Our customers are our most precious reviewers. We cherish your feedback. Here are some comments that you've permitted us to post. THANK YOU!!!
AUDIOGON video exclusive!!!
Arnie and his team did an amazing interview of Michael at T.H.E. SHOW. To learn more about our Virtue amplifiers, you just gotta watch this video.
Audio Press Reviews
Bill Schuchard gives the Virtue Nirvana cables Maximum Mojo!
"The Virtue Audio Nirvana speaker cable should be on everybody's audition list, regardless of budget. They sound that good and are my new reference speaker cable to beat. They're a great deal for those on a budget but might just surprise those would can afford far more. I'll be recommending these to friends and family for the foreseeable future. This is Maximum Mojo in spades. They're also pretty to look at or at least easy to ignore.
Read the full review here!
The Virtue Audio interconnects are also a great deal, besting the Audioquest Diamondbacks and trouncing the Bluejeans cables I have in house. Whether one might choose the Nordost Blue Heaven is still up for debate depending on system synergy. They operate at a similar level with the Virtue costing less than half as much. Will the Nirvana interconnects beat a set of $500 MIT cables? No, they won't but at $64 for a meter set, one could wire an entire system for far less than one set of MIT cables. Food for thought. I'm now using the Virtue Audio Nirvana interconnects as my reference as justifying a $500 cable to my wife is a fool's errand.
How about that old Speed Freak digital coax? These are a no-brainer over the Bluejeans cable I was using before. They won't match the far more expensive MIT digital interconnect but it comes down to price. Some may shell out some serious change for the MIT for that slight uptick. I know I will at some point The difference was very subtle unless I upclocked the transport from 44.1 to 88.2Khz. At $39, this cable is simply amazing."
Jim Kaplan from Record Collector News reviews the TWO.2 for the November 2010 issue!
"I have always thought that the amp was the least important part of the line-up. Not anymore. As soon as the music started emanating from the speakers I HAD MY FACE MELTED OFF BY ROCK AND ROLL. And by that I mean that within seconds of listening to the Virtue TWO.2 I was blown away by the size of the soundstate... There was a band giving a private performance in my living room.... After weeks of being immersed in the Virtue Audio TWO.2, it seemed to "break in" and the sound became even smoother... The bass is now the tightest I have ever heard in my living room. The lows don't just boom, but they are well defined and separate...
Lordy Mama, this amp really rocks! The more I listen, the more I realize these crazy hi-fi nerds are on to something." Read the full review here!
Piano M1 makes it into Tone Pub's Budget gear for October 2010!!!
"As my GamuT S-9 reference speakers are only down 3db at 18Hz, I was immediately struck by the weight and bass control possessed by this little player; this is definitely the Piano M1's strongest suit....The highs are just slightly rolled off with transients slightly muffled, which probably accounts for so many people on the web talking about the "tubelike" quality of this player. The PrimaLuna ProLogue 8 has more midrange magic and smoother highs than the Virtue, but nowhere near the bass slam, and it costs $2,500....The comparison got a lot more interesting when I compared CD playback to the $500 OPPO BDP-83 that is one of the current media darlings. In short, I felt the Piano M1 exceeded it in every way: more dynamics, cleaner midrange and that bass control again. If you just want to play redbook CD's, forget about the OPPO; M1 is the droid you want. Advantage: Virtue."
"We are happy to award Virtue Audio one of our Exceptional Value Awards for 2010."
Please read the award coverage here (starting on Page 117).
November 2010 / The Stereo Mojo team award us BEST VALUE SOLID STATE INTEGRATED!
"It's hard to beat an 87 wpc stereo integrated amp for $799.
We're talking real high end here with the Tripath chip driven amp. You can add better power supplies to improve the sound and even add a Gary Dodd tube buffer to really bump it up. Up to you. Combine that with the ability to customize the colors, style and the exotic wood top and you have a very personalized amp like no one else. It sounded almost as good at the show as it does here at Stereomojo." There's utter pandemonium here.
Please read the award coverage here.
November 2010 / Ron Nagle from Enjoy the Music reviews the Dodd Buffer M451!
The Dodd Audio, Virtue Audio Sensation M 451 is an advance in digital design that finally bridges the gap that existed between digital and tube and solid-state amplifiers. It seems evident to me that no matter what type of music you enjoy be it classical, jazz, or rock you now have options at your fingertips."
Please read the full review here.
September 2010 / John Darko with Digital Audio Review (Australia) reviews the Sensation M901
"Allow me me to be the first to pop that comparative bubble right from the off: when they both took turns at pushing signals to a pair of 93db Omega Super 6 ($2611), the Sensation M901 left the ONE.2 for dust. More punch, resolution and dynamics. A night and day difference. Both share the same Virtue "house" sound, but the ONE.2 sounded like over-diluted concentrate next to the Sensation's vitamin-rich freshly-squeezed."
Please read the full review here.
August 2010 / Sean Fowler with Sonic Flare dishes on the Virtue Nirvana cables
"This is (kind of) what the Nirvana’s are. I say kind-of, because the Nirvana’s, like all products, still retain a distinct sonic signature. If I had to pin them down to a particular tonal palette, I would classify them under the “warm” designation. The good news is that most people find warmth, particularly when applied across the midrange and upper mid-bass range, to be pleasing. The better news is that the Nirvana manages to maintain this coloration without seriously compromising the rest of its performance. The top end is still reasonably extended and detailed. The imaging is still wide and precise. The bass isn’t slow, nor is the midrange under damped. What you get is a good all around cable that truly fits the “jack of all trades” cliché."
Please read the full review here.
August 2010 / John Darko with Digital Audio Review (Australia) reviews the Virtue ONE.2 with the 30v/130w supply
"The ONE.2 is a more creative amplifier choice for those who have grown tired/bored of the NAD/Rotel/Marantz full-width box aesthetic - and their respective house sounds - and are seeking something more esoteric. Whilst not without its flaws in the traditional lounge room environment, the Virtue ONE.2 could be what many are looking for when putting together a second system together for a study or office. If you own single-driver loudspeakers, you are implored to audition this amplifier at your earliest opportunity. Its sound won't annoy and it looks gorgeous. A high-fidelity audio experience with one eye on looks and one on sound quality, all for chump change - well done Seth. Recommended."
Please read the full review here.
July 2010 / Bob Levi of Positive Feedback reviews the Virtue TWO.2 with the Dodd Audio battery kit
Bob tells me that he has $9,000 worth of cables strapped onto the TWO.2 and he can't stop his toe from tapping. Bob is a legend in this industry and in broadcasting.
"I hesitate to continue to wax poetic about a $598 integrated amp [including the excellent Dodd battery pack.] How will anyone take me seriously after this? I guess I'll just have to risk it. You folks who have been looking for a wham bam super deal in high value amplification, here it is! It's available factory direct from Virtue Audio and it's called the TWO.2."
Please read the full review here.
July 2010 / Dean Seislove of Positive Feedback does the Sensation M901 justice!
Dean can write!
"I played Peter Gabriel's world beat-influenced "The Rhythm of the Heat." I was curious as to how well the Sensation would keep up with the song's suspenseful build up and climatic explosion of Ghanian drums, Surdo drums, and Linn drum machine. Depending on the system, by the time the song ends, you're either enveloped in the primal mystery of rhythm, or you're shouting "shut that f-ing noise off!" The percussion on this track is fast, dynamic, and loud, and it's easy for an amp to stumble and fall behind. The Boxers aren't really designed to awaken the forest spirits, but the Sensation's timing and control of the rhythm certainly elevated me out of my chair (perhaps an even more amazing accomplishment). I wasn't quite stripped down to body paint and a chikunga tribal mask, but the rhythm did inspire a creditable surfer stomp, of sorts."
Please read the full review here.
June 2010 / Nick Whetstone of TNT-Audio gets down to business with the Piano M1
Nick tells it straight. Please read his review here:
"Bass in particular was very 'full' and this resulted in piano notes sounding like a real piano instead of a toy one. Bass notes on piano and strings were clearly portrayed so that I could hear each note. Vocals also sounded very life-like with plenty of 'body'. The top end was clear but un-fatiguing. Percussion also sounded very impressive due to that solidity and robustness of the presentation. The mid-range was clear and slightly forward. So the music, when it warranted it, was exciting and involving."
May 2010/ Lorin Elias gets under the hood of ICEBlock, the cover girl!
Lorin Elias really nailed his review for AffordableAudio this month - he "get's it!".
"The 'clinical' sound I had reacted against in the past was nearly gone – the fleshy midrange that was missing before was back! And what were the costs? Bass control? Tonal accuracy? Treble extension? Those tests required different music. Techno torture tracks, like Avratz from 'Infected Mushroom' would reveal all! Bass control? Outstanding! Treble extension? Outstanding! Perhaps even more surprising was the apparent lack of downside. The tubes contributed some midrange warmth, but did not seem to loosen the bass, truncate the treble, or even add noise across the spectrum." You can read the full review here.
April 2010/ Nick Whetstone gets his hands on a ONE.2
Please check out Nick's reviews of our beloved ONE.2 with high-current supplies made by his country-man, Paul Hynes: Virtue Audio ONE.2 class-T integrated amplifier.
February 2010/ Nick Whetstone reviews the Virtue ONE with the Paul Hynes PR3 supply
Read about what these amps can do with even more juice.
February 2010/ Piano wins StereoMojo Budget CD Player of the Year!
We're vaklempt. Our little Piano has been discovered!. The Virtue ONE is no longer lonely on StereoMojo's list of best products of the year for 2009. Check it out!
December 2009/ Virtue TWO wins Positive Feedback's prestigious Brutus Award
There are no more critical listeners than those at Positive Feedback. To have won a slot on this list of luminous Brutus Award winners is am amazing honor. Dave, thank you so much, we are humbled, honored, and greatful. Click here to prove that we didn't make this up!
October 2009/ Virtue ONE wins StereoMojo Budget Amplifier of the Year!
In a competitive field, John Richardson crowns the Virtue ONE! Read all about it!
"Big things really do come in small packages", said our Dr. John Richardson of this $299 wonder - another Stereomojo World's First Review. "The Virtue Audio One is a great little integrated amp that would more than do justice to a high quality stereo system. While the One is certainly small in size, it would work in any sized systemAs long as you can live with a single pair of inputs and no remote, just be sure to match it up with reasonably efficient speakers and keep the volume at a humane level. Keep in mind, however, that you can tailor the amp to some degree to a particular speaker or application by choosing the most appropriate power supply - there are three of them. No matter which way you choose to go, be prepared to be drawn in to the music and have some fun… An amazing audio bargain!"
June 2009/ David Kan at 6Moons provides the most in-depth expose yet! David's article describes the evolution of the Virtue ONE and TWO amplifiers and the roles of our engineering consultants, Roger Sheker and Michael Mardis in their development. This is a well-written, interview-style review and will help you appreciate your Virtue ONE/TWO amplifier, even more! Read this piece here.
March 2009/ 6Moons has had our amps for a while now and they seem to have made quite an impression. Reviewer David Kan had recommend our amps to Daniel Lee of Mark & Daniel whith whom we exhibited at the T.H.E. SHOW. He loved the amp because it will handle 2 ohms dips and when vertically bi-amped, the TWO will deliver over 100 wpc with the 130w supply. Actually, David horizontally tri-amped for this review. The third amp is for the M&D Omni-Harmonizer.
We also conducted a shootout with two other competing budget amps. Who won? "So, was there a clear winner in my mind? Obviously, my first choice was the Virtue One. It’s a really well built and good-looking product that has the power to drive real speakers in real rooms. It could easily serve as the centerpiece in a really good budget stereo system (as it presently does in my home)".
"I conducted the last round of auditions in the diagonal room again, using one Two to drive Ruby and Topaz, two Twos to drive Sapphire and Diamond+, and three Twos to drive the Maximus-Monitor plus Omni-Harmonizer. The result was simple math. Two x 2 = (to die) 4. Two x 3 = 6(moons excellence)."
March 2009/ StereoMojo doubled-down on Virtue last week and we still haven't paid these guys a nickel. They tested the Virtue ONE against two other well-known and economical digital amplifiers: Trends and Nuforce Icon. Read here to see for yourself the new digital amp champ.
"Like the Icon, the Trends was easy on the ears but lacked the attack and dynamics of the Virtue. Again, it sounded quite fine, but just didn’t have the MOJO (sorry, just had to…) of the Virtue One, even with its stock power supply... So, was there a clear winner in my mind? Obviously, my first choice was the Virtue One. It’s a really well built and good-looking product that has the power to drive real speakers in real rooms. It could easily serve as the centerpiece in a really good budget stereo system (as it presently does in my home). "
January 2009/ StereoMojo has written something just amazing. Go read it now. John Richardson and James Darby have spoken.
Publisher's Comments - "I have had a Virtue One for several months now. In fact, I got the very first one available anywhere. I also own the same model Trends featured in this shootout. Of course, the Trends quite famously won the blind shootout of 14 different "digital" amps we did in 2007... For me, the little Virtue One is better than the Trends or the Super T. The construction and parts quality of the Virtue is superior to either of the others. That is with the standard power supply. When the optional beefier supply is added, the competition for me quickly fades."
"The Virtue ONE, because of it's extreme value, is a Stereomojo rare multi-award winner. One of our 2008 Products of the Year, a Best of Show CES 2009 as well as our Maximum Mojo Award. We might point out the Virtue is NOT an advertiser with Stereomojo. Our awards are based strictly on merit and value."
January 2009/ Positive Feedback strikes again. This time, it's the Kahuna, the man, the myth, the legend, editor Dave Clark himself. For Dave to spend as much time with our little amplifier is an incredible honor. For his recognition of the virtues of the Virtue TWO (tested with the Devilsound DAC), we are most humbled. Here's what a guy who's heard everything and is comparing us to $10,000+ amplifiers, has to say...
"See, neither piece is the least bit edgy, hard, glassy, lean, washed-out, bright, angry, out-of-balance, wobbly, wiggly, or fatiguing. Nah, they are evenly-balanced, clean, smooth, happy, refreshing, and even-handed in how they portray the music. Nothing jumps out at you, nothing is done to draw one's attention to something that is jarringly amiss… or way from something that ain't …they just play music …simple and neat."
Read Dave's rambles here
December 2008/ Writing for Positive Feedback, neoteric listener (great turn of phrase, guys!) Dean Seislove describes what it's like coming in from the big-box cold, to the warm embrace of Virtue Audio. Dean is no stranger to great sound but a friend he invites over hasn't yet wandered off the Sony/Advent plantation. I love the part where his buddy says... "Now, I see it sounded like crap before." That's what I call the "ah-ha" moment of high-end audio. Once bitten, never back. A small fortune to AudioGon and a lifetime of pleasure. Turnin' audio lovers into audiophiles is what we do and Dean, you're fantastic! This buds for you.
Read Dean's review here.
October 2008/ TNT-Audio has bravely published the first review of the Audiophile.ONE. We're so happy that Nick wasn't disappointed!
"I can't really find a weakness with the Virtue ONE... It would be totally misleading to describe the Virtue ONE as another class-T amp with more power.... coupled with a good speaker will provide true audiophile quality rather than being confined to duties on a computer desk. ""
Read Nick Whetstone's review here.
January 2009/ THE SHOW, Las VegasThank you Rick Becker with Enjoy the Music for a nice profile of our room. Despite really terribly reflective walls and boomy acoustics in our room, he says it "sounded great." Thanks, Rick!
"This thing cheats like a Stealth bomber. It is jammed with high tech and designed by Roger Sheker of Audience. Pick a color, buy two, duct tape them to the back of your speakers and wire them for vertical bi-amplifying."
Stereo Times gave us absolutely amazing coverage. We are blown away and indebted to you guys! Donald Shaulis gave a great menton in his CES 2009 show report. Don is a critical listener and he just loves the Audience LSA8s that we were running.
"The Virtue Two ($349 + $99 optional 130W power supply) is the “little engine that could”. It was quite impressive driving the elegant ClairAudient LSA 8 loudspeakers ($21,000)."
A long-time admirer of Audience technology, Clemet Perry dropped by with Dennis Parnham after stumbling on our little outpost at RMAF in October. Clement is one of the coolest guys we've ever met.
"Another exciting sounding setup came via the incredibly affordable Virtue Audio Virtue One Class-T amplifier ($349.00). Designed by Roger Sheker, of Audience fame, as a Class-T design, I still find it hard to imagine an amplifier this affordable and sonically capable and with a footprint this small. Solidly built using an aluminum chassis with a conservatively rated power of 30 watts(!) per channel, the Virtue One drove a pair of large ClairAudient line source loudspeakers with a surprisingly high sense of ease..."
"The overall performance coming from this 30-watter was surprisingly musical and of true high-end quality. This young company has bright future with its introduction of book size amplifiers."
StereoMojo's James Darby paid us a special vist. We've been in touch with James for a long time but this was the first time we met.
"This was one of the more impressive demos at the show... It's the tiny Virtue One from Virtue Audio driving those big floorstanders. "
See James's fly-by here.
October 2008/ Rocky Mountain Audio Festival, October 2008, Denver, COSpecial thanks to SOUNDSTAGE for singling us out as a "SHOWSTOPPER." What an amazing honor. See their coverage note here.
Thank you also to Enjoy the Music who profiled us so nicely.
Positive Feedback gave us a terrific mention in their RMAF 2008 show report.
"Another value leader at RMAF was the Virtue One integrated amplifier from Virtue Audio. Engineered by Roger Sheker of Audience (which explains the box of cables I just received), the small, well built unit is available in five colors and with a choice of three different power supplies. "
Thank you to Stephen Mejias at Stereophile who captured the essence of Virtue like none other in his RMAF blog.
"Newcomer Virtue Audio made its debut at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest showing a colorful collection of affordable Tripath amplifiers. The 45Wpc Audiophile One ($249) integrated amp was engineered by Audience's Roger Sheker and uses VirtuCap input capacitors designed for Virtue by Audience. Inside the chassis, you'll find the cutest little heat pipe designed to maximize space and keep things cool. On the rear panel, propeller post binding posts makes making connections easy, and the amp's aluminum chassis is available in five bold colors (black velvet, snow [a kind of frosty white], red brick, clouds [a kind of frosty blue], and mesa [a kind of mustard]). "
Steve Guttenberg, the prolific audiophiliac mentioned us twice in his blog which is syndicated by CNET among other outlets.
"The Audiophile One is a little thing, built to high-end standards, but it's comparatively inexpensive. "
Thank you also to Clement Perry of Stereo Times. Always a joy seeing you and we appreciate your profile and pretty photo of Roger.
"It's true! I not only saw but actually sat, listened and completely forgot what the asking price was or what I was looking at. Just as hard as listening is looking at something so well, little and hold much respect. Yet, the Virtue Two kept my toes tapping for the duration of my stay. Remarkable when you consider the size and cost of the amplifier. "
Our very own Roger Sheker, Design Engineer, Audience LLC/Virtue Audio gives a not unbiased but revealing review.
“Within 2 notes of playing a good piano recording, I recognized the instrument as a Bösendorfer; easily identified in real life, but rarely in recordings. The complex low-level harmonics of the steep rise and trail-off of a piano hammer strike gets lost in Class AB amps and most tubes which tend to sound ‘larger than life” and “twice as real.’ The Sensation – like it’s sibling, the Virtue -- is incredibly revealing. It soothes my soul and are not at all fatiguing.”
StereoMojo delivers Maximum Mojo and Products of the Year 2010, to Piano, Sensation, Nirvana
Photo by Nick Whetstone, TNT-Audio
Photo by Nick Whetstone, TNT-Audio
Photo by David Kan, 6moons