The MP-D201 is Vitus’s flagship top of the line digital device. What does it have in store over its lower priced SCD-025 brethren and can it justify the £24k asking price ?
My initial relationship with this handsome device has been a deeply satistying one. I predominantly listened to the MP in a highly revealing system …. Vitus Signature amps or Allnic pre and power, Avalon Transcendent through to Diamond, the best Enhanced and Ultimate wires available from High Fidelity cables and Entreq mains ancilliaries.
The Masterpiece DAC essentially builds upon everything that the SCD-025 does so well but adds a new level of naturalness, ease and coherency. When you AB the two boxes with the same digital feed (whether that be streamed files or both using a second SCD transport) its obvious that the MP has an even higher level of subtlety and goes about its business in an even more of an unforced and unflustered fashion. The sense of ease and intelligibility with which it assembles the music and lays it all out in front of you is quite stunning. Music percolates forth in the most flowing and coherent manner and you get the sense that no single piece of music, no matter how complex, could ruffle this beast’s feathers.
This is a very elegant sounding DAC, a huge expansive sea of tingling beauty in which to bathe for hours on end. Very fine microdynamics that you have not heard before assault your senses and the impression of space and stability within the soundfield is breathtaking. A tad on the warmer smoother side and certainly never ever clinical or cold sounding, the Materpiece, like all Vitus digital, excels at blessing you with the whole musical picture rather than showboating with the usual audiophile traits which often impress the most initially but fail to satisfy longer term.
The MP-D201, along with a small number of competitors, occupies the very highest echelon in the world of digital sources. This really is as good as it gets and at this lofty level a lot of it really comes down to the final seasoning of the sound and then more practical and emotional considerations like ergonomics, looks, reliability, functionality, depreciation and aftersales.
As a footnote I would just like to mention that the Masterpiece responded incredibly well to the use of 3 stillpoint ultra SS feet. For a relatively miniscule outlay of £570 I would consider these a mandatory addition. The effectiveness of Stillpoints is exhaustively reported all over the internet and their use with pretty much all Vitus equipment is a no brainer for 9 out of 10 systems but the MP-D201 perhaps responded even more dramatically than was expected. Greater soundstage, more dyanmics, air, transient speed and overall just much more vitality.