Monday, June 30, 2008

The Rotel RX 802 Receiver

This is a truly unique receiver. It is 24" wide by 14.5" deep by 5" high and weighs in at a very nice 30 pounds. There is definitely a European feel to the design. It is rated for 440 watts so should produce something in the neighborhood of 100 watts output per channel. The '93 Orion Blue Book says it was a late '70s model and sold for $500.

For the detail oriented reader, the beer at the back is a Shiner Hefeweizen.

Here is a view of the unit with the top off.
Construction quality is first rate. The Toshiba output transistors are mounted on a heat sink that runs along the back and bottom of the unit. The output board is very elegantly laid out and is immediately in the front of the outputs. All caps were replaced with Panasonic FC's. The relay board, immediately in front of the output board, had a problem with one cap in failure. All caps were replaced and the relay burnished. The AM board is the small board at the back right in front of the tuning capacitor. The FM board is immediately in front of the AM board. All caps were replaced. The phono board is at the far right of the FM board, mounted vertically and shielded. Again, all caps were replaced.

The tone control board is mounted at the front, immediately behind the controls. This board is barely visible from the top, under the lamp shield for the display, and is upside down in relationship to the other boards. This board was a challenge to replace all the caps, so I had no objections when Mike was motivated to do it. Thanks, Mike.

Here is the bottom of the unit. A small shield has been removed from the FM board for clarity. The tone control board is visible at the front.

Listening has just begun and it sounds very nice despite a complete lack of burn in. I will provide an update once it has a few hours on the caps.

With the exception of the tone control board this unit was a pleasure to work on. Approximately 80 capacitors were replaced. Only the two 6800 mfd main power supply caps were not changed. All switches and potentiometers were cleaned with Deoxit Gold or Blue Stuff as appropriate.

UPDATE: I am very pleased to announce that this unit has passed the very difficult Robert listening test when matched with the very respectable Kef Coda bookshelf speakers. Robert is a very senior and skilled technician and a musician to boot, so his unsolicited praise is highly valued.


tom said...

Hey there,

very interesting post :) The rotel looks beautiful and I'm glad you say it sounds good. Actually, I can get one with correct speakers for $150 so I will probably go for it.

Would you mind telling me an aproximate cost of the 80 caps you replaced in it ?
Thanks again for sharing this !!

Anonymous said...


I'm the proud owner such a reciver my self(got it off an uncle).

Anyways; I have to replace the POTmeter on the right CH(and left cause I dont have nay 30 year old components).

Alle the caps look good from visual inspection, but I guess I should replace them anyway.

So I was hoping to get the answer to Tom's questin, acctually.

PS: Lovely reciver.. Just lovely

Joao Coelho said...

Hi there,
When you look at the unit with the top off from above, there's a switch right about in the middle of the unit.
Does anyone know the purpose of that switch?
I can't find any info about it in the owners manual...

nick said...

Over the years I've had several high end receivers and this unit can compete with any of them in sound quality.That and it's unique style is why I've held on to it.Everyone that comes over wants to know where I got it at and once they hear it they all want to know what is a "Rotel".