Vincent introduces the SA-T7 tube preamplifier. The model is built on the patented Best Pentode circuit, developed by the company’s engineer Frank Blebaum. The manufacturer claims that this circuit is characterized by a significantly reduced noise level of lamps in the pentode connection and a high gain, in comparison with the triode connection. This made it possible to optimally use the characteristics of the lamp used – the broadband, highly sensitive pentode CV6189.
Because these tubes were once widely used in high-frequency applications, the company purchases them from unused stock (NOS). The lamps are designed for round-the-clock continuous operation 24/7 in transmitters, and the English factory that manufactured them guaranteed an operating time exceeding 10,000 hours.
To convert the impedance, the circuit uses a 6S3P-EV triode. The Best Pentode circuit is powered by a power supply specially developed by the company’s engineers with Vimala modules. In addition to analog inputs, there are also digital ones, served by the PCM5100 converter, as well as a switchable tone control. The preamplifier has a built-in tone block based on CV6189, 6S3P-EV tubes.
The tone control can be turned off completely if desired. The output stage has an output impedance of 1 Ohm, thanks to which, the manufacturer writes, the output signal is practically independent of the load impedance and the parameters of the connecting cables. There are two outputs for switching: 50 Ohm and 600 Ohm. It is worth noting that the Vincent SA-T7 model was developed and assembled in Germany.
The Vincent SA-T7 preamplifier and Vincent SP-T700 monoblocks look quite elegant and even somewhat dapper, and the switched-on lamp illumination makes them the dominant feature of the interior, especially at dusk. At the same time, the rich orange glow of the front “portholes” is perceived not as a straightforward reference to “warm lamp”, but rather as a completely appropriate stylization, the degree of which can be adjusted by changing the brightness of the backlight or completely turning it off.
The first impression of the Vincent trinity is a fairly harmonious, even, slightly softened sound, with a characteristic tube accent, but not loose, but quite bodily and elastic. I wanted to dust off the “layers” and lower the pickup head onto a track with a recording of “Show-Biz Blues” from Fleetwood Mac from 1969, and immediately following it with the canonical “Oh Well”, from the album “Then Play On” (although The majority of blues fans rightly associate this piece with the guitar and musical talent of Peter Green, and not the creative duo Fleetwood-McVee).
Vincent SA-T7 and T700 very coolly and inspiredly play tracks from almost half a century ago, where you need to give in the “meat” where necessary – giving out a precisely measured dose of melancholy, tying together a rock manifesto and a cantilena. Frankly, having dealt with various components from Vincent before, I approached the devices I tested not so much with prejudice – no, I respect the products of this company – but with certain expectations. And, perhaps, for the first time I realized what it means to be a prisoner of my own stereotypes: the Vincent SA-T7 and T700 combination are as separated from the younger representatives of the model range as a Toledo blade is from a digging stick. Without feeling the right to label and give advice, I will still repeat that from my point of view, the Vincent SA-T7 and SP-T700 and everything else, as they say in one beautiful southern city, are two big differences.
Despite all the apparent omnivorousness and friendliness (which in fact is quite true), the Vincent SA-T7 and SP-T700 set is a serious and worthy instrument for exploring music with many degrees of customization. In other words, simply by purchasing it, you will automatically provide yourself with a decent level of playback of musical material. But by carefully selecting components and switching elements, you will be able to “squeeze” out of the kit much more than you could count on simply based on the cost of the devices.
Vincent SA-T7 Specifications
Frequency response: 10 Hz – 100 kHz +/- 0.1 dB
Nominal output voltage: 3 V
Harmonic distortion: <0.001% (1 kHz, output voltage 2 Veff at 10 kΩ)
Gain: 13.3 typical dB (volume control max. Gain)
Input sensitivity: 430 mV (for 2 V output voltage)
Signal-to-noise ratio: typical > 100 dB (A)
Input impedance: > 22 kOhm
Inputs: 6 stereo RCA, 1 optical, 1 coaxial
Outputs : 2 x stereo RCA (Pre Out), 1 x stereo RCA (Rec Out), 2 x 3.5mm jack (power management)
Tubes: 2 x 6SCH9P; 2 x 6SCH51P, 4 x 6 S3P-EV; 1 x 85A2
Playable formats: WAV, FLAC, APE, LPCM, MP3, ACC, AC3, WM
Color: black / silver
Weight: 8.5 kg
Dimensions (WxHxD): 430 x 135 x 370 mm