AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
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IMO the Vincent is a MUCH better-sounding amplifier. It was a "Product of the Year" a couple of years ago in The Absolute Sound magazine. It is far better than anything I know of for a comparable price.
The Vincent SA-31 preamp is only $650 and is the only one under $1000 that I would have any use for. It is amazing for its price.
The next step up would be the Conrad-Johnson Classic for $2000.
An integrated amplifier that has comparable sound quality and power is the Music Hall A70.2, which runs $1500.
The Ascend Towers are decent speakers, but because they are made in the USA they are twice the price they should be. They compete nicely with speakers from PSB and Monitor Audio and KEF that cost $1000 per pair, but at $2000 they are ridiculously overpriced.
The PSB Image T5 towers sound just about the same as them, for $999, and the PSB Image T6 is a MUCH better speaker, for $1300 per pair.
Both the Absolute Sound and Stereophile magazines have made the Image T6 a highly-recommended Editor's Choice. I have since upgraded to other speakers, but I had them for two years and there is nothing for under $2000 that will touch them except possibly the KEF Q900.