I’ve been very impressed with Hans-Ole Vitus, who cuts an altogether impressive figure in “real life” as he does with his product offerings. He’s very approachable, very much a pragmatic fellow, and an entirely no-BS kind of audiophile. That said, his electronics are the very epitome of “high-end”, and the prices of his “Master Level” electronics — the very pinnacle of his thinking and designs — are nothing short of eye-popping.
But for me, it’s that middle segment that I’ve always identified as the best blend of extreme performance and value.
No one is ever going to think of a €21k integrated as “affordable”, and that’s just as it should be. But what if I told you that that very same product, the SIA-025, is actually being offered at a lower price today than when it was introduced? And by a considerable margin — when I first investigated the SIA-025 in 2012, the list price was (about) €24k! A 1/8 reduction in price, without a “Clearance” sticker attached to it, is unheard of. No, I mean that. I can’t think of another current-rev product seeing a published price reduction, much less one at this level. Viva la difference!
New on the floor was the SCD-025 II (€19k), which features a brand-new USB input and a new DAC section, both of which now support DSD over USB. That fed an SIA-025 integrated (here used as a pre), into the new 100wpc SS-025 (€21k) stereo amplifier, and drove the big diamond-tweeter Berlina RC7 Mk II from Gauder Akoustic. Furutech cabling and a Stillpoints rack rounded out the set. A little Marshall amp, tucked into the corner, was actually a fridge.
I was listening to music from the $26k ReQuest music server into the SCD-025, but a monster Transrotor Tourbillon FDM, with a $15k Swedish Analog Technology tonearm carrying the new Ortofon A95 cartridge, was also in the room (total of about $60k), connected to the main rig by way of the Vitus Audio SP-102 (€32k) phono pre.
Deep bass, soaring highs, completely wrap-around-you music. The sound was absolutely sublime.