Vitus SM-103 Monos Demo

Audire

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Delivery & Set Up

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We enjoy quality music. I play it while I work all day in my listening chair. And then there are those few special hours where there is just the music and relaxing in utter bliss.

While I wish we could press a button and have the absolute best system (to my ears) immediately in our audio room, in reality it’s a journey to put “the” right one together. And even with that we may change it down the road, as that is within the very DNA of being an audiophile. We are always on the hunt for what we consider is better!

While the entire audio chain matters, Amps will make or break a system.

The editor of Stereophile Magazine in 2021 stated, “Class A amplifiers differ sufficiently in character that each will shine in an appropriate system. Careful auditioning with your own loudspeakers is therefore essential.” To that end, we’ve had several very nice amps circulate thru our system. Some from our dealer and others from those who are close audiophile friends. It’s been a wonderful journey listening to the likes of Boulder 2160, EMM MTRX2s, MSB S500, Westminster REIs and others. They are each excellent in their own way. Each was unique as they brought a new high end fidelity to the sound of our system. They had a distinct but none-the-less very satisfying enjoyable sound. IMO, these are some of the better amps available today! (a subjective, not objective opinion).

While these sound terrific out of the box, the Vitus SM-103s will take 2-3 weeks to totally break in. Will the Vitus SM-103s surpass everything we’ve already heard? There will be more on the developing sound later.

*** these amps are ours to keep, or we can change to silver, app 3-6 months - still deciding *** Tough decision.

Here are some installation pics of our new amps …

Notes: The Vitus build quality is unsurpassed, over the top. Amp Weight is app 200 lbs each. Dimensions (app): H - 12.25” x W - 17.25” x L - 23.75”.

Vitus SM-103 boxing

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Tony of Ellington HiFi resting after installing first Vitus 103 mono (he had some help from Oz)

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Installing Second SM-103

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Top of Vitus SM-103 Mono Amp

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Oz - High End by Oz - Connecting SM-103s

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Vitus SL-103 Pre Amp - top right shelf:

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Connected

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Audire

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The System:

(*** upgrades to the Pre, DAC, and SACD may be forthcoming later ***)

Speakers: Magico M3s w/ MPODs

Amps: Vitus Signature SM-103 Monos

Pre-Amp: EMM Labs PRE

Phono:

TT: J. Sikora Standard Max Turntable
Tonearms: 2 x J. Sikora KV12 Kevlar Tonearms
Carts: Airtight Opus1 and MSL Platinum Signature

Phono Stage: VAC Renaissance

Digital:

EMM Labs DA2 V2 (DAC)
EMM TX2 Transport (SACD / CD)
Aurender N30SA (Streamer)
Aurender ACS10 (CD Ripper)

Power Conditioner: Shunyata Everest w/SSF Feet

Cables: Shunyata Sigma, Alpha and Aural Symphonics Optimism Fiber Optic

Cable Elevators: Shunyata DF-SS

Electrical: 3 x Dedicated Circuits (10g) with Shunayta SR-Z1 Outlets

Rack: Adona Reference, 2 x Custom Eric’s C3s and 2 x Zero GR1 Amp Stands
 
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Audire

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The Vitus SM-103 monos are still breaking in. Music sounded good out of the box, but running them 24/7 since last Friday hasn’t changed the sound as of yet. Still good - very good - but not at the level it needs to be for my taste. This said, 1-2 weeks (possibly 3) is what I was told it takes before the magic begins to happen. So, I have a ways to go.

I think we’re going to take them off the stands to see how they sound. I think ascetically it will look better. They have StillPoint footers so this would still work well.

We’re presently using the Vitus SL-103 line stage. It is really good as well - excellent. It really controls everything well. After the demo we will be switching back to the EMM Pre for a time. If we purchase the amps then the Vitus Masterpiece Line Stage (MP- L201 Mk II) will be a serious consideration.



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Barry2013

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Thanks for the photos and the updates.
I have the Vitus 030 and the Sikora Standard Line and the same tonearm so I have high hopes that you will be happy with the Vitus power amps.
I find there is such a captivating flow to the Vitus sound and a near perfect balance to their resolution and musicality so will look forward to reading your further updates
 
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morricab

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Apr 25, 2014
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The Vitus SM-103 monos are still breaking in. Music sounded good out of the box, but running them 24/7 since last Friday hasn’t changed the sound as of yet. Still good - very good - but not at the level it needs to be for my taste. This said, 1-2 weeks (possibly 3) is what I was told it takes before the magic begins to happen. So, I have a ways to go.

I think we’re going to take them off the stands to see how they sound. I think ascetically it will look better. They have StillPoint footers so this would still work well.

We’re presently using the Vitus SL-103 line stage. It is really good as well - excellent. It really controls everything well. After the demo we will be switching back to the EMM Pre for a time. If we purchase the amps then the Vitus Masterpiece Line Stage (MP- L201 Mk II) will be a serious consideration.



View attachment 98111
So, if they don't come around in another week or two then the search continues?
 

bonzo75

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The Vitus SM-103 monos are still breaking in. Music sounded good out of the box, but running them 24/7 since last Friday hasn’t changed the sound as of yet. Still good - very good - but not at the level it needs to be for my taste. This said, 1-2 weeks (possibly 3) is what I was told it takes before the magic begins to happen. So, I have a ways to go.

I think we’re going to take them off the stands to see how they sound. I think ascetically it will look better. They have StillPoint footers so this would still work well.

We’re presently using the Vitus SL-103 line stage. It is really good as well - excellent. It really controls everything well. After the demo we will be switching back to the EMM Pre for a time. If we purchase the amps then the Vitus Masterpiece Line Stage (MP- L201 Mk II) will be a serious consideration.



View attachment 98111

when you say not your taste what are you referring to? If you like the virus mom Vitus style of full bodied SS class A flow, it will just be letting them run in more. If you like a different sound, then try Pilium sticking to SS. Heisenberg too expensive. Depends what you can audition where you are
 
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Audire

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So, if they don't come around in another week or two then the search continues?

I’m giving them some time to begin performing to my expectations, but they should at least begin to transform in another week or so - I hope. But I’ll be patient as there are some huge transformers in these monsters. So it takes a while.

While the music is already very good, if they aren’t up to my taste soon then I’ll probably fall back on one of the other amps I’ve already listened to.
 
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Audire

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when you say not your taste what are you referring to? If you like the virus mom Vitus style of full bodied SS class A flow, it will just be letting them run in more. If you like a different sound, then try Pilium sticking to SS. Heisenberg too expensive. Depends what you can audition where you are

Yes, Pilium is another great amp to drive Magicos with. Depending on the price they may be a serious consideration. But TMK neither Pilium or Heisenberg have a dealer near the FL Panhandle. My present dealer is in AL, 2 hours away (Ellington HiFi) and he is tremendous, but carries neither brand. Neither does anyone in Tallahassee from what I can tell. Unfortunately, I can’t fly to Rhapsody in NY (health) to see Bob and hear the Pilium.

I really enjoy the sound of Vitus. It’s very satisfying, natural, and real sounding. It’s my kind of sound. I’ve heard them before - long time ago, different Class A model. Then they sounded more liquid/wet with a wonderfully layered soundstage. I sat that day for like 3 hours in awe. That’s what I’m waiting to hear. I need to reach the awe stage of listening.

I agree. It’s probably just going to take more burn in time.
 

bonzo75

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Ok if it is their liquidity and wetness you like it will come. Either burn in or some other set up
 
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bonzo75

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Unfortunately, I can’t fly to Rhapsody in NY (health) to see Bob and hear the Pilium.

ok I thought Rhapsody had a shop in each state
 
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Audire

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The Monarch butterfly of Vitus sound is now coming forth from its chrysalis. It’s beginning to soar with beauty.

Everything is now becoming more transparent revealing the magnificent sound that’s been inside this entire time. Astounding! This is it.

I’m going to give another two-three days and then write some brief thoughts attempting to describe what I’m hearing. I’m not sure the dictionary is large enough though. This is huge!
 

Audire

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The Sound:

Tony (owner of Ellington HiFi, and our Vitus dealer) and Oz (Vitus U.S. Rep) thank you for taking us to this level of musical enjoyment! Thank you Hans Vitus for your masterful design(s). I’m greatly benefiting from each of your combined decades of dedication, skill, and experience. And Oz thanks for being so very considerate of my health condition and for going above and beyond in allowing me some home auditions - I know this isn’t the norm. Thank you.

A while back, I thought the sound I was getting was fantastic. However, I felt as if I needed more base. So, I researched subs. But the more I read and listened to others’ systems I decided I needed new amps. So, the search began. And now we’re here. This set of Vitus SM-103s have found a new home.

While it definitely takes some time for the Vitus SM-103s to begin to burn in (12 days + or so), if I had to describe the finished sound in one word, I’d say, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” This means all that is grand, great, glorious, splendid, superb, and wonderful “to us.” It’s “The Sound of Music”.

I’m very excited about this sound, so I’m going to use a lot of words below to attempt to describe it. However, I can’t do them justice. You have to experience Vitus monos to fully appreciate them. IMO, listening personally is transformational.

The Vitus SM-103 monos are solid and superbly designed with aesthetics that scream quality. You can see it, feel it, and hear it. These are world-class Ivory Towers of Power; a tour de force set of mono blocks. Of course, the SM-103s have a larger sibling - the MP-M201 Mk.II’s. I’m hungry to feed upon those at some future date.

The Vitus SM-103s are emotionally engaging. This is the living sound we’ve sought and for us it has resulted in a natural and faithful reproduction of live music. Everything positive I stated about the Vitus RI-101 Mk II Integrated is true here, but now it’s in pure Class A on steroids. The sound is stunning! This changes everything!

One of my friends stated, “your Streaming sounds like my Studer.” While we both agree that there’s still a difference, the gap between our digital and vinyl has greatly narrowed with the better Class A power. I thought I’d never say such words, much less write them, but on some songs I can’t seem to tell the difference between the two! The proper amps matter - really, really matter.

The noise I didn’t previously know existed in our system has now disappeared. These Vitus SM-103 amps have the blackest backgrounds we’ve heard - a solid canvas of blackness, a backdrop of total silence. This backdrop liberates the music to radiate forth in all its transcendent glory. Everything is so clean and clear. Music flows with superior authority, detail, and drive, all without losing the coherence and soul of the music. They are so emotionally involving and the dynamics and tonality are just perfect for us. You are pulled into every syllable of the performance without losing any musicality. Intimate, yet powerful. Transcendent, but immanent. Powerful, yet graceful. Unheard of refinement and balance. There’s just the magic of musical flow where you could care less about the system and just listen! Absolutely Breathtaking!

While they continue to do a tremendous disappearing act, the Magico M3s are delivering their powerful well-balanced sound with superb ease. Vitus + Magico = a harmonious synergy. Magicos enjoy good clean pure power which Vitus definitely delivers. The amps have a good grip on the M3s. Everything is so clear and crisp. The bass has excellent definition and bite. There are velvety textures to die for. Stunning harmonic expression in the mids and upper-mids. There’s a high-frequency cleanness and transparency combined with an overwhelmingly excellent transient responses which add to the music. Three-dimensional without turning soft. Attacks are immediate, sharp, crisp, and clear. Plenty of slam! Love this sound. For us, “Absolute Sonic Satisfaction!”

The Vitus SM-103s may play any type of music to its fullest. Organic! Detailed and yet warmth and flow. You can literally set the amps to play in either “rock” or “classic” mode with the Vitus supplied remote control - a visual work of artistic technical genius in its own right (remote comes with the Line Stage, not amps, but operates all your Vitus Sig and MP components including the amps). To my ears the rock setting gives a slightly more upfront presentation, while the classic has more air and grace. While I’m essentially keeping them in classic mode the differences are very subtle. With a mere press of a button you may also switch between Class A and AB mode - they remain in Class A for us. And temperature wise these Class A amps run warm, not hot!

There’s a flair, pace, and tone unequaled by any other amp that we’ve heard to date. There’s tremendous air and separation.There’s a cavernous layering of the soundstage, a length, width, depth, and height of the music that extends further than the dimensions of our listening space. It’s 3D+ and transcendent. Everything disappears except walls of layered music. It’s a more expansive soundstage, capturing more exquisite textures from complex musical performances. Classical and jazz music have now been taken to new heights with these amps. And rock music loves plenty of clean noiseless power which Vitus more than delivers. My old poorly recorded CDs (app 12 of them) have been given a new lease on life - they seem cleaned up now. For us, there’s just an unequaled presence of beautiful sound.

These amps deliver everything I think an audiophile desires plus more, more, more; tremendous power, grip, reliability, and excellent dynamics. PRaT. They produce a phenomenal emotional musical life-like experience which would be difficult to surpass. Incredible pure clean power which I believe can and already has transformed our entire system.

Vitus doesn’t bring you to the venue, nor bring the venue to you, rather it’s the venue; an in your home type of real-life experience. With these amps your audio room all but becomes the Boston Symphony Hall with you seated in the sweet spot for a live performance! That’s how huge and wonderful the sound seems.

IMO, this is an endgame amplifier! We’re already considering upgrading our EMM and VAC components to Vitus. Possibly the Vitus Masterpiece series is in our future.

This brief review is about mono blocks, but I’d be remiss not to mention the Vitus SL-103 Line Stage. It was delivered along with the Vitus amps. We first listened to the new amps thru our EMM Pre. It was nothing short of excellent! Nothing wanting. So, I wasn’t expecting much of a change, if any, with the Vitus. Then we connected the Vitus Line Stage SL-103. The transformation was immediately noticeable. The soundstage reached new layered dimensions. The sound is mammoth. And the amps weren’t even broken in yet. As would be expected, there is great synergy between Vitus amps and their line stage. I think Vitus’ own description says it better than I, “It has incredible tonal balance with vocal accuracy so palpable you’ll question everything you’ve ever heard previously.”

I desire our vinyl and digital sound to be complete quality equals in our system! A lofty - and probably impossible - goal to say the least. To this end DACs are on the table again. We enjoy the EMM DA2 V2 DAC so very much (in our testing we treasured it above the MSB Select II), but with the addition of the new amps, I’m still exploring to see if there’s something even better, closer to pure analogue. Of course, an EMM update is forthcoming and MSB has added the Select Digital Director, so there will be more listening to these units … This said, Vitus MP-D201 MK.III, Thrax Maximinus Mk2S, and Ideon Absolute DAC w/ Clock are on the short list to consider in the future. Unfortunately, Davie, FL is too far away from us to hear WADAX.

Vitus for us = Enjoying Music The Way It Should Be Heard!
 

LL21

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Great reading...fantastic news. Know the Vitus importer here well...works hard, gets it done and very passionate about quality while also remaining completely respectful of your tastes and ears.
 
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