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Rotel’s CD11: there’s life in the old digital dog yet

  • Global CD sales dropped almost 19% in 2019 whilst vinyl sales grew by 12%. The headline? Vinyl is back. CDs are dying. End of story.

    Not so fast. It’s often the most easily digestible narrative that grabs our attention. The numbers behind those percentage point deltas remind us that CDs outsold vinyl 6:1 in 2019; 9.7 million vinyl records and 60 million CDs were sold worldwide last year. It might still be half a decade before we see CD sales fall below that of vinyl in absolute terms.

    And even then CDs won’t disappear completely. Love for the shiny silver discs will probably slide off into a niche interest. A niche larger than 2019’s hi-fi world.

    It’s possible that this kind of thinking lies behind the proliferation of CD players coming to market of late: Technics, ATC, Audiolab, Leema Acoustics, Exposure, Mitchell and Johnson and, now, Rotel.

    The Zhuhai-based manufacturer has this month announced the availability of the CD11, its tray loading mechanism; 24bit Texas Instruments internal DAC and coaxial output (for outboard DACs) landing in our hi-fi racks for £429, US$499 or €499.

    Complementing the CD11’s visual style and entry-level pricing is Rotel’s new A11 integrated amplifier: 50wpc Class A/B, a quad of line-level inputs, an MM phono input and an aptX/AAC-capable Bluetooth input. Price? £599, US$699 or €699.

    Both models ship with a remote control wand. Both models come in a choice of black or silver finishes.

    The CD isn’t dead. It’s just moving into a retirement home.

    Further information: Rotel

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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