Vitus SM-103 Monos Demo

AThrillOfHope

Member
Jul 27, 2021
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10
Many thanks. Before we switched to the Vitus SM-103s, we tried a variety of other amps, including MSB, Gyrphon, Westminster Labs REIs, Pass Labs, and a few others. Once the 103s broke in the decision was immediately clear. You can’t unhear them, so nothing else would do.

I think MSB makes some great amps, but for me both their DACs and amps lack the warmth of natural sound. Not everyone is the same, so I can understand why some would like them. Our EMM DAC just barely edged out the Select II in our earlier testing. This said, I could have lived with the Select II, but it wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t know that they weren’t even recognized in the 2022 products of the year - I guess I need to read my copy. They did just come out with their Director. So, this may change the sound for the better.

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the feedback on the DACs and amps.

May I ask how the Gryphon sounded compared to the Vitus? I have owned Pass and currently own Gryphon Essence monos—which is nowhere near your level, but hope to get there one day.

The Gryphons are by far the best amps we have had to date. But I have heard the Dagastino Momentum monos (XVX) with the Wilson Alexx Vs and MSB Select and Nagra HD preamp. Bar none the best system I have personally heard.

Do you have an opinion as to how Wilson compares to Magico?
Sorry for the questions—your expressed love of music and audio makes your opinion so valuable here.

Sincerely,
Greg
 

Audire

VIP/Donor
Jan 19, 2019
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FL Panhandle
Hi Joe,

Thanks for the feedback on the DACs and amps.

May I ask how the Gryphon sounded compared to the Vitus? I have owned Pass and currently own Gryphon Essence monos—which is nowhere near your level, but hope to get there one day.

The Gryphons are by far the best amps we have had to date. But I have heard the Dagastino Momentum monos (XVX) with the Wilson Alexx Vs and MSB Select and Nagra HD preamp. Bar none the best system I have personally heard.

Do you have an opinion as to how Wilson compares to Magico?
Sorry for the questions—your expressed love of music and audio makes your opinion so valuable here.

Sincerely,
Greg

Thanks. Gryphon sounds great. But for me it sounded a little “dark.” Don‘t get me wrong it sounded really really good (and “very” powerful) but for my taste just a little too dark. But their sound signature fits other people perfectly.

Wilsons are great speakers. One of my first high end experiences was with the WAMMs - a long time ago, but I still remember them to this day. I heard my friend‘s Alexia Series II. They sounded very good, but not near the experience I had with the older WAMMs. However, again “for me personally”, as I’ve grown in my listening preferences the Wilson bass sounds somewhat boomy. Magicos on the other hand have a more refined and IMO better executed bass. And with the right amps (and Pre) the Magico mids and highs are to die for. But if I had the proper room, either (prefer a larger Wilson, Alexx on up) would be accepted.

At this level it’s hard to go wrong. These are all fine products at the top of the audiophile chain IMO.
 
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mtemur

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2019
430
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I bought the Shun Mook Diamond Resonators about 20 years ago. I used Giants with the ASR Emitter 2 amp (only under the amp, not under the three power supplies). And I had the old ( = bigger) Supers under the Wadia 830. Speakers were HGP Fuga ST (out of business). That worked great. Then came the Giants under the SIA025 and the Super under the SCD025 with Gauder RC7 speakers. This was not a good pairing. Mpingo discs also "work" only on the Gauder speakers, but not on the Vitus gear.
Stillpoints, Ansuz Darkz or Harmnoix are similar in character, Shun Mooks are quite different.
I think SIA 25 has a lot of screws below making it difficult to place the SM?
IMHO shun mook resonators (super, ultra or giant) are not sounding great under any amplifier. A little bit tipped up and as if something is off. It’s ok if you have a bass heavy speaker. On the other hand they sound great under source components. IMHO shun mook products sound amazing and like nothing else when used properly and if you are lucky.
 
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ashandger

Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2013
325
93
268
Many thanks. We are just beginning to look for a different line stage, DAC, and CD. I have a Thrax Pre and DAC coming next week.

Our DAC testing will hopefully include the Horizon DAC, Ideon Absolute E & Time, Thrax Maximinus, Aqua HiFi Formula xHD DAC, Playback Designs MPD-8 Dream DAC, and Berkeley Alpha DAC Series 3. We’ve already eliminated the MSB Select II, Reference, and Luxman from further consideration. We already own the EMM DA2V2 DAC and it is our current reference point to compare against others.

As far as Line stages we will be trying the Thrax Pre and Vitus Master Piece. We’ve already tried the Vitus Signature Pre and the jury is still out on it.

As far as CD we currently own the EMM, and have eliminated the Playback Designs and Luxman. We will hopefully demo the Vitus Masterpeice CD and the Kalista DreamPlay.
Many thanks for the wonderful feedback. Please keep us posted on your trials. Vitus amps are now firmly on my shortlist. Many thanks
 
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AThrillOfHope

Member
Jul 27, 2021
31
13
10
Thanks. Gryphon sounds great. But for me it sounded a little “dark.” Don‘t get me wrong it sounded really really good (and “very” powerful) but for my taste just a little too dark. But their sound signature fits other people perfectly.

Wilsons are great speakers. One of my first high end experiences was with the WAMMs - a long time ago, but I still remember them to this day. I heard my friend‘s Alexia Series II. They sounded very good, but not near the experience I had with the older WAMMs. However, again “for me personally”, as I’ve grown in my listening preferences the Wilson bass sounds somewhat boomy. Magicos on the other hand have a more refined and IMO better executed bass. And with the right amps (and Pre) the Magico mids and highs are to die for. But if I had the proper room, either (prefer a larger Wilson, Alexx on up) would be accepted.

At this level it’s hard to go wrong. These are all fine products at the top of the audiophile chain IMO.

Thank you for your time and feedback. I know the Wilsons are ported speakers and the Magicos are not, which largely explains their different handling of bass, I believe.

Not to sound sappy, but your journey has piqued my interest in brands I never seriously considered. Thank you for this. This is what community is all about--support and encouragement.

A quick observation which you have encouraged me in: the Gryphon Essence monos that we have paired with our Wilson Alexia 2s are designed with a subdued bass frequency--largely due to their 110 watt Class A rating. Ironically, you have made me feel better about this one element of the Essence monos that we missed from our previous 1200 watt Class AB amps: the BOOM. But the more we listen and discuss, there is a difference between powerful bass and just a big bass response. Proper bass should reach the lowest frequencies (where are Essence monos struggle just a bit) but do so in a polished, tight, and accurate manner. And this is one thing the Essence monos do extremely well.

In short (ha--ruined that many posts ago), an accurate and distinct bass is far more important than wattage to create a quantity of bass response.

Bless you, my fellow audiophile friend.
 
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Barry2013

VIP/Donor
Oct 12, 2013
2,245
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Essex UK
Many thanks for the wonderful feedback. Please keep us posted on your trials. Vitus amps are now firmly on my shortlist. Many thanks
I don't have any experience of Shun Mooks under amps and have used Stillpoints for some years now.
I had Ultra Vs under my Vitus 025 which then went under my 030. I was advised that the Ultra6 V2s worked particularly well with the 030 so I tried them. They proved an ideal match for my 030 and I have had four of them under it for the past 18months .
Whilst I don't know I would be pretty certain that they would be an equally good match for other Vitus amplifiers.
 
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