Advice for an unsatisfied Vitus RI-101 mk II new owner

Gregm

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It seems to me that one of two things (or both) have to go: either the Idea or the Vitus -- or both.

While room treatment & better cabling surely may help, I don't think either or both endeavours will liven up the system as required -- and the Vitus you have (regardless of taste) will easily drive the speaker load: it is not a matter of insufficient power but, rather,

Empirically, I (too) have found that your speakers seem to play best at higher amplitudes-- and to me they sound clear and well defined rather than dynamic.

If you go the hardware way,
May I suggest a couple of other options to consider if you can, especially if you don't listen at high volumes - for preamp look at a new or used CAT SL1 Renaissance and for power amp used or new Pass Labs XA25 Class A power amp ...
I agree wholeheartedly. The CAT is good in its previous iterations as well (I used to have the SL1 ultimate) I will also add the EAR 912 that you mentioned -- an excellent pre for a reasonable price (by high-end standards).
More "dynamic" sounding power amps: at your price range it's best to buy used (Symphonic Line Kraft, Goldmund, Spectral, etc)
Regards
 

Ron Resnick

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Kingrex

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Why not try a tube amp again. You seem to like them. I sure do. My Dartzeel is fantastic, but Im going to flip it for a tube power amp one day.
 

Ricco275

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It seems to me that one of two things (or both) have to go: either the Idea or the Vitus -- or both.

While room treatment & better cabling surely may help, I don't think either or both endeavours will liven up the system as required -- and the Vitus you have (regardless of taste) will easily drive the speaker load: it is not a matter of insufficient power but, rather,

Empirically, I (too) have found that your speakers seem to play best at higher amplitudes-- and to me they sound clear and well defined rather than dynamic.

If you go the hardware way,

I agree wholeheartedly. The CAT is good in its previous iterations as well (I used to have the SL1 ultimate) I will also add the EAR 912 that you mentioned -- an excellent pre for a reasonable price (by high-end standards).
More "dynamic" sounding power amps: at your price range it's best to buy used (Symphonic Line Kraft, Goldmund, Spectral, etc)
Regards
The CAT plus pass labs or other short signal path amp seem a good option. Not sure two XA25 will be sufficient though. The 912 is lovely as a phono stage but I don’t know if it reaches the same level of the CAT SL1 ultimate.
other preamps I have been looking at are Atma-Sphere MP3 and Ayre K1x, both not fully convincing.
other power amp the Burmester 911 mkii, or the integrated 82 of 32.
I have also considered going full Spectral with 30SS 2 and DMA100S2 but maintenance and cabling was a concern, plus it might be a too clean sound for my taste.

difficult to find speakers my wife will accept… maybe Vimberg Amea or Unifield 2 mkii. Haven’t heard them though.
 

Ricco275

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Why not try a tube amp again. You seem to like them. I sure do. My Dartzeel is fantastic, but Im going to flip it for a tube power amp one day.
EDIT: I think full tube is good for me but NOT as all rounder. Preamp tubes (or tube-like) and SS power amp would be better.
 
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Gregm

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I think full tube is good for me but as all rounder. Preamp tubes (or tube-like) and SS power amp would be better.
I agree. In my past experience a CAT with a Kraft stereo/ Goldmund stereo / Spectral stereo (i don't remember which) yielded nice, musical and clear sounding results. Especially the first two (you might find the spectral too cool for your tastes).
 
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Kingrex

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EDIT: I think full tube is good for me but NOT as all rounder. Preamp tubes (or tube-like) and SS power amp would be better.
SS amps are definitely easier to deal with. If you choice is based upon ease of use, you may end up searching and searching for a sound you won't find. The Vitus you have and others you are looking at are very nice. I don't think one over the other is going to magically change how they present. Nor will cables. Cables will shape the sound some. But the amp is what it is. Those amps won't sound like an Allnic T2000.
 
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mtemur

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IMHO there is nothing wrong with Vitus amp. I never heard a flat or dead sound from Vitus amps. If it becomes as engaging as you wanted when you turn the volume up then the only problem is listening level. Human hearing becomes closer to flat at higher SPLs. It’s mid-centric at lower SPLs. That’s why there is a switch on vintage gear named as “loudness” which boast low and high frequencies IOT equalize. If that’s the case I can only recommend you to find a way to listen your hifi loud.

The flat character you described may be Avalon’s fault. If that’s the case it’s better to look for a more satisfying speaker.

P.S. I wouldn’t sell those Linn isobarik speakers.
 
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bonzo75

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Avalon compass diamonds, we tried a lot of apps at my friend’s place in London. Didn’t like lower model Vitus stereo, Edge, at all. The Allnic A6000 which is 50 watts sounded boring with them till we added the Soulution preamp into it. Since then I really like Valve power amps with Soulution preamp on cones. His system is excellent now, could do with a bit more oomph if he got in more powerful valve amps like CAT. Avalon’s are great but you need enough room to adjust them and changing their positioning slightly destroys the sound
 
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Ricco275

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IMHO there is nothing wrong with Vitus amp. I never heard a flat or dead sound from Vitus amps. If it becomes as engaging as you wanted when you turn the volume up then the only problem is listening level. Human hearing becomes closer to flat at higher SPLs. It’s mid-centric at lower SPLs. That’s why there is a switch on vintage gear named as “loudness” which boast low and high frequencies IOT equalize. If that’s the case I can only recommend you to find a way to listen your hifi loud.

The flat character you described may be Avalon’s fault. If that’s the case it’s better to look for a more satisfying speaker.

P.S. I wouldn’t sell those Linn isobarik speakers.
Funny enough I have described my issue to two of my dealers as the need of a loudness button on my amp. Also because one week ago I have listened to an amazing Csport preamp which as that feature.
 
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Ricco275

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Avalon compass diamonds, we tried a lot of apps at my friend’s place in London. Didn’t like lower model Vitus stereo, Edge, at all. The Allnic A6000 which is 50 watts sounded boring with them till we added the Soulution preamp into it. Since then I really like Valve power amps with Soulution preamp on cones. His system is excellent now, could do with a bit more oomph if he got in more powerful valve amps like CAT. Avalon’s are great but you need enough room to adjust them and changing their positioning slightly destroys the sound
Exactly my experience in terms of speakers positioning. I have thought adding a CAT SL1 preamp to add fairy dust. Will do it once I change the speakers as I need to understand how the Vitus will perform.
 

Ricco275

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Today I had a proficient session with a pro audio technician. As I have started to think in the past days the issue is definitely in the Avalon placement and the isolation from the suspended wooden floor. He brought a Hemingway Indigo PC to replace the Nordost Heimdall2 and the improve was significant.

at this point I still don’t know how much I like the Vitus since my current speakers are not reference speakers let’s say.

anyway I have made a short list of loudspeakers to replace the Avalon to submit to my boss for validation:

Marten Parker Duo
Oscar Marten Duo
Thrax Sirens
Thrax Lyra
Joseph Audio Pulsar Graphene 2
Vimberg Amea

never listened to any of them and wondering how they perform with the Vitus and at low volume. I have read two comments about the Martens not working well at low volume but need more extensive info especially because are my favourite
 

bonzo75

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Exactly my experience in terms of speakers positioning. I have thought adding a CAT SL1 preamp to add fairy dust. Will do it once I change the speakers as I need to understand how the Vitus will perform.

No add Soulution preamp and cat power amp. Are you analog?
 

Ricco275

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No add Soulution preamp and cat power amp. Are you analog?
50% vinyl 50% dac. I need to hear those amps first to be sure I prefer them to the Vitus. Thanks for the recommendation and I’ll look into them.
 

Kingrex

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I am not intending to be insulting in any way. I don't mean as such. But you really seem to be swirling. Amps, preamps, speakers, cables.

Maybe you want to take a step back from buying gear and fly around the country to some dealers and hear stuff. Or ask some members about a visit and listen to their systems. It feels like your not sure what suits your taste. You think you know, but you have not determined what equipment recreates that yet.
 

bonzo75

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50% vinyl 50% dac. I need to hear those amps first to be sure I prefer them to the Vitus. Thanks for the recommendation and I’ll look into them.

hearing only amps keeping the pre constant is only an academic exercise. Changing the pre to Soulution, if you redo the exercise you will reach a different conclusion on the power amps . And the overall sound could be better because it will give you the drive and separation and low noise floor and high dynamic range, with the emotion and decay from valves better than with a valve pre and SS amp. You could obviously check both approaches.

also check with Shakti who has a monster Avalon system where he has tried many electronics and ended up with auto Soulution pre
 

Salectric

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I am not intending to be insulting in any way. I don't mean as such. But you really seem to be swirling. Amps, preamps, speakers, cables.

Maybe you want to take a step back from buying gear and fly around the country to some dealers and hear stuff. Or ask some members about a visit and listen to their systems. It feels like your not sure what suits your taste. You think you know, but you have not determined what equipment recreates that yet.
Very good advice.
 

matakana

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I have just discovered this forum after having been reading Audiogon and Hifiwigwam for a while and it seems this forum is the one suiting best my taste and .

A bit of system history before getting to the point:

I have recently went through many changes in my system.

After having been many years in company of Graham LS5/9 and Accuphase A46 I have changed the amp with a Allnic T2000 which was a great move to my taste.

Then the Allnic gave me a lot of problems and I have asked the dealer to replace it with a McIntosh MA5300. Not a good match with Graham as expected which anyway were about to go.

Replaced loudspeakers with Avalon Idea which I liked very much despite the poor amp match. I have put the McIntosh on sale and in the meantime did a deep search for an ideal matching amp. The Vitus RI-101 mk II seemed to be a perfect match.

I have listened to the Vitus in a different (way higher level) system than mine. I have brought the Vitus home and the frustration started. This was one week ago and I can’t spend a moment of any day if not looking for a fix.

My musical tastes are classic rock, blues and jazz.

Ideal sound presentation - sorry in advance for the poor description - is wide and big soundstage, musical, dynamic, clear but not analytical nor cold. A tad warm but not overly so. I am 50/50 vinyl / dac.

the Vitus sounds to me too flat, not dynamic at all, not engaging (sorry if what I’m saying is considered objectively wrong). And especially at low volume I don’t see to appreciate the music. I can’t listen at high volume in my apartment.

the listening was done with Nordost frey2, heimdall2, Naim Powerline PC and frey2 and TQ2 black diamond IC. TQ2 black SC.

I have Tara labs xlr IC and Purist Audio aqueous PC on the way. I’m waiting to adjust SC as I’ll need 4m and it’s quite a bit of cash for me, Tara labs Forté are the best candidates.

So it seems that I have to sell both the McIntosh and the Vitus. A lot of immobilised cash for me.

After reading a lot on this forum and elsewhere I have thought that it could be a good move to add a preamp to the Vitus and if things don’t get seriously better I’ll sell the Vitus.

a shortlist of preamp which I would like to submit to this audience is:

- BAT VK33SE
- BAT VK80
- EAR YOSHINO 912
- VTL TL-6.5 II

I know the 912 features a tremendous phono stage but the preamp section is my priority.

if the result won’t be satisfying after adding the preamp, I have thought replacing the Vitus with the Plinius A150.

I would be glad to hear advice from owners of similar gears or owners of different systems with similar taste to mine.

the budget is $12000 very max for both preamp and power amp.
To make things more complicated, I need
to face a very tough WAF who approves only for well designed not so defined tacky components. As an example, Nagra Classic is out of question as too similar to hospital gear.

thank you so much in advance and happy to have found this community.
Welcome Ricco,
Do you mind me asking what the problem was with the allnic T2000, and what vintage it is, thank you.
 

pweg

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Today I had a proficient session with a pro audio technician. As I have started to think in the past days the issue is definitely in the Avalon placement and the isolation from the suspended wooden floor. He brought a Hemingway Indigo PC to replace the Nordost Heimdall2 and the improve was significant.

at this point I still don’t know how much I like the Vitus since my current speakers are not reference speakers let’s say.

anyway I have made a short list of loudspeakers to replace the Avalon to submit to my boss for validation:

Marten Parker Duo
Oscar Marten Duo
Thrax Sirens
Thrax Lyra
Joseph Audio Pulsar Graphene 2
Vimberg Amea

never listened to any of them and wondering how they perform with the Vitus and at low volume. I have read two comments about the Martens not working well at low volume but need more extensive info especially because are my favourite
I have marten Oscar duo ( as well as Coltrane momento 2) and would never suggest they don’t sound good at low volume. In fact I would say they are excellent at low volume. The older generations of marten speakers did sound leaner and did not sound as good at low volumes.
 
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jep123

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Today I had a proficient session with a pro audio technician. As I have started to think in the past days the issue is definitely in the Avalon placement and the isolation from the suspended wooden floor. He brought a Hemingway Indigo PC to replace the Nordost Heimdall2 and the improve was significant.

at this point I still don’t know how much I like the Vitus since my current speakers are not reference speakers let’s say.

anyway I have made a short list of loudspeakers to replace the Avalon to submit to my boss for validation:

Marten Parker Duo
Oscar Marten Duo
Thrax Sirens
Thrax Lyra
Joseph Audio Pulsar Graphene 2
Vimberg Amea

never listened to any of them and wondering how they perform with the Vitus and at low volume. I have read two comments about the Martens not working well at low volume but need more extensive info especially because are my favourite
Joseph Audio speakers are very, very good and have always sounded musical. I have previously owned the Pulsars and the Perspective. Even at shows he manages to get great sound. I have not heard the Graphene models but I suspect that they are even better.

Then add a Pass integrated and be done :). Good luck.
JP
 
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