Opinions on Isabellina DAC/HPA sought
May 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


New Head-Fier
Jul 25, 2005
I am looking for a good headphone amplifier that can drive Senn HD 800, Audeze LCD-2, Denon D5000, JHA Pro 13 (and possibly Grado PS1000/GS1000/RS1) with ease to satisfying listening levels. I have a couple of decent DACs (Anedio D1 and Eastern Electric DAC), so a good DAC is an added bonus, but not critical. I'll be relocating to a country where the supply voltage is 220V and is somewhat unreliable, so the ability to use battery power would be nice. Given these constraints, I was leaning towards the RWA Isabellina, but since  I already  have the ALO Amphora, I was wondering if the amp section of the Isabellina is significantly better to justify spending $2500. My budget is around $3000 (though I'd prefer to spend less), and other alternatives I've been considering are the Cary Xciter integrated + headphone amp, Apex Peak + Volcano and the Burson DAC/HPA. I was initially considering Woo 6SE and some Decware models but had to drop them from consideration since I cannot wait the 6-8 weeks of lead time. BTW, a lot of the music I listen to is not well recorded, so I'm not looking for an amp that is neutral, but one that is somewhat forgiving, imparts warmth and lushness, etc.
I've never listened to any of the amps mentioned above, so I am seeking opinions that will help me make a decision.

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