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Listening Sessions with the Vitus/Magico S7 Amplifier/Speaker Combination

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  • Listening Sessions with the Vitus/Magico S7 Amplifier/Speaker Combination

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    A month or two ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Bob Visintainer's store Rhapsody Music and Cinema located in Chelsea area of lower Manhattan and having an opportunity to audition Magico's newest and hottest S7 speakers being driven either by Vitus electronics or the Kondo Kagara monoblock amplifiers and the Absolare preamplifier (see here for further information: ) Lately, Bob had recently been very excited about and wanted me to hear the the big Vitus SM102 monoblock amplifiers that put out 100 wpc in either Class A or Class A/B (110 wpc) mode into 8 ohms. Far be it from me to turn down an afternoon listening session, so I managed to wrangle some time this afternoon to visit Bob's salon and get a couple of hours of listening in to the Vitus amplifiers combined with the Vitus SL102 linestage, Berkeley DAC, Aurender server and EnKlein cables (the rest of the system, aside from the amplifiers was identical to what I previously reported on). [I apologize for the stock photos but for some reason my photos keep saying corrupted when trying to upload]

    So how did it sound? Well I will get more into the sound tomorrow but let me say that the system sounded simply effortless with deep and extremely well controlled bass. And yes, I still think there's more to that combo when Bob gets his phono section (he's one step closer though this time with having an arm and cartridge mounted on the Kondo turntable!) Click image for larger version

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    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    First, it’s clear that the system’s strengths eg. resolution and neutrality perhaps also proves its Achilles heel. Paired with the rest of the system, the Vitus electronics bring out the best in great recordings and at the same time reveal the flaws in other sources. Or as Paul Stubblebine said in an interview to me several years ago, “there are recordings never stop giving one rewards as the playback system improves. That's unlike other recordings that have a ceiling and then begin to show issues in the recording." Clearly that is what is happening here and the Vitus doesn’t sugar coat the recordings. On great recordings like Dean Martin’s Dream with Dean or The Doors LA Woman, the system came to life. There was that sense of a real body in the room with you; none of the paper thin images. Overall, it seemed analog sourced masters fared better than digitally recorded music through the system. That’s of course with the caveat all things being equal and they probably weren't with more care arguably put into the recording of the older than newer releases.

    This also reinforces the fact that listening to unfamiliar music at audio shows is a sure fire formula for reaching erroneous conclusions. If I had walked away after listening to one or two cuts, I would have left with a totally different impression of the system than what was actually the truth.

    When all the votes are in and counted, however, there’s simply no question that the most impressive aspect was the system’s absolute effortlessness. Nothing but nothing fazed the system: Large scale. Small scale. Rock. Jazz. Classical. Absolutely nothing upset the apple cart including such blockbusters as Reference Recordings’ Arnold Overtures or Scheherazade releases.

    Another great quality of this system--or just any good system for that matter--was the speaker’s ability to vanish into the background. While the S7s are far from some the size of some monoliths out there audioland today, the Magicos went into stealth mode leaving the whole music, nothing but the music behind. In fact, long time audiophile and forum member Marty Waxman dropped by the house last weekend and also commented upon how in my system the Magico S5s just simply disappeared and allowed him to concentrate on the recording. That elusive ability to immerse the listener in the music. No question that is one of the qualities that defines the better audio systems today.

    Characterwise, the overall tenor of the system was slightly slanted toward the excellent bottom end. The Vitus amplifiers possess that Class A warmth and fullness in the lower regions of the musical spectrum while at the same time maintaining great control of the speakers. Rhythms down low aren’t blurred and beats are precisely rendered. Up top, the system was touch soft and left me yearning at times for a smidge more openness and space. But we're really nitpicking here. Switching from Class A to A/B opened the amplifier up a little bit but showed why the A/B mode was intended for background listening. Gone was the silky smooth, grain free texture of the Class A mode.

    Finally, I’d be lying if the thought that I’d like to hear the system with a higher resolution source, be it digital or analog, didn’t cross my mind. And not just once or twice. Once again, here’s a clear cut demonstration that the source and source material often makes or breaks the audio system. Indeed, my visit has prompted Bob to get that analog front-end and running and once the phono section arrives and the Kondo table is set up, that answer can be answered once and for all.

    Thanks again to Bob for being the best host and making his listening salon available for as long as I wanted to listen!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh man, I shouldn't have read this thread...


      Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

      Comment


      • #4
        Very interesting Myles! I had only a brief time with the S7's at RMAF in the Nordost room. They were magnificent there.
        VPI Prime Signature with Ortofon Cadenza Bronze, Simaudio Moon 610LP Phono Pre, PS Audio: DirectStream Memory Player, Directstream DSD DAC, BHK Pre, BHK 300 Mono's, Vandersteen Quatro CT's, Roon, AudioQuest Niagara 5000, Thunder Power cables, CastleRock speaker cables, MacKenzie interconnects and Diamond USB.

        Comment


        • #5
          Great read. Which Berkeley DAC was that?
          Analog: VPI Aries 3, custom suspension/Magnetically stabilized JMW 10.5i/Ortofon A90/Modded & shielded Pass XP-25 Digital: Spectral 3000SL/Heavily modded Alpha DAC & Yggy2 Amplification: Spectral DMC-30SV/DMA-500AR Speakers: Heavily modded MartinLogan (custom Mundorf xover, cabling, woofers; structural mods)/Modded REL Cabling: Shielded MIT Oracle 50ic,MA-X/Oracle 90.1 Power: MIT Z-Strips, Magnum Z-Traps; Shunyata Black Mamba CX HC cords, Typhon

          Comment


          • Rhapsody
            Rhapsody commented
            Editing a comment
            It was the Berkeley, Ref Dac with the Alpha USB adapter coming from the usb output of the Aurender N10 and then connected with an Enklein AES/EBU cable into the Ref Dac from the Alpha usb. I listen to Tidal through the Aurender pretty much 100% of the time. My experience is more about connecting with the music and Tidal has changed my listening experience over the last year. Bob

        • #6
          Myles, I'm curious to know if you felt the 7s were adequately powered in class A at only 100W per channel?
          TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

          Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

          VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
          Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

          Piega C711 Loudspeakers

          Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

          Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

          Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

          Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post
            Myles, I'm curious to know if you felt the 7s were adequately powered in class A at only 100W per channel?
            Yes. Remember the new Mk. 2s and the S7 are the easiest Magicos yet to drive. Interestingly the S5 and S7 have the same efficiency rating but side by side with the same amplifier, the S7s sounded louder than the S5.

            Plus remember the Magicos are 4 ohm speakers so the Vitus is putting out 2X the power. The Audia Flight is also rated at 200 wpc and had no issues with my S5. The Vitus were cruising along in Bob's relatively large room; in my smaller room, power shouldn't be an issue. And tomorrow, I will have 50 wpc single-ended taken to the extreme powering the S5 Mk. 1.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by ack View Post
              Great read. Which Berkeley DAC was that?
              See post #2 Tasos!

              http://www.audionirvana.org/forum/ti...or-a-rainy-day
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by longbowbbs View Post
                Very interesting Myles! I had only a brief time with the S7's at RMAF in the Nordost room. They were magnificent there.
                Well Ian/MadFloyd has the speaker that started the "revolution" at Magico. The M-Project. New technology from the M-Project filtered down into the rest of the S-series line as well as Magico's best speaker, the Q7.
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment

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