RWA amp with DODD preamp both battery powered

I should get Dodd Audio battery preamp next week (from good people of Underwood) and I also have purchased RWA (Red Wine Audio) Sig.30 (Omega version) from another audiophile here on AgoN.

I thought of using RWA in my second system with some monitor (still big question mark on which- I like M&D but might go with Omegas instead). However since I am going to have them both , I thought about pairing these battery powered pieces and see what happens. I am not sure if RWA 30wpc will have enough juice to drive my Quatros but I will give it a shoot ......if only out of curiosity.

Do you guys have any thoughts or opinions about these two working together or maybe someone actually tried this combo in his/her system????

I am all ears.
It seems like you guys are playing a very save game with brands that are widely available and popular. Well, I have RWA and DODD home, along with some awesome monitors that go down to 30Hz. But I am not telling how it sounds. Good luck with your systems.

:) :)

I'm sure the RWA 30.2 sounds great with the Dodd preamp, congrats! I was highly considering the Dodd pre, but Vinnie at RWA is close to releasing the RWA Isabella and it is also a tubed preamp on SLA battery power and there is an option for a NOS dac built-in. I have talked to Vinnie about his preamp design and I know he is voicing it to be very special with the RWA amps so I just have to be a little patient. Vinnie sounds very confident that he has something pretty magical with his Isabella design and based on how much I enjoy my 30.2, I trust him 100%. Can't wait to order one when it is ready!

Maybe you can "borrow" the Isabella on a 30 day trial and put it up against your Dodd and let us know :-)

Jeff that would indeed be very interesting comparison.
When I ordered my Dood , Isabella wasn't in production yet.
There is a price difference that is quite a bit - at least for me. I bought my Dodd for $2495 new - directly from Dodd but through awesome Walter from Underwood. Gave up my Granite Audio as a trade-in. Isabella looks great and I am sure it will sound as good as the rest of RWA products. If someone owns one - sure, come over for a shoot-out. A little get together for few audiophiles is always welcome in my house. I will setup my second system (temporarily) today with superb monitors that I bought on Friday and I am hoping it will turn heads.

Mrjstark, I would be interested in your initial impressions of the Dodd. I also ordered one from Walter and should have it shortly. I will be using mine with a pair of VAC Auricle 70/70 monoblocs that are also in route. I strongly considered the 30.2, but was afraid that it wouldn't mate well with my current speakers. However, I certainly hope to try RWA amps one day.

In short (after few hours) - I really think that I am done........three preamps bought this year , another one on the loan and I belive this preamp is a keeper. I don't want to say how it sounds.....yet, but I am very, very glad I took that chance. You won't regret it .....neither do I. is done........I mean the search. I am going to swap the JJs for some nice Ampx 6922 or even better....7308 Amperex PQ USA. The only problem is getting these 7308s at reasonable price. I have called my sources but one has few military versions which I am not sure about and the other went .....nuts. Anyway, it should respond very well to tube rolling. Besides , there is only two to worry about and it would have make sense to invest in the best tubes out there.

If I find some time I will say some more about its sound and overall feel and finish.

Dodd goes very well with Red Wine..........Audio of course.
Mrjstark. I got mine yesterday, but only have a couple of hours of play time as well. Sounds great so far and the build quality is very good. I skipped the stock JJ's and am using a pair of Amperex A-frame (orange label) 6dj8's. I've read that folks seem to like 7308's in this pre, so I'll probably search a pair of those out for comparison sake. As you point out, the choice stuff is getting pricey.
I am also on the look out for few pairs of Amperex 7308 PQ white label USA as well as Bugle Boy 6DJ8s and Amperex USN-6922 White Label GP. Those were recommended by one of the very first owners of Dodd pre amp. I trust his opinion and will try to follow his lead.
Tube vendors are going undeniably insane with prices raising through the roof. I don't mind paying fair price for excellent product or tubes for that matter but IMHO what is happening lately is just out of control. The only way, this so called friendly tube vendors get away with that is because some audiophiles with a hard on for rare and " collectible " tubes pay without blinking an eye.
Ebay on the other hand is polluted with counterfeits and ripoffs......risky business unless you know the source.

Back on Dodd. You did not say what were your 1st impressions and I hope that it is everything you did hope this preamp to be. I know it is to me. I have played with Dodd a little in my 2nd - smaller system for the break-in period ( that should not be longer then 100-150 hours if you ask me ). It is complementing Red Wine Audio Sig 30 and ADD monitors without being to obvious or dominant. I believe that Gary's minimal, simplistic approach is responsible for such a transparency and lock of signature sound other the the stock tubes. I love it. Its silence and ridiculous absence of noise of any kind is the achievement that is worth every penny and then some. Products like Dodd - which is IMO audiophiles best kept secret - have tendencies to become very well received by press and audiophile circles which ultimately leads to price increase. I am very careful with my words here but it is a product that should be kept secret and should not be carry on the golden platter like few other brands here on AgoN that count on users good feedbacks to survive and those with longest tongue act as their advocates.

At the end I hope that few that try this preamp can share their experiences .....but maybe not here where is so many rivalry between different camps.

If someone is willing to share some ideas fine but I would rather not do it here.

mrjstark, I still only have about twenty hours on the Dodd so far, so my impressions are still developing, but I definitely share your enthusiasm for this pre. The synergy with my VAC Auricles is amazing. I listen to a lot of acoustic music and the combination of the Dodd and the VAC's reproduces acoustic instruments with amazing accuracy. I'm going to withhold any subjective impressions of the sound pending complete break-in and some tube rolling, but needless to say I'm thrilled with the Dodd so far.

As to the unit itself, I am very pleased with the build quality. All switches fell very solid and the batteries were easy to install, etc. Also, I love the remote, which allows very minute volume changes.
I have a pair of new
Phillips Miniwatt SQ E188CC gold pin tubes, that I may part with. I don't know if you remember me, but you sold me the Supratek preamp which I am enjoying. I received these tubes with a DK integrated amp that I bought (and sold) a while back.
I understand these are the best tubes you can buy that work for 6922 6dj8 position. I recently picked up a tube tester so I can confirm their condition. I was going to keep them just incase a Supratek preamp went up for sale with phono stage built in. But I gather now that Supratek is out of business, I won't be seeing many for sale. Let me know. I check tubeworld and they sell for $450. They look just like the Philips SQ 1966 on this page

Thanks, Jeff
Good news bad news.
Bad news first:
JJs suck and should be replace as soon as possible.
Good news:
Dodd is very responsive to tube rolling and it's the tube roller's delight.
I have visited another audiophile today and took my Dodd for a ride. Since he is obviously more experience in this and has small stash of variety of different nos tubes we decided to give it a shot. Amperex Bugle Boy Orange Label was a lot more relaxed and with better middle range and not as analytical and sorry to say this - SS sounding as JJ 6922 that came with Dodd.
Since there are only two tubes to worry about it will be easy and not to expensive to play around with some nice a
Amperex, Mullards or even Telefunkens ( which are not my favorite but if I come accross these , I might try them as well). I might get some 7308s soon but from what I am hearing from another Dodd owner is that his 7308s don't have that tubey sound if that is what you are looking for. With 7308s in , he claims Dodd sounds similar to Modwright ( I am guessing - analytical and transparent but no soul ).

I thought that you might find this interesting .


Thanks for the insight. As with all things audio, I'm sure the best tubes are system dependent. I'm pretty happy with the Amperex 6dj8's I'm using now and they're relatively affordble. I'll search out a couple of other pairs in the 6922/6dj8 family over time for comparison sake, but for now I'm just enjoying listening!
Shot-out coming up next weekend

Modwright vs Dodd

( only 50hrs on Dodd. Hope to get at least 100hrs by the time of the showdown )
( the that those Sonicaps need a couple hundreds hrs to fully break-in .....but who cares when it sounds quite good out of the box. Will try some 7308 white label PQ Amperex as well as SQ mini-watts and Bugle-Boy orange label. )

Stay tune for the results

Mrjstark, I have some Amperex 7308 white label PQ's cooking in my Dodd right now and they are fantastic. Smooth as a baby's bottom without any hint of glare that I can detect. In an already warm system I could see how how the PQ's could be perceived as slightly laid back or too much of a good thing if you will, but they are perfect in my set up. Very natural sounding to my ears. I only have a few hours on them now and my Dodd is still not fully broken in, but I believe the PQ's may be THE tube for this pre. I will be interested in your comparison.
Modwright vs Dodd results are in.
( For independent opinions go to Audio Circle and see 2008 mini Rave thread. )

System used at the Rave:
RWA Sig.30 amp - T-amp 30wpc
Dodd preamp
Modwright preamp
Portable cdp - Sony and some Sony DVD player.
Cables - plain Monster IC and bran X .
Butler hybrid amp - I think it was 2550 , 250wpc .
Speakers - AAD 2001 monitors.

Dodd with RWA won for the best tone and musicality as long as the amps were not pushed to the point of cliping. Replacing RWA with Butler gave the system more control and eliminated the stress that RWA amp had when pushed too hard. Better authority, punch and limitless power. However, if quality/musicality/tone is on top of your list and you listen to music at average levels , RWA won in that department.
Dodd and two sets of tubes. First set, Mulards NOS. The secend set Amperex 7308 German made with red label.
It was clear and agreed on by all that Mullards were superior to Amperex 7308s. Mullards better Apx. at every department and most of all middle range and especialy vocals. Great tube.
Amperex were soul-less, dry and SS-ish.......Those were not white label PQs but some said it would not change the sound that much......that I don't know.

Dodd vs Modwright
Well, IMO Modwright is a very good preamp that is very detailed, transparent, fast with very little coloration.
I would go as far as to say that it almost sounds like the SS preamp. Its middle range is its weakest point IMO. Vocals were overpowered by crisp hights and dominated bass. It seemed like the vocals were pushed back at least few feet. Also there is the problem that I am very sensetive to - edgy, hard, crisp hights. I don't see myself buying Modwright for that reason alone. Secend, backgrounds with Dodd were so much cleaner, fluid and easily heard.Very subtle inner information, ambient noise, acoustic space were all there with scary clarity. Not so with Modwright - too chaotic if you must ask.....very difficult to concetrat and just imposible to loose yourself in music at the times. And last but not least , middle range is where Dodd just crashed Modwright. IMO , Dodd was a clear winner. Modwright held its own and I would recommended to someone that wants to try tube preamp but fears over tubeee sound and lost of resolution.
Dodd is for music lovers with a bit warm, liquid character. But it was the Mullards and not the Dodd that we were listening to. With Amx the magic was lost. I think my tube of choice is Mullard as long as someone can recommend something better.

Dodd rules!!!!! at least in my book.


can anyone suggest a moderately priced amp to match with the dodd preamp. have quad 22L speakers listen to mostly acoustic music with occasional rock and jazz. the 22L"s need moderate power from my experience with them> also would the red wine 30.2 int be a good match for them?

This article mentions the 30.2 with the Quad 57s:

Not sure if your 22L's are harder to drive, but I doubt it because the 57s are supposedly the most challenging load.

The beauty of the RWA 30.2 is the 30-day home trial so all you have to lose is shipping and if you end up like me, you have LOTS to gain with the 30.2. It is amazing and I can't wait to get the Isabella battery tubed preamp for mine!!!

Good luck with your search,

Concidering the Quads 89db sensitivity you should be fine with RWA int. I saw one up for sale with extra inputs at very good price. I am not familiar with 22Ls but heard their monitors. If they sound alike and your preferance is tone, inner detail, stark black backgrounds and musicality .......I would say yes. For around 1K used it is hard to beat.
Good luck
( I could help if in NY area )

Mrjstark, located in staten island. trying to upgrade from a ps audio gcc-100 to either seperates or another integrated hence my interest in both the dodd and rwa integrated. have been a little frustrated in upgrading components. already tried a prima luna dialogue which i felt sounded strained and harsh with the quads .so still reseaching and looking
Hey Panu21, it might be your lucky day. One of the AgoN members asked me to audition my Dodd preamp. I agreed and we will try to make it happen soon. He is also located on Staten Island, we could try to do that on the same day. Do you own Dodd? If not, I will bring my own. And RWA of course so you can hear for yourself if it is what you are looking for or not. Should be fun........I hope it will help you to make the right decision.

currently using a ps audio gcc-100 int amp.
looking to switch that out with either the RWA int
or Dodd preamp with an amp although not sure which one .
not sure which way to go or what amp preferably ss would be good with the Dodd. is the RWA a good match with the dodd not really familiar with this equipment but am definately interested.
Yes, RWA works with Dodd quite well. If SS amp is your cup of tea, I would look for Butler hybrid amp. It was a very good match with Dodd at the latest NY Rave meeting. I am not sure how much is it new or on used market but I can ask around. Butler was rated at 225wpc ......I think but I could be wrong on this one.



What specific Mullard 6922/7397 tube are you recommending for the Dodd?

I'm considering the Dodd and your comments on the Modwright are of interest to me. I've owned several of Dan's CD players and in the Fall had him do a "signature upgrade" to a 999es. I know how significant the sound improved by adding the tube power supply and then adding the MWI caps.

Which version of the MWI 9.0 preamp was used in the recent comparison
- solid state power supply
- tube power supply
- signature model wiht tube power supply and MWI caps

my system:
Red Wine 30.2 integrated
Zu Druids with 2008 speaker upgrade kit
MWI 9100es Ulimate Truth
APL Denon 3910 with 2008 upgrades

thanks Ken
Hi Ken,

Dan has some fine well regarded products under his belt. One of my favorites is modified Sony 9100 ES universal CD/DVD/SACD player which sound great. It would be great addition to my rig and add state of the art multichannel playback capibility which my system is missing.

Modwright SWL 9.0 SE stock tube linestage was the unite that was the part of the shot-out. I imagine that 36.5 would do substantially better and I am not for one underestimate its qualities and overall performance superiority over older 9.0 design. I have had the pleasure of hearing 36.5 during 2008 CES in Vegas. I can not comment or discuss its potentials due to the usually poor sounding rooms that are major problems in most cases while trying to audition new gear at the shows. The only way to get any meaningful and true idea of its virtues and sound is to insert it to your system and listen.
Its signature "house" sound characteristics were it a good thing ?....I do not know. Maybe for some and not for others I guess. At the end it looks seems like a solid performer and it might be worth a closer look.

As to the Mullard tube of choice. It is:

CV 2493
(I have some pics of that tube in My Gallery on Audio Circle - user name "Mariusz" )

This tube is just wonderful in Dodd preamp. I must add that I never was a big fan of Mullard's smaller tubes and the only other tube from Britain that I considered to use in my system was Mullard's famous EL34s for my mono-amps.

Its middle-range is second to non and its ability resolve and rendition of music material is relaxed and very emotional experience. 7308 Amperex NOS made in W. Germany was plain and boring in comparison. It took about a minute for the fellow audiophiles to rule the Mullards as the champ. I also used some NOS orange label 6922 Amperex made in Holland. These performed better and are just behind Mullards.

I hope it helps somewhat and answers your questions.


Coming soon - Exclusive comparison between DODD & RWA ISABELLA with build in Isabellina DAC.

It is still few weeks away though.
By the end of this month I will audition new Isabella preamp - Vinnie Rossi of Red Wine Audio new creation.
Vinnie was kind enough to accept my invitation for un-official first look of his new battery powered preamp -
his really, Isabella is the name of his gorgeous little daughter and preamp was named after her.

Along Isabella preamp Vinnie will bring his Sig.30.2 amp (also battery powered) and something else.......something unexpected but worth taking a closer look - new RWA interconnects and speaker cables that Vinnie worked on for the past year. It is not out yet and I am sure he will announce the introduction soon on his website.
According to Vinnie Rossi these cables were design to complament his other components and I am sure will be a perfect match for those using his gear.....but not only.

I might also have John Rutan (one of the biggest Vandersteen speakers dealers) to fine tune Quatros for that event. I am not sure if John would be interested to come on the day of the audition........ it sure would be fun. Well Quartos should be optimized by then to have the system at its peak.

Among other interesting ideas we will have a iMac powerbook hooked up to Isabella's DAC and if possible (it depends if John of audioconnection will have one available - I think I am like 36th or something like that on his wating list) Wadia

Check this thread in few weeks for the first impressions of Isabella battery preamp as well as how Dodd stuck up to his bigger brother.

Cheers and enjoy the music

Is the battery operated usage of the Dodd convenient or
does it present any problems in everyday use? Does it take any special attention or monitoring? Is it always available?
Easy as ABC.
It is plugged into AC outlet all the time (recommended by Gary). When switched OFF , it is in charge mode. When it is ON , power is cut off and it's in battery mode. No chance of over-charging and runs on batteries for a loooong time. Actualy , I haven't run out of juice in one session yet.
So far so good.

Here are some pics from the Isabella audition with detail comparison coming up in few days or so. See page 2 & 3 for pics from the RAVE.

Just a little tease - it is a really good preamp.
Isabella preamp impressions and comparison

Vinnie's new creation is truly remarkable achievement in combining battery
powered preamp with NOS digital to analog convertor and high quality headphone amplifier. Isabella is equipped with three inputs , two outputs , one headphone in, digital ins and USB for its build in Isabellina DAC as well as Hi / Low * gain* selector switch on the back side of the Isabella to compensate for systems which could benefit from this feature. This particular option prove to be especially useful in Rave system setup and Vinnie's Sig. 30.2 amplifier (30Wpc in stereo.) being used to drive my reference speakers - Vandersteens Quatro with build in powered woofers and its own EQ (which wasn't optimized at the time of the "Rave").

Another very thoughtful feature is the glass sliding window on the top of the unit to provide easy and convenient access to stock JJ 6922 tubes (or any other tubes for that matter) that Isabella came with and which are included with the preamp. Swapping tubes just couldn't be simpler.

Stock JJ tubes are in Vinnie's opinion one of the best , inexpensive and widely available tubes on the market today. I agree with that statement and surly there are others who share that opinion. It is a very nicely balanced tube, from top to bottom.
By replacing stock tubes with NOS Mullards added more middle range presents , liquidity and more life like rendition of vocals and instruments with extra spaciousness and articulation. Piano was reproduced the best I have heard in my system with
attack transient that was accurately portray and consonant at least to my ear. It might however be my personal perception and/or preferences which doesn't necessarily have to mirror your own taste or ears. Describing my experiences with Isabella and Mullards are as positive and preferable as with Dodd and the same tubes. But one mustn't glorify Mullard tube alone for its magic……..its the component(s) and synergy of your system as well as your preferences towards this particular sound characteristics that will play the most important role in choosing the tubes that work and sound right to YOUR EAR - not mine.

Isabella (as everybody knows) runs on batteries and I am happy to report that beside the fact of being ultra quit when run in that mode, it was ( as Vinnie advertised ) performing almost identical when plugged into the wall outlet directly. For most its run time on batteries might be more then enough but if for whatever reason you will need or want to use Isabella for longer listening sessions, no worries it won't disappoint while in AC/DC mode.

Listening to Isabella's DAC with Vinnie's Mac as the source was very satisfying and I can see how someone might want to use it in such a configuration. Quality of music reproduction and absents of the usual edginess and lifeless characteristics of digital music files was staggering. I could happily live with that setup and never look back. You might ask if it is as good or better the stand alone CD player. Well , yes and no. I believe that Isabella is definitely on par or better then some very good players out there but not all. It is not exactly AMR CD-77 but it might (considering the quality of Isabellina DAC) be the perfect solution for those who can not afford the top of the line CDP but still want that (or close to it) great quality of reproduction without breaking the bank.

Playing music thru Consonance Droplet CDP 5.0 ($3200 retail) and using its analog as well as digital out made it possible to evaluate the quality of both DACs and come up with the results. Isabellina ($2000 DAC or $1500 option for Isabella) sounds fantastic and I must admit that it would be silly to add $2000 DAC to Droplet as it would rise the tag price of this combo to $5200. However it did improve the already great CD player yet to another level by adding realism and fluidness over Droplet's upsampling DAC. It wasn't day and night difference but was easily heard by all , including myself. Vinnie did the switching and Buddy as well as I could tell the difference every time. I must add that we both preferred Isabellina DAC over Droplet's build in DAC. I think that Isabellina might be one of the best DACs within the reach of most serious audiophiles out there - highly recommended as a stand alone product and hat off to Vinnie for coming up with the wining formula.

To accurately describe the sound of Isabella ($4000 Linestage only) and grasp how does it stuck-up to real competition we performed some comparison to already released and raved about by owners as well as press - Dodd battery powered preamp ($3300) , which I happened to own. Dodd preamp selling for $700 less then Isabella gives you extra input, HT pass thru, longer run on the single charge and beautiful wood finish with chromed-cover and front controls. But does it automatically means that it is a better value or overshadows new kid on the block Isabella? Not quite.
Are these two, great products close in performance? I would say that they have more in common then what differs them ……to the point…. Sound wise, well this is one of the most difficult comparisons for me so far. Not that I couldn't hear the differences between these two but from other perspective as well. Let me explain.
Here are some (IMO) important factors to consider while choosing the preamp that works best for you:
(my case was no brainer. When I bought my Dodd, Isabella wasn't available. Gary was running a special ($2495) and I was able to trade my Granite Audio 770fp preamp almost without loss - money wise. I need HT pass-true & definitely could use the extra input.)

Things going for Dodd
• Price. I am not sure if the Dodd sells still at special price of $2495 but if he does , for many it will be the tie-breaker.
• Extra input and HT-pass-true. Those with HT setups might choose Dodd over Isabella for that feature alone.
• Those who are not looking to add more liquidity/warmness to their systems may opt. for more forward Dodd.
• Beautiful finishes, especially for wood lovers.

So what Isabella has to offer?
* Sound that is spellbinding, smooth and almost erotic. Highly recommended to sensible ears and overly bright systems.
* DAC, headphone amp of excellent quality on board. Simplifies the system. Guarantees perfect synergy and sound.
* Runs on AC for unlimited amount of time if needed.
* Small foot print
* High/Low gain switch for extra volume for demanding, more difficult speakers or low power SET amps.

As far as sound quality is concern, in my system I would have to give on edge to Isabella. It is more musical, resolving and has wider and more precise imaging and soundstage. This was however most noticed while A/B-ing two preamps side by side . Later that night I was still enjoying Dodd and loved it. If I had to choose between the two NOW, after hearing them both in my system and If I was on the market for new preamp & DAC, I would go with Isabella - if I had the money.
For those on the tighter budget Dodd is still above the competition and has some features that some might find as very important and irresistible. Together with Isabella these two preamps are IMO one of the best values and performers on the market today and are worth its asking price and then some.

Congratulation to Vinnie for an excellent product and I should also add that Gary is not to far behind… least when it comes to linestage. Both great products.

Hi Mrjstark, interesting that you find the Isabella a little bit "warmer", more musical, and yet it has a more "precise" imaging.

I am not good at audiophile glossary at all. I always thought that a gear that sounds 'warmer' tends to give away the precision of the image. Nevertheless, I am a photographer, so when people talk to me about image precision, I imagine an object being very well focused with well defined boundary (or sharp boundary).

In the world of audio, my understanding is that when we add tubes, we tend to 'diffuse' the image a little, reducing the sharpness of the object which can make the object sound bigger, more liquid (i.e. more gentle transition from one boundary to another), less edginess, more holographic, but the trade-off is that each object is no longer as well-defined as before.

I am not trying to debate glossary, I am just trying to imagine and understand what exactly you're hearing based on your description.

In any case, your review was a well-written and straight-to-the-point.

Take care
Imaging - The measure of a system's ability to float stable and specific phantom images, reproducing the original sizes and locations of the instruments across the soundstage.

Warm, fluid, smooth....yes. Dark....NO.
When I said that Isabella is on the worm side, I meant: effortless, 3-dimensional, very emotional, smooth but not syrupy sound. My guess is that its qualities lay in the choice of capacitors, which are(if I am not mistaken) oil-filled Jensens.

Also, due to very low floor-noise and absolute lock of degrading effect of the polluted power lines (grid garbage), more subtle information and details are able to get true without being saturated and automatically vanish from the original recording.

warm doesn't necessarily means lock of detail or this case, it is just a small amount of warmness which might be beneficial and in some cases - preferred.

In the world of audio, my understanding is that when we add tubes, we tend to 'diffuse' the image a little, reducing the sharpness of the object which can make the object sound bigger, more liquid (i.e. more gentle transition from one boundary to another), less edginess, more holographic, but the trade-off is that each object is no longer as well-defined as before.

Well, yes and no.
In my opinion tubes actually add to realism of the reproduction rather then distorts it or take anything away from musical enjoyment.
I guess that big part of successful setup lays in synergy, careful component choices as well as tubes, wires and of course - room acoustics.

For some, sharpness or surreal detail might be interpreted as coloration or edginess and it might cost fatigue for others.

Tubes like caps influence the sound and its characteristics. We used Mullards as well as JJ.
Where JJ sounded more balanced and more "detailed" at frequency's extremes. Matter of taste and preferences.
When we switched back to my Consonance Cybers 800 (we originally have used Vinnie's Sig.30.2 amp [30wpc] for evaluation) things kick up a notch. Better dynamics, speed and bottom end improved substantially. Simply speaking, Vandys like more power then Sig.30.2 can provide and in my opinion are more transparent in general.
You have to pick your poison and what suits you best....and your system.

Hi Mariusz,

I just posted my impressions of Isabella here:

I wish I can write as good as you :)

Thanks for posting your impressions,

Thank you Jeff and congratulations for getting great preamp like Isabella and nice write-up about your impressions and experiences.
Keep up a good work.

Update - replaced Dodd Audio preamp with Isabella/dac pream as well as upgraded my Omega Sig 30 integrated to Sig.30.2 amp.

Here are some pics from another NY meeting and RWA gear accompanied by WLM La Scala monitor from Austria.

My Isabella/dac, Sig.30.2 amp and Vinnie's WLM La Scala monitors

another shot

close up

guess who Mrjstark is?

Sorry , wrong links
Here is the link:
What's up!!
Nice review.
Would you say the isabella will work with atmasphere m60 and/or conrad johnson premier 4 amps.
Or should I consider the dodd.
Nothing I've used works better with the Atma-sphere amp than the Atma-sphere pre IHO. Loved the Dodd with my Music Reference, but the Atma-sphere gears works really well together, a great match with your Merlins.
What's up!!
Nice review.
Would you say the isabella will work with atmasphere m60 and/or conrad johnson premier 4 amps.
Or should I consider the dodd.

What's up with you????
Shopping around???

Re; your question, well
you are the only one who can answer that.
I do not own neither one of these amps. (are you testing me?) ;)

Pubul57 owns Atma-amp and I would consider his opinion more meaningful then my own point of view or speculation.

If you can find Dodd, I can bring the RWA.
The only way to be sure.