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If you want to smooth out the sound of your AT440MLA, upgrade to the AT150MLX. If you can't, you might try putting some putty or something on the plastic body to dampen it. Also, make sure the cartridge's total capacitance load--including tonearm cable--is between 100 and 200 pF. The AT440MLA and AT150MLX have a reputation for being picky about this, and I can attest to it regarding my AT150MLX.
Have not heard the 700 but I did post a 3 way review of the Vincent Pho 8 vs Jasmine LP 2 mkII vs the Pro-ject phono tube box here:
The 700 uses the same power supply as the 8 and the one I got had a ground loop hum (the other 2 did not hum in my system). Not sure if it was defective or not.
I read the reviews of this and based on what I read I think the Jolida JD9 would be much better bang for the buck! The Vincent does not have adjustable loading like the JD9 and it comes with a crappy chinese made 12AU7 tube. Although if the Vincent is easy to modify like the Jolida is than it could be a great performer.
There is a difference between a company like Parasound that has American Designers like John Curl that builds in Taiwan vs Vincent that is a front for a mainland Chinese audio company claiming "German engineering" that is really engineered in China. Their products may be fine, but if so, why all the deception?
If you have to have honest to God US manufacturing, you have virtually no products to choose from. Because even if the product is designed and assembled in the US (and is therefore marked "Made in USA"), 90% of the components (transistors, capacitors, etc) are made in China or overseas.
The problem with Audiophiles, just like all consumers, we want more for less. As a result electronics are made in China - then everyone moans that only the UBER High End components are made in the US or UK. Shame consumers didn't support affordable components when they were home grown. Classic example are cables made by JPS, Tara, or Nordost - not cheap, nor is the research - they are 'home grown' - no doubt there will be a cheap copy doing 70 - 85% of the job - which buyers will think is 'enough' and bang goes another great manufacturer - look at Garrard, Grundig, Radford, Rogers etc etc etc. Sorry but we reap what we sow - I avoid buying most things Chinese - not to do with racism/protectionism/whatever - I know that they build things to what appears to be spec as opposed to how a person designed it with specific components - regrettably noisy people on the web then give it five star ratings and so the snowball grows...
I own one, in silver (I’ve been going through this retro 70’s phase...). Listening to it right now. I pulled the stock Chinese tube and replaced it with a Tung-Sol. Come on, admit it, you love the way the words Tung-Sol roll off your tongue so...er...
...anyway...I had to remove 8 screws to open the case. I recommend leaving the screws out if you plan to roll different tubes. I don’t think the structural integrity will have a noticeable effect on sonics, but you can stay up late and worry about it if you want to.
The signature Vincent single glowing tube is accomplished by artificial light and mirrors. There was manufacturing dust near the tube socket, so I had to gently air brush it away, then wriggle the Chinese tube out, but without getting fingerprints on the concave mirrored cardboard reflector. Tedious.
I didn’t tap on it, but the tube window (or port hole) looks plastic. I noticed some Japanese parts.
According to the folks at Vincent, and from the best I can tell, they source their parts from China and assemble the Pho 700 in Germany, but beyond that, and a German looking audio website, there isn’t much transparency here, other than that window..er...port hole.
Hook-up was simple enough. It has the typical engineering inconveniences of most tube phono amps.
Audio Advisor sells these for $500 as does Amazon. I recommend the latter for their generous and easy 30 day return policy, (even longer during the holiday season). Well that, and I never recommend Audio Advisor for anything.
Paired with a cheap hybrid amp this overpriced duo surprised me. Much bigger 3D-ish sound stage, more detail to the mids, bass – and that’s with only a few hours on the tube, and nothing but Huckleberry Hound records so far.
It’s not worth $500 (I doubt Pro-Ject’s version is either), but if it was $300 I’d buy another one.
The silver version has a chrome port hole ring that I think looks nicer than the ring on the black model.
The only operational note is a maybe 30-45 second delay from power on to ready to play. I hear a small telltale click and it’s ready. Every tube stage I’ve owned has had a warmed up click before ready to play.