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Jubilee-model Power Amp Is Worthy of Celebration
In honor of its 20 anniversary, Vincent Audio went all out with a premium piece of audiophile gear that really shows the best of the German innovator’s expertise. Vincent has engineered a fitting jubilee model – the very special SP-20. This is a studio-quality hybrid power amplifier based at its core on one of Vincent’s most successful models, the SP-331 MK. But the SP-20 goes all out finessing the SP-331 MK’s presentation, from its distinctive cosmetic appearance to its hard working internals.
Vincent has thoroughly revised the SP-20 compared to the SP-331 MK and optimized the circuitry for a big leap forward in performance. In addition, as icing on its anniversary cake, Vincent gave the externals a facelift with a cool retro design that features a pair of beautiful and functional VU meters.
"First Class Performance"
"When the test editor starts playing funky air guitar licks, it is clear that this power amp fulfills its intended purpose in the best manner. It revives music preserved on recordings," raves Andre Schwerdt in his December 15, 2016 review for Germany's i-fidelity.net. Andre goes on to praise the SP-20's "spatial control, considerable dynamic range, extreme performance, stupendous transparency – all paired with a shot of vacuum tube charm."
"The Jubilee SP-20 can be recommended to all passionate students of music who have high priority for powerful sound and dynamic sounding details," reports Hungary's HangzasVilag audiophile magazine. "The luxurious external finish hints at the important technical considerations inside the case. First-class performance in its class!"
The Best of Vacuum Tube and Solid State Designs
Audiophiles all over the world love the distinctive sound of vacuum tube circuitry. That’s why the German manufacturer Vincent Audio puts vacuum tubes in as many of its products as possible.
The main trouble with tube amps, however, is that power tubes are especially prone to failing when they are stressed. That’s why Vincent Audio has created a special class of amplifiers called “hybrids.” They use vacuum tubes where they do the most good – in the preamp stages – and solid state devices for power output to the speakers. Many audiophiles around the world have found this combination of vacuum tube and solid state to be a marriage made in heaven.
The SP-20’s combination of a vacuum tube input stage and solid state output stage gives you the best of the classic Golden Age richness that only tubes deliver. It also delivers the power, control, and reliability associated with solid-state electronics.
Two 6N16 tubes working in differential push-pull mode form the input stage. The powerful 6N10 tube transmits the signal to the transistor output stage, while 12 FET transistors amplify the signal. The amplifier circuit includes electrolytic capacitors amounting to a combined 10,000 uF. This potent combination delivers ample levels of power to resolve complex musical passages, and even difficult-to-drive speakers can be driven with ease. All of this muscle provides a potent 150-watts RMS at 8 ohms or a full 250-watts RMS at 4 ohms.
The powerful sonic performance is unmistakably Vincent. The bass is precise and powerful, while the middle frequencies and treble are remarkably lifelike. Thanks to the tube complement, the SP-20 offers a warm, clean, likable sound.
Color-Adjustable Front Panel Lighting
Part of what makes the SP-20 so cosmetically attractive is that the front panel background lighting offers you a choice of colors that you can change at any time. You can choose between red, blue, green, and white via a switch on the rear panel of the unit. The exquisite aluminum case with its impressive cooling fins hints that this amp's power remains unchanged from the SP-331 MK.
"When the test editor starts playing funky air guitar licks, it is clear that this power amp fulfills its intended purpose in the best manner. It revives music preserved on recordings."
"The buyer can enjoy fine-grained design freedom through the choice of the preamp technology: either the full tube program with the combination of two hybrid amplifiers presented here or the graded combination of hybrid power amp and transistor preamp. However, the basic nature of the SP 20's orientation does not change: spatial control, considerable dynamic range, extreme performance, stupendous transparency - all paired with a shot of vacuum tube charm."
- Andre Schwerdt, Germany's i-fidelity.net, December 15, 2016
"The Jubilee SP-20 can be recommended to all passionate students of music who have high priority for powerful sound and dynamic sounding details. The luxurious external finish hints at the important technical considerations inside the case. First-class performance in its class!"
- Hungary's HangzasVilag audiophile magazine