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Isabellina dac / headphone amp

post #1 of 149
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,

I just spoke to Vinnie about this and he is highly considering adding the Isabella headphone amp board inside of the Red Wine Audio Isabellina dac. It would require a volume control that he would mount in the center of the front panel, and on the right side of the front panel would be the 1/4" headphone output jack.

He also said if there was enough interest he can also offer a group-buy. Looking forward to seeing what happens with this.

- Ken
post #2 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by KB View Post
Hi Guys,

I just spoke to Vinnie about this and he is highly considering adding the Isabella headphone amp board inside of the Red Wine Audio Isabellina dac. It would require a volume control that he would mount in the center of the front panel, and on the right side of the front panel would be the 1/4" headphone output jack.

He also said if there was enough interest he can also offer a group-buy. Looking forward to seeing what happens with this.

- Ken
So, a DAC and Amp without the line-stage tube pre-amp? Just asking as I'm not in the market for one right now. No Amphora with DAC in a nice wood box, eh?
post #3 of 149
Sounds perfect if it has the tube line input stage and not just the headphone board like the amphoria. Please keep us posted, my eyes have been wandering.
post #4 of 149
What is the aprox. price range and timeline. Are we looking at 4000-5000 dollers? Any more imfo would be cool.
post #5 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
So, a DAC and Amp without the line-stage tube pre-amp? Just asking as I'm not in the market for one right now. No Amphora with DAC in a nice wood box, eh?
See HPA, now I'm not dreaming as I was in the post in another thread
post #6 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post
What is the aprox. price range and timeline. Are we looking at 4000-5000 dollers? Any more imfo would be cool.
The Isabellina costs only 2500 and the Amphora with the preamp function costs 1000. I doubt the cost for this product less the preamp function should be more than "the sum of the part" and anything more than 3500 might lead people thinking twice.
post #7 of 149
Hi Guys,

Thanks for your posts!

My thinking was taking an Isabellina dac (Red Wine Audio Isabellina), which has 3 digital inputs, and adding-in a volume control (I can use the same remote volume control as in the Isabella preamp) and headphone output stage.

The output of the Isabellina dac would feed to the volume control, and then the output of the volume control will feed the Isabella headphone output board (as used in the Amphora).

One of the outputs would be a 1/4" headphone output.

There is also an analog output (RCA jacks) from the dac on the back panel, but I can first feed this through the volume control before passing it out to the RCA jacks. This way, it will have a remote volume controlled RCA output (which can feed a home audio power amp!).

Quote:
So, a DAC and Amp without the line-stage tube pre-amp? Just asking as I'm not in the market for one right now. No Amphora with DAC in a nice wood box, eh?
Hi HPA,

Correct! Unlike the Isabella tube preamp, this would not have the tube preamp stage.

There is no way the Isabellina dac board cannot fit in the Amphora box (along with the headphone board, volume control, battery, etc.) and the Isaellina dac draws way too much current to feed it from the 9V battery in the Amphora.

This needs to be powered by an internal 12V, SLA battery in order to deliver at least 12 hours of continuous play time between charges. We would also include the SMART board (this monitors the battery voltage and automatically shuts-off the unit if the voltage gets too low - to avoid damage to the SLA battery) and a 12V SLA automatic charger.

As for appearance, on the front panel the volume would be in the center (just like our Isabella preamp) and on the right side of the front panel, we would fit the 1/4" jack.

The approx. dimensions are 12" wide X 9" deep X 3.5" tall. The faceplate is 0.5" thick black anodized aluminum that is laser-etched. So it not very small, but not very large either. It has a very solid feel.

So this is the general idea. I would like to obtain feedback on the idea, and then we'll get into the pricing. I understand that there are going to be features that some people want and others do not - but hopefully we can agree on the most important ones so we can move forward.

Thanks again!

Vinnie
post #8 of 149
Hi Vinnie,

I do hope this DAC/headphone amp can take analogue inputs as well (and hope more than one) so that it can be used as a standard alone headphone amp.

Ability to drive balanced headphone via 2 x 3 pin XLR would be very nice to me.

F. Lo
post #9 of 149
can't wait for this combo...
post #10 of 149
Quote:
Originally Posted by fkclo View Post
Hi Vinnie,

I do hope this DAC/headphone amp can take analogue inputs as well (and hope more than one) so that it can be used as a standard alone headphone amp.

Ability to drive balanced headphone via 2 x 3 pin XLR would be very nice to me.

F. Lo
I like this suggestion, but am not sure if I can afford the price tag.
post #11 of 149
My only suggestion is for at least one pair of fixed SE outputs for the DAC. It would be nice for us electrostatic owners

So maybe a fixed and a variable out as a compromise
post #12 of 149
All,

Thanks for the posts so far!

Quote:
Ability to drive balanced headphone via 2 x 3 pin XLR would be very nice to me.
There will be no balanced outputs. The entire design (dac, headphone amp) is all single-ended.

Quote:
I do hope this DAC/headphone amp can take analogue inputs as well (and hope more than one) so that it can be used as a standard alone headphone amp.
The Isabellina dac has 3 digital inputs (USB, coax, and optical). Adding analog inputs will add complexity and cost because I'll need to pass the output of the dac (as well as analog inputs) to an input select switch. Doing all of this gives us a preamp. If you want a dac + preamp with headphone output, I already have this: Red Wine Audio Isabella (add dac + HP options). I know, I know - it is not cheap at $6k. But with the "Isabellina HP" (Isabellina with headphone output), I am hoping to keep the price less than half of that.

So in order to keep the cost down, I was hoping that most people would be fine with the 3 digital inputs, 1 set of volume controlled RCA outputs, and
one 1/4" headphone output. I would appreciate more feedback on this...

Quote:
My only suggestion is for at least one pair of fixed SE outputs for the DAC. It would be nice for us electrostatic owners

So maybe a fixed and a variable out as a compromise
I can make the RCA outputs either fixed or volume-controlled... the customer can decide based on their needs.

Hopefully the features above will make most people happy, and this will keep it from getting too expensive. I know price is a concern.

Looking forward to more feedback...

Thanks again,

Vinnie
post #13 of 149
Feedback -- I own an Isabella with built-in DAC and headphone output.

If you like natural, warm tone / presentation, this DAC is a killer. The DAC was good enough it allowed me to sell my Wadia 830 CDP and move to streaming digital audio.

Detail and soundstage on RWA DAC and Wadia are pretty close. But RWA is more natural in terms of tone (more body and flesh on instruments). Also less listening fatigue.

I did a direct comparison with the Wadia via Oritek X-2 analog cables (about $500) and several digital sources into RWA's DAC. While both sources took advantage of the Isabella linestage, my comparison was isolated to the Wadia/Oritek vs. RWA DAC w/ inexpensive digital cables.

While your equipment and musical tastes may vary, IMO this is an extremely good sounding DAC.

My Wadia, as configured, ran close to $4,000. Add the Oritek and you are up to about $4,500. So IMO, RWA's DAC and a digital source represent a good value.

BTW: Some of the digital sources I tested and still use, are not very expensive.

Kent
post #14 of 149
Count me in for this. I'll buy one when it is ready.
post #15 of 149
Hopefully enough people check in, so this one become a reality.
There is quite a step (price wise) between the Isabellina and the Isabella, so a mixed product priced in between would be sweet.

Take care!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwayswantmore View Post
Feedback -- I own the Isabellina with built in DAC and headphone output.
Are you sure you don't mean Isabella? Cause what you describe are exactly what Vinnie talk about in here, and which are an upcoming product.
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