Join our mailing list!




You are here: Home > Reviews > Virtue ONE.2 (ONE/TWO)
"It's been a couple of weeks since I got your amps and I've been enjoying them ever since. No problems, just a great sound. Me and my buddy are joking that ONE.2 is the highest quality sound per square inch:) I'm amazed how quiet these are, I never have to turn them off when going to bed. I'm also impressed of the build quality, very solid. In my system, Gallo Nucleus Reference (original with bass balls), I've been amazed with the bass, deep and punchy."

Kos

"And I would like to take this opportunity to let you know how very satisfied I am with the one.2. My beloved EL-34 integrated amp has been collecting dust ever since the first time I turned the one.2 on."

Alain

"I wanted to write and tell you guys that this thing sounds awesome. I totally mean that, having heard some absolutely stunning systems in people's homes and at a bunch of audio shows... It's warm, but not mushy, precise, but not harsh- I have a terrible way with the proper audiophile terms, but sound like this for $369 seems almost immoral. Even the construction is outstanding- the idea of making the case out of two extrusions is about the most rugged and classy designs I have seen. I bet you can run a car over it. I am just starting to rebuild my system after a few years of simple living, so right now I have basically been running the source straight from my laptop off of Pandora.com (got to be one of the best things in the internet). It sounds great, even though I know it is a terribly compressed format. I have been playing the amp through several custom loudspeaker systems... It is absolutely stunning sound, and I absolutely cannot wait until I get my vinyl collection running. Having the ability to run 4 ohm speakers allows a huge amount more flexibility in loudspeaker design as well, which I am just beginning to explore. I wish you guys the best in this endeavor..."

Justin

"Everything is sounding great. The one thing that I have to remember about your inexpensive amps is that I CAN and SHOULD pair with higher-end speakers. I originally had the amp connected to Paradigm Atom Monitor v.6 loudspeakers. This was done because it fit into my goal of a less expensive secondary stereo system. I have now hooked the amp to my Dynaudio Audience 52 SE loudspeakers. Whoa!!! The bass was improved using the ONE.2 on the Atom Monitors, but when I hooked up the Dynaudios, I heard more Bass, more detail and all was right with the world."

Rich

"Just want to let you know I love my TWO. I have a friend who's a tube roller and he admits my amp sound every bit as nice as his tube amp. Now I'm going to put a battery power supply on it... (later) Now let me tell you how much better the Virtue Two is after I hooked the 24v battery supply to it. I had already bought an aftermarket power cord for the amp and it was a great improvment, but when I hooked up the 24v battery supply to the amp it became the giant killer that it really is. The stage grew width and depth by a substantial amount. The energy became very dynamic. The imaging was very precise and each image had it's own space with plenty of air around it. I am very pleased with the changes. It also gained weight to every note played. I'm simply amazed. I've been an audiophile for over 25 years and this amp with this power supply is better than anything I've listenend to so Far. $3500 tube amps might come close. I just want to state that I have no reason other than being a very satisfied customer that I'm wrighting this. Until you put a battery powered supply on these little amps you will never know the true potential of the amp. Thanks for such a great product at such an affordable price."

John

"I just wanted to let you know how happy I am with my Virtue One. I was looking for a small amp for playing music from my computer and the Sonic T-amp was good but not solid enough through to the bass end. This little amp fits perfectly on my desk next to my homemade speakers, looks very classy, and definitely brings more weight to the music. The details of acoustic guitar or bass, every breath of vocals, all of it comes through like my own private performance. Everything sounds just as you would expect in a live session, nothing is overly colored or held back. Thanks very much guy's for the perfect blend of size sound and price. This is exactly what I was looking for!"

Gene

"Now I use the Virtue Two for a couple of weeks in my main system and can say: I NEVER had an amp making such natural and involving music like this little guy.- And I had a lot of amps-transistors as tubes. Its the FIRST time since I'm "on Hifi" that everything sounds "right" (a little step into this direction was the "Trends TA-10", which I tried before). Seems there had been a lot of distortions and phase-problems . I use it with the Dynaudio Evidence Temptations and believe me: they never sounded better. Almost a joke, speakers for 36.000 Euro and this little amp-----.Many Congratulations to the team of Virtue and thanks for the PERFECT service . Seth, I can't wait for the Sensation and probably a new DAC from you , and I hope I will be the first to receive the Sensation in Europe!!"

Oskar

"I have been doing a lot of listening in the last week and I just had a mind-bending experience! I was listening to Heather Heywood's By Yon Castle Wa and she was in the room in all dimensions. I have listened to this CD more times than I can recall and never had this experience before! Wow!! Naturally, not every recording can produce this effect, but my music has never sounded better. I should also add that I am VERY pleased with the build quality as well."

Walter

"Your beauty is really what you state: 'the sensory experience of the high-end audio to the masses'. With gratitude."

P.

“This thing is built like a Swiss tank!"

Matt

"I'm a musician and live sound engineer, and thus money is a constant issue for me. I did some research, trying to find a good, inexpensive integrated amp, and came across your product line when I started looking for a T-class amp with a sub-out. The amp arrived yesterday, by the way, and while it sounded somewhat harsh for the first twenty minutes or so, by the end of a few hours' listening, most of that harshness left, and a beautiful, expansive and incredibly detailed sound remained. Many, many thanks to everyone at Virtue for making this amp."

Carl

"The amps I have had in this system before the Virtue 2 were the Music Reference RM-10 (sounded drier and had less bass), a WAVAC MD-300B (artificially sweet and not enough power) and a McIntosh 275 reissue (dry-sounding, artificially exaggerated soundstage). I have owned more than a dozen different amps in the past 10 years, including Krell, BEL, Naim, Music Reference, Tron, Lectron, Brocksieper, Fisher, Scott, Marantz, VAC, and Art Audio. The Virtue 2's virtues are correct timbre and tonal balance, solid bass, and detail without dryness, harshness, or grain. It's unique for me to discover all these attributes in any solid-state amp, especially one that is so compact and affordable. The tube amp that sounds closest in sound quality to the Virtue 2 is my rebuilt Scott 208, a vintage push-pull amp from 1964 based on the 7591 tube. Here it is almost a tie, but the Virtue 2 is slightly clearer and more neutral. The Scott is about 10% more "tube" sounding, ie there is a slight softening of the sound that is more forgiving of the faults of harsh or bright -sounding recordings, making more of them enjoyable. The Virtue2 is ruthlessly neutral, and perhaps a bit truer to the source. Sometimes you want vanilla and sometimes you want chocolate; therefore I am also keeping the Scott."

Gene

"Listening to the Icon vs the Virtue was interesting... The Virtue One is quieter, more extended in the highs, deeper in the bass, and has a slightly fuller midrange. It also has much more headroom and can play at much higher volumes... Since I do speaker design I was able to throw some rather funky impedance curves at the 2 amps. The Icon could sound powerful if the load was easy. It gave up quickly if the impedance was anything but benign. The Virtue One acted powerful and effortless to loud enough volumes, even on the crazier impedance loads, that my ears gave in to the loud SPL's before the Virtue One did. There was no contest... One other thing that I think was rather remarkable was that the tonal balance of the One stayed in character no matter the volume. I am not trying to paint it as a 'super amp', but a number of it's strengths are usually only found at significantly higher prices --- usually over the $1000 mark."

Tim

"I wanted to share with you my listening impressions after a few weeks living with the Virtue Audio Model One. It is plugged on a pair of small French speakers that use a wide bandwith single driver and an ipod project dock box as a source. The result is simply astonishing; the system is extremely transparent, with details and most of all a soul. A soul in the sense that the music sings and doesn’t just play, it conveys a wide range of emotion. No need to say the result goes way beyond my expecations, my main system is the exact opposite, 2 meters high speakers from Apogee, with 4 massive mono amps from Krell, for a system that weighs around 1 ton. Yet I don't feel any kind of frustration while listening to my mini room system, the whole message is there and emotion is really astonishing. In some ways you've managed with a Class T amplifier to reach what I thought was only reserved to Class A amps, emotion, feeling and a simple happiness when listening to some music. I am sure your products will reach the success they deserve, that amp is truly amazing, not only for the size or for the price, but mostly for the amp itself. I'm impressed, happy and seduced, thanks a lot for your great contribution to the audio world."

David

"I got the 130w supply, and it's great. All in all the amp + psu is simply extraordinary high quality in all aspects. It sound like a cliché but it has changed the way I perceive music, or to be more precise; now I listen to music. On the contrary to your mission statement, I think you make Audiophiles audio lovers - not only audio lovers Audiophiles... At least that's what happened to me, and that's a even bigger achievement!"

Lars

"It's near two weeks since i receive my virtue two and i think i can now send you my comments about the amp sounding... so what can i say? first of all break in is a very long process on the virtue two and i discover that break in is not a linear process. second, i can say that i have never eared such a big improvement between before and after break in. the first ten or twelve hours were horrible (it's the reason why i have waited two weeks before sending you my "review"), sounding was harsh, agressive, with only high mid and treble and big mid bass rather boomy in fact. in the second period, during about 8 days the amp acquired a very good sounding but with always hashness (i am not sure of this word) on female voices on opera or leiders and cymbals, trumpet and sax on jazz music. and now what can i ear? sounding improved again in 1 day and in the most spectacular way (the third period) and is maybe the best i have ever eard in my home. this amp is the most musical on every music style i have tried. but most of all it is musical with what ever material you associate whith it. i have listen it with different sources : tweaked marantz cd6000, with rega apollo, and i'am listening it now with my Dell laptop and ASIO (with no external DAC). I have listen it with different loudspeakers : Triangle comete ES( a french product), studiolab SLB 102 (little economical french product), with my home made fostex fullrange loudspeaker the sound is always musical with contradictory parameters at their best. sound is big, full, dense and aerial at the same time. brilliant, dynamic and warm at the same time...etc. image is wonderfull, always stable ... in fact sound is so nice that it is difficult to separate parameters. the best compliment i can adress to the virtue two is that my musical preference is baroque music played on ancient instruments. this kind of recording is always difficult to listen, always to bright and harsh, on violin, harpsichord,...etc. last night i listen two baroque opera (Handel and Vivaldi) during 4 hours and i have no fatigue at all. sound was deep, contrasted, clear and incredibly detailed but always smooth and silky. what a pleasure. thank you so much for the job you have done...virtue two is not only a good T-amp (ex : trends TA10.1), it is something different. a high class amp. "

Alain

" I will tell you that in short order I've gotten used to being astounded by this little guy. Best description I can come up with is amazing detail and clarity but no loss of musicality. I'm sure lots of designers can put an amp together than reveals every little nuance, but ultimately may sound pretty bad. To get the detail I'm getting and still hearing amp just sing beautifully has honestly shocked me. I now totally understand why you had the balls to pair a sub $300 amp with $20,000 speakers..."

Dean

"My Virtue ONE is sounding great. It has amazing detail... Now that I've been able to a little more, it's a pure pleasure to listen to. I've got it paired with DCM Time Windows. They've never sounded better... Thanks again for designing, producing and offering such a perfect and affordable piece of audio equipment. It has far exceeded my expectations. "

Kent

"I have two words for you: 'nice job!!!' You've really hit it out of the ballpark in terms of design, fit and finish, and sound quality at this pricepoint. It was definitely worth the wait! Initial impressions? Although I knew what dimensions to expect, somehow in person it feels more compact than I had envisioned it. I love the heavy metal volume knob! (as this is the one point at which the user will most often interact with the unit, I think you made a wise choice to invest in a substantial knob made out of real metal... the tactile pleasure of using it is a big step up from the flimsy plastic knob on some other t-amps.) My amp only has a few hours on it so far, and I haven't hooked up a subwoofer yet, but -- even without one -- it is obvious that bass is much improved over my previous t-amps. In short, the one is a total pleasure to use and has breathed new life into speakers with which I'd never been really impressed before: now I realize that it wasn't their fault they sounded a little lackluster!... I like it so much that I wish I could afford to order a second one for another room (or try a "two") right now; unfortunately, discretionary income is at a premium, as my employer, like so many, is laying off hundreds of people. Iour amp was probably my last audio splurge for a while: I'm glad to have the virtue to help me take my mind off the dismal state of our economy with some great-sounding music!!!"

Bruce

"I received my Virtue ONE amp about a week ago, so it's still undergoing the 'rollercoaster' effect while the caps settle in. This is my 3rd T-amp, and so much better than the previous couple, I had to e-mail my enthusiastic initial impressions! My main rig is a SET based system with a (tubed) pre driving it. I'm used to inner detail, soundstaging, etc. but this amp, (also with my Transcendent Sound GG pre in the chain) is a definite winner.
My speakers are quite efficient Fostex based BL horns, so the Virtue's output is more than enough. The bass is outstanding, and imaging is excellent too.I makes music! Fit & finish is above what I was expecting, and the "propeller posts"are also excellent.
Thanks to all at Virtue, I'll look forward to sharing further impressions as time allows. Nick Whetstone has it right. This product offers amazing value, and sounds great doing it."

Don

"I recently received my virtue amps and have been pleasantly surprised how good they are. I have a very simple system with Horn shop speakers and a jolida cd. The base is much tighter and deeper and the separation between instruments is much much better than the modified trends amp I was using. At higher sound volumes they are effortless. Thanks again for such a great product especially considering the price."

Mike

"I used to work in a hi-fi shop in Manchester UK in the late eighties so I had a chance to listen to some of the high-end kit we used to sell, the usual Linn / NAIM, ARCAM, NVA, Audio Innovations, EAR, ect. At the time my home system was a Thorens TD-150, Rega RB 300 arm, ortofon MC25 FL cartridge. My amps were some refurbished Leak TL 12 pluses X 2 monobloc amps driving a pair of original Lowther Acousta speakers with refurbished Lowther PM 6A (alnico) full-range drivers. At the time my system blew anything we had in the shop away. What I'm hearing from your pint-sizes little wonder is some of the best sounds I've ever heard! It's not even warmed up yet!... (next day)... I've just listened to Miles Davis 'A Kind Of Blue', SACD version, I swear you could smell the cigar smoke, see the beads of sweat on the foreheads of the the performers and watch the dust motes dancing in the beams of the foot-lights! This thing is truly incredible, I've never heard it sound this good. Very well done guys, this is going to turn the price v. performance ratio on it's head, period. Wanted to thank you guys for coming up with this, this is the sound I've been looking for, the Holy Grail of audio, good job."

Steve

"It's still breaking in of course, but I'm very impressed so far. I could write a lot of listening impressions that would probably sound familiar, but instead I'll just say this: it's the first piece of audio gear I've found that truly sounds musical to me. I'm a very analytical listener so when I find myself with my head bobbing back and forth and my toe tapping I know I've found the right product. You guys have produced a fast, articulate and wonderfully transparent amp that sounds smooth and relaxing yet still precise and detailed. It's the best $250 I've ever spent on a product, audio related or otherwise.

Tyrell

"Unit arrived safe and sound, thanks. Gave it a quick listen out of the box, then some more time last night and today. This is VERY nice for the $! I've tried a lot of "digital" amps before, and while I don't have all of them to compare apples to apples, I feel pretty confident in saying this is the best of the bunch. Each amp had its own strengths, sometimes something it would do better than any others. But I feel this amp is doing MORE things better than most if not all the others. Some of the strengths I already hear include more inner detail/transparency, deeper bass, more dynamics, and a pretty big soundstage with good isolation within it. The bottom line, it sets me toe-tapping pretty quickly. My main amp is a Hypex UCD-180ad-based passive pre integrated, and it may still be a bit better. But more time for burn-in, and more listening, will determine that. Wanted to pass this initial impression info on, and let you know this was worth the wait."

Todd

"Hooked up the VirtueOne last night and gave it a breif listen to make sure everything was working. Sounded fine, then ran the amp while my wife and I watched a movie (Hitchcock's "Man Who Knew Too Much"- the second version with Doris Day). Left the amp on overnight, then listened this morning.

"Not broken-in of course, and hard to say where it will end up, but this may be the one. The amp has a real sense of life and dynamics, plenty of speed and timing, bass is solid and snappy (though not very extended yet), soundstage nicely rendered but not as large as it should be, images well placed but a bit short in stature. Very low background noise- I think the Tripath designs do this quite well, black background and all. But it gives much more than other Tripath designs. Really does sound like a bigger amp. I'll see what happens in the next few days, but this is better than the first days of any of the other small amps I've tried (SI, 47 Labs, Flying Mole).

(more later)
I know the amp is still burning in and changing in sound, but I just had to write and say how much I enjoy this little Virtue One amp. I now have close to 100 hours playing time on it; it's playing at low volume at home while I'm at work. I'm using the 30v/90watt power supply; I would definitely consider the 130watt, but I'm still trying to get a full measure of this version. On paper, amplifiers seem to have the easiest of jobs. All they have to do is take whatever input source and amplify the signal so a speaker can play it to reasonable sound levels- couldn't be easier, right? Well, just the fact of the sheer numbers of over $5000 amps say no, it ain't so easy. However, I would venture to say that this Virtue One allows me to hear most of what my Shahinian Obelisk speakers really sound like. These multi-directional speakers are the soundstage champs, but are now even more spacious and open on even less than stellar recordings, while maintaining focused individual images. Claudio Arrau's Mozart Piano Concerto CD set never sounded more alive, yet with a wide- way beyond the boundaries of the speakers- soundscape that had never appeared before. James Taylor's wonderful "Hourglass" CD sounds really great, but more than that you can hear how much fun he had recording this music. Taylor's getting pretty old, but he still can bring it. Even Diana Krall sounded better than ever (I'm not a big fan)- with an emotion I'd never heard before (although it seems to come and go). Congratulations on such a successful design- I hope many take the opportunity to listen to this remarkable amplifier. It's truly a high-end amplifier for all music lovers."

James

I have had a Trends, a Clari-t, and an Icon. All of which I ended up selling, I plan on keeping this one. It really brings out the best in my music. I have a DIY speaker system that is a single driver, full range system with a subwoofer. When I hooked up the "One", I had to listen for hours, I couldn't get away...I played a lot of my favorite cd's just to hear them again.

Dave

I received the amp today! Thanks for sending it out!

I was only able to do a brief audition at low volumes since my wife was working in the family room (even though she has an office!). So, with Sam Cooke and Nat King Cole coming out of the Horns it sounds very nice. There was much more bass than the monster vintage Sansui 9090db receiver, even at low volumes. Of course, bass is not the strength of the horns. Tomorrow I'll run it through the gauntlet of my other speakers (nothing fancy) to compare and hopefully give it some more power and peppier music.

The funniest thing was my wife's response. I brought the little amp in and showed her how small it was as I hooked it up.

Her: "And how does that fit in?"

Me: "It's an amp."

Her: blank look

Me: "It replaces the Sansui" [pointing at the massive receiver squeezed into and threatening to topple our entertainment center]

Her: [laughing snort of disbelief!] "My!"

So, even if I didn't get a chance to listen much, it rocked the Wife Approval Factor.

Thanks again, y'all.

Guy