When buying a luxury product, longevity isn’t the sexiest of traits but it’s arguably among the most vital. Think about it. A fine timepiece has value that lasts far beyond the time you’ll have it in your collection and something like an Eames chair is eternal when it comes to design. All too often however, that’s not the case with audio. Sure, you can spend a huge amount of money on tech but, all too often, obsolescence is built in, even when it comes to audio. Which is precisely why Vitus Audio should be on your radar.
Their products, high-end as they are, are built to last, the kind of sound-system that won’t need to be upgraded every 12 months but will continue offering impeccable quality throughout their extraordinarily long lifespan. The secret to that isn’t some new tech or crazy design ethos. It’s simply that for Vitus – and the company’s eponymous founder, industry veteran Hans-Ole – it’s all about the music, and music doesn’t age.
As Has-Ole says, “I come from a musical background, and hence my approach has always been with focus on the music, not the equipment/products. Our products are designed from a physical appearance point of view to be as invisible as possible, regardless of size. This resulted in the very industrial and anonymous appearance and multiple colour options to fit most room decors.”
Industrial is right; this isn’t the kind of equipment you could (or would want to) hide. Massive, monolithic and intensely machined, there’s something beautifully utilitarian about the various pieces. They’re a visual statement for sure, but they’re also one that matches those looks with phenomenal sound. And that sound?
“The simplest way to explain it,” says Hans-Ole, “is the best from tubes (liquid, fluent and seductive – sometimes even a bit “romantic” sound) combined with solid states firm grip, attach and resolution. One reviewed put a perfect analogy on it – an iron fist with a velvet glove!”
For the uninitiated into the admittedly esoteric world of high-end audio, solid state amps are the more efficient, durable type of equipment, generally crisper and more ‘accurate’. Vacuum tube amps on the other hand are the real retro deal, sounding warmer, smoother and textured with more even harmonics. They both have their plus points, which Vitus make ample use of across the board.
“Combining the two was always my goal,” explains Hans-Ole, “and from the market response since 1995, I’ve succeeded on some level. The usage of bipolar transistors in an atypical topology (never disclosed patent material I kept to myself) very high bandwidth, zero global feedback and custom components where possible helps achieving this.”
I’m sure for some of you reading, it all seems like a bit much. What’s the point of investing in an audio system when your all-in-one wireless system does the job well enough? Well, given you’re an Oracle Time reader, the answer is fairly simple. Vitus is the equivalent of an haute horological mechanical movement, their tech advanced by subtle tweaking and enhancement but built on the enduring fundamentals of high end audio. But that raises its own question: what, exactly, happened when quartz came out?
Yes, many a watchmaker died out and shuttered forever, but these days watches are everywhere. Not battery powered pieces but serious, mechanical pieces, tech that while on the surface archaic is still being perfected by skills obsessives at all levels. Consider Vitus Audio, then, one of the new wave of independent haute horologists in the field of audio technology.
“Today streaming is the “main thing”, says Hans-Ole, “and larger audio systems in the main living space seems to be a no-no in most homes; small wireless speakers using phones or tablets as the source, is the norm. So, one could argue that our industry (specifically high end) is dying, and many in the industry have this view. I do not. When one looks a bit further, today music is everywhere, everyone listens to music way more often than “back in the glory days of hi-fi.” What is missing from the industry in general, is exposure to quality. No one questions the difference between cheap and really expensive monitors or projectors, the differences are obvious. In audio it’s just a case of trying it out for yourself and audibly feeling it.”
To find out more – and to try out their unique sound qualities for yourself – visit Vitus Audio.