I have been an admirer of Vitus Audio equipment ever since I heard the original SS-010 Class-A integrated amplifier about eight years ago. There was something so complete and finely balanced about the musical performance of that hefty little gem. Vitus amplifiers have the power to reach deep into the music and show it to you in such a natural and unstrained way that I have heard few amplification systems at any price that are so effortlessly revealing and relaxing to listen to. For me at least, Vitus Audio leaves any tension to the music itself.
So, after a few attempts at grabbing one of the company’s digital products had failed, I was determined that the new SCD-025 would end up sitting atop the domestic Stillpoints ESS rack at some point... and that is exactly where it has been for the past several weeks. It could be thought of as the matching CD player/DAC companion to Vitus’ 25-watt 025 integrated, but the latest digital offering from the design pen of Hans Ole Vitus would grace just about any system you care to name because its message is music, pure and simple.
Although its forerunner, the SCD-010 attracted many admirers for its ‘analogue’ sound, it was typically Vitus to start the new player/DAC with a clean sheet. This was initially driven by the imperative to include a USB interface and, like many other players that have been released over the past couple of years, the SCD-025 is probably best thought of as a DAC with a CD transport built in. Fortunately for music lovers it was not possible to just drop a USB input into the platform of the SCD-010, so a completely new machine was conceived. The new model is modular in design, which of course means that any major future developments in the digital domain can be easily incorporated without having to replace the complete unit. Considering the fact that there is some real impetus and musical promise in this area at the moment, this is a very good thing indeed.
The SCD-025 is part of the Signature group of products and displays all the hallmarks of being a Vitus. Its superb, slightly over-the-top industrial build quality and design has been made enormously heavy through the use of chunky aluminium casework and a mighty UI transformer at its heart. This component is a two-man lift. With a transformer this massive and Hans Ole’s dedication to power supply design it is hardly surprising that the SCD-025 has four completely independent ones. The drive and the digital audio section get one each and there is a further pair for the analogue output stage that itself has been vastly improved as it has been lifted straight from one of the more expensive preamplifiers. The transport started life as a Phillips CD Pro 2LF but has been stripped down and essentially undergone a radical transformation by being completely rebuilt from its component parts to Vitus’ specification. It sits beneath a sliding door and uses a lightweight puck to hold the disc in place.