Vincent’s SP-331 is a 150Wpc stereo power amp that uses two 6N16 tubes to drive two banks of 6 Toshiba output transistors.
Frequency response: 10 Hz - 50 kHz +/- 0.5 dB
Nominal Output Power RMS/8 Ohm: 2x 150W
Nominal Output Power RMS/4 Ohm: 2x 300W
Total harmonic distortion: 90 dB
Input impedance: 47 kOhm, Inputs: 2 x RCA, Outputs: 4 x 2 Speaker Terminal,
Mains supply: 230 V/50 Hz, Colour: black/silver, Weight: 19 kg
Dimensions (WxHxD): 430 x 160 x 450 mm, Tubes: 2 x 6N16
This review is for the Vincent SP-331 MK and not the regular version of this amp. the Production year of the amp is 2013
Ok...I've about close to a 100 hours, about 80 hours. This is an incredible sound coming from this system and I would have to say its the amp that's taken things up more than a notch or two....my system has evolve into something above the cut as far as hi-fi and into a different category or class of sound well above what I've paid. Its really amazing...the Vincent preamp/Rotel combination never came close to what I am hearing. The transparency, staging, air and sense of putting you in a venue listening to live music with certain recordings was never there with the old set up, but the all Vincent combination gives you a sense of atmosphere heard in gear much more expensive. I think it wants speakers that are able to deliver what it has to offer, or you wont hear all the little nuances its has to offer.
It so refreshing to listen to your old collection of music and discover you've never really heard it like you're hearing it now....the Vincent has a much more different interpretation of music from what I was previously hearing and has also let me hear things in the music I've never noticed before.
The Vincent, after the 80 hours, and looking back of how its come to this point, changed in sonic and dynamics and for the better each step of the way. I have never seen anything like it. Wylie has the same amp/preamp paring, but I noticed your amp is back in the box sitting in his basement, and the preamp is sitting on a shelf in your music room not being used. The reason could be, you ran out of patience during run in, and I can see why, it takes a whyle to run this baby in. But you are now running the Vincent integrated amp and also a Bel Canto rig as well...., I wondering if the integrated amp delivers like the seperates.....I doubt the Bel Canto is giving this kind of performance....but I could be wrong.
The high frequencies are one of the last things to come into its own with this amp. Wylie, I do remember you complaining about the highs that time I came over when you first got the amp. It takes a while for it to burn in. Even I thought the amp had a slightly dark nature to it because of the dark high frequencies, but it seems I had a false reading of the character....the high frequencies have burned in and are very transparent. I once had a Threshold amp in my system and it was about the most transparent amp I had ever heard. The Vincent I believed has surpassed that amp in transparency. Due to my false reading of the character of this amp, I mistakenly thought it had a dark nature, but there is nothing dark about it....the SP-331MK is a very neutral amp and far from boring. there is nothing out of balance from top to bottom, and the texture of the instruments is life like....skin on the bones, so to speak. There is no thin sounding instruments with this amp. It has a certain sweetness because of the tubes, especially when if warms up, but nothing syrupy in the sweetness, but it adds the texture that we all know tubes can add. And it has the slam of some of the best SS amps I have ever heard, if the recording has it. 'That's the beauty of a hybrid amp...its really the best of both worlds if its done correctly and Vincent has done it right. One of the things of a good neutral transparent amp is the ability to let what ever is connected to it have its nature shine through. Thus the Vincent is excellent at this. While it does have its own character, it lets the nature of your sources shine though and you know it right away. Of all the things the Rotel did right, this was not one of them. the Rotel imparted its own character on every source connected to it. I would say one of the strong points of this amp is the bass. Its very good at adding that needed weight through out the entire spectrum of sound, giving body to the entire sound. It also has the PRaT thing down really really good, but not over powering like I've heard before with some other gear. It too has a very good midrange, but the high frequencies, which have come on through run in as of late, are really special. There is no edge what so ever...in the beginning they where really hard to hear, and cymbals where hard and kinda splashy, they did improve after about 40 hours, but now with more run in they are like lush with definition and detail without ever sounding splashy or hard, and never ear bleed or fatigue. In all honesty, these are the best cymbal taps I have ever heard at any price point I've listen too.
You know...we've all heard, and every body uses that old saying that's attached to a lot of gear..." its more sound than what the price dictates" or something on those lines. I can honestly say those words about this paring. In fact Vincent has all along said they designed in German, and build in China to push the extra saving onto the consumer. This is the first time I have ever believed that due to what I am hearing. For what is capable with this amp and price paid, the performance is way ahead of the price. And there is also excellent build quality to boot.
And I have not even added the new cabling and power cord yet. I have yet to really tell you how the low level listening is, nor the effects the Class A has on the sound. Oh, if there is any one that thinks Class A is only at moderate levels with this amp, they really have no ideal how loud 10 watts can be...especially with the right speakers. Just talk to some SET amp owners and they can tell ya. My speakers are 87db and I have never been out of Class A with this amp. But I will save that for more on the update along with sound staging and imaging which are also some of the best I've heard. I will post more at a later date, but if any one wants to spend a little more and are looking to add an amp on their way to getting off the merry go round, have a look at the Vincent SP-331...and if you really want to add the preamp SA-T1, you wont be sorry. I can guarantee....you will encounter a very emotional connection with your system through the music if they system is set up right....we talk about speakers disappearing....how about an amp making things disappear due to the lovely music your listening too. I'm getting that with this paring.
I made switch from integrated amp's to seperate amp and preamp combo. I purchased a Vincent SP-331 used, though it was not even broken in yet or so i found out. After several weeks of sound changing from good to bad and so on it finally settled in and became a pleasure to sit and listen to for many hours at a time. I began to play with speaker position and changing room acoustics along with cables and power cord's to tweak for the sound I was looking for. At this point I am very happy with the results I get from this amp and the price I paid. Found that reversing the speaker cables plus to minus really made the amp open up. Have not had any other power amps to compare this one to only some decent integrated amp's from Rotel, Nad, Creek, Cambridge and the Vincent at this point is my favorite. My opinion for what it's worth is very good bang for your buck, and put's a smile on my face everytime i sit and give a listen.
I use Vincent sp-331 with Nad 165bee pre, Cambridge 740c, and B&W 802 s2 speakers with siltech new york cables and the result is musical and involving...
Would not hesitate to suggest the vincent for a demo, in the used market it is a incredible value. Thank's
I have previously only used Receivers with this being my first separate component. At this point I'm venturing into separates one step at a time. I'm using the Vincent Amp to power my front stereo channels of my B&K AVR-307 Receiver. With that said, after listening to the amp at my dealer with similar speakers to mine, I decided to take the unit home. After first listening at home to the same CD I played at dealer. I was wasn't to impressed at first. Then about, 2.5 hours later everything came together. Stereo imaging opened up, the sound stage was full bodied with detailed instrumentation. I can honestly say after listening to several of my CD's which I'm familiar with, on some of the discs I have heard details I have yet to hear before. Maybe a guitar and keyboard in the background. I'm enjoying this Amp and it seems to sound even better as it warms up, say after you go through 2 CD's.
Currently just upgraded to Kimber Hero interconnects (amp to receiver). Next step will be an upgrade to the AC power cord. These small things are for peace of mind, rather they increase performance can be questionable.
QUAD 22L speakers
QUAD 99CDP-2 player
Kimber 8TC speaker wire
I have spent a lot of time, over the years, trying to find the right amplifier to match with the rest of my system and the moderately-sized room I use for listening. At one time or another, I have owned amps from Audio Research, Bel Canto, Conrad Johnson, Carver, VTL, Musical Fidelity, Exposure, First Watt, and others, all in a search for an amp that delivers both tight, accurate bass and musical, non-brittle highs. And none of these amps, some costing up to $5000.00, were wholly satisfactory -- I have ended up selling each one, in turn, and trying another. So I was surprised when Audio Advisors recommended the Vincent SP-331, at a mere $1199.00. I had never heard of Vincent -- which turns out to be a German company (rumored to be part of Thorens) with manufacturing in China (I had to grit my teeth over that -- I like the fact that audio is an industry that still has healthy U.S. manufacturers, and I have bought from a bunch of them). But since AA offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, I decided to give the Vincent at try.
Boy, am I glad I did. While it has a fairly long break-in period (at least 40 hours), after breaking in the Vincent is truly remarkable at its price -- articulate bass without boom, and highs that are as clean and clear as the source material permits (there's a lot of icky recordings out there -- especially of violins). Imaging is excellent, as well. The fact is that I have never had a better-sounding amplifer, even at three to four times the price., making this one of the genuine bargains in audio (which may explain why you won't find it being mentioned in the "if price is an object you are a peasant" magazines like Stereophile).
The amp does have foibles -- the tubes used in the input section are hard-wired, so when they burn out they can't be user-replaced. And while they have a long claimed life (15000 hours), if you are an audio enthusiast you could find them needing replacement after six or seven years -- if anyone is still servicing them after that amount of time has passed. Also, the speaker terminals aren't true five-ways -- while you can use banana plugs, you have to insert them in the hole in the binding post intended for bare wire and tighten the lug -- you can't insert the plugs into the back of the lug, as you can with a true five-way. There are also no balanced inputs, alas. And Vincent also omits any warranty information from the product materials -- Audio Advisor tells me the amp has a two-year warranty with service facilties in Grand Rapids, Michigan (near their offices), so if you purchase from AA getting service should be easy -- but Vincent should know full well that federal law requires consumer warranties to be provided with the product or otherwise made available in writing -- and Vincent doesn't. So, for all these reasons, I have deducted a star from the overall rating.
The limitations aside, do yourself a favor -- if you have less than $5000 to spend on an amp, just call AA, or find another dealer, and buy the Vincent -- and then take the money you saved and sink it into something else, like a better pair of speakers. You'll be glad you did.
Here's my review that I posted under the Magnepan 1.6
This review is not so much for the Magnepan MG 1.6 as it is for the Vincent SP-331 Power Amplifier. I’m convinced that the speaker/amplifier interface is paramount in determining how these speakers will sound. I was using a Jeff Roland Model 102 Stereo Amplifier prior to using the Vincent SP-331 and came to the conclusion that the Vincent SP-331 was definitely a better match for the Magnepans than the Roland. The Roland is a very fine sounding amplifier. I little laid back and soft with these speakers but certainly very nice sounding. When I switched to the Vincent, I was shocked and not in a good way. The brand new right out of the box SP-331 was forward, hard sounding and vivid. It was hyper detailed, in your face kind of presentation. Where was the sound stage depth and width? Where was the space around the musicians? After an hour or so, it was fatiguing and not pleasant. The bass control and extension was excellent but I would need a lot more than that. But all that changed. Allow this amp to break in a full three weeks or so and the sound with the Maggies changed. First, the in your face presentation went away. There was the soundstage depth and width I was used to but more. As this amp broke in, the acoustic seems to envelop my listening position. The hardness also went away. The bass is still excellent, seemingly deeper than what I experienced with the Jeff Roland. The amp now stands as an excellent choice for the Magnepans – no hardness. It's detailed, vivid but not overly so with excellent width and depth. I’m often asked if this amp is a good choice for the Maggies. My answer is an absolute yes.