Vinnie Rossi’s Red Wine Audio room has been a favorite stop since my first trip to RMAF back in 2010. Yeah, I know, why’d I wait so long? Long story! Moving on.
At the New York Audio and A/V Show, Vinnie was showing off the usual suspects. All Vinnie’s products are battery-powered, leveraging LiFePO4 technology for superior slam and transient response. This is heady stuff, and I have his little $1,500 Signature 15 integrated at home as I write this.
I heard the setup run two ways here in NY. One way had the little Sig15 run as an amp, where its inputs came from an upstream Isabella preamp, configured with the optional NOS DAC and some custom pre-outs. Prices on the standard Isabella start at $4,000 and can work their way up to over $7k, depending on options.
The second way I heard it was with the Isabella/DAC run directly into the recently launched Liliana monoblock amps. Priced at $6,000/pair, these battery-driven amps have a Class AB MOSFET output coupled to a tube input stage. Very similar in design to the Sig15, the Liliana is just way ballsier – it’s good for 115wpc into 8ohms, a figure that doubles cleanly into 4ohms. While I’ve commented in the past that the Signature 15 integrated is quite a capable performer, it’s the Liliana that will be the most attractive to the mainstream of medium-sensitivity speaker owners. Mo’ powah!
Everything else came from distributor Fidelis AV, who shared the room with Red Wine Audio. Cables came from Tellurium Q. Stein Music provided the Harmonizers and the Magic Diamonds that sat on top of the $6,500/pair C20 loudspeakers from Kudos. Disc spinning came courtesy of an MSB transport, the $3,995 Data CD IV, which plays Redbook and WAV files on disc (up to 32bit/384kHz).
Taken as a whole, the system on display was, if you’ll pardon the hyperbole, sublime — at both high and low volumes. Smooth, with nice detail and dynamics. Bass was authoritative and not boomy and the kitty-corner setup in the room was a smart choice, neatly avoiding many of the challenges other rooms at the show faced. Here, all was serenity and bliss; the system stepped out of the way and the music come to the fore. It was very deftly done.
In the room’s entryway, a tiny setup showcasing the Red Wine/Audeze headphone combo was on display. Getting time on these ‘phones was tough as they were very much in demand, but this was the best I’ve heard those Audeze ‘phones sound.
Great room! Looking forward to catching the Red Wine Audio room at CAF!