Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)
a Audio EnthusiastDate Reviewed:
March 9, 2013Bottom Line:
Let me first start off by saying this about the German Vincent Audio SP-T100 Hybrid Tube Monoblocks, although they are somewhat compact at 8 ¼”W X 7 ¾”H X 15 ¾ D, they sound BIG, and filled my 15’W X 36’D listening room with ease. They are a solid build, weighing in at 33 pounds each. Compared to my previous Adcom GFA 555 II, at 200 watts a channel, they sounded every bit as powerful at 100 watts a channel and drove my Magnepan 1.6 QRs’, effortlessly. The Vincents double down in power , to 200 watts, at 4 Ohms. I believe this could be attributed to the Vincents’ Hybrid design, with tubes in the input stage and solid state devices in the output stage. My particular pair of amps were purchased after a 300 hour burn in, so although I have only owned them for less than a week, they sound open and settled. They do require 20 to 30 minutes to warm up, before sounding their best.
The associated equipment that I am using are the Magnepan 1.6 QRs’, a Velodyne DPS-12, an Outlaw RR2150 as preamplifier, a Pro-ject Debut III with Acryl it Platter, the Pro-ject Speedbox II, and a Denon DL 160 moving coil cartridge. All speaker cables and interconnects by Blue Jeans Cable. I cut the Magnepans at 60Hz with the Outlaw built in analog bass management system. Currently, the Vincents are being fed out of both Speaker A outs, bananas to bare wire. The SP-T100s’ do have Speaker A and B outputs that I am assuming are for bi-wire purposes.
After warming the amps up for 30 minutes, at first listen, I put on Norah Jones (LP), Live From Austin TX/Austin City Limits. I find this recording to be spot on, excelling particularly, in lower bass and vocals. Norah’s voice sounded amazing, the warm tones of her voice filling the room. Compared to the Adcom, I first noticed significant improvements in bass dynamics and the way the Vincents’ created space between each instrument. I found myself following the vocals, then piano, drums, all placed appropriately. Another pleasing attribute was the T100s’ ability to accurately portray the kick drum, from the bass guitar, neither bleeding into one another. As I turned the volume up to around 11 o’clock, the amps still sounded composed, controlled, and easy on the ear, unlike the Adcom which was a tad harsh and forward at louder volumes, sometimes fatiguing to the ear. I have yet to run into this problem with the T-100s’. By no means am I trying to say that the Adcom GFA 555 II is not a pleasant sounding amp. For less than half the price of the Vincents’, on the used market, the Adcom packs a lot of bang for your dollar, is holographic, and plays way above its price point.
At next listen, was another of my personal favorite recordings, Chet Baker’s, Chet (HQ-180 Gram Vinyl Pressing on Riverside). On the first track, Alone Together, Pepper Adams baritone sax filled the room with all a lush, deep tone and then Chet’s trumpet, airy and melodic. When listening to this recording, I began to notice the T100s’ putting their signature sound on the music, adding warmth and mellow tone.
Lastly, I played Vivaldi’s, Four Seasons (Erato) and Tchaikovsky’s Overture 1812, Op. 49 (Hi-Q Records London England) and without a doubt this is where the little T100s’ sounded giant and really shined. I always felt the Adcom struggled with classical compositions, especially with full orchestras, the instruments often bleeding together, so I just didn’t listen often. With the T100s’ the string instruments sounded fleshed out from one another, and full of vibrant life and I have found myself pulling out some of my favorite classical records again. At the end of Tchaikovsky’s Overture, it gets quite busy, and even at louder volumes the T100s’ didn’t flinch or sound strained, and kept their composure. The cannons thundered, the snares timbers were accurately portrayed, the horns and cymbals adding raw emotion.
Overall, I would deem the amps strengths as their soundstage, placing instruments in the correct place with enough air and space between them, their bass extension, low bass information differentiating itself nicely among instruments. I would consider the amps signature tone a strength, and although probably not completely accurate, really pleasing to the ear. The mid and high frequencies are spectacular. I would say the amps weaknesses would be that they run a little warmer than they should, they take 20 to 30 minutes to warm up before sounding their best, and their resale value.
If you are in the market for a new amp, and on a budget of 2500 dollars or less, I would not hesitate to audition the mighty little T100s’, especially if you like the warmer tube sound. Everything I have thrown at them, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam sounds really good, and, in particular, good vocal recordings, jazz, and classical sound superb. I paid $1100 dollars for the pair of amps, on the used market, and would consider them a steal for this price.
Used product for: Less than 1 month
Duration Product Used: Audio Enthusiast
Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)