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  1. Hey, so I'm a student in my final year of school. s I'm doing Electronics I'm required to do a major project, for it I chose to build speakers and an amplifier. I've gone through a bunch of research but thought to ask for help/opinions on my project. Some limits and necessary goals that are included are that: I have to build my own circuit I cannot use MDF I have to build the whole thing in school I can order and have things delivered / made for me I originally wanted to build a 2.1 sound system with an amp. This proved difficult because I couldn't find any beginner advice on making an amplifier for the drivers I wanted to use. So instead I decided to simply build a stereo system with an amp. So far I have decided on the following things: Drivers - PS95-8 3-1/2" Point Source Full-Range Driver 8 Ohm Amplifier Kit - 12V 20 Watt Amplifier Module Kit - https://tronixlabs.com.au/kits/audio-kits/amplifier-kits/12v-20-watt-amplifier-module-kit-australia/ - http://www.siliconchip.com.au/Issue/2010/May/Build+A+Compact+12V+20W+Stereo+Amplifier?res=nonflash Driver Housing - 170 x 300 x 182 Both designs for my housing are shown below I will probably be adding more to this soon but would love if I could get some feedback and suggestions on things.
  2. We're selling off our remaining stock of AMC Amplifiers and CD Players. These are fantastic components for their price. Location: Shipping out of Sydney - Free Delivery Item Condition: All Brand New Stock Payment Method: Purchase through our website, Credit Card, Paypal, Zipmoney or can arrange Bank Transfer Item: AMC 2N100MKII-2 Stereo Power Amplifier - 150W RMS Link: https://www.customht.com.au/amc-2n100mkii2-150w-rms-stereo-power-amplifier.html Price: Sold Out Item: AMC XIA100 Stereo Integrated Amplifier - 100W RMS Link: https://www.customht.com.au/amc-xia100-stereo-integrated-amplifier-100w.html Price: RRP $1199 - Sale Price $900 Specs: 100W RMS Per Channel Three RCA Inputs Phono Stage Pictures: Item: AMC XAi - 2 or 4ch Amplifier Link: https://www.customht.com.au/amc-xai-2-or-4-channel-power-amplifier-45w-x-4-or-90w-x-2.html Price: RRP $899 - Sale Price $700 Specs: 2 x 90W @ 8 ohms 4 x 45W @ 4 ohms Perfect for adding additional zones Perfect for powering Dolby Atmos Channels Pictures: Item: AMC XCDi CD Player Link: https://www.customht.com.au/amc-single-cd-player-with-usb-support-black.html Price: SOLD Item: AMC XOi 4 Zone 4 Source Amplifier - With Bonus 4x Zone Keypads Link: https://www.customht.com.au/amc-xoi-4-zone-with-4-source-amplifier.html Price: SOLD Item: AMC XP Solid State Preamp Link: https://www.customht.com.au/amc-xp-solid-state-stereo-preamplifer.html Price: RRP $899 - Sale Price $500 Specs: Adjustable Input Sensitivities for all Inputs True Balanced Output Pictures:
  3. Item: Luxman L507UX MKII Location: Adelaide Price: $5500 Item Condition: Excellent, as new with boxes etc Reason for selling: Store Demo Unit, time for a change. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Superb sounding classA/B Amp 2 x 110 into 8 ohms 0.007% THD Full warranty from date of purchase RRP is $8499 Happy to ship interstate Pictures:
  4. Item: Odyssey Audio Cyclops Integrated Amplifier Location: Adelaide, SA Price: $1200 (Includes a $20 donation to SNA) Item Condition: Mint Reason for selling: Upgrading to separates Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Bought new in August 2017. The amp has the Extreme mods package, which includes upgraded caps and resistors. A very tough act to beat at the price. Have bought a source that sounds best with balanced outs, and so want to shift to a balanced amp. I auditioned integrateds up to the $4000 mark, but none could best the Cyclops. Have finally decided to give separates a shot. Specs from the website • Minimalist design, 1 input only • 2 x 110 Watts RMS @ 8 Ohms • 2 Ohm load stable • Class A/AB • 2 - 400,000 Hz frequency range • 60,000µF memory (The Extreme mods increase this to 120,000µF) • 40 amps current delivery • <0.04% THD (not audible) • >500 continuous damping factor • Input impedance 22K ohms • DC offset <1 mV • RCA inputs • High quality Alps potentiometer • 400 VA Plitron transformer (The Extreme mods include an upgraded power transformer) • Sanken Epitaxial Planar Transistors 2SA1216 & 2SC2922 • Anti vibration dual thickness PCB • Power consumption when idle ±30Watts • 4 internal fuses 250V/6.3A, 5x20mm, fast blow • Additional electrical protection fuse Apart from feedback from several owners, the following reviews played a part in me deciding to buy the Cyclops (The Cyclops is essentially the Khartago with a volume control) http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/tas-195-odyssey-audio-khartago-stereo-amplifier/ http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/odysseyaudio_khartago.htm Happy to demo Thanks for reading Pictures:
  5. Item: ODYSSEY AUDIO REFERENCE KISMET AMPLIFIERS Location: GOLD COAST Price: $2000 Item Condition: EXCELLENT CONDITION Reason for selling: NOT REQUIRED FOR MY HT SET UP Payment Method: Post to anywhere in Australia. Or Pick up. Bank transfer preferred but paypal ok also Extra Info: These Odyssey Audio Special Edition Reference Kismet monoblocks are in as new/mint condition and are the US company hand-made top-of-the-line amplifiers. Based on Germany's Symphonic Line amplifiers thought by many to be among the very best solid state designs. They are housed in the simple but very solid Khartago casework as a cost-saving measure when purchased by the previous and first owner. These are some of the key features: >Ultra fast and ultra expensive Symphonic Line Caps each mono 120,000uF of capacitor storage >Ultra high current design with Sanken transistors >Each mono is rated at around 200 watts into 8-ohms and almost doubles down to 1-ohm capability confirmation that this is a high current design >Class-A for approximately 10 watts >Each mono houses a high-output Plitron 650VA transformer >WBT speaker connectors >Each weighs 17kg >Hand-made in the USA Here are the dimensions for the kismets as well as the original boxes When i say front panel, have a look at the photos. ull see what i mean . The front panel is slightly larger than the actual case its in . front panel height 10cm front panel width 46cm body width 41cm full length 42cm also... original box dimensions: Length 56cm Width 52cm Height 22cm Pictures:
  6. Hi Audio friends! Hope your music was flowing this past weekend I'm currently thinking of some upgrade paths, but would love your input on how to do it. I didn't find an existing post that discusses this, so perhaps this one can collect people's opinions on how to do it, what to upgrade first (taking into consideration budget). Current setup: old Sony AV amp (STR-DG500) feeding Epos ELS-3. Future setup: seeking an integrated stereo amp to feed new or current speakers. Budget is around $1000. I think my current Sony AV amp is a bottleneck so was curious as to whether a new amp would get the most out of my current speakers? Or are my speakers also not that great, meaning I should upgrade them first? I am looking for quality on a budget and listen to a range of music from electronic to jazz to prog rock. I would be happy with a setup that reveals a wide soundstage and has great clarity. How would you do it? Can I expect a significant improvement on my current setup with that budget? Please don't take my questions as the end-all of this discussion, would love a wide ranging chat on your opinions here
  7. Item: Avantgarde XA Pre-Amplifier & XE Power Amplifier Location: Hampton, Melbourne Price: $20,000 (for both) Item Condition: Excellent Reason for selling: Need to raise funds Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: I am offering for sale a set of rare, high quality, great sounding amplifiers. One is a Pre-Amplifier and one is a stereo power amplifier, sold together as a set. Avantgarde Acoustic are known for their highly respected horn speakers, which can be very revealing of the source and amplification. According to them, a few years ago they became aware that many of their customers who bought the Duo & Trio speakers were wanting better amplification than what they could commonly find. They decided to embark on a project to create the best possible amplification not only for their range of loudspeakers but for all audiophiles with all loudspeaker types. Key objectives were VERY LOW noise floor (silence) and mechanical & electrical isolation. If you are interested, have a read of this review because it sums up the great attention to detail contained within this equipment, including a patented DC circuit for the signal: http://www.theaudiobeat.com/equipment/avantgarde_xa.htm With the flick of a toggle switch, the XA PRE can be switched to DC function. This isolates the signal from the AC power supply and it runs from an internal battery supply. There are a few high end pre-amps that provide this feature because the sonic benefits are remarkable and have to be heard to be believed. The music emerges from a totally silent black background. You can hear the silence between the notes and this has the effect of completely transforming the dynamics of the sound. The resolution is wonderful but at the same time the sound is natural and musical - the rhythmic & timing qualities of the music create a great canvas for the melody to unfold. You don't have to be an owner of horn speakers to appreciate these amplifiers. I have connected & listened to them with Wilson Alexandria, Duntech Sovereign and Sonus Faber Aida loudspeakers and they were superb. This set were purchased from the Australian dealer and are finished in the Tiger Rosewood presentation. They are made in Germany, facilitate only XLR connections (no RCA unbalanced) and produce 150W per channel. Beware though....each amplifier is over 40kg! Here is the manufacturer's website for your reference: https://www.avantgarde-acoustic.de/en/hornloudspeaker.html The cost of these brand new is $43,000 ($23,000 for the XA PRE and $20,000 for the XA POWER). In the review mentioned above, Roy Gregory says "They are not cheap -- although in material and performance terms they are certainly a bargain". If you are genuinely interested, I'd like to hear from you. Please note that these are not just another similar version of the common amplifier designs available everywhere. These are a genuinely innovative design that has resulted in multiple patent applications and they sound distinctly better than all the amplifiers that I have heard. If you are looking for a 'destination' set of amplifiers that are built with the finest attention to detail inside and out, that will give you truly world class performance and have a hint of exclusivity, then these may be just waiting for you......enjoy! (Please note that in the pictures, the Townshend Audio pods that the amps are resting on are not included in the sale) Pictures:
  8. Item: Audio Research REF 75 Silver Location: Sydney, NSW Price: $7,500 Item Condition: Excellent condition, no marks or scratches, total hours used about 1200 Reason for selling: Upgrading Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, COD Only Extra Info: The amp comes with box and manual. Purchased new in Australia, and is still under warranty. Includes Isotek Evo 3 Premier Power Cable. Also available Chord Indigo XlR 1m Interconnect Cable $1,500 Please contact me for further information Pictures:
  9. Item: Weston Acoustics Rare Black Matching Touchstone Pre Amplifier and Time Machine 300b tube mono blocks in gloss black over wood grain. Location:Perth Price: $8500.00 Original recipe shows 12k including extra cables made by Earle, Upgrade remote and Balance section. This amps hold their value better than almost anything an would be double or more if a European or US brand name was attached, they are stunning, if they don't sell at this reduced price i will keep forever. They are that good. Item Condition: MINT Reason for selling: Change of Room and System requirements and too much equipment and need to focus direction. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash Preferred, Direect Payment Paypal plus costs 3% i believe Extra Info: Hand built to order as are all of Earle's master pieces. Earle's first set in Polished Black finish with heavy duty remote control for volume and has extra balanced inputs, very very rare 6 input Preamp. Have shots of them being built and as below. A Good Selection of spares tubes as well about an extra full set in total and supplied by Earle's own hand made RCA cables. http://www.westonacoustics.com Perfect and as new without the very long wait list, 6 months or so and look awesome in black at night with the rest of the system glowing. Have instruction books and come with standard power cords as supplied by Weston Acoustics. Shipping possible at buyers expense and they would need all the tubes moved and boxed and then padded and packaged into 3 boxes each weighing 20 kilos x3. Pre Amp Specifications. Max Voltage Output ......5 volts rms. 14 volts peak.Frequency response.......6hz to >50khz Separation.......……….... >55dbSignal to Noise............. >88db A WeightedSignal to Hum…….…......>68dbDistortion.................…..<0.05% at 0.5 volt rms outputHum Level…………….......<0.1 millivoltGain.............................6dbInputs………..…………......6 Outputs .............................2 Mono Block Power amp SPECIFICATIONS Power Output - 18 watts per channel pure class A Frequency response -3db - 6hz to >75khz Signal to Noise - >90db A Weighted Signal to Hum - >80db Distortion - <0.05% at 1 watt rms Hum Level - <3.0 millivolt Sensitivity - 500mV Input impedance - 62K Inputs 1 Speaker output 8 ohm (6 to 12 ohm is fine) Damping Factor >5 (20hz to 20khz 8 ohm) Weight ~20kg (~44lb) per monoblock. Dimensions 440mm x 370mm x 220mm (width x depth x height) per monoblock. Pictures:
  10. Item: Stereoknight M-100 (100watt+ per side into 8ohms, or 200+watt per side into 4ohms - your choice) fully balanced design valve monoblocks WITH octet PrimaLuna KT-88s Location: Melbourne, Australia (inner northern suburbs) Price: $4200 ONO Item Condition: Almost perfect Reason for selling: Sidegrading (very reluctant sale) Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, bank transfer. Pickup preferred (thus a buyer picking up will be given preference). Extra Info: Here are a very hard to come by matching pair (sequential serials) of StereoKnight M-100 valve (tube) monoblocks. I had originally purchased them off a gentleman here in Victoria, and since then they have been lovingly and sparingly used, as well as upgraded and some expense. They are in near perfect condition. They have solid aluminium cases (I've never seen a build quality like them - really!), and there are only the odd tiny marks. I have tried my best to photograph all aspects of them. Information can be somewhat difficult to track down, however for those in the know, these are built by the man now responsible for Audio Music (AM AUDIO) - Mr.Fang. I am very happy to say that he is easy to contact and will provide any information and support needed. He stands by his products, and they are massively over-engineered, so should last a lifetime! Here are some links to have a look at. Note that the StereoKnight site is no longer active, as the company is now Audio Music (AM), and most reviews and spec's are relating to the M-75 monoblocks. Advertised here are the much upgraded M-100's, which as I understand it were produced only towards the end of StereoKnight's reign. Some of you will likely be aware that these all were (and AM still are) distributed in Australia via Greg Osborn here in Melbourne. http://www.osbornloudspeakers.com.au/ http://www.audioreference.co.nz/brand/am-audio http://www.am-hiend.com/index.html And here is a review of the (lesser) M-75's (please note the spec's on the ones I have for sale here are different): http://www.dagogo.com/stereoknight-m75-mono-block-amplifier-review Also note that I have added a full octet of select PrimaLuna KT-88 power tubes (4 per side). These retail at $175 each (thus full set = $1400). http://magentaaudio.com.au/product/primaluna-kt88-tube-silver-label/ I bought these tubes off a fellow member, at which time they had very little use (he changed to KT-120's as I recall). Note that, having discussed with Mr.Fang, you could use KT-120's in these beasts, making over 120 watts per side. Wow. Not that you'll need more power........Note that the newer Tung-sol KT-150's won't work in these according to Mr Fang (but now we're just getting greedy!). These beasts, irrespective, will most certainly lend themselves to tube rolling, given how madly revealing they are! At night, they look like two small cities all lit up. Really cool. NOTE: I am also happy to do a deal on the full set of KT88's (and some other spares) I replaced which could be used as spares (Electron Tube KT94). Just ask! Here are the specs from the web (for the lesser M-75's): http://www.stereoknight.com/M-75.html Specifications (note that these have much upgraded spec's. Please contact Mr.Fang via AM Audio for specifics). Tubes: 1 X 6H30, 2 X 6922 4 X KT88 Power output: 2×75W (8? ULTRALINEAR); 2x 140W (4? ULTRALINEAR) Input: 1 x RCA, 1 x XLR Frequency response: 10Hz?60kHz THD: 1%(1kHz) Input sensitivity: 2 V Input impedance: 50 K? Output impedance: 8?, 4? S/N ratio: > 90 dB Dimensions: 500×330×240mm Net weight: 29Kg x 2 Power consumption: 550W maximum Full balance design. High grade 600W EI type power transformer, extra wide band C-core output transformer (StereoKnight signature). High end components (Nichicon and Hovland capacitor), parts (StereoKnight designed heavy duty gold-plated binding post) and wire (TEFLON insulated wire and Japan made POCC rectangular solid core copper wire) all the way. ZERO-NEGATIVE-FEEDBACK technology. ZERO noise: dead silence background. MOSFET voltage stabilization. High control power (75WPC or 140W at 4?), capable of driving a wide range of loudspeakers. Easily accessible individual output tube bias measurement and adjustment points on side chassis. Detachable IEC power cord, high quality gold-plated StereoKnight custom binding posts and RCA jacks. Full high quality aluminum alloy body construction, power meter in faceplate and acrylic enclosure cover design: sturdy built with art. I have been using these amps as follows: Pre - Wyred4Sound STP-SE Power - Stereoknight M-100 valve monoblocks (via XLR in true balanced configuration) - I preferred ~100+W into 8ohms compared to ~200+W into 4ohms, but other systems will vary. speakers - Osborn Epitome (approx 90dB efficiency) sources - various, including hi-res digital and vinyl I must say these amps are truly extraordinary. I've never heard more beautiful bass. They simply don't suffer from slow or muddy bass. They are glorious in this sense. Clarity is superb, and separation and soundstage blows me away. If you're a jazz fan, I'd look no further (your favourite female vocal will make you shiver. Start with a quality vinyl pressing of "What's New?" by Helen Merrill and you'll melt. Having said that, I have a very eclectic taste in music (from jazz to classical to indie rock to heavy metal to 60's rock and back again....) and these amps produce it all with aplomb! Anyone looking for high-powered (and yes, we're talking up to over 200wpc fully balanced into 4ohms if preferred!!), these are hard to pass up. They'll drive almost anything easily. For those in the know, any audiophile tube amps producing this sort of drive usually cost well over the price of these! They really do respond to a truly balanced end-to-end setup, so fire up that balanced Preamp and invest in some quality XLR cables (I preferred a copper/silver mix to all silver, however (as always) each system and ear is different)!! I have all the original boxing and packaging. I worry about posting, even with proper factory packaging, but can do if needed. Tubes may need to be removed and padded up). You will need to get your own power cords (although I can throw in some cheapies, however I'd recommend something to match their quality). I have been very loving of them. They have always been allowed to warm up prior to use (they really come on song after about an hour ideally). They will definitely benefit from a couple of heavy & solid isolation platforms to sit on. They certainly sound a whole lot better (especially mid range) with the PrimaLuna (silver edition) tubes, compared to the set of KT94's that came with them. All my gear runs off a power conditioner. Please note that the power output needle on (I seem to recall the right channel) one amp does not work. It was not working when I got them (I am the second owner), and does not affect sound of course. I have not looked into getting it fixed, however I am sure this could easily be done. I may get the opportunity to have it looked at next week if time permits. You'll note the little doors on the sides of each amp. They come off with an allen key (supplied), and you need a basic multimeter (I'll throw in with the sale) in order to bias each tube. There is a bias screw next to each corresponding power tube (see pics). It's really easy, and according to Mr.Fang you can decide your output preferences. These amps can produce a lot more power, but it's up to the listener what their preferences are. Notably, the PrimaLunas went in and needed very little (if any) bias adjusting (ie. a matched Octet!). http://www.primaluna-usa.com/tube-rolling These amps go very easy on tubes (if standard biasing is applied), so they should last ages. These monsters are big and heavy and beautiful: - around 30kg each - packaging adds 2kg each - size (each in cm) is 46w, 22h, 30w - colour is silver aluminium with clear perspex lids I will happily arrange for an audition only for those truly intending to buy (amps are currently not in use). I live in inner-north of Melbourne. Price will be formalised before this happens (I don't want to spend ages working through critical listening, only for someone to try to lowball me. I am sure you all understand (and I will negotiate on price if required and reasonable), but it's happened too many times before). I am always very light-on for time (it took me 3 months after having stored the amps to get around to this ad!), so please do your own research. Price is negotiable, however it reflects age, condition, use, rarity and a $1400 tube set! Don't let them pass you by if you've been thinking of high powered tubes but the prices have held you back. Given this sort of quality and the bliss into which you will plunge, they represent tube heaven at this price range in my opinion. Happy listening! Mat
  11. Well it had to happen, my new speakers need 6 channels of ampiflying. What to do? Build some more class D! 250 Watts per mono should be enough for the mids, the woofers have a 400 Watter each. Tweeters run off a nice smooth Aleph 30. This may change as I might need more grunt for the tops. The finished item Mysterious Blue glow The source of the glow, not a 300B it's an LED, who'da guessed? Balanced input, WBT binding posts and Neutrik Powercon. What more could be needed?
  12. Hi forum people, Can anyone tell me about this Amplifier? It has not been tested and looks very slick. Just looking for an honest opinion
  13. I would like to know what these amps are worth: ME24 (steel case, excellent condition inside and out) ME200 (bought new 1997, MINT condition) I have the original boxes for both. Cheers
  14. Hi All! Rather than be on the outside looking in, it was suggested that (at the very least) I improve the male/female ratio of your great forum! At least you know my bias whatever I say. My systems of choice for the last 18 years have been (surprise, surprise!) complete REDGUM Stereo and then Home Theatre systems. My first exposure to Audio was with Heathkit and ONE Wharfdale (Times were hard back then .... cardboard box ... middle of the road! ...) I will admit to starting out with B&O, but then I was firmly guided into the realms of Hifi. No turning these ears back, especially when they had been immersed in the real thing (instrumental, orchestral and choral). Could explain why I got waylaid in Vienna for 6+ years, "living" in the Standing Room Only section of the Opera House. Am a touch blonde with forums hence my delay in cracking even this entry performance gate. Due to work pressures, I probably will only dip in from time to time. Happy to help in any way I can. At the least, I do know all about the WAF !! ) Cheers, Lindy-at-REDGUM
  15. Just introducing myself as required
  16. Item: VINCENT SPT-100 HYBRID TUBE MONO AMPLIFIERS Location: MELBOURNE Price: $1500 ONO FOR THE PAIR Item Condition: EXCELLENT Reason for selling:NO LONGER REQUIRED Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: [attachment 2=2=48175:vincent (1024x768).jpg=(1024x768).jpg][attachment 1=1=48174:vincent (1024x768).jpg=(1024x768).jpg] Home Audio Equipment Review March 2006 Vincent SP-T100 Mono Amplifiers by John Crossett Review Summary Sound "These hybrid amps add a very slight golden glow to any music I played through them. Was that addition unkind to the music? Hardly. It was actually very pleasant. Was it, strictly speaking, completely accurate? I doubt it." "Their purity of tone is seductive, especially with vocals." "The SP-T100s aren't small-sounding amps, despite their modest size. They filled my listening room with a big, bold impression of whatever was fed to them." Features "The 100W SP-T100s run in pure class A with zero negative feedback" and "use vacuum tubes in the input stage and for voltage rectification, and solid-state devices in the output stage." Use "The amps run warm, much warmer than most solid-state amplifiers I’ve used." "It took the full 150 hours of break-in time that Vincent recommended before the SP-T100s settled in and began to strut their stuff." Value "'Hybrid,' 'monoblock' and '$2495' are not often used it the same sentence." I’ve long considered German engineering and build quality to be among the best in the world. From cars to electric shavers to audio equipment, the Teutonic ability to design and build products that work above and beyond the call and last for years has set a benchmark by which all industries are judged. I’ve never been able to afford most of the German audio gear that has caught my eye; being well built and affordable has never been foremost in the plan. Until now. Vincent, a division of Thorens and a relative newcomer to high-end audio, has demonstrated that topflight German build quality, wonderful sound, and affordability are not mutually exclusive assets. How did they accomplish this feat? By keeping design in-house but farming out the actual building -- under close supervision, of course -- to China. Sure, many out there think that anything built by the Chinese is of lesser quality, but they’re dead-bang wrong. All it’ll take is one look at the audio gear being manufactured there to see just how proficient the Chinese have become. Vincent certainly has, and its line of audio products demonstrates this. The SP-T100 hybrid mono amplifiers I received for review certainly opened my ears to the possibilities. Nuts & bolts The $2495 USD SP-T100 hybrid monoblocks -- "hybrid" because they use vacuum tubes in the input stage and for voltage rectification, and solid-state devices in the output stage -- are unobtrusive boxes that measure a svelte 8 1/4"W x 7 3/4"H x 15 3/4"D and weigh in at 33 pounds each. "Hybrid," "monoblock" and "$2495" are not often used it the same sentence. The amps' 1/4"-thick faceplate (available in champagne gold, silver or black) is blemished by three tiny push buttons -- the larger middle one for power, the two smaller ones on each side for speaker selection. To the inside of the two speaker-selection buttons are small LEDs that glow green when the amp is powered up. The only other feature on the front panel is a large, round, retro-cool window through which you can get a glimpse of one of the tubes glowing radiantly. It’s my educated guess that this is the 6Z4 voltage-rectification tube. The remaining three 6N6s are clearly seen in the rear of the amp when looking down through the perforated top plate. Should the glow of this window bother you, there is a dimmer switch on the back of the amp that allows you to turn it down gradually or completely off. Nice touch. The circle-type transformers have a capacity of 40,000uF to supply lots of current to your speakers, allowing the amps to handle low-impedance loads with ease. This makes the SP-T100s usable with most any speaker. They certainly drove my Magnepan MG1.6/QRs with no audible problems. Speaking of the rear panel, it’s as simply laid out as the front. Centered in the middle is the gold-plated input jack. Below it is the dimmer switch, and under that is the standard three-prong IEC receptacle (a power cord is supplied, of course). On either side are the two sets of five-way speaker terminals for speakers A or B. I assume these are for biwiring, but why they are switched is a mystery not covered in the manual. The 100W SP-T100s run in pure class A with zero negative feedback. The top panel is loaded with slots to keep the tubes ventilated, and the amps have heat sinks that run their length from top to bottom on each side of the chassis. The amps run warm, much warmer than most solid-state amplifiers I’ve used. Make sure you have plenty of space above and to the sides to allow the amps to dissipate their heat. I set the two monoblock amps on the Symposium Ultra Platform that usually holds my single Bryston amp. This setup still allowed the amps to sit about 4" apart, so I wasn’t worried about any interference or heat issues. For the fun of it, I used speaker connection A for the left channel and B for the right channel. Also for fun, I kept the tube window fully lit, as I found the glow soothingly "old school." Sonics How does one go about the task of describing the sound of a component that should have none? A product whose job, theoretically, is to simply take the incoming signal and make it louder? In audio, things aren’t quite that simple. Everything -- everything -- has its own sonic signature. Take the Vincent SP-T100 amplifiers as a "for instance." How much did they affect the sound of the music? These hybrid amps add a very slight golden glow to any music I played through them. Was that addition unkind to the music? Hardly. It was actually very pleasant. Was it, strictly speaking, completely accurate? I doubt it. So what does that tell us? When you’re piecing together your audio setup system, synergy is an all-important fact of life. Associated Equipment Loudspeakers – Magnepan MG1.6/QR. Power amplifier – Bryston 4B SST. Preamplifier – Audio Research SP16. Digital – Marantz 8260 CD/SACD player. Analog – VPI HW19 Mk IV turntable, Butternut Audio-modified Rega RB300 tonearm, Clearaudio Aurum Beta S cartridge. Interconnects – Alpha Core Goertz TQ2, DH Labs BL-1, Harmonic Technology Pro Silway Mk II. Speaker cables – Alpha Core Goertz MI2. Power cords – Harmonic Technology Pro AC-11, LAT AC-2. Accessories – Target TT3 equipment rack; Symposium Ultra Platform and Svelte Shelf platforms; Symposium Precision Couplers, Roller Block Series II, Roller Block Jr., and Fat Padz footers; Monster Cable HTS 1000 power center. It took the full 150 hours of break-in time that Vincent recommended before the SP-T100s settled in and began to strut their stuff. During break-in, the amps added too much of that glow to the music. It was almost a haze, and it was a distraction. But, upon hitting that magic 150-hour total, something seemed to right the ship. One minute the Vincent amps were pleasant and inoffensive, and the next they morphed into amplifiers that offered a multitude of pleasing attributes. Once the amps were fully broken in, my initial impression of them was that they offer a vivid, three-dimensional view of the music. Their purity of tone is seductive, especially with vocals. I love Alison Krauss’s voice. It has an ethereal quality that, if reproduced correctly, just floats in the space between my speakers. Her rendition of "When I Say Nothing At All" from Now That I’ve Found You [Rounder SACD 11661-0325-6] is a case in point. This is a love song, and when Krauss unleashes that marvelous voice to sing it, it should touch the heart. Nay, it should almost bring a tear of joy to the eye of those happily married (or committed) audiophiles out there. The Vincent amps handled this very, very well. They set Krauss a bit more forward than I’m used to, but, thanks to those input tubes and the amps' class-A output, they imbued her with an angelic vocal quality that, in all honesty, touched me. However, the SP-T100s do add a bit too much muscle to the human voice. This can make some female vocals sound a tad too heavy and add a touch of chestiness to most male singers. The latter was welcome in some cases, however. The SP-T100s aren't small-sounding amps, despite their modest size. They filled my listening room with a big, bold impression of whatever was fed to them. Playing big-band jazz is not something that can be skimped on sonically if you want to cover the full dynamic spectrum. The SP-T100s, playing the new stereo SACD Gil Evan’s + 10 [Prestige PRSA-7120-6], demonstrated this in spades. The entire front of my room was suddenly turned into the recording studio. All the musicians were there, properly sized and placed, and when they let loose, whoa baby, it was "pin me to my chair" time. What I'm describing wasn’t just loudness for the sake of loudness, but it was dynamic and detailed. From the breath of the trumpet player to the snap of the drum sticks hitting the snare, all the detail I could want was there and woven into the tapestry of the music. The Gil Evans album put another strong point of the Vincent amps into high relief -- their ability to separate instrumental lines. Each of the musicians Evans used was set in his own space. Each played his own instrument, with no blurring of the line between, say, the tenor sax and the trombone. I found that I could follow whichever musician I chose to for as long as I liked. Tonal balance was another positive attribute of these amplifiers. Each instrument was clearly rendered for what it was. They demonstrated that sense of bloom that tubes do so well. I was very impressed. Something that I’ve come to seek in top-quality audio components is the ability to differentiate recordings -- something the SP-T100s do particularly well. Each album I played, whether I was wearing my reviewer's hat or just listening for the pleasure of it, was its own animal. A good recording was reproduced as such, and a poor one was exposed. The acoustic space on a live recording such as 4 Generations of Miles [Chesky 243 SACD] was clearly different from that of a recorded-in-the-studio album such as Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue [Columbia 64955 SACD CS], which is exactly what should happen. If it doesn’t, if a piece of equipment makes everything sound similar, I’d question the product's resolving power, and my long-term satisfaction with it. The Vincent amps had no such problem. The competition Stacked up against my reference Bryston 4B SST, the Vincent amps came off very well. Both amps cost within a few hundred dollars of each other -- the 4B SST retails for $2995. The Bryston amp has triple the power of the SP-T100s, at 300Wpc, but the Vincent amps are hybrid monoblocks, and they cost $500 less to boot. The greatest sonic difference between the Vincent and Bryston amps? Classical music was a real joy reproduced via the Vincent amps. The orchestra seemingly had a little bit of extra space between musicians. The Bryston amp came across as a bit leaner, more detailed, and sharper in focus. The Vincent amps, thanks to those input tubes, add a slight bit o' warmth to the proceedings, and that fleshes out images better. Bass depth was close, but because there’s no substitute for horsepower, the double-the-power Bryston amp went a bit deeper and with more control. That additional power also translates into a better sense of dynamic ease; the 4B SST goes from soft to loud with less apparent effort than the SP-T100s. Top-end performance was equally tight. While the Bryston amp sounded subjectively more extended, the Vincent amps offered a richer and fuller -- though slightly more subdued -- sound. In my system, the Vincent amps seemed to impose themselves on the music just a tad more than the Bryston amp. Maybe that’s those input tubes talking, or maybe the Audio Research SP16 preamp, along with the SP-T100s puts too many tubes in front of the music. Either way, the Vincent amps had the more apparent sonic signature, and probably strayed further from absolute neutrality because of it. End results If you’re the type of listener who buys strictly by country of build, then companies such as Vincent will forever remain a closed book to you. And that’ll be too bad. In this global economy, everything you buy is made of parts from the world over -- no matter where they're all finally put together. So, expanding your options can mean many things. In the case of audio, it can add up to both excellent sound as well as large savings, especially when Asian manufacturing is part of the mix. In the specific case of the Vincent SP-T100 hybrid monoblock amplifiers, globalization can mean owning gear that you may have felt was far beyond your means -- both sonically and fiscally. The ability to think globally will net you long-term satisfaction with these amps. You’ll end up with a pair of amplifiers that will bring years of enjoyable listening, and, no matter where you live, that's quite a lot. ...John Crossett johnc@soundstage.com Vincent SP-T100 Mono Amplifiers Price: $2495 USD per pair. Warranty: Two years parts and labor. Sintron Vertriebs GmbH Electronic Import & Export Südring 14 D-76473 Iffezheim Germany Phone: (+49) 7229 18 29 98 Fax: (+49) 7229 18 29 99 E-mail: sintron.vertriebs@t-online.de Website: www.vincent-tac.de US distributor: Q-USA 462 N. Baldwin St, Madison, WI 53703 Phone: (608) 237-1726 Fax: (608) 237-1728 E-mail: info@q-usa.com Website: www.q-usa.com Current Issue Equipment Reviews All Contents Copyright © 2006 SoundStage! All Rights Reserved
  17. Firstly, discussions on cables and amplifier differences tend to cause a lot of heat and it's not my intent to do so, I am just asking for opinions on this. I have noticed in looking up US forums versus those in UK, Australia and elsewhere, that there is a divide in the opinion of regarding whether there are differences in cable performance, be it power cables or speakers or interconnects, and some also think that if you equalise the levels of amps, there is no difference there either. The Americans tend to think it's total hogwash, this is a bit of a stereotype as some there do believe it, but in general, the opinion is that, there is no need to get another more than bell wire or a kettle cord. IMHO, I have heard some differences, but I tend to subscribe to the 10% rule and limit my expense on cables / HDMI etc to that amount. I have also heard difference in amp quality and I am happy to pay more for it. Higher grade amps will also sound better due to their better power supplies and the potential increase in dynamics. What do you think?
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