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Found 12 results

  1. This thread covered highlights in Australia's history of ambient music. This thread is in honour of the tradition of ambient music on a Sunday night. Currently spinning:
  2. 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
  3. Item: Vincent SP20 Anniversary Edition Hybrid power amp. Location:Gold Coast Qld Price: $1250 paid $1730 RRP $3499 Item Condition: 9/10 like new approx 8months old Reason for selling: going all valve Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, COD Only Extra Info: Bought this amp on speculation when Eastwood Hifi were clearing stock at very reduced prices due to a change in distributor. What piqued my interest in this model, SP20, was the combination of valve input stage and solid state output. I have enjoyed this hybrid valve amp so much I have to decided to give all valve a go. This amp has great bass weight and definition allied to a top end that is not harsh but has that beautiful valve airiness. But most importantly, this amp brings out the emotion in music. The first 10 watts are class A with all that brings but still retains composure at loud volume levels. Also included are various input valves including original russian, RCA (nos) and Amperex. Eastwood Hifi assured me any warranty claims would be fully covered by the new distributor. I have original shipping cartons and receipt. Buyer pays for shipping. Only to happy to answer any questions. Thanks for looking. Regards Paul Pictures:
  4. Item: Vincent SA31 +SP331 pre and power. Location:Goldfields Victoria. Price: $1.495. Item Condition: As new Reason for selling: Funding for Consonance Droplet Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: Willing to demo. You will be impressed. Sorry no original packaging. Can deliver to Melbourne. Would look at possible trade for Droplet CD player . Pictures:
  5. Item:DK Designs VS.1 Reference Mk.III Integrated Amplifier (Non functioning)Location: Perth, WA Price: $300 ono Item Condition: Not Working. Fix or salvage parts. Was in storage for a long time as I have active speakers then when brought out no sound coming out of the amp. Externally Fair. There are a few scratches on the top of the case due to items placed on top (see pics). Professionally boxed up with non-original double boxing, suitable for shipping. Still good parts inside Reason for selling: Dont have need or time to fix. Need it gone Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Unit weighs 38kg, pickup preferred unless willing to org courier. Extra Info: This has been my Integrated amp for a number of years although i've only used it 6 months due to work commitments. It has tubed pre and SS power. Tube rolling is recommended. It is 150w into 8ohms, 300w into 4ohms with a claimed 800w into 1.3ohms. It has had glowing reviews stating it was a bargain at its RRP. It sounds great with plenty of power, it has a smooth sound without sounding bloomy in the bass department. Construction is very good. The phono stage is also very good being almost an out board phono stage built in - there is actually a phono in and a phono out which connected to input 1 via bus bars. Manufacturer site http://www.thelsagroup.com/ (the standard amp) Stereophile review http://www.stereophi...atedamps/606dk/ Stereomojo review (2/3 down the page) http://www.stereomoj.../AMPREVIEWS.htm Pictures:
  6. Item: LZ A4 2ba+dynamic Driver Hybrid Mmcx Hifi Audiophile In-ear Earphones Location: Melbourne Price: 200$+postage Item Condition: excellent Reason for selling: Inventory cleaning Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, Pictures:
  7. Item: EOI: Lamm m1.2 monoblock amplifiers Location: Canberra Price: $11500 ono, non-inclusive of shipping Item Condition: Very good Reason for selling: Moved on to other amplifiers............. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: replaced valves with Russian equivalent 6n1p23 which are much better than 6922s In terms of complete disclosure, one lamm, had a problem with the delay switch, which is normally 45 seconds, and was taking a few minutes to turn on, I sent to Kimil electronics in Sydney, the Lamm nominated repairer, and this was fixed, without issue since i bought these from a SNA guy in Sydney 18 months ago, in exchange for Lamm m2.2s, and they are the correct Voltage for Australia. They were checked and rebiased by Chris at Kimil, prior to my purchase, bias is currently to Lamm specifications. I have the wooden boxes, and manual for these, I can supply 6922s, if purchaser prefers. The shipping to say Sydney is about 60 dollars each, these things are very heavy, dimensions and weight shipped can be supplied to prospective purchasers. The details are on the Lamm website I believe. please remember that despite large size these are 100 watts class A into 4 or 8 ohms, and roughly double AB. https://www.stereophile.com/content/lamm-m12-reference-monoblock-power-amplifier Pictures:
  8. Item: 2014 Trek 7.4 FX Disc hybrid/flat bar road/commuting bicycle - 20" inch size Location: Kilsyth South Price: $500 (not shipping at this stage) Item Condition: Very Good Reason for selling: Using funds to build a custom bicycle Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: I've had this for 8 months - been a super reliable commuter, used twice a week for 7 kilometre trips. It's in great condition. There are some scratches on the top tube, but the bike has an aluminium alloy frame, so there's no rust on the frame. There's some minor surface rust on the cassette and chain, but that's about it. At this stage I will not ship - would prefer a local buyer. PEDALS NOT INCLUDED It's 20" size frame, and can fit people from 5ft 9" to about 6ft Here's a link to the specification:- http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2014/archive/trek/7_4_fx_disc/#/us/en/archive-model/details?url=us/en/bikes/2014/archive/trek/7_4_fx_disc
  9. Item: Pathos Classic One Integrated Location: Canberra ACT Price: $900 Item Condition: Used, in near mint condition Reason for selling: Upgrade Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: I cannot find the remote control at the moment but will continue the search, price is reflected to that assumption of it being lost. If I find it, consider it a bonus. Stock photos below, due to camera failure. Happy to demo at home for local buyers. Courier and Australia Post with insurance please for interstate buyers. Reviews here: http://www.tnt-audio.com/ampli/pathos-classic1_e.html http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/pathos_classic_one.htm Pictures:
  10. I am looking for an integrated amplifier that has some punch and has a fuller sound with a smooth mid-range / treble. For the price range I am looking I first thought about the Jungson JA88D. I have heard this and rather like the sound. But the speakers it will be driving are are around 87db and then I thought i should look to something with more power. Both the Vincent SV226 MK and the Xindak XA 6900/ 6950 seem to be well received by some owners but I have had no real experience with them. Can anyone comment on the sound qualities of these amps or how they compare? Hank
  11. 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
  12. Item: VINCENT SPT-100 HYBRID TUBE MONO AMPLIFIERS Location: MELBOURNE Price: $1750 ONO FOR THE PAIR Item Condition: EXCELLENT Reason for selling:NO LONGER REQUIRED Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Paypal, COD Only Extra Info: ADDED SOME NEW PHOTOS Pictures: 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 SACD 243] was clearly different from that of a recorded-in-the-studio album such as Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue [Columbia SACD CS 64955], 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 . FOR SALE :
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