Vincent Audio SV-500 Arriving Today


So I have a Vincent Audio SV-500 arriving today.

Pretty excited and not sure what I am going to experience (something good I hope of course!)
They will be connected to Martin Logan Motion 40’s, Questyle CMA400i DAC and Denon dp-300f TT with a Ortofon 2M Blue, Hi Res music from my HTPC (DSD and other Flac Files).

Since the Vincent does not have a phono stage for now, I will need to use the built in phono in the Denon.

And I will be comparing to my current source, a Denon AVR-5700.Perhaps not as much power as the Denon but am hoping that I am going to like.
I think the following will happen:
- I absolutely love it and stay with it- I don’t see a big difference from the Denon and return it- I don’t like the sound of a Hybrid Amp and return it and get a SS Amp (maybe a Yamy AS1100 or 2100)- I like it very much and get curious about the SV-237MK and so exchange for that
Got roughly 30 days to figure it out.
We’ll see....
jay73

I think it will spank the Denon's butt and make it run crying home to Mommy. Whether you want the more powerful one depends on your speakers I guess.

Seriously, I don't have one and haven't heard it, but I have read such high praise about their amps on forums. There must be something to it.

Hello Roxy54,
Yes I have the same thoughts and have read most of the reviews and praise. For some reason, Vincent really has been stuck in my head and I know I won't be satisfied until I hear it for myself.
I came within a sneeze of buying their top preamp from Audio Advisor a couple of weeks ago, and then at the last minute, I decided on an Audio Note Kits EL34 integrated instead. I'm still curious about that preamp though...
I got my Brother to get a SV-500. Although he's only very casually into Music/Hi-fi. He loves it. Absolutely annihilated his admittedly old Musical Fidelity B1. He's happy with the built in Dac as well.

Over here in Australia, I have been fortunate to pick-up some of the Vincent gear at super bargain prices over the years. Some of it, the Top of the line Equipment has blown away some Big Name, much more expensive gear. 


Who ever designs the Vincent Equipment really gets the "musicality" side of it.
I don't have any experience with this particular model but I have had their SP-331 hybrid amplifier for over three years and been very happy with its performance and reliability. It took several hours for the new unit to settle.
Another happy camper with a Vincent SP-331 amp. Sounds very natural, organic and slightly warm paired with a Schiit Freya and Vandersteen 2Cs. I'll be VERY surprised if you don't love it.

Tom
OK, received the amp yesterday and here are my initial impressions so far (after playing some music for a few hours last night).
I liked the build quality front to back.
First: CD that I popped in, Dire Straights Brothers in Arms SACD..Listened to the whole album.

Sounded really good (even though the amp had not really had a chance to break in yet). I felt, maybe in my head, that I could hear more of the music compared to the Denon.
Second: Played a few Vinyl Tracks of Daft Punk, Random Access Memories using my Denon TT with the built in Pre-Amp (first time I tried the built in Pre-Amp) The few tracks that I listened to, sounded really good to me. Did not particularly feel it was much different from the Denon.

Third: Went back to regular CD. George Michael "Turn a Different Corner" and a few tracks from Enya...with these 2 particular CD's...I didn't feel it was much different from the Denon.
Fourth: Played a few DSD Files. Mix between a couple DSD256 Files and Norah Jones DSD64... Still could not feel much difference from the Denon.
So Far, the Vincent definitely sounds good...but not dramatically different from my existing Denon.
Even through my Denon is about 20 years old now and a AVR, it is no slouch as it was top of the line back in it's day and highly regarded.
What I am afraid of is since the Denon is high quality in it's own regard, maybe to really experience a mind blowing or dramatic difference, I would need to move really far up the chain to get that difference.
A difference that would be way out of my budget.
Note this is not a negative towards the Vincent, as it sounds great so far.
I think it's just making me appreciate the Denon all that much more.
But I still have to evaluate for another week or so and then decide if I stay with the Vincent or not.
So many Amps.....So little time....
Considering that it's a hybrid amp, I'm surprised that you don't hear more of a difference, for better or worse. I guess give it a little time.
@jay73                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Some Amps can take a long time to run in, so as suggested give it some time.

Personally don't know your Denon, but appears it may be a good one.    

Of course there's always the question of System matching/synergy, Cables etc. to be considered.    
If it’s one thing I noticed from listening to Vincent amps is that they are very warm sounding. As I remember, the older Denon stuff is also voiced towards the warm side. So, even though the Vincent is a much better amplifier than what is in the Denon receiver, it is likely a very similar sonic signature. If you are looking for something with much more of a "wow" factor, the Vincent is probably not the right answer. Vincent will give you a very refined and smooth sound, but very warm sound as well (definitely laid back). It actually reminds me a lot of the older B&K amps (they were very warm sounding also).

If you decide the Vincent is not exciting enough for you, I am actually thinking the Yamaha integrateds are going to be too much on the "solid state" side. I would recommend you look at the Rotel RA-1592 integrated. In my opinion, it’s a much more refined sound than the Yamaha and it’s a lot more dynamic than the Vincent with more resolution. I am very impressed with the Rotel stuff for a budget level audiophile offering. It’s in the same price range as the Yamaha’s your looking at. With 200 watts per channel, it give significantly more power than the Yamaha/Vincent/Denon equipment. It has a pretty good DAC and also has a phono input (so you don’t have to use your Denon receiver for turntable duty).
Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
I am going to give as much time as possible but in order to make a decision, it will need to be within a couple of weeks since I have a 30 day window.
I am still learning the different terms like, "Warm Sounding" and what they mean and feel like.
But I think I am starting to get a little sense of it.
One thing that I am going to try to do this weekend is some critical listening.
I am going to pick some particular tracks across CD, Vinyl and DSD and then play them back through the Denon and Vincent.

I downloaded a random App to measure sound levels which I will use to make sure I am listening at approximately the same sound level through both units to try and keep things as fair as possible.
It's going to be a little bit of a hassle connecting/disconnecting speaker cables and what not between the 2 but there is no other way to do it.
I have considered the Yamaha IA's and also the Rotel. I had Rotel in my sights for some time also and heard a Demo at BestBuy of the RA-1572.

If I were to go with Rotel, it would probably be RA-1572.
The only problem with BestBuy's demo is, I can't get a real feel for the Rotel in their sound room.
Their amps go through some type of switchboard or unit and they can only play their own preselected music. You can't bring in your own CD or anything. I don't even know what format or quality their music is.
I highly suggest that you put something on that Vincent and leave it playing for 24 hours through its DAC to get a fair comparison.  
If you want to move away from that, I agree that the Rotel RA-1592 is a huge value and a nice sounding unit.  If you don't need the DAC,  I'd head for a Belles Aria Integrated.  It does have a nice phono section built in. 
@timlub ,
Can I ask, why in particular through it's DAC?
Also, if I let a CD play for 24 hours, do I need to keep the volume up or I can just leave it all the way turned down?
I will take a look at the Belles Aria, thanks for the suggestion.
Dacs also need burn in, it will also change character over time, but it most likely will not be as dramatic as the tubes in the pre or amp section
I actually have a external DAC that I am using.
If I simply play A CD and leave it playing on continues playback (connected from external DAC throuigh analog output), would that suffice as breaking it in?
I have a Vincent Audio SP 133-Mk Hybrid amp and I love it. 

@rickytickytwoT
Thanks for chiming in.
Can I ask, how long have you had it and what equipment are you hooked up to?

@jay73  I have a Rotel RA-1572 and this may or may not be of interest.

If you listen to rock music, be aware that busy and/or dense passages of music don't work so well with the RA-1572.  When the music gets busier / denser, the bottom end all but disappears and the sound stage becomes notably narrower.  I did an A/B with another amp to make sure it wasn't something else at fault in the system but it's definitely the RA-1572.

It's frustrating because more laid back music generally sounds really good.

Tracks to test the issue include, say, "Enter Sandman" by Metallica; "Dark Star" by Fish (album 13th Star).  Also, the heavier material by Evanescence.

One track that perfectly illustrates the lovely side of the RA-1572 but also the issue mentioned above is "Just Can't Let You Go" by Gary Moore (version from the compilation album "Beyond The Blues").  When it starts, it's lovely rich & bluesy.  However, there are two heavier, denser, sections in the song and the RA-1572 really doesn't handle them at all well.  I've played this piece on other equipment and the bottom end / sound stage are fine.

Whatever you decide, happy listening. :)

All Vincent integrated have same sound signature, I have the bigger brother SV-237 and had chance to listen the SV-227. Both sound amazing. I wanted to replace SV-237 but didn't find better amplifier in my acceptable price range. I wanted to roll the tubes but after several attempts original tubes seems the best. Only real improvement was, I doubled the output buffer capactiors. I just would like to say, difficult to find something better than Vincent amplifiers under 3000$, IMO.  

At quick guitar solos the sound image a bit foggy, only thing I can complain, but it is true for most of tube amps. 

If no sound improvement in your system than something else could be the weakest link, I guess. Maybe the room effect on music ?  Echoes/room ringing can destroy the tube amps superior sound layering/image. 

My system:

DigionePlayer with room correction sw > Chord Qutest > Vincent SV237 / Hattor Hypex D-Class (Hypex sounds so pokey comparing to Vincent) > Audio Physic speakers

 plus diffusers/absorbers at primary reflection points

this configuration sounds much better with Vincent than an old SS amp (I had a good but old Marantz to test it), but the biggest improvement coming from room correction sw/damping materials

Well I have been doing comparison's between the Vincent and Denon since last night (a lot of connecting/disconnecting of speaker cables and source cables, ha).

Listening to both units in Denon Direct Mode and Vincent Tone Defeat modes and used a app from my phone for sound levels, listening around 70db from both units. Wanted to keep things as fair as possible.

Listened to multiple tracks from CD's, Vinyl and HI Res music files from PC.

Now, I am no pro or anything but I did try to listen as critically as possible. Listening for certain instruments in certain songs, many times switching back and forth between very specific parts of the song.

So far I have come to the conclusion that both are about equal, there is just slight difference between the two. Now I know some of you might feel the Vincent should be blowing away the Denon and that perhaps should have been the case if this particular Denon was of lower class.

But as I stated before, this AVR-5700 was top of the line back in its day and highly regarded, winning awards left and right and it weighs a lot.

Now I have a question for you all. The Vincent and Denon I think (could be wrong) are basically class A/B Amps.

The Belles Aria mentioned above, is that Class D?

I have also been curious about the Primare Line and have been to a demo for the I25 which is Class D.

I wonder if maybe Class D would have a more forward/bright presentation?

I  think I am starting to under what you all mean by the Vincent and Denon having a more warm and relaxed feel to it and I am not complaining about that type of sound, I do like it.

I asked this question in another thread but did not get much feedback but do you all think there might be a bid difference between the Primare I22 (older version) and the newer I25?

Thanks for all the feedback so far.

I don't know what I have gotten myself into with this hobby, lol.


Actually, the Yamaha S1100 or S2100 integrated amps would be a lot brighter and more forward than the Denon/Vincent sound.  The same would be said about the Bryston integrated. 

Class D amps will not be as bright or solid-state sounding as the Yamaha or Bryston.  They are going to be a very high resolution and very smooth amp.  Very neutral (not warm / not bright).  However, many Class D amps just do not have the high frequency extention and "air" that Class AB amps have.  Many love the Class D offerings, but my hearing and personal preference is sensitive to that lack of "air"  that Class AB has.
@auxinput Thanks for the input. I have read  many reviews from users stating that the Yamaha's sound warm and tube like, have you experienced that?


Huh.  I have only heard the Yamaha from many youtube videos (which on my system has accurately shown the sonic signature).  All the Yamaha integrateds have a very bright and solid state sound.