CES 2013: Vitus Audio RD-100, with Estelon and VPI

Vitus Audio launched a new entry into their entry-level “Reference Line” at CES this year, the RD-100.

The RD-100 looks like a DAC/pre combo, but that’d be oversimplifying a bit. Think of it, rather, as a preamplifier with a custom-Vitus relay-based (aka, analog) volume control and a pair of fully analog inputs (XLR and RCA) sharing a chassis with a full-function DAC. “When an analog input is selected, all digital circuitry is shut down, allowing the lowest possible noise levels, and providing a purely-analog line stage.” The DAC section leverages the M2Tech OEM USB interface (drivers will be required for both Mac and Windows), and supports up to 32bit files and 192kHz sampling.

With luck, this unit will find its way to me in the next few weeks. Ahem! Pricing is set at $13,000. All the cabling was courtesy of Dyrholm Audio from Denmark. Stillpoints‘ Bruce Jacobs pointed out the ESS rack, with the now-familiar SS Ultras, suspending all the gear ($13,000 as configured).

Sound in this room was very good, courtesy of a very blue pair Estelon Xb loudspeakers ($33,000), fed from a 300wpc Vitus Audio RS-100 Stereo Poweramplifier ($13,000). A Soundsmith Hyperion cartridge turned up on the VPI Aries 3 turntable ($13,500, with toneararm), together providing the source material for the Vitus Audio RP-101 phonostage ($13,000). Vitus, whether fed by digital or analog, into a pair of big ceramic driver Estelons has to be one of my favorite combinations. The styling is as elegant as the sound. Wrap it up.

13 comments

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  • Saw those speakers in the movie, “Monsters Inc.”

  • Do you know if the M2Tech board has been modified ala the Metrum Hex, of if they just slotted in the off the shelf unit? Metrum’s version seems to be quite good and eliminates the need for a USB converter, while the standard, USB bus powered version is a lot less impressive.

    • Part-Time Audiophile

      According to Hans-Ole Vitus, the board is the standard OEM board.

      • Too bad, that means folks using computers will probably want to invest in something like an Off-Ramp or an Audiophilleo and Pure Power.

      • Part-Time Audiophile

        An iFi iUSB might help, too.

  • ..butt ugly speakers

    • Part-Time Audiophile

      My exhaustive and thoroughly scientific polling on this particular issue reveals a definite bifurcation of opinion. Most, interestingly enough, find them attractive. A sizable portion of those find them very attractive.

      • They probably got the inspiration from a dinosaur bone. Tidal/Lumenwhite/Raidho looks much more elegant and home friendly for ceramic drive speakers :)
        However, compared to the 160k yellow speakers inspired by Casper or KKK, this are quite nice

      • Part-Time Audiophile

        You mean these?

      • Yes those yellow speakers are probably reincarnations of the ghostly trio from Casper :)

  • do you think the Vitus Sia 025 would be enough to drive the Estelon XB?

    • Part-Time Audiophile

      Yes!