog VU meters. In my view the Michi combo is one of the best looking piece of electronics available. I wish I had it at home and had myself hypnotized by it.

Funkce a forma

100%
Ergonomie
69%
Zvuk
100%
Zpracování

The S5 power output is rated as 800 watts into 4 ohms (500 watts into 8 ohms) for each channel, when both channels are operating together at full power.

The master power switch can be found at the rear panel of the power amplifier, the front button is a stand-by switch. The Michi S5 provides RCA and XLR inputs, the preferred one has to be selected by another switch at the rear of the unit.

Through the main display the user can set up network connections, brightness of the LED controls and the display (that can be switched off completely if needed). The wonderful display of the S5 can be configured for either VU mode that mimics the aforementioned peak-hold segment displays, or for Spectrum Analyzer mode. I find both to be extremely useful as they are precisely calibrated, which I tested with Sheffield Labs´ measurement CD.

The Michi P5 control amplifier can be connected to virtually anything imaginable. There are 2 pairs of balanced XLR inputs, 4 pairs of RCA single-ended inputs, 3 Toslink and 3 S/PDIF coaxial inputs, a USB-A input, and an RCA phono input MM/MC. The output options include RCA and XLR, two (!) outputs for subwoofer, and even a Digital Out on both Toslink and S/PDIF. The Michi P5´s DAC employs dual AKM chips for PCM/DSD up to 32 bit/384kHz. MQA is supported too. One remarkable feature is a built-in Bluetooth receiver so the user can send a wireless signal directly from a smartphone or a tablet.

The display of the preamplifier shows the temperature inside the power amp. In the stand-by mode it read stable 37°C; after 20 minutes of hyper-loud playing it went up by two degrees to 39°C, however I did not manage to drive it further up. And the dual low-noise fans that can be found at the rear panel of the S5 never triggered. That makes me believe that the user should not be worried about the thermal conditions of the amplifier under normal circumstances. Still, Rotel employs a circuit watches over the temperature and temporarily disconnects the amplifier should any overheating occur.

The remote control wand is a heavy piece of aluminum, black in black style again. It fits perfectly in hand and has very intuitive buttons. Actually both Michi devices radiate Japanese obsession with ergonomics and manufacturing precision that is so difficult to match by Western producers.

Nízké frekvence

Váha
89
Výbušnost
82
Artikulace
78

Barbara Dennerlein and Black and White (Best of Blues: Through The Years) is a fabulous check point for low-end capabilities of any woofer, no matter its size. It does so through a less usual instrument: a Hammond organ. Barbara did not take any prisoners and with the 5-minute bass transient crossfire she made the woofers of Bowers & Wilkins 802 D3 dance. The Rotel Michi’s bass is at the drier side of spectrum which will not satisfy orthodox tube sound lovers. On the other hand the Rotel’s control over bass makes the bass lines perfectly legible, no matter if you listen to a solo instrument or to the overlay of the Hammond and a bass in the Black and White track.

Black Sabbath’s 13 album was as crushing through the Michis as through any well voiced PA system. The resonant bass was deep and penetrating and I could feel it in my belly. Such a feeling is essential to savor the music like this and it reminded me of the times 30 years ago when we listened to such music with joy and felt it by our bodies, rather than through acoustic microscopes. Rotel Michi can do that effectively for you. Thus I preferred rock numbers through Michis over string quartets that I found less textured and colourful than I am used to. Replacing the chamber music with David Bowie’s Hello Spaceboy and here you go – the sound filled the room and the experience was massive.

Čistota rozlišení

Detail
89
Vzduch
85
Transparentnost
78

Qntal V (The Whyle, Silver Swan) was presented with smooth and decent sound that reflected Japanese listening philosophy. I would expect better macrodynamics and higher resolving power from the Michi but I understand that what heard was the result of making deliberate choices. Here the choice of having slightly forgiving electronics had won. The top octave exhibited an even roll-off that slightly rounded the edges of the hot masters that are so abundant today. Then the benefit is straightforward - you can listen to anything you want, any long you want, without pain in your ears.

Tonální věrnost

Témbr
78
Dynamika
77
Časování
77

An example of the ‘anything’: The original CD edition of Chris Rea’s Auberge is hotter than it should be at the top. This leads, in connection with most ‘resolving’ audiophile amplifiers, to agile sound that becomes uncomfortable after a while. The Michi made the clings and clangs softer and the balance of the Auberge morphed into something that reminded me of the recent Auberge remaster that is fuller and easier on ears. Dtto for Electron Bonfire track from Tangerine Dream’s Quantum Gate album. It is clearly overproduced electronic music with sharp edges and compressed sound which is as natural as Kim Kardashian; yet it was very digestible through the Rotel Michi P5/S5 combo so I could savor it without any pain in my ears.

Prostorovost

Trojrozměrnost
92
Šířka scény
92
Hloubka scény
92

The concert Dead Can Dance’s Toward The Within masterpiece features an intensive dialogue of Chinese yangqin hammered dulcimer and table. The Rotel Michi P5/S5 surprised me with very accurate imaging, I would say pin point imaging it was. I could almost see flying sticks hammering the strings, and the magic happened also in the vertical dimension – Brendan Perry voice was clearly higher in space than the yangqin and table were clearly below the instrument. At the moments when no one was playing I could easily navigate in the soundstage with the help of rustles and other ambient noises, which gave me great spatial experience.

It will be easy to live with the Rotel Michi P5 preamplifier and the S5 power amplifier. They look gorgeous, play big, and provide abundant connectivity. The new Michis are a spectacular return.

Cena v době recenze:159 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

EP Audio, Praha, tel. +420 323 605 088

Jasyko, Brno, +420 541 210 108

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: Denon DCD-1600NE jako digitální transport, the integrated DAC in the Michi P5
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: InAkustik Referenz LS-1603, Referenz NF-2404 Pure Silver
  • Loudspeakers: Bowers & Wilkins 802 D3
  • Power conditioning: InAkustik AC-1502-P6 power distributor, InAkustik Referenz AC-1502

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