The Trinity stereo amp and the Vitus Masterpiece Stereo MP-S201 amp.
Lately, in my local audio scene, two amplifiers stood out among other amplifiers as the talk piece. They are the above and both command a price that is beyond the reach of the common crowd. So, both amplifiers came with an admirable specification sheet that is impressive and with claims that are equally handsome.
Clash of the Titans…
It took some effort and convincing to get both owners to agreed upon this friendly event. Preparation was made and the venue was selected. The audition was primary through the following audio components:-
MSB Select Digital Audio Converter,
Vitus Signature Preamplifier SG-102,
Focal Stella Loudspeaker,
Cables: Transparent, Skogrand, Gobel, Jorma Prime, etc
The title of this event, I feel strongly upon the first tone that I heard from both amplifiers is to be as above. Yes, both amplifiers are Titan in their respective right! Both commanded a hefty price and deliver accordingly.
We started with the Vitus Masterpiece Stereo MP-S201 amplifier (hereinafter referred to as Vitus amp) and played Nnenna Freelon “Live” album with the track “The Tears of a Clown”. The start of this track came with a bountiful bass that requires a ton of power to control. The Vitus amp shine in this regard and have that bass under tight control. It manages that low so well that the bass turned out to be a tune to follow. I have heard that any other lower amplifiers would have mess out the entire presentation. Some even turned it to the level of unlistenable. The Trinity stereo amplifier (hereinafter referred to as Trinity amp) present the same track very differently, in a way, it lowered the gain of the low low bass to a point that it’s existence does not carry any weight in the presentation. I believe that this allow the Trinity amp to bring out the vocalist’s palpability and density, thus a higher level of presence to the presentation. Here, Ms. Freelon carries a certain weight that is higher than the accompanying musicians and the audience. This presentation has the spot light shinning on the vocalist or the star of the show. The Vitus amp carried the presentation a whole lot different by giving it a natural balance to all that are recorded. Here, each performer and the audience enjoy their respective proportion of weight that, to me, made the recorded ‘live’ event actually come to its value. I have heard this same track through a number of good to great amplifiers that money can buy and I can attest they all tried to present the same ‘live’ value. In a way, the Trinity amp present the ‘live’ recording as if a recorded ‘studio'(wise). I know that there are those who preferred the intimacy of a ‘studio’ recording with details more easily identifiable.
Next, we have our heavily played album and track, Kit Chan’s rendition of the title song of the Cantonese series “Triumph in the Sky” that started off with the piano. The Vitus amp presented each piano note vividly with a convincing tonal balance that is clean till the low. The Trinity amp floated the piano note cleanly and clearly, but I noticed the disappearance of the lower registry thus the ‘floated’ piano note. There are many believe that piano notes are presented “floated”. I beg to differ, with proper recording, the piano note is actually anchored with a certain low. As this is a studio recording, the intimacy of the vocalist is expected. Both amplifiers presented Ms. Chan’s voice convincingly but differently. Trinity amp floated her voice nicely with a touch of additional emotion that is seductive and sexy. The Vitus amp commanded Ms.Chan’s presence into the room with weight to her breath and made you feel the venue of the recording session, as it is shared by the other recorded musicians.
One of the audience in the session requested to play James Newton Howard and Friends’ (Sheffield Lab) “Slipping Away”. Here, the Trinity amp presented that track with a tempo and rhythm that excited the listeners. The presentation is also tonally clean enough that tempo can easily be followed. As for the Vitus amp, the presentation is equally clean all the way to the lower region but not at the tempo of the Trinity amp. Next, we played Neptune’s TakeDake (Denon) album with the track, “Japanese Roots” where we noticed that the lack of the lower registry that was presented through the Trinity amp affected the believability of the instruments presented. I believe that the faster tempo gained from the Trinity amp also affected the believability of the instruments presented.
The Trinity amp does present a believable soundstage that can easily satisfy even the seasoned audiophile. Driving the Focal Stella loudspeaker within an audio room of around 500 square feet does pose a challenge to any good amplifier. Here, the Trinity amp is comfortable with the load below the volume of 95dB peak. Above that peak, the soundstage and all other areas of the presentation are affected. On the other side, Vitus amp is a true Titan in this area that the load is comfortably handled all the way to 105dB peak. At this volume, the listeners present felt the loudness but I detected no distortion and the soundstage was properly presented and maintained.
David against Goliath…
This connotation is befitting to the sizes of both amplifiers. I can appreciate the appeals of the presentation gained from the Trinity amp and the prowess of the Vitus amp. Those committed and with deep pocket audiophiles seeking amplifiers at these price point and level of performance can try to seek an audition for them. The ending of the famed and well known story of “David against Goliath” rest in the judgement of the potential…enjoy