Estelon and Vitus Audio Lead the Way with a Million Dollar System

Photo by Michael Trei

There's nothing quite like starting off the show with a million dollar system. Holding court in the huge Schaumburg D partition of the Convention Center, the imposing Estelon Extreme Mk II bi-amped loudspeakers ($269,000/pair) received their juice from two Vitus Audio MP-S201 Mk I stereo amplifiers ($230,000/total) via Crystal Cable Art Series cabling ($330,000). But they were just the start of a system where each amplifier required three power cables, put out up to 500W/pc into 8 ohms and 1000W into 4, and weighed more than I can type without getting back spasms. (Okay: Each weighs 125kg. I don't dare convert that to lb.)

Thank goodness, the system sounded like its price tag. Diana Krall sounded breathtakingly naked and intimate on her Live in Paris album. One of the fabled choral recordings on the Proprius label—happy to say, we did not begin the show with the Danish version of "O Holy Night"—demonstrated how beautifully this system could convey the space of a large church in all its glory.

When I asked Aldo Filippelli of Las Vegas-based Elite Marketing Dynamics, the exclusive sales representative agent for both Estelon and Vitus Audio for The Americas, if he had anything a bit more lively to offer, he confessed that he chills to hard-hitting electronica. Out came Hot Since 82's "Make Up," which descended to a solid 18Hz; a 24/96 cut of Bob Moses's "Like it or Not" with equally hard-hitting mid-bass in the 60–80Hz region; and Maceo Plex's "5th Dimensional Groove." I was hooked. Somewhere in there came a DSD64 file of Santana's classic version of Fleetwood Mac's "Black Magic Woman." Image size was superb, drums were ideally tight, and voice was more realistically portrayed in space than any time I've heard the song on multiple occasions.

Also in the system: Vitus Audio MP-L201 Mk II stereo preamplifier ($70,000), MP-D201 Mk III DAC ($40,000), and SP-103 Mk II phono stage ($45,000); Innuos Statement Next Gen Music Server ($21,700); Acoustic Signature Ascona NEO turntable with tonearm, cartridge, etc ($79,985); Stromtank S-2500 Quantum MkII ($28,250) and S-1000 ($16,000) battery power source and conditioner; HRS SXR-1921-3v racks (2), R3X-1921 bases (6), and E1X-2127-2 bases (2) ($33,000); ART 6XS electromagnetic treatments (2) ($9000), and ASC IsoThermal Tube Traps (10) ($7290). That adds up to $1,179,225.00. Don't forget to add the sales tax and the cost of gift wrapping.

Shown in dark passive display on one side of the huge room: Vitus RI-101 Mk.II integrated amplifier ($20,000). You'll be hearing more about this baby in the months ahead.

Shown in the photo above (L–R): Alexander Vitus Morgensen; Alfred Vassilkov, designer Estelon; Aldo Filippelli, US distributor, Estelon; Gabi Rijnveld, Crystal Cable; Lukas B Eriksen, Vitus Audio; Illias Koutromanos, Estelon.

bhkat's picture

Heard a youtube vid with this system playing. Despite the youtube compression, it sounded awesome on headphones.

Nirodha352's picture

It even sounds great through the IPad speakers. Thís, ladies and gentlemen, is REAL highend: top stuff presented by people who know what they are doing.

dworkman's picture

$330,000 worth of cables! More than any other component. I have a $30K system which I’m very happy with. And I do believe that cables make a difference. But $330K! I wonder what would happen if you took this system and just switched out the cables for some high-end Audioquest or something more reasonable….?

Nirodha352's picture

You would lose a lot of sound quality but you are still right: $ 330k of cables is hard to justify even for cables that look like jewelry. But hey, if one can afford them, go for it. Gabi knows what she is doing.

ejlif's picture

someone should make 1 million dollar cables! There is definitely someone out there who would buy them. I was gasping at 20K speaker cables now that is just kind of middle of the road.