Vincent Audio - SA-T7 - Tube Stereo Preamplifier (Black)
Combines Highly Linear Amplification with Extremely Low Noise
Vincent Audio's SA-T7 preamp combines highly linear amplification with extremely low noise and excellent speed for the best possible music enjoyment. It achieves this winning combination thanks to Vincent's novel and proprietary BestPentode vacuum tube circuit technology, which is used for the first time as a standard feature together with the clever new Vimala power source coupling system for exceptionally pure audio.
Not only does this new technology squarely position the SA-T7 in the vanguard of tube components, the SA-T7 also has a built-in DAC. This allows you to enjoy digital sources along with analog.
"Sound Quality on a High Level"
"The Vincent SA-T7 preamp and the SP-T700 monoblock form a pre/power amp combination with the highest level of workmanship," reports Stephan Schmid in his review for i-fidelity.net. "Designed with smart technical innovations far off the beaten track, they deliver sound quality on a high level."
Placing new Demands on Audio Gear
Modern music sources place completely new demands on the performance of preamplifiers and power amplifiers. Conventional (classic) vacuum tube circuit technology using the tried and true ECC81, ECC82, ECC83, or ECC88 tubes, for example, does not fully exploit the potential of vacuum tube technology. Tubes are capable of far more in terms of audio reproduction that they are often given credit for. And far from being outmoded by today's hi-res music, tube circuitry when properly engineered by Vincent Audio can bring out the best in everything from jazz to hip-hop to symphonies to movie soundtracks.
New Developments in Tube Technology
Vincent asked itself the question, is it possible to improve vacuum tube technology in hi-fi equipment so that it takes a quantum leap compared to what was available before? It's probably no surprise that Vincent's answer was yes. With the SA-T7 the German company has developed a preamplifier that raises the purity of the amplification of delicate music signals to a level of authenticity never conceived of before with tubes. This was made possible with a patent pending circuit technology, which is fundamentally different from classic tube circuitry.
Vincent innovation has avoided the usual shortcomings of vacuum tube technology. Thanks to the newly developed BestPentode circuit, developed by esteemed engineer Frank Blöhbaum – who designed and managed the production of the award-winning Thorens TEM 3200 power amp and TEP 3800 preamp – the current-distribution noise problems which have been typical of pentode-based designs for years are now is now a thing of the past.
The BestPentode circuit technology boasts far higher amplification with less noise than comparable triodes. The 6H9P and 6H51P frame grid pentode tubes used in the SA-T7 (one pair of each) can exploit its potential here to the full. The vacuum tube is a NOS (New Old Stock) component stored in old stocks fresh from the factory. The original use of these tubes was to amplify high-frequency signals in telecommunications circuitry which had to operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The guaranteed life for these tubes, developed in England for professional continuous use, was 10,000 hours. So this is a highly robust and dependable vacuum tube.
Analog and Digital Connections + Built-in 24/192 DAC
The SA-T7 includes connections for a wide range of audio sources, accommodating both analog and digital. Inputs consist of six stereo RCA-type connections, one Toslink optical digital connection, and one coax digital connection. The digital inputs let you enjoy two-channel audio from Blu-ray players, streamers, set-top boxes, CD players and much more. Inside the SA-T7 is a PCM 5100-based DAC providing 24-bit/192 kHz performance. It will play WAV, FLAC, APE, LPCM, MP3, ACC, AC3, and WM music files.
On the output side, the Vincent offers two stereo RCA-type preamp outputs along with one stereo RCA-type 'Record' out.
Precision Bass and Treble Tone Controls
The impedance converter stage was created using a type 6S3P-EV grid triode tube – a Russian military vacuum tube formerly used in MIG airborne radar systems and also designed for a long service life. The extremely pure audio transmission is ensured by the low-noise power supply couplings of the BestPentode stage. In fact, a special module was developed for this purpose, which Vincent calls the Vimala – Sanskrit for "pure, transparent, clear."
Another gain stage, comprising the 6H9P, 6H51P, 6S3P-EV, and Vimala modules, gives you control over the precision regulation of treble and bass, so that you can tailor the sound quality to your personal listening requirements. The tone controls can, of course, be bypassed if you prefer to listen to the purest music signal.
Outputs Designed for Critical Listening
Thanks to the extremely low output resistance of this novel amplifier technology – typically less than 1 Ohm – the amplifier outputs were designed with a purely resistive behavior. This ensures uniform transmission across the entire frequency range and compatibility with the finest cables and interconnects for critical listening. Two different output resistances (50 Ohm and 600 Ohm) are available.
Made in Germany
Critical circuit boards used in this component, including the patent pending Vimala circuitry, are assembled and hand-tested in Germany by designer Frank Blöhbaum. No one else has access to this proprietary circuitry, which is a Vincent Audio excusive. Final assembly and testing are also conducted by Frank Blöhbaum in order to maintain the highest possible level of quality in the finished product.
Vincent is justifiably proud of the SA-T7. It represents the pinnacle of the company's long-term experience in the production of innovative vacuum tube amplifiers.
- Frequency Response: 10Hz – 100kHz +/- 0.1dB
- Output Voltage: 3V
- T.H.D.: <0.001% (1kHz, Output Voltage 2Veff on 10 K Ohm)
- Amplification: typ. 13.3 dB (Volume control max. Gain)
- Input Sensitivity: 430mV (for 2V Output Voltage)
- Signal-to–Noise Ratio: typ. >100dB (A)
- Impedance: >22kOhm
- Dimensions: 16.9" wide x 5.3" high x 14.5" deep
- Weight: 18.7 lbs.