The last review and lampization of 2007. (photographs will be fitted on Jan. 03.)
This is a Chinese player with supposedly German roots of marketing and
design concept. So they say. So it is "almost German".
Just like myself ;-)
First, after initial adimiration of this high-end, "tube player with a
glow", lets see what the Google throws at us after search:
Vincent has redefined the pure sound of hybrid technology with the
CD-S6 MKII. Particular care was taken with respect to the shielding:
input relays as well as the remote control circuitry have their own
shielded compartments behind a wall of steel. This recent development
combined with vacuum tube technology has culminated in a smooth, warm
sound. The musical timing is definitely maintained and an incredible
soundstage is created. With its weight of 9 kg this Vincent is
underlining the sheer craftsmanship and a fondness for perfection. The
unit features a digital output. Finish: black or silver. Tube
illumination can be dimmed or switched off.
UUuuuu!!! Hybrid Technology ! Shielded remote circuitry compartment !
WoW! Mother Of Lord ! Wall of steel! Un-be-lie-vable! I want it !
I want sheer craftsmanship, technology that culminated!!! I am coming ! Now now yes yes yes!
so much from the UK distributor. And now some "independent review" from "Soundstage's" Aaron Weiss - "The Wold's Leading Magazine For High End Audio". Just follow the link please and read the first paragraph. What a superb piece of audio journalism !
There is even more of the ridiculously stupid mumbo jumbo there.
you have people any brain left to see for yourself, why does everybody
just JOINS THE circle of writers who will praise everything that
anyone cares to throw at them in the advertising driven
business?!? (just see how many ads Soundstage has on their WWW) Why do
Soundstage employ and pay partially blind and partially deaf people?
Here is my review.
The look of this player - to my eye - is nothing more than another
Chinese monster pretending to be high-end. They all share similar
features: looks to die for, a little bit on a vulgar side of taste, the
best DAC chip money can buy, as many op-amps as one can fit on a given
PCB, and tubes being only attractive visual addition, an excuse to call
the player TUBED.
From just 1 meter away I could take it for a BAT VK-D5. Meaning - the
Vincent looks THAT GOOD. Even after opening the hood - it looks like a
BAT. Same shitty plastic transport from Philips, perhaps the cheapest one
ever made. But in Vincent it is a Philips-China version of VAL1202, in BAT it was still European made..
The PCB looks extremely well made, clean, sophisticated design with
lots of high-end parts and colorful heatsinked regulators standing in
straight rows like soldiers....
or is it really ...
where is my magnifying glass magic lamp !?
Wait a minute. The parts on the PCB are FAKE IMITATIONS. All capacitors
are WIMA look-alikes. I bet that the BurrBrown op-amps are fake as well: they
are painted with white letters, not laser engraved like real BB 2604.
Wait a minute - WHAT OPAMPS?! This is a tubed player innit? .... well...
Counting opamps - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 - TEN opamps means 5 per channel in a series and this shit feeds the triode ... well ....
lets see - this is not amplifying triode, no SRPP, no MU follower -
this tube is a CATHODE BUFFER to color the sound of op-amped shit. This
is SHIT SQUARED.
And what about the glow ? There is an Amsterdam
mounted on the front of the player to fool naive crowds that they
should reach deep
in the pocket. There is a God Knows What For tube installed there as a
Christmas decoration, which has no other role but glowing for the
crowds, but this tube does not glow itself (as none of the small
so they mounted 8 LEDS illuminating it from both sides plus a MIRROR
(!) behind to increase the glow! In my humble opinion
illuminating tubes with LEDS is very vulgar, hence the brothel
association) You feel rich enough to treat yourself and buy the HIGHEND
HYBRID TECHNOLOGY player. remember .... "... vacuum tube technology has culminated ...." - you are welcome to be my guest.
If fitting 10 crappy opamps with fake "Chinese-Wima" caps and adding an
idiotic tube cathode follower at the end they call hybrid technology
culmination, yes, I dont know what to say. Culminate my ass and sue me
for all I care. 1800 Euro MRRP ? 4 times the Shanling 300?
Anyway, the poor friend of mine already BOUGHT IT paying the German /
Chinese crooks over 1100 Euro in the vain hope of tubed sound.
I had to give him some hand and I promised to play with the player.
Now I ADMIT I did not audition it brand-new. I did not have the time for such ride. I would rather eat a dead rat for breakfast.
Back to lampization proper:
What we have here is a nice DAC chip - Burr Brown PCM1732, totally
integrated, with filters, volume, HDCD, output stage and what have you.
(Hey! German/Chinese Vincent (VanvGogh?) morons, this dac HAS the ouput stage, no need for 10 op-amps and a tube).
Oh yes, I almost forgot - ...the sheer craftsmanship and a fondness for perfection...
Here is the DAC data from their white paper:
The PCM1732 is designed for mid- to high-grade
digital audio applications which achieve 96kHz sampling
rates with 24-bit audio data, such as High Definition
Compatible Digital (HDCD) CD players, DVD
players, mini-disc players and AV receivers.
PCM1732 uses a newly-developed “enhanced, multilevel
delta-sigma modulator” architecture that improves
audio dynamic performance and reduces jitter
The internal digital filter operates at 8x oversampling
at a 96kHz sampling rate, with –120dB stopband
l ENHANCED MULTI-LEVEL DS DAC
l INPUT AUDIO DATA WORD: 16-, 20-, 24-Bit
l SAMPLING FREQUENCY (fs): 16kHz - 96kHz
l HIGH PERFORMANCE:
Dynamic Range: 104dB
l AUDIO OUTPUT LEVEL: 0.57 x VCC (Vp-p)
l 8x OVERSAMPLING DIGITAL FILTER WITH HDCD DECODER:
Stopband Attenuation: –120dB
Passband Ripple: ±0.00001dB
HDCD Filter Optimized for 44.1kHz to 48kHz and 88.2kHz to 96kHz
Digital Gain Scaling
Reversible Output Phase
l +5V SINGLE-SUPPLY OPERATION
l SMALL SO-28 PACKAGE
Among the other users of PCM1732 we can find superb players like Musical Fidelity and Linn, as well as the other Vincents.
CAYIN CD-50T, CAYIN CDT-15A, HARMAN
KARDON FL8370 , HARMAN
KARDON FL8380, LINN GENKI, MUSICAL
FIDELITY X-RAY V3, NAD C541 / 542, ONIX XCD-99, ROTEL RCD-961 , ROTEL RCD-1070, ROTEL RCD-1072, SHANLING
HDCD-S12, SHENG YA CD-S10, USHER CD-100, VINCENT
Back to Lampization...
Since after spending 1100 Euros there was no budget left for my Fikus lampization, I decided to simply bypass the opamps.
What I did:
Tried the DAC straight to RCA (via capacitor to remove 2,5 V dc
component) and it sounded very smooth, very clean but without power.
So I wired the jumper from DAC legs (13 and 16) to the output tube
grids. Since we have a tube, lets use it! Let's put it to work as it
I cut off the trace before the grids and also after the DAC legs 13 and
16. I only left the grid grounding (biasing) resistor of (I think) 1
The wire jumper literally jumps across the 10 opamps, their relative
capacitors, filters, power regulation IC's, across all the money spent
on useless circuits.
Why do they do it like this, just like Shanling does, just like Music
Angel does? Faking all good stereotypes about tubes and decent
engineering into a mockery of the real thing?
Half hour later ...
OOooo what a fine feeling to be such a smartass! This player not only
glows, not only it is full of shit, but it plays sweet music now. It is
as good as it gets with such componentry. A cathode follower buffer
with regulated (transistor) supply rails of 90 V does just the trick -
adds to the DAC output some current drive, necessary to get through to
the amplifier. The whole trick costs 2 capacitors of 100nF (I used
Arcotronics MKP) and thats all. A scalpel is the only tool we need
apart from the soldering gun and a piece of wire.
After the mod it is listenable, very nice, very open and airy. In my
subjectively screwed up memory it outshines now the BAT - which it was
supposed to impersonate.
Happy New Year !!!
Amsterdam brothel window ...
The beast within the beauty ... (BAT lookalike)
The transformer has a fake shield. You might think - shielded, potted
and encapsulated transformer ... but NO, this is not shielded, not
potted and not encapsulated. Just a fake plastic cover.
Just plastic cup.
Signal taken from DAC legs via capacitors to the tube grid.
The neat and nice PCB looks. Good softwaqre for PCP layout.
The dac (HDCD) underneath the PCB and it's 10 op-amps plus a tube - the whole output stage.
The whole PCB
The red capacitors look like WIMA brand but not really ...
The DAC chip
A very nice AC filter PCB that cleans the RFI from AC input. Two capacitors (black) and a toroidal coil with red wire.
The mechanism again - the whole thing...
The window whore - the tube for the looks inside bowed mirror compartment.
The output tube - useless in original design, but very handy in new scheme of things.
The blue caps - fake WIMAs.... "for audio" !!!
The output caps - decent SCR's
The signal wires coming to the two tube grids...
Dec 31 2007, 7 pm.