I unpacked the triple-boxed Vincent Audio V-60 integrated amplifier the other day and what a beauty she is. As the images show, this all-tube 60Wpc amp has a look that is equal parts homage to the past but with its sights set squarely on the future. A thick aluminum clad chassis prevails, with fit and finish nothing less than excellent. Note the compete lack of screws or bolts on the pristine surfaces. Prior to firing the V-60 up I needed to remove the foam packing inserts protecting the tube compliment. This was done by unscrewing the four, burly aluminum knobs placed at each corner of the heavily vented top panel (each knob has an ultra-thin nylon washer to protect the brushed surface). The V-60 has four inputs, an input selector at the right side of the front panel. The large volume control knob dead center has a red pin light that illuminates when actuated by the remote control.
The eight power stage tubes are Russian made 6CA7, a version of the reknowned EL34 but, says Vincent Audio with greater power reserves. These are augmented by a pair of 6CG7. The preamp stage are a pair of 6922s also Russian produced.
As the pictures show the output and power transformers are robust, and heavily shielded and carefully finished. But not light-the V-60 weighs in in excess of 60 lbs. Bias voltage and current control is hands-free and fully automated, constantly compensating for the aging that occurs over the natural life of each tube.
My initial impression of the V-60 is that this is one tractor-pulling 60 watt amp with dynamic reserves that are more than a match for my listening room–especially so on a reasonably efficient loudspeaker like the newly unpacked Sonics Amerigo that I blogged about last time. The sound is airy, almost silken. There’s a rich amount of midrange bloom and presence and a dimensional soundstage that seems to push the walls of my room into the neighbor’s yard. Like all electronics but particularly tubes, it’ll need a few hours of break-in but the changes are already evident as imaging grows more precise, the frequency extremes smooth and find further extension. Price is $4995. www.vincent-tac.de or www.wsdistributing.com.
Note: The red-illuminated acrylic face plate on my review sample still has the Euro-spec logo of Vincent Audio’s German partner T.A.C. (Tube Amp Company). The US version is pictured here.