VITUS AUDIO MP-D201 DAC - EXDEMO
Convertidor digital analógico, Serie Masterpiece.384-792KHz / 24 bit . Una obra de Arte única. Color Silver.
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El tiempo es dinero. Todos sabemos eso diciendo. Significa que el tiempo es precioso. No vivimos para siempre Todos queremos dejar un legado. Por lo tanto, debemos hacer que cada segundo cuente. El verdadero legado de Vitus Audio reside en su serie Masterpiece. Cada pieza es como un logro magistral. Uno puede comparar las obras maestras con cronógrafos. Un cronógrafo es un instrumento preciso, preciso y de alto rendimiento. El bisel representa la carcasa bellamente mecanizada. El costo no es un objetivo en la búsqueda de lo último. Los componentes cuidadosamente seleccionados hacen que cada pieza maestra marque, como un juego de ruedas interno. Los diseños en miniatura parecen llenos de engranajes maravillosos que trabajan en armonía para resistir el paso del tiempo. De manera majestuosa, las manos se mueven constantemente alrededor del plato, indicando el tiempo, el estado de ánimo y la expectativa. Jazz, clásico o contemporáneo? La preferencia musical y el gusto por el diseño se unen. ¿Cual es tu eleccion? El disfrute de muchos cronógrafos es que puedes mirarlo. Los diseños de las obras maestras de Vitus Audio son igualmente transparentes. Están diseñados para durar toda la vida. Cada instrumento de la Serie Masterpiece garantiza el más alto nivel de disfrute musical. ¡Convertirse en propietario de una electrónica tan apreciada es un privilegio y lo dejará sin palabras!
Si un caso es el cuerpo que alberga una estructura compleja, entonces el cuadrante es la misma cara de un reloj, en el que miramos. También es lo que permite que los cientos de componentes dentro de un reloj tengan sentido. La esfera es una oblea de metal que nos interpreta ese pequeño mundo de ruedas, palancas, piñones y muelles debajo de él, separándolos de las manos y el vidrio. Hacer una esfera es menos una rama de la relojería, más una artesanía dedicada en sí misma. Dado que el dial es la parte del reloj que nos habla, debe ser no solo bello y armonioso, sino también claramente legible. Los fabricantes de llaveros y los que terminan usan habilidades artesanales ancestrales, junto con secretos comerciales transmitidos de generación en generación. Una esfera requiere de cuatro a seis meses de trabajo de proceso de producción, y de 50 a 200 operaciones, incluidas las técnicas decorativas. El MP-D201 DAC es como un cronógrafo de forma perfecta: un instrumento preciso, preciso y de alto rendimiento.
¿Por qué perder un segundo más negándose a ti mismo el placer de las obras maestras de Vitus Audio?
En Vitus Audio nos gustaría pensar que nuestra Serie Masterpiece se compone de una gama de productos que están adelantados a su tiempo. Para alcanzar este nivel, tuvimos que volver a calificar todas las partes del nivel de componente y más. Además, muchas nuevas piezas hechas a medida se desarrollaron, empujando nuestra tecnología de subcontratista hasta el límite de lo que se puede lograr. El MPD201 DAC se afirma como un centro de control digital de nivel supremo. Contiene entradas y salidas dedicadas para interactuar básicamente con todo lo digital. Con un reloj maestro incorporado y un convertidor de frecuencia de muestreo, reduce la inestabilidad al nivel más bajo posible. Combinado con cuatro DAC estéreo en la etapa analógica, la unidad ofrece la mejor precisión posible con la tecnología actual. La etapa analógica ofrece una configuración realmente equilibrada y nuestro volumen basado en relé, optimizado para el DAC MP-D201
Majestuoso, maravilloso, magistral. Tres palabras que mejor describen la esencia del DAC MPD201
Solo disponible en tiendas exclusivas de alta gama.
El MP-D201 es una verdadera obra maestra en todos los sentidos de la palabra.
El DAC insignia de Vitus. Sobre el SCD-025, el MP-D201 representa un nuevo nivel en naturalidad, intimidad y expresión fina. Una fuente verdaderamente seductora que hará las delicias de Endlessley. Esta es la música digital en el nivel más alto de rendimiento.
Por una pequeña prima de alrededor de 3000 €, Vitus construirá un preamp. para el MP-D201 y luego la unidad puede funcionar directamente en un amplificador de potencia, anulando la necesidad de un preamplificador caro. Para los clientes, esta ha sido una entrada muy popular y rentable en el DAC de Masterpiece.
La Serie Masterpiece ha estado en nuestra hoja de ruta interna durante algunos años, pero se suponía que no se presentaría hasta 2011. Sin embargo, a medida que aumentaba el número de solicitudes del mercado, decidimos llevar adelante el desarrollo y lanzar esta serie muy especial temprano. . ¡Creemos que es algo apropiado para una gama de productos que están adelantados a su tiempo! La complejidad de todos los productos MP ha puesto a prueba a nuestro equipo de ingeniería, ya que la tecnología utilizada en la serie Signature necesitaba ser llevada al extremo para satisfacer nuestras expectativas para la nueva serie Masterpiece.
Para alcanzar este nivel, tuvimos que volver a calificar todas las partes del nivel de componente y más. Además, se desarrollaron muchas piezas nuevas hechas a la medida, empujando las tecnologías de nuestros subcontratistas al límite de lo "posible". El MP-D201 es el nivel supremo de los centros de control digital. Tiene todas las E / S necesarias para interactuar básicamente con todo lo digital1 y con es un diseño modular, se pueden agregar nuevas interfaces ya que sus tecnologías satisfacen nuestras demandas de alta calidad. Con el reloj maestro incorporado y la conversión de frecuencia de muestreo, reduce la inestabilidad al nivel más bajo posible. Combinado con los cuatro controles estéreo en la etapa analógica, brinda la mejor precisión posible que se puede lograr con las tecnologías actuales.
La etapa analógica utiliza el mismo tipo de módulos discretos que se encuentran en el MP-P201 y MP-L201 y ofrece una configuración realmente equilibrada, incluido nuestro conocido volumen basado en retransmisión. Esto ofrece un rendimiento superior sobre cualquier volumen digital en el mercado hoy en día. Usado junto con un preamplificador separado, el volumen incorporado puede ser completamente anulado. Estas características adicionales hacen que el MP-D201 sea un preamplificador completo para la persona que usa principalmente fuentes digitales y solo necesita unas pocas entradas analógicas.
Tipo de producto: DAC verdaderamente equilibrado
SPDIF - RCA, XLR, óptico
Nueva interfaz USB (DSD compatible)
1394 (por agregar)
I2S (para ser agregado)
SPDIF - RCA, XLR, óptico
USB (por agregar)
1394 (por agregar)
Reloj maestro: módulo Anagram Timelock
Frecuencia de muestreo / Resolución: Anagram S2 384-792KHz / 24 bit
Volumen: Volumen analógico verdaderamente equilibrado incluido.
Dimensiones: 130 x 435 x 430 mm (alto x ancho x profundidad)
Control remoto: SÍ (RC-010 se compra por separado)
Peso total: 25 kilogramos
Time is money. We all know that saying. It means that time is precious. We don’t live forever. We all want to leave a legacy. Therefore, we must make every second count. The true legacy of Vitus Audio lies in their Masterpiece Series. Each piece is like a masterful achievement. One can compare the masterpieces with chronographs. A chronograph is a precise, accurate and high-performance instrument. The bezel represents the beautifully machined housing. Cost is no object in the pursuit of the ultimate. Carefully selected components make each masterpiece tick, like an internal wheelwork. Miniature designs seem filled with marvelous cogs, working harmoniously together to withstand the test of time. In a majestic way the hands move constantly around the plate, indicating the time, mood and expectance. Jazz, classic or contemporary? Musical preference and taste for design come together. What’s your choice? The enjoyment of many chronographs is that you can look into it. The designs of the Vitus Audio masterpieces are equally transparent. They are built to last a lifetime. Each instrument of the Masterpiece Series guarantees the highest level of musical enjoyment. Becoming an owner of such highly esteemed electronics is a privilege and will leave you speechless!
If a case is the body that houses a complex structure, then the dial is the very face of a watch, into which we gaze. It’s also what allows the hundreds of components inside a watch to make sense. The dial is a wafer of metal that interprets for us that tiny world of wheels, levers, pinions, and springs beneath it, separating them from the hands and glass. Making a dial is less a branch of watchmaking, more a dedicated craft in itself. Since the dial is the part of the watch that speaks to us, it must be not only beautiful and harmonious, but also clearly legible. Dial makers and finishers use age-old handcraftsmanship skills, alongside trade secrets passed down through generations. A dial takes four to six months of production process work, and from 50 to 200 operations, including decorative techniques. The MP-D201 DAC is like a perfectly shaped chronograph: a precise, accurate and high-performance instrument.
Why lose one more second denying yourself the pleasure of the Vitus Audio Masterpieces?
At Vitus Audio we’d like to think that our Masterpiece Series consists of a range of products that are ahead of their time. To reach this level, we had to re-qualify all parts from component level and up. Further more, many new custom made parts were developed, pushing our subcontractor technology to the limit of the achievable. The MPD201 DAC asserts itself as a digital control center of supreme level. It contains dedicated inputs and outputs to interface to basically everything digital. With a built in master clock and sample rate converter, it reduces jitter to the lowest level possible. Combined with four stereo DACs in the analog stage, the unit offers the best possible precision with today’s technology. The analog stage offers a true balanced configuration and our relaybased volume, optimized for the MP-D201 DAC
Majestic, marvelous, masterful. Three words that best describe the essence of the MPD201 DAC
Only available in dedicated high end shops.
The MP-D201 is a true masterpiece in every sense of the word.
The Masterpiece Series has in fact been on our internal road map for some years, but was not supposed to be introduced until 2011. However as the number of requests from the market increased, we decided to bring development forward and launch this very special series early. We think it is somewhat fitting for a range of products that are ahead of their time! The complexity of all the MP products has put our engineering team to the test, as the technology used in the Signature Series needed to be pushed to the extreme, to satisfy our expectations for the new Masterpiece Series.
To reach this level, we had to re-qualify all parts from component level and up. Furthermore, many new custom made parts were developed, pushing our subcontractors technologies to the limit of “possible”. The MP-D201 is the supreme level of digital control centres. It has all the needed I/O’s to interface to basically everything digital1 and with
it’s modular design, new interfaces can be added as their technologies satisfy our high quality demands. With the built in masterclock and sample rate conversion, it reduces jitter to the lowest level possible. Combined with the four stereo dacs in the analog stage - it gives the best possible precision achievable with todays technologies.
The analog stage uses the same type of discrete modules found in the MP-P201 and MP-L201 and offers true balanced configuration, including our well-known relay based volume. This offers superior performance over any digital volume on the market today. Used together with a separate preamplifier, the build in volume can naturally be fully bypassed. These extra features, makes the MP-D201 a full preamplifier for the person who primarily uses digital sources, and has only need to a few analog inputs.
Model : MP-D201
Product Type : True balanced DAC
SPDIF - RCA, XLR, Optical
New USB interface (supported DSD)
1394 (to be added)
I2S (to be added)
SPDIF - RCA, XLR, Optical
USB (to be added)
1394 (to be added)
Master Clock : Anagram Timelock module
Sample rate / Resolution : Anagram S2 384-792KHz / 24 bit
Volume : True balanced analogue volume included.
Dimensions : 130 x 435 x 430 mm (H x W x D)
Remote Controlled : YES (RC-010 purchased separately)
Total Weight : 25 kgs
Ihave still before my eyes Ole Vitus’s smiling face, when during this year’s High End show in Munich he showed me a list of awards received by his products, including Best Product 2011 from “High Fidelity” (see HERE). The list was long and varied, and included both devices from the “basic” Reference series, as well as from the more expensive Signature line. I could not see any awards for the Masterpiece series, currently most expensive (an even more refined Design Studio Series has already been announced). “Why?” – I asked him. “We are simply cautious in sending these products for a review. They are unique, very expensive devices and they would need a reviewer with exceptional experience to properly describe them.” Hmm – it seems that I had already made my name, because shortly afterwards, lugging a heavy package, a representative of RCM, Polish distributor of Vitus Audio, knocked on my door.
The MP-D201 is a D/A converter, weighting hefty 26 kg. The device is not particularly big, measuring 130 x 435 x 430 mm (H x W x D), but it is quite a lot for a DAC, especially when it comes to depth. And it is not an empty box, housing a DAC board in one corner and a power supply in the other. The device is loaded to the brim with voltage controllers and various stage modules. It is a DAC with a 24/192 USB port and four digital inputs, 2 x S/PDIF RCA and 2 x AES/EBU XLR, and two pairs of output – RCA and XLR. The MP-D201 was designed at the same time as the MP-T201 transport.
Externally, the device looks the same as preamplifiers from the same manufacturer – it is the only DAC available from Vitus Audio. In the Reference and Signature series DACs are integrated with CD players. Overall, it is a very solid enclosure with a clean, unobtrusive design.
All DAC inputs, including USB, accept signal up to 24 bits and 192 kHz. Straight after the inputs, however, we find the advanced Edel 2 upsampler, developed in collaboration with Anagram Technologies from Switzerland, known e.g. from Soulution players, that upsamples the signal to 24 bits and 384 kHz. That is, the Soulution version does. Ole Vitus says that his DAC sports the latest versions, upsampling each signal to 24 bits and 792 kHz.
The converter can be equipped with an analog volume attenuator system used in Vitus preamplifiers, turning the MP-D201 into a regular DAC / preamp. The attenuator has very interesting design, because it is based on discrete resistors, switched by relays. However, it is designed in such a way that the same resistor is always coupled in series with the circuit (hence there are no relays in the signal path), and the relays switch other resistors connected in parallel.
The DAC normally comes without that module, but if you really want to, you can use the digital volume control, which is “sewn” into the upsampler. Soulution uses the facility, but I would rather treat it as something extra, not the basic volume control – after all, it introduces changes into the digital realm…
Optionally, you can also buy the RC-010 remote control. It’s a beautiful unit with a display, which can also control other devices, not only from Vitus, provided that they work with the Philips RC-5 code.
A selection of recordings used during auditions:
During my holiday trip Andrew, whom you may remember from Krakow Sonic Society meetings, upgraded and generally pimped out my laptop, the HP Pavilion dv7 Entertainment (Core 2 Duo), which is my work machine used to write these words, and as a music source while testing USB D/A converters. Taking advantage of the fact that this particular model is designed to be an entertainment center and has two hard drive bays, we equipped it with an additional 128GB SSD used as a startup disk, where we installed a new system, Windows 8 RP 64-bit, increasing RAM to 8GB. Other programs also found their place on the startup disk. Apart from some obvious benefits of such configuration, like starting the computer under ten seconds, it opened up to me the possibility to make a full use of the 64-bit version of the JPLAY player, which I already reviewed (see HERE) and which has since become my main player, with foobarem2000 as an option, and a GUI for JPLAY.
It so happened that after returning from vacation (fantastic Sopot!), I was both enjoying my virtually brand new computer and bickering with some people attacking me over my review published in “High Fidelity” No. 95 (March 2012), of the LAN cable from Acoustic Revive (see HERE). It turned out that the review found its way to the wykop.pl portal (a Polish version of digg.com) where it got many “diggs” and piqued some interest only to be bashed by others. To show you the scale of interest let me just say that on one single day the traffic on HF webpage increased by 5,000 visitors.
The bickering eventually turned into trying to get a straight answer to the question “did you conduct a test?” which is a way of saying, did you listen to it? All my interlocutors, usually in a rather unpleasant way (the most “friendly” conversation is published in the “Letters / advice” section of HF) pointed out to me that what I write is rubbish, that it is impossible – so says the theory and they stick to it. Moreover, that it is impossible to measure differences between ANY digital cables, not to mention a LAN cable.
I respect measurements, being in fact a “technically minded” person; I respect theory but I also have a postgraduate degree and I know that there is a basic principle that cannot be denied: every true theory is falsifiable. That is, each theory can and should be subjected to trial, tested and checked over and over again.
In audio that trial or test is called auditioning; so far music cannot be “measured.” It is study by inspection, basic scientific research. And so it is with many dogmas, of which the “objectivists” (I use inverted commas because it has nothing to do with objectivity; rather with backwardness, ignorance, etc.) were sure, as “zero is always zero” and similar crap, long disputed by AES engineers, that a simple audition showed that the theory needs to be modified. That we obviously need to measure something else, we need to better correlate measurements and auditions, because the basic theory does not work; it does not stand up to simple test.
If I had any doubts at all, though – let’s admit it – as any other sensible person I have them and I will have them, to illustrate what I am just saying I could use as an example the already mentioned JPLAY player.
JPLAY is a software player, kind of like foobar2000, JRiver, Amarra, iTunes etc. From the point of view of theory it has no effect on sound. It is just a bunch of software instructions, not a real “player”, which in this case is the computer. But anyone who has tried at home more than one of these programs know that each of them results in a different sound.
Martin Ostapowicz, one of the two JPLAY creators and developers (the other being Josef Piri), came to me personally to install the software. He showed me that the difference in sound may be related to others, seemingly completely negligible things, like the choice of program that we use as GUI for JPLAY, the choice of the length of signal buffering before it leaves the PC, and others that – here cheers to all engineers and a call for an attempt to explain why that happens! – seem to be complete trifles, yet changing the sound. I had that in statu nascendi, listening with Martin to songs from my computer, connected with the USB cable to the input of the MP-D201.
And the MP-D201 turned out to be an excellent device, expertly differentiating various recordings. Or simply music signal, because with various transports – signal through S/PDIF or AES/EBU – and a variety of JPLAY player settings – signal through USB – records were the same, but they were played in different conditions.
The sound of this unit is a deep, saturated and warm. It is a big, expansive sound with huge soundstage, tightly wrapping the listener in on all sides – of course, if we have that kind of record. And actually everything would coincide – Roger Adamek, the Polish distributor of Vitus is an “analog” man, with the sound of the SME 30/12 turntable as a reference. As he said recently, he just sent back to Switzerland a DAC from a very expensive, local brand, because it was simply presenting “the digits”, forgetting about the music. The Vitus DAC is on the other side of that imaginary scale.
As I said, the sound is warm. In addition to my Ancient Audio player to test it against, I had the emm Labs XDS1 SE and the belt-driven B.M.C. (all of them also worked as transports), so I could easily verify that. Moreover, a direct comparison with Ed Meitner’s player also nicely showed how the two devices labeled as “warm” differ from each other The Vitus has clearly softened treble, warm and slightly withdrawn. This is intentional and I can hear it in all Ole Vitus’s devices. It reminds me, I knew I would not run away from saying that, turntable sound. It is not analog sound per se and the AVID Diva II-SP turntable sitting next to it proved that there is some difference. Still, without direct reference in the form of vinyl, you can actually swear that it’s something related to analog, not digital, world. As I said, analog sounds differently, and such accurate yet warm turntables as the Viella AMG V12 sound deeper, with more freedom. Even if the Vitus is slightly muffled in such comparison, the differences are not the type of “to be or not to be,” which cannot be said about the majority of digital sources.
It’s a very, very addictive sound. Its depth supports building large virtual sources, substantial volume. These are not thin squeaks somewhere in the middle of soundstage, but large, fleshy sound. It was very easily audible on mono recordings, such as the albums by John Hartman, Beverly Kenney, Coleman Hawkins and bonus tracks on Portrait in Jazz by Bill Evans Trio.
Let me dwell for a while on the latter, for it will be a good example to show the essence of sound of the Vitus. Well, originally I bought the album in a digital form, as soon as Fantasy, the owner of the rights to the Riverside catalogue, made a remaster from mother tapes and released it as a hybrid SACD disc. The sound was awful – muddled, with very little resolution; you just did not want to listen to it. I put the album away on the shelf and listening to other Evans albums, I somehow avoided that one. That is, until I found online its K2HD version, with a gold OBI. I bought it. It totally owned the Fantasy release.
However, I use both album releases for my reviews since they very well show the tested device behaviour. The Fantasy album sounded very nice with the Vitus. I’m not saying “good” because it was missing a lot of musical information, both spatial as well as instruments related, but overall it was not bad. I needed that to determine the extent to which the sound of the Danish converter affects its ability to differentiate, on the one hand, and its selectivity, on the other. As I said earlier, differentiation is excellent – it can actually be a control, reference device, for it shows even minute changes in color, tonality, dynamics, etc. Its selectivity, however, is fairly average. Apparently, that is the price that needs to be paid for such, and no other, sound.
So how come such a good experience from the – after all – muddled Fantasy edition? I listened, in this respect, to another recording known for being not very open and selective, namely the Japanese HQCD re-edition of the iconic Leopold Stokowski’s album JS Bach. Toccata and Fugue. As with Evans presentation was very large and intimate. Not really stunningly rich with details, niceties and spatial information (acoustics). But the presentation was unique in its immediacy, in how it appealed to our sense of its “properties,” to our need of these, and no other, proportions of music reproduced at home. Those for whom “detail” is an essential component of accurate reproduction will not be happy. I would not want to judge which approach is better, because it probably does not make sense – after all, they both falsify the reality and it is up to individual preferences. All I’m saying is that it was not detailed, selective sound.
But on the other hand, there was no trace of muddling, choking, dullness, etc. Yes, that’s definitely warm sound. Not TOO warm, though. The above mentioned editions of the Bill Evans Trio album showed something else – the Vitus converter has phenomenal resolution. That is why the Fantasy edition was so interesting. I do not mean minute details, because they were absent, but textures, consonance, intentional and accidental changes in intonation, etc. That is what the MP-D201 showed in a unique way.
And that it also what best shows the differences between the Vitus and the emm Labs XDS1 SE player that I mentioned before. The Canadian SACD player also sounds seemingly warm. But at the same time it is very nicely opened at the top, with excellent tonal balance. The Vitus is clearly warmer due to its rounding up of treble and emphasizing lower midrange. And it is with the Vitus that most of our records we consigned to oblivion will sound more enjoyable. Even their bass will be shown in a more complete way, better than they deserve. With high-quality recordings we also get better detailness. And all that presented on large, full, lush soundstage.
You will hear slight weighting of sound and that how it was “done.” Let’s not kid ourselves. But, hell, what else is not “done”? That sound at least has some character; you can even say that “it’s got the guts “.
I focused on resolution and selectivity because they are the most important indicators of the converter’s sound. Color is also important. However, when we connect the MP-D201 to a good audio system we do not immediately start analyzing. For a long time we just listen, curious to see how the next album sounds, how this or that sounds. Curiosity is always a sign that SOMETHING is happening, something interesting. And regardless of whether we ultimately conclude that the device is for us or not (at the end, most important is our own preferences), it’s obvious that we are dealing with SOMETHING.
That’s exactly how the Vitus converter works – its character is clear from the beginning and dominates the presentation, imposing it on the whole system. It’s incredibly coherent sound with powerful, very well differentiated bass. It is a bit on the soft side, but within reasonable limits, resembling what we can hear from good, decoupled turntables. Midrange is obviously what’s most important here, and that’s the Vitus magnet that attracts most strongly. Since treble seems to be rounded, the vocal range sounds even warmer, fuller. The sound is on the verge of casualness, i.e. one step further and it would be too warm. But, let me repeat, I have no other simile at hand, and exactly the same happens with turntables.
In my opinion that is what should ultimately decide about our ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ to the MP-D201 – its sonic character has been developed to achieve the greatest possible smoothness, silkiness, fluidity. As always, you have to pay for it with something else – here the price is selectivity.
The Vitus DAC changes the sound. It presents it in a warm, big, expansive way. Treble is slightly weakened and sweetened. Lower midrange, but also bass, sound a little stronger than treble, which reinforces the impression of the latter’s withdrawal. Such color shape, together with excellent resolution, places the sound closer to vinyl (but not to analog as such – master tapes sound different; see the article Krakow Sonic Society meeting No. 84: When the tape was a god (Master Tape Sound Lab) HERE).
It is, however, an engaging sound gently massaging our neck while we immerse ourselves in the next album. The dynamics is high, as evidenced by HRx recordings from Reference Recordings (176.4/24), fed from a laptop via USB. A large symphony orchestra sounds spectacular, because the DAC is able to maintain right proportions between the instruments, and at the same time it can hit f**ing hard when needed. Electronic music will sound in a less explosive and selective way than we are used to it. J.M. Jarre or Depeche Mode will have great color, will not sound nervous, but there will not too much space “between” sounds, which, in turn, we get with more selective devices.
All inputs sound in quite the same way, which speaks well of designers. USB brings a special surprise, because it really is not much different from S/PDIF, and sometimes – with 16/44.1 material – can sound more direct and intimate than the CD. USB input slightly increases the instruments and moves the perspective closer. AES/EBU input I liked the least, because the sound was a bit smaller and dry, but that may be the solution, if the whole system is “overripe”, too sugary.
A very expensive DAC, with excellent USB input and unusual color. It is not very selective and not each kind of music sound equally well on it (but let’s remember that we are still talking about top high-end!). Well made, it has a specific man behind it with his own vision of sound, available at our fingertips. And the vision will charm, I’m sure of that, many music lovers. I could live with it.
The DAC was tested with three transport drives: the Philips CD Pro-2 LH in the Ancient Audio Lektor Air V-edition CD player, the belt-driven B.M.C. BDCD1.1 drive and the multi-format VOSP (Vertically aligned optical stability platform) from Esoteric in the emm Labs XDS1 SE SACD player (reviewed in the same issue of “High Fidelity”). The first was coupled via S/PDIF with an RCA digital cable, and the third via AES/EBU with XLR. The B.M.C. player was coupled via both. I must admit that overall I got the best results from the B.M.C. player via RCA. Both digital cables used are Acrolink, the 7N-DA5100 and the 7N-D2100. The converter comes with its own Andromeda power cord, which was used during the review. I fed the USB input with the Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL USB cable from my HP Pavilion core 2 duo dv7 laptop, equipped with 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 750 GB HDD, Windows 8 RP and JPLAY player integrated with foobar2000 used as GUI.
Testing had a character of A-B comparison with A and B known. Music samples were 2 minutes long; whole albums were also auditioned.
The D/A converter sat on the active Synergistic Research Tranquility Base platform, which in turn was placed on the Base Solid Base IV [Custom Version] rack with wooden shelves. See the bottom of the page for the list of other accompanying components.
Technical specifications (according to manufacturer):
Inputs: S/PDIF RCA, XLR, USB (24 bit/192 kHz)
Outputs: S/PDIF RCA, XLR
Upsampling: 24 bit/792 kHz
Internal wiring: Andromeda by VA
Remote Control: RC-010, purchased separately
Dimensions (H x W x D): 130 x 435 x 430 mm
Weight: 26 kg
Vitus devices share the same enclosure – one design for all preamps and the reviewed DAC, another one for CD players, and one more for power amplifiers. This allows reducing, extremely high, enclosure manufacturing costs and unifying appearance of the products from the Danish manufacturer. Consequently, various products from different lines can easily be mixed with each other.
Front and rear
The MP-D201 is a 24/192 D/A converter with an optional volume control section. Its enclosure is characterized by extraordinary care of workmanship. Thick aluminum plates are bolted together with multiple bolts. The front panel is divided into three parts – the two sides with buttons, flush with the panel, and the center, in the form of a recessed vertical strip of black acrylic. It displays the company logo, and features a dot-matrix display, showing the selected source and menu contents. Both have amber color (the color also chosen by Accuphase, TAD and Yamaha, to recall the most obvious examples). After selecting the source, its name is displayed as well as – only for a moment – signal sampling frequency. There is no information on word length. The display can be dimmed in three steps or switched off altogether; we can also select other, more suitable names from the menu memory bank. I mentioned the buttons – they control the device menu and – if you activate it, the volume. More on that later.
The rear panel is very good, but such a view should be normal for high-end. Inputs and outputs are separated by an IEC power connector with an integrated mechanical switch. All connectors come from Swiss Neutrik, including USB port. There are five inputs – USB, a pair of AES/EBU XLR and two S/PDIF RCA. Analog outputs are duplicated – the basic one is a pair of balanced XLRs (the device has a fully balanced design), and the additional one a pair of RCAs. We select the active output in the menu.
The interior shows a typical arrangement for this manufacturer, consisting of many small modules. At the USB input we have a Xilinx DSP chip, to receive signal up to 24 bits and 192 kHz, of course after installing a suitable driver, which you get on a CD-ROM. The small module PCB is not mounted directly to the connector but a little to the side, and coupled with the USB port via a 10-cm USB cable. I think it would be better if it were coupled directly.
On activating the selected digital input, the signal is sent to the next PCB, housing the ABC PCB Edel S2 upsampler with software from Anagram Technologies. We have seen it before in Soulution SACD players – the 745 and the 540 (see HERE and HERE). The module is one of the most widely recognized on the market.
As I wrote before, the S2 platform is a combination of the outstanding asynchronous Q5 Upsampling upsampler, developed by Anagram Technologies, and a signal separation algorithm separating the signal between many converters working in parallel. The upsampler converts the signal to 24 bits and 792 kHz in the Blackfin DSP chip.
It seems that the same system is responsible for digital volume control, which can be activated in the menu and which is always on in the Soulution players. Four mono D/A converters can be connected to the output, and that fact is fully utilized. Next to these chips the manufacturer placed a shielded module housing a precise clock, designed by the Vitus.
The upsampled signal goes to the D/A converters section. These are four AD1955 chips from Analog Devices, 24/192 stereo multi-bit, sigma-delta. And only then we reach the output modules - I/U conversion, filtering and gain. They are assembled in SMD form and housed in small shield cans. Just behind them, there are two multi-pin sockets to plug in an optional volume attenuator with relay-switched resistors. The outputs are also switched by relays.
All of these modules are stacked on a large bottom PCB housing most of voltage regulators. The rest of smaller modules with discrete voltage stabilizers are mounted next to their respective systems. The power supply is built around three large transformers – one for the digital part, the other two for the analog, one per each channel.
The DAC can be remotely controlled with the optional RC-010 remote, which allows input selection and volume control, after activating it in the menu.
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