I've now read the review twice. It has MANY great things to say about this amp, which IMO are well deserved. And yes, again, the BM award is great. But IMO Srajan missed the boat...
Here he is trying the amp with different cables to get a little more of this or that out of the system, yet he's running with stock JJs. For much less than the cables he could have brought the amp to a whole 'nother playing field just by rolling tubes. For perspective, I could not even listen to my gear with stock tubes. So he has never really heard what this amp can deliver. Its like running an Indy car on budget tires.
Now you can argue he's comparing stock to stock, when the Sig 15 is up against the First Watt SIT-2. But the FW is $5,000 without a volume control. For the multi-grand difference, most of us could pop for a NOS tube or two.
I'm not trying to be sour grapes, a Blue Moon Award is fantastic! And Vinnie and crew should be proud to receive this recognition. But for a $100 to couple hundred in NOS tubes, Srajan could have taken this amp out on the audio Autobahan and run against some pricy supercars. So thanks Srajan for recognizing the greatness of this amp. I only wish you could have heard it as I do in my listening room.
P.S. I have Srajan to thank for finding RWA. If not for his initial review of the Sig 30, and an e-mail exchange we had in the same timeframe, I might still be running a space heater as my power source. He was the man that provided the impetus for me to put the original Sig 30 side by side with an F1. Yes, the exercise set me back more than $250 in restocking fees to return the F1. But my five+ year relationship with Vinnie and his products more than justifies this small investment in great sound.
Congratulations again Vinnie. Job well done!
As I've been heavily considering a Signature 15, the more I think about Srajan's review, the more ridiculous it seems. I just finished reading the Soundstage review of the Eximus - the DAC/pre combo unit that Srajan had to pair with the First Watt SIT-2 amplifier. Not only are Kent's comments/criticisms interestingly valid, I suspect, but this Eximus unit also doesn't sound like a relative worth comparing to the RWA sound. It clearly sounds like it's cut from a different cloth. The Soundstage review uses terms like "crystalline" and describes a sound that is highly detailed, very precise imaging, and "transparent". Not that Vinnie's products don't have good imaging and soundstaging, great detail, and the like, but the Eximus sounds like a unit that goes a bit if a different direction toward the more hyper-detailed end vs. Vinnie's more organic approach.
So, you pair the Eximus detail DAC/pre with the much more expensive SIT-2, already a pretty different game than the tube/SS hybrid Signature 15 unit, plus you don't even try any tube swapping. Seems to me 6moons rushed this review a good bit. You can't tell me Srajan didn't have access to a tube pre or something more akin to the Signature 15's tube buffer to play with and a couple extra tubes to swap.
I also don't want to dog on Srajan or 6moons too much, as I've really appreciated the (albeit sometimes a bit wordy) reading and insights over the years. I just can't help but feel like the new RWA creation got a bit of the short shrift, and as a potentially interested party, I'm left feeling like the Signature 15's first professional review left me with as many questions as it answered.