A preamplifier must keep the audio signal as pure as possible, while amplifying and routing various source signals to the power amplifier. The goal of the engineer is to achieve “a straight wire with gain” design, nothing more and nothing less. Of course, the realization of this goal is much harder than it seems, but Rotel’s experience and meticulous circuit design has produced a string of exceptional stereo preamplifiers over the years, which has been taken to new heights in the RC-1580. The RC-1580 is designed for the hi-fi purist in terms of its minimalist approach and absolute musical fidelity. Component parts, such as an oversized toroidal power transformer and special BHC capacitors, along with circuit topology, have been carefully selected to obtain the best sound possible. For those who want the best of both audio and video worlds a unity gain stage has been included to enable a surround processor to feed straight through to the power amplifier thereby bypassing the volume control. The RC-1580 includes a low noise MM/MC phono with discrete, differential input stages, as well as CD, Tuner, and two AUX inputs. The preamplifier can be controlled by RS-232, or IR input. A tone defeat, media input socket, headphone socket and remote control is included.