It has been almost 5 years since I wrote my original Naim to Vitus article and 7 years since I started this whole paradigm. It feels like a lifetime ago, so much has happened since. In that time we have moved probably over 100 Naim owners out of their green boxes and into Danish Highend. It is such a well-trodden and proven pathway now and it happens here every single month.
I pioneered this philosophy and methodology and evangelised its success and ease far and wide, not just in the UK but across Europe and even in the US as well. Take a look at my showcase gallery of customers systems, many now into 6 figures and up to a quarter of a million pounds in value. A very large proportion of these customers used to be Naim 500 owners at some point or other. They have all been exploring new worlds with me ever since. Back in 2015 there were only 3 or so UK Vitus dealers but now of course many more have joined to share in the brands success and so other outfits have moved people from Naim to Vitus as well. Who knows what the total number is across the globe ?
Big leaps. Full 500 to a mega system comprising SCD-025 + SIA-030, Melco, Tara Labs cables, Vimberg Mino. LP12 has gone but soon to be replaced by a Brinkmann or Thrax.
As I sit and type this now, during the Covid19 lockdown, a supposed period of retail inactivity, I have no less than three current Vitus home demo’s taking place for brand new customers who are currently Naim owners. The popularity of the Naim to Vitus pathway has never waned and remains to this day an important part of Lotus’s business. Indeed, the strike rate for home demos is almost 100%. I say almost because really I can’t recall one single customer not moving to Vitus after trialling it with me at home. This is how persuasive and how easy it is as an upgrade or demonstration.
SIA-030, RI-101 behind and SIA-025 close up
With people moving into Vitus as popular as ever before I thought it high time to update the guide and bring it into step with the latest developments. In twenty years Naim 500 products haven’t really changed much but the Vitus catalogue has advanced considerably just in the last 5 years with some of the biggest developments actually in the last 12 months. Some the ancillary components we sell and recommend have altered too. So without further ado, here is the revised 2020 Naim to Vitus guide.
Like many people I started my Hifi journey with Naim back in the late 1980’s; a beautiful rosewood LP12 with a 62/140 which later saw the addition of a hicap, a 250 and then a move to SBL’s and a CDi. It’s my belief that everyone should try a Naim system at some point even if it’s just a casual encounter to understand its point of view. The chaps from Salisbury have a very singular approach, a very unique house sound and whatever finer points devotees and detractors may argue over, one thing is for sure and that’s the Naim sound involves you, gets the foot tapping and keeps you interested.
The other obvious thing is that Naim ownership can be a lot fun too. Slowly climbing the upgrade ladder to the full on 500 series is inherently aspirational and can be a satisfying journey on many levels, a seemingly endless series of materialistic ‘fixes’ as you go from hicap to supercap, 250 to 300 to 500. On a final note, Naim equipment is also well built with great reliability, very good resale value and a large, friendly and helpful user base into which one can dive in and be a part of. When it comes to owning expensive things and all the responsibility that entails, these facets are arguably just as important as the actual sonics.
Melco / SD / SIA. Gary was originaly a 552/300 owner. He is now looking at speakers and Shunyata digital cables with me. The £900 Sigma ethernet cable I sent him comfortably usurped his £2500 Super Aray ethernet cable.
Life After naim ?
But what about those people who finally reached the top of the tree but are now looking to progress to something which gives them even more and ideally more at LOWER COST ? What about those people who reached the top and maybe felt that things didn’t live up to their expectations ? What about those people who simply grew out of the Naim methodology, the myriad of boxes and custom interconnects, the unwieldy burndies, the acute setup demands, the need for flawless mains and the constant nagging feeling of needing to upgrade or add yet another box or powerline ? And finally, what about those customers whose ears simply grew older, who now are looking for a more refined, more sophisticated and fatigue free sound which embraces 100% of your music collection – even those appallingly brittle and harsh Coldplay CD’s – a sound which does all of this, yet also, crucially, loses none of that involvement or sense of dynamics and aliveness which we all crave ?
Former 500 owner who went SCD/SIA-025 and in december last year to the SIA-030. A real treat to be able to keep his 025 in his second system.
Well scratch your head no more because over the last 7 years I have provided the perfect answer to many such Naim owners by moving them into Vitus systems and writing this guide will hopefully save me repeating myself on a weekly basis over the telephone to new customers looking for that magic ‘next thing’. Many of the customers who’ve upgraded with me had been die hard Naim devotees for decades and many of them had steadily upgraded and tweaked their rigs to an within an inch of their lives to achieve the limit of their absolute potential. This Danish highend brand though has a unique knack of fulfilling the pre-existing expectations which Naim owners have about musical involvement but then is also able to bring a whole other range of previously ‘untasted’ delights to the table and a sonic landscape which ultimately is lot more true, more real sounding and a lot more insightful and musical. Crucially, as a boutique manufacturer with vastly lower overheads, Vitus will outperform Naim at a much lower retail price, typically at just 30-50% of the cost of Naim and so switching over and trading in your Naim with its strong residuals, is often a lot less costly than you think. Indeed, it’s not uncommon for the switch over to actually be cost neutral.
SIA-025 and SCD-025 in titanium, a profoundly musical combo, here with mahogany Tidal Contriva. Customer retained all his Naim AV setup.
What about all those other expensive brands ?
You are probably now thinking ‘why Vitus’ and acknowledging that there are in fact many other alternative brands out there which are surely also viable choices ? Well it’s a good observation but there’s an equally good response to it. In my experience a good proportion of what’s out there in UK’s highend shops simply does not really retain the Naim involvement factor either because its too soft and languid in sound or does not place timing, dynamics and drive high on the agenda. Or worse still, it’s just too detailed and analytical sounding without being natural, the world’s “best hifi” if you like. Nothing really wrong with any of that of course, it’s a different sound and one that many people favour but it probably won’t appeal to a Naim user.
So with a large chunk of available Highend gear discarded, of the rest, most of these brands fall into the category of being a little bit different from Naim but not necessarily much better yet also possibly sporting worse residuals, a smaller user base and maybe poorer aftersales and a more precarious retail infrastructure. So really, breaking it down, that just leaves a small handful of UK available brands which offer a sound significantly desirable over Naim but then of these, many are either ridiculously expensive, boutique in the extreme (6 month plus lead times, endless model changes, near impossible to sell on etc.), unnervingly unreliable (think several months to fix with an accompanying invoice of telephone digit proportions) or prone to eye watering depreciation when you’re finally sick of it playing up all the time.
It is also worth remembering that Vitus is also hugely competitive even against it’s own natural Highend peers that compete in the same domain. The Integrated amps will often outperform “super Integrateds” from other exotic brands at a much lower cost, not to mention eclipse pre and powers too.
SCD + 030 with Avalon Compas, a few years before during the demo, the Blades seriously held the Vitus back and had to go as well
Before we even get into how Vitus sounds it’s important to realise that here is a brand which is fresh, young and thriving, driven by love of music rather than bean-counters, and very dedicated and helpful towards its distributers, retailers and customers. The extremely talented people at its helm are here for the duration and becoming stronger every year in terms of reputation, product catalogue and out and out market presence and they are represented worldwide by some of the best, most professional outfits in the business. Next, you need to know about build quality, craftsmanship and reliability which are in short as good as it gets. Lastly, the brand has an almost unique level of consistency across its designs and is creating modern feature-laden equipment very much with the future of Hifi in mind. Such is the brilliance of Ole Vitus that the cd players, DACs and phono stages are as stunning as the amplifiers. No awkward mixture of superstars and clangers here then.
Entire system trade ins.
The Vitus ladder
The Vitus range is a much much taller one than the Naim ladder and ends with the expensive Masterpiece level equipment. But this is really only for the very well heeled and it’s the Vitus range at the lower and middle part of the catalogue which is required here, dominated by the three Integrated amplifiers all of which come in cheaper than a 552/500. If we were being completely fair to Vitus it is actually the SL-103 preamp and SS-103 power amp which is the natural competitor to a 552/500 on price but the truth is that this combination is so high performing that you needn’t go there and spend that kind of money.
So looking at the three Integrated amplifiers, the entry RI-101, now in Mk2 guise for 2020, starts at £13,600, then moving up to the signature series we have the Class A SIA-025 which retails for £19,000 and then after that the latest and greatest, the behemoth SIA-030 which has an introductory price of £31,000. Note that the RI-101 and SIA-025 are also cheaper than more lowly Naim combinations like 282/SC/250 or 252/SC/300 yet all of them begin at a higher level of performance than the 500 series (whether DR or not, it doesn’t really matter).
The sublime 2020 Masterpiece MP-D201 DAC but you really needn’t go there.
The digital side of things follows similarly with extremely good value for money. It all begins with the optional £3000 internal DAC module that fits inside the RI-101 integrated which is a decent upgrade from an NDX2 or even NDS. The RI-101 with inbuilt DAC makes for a formidable one box solution, £16,600 for everything. You can use the inbuilt Vitus streamer or add a Melco streamer for even better performance if playing stored WAV files.
Next up the reference £10,800 RD-101 DAC takes things a lot further and is simply beyond things like the ND555 or KDS/3. Then after that you have the oh so beguiling £19,000 Signature level SD-025 DAC (also available with a transport) and then the flagship Masterpiece DAC at £25,000, Vitus’s shot at one of the best digital sources in the world.
There is also a clever trick with the new SIA-030 because like the 101 that can also sport an internal DAC priced only at an additional £5000 but the sound from this DAC is actually fractionally better than the standalone £10,800 RD-101 DAC. Quite an achievement possible only through some very clever shielding and internal design.
Finally, it’s also worth bearing in mind that against new Vitus I give very good prices for traded in Naim, probably as good or if not better than you could get yourself. Despite the relatively low admission price though, it must be said that should you want to one day climb the Vitus ladder then you have a long and very exciting future ahead of you; the ceiling of this Danish brand is so high that it could take decades to reach its outer limit and without question, it will take you to a place occupied only by the very best solid state equipment in the world.
SIA-025 demo. We can demo on Fraim, just remove the glass (which will degarde the Vitus sound) and stillpoint straight to the wooden shelves.
The Vitus sound ?
Moving onto the sound and what you can expect, I am going to refer you to a very long thread on the official Naim forum back in 2014. The Reference Integrated they refer to is the older RI-100 which we know has been superceeded and improved twice now but essentially the sentiments are still obviously valid.
When Shanks came for that first demo he typified how most Naim owners react when first hearing Vitus. The first thing you will notice is that the whole presentation is very different. Every track seems a touch laid back and less aggressive, the bassline seems less prominent and a lot of sounds in the midrange that were always quite forward in the soundstage and quite strong in volume levels seem subtler and less conspicuous in the overall mix. The other big thing is that the whole sound is not a thin wall obviously emanating from the speakers but it has a completely three dimensional and layered “walk-around” physicality, left to right and front to back seemingly divorced from the speakers. The music actually occupies real space in the room and sounds can even seem to come from behind you as well as outside of the side walls or way beyond the back wall behind the speakers. The sound also has a strong feeling of pressurisation or resting dynamic potential. The balloon is freshly filled with so much air that the skin almost looks transparent and it’s close to bursting. The Naim by comparison was the balloon heavily leaked several days after the party, sagging and wrinkled with just a few breaths of air left inside. Davidulo explains this very well here:
I have performed many dozens of demos to Naim owners and the initial shock of the Vitus presentation in truth only really lasts for 3 or 4 tracks. It’s around about then that you start to focus more on the much greater levels of transparency and fine detail and a completely new sense of realism (helped greatly by that 3d imaging and palpability which flat-earthers were always taught to trivialise and disregard). This is a very refined, pure and grainless sound. The overall rendition sounds very sophisticated. It has richness and lushness, a luxuriant expanse of sound which immediately feels highly pleasurable to bathe in. Somewhat refreshingly, the treble also seems to have a complete absence of hardness, harshness or glare yet it is not soft or rolled off in any way either. It also sounds so funamentally correct in pitch and tone, no pinching, no brightness, no metallic sheen, no constriction of any particular frequency; a piece of solo piano played through a Vitus system for the first time can almost be a revelatory experience.
Quite quickly the penny drops and people realise that this new Vitus presentation is largely the way it is because you are getting a much more neutral, faithful and transparent reproduction of the music. The holographic imaging, the very exquisite fine expression, the long decay of notes, these are all things that are on the disc and have always been there; the amp isn’t creating these things but rather, as an ultra low distortion design, it is doing nothing which robs the sound of these properties so you get to hear them fully intact out the other side. In a curious way, over the course of only one album or so, Naim owners find that the Vitus sound is actually teaching them things about about the Naim sound and what a Naim amp does that they never really could appreciate before. This is an observation that I have heard many times in my demo room.
The everpresent bass kick that you were used to in your Naim system is now also conspicously absent. This is because a Vitus amp strives to have a completely flat and neutral frequency response, neither enhancing or diminishing any part of the spectrum. So Vitus bass, whilst not having that same exaggerated punch, actually goes lower, has more shape, more definition, more texture and just a lot more information about the particular instrument responsible for the bass. In a similar vein, vocals and instruments that you expected to be louder and more forward seem less pronounced and in a different place in the overall mix but you know that what you are hearing now is closer to the actual recording and it all makes for a sound that is supremely natural and non-fatiguing and a lot more musically nuanced and emotive. This more natural handling of energies and respective volumes of frequencies allows subtler dynamic shadings to reveal themselves and fine detail and harmonics around vocals and midrange instruments that you have never experienced before are now present right in front of you, seemingly hanging suspended in a physical space. Quite simply, the sense of ‘in the room’ realism of a Vitus system is endlessly pleasurable.
To illustrate this last point further allow me to tell you about a very illuminating demo of the original Vitus RI100 integrated amp which I once performed for a Naim owner who was also a professional pianist. For the first 3 tracks he simply remarked how different and natural everything sounded but then for the 4th track he played a solo piano piece which he was currently learning to play himself and he sat there shaking his head and eventually stopped the track halfway through to tell me how amazed he was. For the first time ever, he said he could hear the pianist making very very small and difficult expressions of volume change in certain phrases and this was giving him a new insight into the skill and artistry of the performer and the piece itself. He proclaimed that he would now go home and assimilate this into his own learning and also chalk up a new found deeper respect for the pianist on that CD. Let’s just say that by the time the 5th track was over I had sold him the amplifier and a month or so later when he came to upgrade his CDS3 he ended up with the Vitus RCD-101 cd player as well.
So what about the jewel in the crown, the Naim PRaT ? Naim’s pacey, foot-tappey sense of ‘boogie’. Most demos get to a point early on where this gets tested out because ultimately it’s the Naim USP and what brings people to Naim in the first place and keeps them there. Whilst the Vitus sound does not have the same driving leading edge and omnipresent thrust of Naim, it will at this early stage of the demo seem at least as involving and enjoyable, carrying rhythms with great skill and allowing the music to flow along in a most arresting manner. It will also be apparent that it’s also giving you a whole other palette off things to enjoy rather than just ‘PRaT’ and this is making the whole listening experience more rewarding and complete. It will force you to question if musical enjoyment begins and end with just ‘PRaT’ and make you perhaps ponder on the notion that if you want real, if you want special, if you want something greater, then you will have to embrace a much richer, wider and more mature presentational menu which goes significantly beyond just pace, rhythm and timing.
Truth be told, Vitus equipment times incredibly well but just in a different way to Naim. No frequency is augmented to highlight the tune or rhythm. Notes are not truncated, squeezed together or made razor sharp to give the impression of greater togetherness and taughtness. Instead, notes are allowed the time and space to begin, mature and decay and fit together naturally and beautifully. So whilst some tracks over that first encounter may appear to sound a little slower and perhaps slightly less ‘exciting’, the coherency and the way it all fits together is more complete, more musically meaningful and more truthful to how the music would sound if it were played in front of you for real. You are no longer listening to an Amp but to the fruits of the artist as they were intended by him or her. In my experience, it takes people a very very short space of time (days at most) to wean themselves off the Naim sense of added excitement and speed and not one of my customers who bought themselves a Vitus system ever regretted it or sat there wishing they had a little more “Boogie factor”. No, Vitus has pace, drive, massive massive slam, stunning levels of grip and incredible timing all in a supremely natural and invisible way and it’s the main reason why this migration between brands is so easy accomplished and becoming pretty much a weekly occurence in my demo room here.
Shank’s point on transients/dynamics perhaps requires some expansion. What I find from my customers initial encounters is that at first they think the music is little more polite, a touch more laid back but that is only because the ‘rest pose’ of the Vitus is more neutral and honest. When customers then try a Symphony or something with lots of crescendos and dynamics what they immediately discover is that when the music actually calls for it, when it’s on the recording, the sound is actually a lot MORE dynamic with greater extension, far bigger reserves of energy and at the point of big dynamic swings instruments never seem to run out of apportioned energy and the imaging, tone, texture and fidelity of each note does not degrade and collapse to the point of spoiling the sense of performance and realism. In short, Vitus amps are very low distortion designs with ultra clean power supplies and signal grounds, they have huge bandwidth and masses of sheer grunt. The dynamics and the unbridled sense of vitality you hear is not the result of a fixed design decision where everything by default sounds more punchy and forward all of the time, but this is real dynamics when it’s in the music and faithfully telegraphed by the amp to the speakers on account of the lack of constraint on transparency, bandwidth or current.
Making the move
So in one sense, any move from Naim to Vitus first involves a shift in perspective or awareness. You are not going to hear ‘supercharged Naim’ but something entirely different. It takes a very short period of time though to click into this new frame of reference and understand what the two different manufacturers do and why. After that, in every single case I have found that people’s emotional migration is fast, fully committed and resolute. Such is the magnitude of change and realisation that they have experienced that over the lead time period, after the home demo ends and whilst waiting for their new equipment to ship from Denmark, very few wish to temporarily reinstate their old systems. Also most commit to buying before it has even reached is full warming up period of 2-3 days. “It’s good enough already” they say, “if it gets even better then great”.
A well setup Vitus system is simply an emotional experience of enormous depth, joy, and insight into the artist and one that can sustain itself free from fatigue for very long periods of time. The topography of a Vitus system also means that it does not incessantly yearn for the next upgrade or the next tonal tweak but it is a truly fit and forget approach, designed to disappear from the music and from one’s mind pretty much for good.
RI-101 with internal DAC, demo from February 2020. A ‘small’ office system which me made even smaller.
Another RI-101 with internal DAC, demo from January 2020, this customer listens to a lot of Reggae and R&B, he was totally over the moon. He was able to ditch an entire rack as well.
The Vitus range, close up
Before I sign off I wish to just elaborate a little further on the Vitus products. Which Integrated amplifier you choose depends on how much money you want to put in really but they are all upgrades no matter what Naim system you have. I recently wrote a fairly in depth article comparing all three which you can view here.
It is worth bearing in mind though that the recent mk2 advancement of the RI-101 was a large leap. It brings new levels of transparency and dynamics to the RI in such a way that it is now very close to the SIA-025. That said, the 025 is a slightly different style of amp, smoother, buttery, more holographic and almost valve like but without any of the associated grain and colouration you get from valves. You would imagine it would be less favoured by Naim owners on account of its smoothness and high refinement but in actual fact it is the historically the most popular amp chosen by 500 owners. Although the SIA-025 is extremely expressive, intimate and tactile it is also hugely dynamic too with a vast amount of bandwidth, but the RI-101 has more of a traditional punchy propulsive delivery and a few customers actually prefer it.
The SIA-030 though, this one box amp is a true gamechanger in the industry. The level of performance is staggering for the money and it undoubtedly made for one of the very best rooms at the Munich Hifi show when it launched in 2019. As it’s the latest and greatest of Vitus’s know-how it even gives the £55,000 Vitus pre and power a hard time in some areas. A move from a 500 system to the 030 is one of huge proportions, a leap of many many levels if you think of it in Naim upgrade terms. Nac 62 to 552 type of thing !
Do not underestimate Vitus digital and especially the little slot in DAC board. A customer here sends his feedback to me of his RI-101 £3000 DAC module vs. his £15,800 KDS/3 DAC
Vitus digital for me is actually even more convincing over Naim than the amplification is but then I’m afraid I’ve ever been a huge fan of Naim digital right from the nDAC. Analogue, layered, highly expressive and nuanced, super detailed in an unostentatious way and extremely dynamic. Even at the level of the £3000 DAC module for the RI-101 you are going to have a tremendous sound with huge refinement and a large degree of detail and transparency for such a modest outlay. Coming from an NDX2 or Nac272 there really isn’t any need to spend any more.
Customers with more budget or coming from NDS/555×2 or ND555 or KDS and who do not opt for an SIA-030 with inbuilt DAC (see below) might want to spend more and here though and that’s when the RD-101 and SD-025 DACs come into play. The SD-025 casework matches the SIA-025 in casework and it has to be said that this combination has always been the most commonly chosen by 500 series owners. It has a wonderful synergy and just makes for an incredible 2 box system. The entry separate DAC though, the RD-101 is also very high performing, it is a very large step up from the flagship offerings from Linn or Naim or products like the DAVE.
The only final point to mention is the SIA-025 does not have provision to fit a DAC module but we do sell a DAC at £3000 called the Comet. This is an amazing little DAC with a very similar performance and sound to the RI-101 DAC module so customers on a budget can pair the Comet with the SIA-025 for £22,000 for a very compact one and a half box system ! Please ignore the 025’s 25 Watts rating as well. Bandwidth of the linestage, transformers and quality of Watts is what matters and the SIA will drive and control any speaker you care to throw at it. Coming from a Naim mindset this one can catch people out but the 025 makes a NAP500 sound breathless.
One final point I wish to make is that everything I sell here mates and synergises with pretty much everything else. You can mix and match any of these components and it will work superbly. RD-101 into a 030, Comet DAC into an RI-101 mk2, SCD-025 into an SIA-030 and any combination into Avalon Idea, PM1, PM2, Vimberg Amea, Mino or Tidal Piano. There are no dud pairings or pitfalls or any combination which sounds out of kilter.
SCD with SIA-025, Kudos Titan, this customer was one of the first ever to buy a Signature system from me, all these years on and he still loves it all and is about to demo Vimberg Mino and also the 030
Streamers, cables, phonostages and speakers ?
All the Vitus DACs have a myriad of inputs from USB to AES and SPDIFs so you can connect multiple sources like your skybox and bluray player. For your main files and streaming we recommend and sell the Melco range of streamers although all Vitus DACs (apart from the Masterpiece) now include the Vitus streamer module so you can simply connect to the network and access any NAS you have and play Tidal/Qobuz/Spotify/Radio at your leisure. All the Vitus DACs will function as Roon endpoints as well and this is probably the best way to go as the Roon experience is unrivalled right now. If you still wish to play CD’s then look to get the SCD-025 with inbuilt transport or simply purchase a suitable transport off ebay, which you’ll lose less money on, and connect up to any of the DACs. Even the cheapest Melco though will completely outperform a high cost Audiophile transport from yesteryear so this is the route to go if you can.
Recommended and synergistic cables and interconnects go from TelluriumQ at the budget end to the range of Tara Labs and Tidal which go as high as you want. We also sell the Shunyata USB and Ethernet cables which are critical in a digital setup and are also true wonder products. Shunyata and TQ mains products are also our preferred choice. Vitus equipment does not need to be shaped or altered or tamed or have anything subtracted or added. It just needs to be revealed as fully as possible. The cables we sell have lower and lower noise and are more and more invisible as you pay more. A Vitus system is very transparent, cable upgrades make a much bigger difference than you might have experienced before. One needn’t spend a fortune here though and we don’t need any more than something like humble TelluriumQ Ultra Black 2 to impress or convincingly demonstrate Vitus’s capability. Ultra Black 2 will best SuperLumina and the very cheapest cable from Tara Labs will best Ultra Black 2.
It’s up to you how much more you want to squeeze out of a system and I do not force more and more expenditure from cusomers but it is just my duty to inform you that the full capability of even the entry RI-101 is really something quite profound so it can respond to better and better signal and mains cabling. I can set an RI-101 up here with the best speakers from Tidal Audio, £40,000 of mains cables, interconnect cables and grounding products and it is truly astonishing how far you can push even the humblest of Vitus’s amps. A £13,600 amp inside a £150,000+ system, it works incredibly. Simply put, if you want to spend more on ancilliaries then the Vitus will most definitely scale up it’s performance by an amount that will probably surprise you. The cheapest mains and wires we sell here begin some way above things like Hilines, Powerlines, Superlumina.
A quick word for Vinyl guys. If moving to Vitus we would also advocate switching to a suitable phono stage as well to match if you don’t already have one. Popular phonos found in Naim setups like the Superline or Urika will be ok as a stop gap but ultimately be holding things back a bit and moving to a much more transparent and resolving stage that will also preserve those fine details, spatial and textural nuances that the Vitus will thrive on will pay handsome dividends. The phono stage is a highly critical point in the chain and any constriction here can never be reversed further down the line.
Finally what about speakers ? Well Vitus will generally work with any speaker and all the integrated amps will drive almost any design you care to mention regardless of sensitivity. Speakers though is a complex subject and one I have fairly strong views on. The bottom line is whilst many people make competent amplifiers very few people make a truly exceptional speaker and the difference between most popular makes of speakers versus the speakers we sell is even far greater than the performance differences you are going to hear between Naim and Vitus electronics. If you would like to understand more then please see this article here.
That said, you probably chose your speakers because you like them and any inherent character they have, and with Vitus they will just sound the best you have ever heard them. Bigger, deeper, more open, more fine detail, much much more refined and a huge transformation in the bass especially in terms of grip, control and information. In my travels I have noted great success with all sorts of brands but just remember – and you are gong to have to trust me on this – that whilst you may not be able to perceive it, most of the popular loudspeakers we see in UK homes will be holding the Vitus back massively and when you hear something like an Avalon PM1, Vimberg Mino or Lord forbid a Tidal speaker, you will be in for an even bigger shock than when you first demo’d the amplifier and DAC. Fact 12’s, Kudos Titan, 802d, Blades, Shahinians, Audiovectors, ATC, Harbeth etc. … these are all very good speakers in their own domain but in the context of Vitus they are simply not high performing or natural enough. A speaker change though is something you may well plan for in the future. It’s costly and there are nearly always other household members who have to be on side.
That just about wraps things up. If you’d like to know even more then follow the links down below, especially my Vitus blogs where I go into each component in more depth. As always simple get in touch to arrange a demo or extended home loan or a swift quotation of all your part exchanges. I hope you enjoyed reading at least some of this article and I tried my very best to convey things exactly as you will find them if you do come exploring.
As ever, the way I mostly work is to loan you all the equipment for an EXTENDED period so you get to hear everything in your own home, in your own time with you own music and you get to discover that everything I have said is true. If anything, I have understated what you will discover for yourself. I know all of this already, I have listened to hundreds and hundreds of Naim systems and I know my own products back to front as well but for you, it is all about biting the bullet and listening and learning for yourself. None of this stuff and cheap and any decisions you make should be properly informed and carefully navigated.
Longstanding customer who upgraded from Naim to RD-100/RS-100 then to SIA-0-25 + RD-101. I don’t sell Kharma’s but really like them, they are a good partner.