Red Wine Audio

I first reviewed a Red Wine Audio battery-powered amplifier back in May 2005 which was just a few months after owner and designer Vinnie Rossi quit his day job to focus on Red Wine Audio (est. February 2005). It's great to see that since then the line has expanded to include a number of amps, headphone amps, preamps, DACs and battery power supplies but what ties them all together is LiFePO4 (LFP) battery power. Red Wine Audio is also the North American Distributor for the German-made WLM Loudspeakers.

We were treated to a variety of tunes from a MacBook Pro running iTunes and running into the Red Wine Audio Isabellina Non-Oversampling Tube DAC (starting at $1,500, galvanically isolated USB input add $500) that offers 16 bit /44kHz playback. There's also a Pro version ($2,500) that adds the Wolfson DAC chip for 24/192k playback (includes the USB input). Pro users can flip between NOS 16/44 and 24/192 with a front-mounted switch or just run everything through the Wolfson DAC if that suits your sonic tastes. The Isabellina DAC includes 1 optional USB input and 2 S/PDIF (Coax and Toslink) inputs and a pair of unbalanced RCAs outputs.

The remainder of the Red Wine RMAF system was comprised of the Signature 15 integrated amp (starting at $1,500) that uses a 6922/E88CC dual triode in the preamp stage and a Class A/B FET output stage for 15W into 8ohms driving the WLM La Scala monitors ($4,500/pair). The sound was clean, nimble and quick.