It came as real surprise that the highly reviewed SV-236MKII integrated amplifier has been discontinued. I have never carried this one despite the many excellent reviews and its selection a Editor’s Choice by The Absolute Sound. Recently however a customer from downstate brought one to me for repair. After the repairs were finished I gave it an audition and I heard what had impressed the reviewers. As a hybrid, using 12AX7 in the preamp stage and solid state in the power stages it combined the best of tube and solid state. It was only when I called Vincent to order one that I was told of its demise.
Vincent has completely redesigned it as the new SV237. I was told that the new amp will be here in a month or so at an as yet unannounced price. A look at the internet found an announcement from the German parent company with a description of the changes. Some statements are puzzling, like “Noise are once.”, but it seems to be 98% well translated from the German.” The mention of a USB input is interesting. I wonder what it does.
Here’s what I was able to copy:
“The most successful Vincent amplifier of all time.
The logical development of an amplifier legend starting from SV-236 to SV-236MK leading to the SV-237, an amplifier that is almost unrivaled in its price range and has improved the few minor weaknesses of the previous models, and has received an up to date USB input.
Under the leadership of Frank Blöhbaum, who is the developer of the Thorens electronics and the Auto-Bias control of the T.A.C. tube amplifiers, the circuit design was completely revised and improved. Thus, in the output stage section a phase reserve of 90° was reached by making various changes. This phase reserve provides a much better transient response to complex loads (loudspeakers). Because the amplifier always works virtually during normal operation in state of the transient oscillation – Music represents transient pulses – the improvements can be heard elementary. Musicality and sound are much better than its predecessor. Even the most difficult loudspeakers can be powered easily. The amplifier always dominates the complex load (loudspeaker) without sounding strained.
The preamplifier section was fitted in the second stage with 6N1P tubes. The greater voltage level provides better signal stability. This results in a higher spectral purity of the signal which causes a further improvement in fine detail in the sound. Here, the tube-like musicality is maintained and an analytical coldness never comes in the sound. Another advantage of the improved circuit design is a greatly improved signal to noise ratio. It results in an excellent playback quality also on high efficiency speakers such as the Impulse series of Dynavox: Noise was once. Enjoy explosive live performance as a result of excellent dynamics. Moreover, the volume control has been finely adjusted. Thus, the volume level can be set precisely using remote control.”
Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz ±0.5 dB 20 Hz – 50 kHz ±2 dB
Maximum output power at 8 Ohm: 2 x 150 Watt (RMS)
Maximum output power at 4 Ohm: 2 x 250 Watt (RMS)
Maximum output power Class A at 8 Ohm: 2 x 10 Watt (RMS)
Input sensitivity: 300 mV
Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.1% (1 kHz, 1 W)
Signal-to-noise ratio: > 90 dB
Input impedance: 47 kOhm
Input: 5 x stereo RCA, 1 x USB
Output: 1 x stereo RCA Rec Out
1 x stereo RCA Pre out
2 x 3.5 mm Jack
4 x 2 Speaker terminals
Dimensions (WxHxD): 430 x 150 x 435 mm
Weight: 20.4 kg
Tubes: 1 x 12AX7; 2 x 6N1P-EV
I will certainly order one when they become available and let you know how it sounds.