Author Topic: Geco Audio Vanguard  (Read 4272 times)

Offline GECO

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2021, 02:39:30 AM »
Just for clarification. The unit below the VA isn't the vanguard but a audio analogue integrated amp - AAcento of which Stefan is the distributor.

Offline naughty

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2021, 03:12:24 AM »
Just for clarification. The unit below the VA isn't the vanguard but a audio analogue integrated amp - AAcento of which Stefan is the distributor.

thanks for the clarification - and apologies for the confusion

Offline Air

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Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2021, 11:17:30 AM »
For the past week, I have now listened almost exclusively to the Vanguard, and since Friday, I have also had the VA Black Widow preamp in the system. Over the weekend, I listened to music both in a focused manner and in the background whilst watching sport or a Netflix series. Informal listening is often essential to me as I think that when relaxing a bit more, one also gets a more holistic view of the SQ of a system. On Saturday, I chopped and changed some components (speakers, amps and preamps) to calibrate my impressions.

The sound of the Vanguard has been quite consistent over the time I have been listening to it and across different components in the systems. Over the week, I do think that it has improved in some respects, such as the smoothness in the top end. New out of the box, I thought it had a bit of grain and grit in the top end, but now I think it is smooth and clean. Especially with the VA pre the sound in the top end became nice and smooth. The VA is definitely a smooth sounding unit.

The outstanding quality that I can discern from the Geco Audio amp is the balance in the sound and that I feel it is always well in control. In terms of the balance, I find the tone spot on, and nothing stands out to distract from the sound. It doesnít emphasise any part of the frequency spectrum. The bass is solid and deep, and I quite like it. It is not overblown neither is it emphasising leading edges at the cost of the decay of basslines. The midrange is good for a SS amp. I donít feel that the mids are so focused that it almost pinched, so it does not allow voices to bloom to natural size, neither small nor overblown. As I mentioned earlier, I find the high frequencies smooth and well balanced against the rest of the frequency spectrum. In a way, this balance relates to the good overall impression of tone. Neither heavy and weighted down or lit up and light. Often the latter is used by designs to give an impression of detail (many speakers do this nasty trick, but it often leads to disappointment in the long-term).

If I look back to my initial impressions, they were a good indication of what the amp is all about. So how does it compare to other amplifiers I have experienced of late. Compared to Audio Analogue Maestro, I would say the Vanguard has a slightly better tone. Still, the power, impact and detail of the AA are better. Compared to the big Accuphase amps I listened to of late, the Vanguard is a bit faster. Still, the Accuphase units have a very dense and saturated sound that is harmonically richer. Especially the E480 has such a strong and powerful bass that it is almost unnerving if not match correctly. I also think that the Accuphase units are a bit richer and creamier in the highs. Compared to the kind of amps that I love, lower-powered SS amps(class A) and of course valve amps(both SETs and medium powered push-pull amps), all the high powered SS amps will outplay the lower output amps in terms of macro-dynamics, but the lower output amps and generally amps with simpler typologies are champs when it comes to the way they resolve more inner detail. Therefore they are more expressive in the midrange. The bigger SS amps are powerful, but with my listening preferences (choice of speakers and required volume), a Sugden A21 integrated resolves more nuances of the music across the frequency spectrum than any of the bigger amps. If one listens to mass stringed music and baroque music, the Sugden is just very, very good. However, things are never straightforward.  In an interesting comparison with a 20W class-A power amp that is a replica of a Bedini design plus VA pre the same trend was found. However, in this comparison, the Vanguard had a better tone even though the textural density was less. Despite the virtues of the Bedini replica, I would choose the Vanguard to listen to on a long-term basis as the sins of omissions (lack of textural density) is less worrying for me than the Bedini that is too light and lit up. ProAc speakers and SS amps generally donít match well for example, but the Vanguard sound really nice, even one of the most demanding mini-monitors in the range.

In short, I think the Vanguard based on what I heard, and experienced hits the mark dead centred. It is balanced, powerful and even-handed. I think it will do well with even the most demanding speaker both in terms of its ability to drive a challenging load and make the best of most speakers unique voicing. The build quality is excellent and comparable to well-known brands, as I have mentioned in the beginning.

Rudi and Heinrich have done well, and the Vanguard is, in my opinion, a huge success. They can be proud of what they have achieved, and they have my admiration as the hurdles to do so in SA are many. It is easy to be an armchair critic or designer, and I will stay clear of giving any advice or input; suffice to remark that all we now need is a matching full-function preamplifier and, of course, an integrated!
« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 11:43:50 AM by Air »

Offline GECO

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2021, 12:09:46 PM »
Thank you for taking the time to listen to the amp. I really appreciate and value your feedback. I do miss not being able to shoot up the street and come visit and the other way round and the obligatory coffee of course

Offline Nirvana

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2021, 02:47:46 PM »
Thanks Stefan!

Well, Kudo's to Rudi and Heinrich (and off course Schalk, with the established BW in the mix) - you guys have done yourselves a job to be proud on!
The main message I personally get from this summary, is one of 'balance', and to me, that is as important a trait as any of the others mentioned, when one of the other highly regarded amps were in the chain. Also, natural tonality is key - combined with balance, this will keep you listening and involved for long times.

Like Stefan infers, NO single amp will do all of these traits better than the rest, so it's up to us to decide what are the criteria that will give us as individuals the most satisfying listening experience, based on your taste and preferences. After all, I think what most of us want is to 'enjoy the music' and quality of the sound, without brandishing a magnifying glass!

So, imo, another excellent value proposition from our own shores, hopefully more exposure like this will get the 'good word' out there!
 :dop:
Never b flat,never b sharp,always b natural

Offline houqez

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2021, 09:25:15 PM »
@Air do you mind sharing a few more pictures :drool: for us Newbie Youngsters?

Offline GECO

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2021, 01:09:16 AM »
Interior view


Offline Phase

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2021, 01:38:03 AM »
Interior view



Rudi you left to quick man. Never did get to try this! I did get to listen at Dhiveshan's place on the Harbeth's, that was nothing short of STUNNING!

Offline GECO

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2021, 03:39:57 AM »
All is not lost. You can still audition it.

Offline scrarfussi

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2021, 04:10:48 PM »
Rudi you left to quick man. Never did get to try this! I did get to listen at Dhiveshan's place on the Harbeth's, that was nothing short of STUNNING!
Beautiful looking inside
suum cuique pulchrum est


"Then Said my heart here will i take my rest."

Offline irengineer

Geco Audio Vanguard Power Amp - Views?
« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2021, 10:01:42 AM »
I currently have a Vanguard as per the title on loan from @Heinrich and @GECO. Any owners willing to provide some feedback and ownership experience?

I am using the unit with a Mytek Brooklyn+ DAC as the preamp. It does a great job on the digital side, but the line input on the Mytek is clearly a mismatch with my iFi Zen Phono that sounds sublime under other conditions connected straight to my Valve Audio Exclame 100. Using Roon + Tidal as digital sources, plus a Rotel CD/DVD player. Switching sources is noisy on the DAC with a loud, worrying pop.

Clearly using the DAC as a preamp is not ideal, but I do not have another preamp (been using integrated amps for years). My speakers are Tannoy Saturn S10's with dual 10" drivers, including a dual concentric for tops and mids. The efficiency of the speakers is about 93db/w/m plus they have a benign load profile. I get the sense that the Vanguard offers a bit more "drive" due to the higher current output at any given volume, or simply has more headroom.

I have now left the amp on the entire weekend and did some serious listening yesterday. Will do more this week. If you are unsure of posting here, feel free to PM me.

Offline Tonteldoos


Offline irengineer

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard Power Amp - Views?
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2021, 10:28:29 AM »
@Tonteldoos Thanks!

Offline SOAN

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard Power Amp - Views?
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2021, 10:44:06 AM »
I would highly recommend you add a quality pre-amp to the mix. The power this amp has is on another level. Sadly I don't think your speakers will provide you with the full benefits of this amplifier. I have a number of tricky to drive speakers which this amplifier does amazingly on. You won't find many amps that can get bass of a pair of Maggies and still sound really composed and airy at the same time.

Offline Phase

Re: Geco Audio Vanguard
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2021, 07:10:28 PM »
First time I heard the Vanguard was at Rudi, second time @ Dhiveshan's place (think it was the BiG Van) playing dCS - Manley pre - Van into Harbeth's. Both MarkC and myself agreed, absolutely sublime