After over a year of auditioning (Dartzeel, Soulution , Boulder, Wilson Benesch , Marten ) I settled on Vitus Audio and Magico. I once istened to this combo for 12 hours straight with no sense of mental fatigue. Other amps/speakers and within an hour I find myself wanting to leave the room or I start to nod off . The level of detail and warmth from all-analogue mastered Vinyl can not be bettered by any digital medium . I rarely listen to SACD anymore
Plays SACD - analogue outs only (XLR /RCA). Made In Japan . A phenomenal player that's built like a swiss watch .
TRANSROTOR FAT BOB REFERENCE
Well engineered. Made in Germany .
Very detailed. Very Clear. Very Heavy . Sounds constrained for first 300 hours but then something miraculous happens
VITUS AUDIO SS 101
Dual Mono Solid state power amp. Class A or Class AB. Lots of grunt and sublime sound. RCA and XLR inputs . Mundorf binding posts. This amp has an inbuilt volume control if u dont have a pre - amp.
VITUS AUDIO SL 102
Solid state pre with analogue volume control . RCA and True balanced XLR circuitry
VITUS AUDIO PHONOSTAGE SP 102
Solid state Phono with RCA and true balanced ins and outs .Unlimited configurations. Astonishing sound and clarity
SOLID TECH various
From Sweeden .Cancels out resonances. Good value for money and a child could assemble. Good build quality
AIR TIGHT PC 1 supreme
Frightening level of detail. Sure beats the 20 dollar MM stuff we used in the 70's. Typical,meticulous japanese engineering. Nude diamond stylus. Expensive but in this case the hype was well deserved.
Benz Micro LP-s
MONO CARTRIDGE. Swiss made. Beautiful sound. line contact nude stylus.
SILTECH SIGNATURE SERIES -
"Cables are all a gimmick" I thought. After some testing I found they (unfortunately ) do affect sound . Made in Holland and the way silver and gold prices are going they are sure to retain their value.
Power filter /line conditioning. I had to disconnect this one day when re-arranging equipment and the soundstage collapsed a bit . I quickly re-connected it. Made in the UK . Quality surge protection
SME SME V and 5009
BLU RAY ROOM .
JEFF ROWLAND and WILSON BENESCH for home theatre . Bit of a waste because they're excellent speakers for audio. There's a Torus sub in there somewhere
agreed , its very hard to justify mentally forking out thousands on cables, i mean how hard can it be for a manufacturer to address impedance and conductivity ? Yet there is no doubt for me as i did some blind testing : well made cables affect sound. Even my mom could hear the difference and she's over 70. It's a shame siltech cost so much but with spot gold at $1800-USD....
The luxman SACD player (least when they were made in Japan ) sounded better than DCS and Esoteric I was told by people who did the shootout.
Ive played the Steve Hoffman cut of Nat King Cole (and he had direct access to the original masters held in the Capitol vaults).As stunning as the SACD is , the 45 rpm is still better : the voice is more emotional , more real , more 3 dimensional
Jeff , is that you with the YG carmels ? Small world if so !
Hi Hifi Freak . the power ratings of many manufacturers are grossly exaggerated (something Vitus hasnt done ) . All i can say is that The Vitus power amp provides the Q5's more than enough power. Im not even at 50% in volume and ive allready received 1 eviction notice following neighbours complaints.
How good is the Q5 bass? Phenomenal . I have the wilson Benesch Torus and never use it for 2 channel audio . Especially with analog mastered vinyl the bass is very tuneful for want of a better word. Another speaker which impressed me bass wise was YG. Never heard Wilson Maxx3. I dont listen to organ music , Baroque , Bach etc so the Q5's give me all the bass i need. I know Fremer had qualms about the q5 bass but the caveat there was he auditioned it with a british amp and i think his Q5's may have been fresh out of the box
Someone with gift of hearing told me dartzeel pre and power separates were excellent, not so much the integrated . A few people I know and trust and have golden ears essentially told me to shut up and get Vitus . So i did.
Cables I compared Purist Audio (excellent) Norma (excellent) Nordost (a bit expensive for what was on offer) Crystal Cables from Holland (superb) and Siltech . Im a great cynic but even I heard the difference good interconnects can make so i couldnt go back after that. I went with the signature series .
I cant emphasize enough the importance of break in of at least 300 hours with Magico . When i first got em , no amount of toe-in adjustments could get me the phantom centre channel effect. I wanted to throw them out the window. Now i wouldnt swap them for anything
Yes fans are not needed, strictly speaking , but Class A on a warm day can get hot on certain amps. The fins on Vitus dissipate heat well. As would Gryphon i presume . Some amps Ive seen u could fry an egg on.
The fans are there cause i was too lazy to remove them :-) . In the summer when it gets very hot my house becomes a furnace (tin roof) so In class A i use the fans. I might get some quiet computer fans next summer . Then again my friend has a NAD amp he bought in the late 197o's and he has books stacked on top of it and the thing still works !! I never got to hear Gryphon due to no one selling them where i live, mores the pity . Thanks for the kind words Sam