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Red Wine Audio Signature 30
1 Reviews
rating  4 of 5
MSRP 
Description: 30 WPC Class D amplifier with rechargeable SLA high-current battery power and DACT CT2 precision stepped attenuator volume control.


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User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kugs22 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 11, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this unit with the optional remote for a 30 day free at-home trial. In the end, I decided not to keep it, which I'll explain below. However, this is an absolutely phenomenal product for its price, and is cheaper new then most integrateds in its class USED. For the right user, this is a genuine bargain. Thus I thought I owed Vinnie at least an opening on Audio Review, for others to agree or disagree with my conclusions based upon their experiences.

We should start with the batteries. This is audio heaven; forget expensive cords and filters (cha ching), this amp has the blackest background of anything I've ever (not) heard. Charge them when not using; flip the switch when you want to listen, and you're off the grid. Simple. Wonderful. Recyclable. New batteries are cheap when these wear out.

Thing is, I flopped this amp into a system with speakers only 86 db. sensitive, with a rather hard load to drive. The amp is made for single driver speakers and others with much greater sensitivity, which may have been some of the problem with my system. The bass was tight and clear, but a bit "underpowered" in its presentation. I have a feeling this could be remedied with the right gear combination.

The guy at 6Moons said he received his amp with 100 hours on it, which he then reviewed. I don't know how he did that, because it took at least 150 hours to break mine in. And I mean, it sounded pretty crummy out of the box, and not a lot better at 100 hours. It had a harshness in the treble that took all of 150 hours to ameliorate. 200 would be safer. In the end, there was something still not quite right about the treble presentation - a bit "plasticky" for me. And the overall presentation seemed a bit "mailed in" to me - similar to when you over-apply power filter regulation to your system. I had not used or read about Class D amps prior to this trial, so I knew little about them, but it seems that my conclusions have been expressed by pro reviewers about other Class D amps in general.

But again, many problems like this can be treated - one has to have the commitment to build the system around the problem piece to get the most from it, and I wasn't willing to make that commitment. I will say that I have since had both a Musical Fidelity NuVista M3 and an NAD M3 through my system, and of the three, I would build around the Sig 30 first. It has a tonal purity and unforced clarity of presentation that is absolutely jaw-dropping. It is just on the warm side of neutral, as I like it. There is that wonderful sense of anticipation when you flip the switch, which means...it's fun! With the right cords, the right speakers...but I'll never know.

If you are considering speakers with an easy load and good sensitivity, you owe it to yourself to check this out. I've had a lot of gear over 20 years, and this one changed my perspective on what was possible at this price point - separates or not, used or not. In the end, in my system, I chose to return it..barely. The best analogy I can give about my problem with this piece is the difference between film (analogue) and HD (digital) video. The Sig 30 is HD. It is a little "unreal" in its perfect presentation - as others have noted about Class D amps, it isn't exactly "lyrical." Whereas film, with less actual detail retrieval, is somehow more real, and lyrical (to me, anyway). But man, comparing this to analogue amps is like comparing your HD Sony to your grandpa's old Zenith black and white - it's just a completely different animal. If they ever get the "poetry" part right (and others may have found it with this amp in other configurations), I see a future divided not between transistor analogue amps and tube amps, but between Class D battery amps and tube amps. And Vinnie being the great guy he is, I hope he's the one to cross that line first. He deserves it; obviously, he went out of his way with this piece to accentuate the virtues of Class D while attempting to minimize their deficiencies.

I hope others will write in about their experiences with this amp. I think It deserves much more attention than it has received in the audio press, and is a breakthrough in its price category. As I decided not to keep it, I have nothing vested in my remarks here - but I do think that guys like Vinnie who are pushing the envelope for our listening pleasure deserve recognition for their efforts.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $1798.00

Purchased At:   Red Wine Audio




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