At the time of its introduction in 1976, the Rotel RX-1603 was the most powerful receiver in the world, boasting 180 watts per channel into 8 ohms. It is so large and so heavy that the designers included an optional separator kit, similar to the legendary Sansui G-22000 and G-33000, to split the tuner and preamp apart from the amplifier. The faceplate is a triumph of industrial design, and it's a truly excellent-sounding receiver, with superb detail and gobs of power to back it up. My asking price is less than what I've paid to acquire the original unit and have it completely restored, but my third child is due this month and I'm open to reasonable offers.
I acquired this particular RX-1603 and RK-100 several years ago from a collector of vintage receivers. I immediately contacted Pacific Stereo, proprieter of Tapeheads.net, to execute a complete Level 3 rebuild and restoration. An example of his work on a similar unit can be seen on Tapheads, where he also states that he prefers the RX-1603 to the Pioneer SX-1980:
As you can see, it's an incredibly thorough and labor-intensive project, and is priced accordingly. The unit for sale here was completely refreshed inside and out in 2015. Every function operates perfectly, including all meters and lights, and distortion levels and power output meet or exceed original specifications.
Pacific Stereo's complete Level 3 restoration process included the following services: - overhauled and repair the power supply circuits, power amplifier circuits, and protection circuits - replaced all old electrolytic and tantalum capacitors with new, high-quality electrolytic and film capacitors - replaced surge control relay - resurfaced and reconditioned contacts on all speaker relays - repaired thermally-stressed solder connections on all circuit boards including power supply & power amp - replaced thermally-stressed fuses in power supply circuits - treated ground contacts on tuning capacitor - disassembled and overhauled power switch assembly, installed new safety capacitor - performed complete AM/FM and MPX alignment - disassembled and lubricated tuner flywheel - repaired cracked AM antenna bracket - cleaned and treated all switches and controls - set amplifier offset, idle current, and overload protection - measured power and distortion - removed corrosion from hardware and RCA jacks
There are a couple of small cosmetic flaws on the faceplate which I have tried to photograph as clearly as possible. They include a minor ding about an inch above the "100" mark on the FM tuner, and some faint abrasions on the top edge of the faceplate. This is otherwise a very clean piece of late 1970s audio excellence. It has two headphone output jacks, and I have been using it as a headphone amp for my Audeze LCD-3 for the past couple of years. It sounds incredible but is really overkill for that purpose, so I recently moved it to my main system and it loves to flex its muscle on my JBL L-300 speakers. .
NO SHIPPING on this unit! I lived in Los Angeles when I had the unit restored, so I was able to personally deliver it for service and avoid shipping. I am not confident I could package it well enough to protect it from its own enormous size and weight. Message me to discuss local pickup within 50 miles of New York City. 23.5 inches wide at the faceplate (21" wide through its main body) 21.5 inches deep 7 inches tall 73 pounds (!)
Re: Rotel RX-1603 Restored with RK-100 Separator Kit
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