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Listed in The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide
"A Tightly Locked Focus on All Instruments"
Vincent's SA-31MK isn't just an enhancement of the German company's popular SA-31 line-stage preamplifier. Much more sophisticated in fidelity and build than its predecessor, the SA-31MK represents a brand new variation on the theme of integrating classic vacuum tube design and cutting-edge solid state technology for a listening experience second to none.
In his joint review of the Vincent SP-331 MK preamp and SA-31 MK amp for the December 2010 issue of The Absolute Sound magazine, Wayne Garcia reports, "With small ensembles or large, the amp and preamp convincingly recreate the atmosphere of the venue with a tightly locked focus on all instruments." He goes on to praise the Vincents for delivering "so much pleasure for such a relatively modest price."
"Gets to the Heart of the Music"
The Vincent SA-31MK was honored by its inclusion in The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide, which noted, "Sonically, the SA-31MK is rhythmically nimble and gets to the heart of the music. Staging and focus are strengths, too."
Delving Deep into R&D
When Vincent created the SA-31MK, the German audiophile company delved deep into research and development until each stage of the preamplifier provided exactly the results that the engineers had in mind. Extensive listening sessions complemented each stage of the engineering process to ensure that the SA-31MK didn't simply look good on paper. It also had to deliver startlingly good real world performance.
The hybrid design of the beautiful SA-31MK line stage preamplifier truly lets you have it all. It delivers the luxurious sound that can only be obtained with finely-made vacuum tube equipment as well as the power associated with solid state designs, including speed, reliability, and control.
The monoblock design in the amplifier sections for left and right channels help to achieve the best possible signal-to-noise ratio. For best sound quality, the output stage operates in pure 'Class A.'
Twice the Tubes Triple Your Satisfaction
The vacuum tube output stage houses a unique proprietary design configuration with a short signal path to create a delicate and detailed soundstage. For a big leap forward in sonic satisfaction, the SA-31MK has twice as many tubes as its predecessor: two 6N16 tubes plus two additional 6N16 tubes in the output stage. It also incorporates a brand new electronic volume control for ultra-quiet, accurate tone and amplitude adjustment - plus an electronic input control.
And speaking of inputs, where the SA-31 provided four, the SA-31MK boasts a full system's worth of inputs with six. A record out connection added to the two RCA outs provides extra flexibility.
The Vincent also includes the new SRC-1 wireless remote for armchair operation convenience.
Listed in The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide
"Sonically, the SA-31MK is rhythmically nimble and gets to the heart of the music. Staging and focus are strengths, too."
- The Absolute Sound 2012 High-End Audio Buyer's Guide, November 2011
"With small ensembles or large, the [SP-331 MK] amp and [SA-31 MK] preamp convincingly recreate the atmosphere of the venue with a tightly locked focus on all instruments."
"I'm not above my own lust for new toys. It's nice to find ones that deliver so much pleasure for such a relatively modest price."
- Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, December 2010
|Write Your Own Review|
|Nothing beats it|
For this price, nothing beats this Vincent preamp for natural sound balance. Tonality is spot on. All the instruments reveal their natural character - the good, the bad and the ugly. This preamp hides nothing and is not ashamed. Recommended.
|- T. Rubens, NJ|
|Very Please with the Preamp|
If you want a preamp that just plays your music beautifully without edge or harshness, this is the one for you. Offers great imaging - an accurate recreation of the live musical event in your listening room without added coloration. Very happy with this product.
|- Steven K, KS|
|Its A Keeper|
This preamp works well in my system and sounds open, quiet, smooth, and transparent. Over the years I've owned my share of preamps, but the Vincent is just more musical and enjoyable. Rhythm and pace are fantastic. Vintage recordings - like Dire Straights Money for Nothing - really rock. Well recorded vinyl sound amazing - a piano sounds like a piano and the bass drum is deep and powerful. I also experimented with power cords on this pre including Synergistic Research AC Master and Nordost Blue Heaven AC and Pangea AC-14XL. The Pangea won IMO and was less than half the price of the others. Worth an audition. You'll probably keep it - just like I did.
|- Robert B, IL|
|Biggest Improvement So Far|
Used this preamp for two years now and it has been the most significant improvement I have made in my stereo system so far. What I first noticed was a broader soundstage and a transparency to the sound with air around the instruments. Over time, I noticed more details in recordings and an overall warmth to many instruments. I am using with an Adcom power amp and Focal bookshelf speakers. The pre has been reliable. I am taking away one star because it does not have a phono stage.
|- Niles T, NH|
|Forgiving. Neutral Sound. Good Features.|
This preamp has a very forgiving character with a smooth, sweet treble that offers a surprising improvement to CDs I used to think were harsh. I played around with the tone controls but prefer to have them disengaged. When playing my system softly late I night I like using the loudness control which gives a fuller sound at low volumes. The remote is a handy tool - first time I've seen one with a tube preamp - and its just the right size. For the sound and performance I give it 4.5 stars but an rounding it up to five because of these useful features.
|- Townsend R, NY|
This preamp is great. I recently upgraded from a barely-decent receiver to a solid state amp - I've run this basic system for 20 years, various receivers/integrates along the way. I initially also went with solid-state preamp which was amazingly detailed but a little harsh, noticeably fatiguing actually. I figured why not try tubes to calm this a bit and since this is a purchase for the next probably decade go for the nicer of the two Vincents AA has on offer. So this is my first piece of tube gear; bearing that in mind I can't believe what this thing accomplishes. It has nearly the detail - I mean within half a hair - of the solid state, but the quality of the sound is astounding. There's almost an urgency to music now, it sucks you in and holds you. Perhaps tube guys are like "right" and obviously I'm now interested in pursuing this further, but I'll settle on being blown away by this thing for awhile. A few specifics on sound - vocals simply jump out and grab you. It's uncanny. And often from a muddy mix - I can tell what's being sung on some recordings that are both busy and muddy, where previously this was difficult to impossible. And often I'm hearing individual harmonies that just blended together previously. Instruments - you get all the nuance of drum tone and such. Bass guitars sound like bass guitars. Etc. Dynamics - as mentioned, it's hard to describe but there's an immediacy to the proceedings. Transients hit with real snap. And soft passages are rendered almost achingly. If you're in the market and this is in your range I absolutely recommend it. A+.
|spacious & gutsy|
more expansive soundstage than my previous good quality Adcom preamp. Detailed but smooth, not harsh. Nice functionality too, good remote, good to have 2 sets of variable outputs.
|- Bill B, VA|