Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


SoundStage! began publishing in 1995, which makes us quite young compared to many of the brands we cover. For example, PSB and NAD recently celebrated their 50th anniversaries. KEF was founded in 1961, so it’s over a decade older than those two brands. Klipsch was founded in 1946, and Luxman was founded in 1925!

But there are many brands younger than SoundStage! is, and one of them is Vitus Audio. The company was founded in 2004 by Hans-Ole Vitus. But his preliminary design work had started in 1995—the same year SoundStage! was founded. This means I’ve been able to watch this brand grow from the start. Hans-Ole Vitus started coming to the High End show in the mid-2000s. Back then, he was a young engineer, fresh out of a short career at Texas Instruments, looking to make his mark with large, well-built amplifiers featuring pure-class-A operation.

Alexander, Hans-Ole, LukasAlexander Vitus Mogensen, Hans-Ole Vitus, and Lukas Birk Eriksen

We took notice of Vitus Audio right away, because the products were impressive and because of Hans-Ole’s unusual approach to growing his company. Rather than rushing out new products, which too many companies do, he seemed to spend more time making sure his products met his high standards for quality and performance. As a result, Vitus Audio wouldn’t always arrive at High End with something new. This limited how we could cover the brand—at shows, we focus almost exclusively on new products. But we always respected Vitus’s strategy.

Even though the company didn’t always have something new to show, I learned that there was often something new happening at Vitus Audio’s factory in Herning, Denmark. For many years, the company has been investing heavily in manufacturing equipment so they can bring as many processes as possible in-house, mostly to improve quality control. This isn’t outwardly visible to the consumer, but it certainly has an effect on the company’s products.

I visited Vitus Audio for the first time last November. At the time, the company had a dozen or so employees. Vitus isn’t a big company, and its headcount hasn’t changed much since then. Still, I was surprised by the size of the factory—it was about twice as large as I’d expected. They need that space to accommodate all the machines they have for circuit-board fabrication. Metal machining and finishing is outsourced to experienced, capable local firms that know Vitus Audio’s requirements exactly. But Vitus is doing its own laser engraving. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of the metal-parts production brought in-house, because the company likes to have as much control as possible over its processes. Whereas many audio brands are more like assemblers than manufacturers, Vitus Audio is an example of what a real manufacturer should be.

A profound change occurred two years ago, when Hans-Ole stepped down as CEO and sold the company to his son, Alexander Vitus Mogensen, and Lukas Birk Eriksen, who was already an employee. Alexander and Lukas run Vitus Audio as part of AVA Group, which also includes the Alluxity brand, which Alexander started about a decade ago. Britta Mogensen, Hans-Ole’s wife, helps to manage AVA Group as well. But Hans-Ole isn’t out of the picture—he set up shop next to the main factory to do what he does best and likes to do most: research and design.

Phono stage

These changes have paid off for Vitus Audio, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The company announced two new products at High End 2024: a new internal phono module for the SIA-030 integrated amplifier and a new mono amplifier, the SM-025, which will replace the SM-011 in Vitus Audio’s Signature series.

According to the media release announcing the two products, Vitus Audio “wanted to make it as full-fledged a phono stage as possible with the very limited space. The result is a phono stage which has the usual features as multiple impedance and gain selections, choice between MC and MM cartridges and 2x RCA inputs.” Since there’s no casework for the phono stage, it’s pretty much a slam-dunk that it’s manufactured entirely in Vitus Audio’s facility.


I tried to get Alexander and Lukas to provide basic specifications for the SM-025 amplifier, but they wouldn’t oblige. Like the phono stage, the monoblock amp is in the late production-prototype stage, and they would not say anything more until the final design has been nailed down. The only thing I know for certain is that it’s a class-A design—like all Vitus Audio amplifiers. They didn’t have pricing for the amp or the phono stage yet.

But Alexander and Lukas happily popped the top off the prototype SM-025 to show me its guts. While the SM-025 is loosely based on a previous model, it’s almost entirely a ground-up design, courtesy of Hans-Ole, and will establish Vitus Audio’s design direction for the next 20 years.


Toward the end of my visit, Alexander and Lukas told me that they’re expanding the facility again to accommodate even more machinery, so we’re already planning our next visit to Herning. When that happens, we’re likely to see these two components in production. Then we’ll be able to tell you more about them and show you exactly how they’re being made.

Doug Schneider
Founder, SoundStage!