Shindo Monbrison better a RedWine Isabella?

I'm consistently intrigued by the Shindo gear, and I'm eyeballing a Monbrison pre to replace my Redwine Audio Isabella pre. I've currently got the system synergy thing going with RedWIne 70.2s (all Auditorium cabling, Devore Nines). Am I barking up the wrong tree here and about to destroy a good thing, or can I expect higher levels of audio engagement with the Shindo at the heart of things? Thank you in advance.
The Shindo equipment is supposed to be a synergistic match with the Devore speakers. I put a Shindo Auriges pre into my system and it was startling how musical and emotionally connecting my system is now . ASL Hurricanes driving Magnapan 1.6qr's. Go for the Shindo. You will not regreat it.
Shindo is in the escoteric realm of audiodom. I say Shin-DO!

The Shindo is a more musical preamp with a richer sound then the Red Wine, however, you have to way if the system is going the right direction, the Devores are not exactly bright sounding speakers either.

I am really surprised that so many audiophile here do not know that there is an American made, modern preamp which has remote volume which offers the same sonic qualities of the Shindo, and it is less expensive to boot! The Manley 300b preamp which I would urge you to hear, I have one and it rocks!
Get rid of the 70.2 as they suck. Upgrade this first and report back.
Yes, if price is a concern, $hindos is certainly pricey. If so, Manly would be a very viable alternative, no doubt. If not... Doshi Alaap.
Audiofreakgeek, Shindo sounds like Shindo. Nothing else sounds like Shindo. I know of no other brand that has a house sound so ubiquitous through the product line.
Sorry, Paulfobrecht, but the Manley 300b preamp sounds like a Shindo. I am not talking about the Manley amps, but the preamp does.

The 300b preamp uses obviously 300b tubes which gives the preamp a very dimensional and very flowing organic presentation which is the Shindo sound, no other preamp I know sounds like the Manley 300b preamp, ARC,BAT,CJ etc do not sound like this preamp, please go find one and listen to it and see for yourself.
Paul, which Shindo preamp would you recommend?
The pre amp is not the greatest need here. The amp is killing your system.
Admittedly I have not heard the Manley preamp but I have owned a couple Shindo pres and heard others. The Shindo sound is very distinctive (and very pleasant for most, although if there were to be a criticism it would not be inaccurate to say they are not neutral).

"The 300b preamp uses obviously 300b tubes which gives the preamp a very dimensional and very flowing organic presentation which is the Shindo sound..."

Your argument here is the Manley should sound like a Shindo pre because it uses a 300B DHT? Not a single Shindo preamp uses 300B or any other DHT, as a matter of fact. In fact he is quite unconventional in using (IDH) pentode and tetrode signal & power tubes in preamps. Furthermore, despite using very different tubes (and, I think, circuits) his preamps from the bottom of the line to the top share that very distinctive sound.

The OP asked specifically about Shindo preamps. It is not too relevant to bring up the Manley unless you have listened to it back-to-back with the Shindo Monbrison in the same system and found it to sound very similar. If that is the case, I apologize.

OP, even though an English gentleman with the initials TE has stolen my heart I rather wish I'd held on to my Shindo Monbrison. It is really an incredible piece. However, if you don't do vinyl you're spending a lot of money on circuitry you'll never listen to. In that case if it were me I'd go for the Aurieges-L even though there's no doubt the Monbrison's line stage is superior.

As for describing the sound, the Jack Roberts reviews do a pretty good job.

My comment is not about circuit topology but sound quality, the reason so many people like the Shindo sound is the lack of artificiality, natural tone colors, and its overall musicality, kind of like an SET type sound that is really good SET amp produces, natural and musical.

Too many preamps or amps for that matter can take music apart and separate it into many distinct parts, which can sound really spectacular like great hifi and not music.

A really great 300b based amplifier sounds natural and musical, the Manley sounds this way, so does the Shindo, it is less to do with just using a particular circuit but the overall geshstalt of a design. There are solid state amps that sound like tube amps and tube amps which sound like solid state.

Personally the idea of using un-obtanium for parts is a scary idea, as parts age the do lose sound quality and reliability, to base a modern product on 40-50 year old parts seems awfully fool hearty. What if in 10 years you need service and that particular part on 50 years old is not available because they used them up or the part has failed due to age what then.

I think you have to take into consideration with any electronic device the future and serviceability issues which may arise, please don't take this as an attack, this is just an opinion, it it the same with a rare vintage car yeah it is cool to drive it once in awhile but I wouldn't drive it every day.

Yes Shindo does have a distinctive sound however, that doesn't mean there aren't other products which can produce a similar sound either.

Listen to a Mastersound SET amplifier the 845 sound great, the 300b doesn't and tell me if it too doesn't have a similar quality to a Shindo.

My point is simple there are many ways to skin a sonic cat.
Shindo stocks a large supply of spare parts for there products. Tubes, caps and anything else. He has been in business for 25 years and this has never been a problem
The Red Wine Audio amplifiers are a reasonable value amplifier if you're looking for:

1. Off the grid performance. No need to depend on the power quality of your AC line.

2. Solid state reliability combined with a tonal density and richness which is more often associated with tube amplifiers.

What the Red Wine amplifiers do not excel at is a certain aliveness and high frequency extension that good tube amplifiers can do very well. You can get high frequency extension out of other solid state amplifiers, but in my experience you're often getting a healthy dose of listener fatigue to go along with your hyper detail.

As for the preamp, the Isabella should sound better than it does. It is, to my ears and with the stock JJs, overly warm and overly slow. The $500 Lightspeed attenuator is better, but only if the rest of your system is suitably compatible with a passive.

I'm on a transparency kick lately, so my "transparent" may be your "thin" and my "warm and slow" may be your "full of body".

I have not heard the LFP-V editions of any of the RWA products. I understand they're faster, more dynamic, more transparent, etc. I also understand that the new RWA amplifiers now have a tube buffer.

I don't hesitate to recommend RWA gear to all sorts of my friends who are not as obsessed as I am and in fact, they really like the RWA gear despite me telling them that a true valve amplifier may sound better.

When I demoed a very neutral Dayens Ampino for them, they continued to prefer their RWA amplifier. So as always, results dependent on system, room, your own ears, etc.
Please forgive my failure to point out that my RedWine gear is the updated LFP-V edition. Quite a step forward from the older 70.2s and Isabella.

Glory, could you further illuminate your beef with the Red Wine gear other than it sucks? That's admittedly the first time I've ever heard or read that, and it certainly doesn't concur with my own experiences.

It seems to be oft stated that Shindo is quite finicky in that it prefers more of its own kind and that mixing gear will often rob the "Shindo magic." Would I be doing the same to my "Redwine Audio magic?" Clearly, there's only one way to find out!
I have my Shindo Auriges with a pair of Hurricane monoblocks and the Shindo magic is there
Westexdent,I also have the latest version of a Red Wine amp,albeit a 30.2 LFP-V edition,but I do agree it's definitely a step up from the previous iteration.I really can't say anything negative about it.
According to another thread Audiofreakgeek is a dealer posting without disclosure.

It sounds like it would be best to ignore him.
The Monbrison is a fine preamp just make sure its an impedance match with the Red Wine amps. There is a lot more information and Red Wine owners over on the Audiocircle forum. A good person to contact would be Louis at Omega Loudspeakers. He has a lot of experience with Red Wine (he used to use Red Wine at shows paired with his loudspeakers) and would give you an impartial opinion about which tube preamps would provide good synergy.
The Monbrison will drive anything. The Zout is very low. It is sometimes misstated as 5K but that is actually the minimum recommended load.
The Monbrison's output impedance is 5k. I think you are mistaken about it being able to drive anything.
All of the Shindo preamps higher up than the Monbrison in the line-up do have low output imdedances that can essentially drive any amps because they have transformers that lower their impedance. The Aurieges, Aurieges-L and the Monbrison do not and, consequently, their output impedance is in the 5k range. You must be more careful matching amps with the Monbrison than a Massetto, Giscours etc.
Everybody is an expert... If you want answers about proper or improper matches, just email. Asking questions, especially of a technical nature, on forums result in poor and often incorrect info. And many times answers with an agenda.

The input impedance of ther Redwine is 100K ohms, where is the problem or debate? Any pre-amp will work technically.

And Shindo and Manley are quite different in every respect. Not a commentary on sonics of one or the other, just an FYI that the comparison is incorrect.
Thanks for chiming in, Vinyljh. FWIW, I was repeating what I'd heard from you awhile back concerning the drive-ability/Zout of the lower-end Shindo preamps.

Of course you are correct that it's best to seek information from people who sell & know the product best and that this question is moot anyway with the RE gear.

(And FWIW I did occasionally use my Monbrison with a solid-state amp with low Zin (10K) and experienced none of the issues associated with an impedance mismatch. Which I'm sure won't be surprising to you!)
Doesn't surprise me Paul:-) I see the same misinformation repeated over and over on forums- mostly by non-Shindo owners without any real knoweledge of the product. I suppose they're simply repeating what they've read in yet another misinformed post. Quite frustrating as you can imagine. A simple email answers most questions while posting simply gets a bunch of hypotheses on the subject.

And to squash another piece of misinformation- repairs have never been and will never be an issue. Shindo is in business since 1974 and has warehouses of parts new and old. Plus, the point to point wiring makes repairs less problematic as compared to say a burned circuit board or better yet a broken CD transport just a few years after its production has ended... which is less likely to be fixable... Its quite odd to be frowned upon for using much better parts and tubes than the usual suspects. And we'll see which is working in 20, 30 or 50 years... a modern Solen cap or a Sprague Vitamin Q.
Jonathan, while we have you can you please clarify once and for all, do the Aurieges and Monbrison match with lower impedance SS amps?
Helpless before the seductress that is music reproduction, I parted with cash on a used Monbrison yesterday. It'll probably arrive in another week or so. I'll be sure to let y'all know how system synergy changes, if at all...
Westexdent - "Helpless before the seductress that is music reproduction" - A fundamental truth for many, including myself.

Congratulations on the Monbrison! Shindo preamps are so incredibly musical. I had an Aurieges and after nearly a year moved up the line to the Masseto. You are in for a musical treat!

Just got tracking for the Monbrison.... arrives Friday in time for the weekend!
The first Time i connected my AuriegeL to my Consonance Cyber 211, i knew that Nirvana was a reality
Enjoy the Monbrison. I currently have the Vosne-Romanee and it's a joy. It's so nice to finally get off the upgrade merry go round and spend time focusing on the what matters - the music.
I've had the Shindo Monbrison in my system for a couple days now. It does indeed sound wonderful. So does the Isabella from RedWine. Which one is better? To my ears in my space, it's not a hands down no contest. They definitely sound different. I'm not yet positive which one I will keep. I want to let the "new" wear off and settle in with both units a while before making a determination.
In the event you decide to sell the Monbrison, I just have one question - Where does the line form?
Batteries belong in flashlights.
Sorry it took so long to respond. Long story short, I decided to hold on to the RedWine Isabella and let Matt Rotunda (a real gem in the audio industry who was a joy to work with... you're in luck if he covers your area) of Pitch Perfect Audio have back the Monbrison.

Upon immediate listen, the Shindo Monbrison had a larger soundstage, more bass kick, and possibly a more seductive midrange (and a low level of sibilance that was only apparent when directly compared to the RedWine). Upon longer listening sessions however, my ears preferred the non-fatiguing smooth sound of the RedWine and its batteries. It must also be noted that the Isabella had the advantage of system synergy in an all Red Wine system, and Shindo reportedly likes to be surrounded by Shindo gear. As an aside, I've decided to try a pair of boutique NOS tubes for the Isabella as I feel that could make a better improvement on my gear after hearing some in the Shindo.

In conclusion, both pieces of gear sound exceptional to my ears, and I would love to own both. At this point, I cannot, and I had to make a decision one way or the other. At this level, I think it's definitely different strokes for different folks. I tend to listen to my rig intently during longer periods to relax. Who knows, a year from know my preferences may have changed, but for now I'm a RedWine guy.
Manley is not any closer to any Shindo nor any other tubeamp. The Shindo is a class by itself.