Vitus RI-100 INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER
The RI-100 is possibly Vitus’s most popular product. Ignore that it’s a one box integrated, this 300 Watt powerhouse will astound you with the sheer quality of its sound. The RI has purity, transparency and cleanliness that is normally the reserve of a Class A design. It has astonishing levels of grip and slam but is also capable of extreme delicacy. Rich, holographic and wonderfully textural and intimate, the RI-100 seems to tick every box that people are generally looking for in highend audio. Now available with an optional £2000 4-input DAC module, this single unit just needs a set of speakers to create beautiful music that was up until fairly recently, only acheiveable with a £30,000+ budget and a high box count.
“Even though the Reference Series represent our entry level products, they incorporate many specialist/custom parts. This has proven an expensive but necessary must in order to keep our highly regarded musical performance – an area in which we refuse to compromise. While the battery power supply is history, the overall goal of the Reference Series remains unchanged, setting a new standard for sound quality at the price point. A bold, but for us, a true statement.
Once you have heard the performance of this amplifier, we are convinced you will agree. The RI-100 is the first new product in the Reference Series. It is a fully integrated amplifier, which includes an optional phonostage and dac. In it’s full configuration, the RI-100 will act as a standalone control center, which takes both analog and digital sources of any kind. It also incorporates a full bypass function for use with external surround processors.
Although the RI-100 does not have our usual class A mode, it’s class AB setting is adjusted for maintaining the same musical performance as our class A amplifiers.”
The DAC Module
‘Vitus’s slot in DAC module for the multi-award winning RI-100 integated amp is finally here. Myself and UK importers Kog Audio are quite frankly astonished by the level of performance we are getting from this thing. The DAC module essentally turns the RI-100 into a fully fledged control centre, just add speakers for a truly incredible sound for this sort of pricepoint and a performance close to the fully fledged reference level RD-100 DAC.
The module costs just £2000 and slots into your RI-100 in a simple 15 minute install. It has four digital inputs – USB (dsd64), spdif & Aes (24/192), Toslink – and they are all selectable from the main menu or remote of the RI-100. The performance you get is quite something. Fire a melco or an Aurender into it as well and the overall result is genuinely what you’d expect from a VERY expensive system. Before you go out an blow 20k on a pre+power and 10k on a dac, be sure to hear what this one box solution can do at a third of the cost. Now on demo @ Lotus.’
|The RI-100 Integrated in detail||13.03.14|
Before we get onto the big players of the Class A 'Signature Series' range, we must turn our attention to arguably the star of the reference range and that is the RI-100, 300 watts per channel Integrated amp. This £9500 beast has already picked up a whole stack of awards and is surely a classic in the making, one of those extraordinary products that is virtually peerless at it's pricepoint and gives such gobsmacking performance that you question why there is any point ever spending any more in this great hobby of ours or indeed making life any more complex than a single minimalistic box attached to a source and a set of speakers. Yes, if you have the funds then you can go Vitus pre and power but quite frankly in all but the loftiest systems you really needn't as the RI-100 and the Signature integrated really do hold all the answers for most seekers of top notch amplification.
The real icing on the cake with this unit is that on the back there are two very neat expansion slots which will accomodate a phono stage and a DAC module. The phono stage is available now and the DAC will be ready for Munich 2014. With zero casing costs these modules will represent extremely good value and they elevate the functionality, ease of use and appeal of this unit to an even greater level. In its full configuaration the one box will act as a fully fledged standalone control centre, accepting digital and analogue inputs of any kind.
The build and subjective feel is of the usual 'hewn from granite' standard one expects with Vitus. Connectivity at the back is excellent. Single ended and balanced inputs, pre-outs, bananas or spades. The menu is customisable with all sorts of useful options including a bypass mode and a standby mode. Silver and black are the most common finishes but almost any colour can be accommodated including white, red or even gold.
The sound is just a real treat; although it is class AB it has been very carefully designed to be sonically close to the beautiful purity of class A and this shows through from the moment you switch it on. The RI-100 has bags of grip, slam and endless power but sounds beautifully natural and fluid with the most wonderful rich and full tonality. "But is it musical" someone asked me the other day. This is as "musical' as it gets in my book, no electronic signature, no glare or hardness, just pure neutrality which emanates forth into a very wide and deep layered soundstage, allowing the amp to disappear and leave you with the most wonderful room filling experience. I won't go into much more detail and i'll let some of the review quotes down below do the talking but suffice to say that sitting inbetween a set of £40,000 Avalon Eidolon Diamond and my £62,000 turntable/phono source, the RI-100 does not seem the slightest bit overshadowed or lacking. That seems almost implausible when so many of us have grown up on elaborate pre and powers, separate power supplies, monoblocks and active setups with crossovers and whole stacks of amps but there you go, times have changed and I for one could quite happily live with this beast for life if it came to it.
In ths UK it's already got off to a flying start. Quite a number of folk have moved from pre/powers into one of these and its even meant a substantial cashback situation in a number of cases. As always, if it takes your fancy and is a solution that appeals then do not hesitate to drop by and have a listen.
"The sledgehammer with a heart. The RI-100 is capable of extracting the highest highs and most dynamic lows and pretty much everything in between. In most respects it gives away little to its pure Class A Signature Series siblings and the brawny RI-100 is virtually unrivalled in its breathtakingly tightfisted grip on the bottom octaves. ."
"Good enough for speakers 10 times the price! "The RI-100 is without compromise from any possible perspective or listening criteria."
"The RI-100 is lightning-quick. There is no edge or whiteness along for the ride as with many solid state designs. Timbre, pitch, and tone are spot on. There is no romance—all artificial harmonics are stripped away, and you are left with the real thing."
"..the Vitus Audio RI-100 has carved out a unique segment in the high end—what could be termed “entrylevel elite.” It currently has few challengers, and none that I have yet heard can surpass it. An alpha amp if ever there was one."
"Did I mention that bass performance is as good as it gets? The RI-100 can handle the most demanding low frequencies with an iron grip, and the Magico Q7s are the perfect vehicle to prove it."
"From day one, what really struck home was the lack of an electronic signature throughout the frequency spectrum. There was no glaze smudging transients, or any dry powdery whiteness over the treble."
"The Vitus Audio RI-100 is a scary good performer. Forget any references to “entry level” or “price points”. Those terms are only relative to Vitus’ own Signature and Masterpiece Series components, which frankly, exist on a much different level from most other companies’ components anyway."
"The Vitus came through with a vitality and spring-in-its-midrange-step that drove the music along. The midrange and top-end were outstanding and up with the very best of solid-state amplification."
Absolute Sound review
Positive Feedback review
Mono and Stereo preview
Vitus Website RI-100
The Absolute Sound
Mono and Stereo