battery powered with 'vivid' sound

I am looking for battery powered amp options that have a sound signature more vivid in nature than refined. I'm basically looking for a battery powered version of a Manley tube amp operating in triode mode (connected to a pair of ProAc 1SC). My real objective is to get my components off the grid and save the thousands of dollars I would otherwise spend on re-wiring the house, power conditioning, and cables.

I have a Red Wine Signature 30.2 that I'm trying out and there is a lot to like about it; detail and staging blow away the Manley and my acoustic jazz on vinyl is wonderful. But it comes up shy to what I want with rock and pop, it's not as emotional or involving compared to the Manley.

I love the idea of battery power for many reasons but agree that there is something lacking. I had a RWA amp and found I listened to less music as the days passed. At first the noise floor and staging were impressive but after a while I found it dull and got rid of it.

It would be a nice second summer amp because it is cool and uses little power.

Had it with Devore Super 8's and Verity Taminos. It was only the Sig 30, not the 30.2. I assume there is a big difference.
Maybe you'd be interested in VELOCE's battery-powered lineup at
Veloce looks nice, but well out of my price range at the moment.
I had the 30.2 and went up to the 70.2. With the Zu Presence speakers and RWA Isabella Pre/Dac, I find none of the lack you are hearing with your 30.2. The amps can kick ass with rock/pop and be as emotional/involving as my ex AN 300B.

This audio journey can be a very long and winding road.

ASR will do you fine if you can handle the $$$.
dodd pre sounds very dynamic
Glory, I'm curious about your upgrade - was it the 70.2 that did it or the Isabella pre? What about the sound changed for you? My sense with the 30.2 integrated is that what I'm missing is not the muscle but the bloom and sweetness of tubes.
The 70.2 gives you more of everything the 30.2 gives you.
The Isabella vs. Dodd, Isabella gives you more of a tube/analog sound where the Dodd is more SS like that will excel at both rock and a small sized jazz band.

The Lector CDP was sold and I went with a Mac Mini and that was a BIG difference in the sound in a positive way.

Wait for the Dodd to come up cheap on the 'Gon and try it with the early Siemens CCa and you will be very happy with the results when paired with the 30.2.
Dodd has a prototype battery amp that sounds terrific, give him a call.
Seems like its pretty much Dodd or Red Wine unless I want to shell out the big bucks for ASR or Veloce.

It just seems that there should be more companies using battery power for all the problems it solves.
I had a Red Wine 30.2,very musical,when I was in another part of the house it sounded like I had a live trio in my music room.Also very involving and clean,definitely something about being off the grid.Unfortunately it wasn't a good match with my Innersound stats,kinda like the first wife,so I sold it.Too bad I couldn't have sold her with it.
Good things come to those who wait.............;)
If you can wait few more will reveal itself and won't hurt your pocket.

I've experimented with battery power quite a bit over the past year, using the Dodd pre, Musical Surroundings Nova Phono Pre and a BPT battery power supply for the Squeezebox. I've generally concluded that if you have clean AC power available to your system, the benefits of battery power are largely overstated. The Dodd Pre is excellent and was dead quiet - but so is the VAC Renaissance MKII that I currently use. I still had some noise and hum issues with the Nova, so battery power is not a panacea for the ills that often affect phono pres. Also, you have to consider the inherent maintenance (battery replacement) and possible listening restrictions (need to recharge, etc.) in considering going with battery power. All in all, I've decided to move on from battery power for the time being.

To the original poster, I will say that in terms of sonics, the Dodd pre would fit your needs precisely. It's an excellent piece.
I have found that even with a RSA Dmitri/ full Isoclean system hooked up to my system that it never matched the glory of my system being completly off the grid.

I will never go back to AC after hearing what I have now in my system.

I have the Dmitri still but use it only for my Mac./TV./SAT./DVD.
Power conditioning technology is mostly a band aid for something that is - in my opinion - the single biggest problem in hi-fi. Much like up-sampling and re-sampling, if the source (in this case, power) is garbage, you can only do so much to clean it up. Even the PS Audio conditioners that regenerate AC are only 60-80% efficient. Besides, is there a single piece of audio equipment that natively uses AC power? No, everything requires DC power.

AC is useful for most uses in a typical home - appliances, lighting, etc. But hi-fi is a critical application of DC power - why on earth should effort be wasted on trying to extract it real time from garbage AC when battery technology now exists to bypass it?

Well said. Sad to say this bit of truth will fall on deaf ears.

When I heard my system off the grid I knew I struck gold.

I would not give up on the 30.2 so fast as I know it can ROCK!.
Shazam, buy any amp you want and run it with this power inverter.

However, I spoke with an amp mfg recently and he told me sealed lead acid batteries are notoriously noisy FWIW.
Cdc, the power inverter is the same philosophy of the PS Audio Power Plant line - buffer DC power to regenerate AC. But the problem of AC transmission and DC conversion in the component remains - this is the weak point I'm trying to eliminate.

I have heard that sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries can be noisy compared to others - I'm sure batteries will continue to improve. But it's significantly better than my Isotek power conditioner and Manley tube amp when it comes to noise. It has the side benefit of being cheaper and eliminating the snarl of cables too.
Well, in that case, you need solar cells
and more solar cells my friend.
I do live in Phoenix, so a solar powered Hi-Fi would be a neat DIY project for me sometime. Of course, I'd still have to charge a battery for night listening.
So this may seem like a stupid question, and it may in fact be better suited for a Red Wine Audio forum directly, but can you in fact unplug the Signature 30.2 from the wall and then listen to it?

It seems like everywhere I read, this amp has to stay plugged in. It seems like there in fact a couple of "battery powered" hifi components out there that still say "you should stay plugged in" all the time so they can stay totaly charged.

Maybe I'm just not getting it.

Some manufacturers may throw a lot of science my way by saying, we'll with my XYZ unit, you're not *really* connected, but as a prospective buyer my point is if you're really on batteries, then why do you have to stay plugged in?
I believe these units are set up to charge when the power switch is turned off. So when the unit is turned on the charge mode is switched off.
Hi Rotty,

I cannot speak for all manufacturers who use batteries, but ALL of our Red Wine Audio components run only on the internal SLA batteries, so the chargers can be unplugged and they will run just fine. Of course at some point, you'll need to plug them in to charge. Charging takes place when the unit is turned OFF and the charger is plugged in.

You might also find this link to be interesting regarding battery power:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Vinnie Rossi
Red Wine Audio
Thanks for the responses, Listens2Tubes and Vinnie.

I dont mean to single out Red Wine Audio in my concerns about battery powered hi-fi being required to stay plugged in, its just that in doing some of my preliminary research on the RWA 30.2 unit, what struck me was this line in the Tone Audio review:

"Turn the 30.2 off and it immediately
goes back into charge mode, as indicated by the red
LED on the AC charger. Red Wine Audio insists that
you leave the charger plugged in at all times."

And then this line in the 6 Moons review:

"Forget accidentally deep-discharging the onboard batteries to eventually drain them beyond revival. The monitoring module keeps continuous tabs on battery voltage to automate the recharge process. Just leave the now universal 100-240V battery charger plugged into a live AC outlet."

In my perfect battery powered world (that exists only in my imagination right now), I can take my battery powered components out to a camping site, bust out a pair of smaller 2-way speakers that are a good match, and have some hi-fi for a few hours. Better yet, I could bring the entire rig over to a friends house without worrying about displacing any of his furniture or other electrical components for the evening.
I have a battery-operated preamp from another manufacturer. The point of disconnecting the power cord from the preamp during operation is to address RF issues that would otherwise result from being connected to the AC grid, or even having an unconnected power cord dangling from the back of the preamp.
Rottenclam; you can indeed disconnect and take a battery amp like the RWA with you. The lit that tells you to leave it plugged in is should probably be clearer and let you know "you can unplug it if you like, but you don't have to and it is still running off the battery." Most leave it plugged in for simplicity sake (if the snarl of wires behind your rack is like mine, it's a pain to unplug something).

In the case of RWA, SLA batteries work best when fully charged at all times, so it makes sense it charges up every time after any use. Some batteries (like Lithion, I believe) will charge and power equipment better after being fully drained and can actually go bad if kept charged all the time.
The RWA products have a "smart" module that causes the charger to engage when the batteries are drained to a certain level. The concern with SLA batteries is that if you drain them too much at one time they cannot fully recover and it significantly reduces their useful life. The reason the reviewers - and RWA - tell you to leave the RWA's plugged is so that the smart module will kick in when needed and save the batteries. They will certainly operate without being plugged in, but you risk excessive discharge if you listen too long. I owned a competing battery product without the smart module feature and battery maintenance was an issue.
What is the advantage of battery power if you're still plugged in to the AC grid, and therefore have done nothing to reduce RF?

The battery that comes with my preamp can go days without being recharged. It all depends on the technology the manufacturer uses.
Hi Jimjoyce25,

Again, I cannot speak for all manufacturers who implement battery power, but with Red Wine Audio products, even when the charger is plugged in, it is completely disconnected from the batteries internally (via our SMART board), so you ARE isolated from the grid.

You only need to plug into the grid when you need to charge the batteries (but at that time, the unit is turned OFF).

As the others mentioned above, I recommend to keep it plugged in all the time for convenience, so when you turn OFF, the charging automatically begins. However, you certainly can run our equipment with the chargers not plugged in.

Hope this makes sense,

I'm sure the technology is confidential, but if you've found a way to prevent RF from leaking into the system while the power cord is connected, that also does not employ RF filters which themselves degrade the sound, that would really be something.