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Vitus r1-101 (Demo)
It’s interesting how having a high quality streaming capability and a Tidal account changes your style of listening. As a result, I have been on a bit of a retro kick recently and looking more deeply into the complete works of Steely Dan. I always liked the albums and had massive respect for the musicians they assembled to bring the songs to life. Then they slipped out of my consciousness for a while. I would occasionally catch an audio glimpse of them and be reminded that it was time for a re-visit and this, courtesy of Roon and Tidal, grew into a renewed fascination as I have become more intrigued with their songs. Time has actually leant them a new depth for me.
It was during this musical period that I took delivery of the RI-101, the latest version of the entry-level integrated amplifier from Vitus. This is the successor to the eight-year-old RI-100. I have lost count of the amount of Vitus products that have passed through my hands since their arrival in the UK, and I am a big fan of the way they go about their business. Their SIA-025 has become an integral part of my whole listening experience and has been both fed and has driven many, many high-end components for years now. It is a real classic amplifier of the modern era design, fully deserving of the many accolades that have been heaped upon it.
I liked the RI-100 when I first heard it several years ago. It didn’t have the Class A switching, perhaps so vital to the SIA‑025’s creamy smoothness and tonal subtlety, but replaced it with sledgehammer driving power and a firework display of dynamics and grip of the rise and fall of musical movement. Who needs 300 watts? Well, the RI-100 can provide an answer to that question every time you sit back to listen. The seemingly bottomless well of power gives its own sense of ease. My abiding memories of that amplifier is that it ultimately lacked a bit of resolution and crisp articulation and it was perhaps a little flat and dark in musical perspectives. Certainly in comparison to the SIA-025 which, it must be remembered, is a considerably pricier investment.
When the new RI-101 arrived it seemed like a case of “Meet the new amp, same as the old amp,” but looks are inevitably deceptive. From the outside, the new version has little to distinguish it except, I am told, some extra cooling vents. The chunky industrial design, finished in black for the review sample, makes a bold physical statement with a very familiar and unmistakably Vitus look. Aluminium slab fronts merge into the small central illuminated control window while three flush buttons per side provide the control inputs, volume, and settings. An Apple remote, supplied as standard, offers fuss-free access to essential functions, including standby.
Internally, as you might imagine, there have been many improvements in critical areas. As usual, this Vitus is a modular design. It is beautifully assembled and laid out internally, so much so that it would actually look great with an acrylic top. The heart of all Vitus products is the transformer, and anyone who has spoken to Hans Ole will know just how meticulous he is where these are concerned. This one, an improved version of that found in the RI-100, has an EI-core instead of the UI-core found in the Signature series. The lettering indicates the shape of the core. It really does sit at the very centre of what the Vitus is all about and in the latest amplifier also provides an impressive 300 watts (at least) with extensive and complex modifications to the voltage regulation aimed at reducing noise at this critical stage. This leaves an even inkier black backdrop. But, perhaps the more notable differences between this and the amplifier it succeeds come in the preamplifier section. When you make as many products as Vitus does and arrange them into different categories, upgrading each of them as time passes will undoubtedly incorporate a degree of trickle-down technology. This means a constant striving towards new levels of perfection across the whole range. As one component is improved, so the next level will also be undergoing experimentation to raise performance. No company embodies this quite like Vitus. As such, the ultra-low-noise power supply in the R1-101 is further complemented by the inclusion of the high-resolution volume control from the SL-103 and MP-L20. The whole section of the amp that handles the inputs is improved too. The result is an amplifier that builds on the original with noticeably increased resolution. It was this that caught my ear as I made my way through my Steely Dan renaissance.
McIntosh Power Control cables allow full functionality of a McIntosh audio system. Products that are interconnected using these cables will all turn on and off with the preamplifier control center, operate using one remote control and allow meter lights to be turned on or off depending on your preference. Contact your local dealer to learn more.
“… for the love of music…” The complete and authorized history of McIntosh presented on over 300 pages with hundreds of beautiful photographs and exclusive interviews with past and present employees. Reminisce with early McIntosh icons such as Sidney A. Corderman and Maurice Painchaud, as well as learning about the modern day McIntosh with current president, Charlie Randall. Everything you ever wanted to know about McIntosh is here – a must have for every true McIntosh enthusiast! Written by Ken Kessler, no stranger to the world ofhi-fi audio journalism, whose articles have appeared in over 130 magazines and newspapers in more than 20 countries.
DA2 Digital Audio Module
The DA2 Digital Audio Module is our newest and most advanced module for processing digital audio. It comes standard in the C53 and C2700 Preamplifiers, allowing both of those units to take advantage of some of the latest innovations in digital audio technology. McIntosh home audio products equipped with the DA1 can be upgraded to the newer DA2.
The models that can be upgraded to the DA2 are: MA9000, MA8900, MA7200 and MA5300 Integrated Amplifiers; MAC7200 Receiver; and C49 Preamplifier. (Note: These models will continue to come with the DA1 installed. Upgrading to the DA2 is an optional dealer installed upgrade that must be installed by an Authorized McIntosh Dealer or Authorized McIntosh Service Agency.)
The DA2 Digital Audio Module builds upon the DA1 with an expanded set of capabilities. In addition to having all the same connections as the DA1 (2 coaxial, 2 optical, 1 USB and 1 MCT) a new audio-only HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC)1 connection is included on the DA2. This allows it to be connected to TVs with a compatible HDMI (ARC) output to bring your TV sound to the next level by listening to it through your home stereo system. ARC functionality can provide two-way communication between your DA2 equipped unit and TV, allowing for volume control and lip-syncing functions to ensure the audio and video are perfectly synched. Popular multi-channel audio formats from Dolby® and DTS® are supported and will be expertly converted to 2-channel audio for proper playback through your DA2 equipped unit. When CEC communication is enabled in both the DA2 equipped unit and your TV, your TV remote can control the power and volume of your connected McIntosh unit.
Additionally, the DA2’s USB input can support native playback of up to DSD512, surpassing the DSD256 limit of the DA1. This increased DSD playback support is thanks to the next generation, Quad Balanced, 8-channel, 32-bit Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) that powers the DA2. This audiophile-grade DAC is highlighted by both an improved dynamic range and total harmonic distortion compared to the DA1. The USB input also supports DXD up to 384kHz. The coax and optical inputs can decode digital music up to 24-bit/192kHz for high resolution audio playback. Rounding out the DA2 is a proprietary MCT input that offers a secure, custom DSD connection for playback of the high definition audio found on SACDs when paired with our MCT500 and MCT80 SACD/CD Transports to produce the best possible sound quality from your SACD collection.
Due to the technical nature of the DA2 upgrade, it's a dealer installed upgrade that must be performed by a qualified trained professional at an Authorized McIntosh Dealer or Authorized McIntosh Service Agency. Please note that if the upgrade is performed by anyone other than an Authorized McIntosh Dealer or Authorized McIntosh Service Agency, under the terms of your McIntosh Limited Warranty any resulting damage or failure of your unit will be excluded from warranty coverage. Contact your local Authorized McIntosh Dealer or Authorized McIntosh Service Agency today to schedule your upgrade.
1) The HDMI ARC input will only play audio from a compatible TV. It will not pass video to or from a TV, or play audio from any non-TV source.
HDMI, the HDMI Logo and High-Definition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC in the United States and other countries.
Dolby is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories.
DTS, the Symbol, & DTS and the Symbol together are registered trademarks of DTS, Inc. © DTS, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Unmistakably McIntosh. Let everyone who looks at your McIntosh home audio system know where it came from and how it was built with the LB100 Light Box. It proudly displays the “Handcrafted In The USA Since 1949” statement as a badge of honor.
About the same size as one of our CD players, it will easily fit into any standard audio/video rack, on a piece of furniture or stacked with other McIntosh gear for easy placement. On the front panel, both the McIntosh logo and handcrafted statement are illuminated by direct LED backlighting for a distinct and awe inspiring appearance.
On the back is a Power Control input and output so you can have the LB100 seamlessly turn on with all your other McIntosh components such as an amplifier, preamplifier or variety of other products. If Power Control is not utilized, then a back panel switch turns it on and off.
The LB100 features the timeless McIntosh aesthetic of an illuminated black glass front panel and aluminum end caps. Contact your local dealer to learn more.
The McIntosh MCLK12 mantle clock is a celebration of time while being a tribute to classic McIntosh design. Constructed with the signature McIntosh blue watt meters, the MCLK12 demonstrates the same easy to read visual interface. Blue meter lighting may be switched on or off from the front panel, or by other McIntosh components, depending on the viewing conditions. Faceplate is the same width as other McIntosh equipment, allowing for rack placement; also wall or shelf mountable.
The left meter measures hours while the right measures minutes. The hour and minute hands cover a twelve and sixty minute arc respectively on the MCLK12 along with Power Output Meters on compatible McIntosh power amplifiers. Both hands 'fly-back' in a retrograde fashion when they reach the end of their scale. The MCLK12 is the ultimate fun way to monitor the passing of time. Battery backup keeps time during power outages. Contact your local dealer to learn more.
The McIntosh HT30-OW is designed as a surround sound loudspeaker in a home theater system. The HT30-OW offers a unique solution to the problem of integrating superb surround sound into a room with minimal visual impact. The removable metal grilles can be custom painted to perfectly match your decor. A sealed, solidly braced enclosure is used for superior sound and freedom from bleeding into adjacent rooms. Sold in pairs. Contact your local dealer to learn more.
The McIntosh HT30-IW is designed as a surround sound loudspeaker in a home theater system. The HT30-IW offers a unique solution to the problem of integrating superb surround sound into a room with minimal visual impact. The removable metal grilles can be custom painted to perfectly match your decor. A sealed, solidly braced enclosure is used for superior sound and freedom from bleeding into adjacent rooms. Sold in pairs. Contact your local dealer to learn more.
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Lifestyle AVI specializes in the sales and installation of audio and video equipment that sits at the pinnacle of design and quality. We’re also your premier destination for home theaters and home automation. Browse our store to find the latest gear or visit our showroom in person at Las Vegas's Tivoli Village.