I suppose the RCA jacks on the front are for a separate line-out so that it can be used as a preamp. That's a nice feature, assuming that the headphone and line-out signal paths are separate rather than paralleled.
Good-looking amp, anyway. The LCD display is a nice touch. Does it indicate gain? Is it the volume? If volume, then it's kind of odd that it goes to 17 (and the knob is only at the 2 o'clock position!). Dave Belles must be trying to one-up (or six-up, as the case may be) Nigel Tufnel. I'd say that he's gone a bit overboard.
Seriously, though... When you get your hands on it, are you allowed to crack it open and take a look inside, Doug? I'm curious to know its specs and how it's wired up.
I can't comment directly on this headphone amplifier, but my former roommate had a Belles audio amplifier, and it was very nice. The amp he had was not that much to look at, but had good low end and a balanced sound.
There's not much point to my post, except to say that Belles is not a startup company; they have been doing their thang well for some time (we were listening to this amp circa 1990). I'm also interested in what this item sounds like.
Originally Posted by daycart1 The housing looks as though it might be designed to fit tightly into a rack. That might explain RCA jacks in front (?)
That's an interesting possibility. I hadn't thought of that. I did notice in the photo that there appear to be two interconnects going into the back of the Belles Five, though. So, I'm still betting that the frontmount RCAs are for a line-out.
... Ah, okay, I just read through the link that Doug provided. It says that there are three inputs on the back and two front outputs (to either headphones or a power amp). So, it looks like the front RCAs are for a line-out.