Vincent Audio SV 500 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier (Black)
"Ideally Equipped for Enjoyable Music Listening"
Audiophiles all over the world love the sound of vacuum tubes. That's why the German manufacturer Vincent Audio puts tubes in as many of its products as possible.
The main trouble with tubes, however, is that big high-output power tubes can fail when they are stressed. That's why Vincent Audio has created a special class of amplifiers called "hybrids." They use vacuum tubes where they do the most good – in the preamp stages – and solid state devices for power output to the speakers. Many audiophiles around the world have found this combination of vacuum tube and solid state to be a marriage made in heaven.
"The SV-500 is My Favorite"
"Of all the amps I’ve listened to in the sub-$3,000 range, the SV-500 is my favorite," raves GadgetryTech, January 5, 2021. "This hybrid amp has something special about it that brings more emotion and passion into the room than most would expect."
"With the SV-500, Vincent delivers an integrated amplifier of the old school with a strong, distinctive sound, which is ideally equipped for enjoyable music listening, reports the March 2015 issue of Germany's HiFi-Test magazine.
"Modern meets retro charm: Vincent's hybrid captures the spirit of full enjoyment for the listener. It sounds crisp, strongly colored, and gives an extra shot of charm to music playback," notes Germany's LP magazine, April 2015.
Smart Audio Engineering
Vincent Audio's smart audio engineering doesn't stop with the vacuum tubes. Vincent's German engineering team has invested thousands of hours to design extremely robust power supplies. The amp's power supply is critical to its performance. For one thing, an extremely reliable power supply means the amp will operate at peak efficiency for many years without failing.
A second reason is the bass response. Most less expensive amps can't delivery great bass simply because they have weak power supplies. Vincent's amps, however, are famous for powerful, deep, and plentiful bass – even at low volume levels. A trick? No, it's all about science and engineering. Vincent invests in good circuit design, including a large power transformer, high-grade filter caps, and more. Pick up the amp and you'll find it's pretty hefty. Plug it in and listen. You'll be amazed at the rock solid foundation you hear on all type of music.
Analog and Digital Inputs
The Vincent SV-500 is a full featured stereo integrated amp offering six inputs – four analog and two digital. The digital inputs connect to a DAC that is specially built for excellent sound with CD players.
Great features include independent bass and treble controls, front panel headphone jack, mute, and infrared remote control. The metal remote is one of the best we've seen. It has a solid feel, slim profile, and just the right buttons, but none of the extra buttons you'll never use. The rear panel features excellent five-way speaker binding posts and both record and preamp outputs just in case you want to use the SV-500 as a stand-alone tube preamp with an external amp.
Similar Circuit to its Big Brother, the Vincent SV-237
At the heart of the SV-500 is a circuit that's very similar to Vincent's big brother integrated, the popular SV-237. This German-designed circuit has three user-replaceable vacuum tubes, two 6N1s and one 12AX7B, for the warm, rich sound of vacuum tubes. The tubes are conservatively biased for long life. The factory states the expected tube life of ten years. However, we suspect they'll last far longer.
Conservatively rated at 50WRMS into 8 ohms, we find the SV-500 seems to deliver far more power than advertised thanks to its robust power supply. From its ease with all kinds of musical material, you'll swear you're listening to a much larger amp.
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz (+/- 0.5dB)
- Output power 8 Ohm: 2 x 50 Watts RMS
- Output power 4 Ohm: 2 x 80 Watt RMS
- Input sensitivity: 420mV
- THD: < 0.1% (1kHz, 1W)
- Signal to noise range: >90dB
- Input impedance: 47 kOhm
- TI PCM5100-series audio DAC with 32-bit/384kHz PCM Interface
- Dimensions: 17" wide x 4.6" high x 14.7" deep
- Weight: 22 lbs.