Vincent SV-236MK


Just recently, I decided to upgrade my current Integrated amplifier which is a Vincent SV-236MK Tube Hybrid Integrated Amplifier purchased in 2009 for $1995.00 with a Luxman L-550AX which was $4990.00. Surprisingly, the Vincent SV-236MK sounded much better than the Luxman. I even purchased the top of the line Marantz integrated amplifier PM-11S3 and the Vincent SV-236MK sounded much better than the Marantz. The Vincent SV-236MK sounds warm,detailed and musical and has plenty of bass. The Luxman had no bass. I would like to purchase an integrated amplifier which sounds better than my Vincent SV-236MK but I haven't found one. Any suggestions? I have Bowers & Wilkins PM1s, Vincent SV-236MK, Marantz Reference Series NA-11S1 Network Audio Player and an OPPO BDP-105 Blu-ray Disc Player.
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128wilhoover
That's some very stiff competition that your Vincent beating - amps costing 2 to 2 1/2 times as much.  But they are solid state amps, so maybe its the tubes in the Vincent that your are finding more pleasing to your ears.  So I would suggest rather than trying another more expensive solid state amp, go with a true tube amp.  But it would have to a pretty high powered one like the Hybrid Vincent, as the your B&W's aren't exactly efficient at only 84db.

Or keep what you have brother and enjoy the music.  Sounds like you found great synergy with the Vincent and your speakers.
I believe you would have to go with a SS amp that mates well with our speakers and tube pre that mates well with it to get the job done. 
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It sounds like you prefer tubes ( I do ). You should try an all tube integrated like this. Or you can go the separate route!

http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_Cronus_Magnum.htm
That Vincent is nice…a close friend has one and I've spent hours listening to the damn thing. I use a Kavent S-33 preamp (mysteriously rebadged Vincent for the domestic market or something, very well made thing) with a Jolida tube amp and it's a killer combination.
I know a guy that tried several amps...tubes and ss and still came back to the Vincent.

If I where you I would upgrade to the Vincent SV-237. Its a new design under the hood...made by a top designer....and made totally in Germany! YOU should read this review....its 7 pages.http://www.i-fidelity.net/en/test-reports/high-end/vincent-sv-237/vincent-sv-237.html

Or you can also try the other Vincent Integrated amp....the SV-700. http://www.vincent-tac.de/en/product-lines/tubeline/sv-700/

 Vincent makes top products....but not to many in the states will give them a chance.



Hey Will,

Great post!  I've had similar experiences with my Vincent SV-236MK - I just keep going back to it.  I went to the McIntosh MAC6700 ($6500) and while it was beautiful and packed full of features, I still preferred the SOUND of the Vincent.  I have to be careful that that doesn't sound like I didn't think the McIntosh was good - it was great.  I simply liked the sound of the Vincent better.

I've also owned:  BMC C1 ($8K), Esoteric AI-10 ($5K), Pathos ClassicOne MKIII, Teac AI-3000, NuPrime IDA-16, Peachtree 220, Cayin H80A, Cambridge 840A.

Of that bunch, the BMC C1 and Cayin H80A stood out to me.  But something about the Vincent keeps me coming back time and time again.  I now have the Vincent SV-237 anchoring my system.

I'm not going to say the Vincent can't be beat, but I've personally found it to be one that I'm finally happy enough knowing that I tried to beat it.  For me, that is half the battle mentally - what if "that integrated" sounds better.  I've tried that enough to be content with the Vincent.

If I do end up going for a change again, it'll be with Vincent separates since they've decided not to import the SV-700 here in the US.  So I'd do the SA-T7 preamp and SP331MK amp (or a pair of SP T700's).  But for now, I'm going to stick with the SV-237 :D
I just purchased the Vincent SV-237 today from Audio Advisor. Its a done deal!
The Vincent 236 is also gigantic…seriously, and I'd be very surprised if the 237 isn't still a German design made in China. If it was German made it would cost about 3 times as much (am I wrong?).
No surprise the Vincents beating out much higher priced competition. I have the the SA-T8 among my many Pre-Amps. It easily bests some highly regarded Pre's many times it's costs. The biggest "giantkiller" Pre i've ever heard. Just two days ago I had my music mate over, we A/B'd against the "revered" Doge8, which many claim the best pre under 5K. My music mate's jaw dropped. His word's " The Vincent makes the Doge sound pale and anaemic" "If the Doge is the best Pre under 5k, the Vincent must be the best Pre up to 20k." Yes it is that superior.

I also have the big Vincent SP-998 Mono Blocks, you would have to spend at least 2 to 3 times to come close. Absolutely sublime.

While their mid range equipment is good bang for buck, their top of the range equipment is the most outstanding value for money equipment I've ever heard.
I must also add the Doge8 had upgraded tubes which improved it immensely. The Vincent was stock standard.
Wolf_garcia. There was a debate on Audiokarma about Vincent a few months back. Some one was trashing Vincent because they read an article from 10 years ago about the engineer of Lampizator doing a reverse engineering job of one of Vincent CD players that was based on a BAT CD player. The engineer said the Vincent CD players had some fake caps in them. Well I read that same article 10 years ago. Then a few years later I heard a Vincent amp and fell in love with its warmth. I purchased the preamp...popped the hood...and nothing but top quality parts. I then sent Vincent an email asking about that CD player with fake parts. Vincent replied. They said they did infact use some fake caps but didn't know it. They said once they realized their error they threw out that batch and purchased  the correct caps. Keep in mind...these where made in China. All products since then have had strict Vincent supervision from that point. Well back to the conversation on Audiokarma. I defended Vincent and told the guy Vincent is now making their new amps in Germand.....while the other guy kept dissing Vincent for something that happened 10 years ago. So finally...a day later, a Vincent engineer...the guy who designed the new amps chimed in on Audiokarma...and entered the argument. He showed from pictures of a Sheng-ya amp which was a clone of Vincent on the outside with cheaper parts and a totally different amp design in side. He also said he is the Vincent amp designer and the designs are patents because they are totally his designs. And that they are totally made in Germany. I was surprised he chimed in. I'm still wondering how he found that conversation from Germany. I might add...the owner of Upscale audio was part of the conversation and the designer and owner of Ravin Audio was part of the conversation. Because the owner of Upscale Audio sells Vincent, I asked him if he contacted Vincent about the conversation. He said it wasn't him. Some how...I don't believe him. How would a German engineer know we where arguing over his amp. I might add...the engineer of the Vincent amp is not a slouch of an engineer...he is a big dog.

Wilhoover....last year I borrowed the SV-237  from my dealer. I played with it for a month. It was a beast of an amp.....had lots of inner detail. I have Vincent separates and I could hear the difference in mine and the SV 237. It had better  inner resolution and attack. Seeing that the SV-237 has pre-outs I was able to hook it up too my Vincent SP-331 MK Powe amp...and I loved what I heard. As soon as I am able...I will be adding the new Vincent Pre amp. 

Congrats on your new purchase! Be sure once she runs in...change out the stock tubes...We used some NOS Millard's.

Jdlivestrong thanks for chiming in!
I had the SV 237 but sold it after a year thinking I would find something better, huge mistake. I’ve been chasing the dragon for many years and have owned various combos of amps, preamps and integrated amps, most of which were very well regarded. Out of all the gear I’ve bought and sold through the years I regret selling the 237 the most.

When I re-assemble a system this winter I will definitely go with either Vincent sepsrates, or as livestrong said get an sv700 and hop if the merry-go-round.

Congrats on the new amp your gonna love it.


And for the naysayers the talk about Vincent being made in China by Shengya so be it. Shengya is a small operation not some gray market fly by night operation. There is an article somewhere I think it was done by the late Ian Grant of Grant Fidelity where they toured the Shengya factory. If you find it take not of the top of the line Shengya monoblocks. The build quality is up there with the best.
My Kavent S-33 actually has Vincent SA-93 printed on its circuit boards. It’s a dual mono balanced monster with 2 torroidal transformers housed in a shielded compartment on the left side of the thing, and the whole shebang (except the bottom plate) is cladded in thick aluminum…I was contacted here by a Kelsie Audio (the USA Kavent source) dude after I had posted my desire to obtain a balanced preamp, and since Kavent was disappearing it was available as new and inexpensive. A SCORE! Ha…an amazing sounding preamp, balanced ins and outs, a remote exactly like the one for the SV236/7 (buttons are different of course, but an aluminum thing built like a tank) and maybe the finest piece of gear I own. 
Where have you Vincent lovers been hiding? I was starting to think there where only two of us in the USA....Hahahahaha!
love my SA-T7.  don't see any reason to upgrade my preamp any further.  of course there is always speakers and amps
Hi everyone,  I have been raving about Vincent since 2012!, only to be slammed here on audiogon!, I had Cary audio, Ayon, krell,  many others,  I had the Vincent cd-s7 player before all of the mentioned digital player's here, needless to say, I re-bought the Vincent cd-s7 player new again,  it was the last one my dealer at audio advisor saved for me,  it is a discontinued unit now,  tube/solid state hybrid digital player,  has a volume control running straight to my modified krell 700cx amplifier,  very musical,  incredible match useing Taralab's balanced Zero gold interconnect, 😀😀😀cheers gentleman,  Vincent is one of the best! 
Nice conversation. I hope Wilhoover chimes back in with a report with new amp.
Yea, I also hope he provides info on his new amp.