Isabella

Vacuum-tube Preamplifier

Natural and emotionally involving presentation. Reference-level performance.

Now featuring 6H30 “Super Tubes”!

Our flagship preamp has earned a cult-like following and more than its share of awards. And now the Renaissance Edition delivers even more, with...

  • Better sound
  • A fresh new look
  • Expanded tube choices, for more options to tailor sound to taste
  • Expanded list of factory options, including our new Analogica Phonostage

Renaissance Edition upgrades available for your Isabella LFP-V Edition. Learn more

Check out these options...

Let us configure your Isabella with these factory installed options, upgrading your entire audio experience to reference quality...

  • Bellina DAC
  • Analogica Phonostage
  • Cassabria's single-ended OR balanced headphone stage
  • 5V or 12Vdc output jack, allows you to run select products like Wadia i170, Onkyo ND-S1, Pure i20 and others on pure LFP battery power *

* Custom-made DC power cable sold separately

Features
  • New design, featuring 6H30 “Super Tubes” as standard equipment; also supports all tubes in the 6922 family
  • New front-panel rotary switch controls power ON / OFF and SMART operation mode
  • Operates in Class-A mode, delivering the highest level of sonic purity
  • Delayed turn-on sequencing mutes audio signal while tubes warm up,  avoiding turn on / off “pops”
  • Maximizes tube life by heating them prior to applying plate voltage
  • Switchable gain (0dB / 12dB) to optimize volume control range for your system
  • Auto-biasing for tubes — so just plug ‘n play!
  • 3 sets of analog inputs
  • 2 sets of volume-controlled analog outputs
  • Aluminum remote
  • Hand-built in the USA
  • Backed by our 10-year warranty and highly personalized customer service

State-of-the-art technology. Delivers improved sound & added convenience compared to alternative battery types.

LiFePO4 (LFP) battery packs have much lower internal resistance (compared to SLA), which translates directly into better sound. And only Red Wine Audio offers premium LFP battery packs for an entire line of hi-fi components, resulting in:

  • Great dynamics
  • Tight, resolved bass
  • An open and extended treble response
  • The most environmentally friendly battery technology available
  • 5 times the cycle life compared to sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries
  • No loss in cycle life when batteries run to complete discharge
  • Built-in, custom-designed cell management, optimizing battery performance and reliability
  • Ease of replacement, with no special skills or soldering required

Fully automates all aspects of battery management. AC power can be totally absent from signal path, for better sound.

Our innovative SMART board (Seamless battery Monitoring and Auto Recharge circuiT) continuously monitors battery pack voltage. When voltage drops to predetermined level, SMART turns your unit OFF and begins charging. When charging is complete, the external charger can remain connected indefinitely. It’s that simple!

  • New 3-position front-panel rotary switch provides added convenience when selecting one of three operating modes:

    1. OFF and charging
    2. ON while charging at the same time, for unlimited play time
    3. ON in “Pure Battery Mode,” where both positive and negative leads of battery charger internally disconnect from battery (so there’s zero chance of sound degradation)

  • In-rush current limiting provides your unit with soft starting, maximizing component lifespan
  • External battery charger to completely eliminate internal AC noise

Our new Renaissance Edition enclosures fuse traditional with new design elements, resulting in a timeless, organic look.

Choose between natural maple, rich walnut or warm cherry solid-wood front & side panels — each crafted & finished by hand, and protected by multiple coats of polyurethane. We also hand-sand between coats to produce a smooth and enduring finish.

  • 1/2" thick, solid-wood front and side panels*
  • Laser engraved front panels
  • Chrome plated, solid aluminum knobs
  • Red LED "power-ON" indicator above the mode select knob
  • Black, powder-coated top plate with Red Wine Audio logo ventiation holes - provides easy access to inside of unit by simply removing a few thumb screws

    * Wood side panels only available for units that do not have side heatsinks  

Personal pride is evident in every component we build. Our products:

  • Are designed and built by hand in the USA
  • Incorporate premium parts throughout like discrete FETs vs. lesser sounding (and less expensive) op amps
  • Feature purist circuit designs, including short and direct signal paths
  • Run 'off-the-grid' on pure LiFePO4 (LFP) battery power, eliminating the AC-to-DC conversion process when listening
  • Are built to last, and backed by a comprehensive 10-year warranty and highly personalized service
We offer two levels of DAC support...

Red Book conversion via our tried-and-true 16-bit, NOS Bellina design. Or opt for Bellina Pro and you can choose between our traditional 16-bit DAC and high-resolution 24/192k playback, by simply flipping a switch. And if you're a computer-based audiophile, be sure to check out our advanced USB techologies.

Features
  • 3 inputs: Coaxial, Optical and USB
  • Red Book (NOS 16-bit) playback ships as base-level Bellina DAC
  • Class-A FET I/V conversion stage (no opamps used)
  • USB input eliminates need for S/PDIF conversion, a sound-degrading step found in many USB DACs

  • USB input isolates your computer’s power bus from the internal DAC chip — an innovation called “galvanic isolation” — preventing computer noise from degrading the sound



The 16-bit Bellina DAC comes standard on Bellina and Bellina HPA, and is offered as a factory installed option on select Red Wine Audio components. Bellina Pro is an upgrade option to our 16-bit Bellina DAC, and is offered as a factory installed option for all products supporting our Bellina DAC.

Optional Bellina Pro

Two digital-to-analog chips on a single board. One optimized for high-resolution playback. One optimized for Red Book playback.

  • Red Book conversion via our tried-and-true 16-bit, NOS Bellina design
  • High-resolution conversion via premium 24/192k Wolfson DAC chip
  • Toggle between the two d/a converters by simply flipping a switch
  • High-res converter also plays 16-bit, so you can choose between two sonic "flavors” when listening to Red Book
  • Supports 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192k via coax and optical inputs (more on USB below)

Bellina Pro Advanced USB Support

For computer-based audiophiles, Bellina Pro features advanced technologies bringing sonic improvements to both Red Book and high-resolution playback via USB...

  • Asynchronous mode USB-to-I2S conversion (USB 2.0 compliant)
  • Integer-mode compatible
  • Supports 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192k files (no driver required for Mac OS X)

Pure Battery Power where it's needed most!

Your phono stage amplifies miniscule voltages from phono cartridges. So clean power is prerequisite for getting the most from your record collection. But how do you get clean power?...

No matter how much you spend adding AC-line conditioners and fancy power cords to conventional, plug-into-the-wall gear — Red Wine Audio's ultra-clean, high-current LiFePO4 battery power is tough to beat, at any price!

Features

  • Switchable MM / MC inputs


  • Fully discrete Class-A FET gain stages, avoiding sound degrading op-amps

  • Adjustable MC load settings, including resistor sockets for custom loading so you can optimize for any MC cartridge (no soldering required)

  • Powered by the LFP battery pack inside your unit, delivering an ultra-quiet background

The phono stage comes standard in Analogica and is offered as a factory installed option on select Red Wine Audio components.

We offer both single-ended and balanced headphone stages

The single-ended output brings your music to life with fine resolution, lifelike soundstage, and natural timbre & tone. And for your hard-to-drive headphones, the balanced headphone stage offers all the sonic goodness of our single-ended stage — plus it delivers more power and stunning dynamics.

Single-ended headphone stage…

  • Delivers a highly-resolved and seductive headphone listening experience
  • Couples warmth and tone, while uncovering subtle details and delicate spatial cues
  • Uses a 6.35mm (1/4") stereo headphone jack on front panel
  • Is powered by the LFP battery pack inside your unit, delivering an ultra-quiet background

The single-ended headphone stage comes standard on our Cassabria headphone amplifier, and is offered as a factory installed option on select Red Wine Audio components.

Balanced headphone stage…

  • Drives a wide range of headphones with ease
  • Brings music to life with stunning dynamics, fine resolution, lifelike soundstage, and natural timbre & tone
  • Features a high-current, discrete FET design that delivers a clean 5 watts RMS into 32-ohms
  • Uses a Neutrik 4-pin XLR output jack on front panel
  • Is powered by the LFP battery pack inside your unit, delivering an ultra-quiet background

The balanced headphone stage comes standard on our Cassabria headphone amplifier, and is offered as a factory installed option on select Red Wine Audio components.

Reviews

If you seek truly high-end performance from a preamp that competes well above its price point, this is a must read review.

“…the sonic presentation was just superb. It’s one of the best preamps I’ve heard, and at this price, it has “value” etched all over it.”

“…its soundstage is huge, beautifully presented, with great detail and just-lovely tone… “I found it breathtaking and entirely addicting.”

“…there’s a reason this preamp has won awards.”

Source: Scot Hull, Part-Time Audiophile

Isabella casts her spell once again! 

"The Isabella was able to draw me in through its musicality, and that is just about the highest praise I can give a piece of audio equipment... It has so much more to offer it seems almost unfair to its competitors. An audition is not only recommended but absolutely necessary."

Source: Tom Lyle, Enjoy the Music

Industry Feature — A behind the scenes look at the Renaissance Edition product line!

“These components will be the very best we have offered since I started RWA in 2005”

Read the interview

In the Isabella vacuum-tube preamplifier, David Abramson finds his cure for upgraditis...

“Fleet of foot, compact, quiet, reliable and damnably low in coloration and seasoning, I’ve kept her around in preference to many a better known adversary. You’re gonna change amps; you’re gonna change wires- you’re gonna change speakers- hell, you’re an audiophile! So you owe it to yourself for once and all to have a centerpiece- a lynchpin- a piece around which everything else can turn. That’s Isabella!”

Source: Dave Abramson, Stereo Times

Hint: Mr. Abramson ends up purchasing an Isabella for his personal use!

“…few preamps in my experience combine quietude, transparency to source, PRaT and tonal veracity with fuss-free operation and friendly, non-Machiavellian designers in quite the way Isabella does.”

Source: Dave Abramson, Stereo Times

“The tonality of the Isabella is excellent. I firmly believe this is due to the lack of grain from power supply artifacts coloring the signal.”

“The Isabella [combined with the Signature 30.2 power amp] will be tough to beat without spending a lot more money.”


Source: Jeff Dorgay, TONEAudio [2.4mb PDF]
(Download full TONEAudio issue)

“For guts, fleshiness and wallop — the Isabella delivers more than class leaders at twice her price.”

Source: Srajan Ebaen, 6moons.com

Specifications

Circuit Design
Included tubes 6H30 "Super Tube" (one tube per channel)
Accepted tubes 6H30, 6922/E88CC, 6DJ8/ECC88, 7308/E188CC, 7DJ8/PCC88, 6N23, 6H23, 6N11, and 6GM8
Input impedance 100k
Output impedance Less than 1k
Frequency response 10Hz - 120kHz (+/- 0.5 dB)
Gain 0dB / 12dB (selectable)
Power supply transformer / rectifiers / transformers in signal path None
Battery Pack / Charger
Battery Red Wine Audio 25.6V LiFePO4 battery pack
Battery charger 30V, 2A LiFePO4 battery charger; Input voltage range: 100-240Vac, 50/60Hz
Typical continuous play time in battery mode between full charges Approximately 6 hours (with optional Isabellina DAC)
Approximately 8 hours (without Isabellina DAC)
Dimensions
Dimensions 13.5" width x 10.5" depth (including volume knob and rear panel jacks) x 3.75" height (including feet)
Weight (without charger) Approximately 10 lbs.
Package weight Approximately 16 lbs.

Purchase

Customize Your Isabella:

$3995

Add To Cart

Isabella
Cherry Finish Maple Finish Walnut Finish

Why Purchase Red Wine Audio

  • Your purchase is backed by our:
  • Your unit is carefully tested, inspected and packaged before making its journey to you
  • We have a high level of customers satisfaction, demonstrated on our user forum
  • All products are proudly hand-made in Massachusetts, USA
  • Learn more about our company