Sounds like eureka then, but does it do this?
Oh, give me the beat boys, and free my soul
I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away
If you mean
does it ROCK BABEEEE...
well we listened to some John Mayer Continuum and Michael (or is it Elliot) Yamin at high volume at my girlfriend's request (I'm more of a fat guys-wearing-helmets-and-screaming-about-love-and-death guy myself)... and it positively stomped all of the amps in terms of effortlessness at pounding/keeping the beat etc. True too for bass weight.
It is no weenie--- that is fo' shizza.
Now I havent gone 'In da Club' wid fiddy cent yet.... but I'll let you know. I'll bet the RWA can hammer it out though.
Go Shorty-- is yo birfday
We gonna pardee like is yo birfday
We gonna sip Bacardi like is yo' birfday...
It should be interesting to see if the Manley Stingray can free ma soul/get lost in ma rock n roll..... or maybe it'll just take tea, have crumpets and a cigar and O Sole Mio around the place.
Big Luv for ya,
The 30.3? Wow that will render the 30.2 obsolete-- I mean like it wont even WORK anymore when the new one comes out! Isnt that how it goes?
Judging from the limited responses... Guess there's not a heck of a lot of knowledge about Red Wine Audio products here on audiogon yet. Well-- they are definitely worth checking out in my estimation. Superb value for money and no-- they dont make new models every 2 months. I think the 30.2 is only the first update in a few years or so-- but word has it it is certainly mo' betta.
So, is Shindo Aurieges/Montille better? What about the Lavardin? Do you think it is a good buy?
Personally, I'm very curious (and it would be fabulous if the amp sounds great) but I need to get over pyschological aspects of buying a tiny chip and a couple capacitors. Perhaps if I could view stereo equipment as listening tools, then I could get past this prejudice.
Well-- I may not be able to comment on the full capability of the shindo gear as I am not bi-wiring the LV's with the Auditorium 23 speaker cables or using a Shindo interconnect, both of which are apparently highly recommended (almost mandated in fact) by those in the know for optimal Shindo set-up.
I will say in my current set-up, the Shindo gear and the Lavardin are rather enjoyable to listen to. The Lavardin is to me, slightly less pacey than the Shindo gear, and in the current set-up, slightly warmer. There is less separation between the musicians as well. It is about on a par with the Shindo gear bass-wise.
The Red Wine Amp seems to be punchier/more dynamic than either set-up (though the Shindo may have the edge pace-wise-- like Naim gear) and there is no denying that "little chip" or whatever is in the thing hits like a freight train with low taught bass.
I feel the RWA amp is more dynamic than the Lavardin piece and perhaps more so than the Shindo gear, though again the Shindo gear may not be optimally set-up. Like the lavardin, it does not seem at this point to plumb the depths as the RWA does bass-wise. And again, the RWA may not be quite as toe-tapping as the Shindo stuff. (But Shindo is green like Naim-- so that's to be expected, right? ;)
Please note-- my listening experience with the RWA is quite preliminary as Vinnie recommends 100 hours of break- in and at this point, there are like 6 hours on it total!! I still have not had a chance to listen further-- so I really wasnt going for an in-depth review-- just wanted to express my Shock and Awe that it was holding its own with the other stuff in-house in many ways from the moment I turned it on.
It perhaps is a mite 'papery' tonally right now but again-- no break in!!! In other words-- this thing has potential with a capital 'P.'
I am due to receive the manley Stingray tonight and that's a comparison I'm anxiously awaiting!!
...okay, I won't push any further. :-) let us know what you think in a couple weeks. so far, I'm getting that Shindo is better and it should be, given the price.
but do let us know your initial thoughts on the Sig to Stingray comparison.
a British zine said that the original Sig 30 struggled a bit in the pace/timing department. but I can't remember if they used a pre with it. I bet that would help.
Were they talking about the Red Wine Audio 30.2 you mean? It aint exactly struggling in that department! Never heard the first version though. I would call the Shindo gear slightly pacier though at this point. As for 'better'-- well, I'm witholding judgement till I have a few more hours on the RWA amp.
What's important to know is as yet-- no particular amp KILLS the other and they vary widely in price... so that's something, eh?
Hey, unless you have actually listened to the Signature 30.2 (I own one) and compared it to chip amps your comment does not hold weight. Having owned a few gainclone chip amps - and I won't list the names of the manufacturers - as well as tube amps I can tell you that the Red Wine 30.2 performs wayyy beyond its price and is a pleasure to listen to with all kinds of music. The chip amps sounded sterile and comparison and the tubes didnt have the black background, nor the control in the bass, nor the same level of dynamics. I say the original poster has it right and wait until he puts more hours on the 30.2, then I would like to hear his comments! :-)
But horses for courses as they say.
Cdc....Red Wine's .04% THD is certainly impressive.
I imagine if Red Wine provides frequency range, then he will have provided the same amount of data as other mfgs. I have asked for the FR range on their website. Only way to get FR response is to have John Atkinson review it. All the other magazines/zines are a joke in this area. These days you must listen for frequency aberrations with your ear or have your own test equipment.
Signal to noise ratio...I think it's assumed to be better than anything else out there...but I do not see this spec?
I would like to know the parts (resistors and caps used). Other mfgs will tell you this sort of thing. My guess is the cap upgrade is actually a cheaper product than the previous known cap for the Sig 30 - Jensen. For my taste, I have found the price of capacitors have no relevance to how they sound.
Regardless, the cap upgrade is a simple thing and if one was going to justify the $1K price increase, one must look at the redesign and inflation as the relevent factors (unless extremely pricey V-Caps or Cardas were used, I suppose). In any event, I don't think one is paying for parts when one buys either this one or the chip amp. Is that fair? (though the Patek is much cheaper).
Okay-- I'll come clean-- limited time at work though-- so this is briefer than I want it to be for now! I love the manley and the RWA-- but the Manley is slightly more forward with slightly less soundstage depth. Essentially it is a matter of perspective--
With my friend's Living Voice speakers (definitely not forward speakers but certainly not laid back sleepers---) I feel the Stingray is a touch too in my face. Just a touch...
HOWEVER-- conversely, with certain digital components, the RWA can err (for me and not necessarily you) slightly on the warm/friendly side.
This gets much more interesting though as my friend recently brought over an MHDT Paradisea + DAC which I connected to my long-time fave CD player-- the Lector CDP 0.6T mk. 2 via a standard Audio Art RCA interconnect (not a dedicated digital cable).
This DAC (not completely broken in) is slightly 'edgier' or more forward in perspective and with the manley it is just a bit too much-- but with the RWA it is nigh on perfect! I have only listened to it for an hour, so I cant say if I prefer it overall to the lector alone-- it may (and I mean MAY) have slightly more grain and maybe a smaller stage-- but it is definitely a bit more upfront and 'snappier' in perspective.
With the RWA this makes for a perfect balance with the LV speakers. Singers are RIGHT THERE in the room present and breathy and all that jazz.
Now-- those speaks are gonna have to go back to my friend streetdaddy (here on the 'gon) shortly-- so I'll have to find my own speakers and the fun is gonna start all over again!!
Essentially I am right now optimizing my sound for someone else's system!! Not smart, huh??
For example-- the reason I believe Bob Neill probably loves the Reynaud/Manley synergy is that the manley seems a touch in-yer-face and the Reynauds may be a touch warm and 'human.' Together they probably equal 'perfect'! So I could keep the Manley and buy Reynauds... but I'm sure i'd miss the little RWA, which is so engaging musically (Johnny Cash's 'Whem The Man Comes Around' is riveting via the RWA/lector combo-- you cant just listen to one track! It's one of those amps that makes people remain quiet until a track is over to tell you how good things sound... you know how it is! They dont wanna disturb Johnny while he's performing...
I would say that with laid back speakers (I dunno-- maybe spendors or something) the RWA could be a bit too warm. Similarly, with bright speakers (thiels; again-- to MY ear), the Manley might drive you out of the room.
Like Vinnie Rossi says-- it's all about synergy. He LOVES the RWA 30.2 with Devore 9's and to me, devore gibbon 8's (yes I have owned them so I have an opinion) were a touch forward and thinner/more 'neutral'/revealing than I'm used to. I'll just bet the very slightly warm nature of the RWA fancies the slightly cool nature of the Devores Big-Time.
The Manley amp is fast and fun and has great bass-- almost as much as the RWA. So is the RWA. The Manley has lots of inputs-- the RWA does not. The Manley is NOT remote controlled-- bummer.
Both are very engaging to listen to, though I think my temporary non-audiophile house guest Charles, my girlfriend and I all prefer the music-making of the RWA amp somewhat. Not to mention the convenience factor (small, light, no tubes etc).
It gets even MORE interesting though! When I connected the Shindo Aurieges pre to the RWA amp and used it strictly as an amplifier-- I got a slightly more forward and punchier sound-- what you might expect from going 'active' with a great pre like the Shindo-- very enjoyable!
Now, according to clandestine sources, a Shindo interconnect might give me an even better idea of what the combo is capable of-- but I aint got one. Alls I can tell ya is -- ees good! Best I've heard the Aurieges sound! Again-- no remote though (ancient Japanese custom?)
I do love the remote with the RWA-- awesome and small and cute. Again-- the volume steps might be juuuuust a wee bit coarse for perfection but that's often the case with stepped attnuators of any quality.
This is why I await with bated breath Vinnie's Isabella preamp- if it lends the already very punchy 30.2 and even punchier sound and has a continuously variable volume control-- well we might be in business!
Now-- assuming I stay with the RWA (leaning that way) when streetdaddy takes back his LV IBXR2 speakers-- what I'm gonna use is anybody's guess. I was gonna go Reynaud- but with the RWA-- that combo might be a touch warm. Again-- loved the Devore dynamics/definition/imaging etc-- but they were a touch forward and cooler than I like when I used to own them.
Love my old Totem ones-- though these arent at their best at lower levels like some other higher efficiency speakers. There's always the Acoustic Zen adagios and the Reference 3a Veena (new model with supertweeter like the the Grand Veena is coming out I think). OR-- I could drop BIG COIN for my own pair of LV IBXR2's-- a fabulously balanced transducer. But that's BIG COIN.
Sigh. This is why I didnt wanna like a lower powered amp-- despite its versatility-- I still say you got more choices with say, another fave of mine-- like the Unico standard or SE models (not in-house now for comparison). When you're playin' with a 160 watt 50 pound amp like the Unico SE you can buy whatever speakers you want-- except Scintillas!
Not to short change either the Manley or the Red Wine-- as I have not heard either with a "demanding" load.
In sum-- guess the fact that the stingray is for sale votes for the slightly more engaging nature (to ME in MY-- err... partyly someone else's) system. But I could certainly live with Messeur Manley and if i dont get my price-- may do just that for a while along with the RWA until the speaker choice has been made...
Wow. Nice writeup! From where I sit, I'm not surprised about the Manley. Seems modern tube amps are too bright for my tastes. Seems like Vinni Rossi really did a great job voicing this thing. I am using a Scott LK-48 (7189s in it) and I found the warmer nature of this amp much more suitable to my Gibbons. That amp is no slouch when rebuilt properly with great parts (Hovlands and Jensens) and it beat my previous Primaluna. Although with the mods/restoration, it's a bit brighter than a Scott restored to spec but still warmer than modern amps. It's not as dynamic as the KT88 Primaluna but does everything else better...general musicality, PRaT, and holographic imaging. Thus, I had considered the Stingray simply because it uses EL84/7189 tubes.
One question...did the battery power make a noticeable difference? I am making the perhaps very silly assumption that the Red Wine amp was totally silent and in comparison, the Stingray wasn't.
Your comments are much appreciated.
Nice write up!
You wrote: the gibbons 8's were a touch forward and thinner/more 'neutral'/revealing than I'm used to.
man I am using the RWA 30.2 with DeVore Super 8's and the combo sounds damn good! Two words come to mind are musical and engaging. see if you can listen to the 30.2 with some Dvore models because this amp is a sweet match with them and i read on AC that Vinnie used the Nines when developing the 30.2 design so I am not surprised. I'm hooked on the sla battery concept and am saving some more coin to get the red wine Isabella tube preamp with dac option when it is out in the spring. i'll sure post when I get one!
good luck with speaker hunting. i'm sure there many out there that will gel with Vinnies 30.2!
Bravo to you for the write up! Not many audiophiles have the guts to admit Vinnie' amps are up to par with the so called "hi-end". Anyway, as far as speakers the Quad esl 57' work pretty well for me with my Sig 30. Very good depth and emotion, sounds great with all types of music, but you may want a sub for rock. Cheers.
In response to Plinko's inquiry-- the battery power does not make the RWA totally silent-- but there isnt a lot of hss and hum at the speaker as compared for example with the Stingray-- whch has the typical ransformer hum of a tube amp. The Stingray is just a touch brighter and has a bit less depth.
Someone asked about 'different batteries' or something. The batteries in the RWA are in there to stay as far as i know and I sure as hell wouldnt want to monkey around in that thing!
As for the Devore possibility- buying a speaker brand again that I once re-sold owing to my reservations about the sound does give me pause-- but I am certainly open to the idea that there might not have been the best system synergy at the time and maybe the 30.2 will be to the Devore's liking...
BTW-- further experimenting tells me I may slightly prefer the Lector now overall to the MHDT DAC when I use the Signal Cable Magic Power Digital ref power cord I have along with placing the Lector on a neuance shelf. These additions brightened the sound a bit and thinned the midbass just a touch-- making I think, a more copascetic pairing with the RWA. Love to give the heralded Monarchy NM24 a go...Marty De Wulf in Bound For Sound seems to think it's 'Reimyo-good.'
In any case-- no matter the power cord or the isolation shelf or what-have-you-- the 30.2 is most definitely 'high end'-- whatever that means for you.
In other words-- even if you've got 20 grand in equipment to compare to the RWA-- you wont be laughing when you turn the thing on and press play on your source or drop the needle or whatever. You'll be wondering quite seriously why all your pricey gear didnt necessarily get you 17,500 dollars closer to the music!
The 30.2 may not be the best amp on the planet-- but it'll hang with anything i've heard in my 20 years or so of monkeying with this crap. If you dont fancy it-- it'll be down to taste-- not quality. Possibly different -- not worse, though-- than ANYTHING... and that says a lot for a 2500 dollar amp.
I also recently took delivery of the Signature 30.2 and am blown away by how good it sounds!!! I'm running Gallo Ref. 3.1s and it puts a big smile on my face every time I listen and I am listening more and more these days. I've been in this hobby for years and have owned much more pricey tube and SS gear and the 30.2, like abramsmatch says, "hangs with" some of the best I've owned and i'll say is one of the most enjoyable amps I've listened to in a long time. My friend also has the 30.2 and is running Quad ESL 57s and is equally floored after trying plenty of amps that were more costly and didn't "glue him to his listening chair."
yeah - its a keeper!
Well Jwarmbrand, I'm a bit stumped. I've been running a Signature 30 with my Quad ESL 57s for six months now and have never been completely satisfied with the upper treble (especially massed violins) - I definitely prefer my Heathkit UA-1 push-pull amps in this area. At Vinny's suggestion I experimented with several brands of speaker cable, but the slight upper treble aggressiveness has persisted. The Sig 30 also did not fare well in my friends system with Gallo Signature 3.1s and was literally blown away by his reference 845-based SETs.
Don't get me wrong, other than the treble issue, the amp performs extremely well with my Quads. Perhaps it's just a matter of taste since I'm trying very hard to be completely satisfied. Have you had a chance to compare your new 30.2 to the older model - if so, is the difference that pronounced? I understand that others have been very impressed with the Sig 30.2/Quad combo, but I'm a little reluctnt to make the $500 minimum upgrade investment. Does your friend listen to classical?
Yes he had the Sig 30 and later had it fully upgraded to the 30.2 and the top end is much more refined with the 30.2. He said the difference is very obvious and it was a big improvement and well worth the cost. yes he does listen to classical as well as jazz, and some blues and rock.
I never owned the Sig 30 so I cannot say how it sounds on the Gallo 3.1s, but the 30.2 really sings with them and I am very satisfied. According to what I've been reading on the forumjs and the 6moons review the 30.2 is better than the orginal 30 in many areas and not just the top end.
I am just patiently waiting for the Isabella preamp!!!
Hmmm, that makes my upgrade decision a bit more difficult since it appears the improvements to the Sig 30 address my main area of concern. One thing I did not mention is that I run my source components (CD/SACD player and phono pre) directly from the amp using the now discontinued Sig 3S source select switch and have not yet experimented with a tube line preamp in the mix. I've read that this adds more "bloom", etc. to the treble in some systems. However, I still notice the same treble characteristics whether I'm listening to vinyl or digital, despite the fact that my phono pre (Audion Trode Silver Night) utilizes tubes.
I too am wondering about this upgrade from the SIG 30 to the SIG 30.2.
I loved the sound of the SIG 30(in system for 4 months) but when i put back in my WRIGHT WPA 3.5 SET amps into service i couldn't get myself to swap back. The RWA is an awesome amp and it was just lacking some things that the Wright was doing correctly to my ears. Now if this SIG 30.2 can take the huge step towards that SET sound as the SIG 30 was getting close to achieving, well then we have my unit going back to Vinnie at RWA for an upgrade. I don't need the headache of tubes in my life. The Sig 30 was close but it wasn't THERE. So if anyone can comment on this i would be grateful!
The 30.2 is not identical to my Yamamoto A-08S which shall stand in as one example for a superior modern low-power SET.
But I'd say that the 30.2 now is playing "on the level" with it. Bass is far better as you'd expect and it's actually warmer.
The Yamamoto has more energy in the mid to upper treble and when it comes to that vocal sex thing (whatever you want to call it but I reckon we all know what I mean by it), it still has the edge over the 30.2.
The big flipside of course is that the RWA uses
- no tubes
- can drive speakers the Yamamoto can't even dream about
Which, to me and at the end of the day, makes the 30.2 a SET-like (but not SET-same) and nearly universal recommendation. But it's not the same yet and perhaps never will be since, I believe, part of the SET magic is a certain unpredictable non-linear behavior which someone, elsewhere, called "artificial intelligence". By which he described SET -typical behavior where the amp carves out the lead vocals while it sets back the accompaniment a bit in importance.
That kind of editorializing the Signature 30.2 does not do and I don't think any transistor amp will (unless, perhaps, it's got high output impedance *and* an output transformer)...
Does anyone have any comments on the amp version (sans attenuator) of the 30.2?.
I would be looking to run it with a Bent Audio TVC and wondering if the voicing of the integrated version versus the amp only version would be the same or different. I really like the "warm" voicing of the integrated version (with built-in Goldpoint attenuator), however I prefer the "silent" operation (no major mechanical moving parts - hence no mechanical noise) of the Bent TVC (which incorporates an optical encoded volume control with remote and reed relay switching of the autoformer winding). Also, the Bent TVC allows volume graduations of 1db for very fine control, which is especially handy with high efficiency speakers such as my Zu Druids.
I have tried the integrated version and was able to utilize the Bent TVC with the 30.2's internal Goldpoint attenuator set at max (or lower). I thought that the 30.2 sounded warmer and just as transparent operating with it's own internal attenuator than with the TVC. However, the integrated version has an input Z of 20K while the amp only version has an input of 100K. I'm wondering if the difference in input impedance betweeen the two versions of the 30.2 would have an effect on the voicing with the TVC in line.
Also, it seems that if Vinnies's Isabella tube pre ends up being a winner (as is the 30.2) then the amp only version of the 30.2 would seem a logical way to go as it would allow for the eventual insertion of the Isabella.
Any comments appreciated.
Im trying to decide between the RWA 30.2 and Supratek Malbec.I will def. order the 30.2 since it has a 30 day trail!My system is;Supratek Chardonnay,Harmonic Precision Caravelles,ACI Force sub,.I am really hoping the 30.2 works well in my system,,from what ive read it is everything I want in a poweramp,any thoughts?Ray
I just want to add that I have gotten slightly more preferable results tonally with my RWA since my original posting by using it with Stereovox and DH Labs Air Matrix IC's. The amp seems to sound a touch warm with my reference JPS SC 3's-- which usually get along well with most gear. The JPS wire is slightly more colorful and airy, but I think I prefer the DH and the Stereovox wire tonally with the RWA in my system.
Just a note for those who feel warmth can sometimes be too much of a nice thing for their taste.
I hooked up my 30.2 last Monday,so it has around 40 hours of playing time .I have noticed that it def. is going thru "break in" so ill wait till it has at least 100 hours before making any comments.I will say that it is Very quiet!I wish more high end products had a 30 day return policy ,I really hope this amp works out,but if not I will probably order the Supratek Malbecs!Ray