An aluminium frontplate of eight millimetres thickness, treble, bass, input and volume controls shimmering like silver, an illuminated bull’s eye that reveals a valve – judging by its visual appearance, the brandnew Vincent SV-237 looks already impressive. Outwardly it strongly reminds of its older brothers SV-236 and SV-236 Mk; due to its beefed-up inner qualities it’s meant to follow in the footsteps of Vincent’s hitherto most successful integrated amplifiers.

For the circuit layout, the component selection and greater power reserves at complex loads the Baden-based Sintron GmbH, Vincent’s supplier, hired a renowned specialist for analogue electronics. Among the references of the German designer, graduate engineer Frank Blöhbaum, one can find among others the Thorens TEM 3200 and TEP 3800 reference pre and power amps as well as an automatic bias point control in the large T.A.C. valve amplifiers. In the interview with he’s disclosing the sophisticated circuit tricks which he used to get the SV-237 on the reference track.

In view of so much technical fine-tuning the armada of RCA sockets with five line inputs, one pre out and one rec out rather had to stand back. For slaving in a subwoofer crossover a main input would be helpful. Looking at the valve, analogue freaks would have wished for a phono input. Yet Vincent leaves such youngtimers out in the rain and prefers to put up the umbrella over a USB port for MP3 players. Regrettably high resolution downloads must stay out, because the data transfer is limited to 48 kilohertz by the downstream converter. As a consolation we spot a bi-wiring capable dual loudspeaker terminal, which can take both banana plugs and naked wire ends of any gauge.

The Vincent SV-237 offers its user even a USB input. Exemplary is the phase identification on the iEC mains socket, since the correct plug position in the power strip will reduce the level of the compensating currents which balance themselves out through signal carrying RCA cables. Another useful feature is the massive terminal because it allows clean bi-wiring.