Breakthrough 'Direct Coupled' Design
With its groundbreaking SV-800 integrated amplifier, the German high-end manufacturer Vincent Audio continues to push the envelope in new approaches to circuit design, which directly couples the vacuum tubes to the output transistors. As far as we know, no manufacturer has ever done this before.
Power, control, ultra-low noise, and an overall tube-like sound are the hallmarks of this innovative amp. Although the SV-800 is state-of-the-art from top to bottom, inside and out, it harkens back to the finest vacuum tube amplifier technology of the 'Golden Age' of high-fidelity – while maintaining a modernity that partners perfectly with today's demands for the highest resolution audio reproduction.
"After switching to 'Class A' mode, the SV 800 discloses absolute quiet… and perfect neutrality," reports Germany's Stereoplay magazine for August 2012
"The SV-800 proved to be a super amplifier with no ifs or buts. The sound is raw energy with tremendous musicality," notes Germany's Stereo magazine, March 2012.
Vincent Audio has established a long tradition of developing critically acclaimed tube and solid state hybrid design in preamplifiers, amplifiers, and even CD players. This tradition culminates in the innovative yet classical-sounding circuitry of the SV-800.
This powerful performer delivers 2 x 100 watts RMS at 8 ohms, 2 x 160 watts RMS at 4 ohms. A very powerful feature is the ability to switch between 'Class A/B' and 'Class A' operation. In 'Class A' mode, the SV-800 offers a very powerful 2 x 50 watts RMS power delivery at 8 ohms.
Driven by 16 transistors and buffered with 80,000uF capacitors, the SV-800 plays with a sense of ease and power that rises far above its Premium Line price class. The highest treble notes, harmonically complex human voices, and the smallest nuances are reproduced so clearly, that you feel the music as an emotional experience as well as hearing it. Fine resolution and musicality are two of the SV-800's hallmarks.
Breakthrough Hybrid Tube-Transistor Design
Hybrid designs have long been popular among audiophiles. They offer the warm, luxurious sound quality of vacuum tubes with their true-to-life 'analog' characteristics. The transistor side of the design offers the power and control of solid-state devices, delivering a listening experience that gives you the best of both worlds.
Unlike the majority of hybrid amplifiers, in which the tubes are only provided in the input section in order to deliver the signal the typical sonic signature of vacuum tube gear, the SV-800 is different. It uses a breakthrough circuit design that directly couples tubes to the output transistors for amplification. WIMA coupling caps are used in the connection between the tubes and transistors. The advantages of this approach is a more tube-like overall sound than is possible in other hybrid designs, along with a wider frequency range, more power even in 'Class A,' and much lower noise.
The circuitry strictly follows a balanced, genuine dual mono design and each channel is amplified separately. A total of eight tubes are used in the preamp section, and the distinctive sonic signature of the 12AX7 and 12AU7 tube complement is combined with the power of the transistor. The power is realized by 16 Toshiba output transistors. These transistors work without negative feedback in a selectable 'Class A' amplifier output mode, whose circuitry eliminates the harsh sound of the transistors. This unique circuit configuration provides more accurate musical reproduction, a much wider soundstage, and a better resolution of the sound.
Noteworthy Build Quality
One look at the SV-800 gives you an indication of its power and build quality. The side-mounted cooling fins and the massive aluminum front panel hint at the sheer power of this sonic supernova and give you an idea of the ease with which it plays music. It is a component that is entirely worthy of including in Vincent Audio's Premium Line series – an integrated amplifier that offers superior performance to many much more expensive separate preamplifier/power amplifier configurations.
Typical for Vincent is the SV-800's superior remote control. In welcome contrast to the flimsy plastic handsets supplied with most AV gear, the Vincent uses a remote control with an aluminum body. It feels good in the hand, is ergonomically designed for easy control, and further reinforces the luxurious experience of owning and operating the SV-800.
The SV-800 has a flexible complement of connections for your source components. Five unbalanced RCA inputs are provided along with one balanced XLR input. A Record Out and two pairs of speaker binding posts complete the inputs and outputs. A detachable IEC-style power cord gives you an easy and inexpensive upgrade path.