Q: Can I run high-level speaker outputs to my subwoofer?
A: Some subwoofer cross-overs will destroy the amplifier. Please use the provided line-level subwoofer output. If you need a low-pass filter on the amp, read the instructions below and change the default 2.2uF input capacitors for lower values.
Q: Is there a way to bypass the volume control on the Virtue ONE/TWO to use it strictly as an amp so a separate passive preamp with volume control and input switching could be used.
A: These amps have been designed to function as integrated amps with a passive pre-amp section (POT). The POT in these units are not expensive but very high quality. When using the amplifier in conjunction with a pre-amp, please consider setting the volume at 3/4 rather than all the way, and increasing the volume of the pre-amp instead. If you're still not satisifed, open up the unit. You will find jumpers on the back of the POT so you can bypass it completely. For each channel, there are 3 pins. By default, pins 1 and 2 are connected with the jumper. Move the jumper to pins 3 and 4. Depending on your equipment, this configuration may result in being able to hear a slight buzz between tracks. Results will vary depending on your equipment.
Q: Do your amplifiers work with UK 240v mains electricity supplies?
A: We are using universal power supply units that should work in the UK, Europe, and elsewhere. We do not provide international plugs so you will probably need to buy your own locally. The 24v and ultra-premium 30v supplies use IEC connectors. The old 30v/90w supply used a "figure 8" type connector. The new 30v/80w supply uses the standard IEC connector.
Q: When the amp arrived the heavy volume knob was not attached and it sometimes falls off. What shall I do?
A: Until we have the proper packaging to support the knob, we cannot take the risk that it will bend the volume control shaft during shipping. As a result, we ship it separately. You can fasten it more tightly when it arrives using a few wraps of plumbers tape or super glue on the POT shaft.
Q: My amp is deployed up high and I'm finding the DC power cord to be too short; my "brick" is hanging mid-air and tugging at the input jack.
A: We're going to lengthen the DC power cord in future productions. Let us suggest that you use double-sided tape or another fastener to suspend the brick and release strain on the input jack.
Q: How many watts does the amp draw when there is no music flowing or the volume is turned way down?
A: These little guys are dainty sippers, which is why we call it "EcoAudio." Consumption varies with the power supply used:
24V/65W supply -- 6W
30V/90W supply -- 9W
30V/130W supply -- 12W
Q: Why is there a turn-on "thump" in my subwoofer and slight noise after it powers off?
A: This problem has been solved in the ONE.2 unit. On the older units, it is a known issue that there are some problems with the subwoofer circuit. The amp draws very little power when idle and if the thump is of great concern you may want to leave it on, with the volume down, when not using it.
Q: I noticed a red glow behind the volume knob on turn-on and shut-down. Is this normal?
A: You're seeing the error condition indicator which will come on during turn-on and shut-down. This is normal. If it comes on during play, the amp is probably clipping or worse.
Q: Can I connect this amp directly to my computer?
A: You can absolutely hook up the amplifier to the stereo mini-jack or RCA jacks from your sound card. No USB input is supported (through an internal DAC), for now. However, you may be pleasantly surprised with the output from your sound card. Technology has advanced significantly.
Q: Can I start with the standard power supply and upgrade it later?
A: Absolutely, no problem. Just make sure you donít go over 32v on these amplifiers.
Q: What is the difference between the 30v/90w power supply and the 30v/130w unit?
A: The 130w unit is dimensionally larger (196mm x 88mm x 50mm) and is used at higher voltage on the Sensation. While expensive, it is sonically superior. We were reluctant to offer such an expensive option but for many of our customers, the Virtue ONE/TWO are actually quite inexpensive so overall, the upgrade is still affordable. If you are considering buying 2 amplifiers to use as monoblocks, we suggest trying the 130w power supply first. It puts these amps "over the top."
Q: How long are your power cords?
A: We ship with 1 meter AC power cords from wall to block and 1 meter DC from block to unit. If you have special requirements for longer cords, we may be able to accomodate your request.
Q: Do you recommend batteries?
A: So long as a soft-start circuit is used between the power supply and the amplifier, battery power can be used and is highly recommended. The amp will play with any voltage between 16v and 32v.
Q: I've heard that switching power supplies are "nasty"? Explain.
A: Traditional criticisms with switching supplies fall into two broad categories: line noise and EMI interference. The supplies we use are built to high tolerances with regard to line noise: you won't hear it, ever. With regard to interference with other switching powered devices, it rarely happens. If you suspect that your amplifier is interfering with another device, try it in another room or moving the devices away from one another physically. In a worst case, we will help upgrade your supply to another model which switches at a different frequency. This is rare problem that we deal with like everyone else in the CE industry: block and tackle on a case-by-case basis. By contrast, the draw-backs of using small, transformer-based supplies in a power amplifier are important sonically, which is why we use regulated switching supplies. Listen for yourself.
Q: I've heard that some Tripath amps interfere with FM radio station reception. Will I be able to use an FM tuner with this product?
A: We had challenges with RFI and they are not completely fixed, even on the latest models. Our initial testing shows that your FM receiver should be as little as 18" and as far as 4 feet from the amplifier for best results.
Q: How do I restrict bass to my small satellite speakers if I am using the
full range sub out to drive a powered sub?
A. On the "classic" and ONE.2 models, two input caps are inside the unit and an 80hz high-pass filter may be implemented with a jumper. On the older ONE/TWO amplifiers, this requires an internal component change.
For 80Hz they need to be .1uf
For 100Hz they need to be .082uf
For 120Hz they need to be .068uf
For 160Hz they need to be .05uf
We recommend 5% 200V Auricaps from Audience for this. Change one at a time
and the black lead goes to the volume control.
After changing the caps set the sub control to the same frequency and adjust
the bass level using several different disks as the bass level varies a lot
Q: Why are there (+) and (-) labels on the inputs?
A. We screwed up. The input labels should read (L) an (R) and it's too late to fix this. Please just connect them up by color. Red out of your source, red into the amp, and so with black.
Q: Do the units have a bridged mode?
A: The units are already bridged. Each channel on our ONE/ONE.2/TWO/Sensation amps supports 87 watts. Choose L or R and you'll get a
bridged "mono" unit that uses all the power you can throw at it. Warning: outputs are not ground and the units outputs cannot be connected together in any way.
Q: Can I use the amps for bi-amping?
A: You can certainly use the amps for bi-amping. If you use one amp per channel, you can use both each of the buffered sub outputs to drive powered stereo subs.
Q: Is the 30 day money back offer applicable to international customers?
A: We will refund your money within 30 days of delivery if the unit is in resalable condition or broken due to a fault of ours. If the unit is found to be defective and you want a replacement, we will send you a new one at no charge (including shipping).
Q: I heard such great things about the amp but it just doesn't have the bottom end of my $10,000 amplifier. What's wrong?
A: For the best bass, we recommend using a 10A linear power supply or batteries. The 30v/130w power supply is also quite powerful, delivering 4.3 amps on demand.
Q: Should I lower the volume when I turn on the unit?
A: This is a best practice with all audio amplifiers. "Cold" starting a unit with a high-level input system will reduce the overall lifespan of your unit.
Q: My speakers are 99db sensitive. Will the amp work well?
A: We have many satisfied customers driving VERY sensitive and wonderful speakers including superb, hand-made units by Robin Wyatt and Ed Schilling. If you put your ear right up to the speaker, you may notice a slight hiss, but compared to other amplifiers, you will find these units very quiet. There is one issue and that is you will find the subwoofer gain quite low compared to speaker output in such situations. You will need to turn your subwoofer way up. We have a solution to this problem for our next generation.
Q: I've heard that the regulated power supplies that ship with these units do some power conditioning. Do you recommend I buy another one?
A: Michael found this super high-value line filter. If you can spare the money, we recommend the best: Audience Adept Response.
Q: I'm looking for a high value 2+1 speaker setup. What do you recommend?
A: There are lots of great products on the market and choice of speakers is especially subjective: intelligent people disagree about what sounds best. We're suckers for value and our customers have suggested these speakers costing less than $1,000: Occam Audio, AudioEngine (passives coming soon), AV123, Orb Audio, Aperion Audio, Ascend Acoustics, and Silverline. Parts Express also makes very high-value subs worth considering. Just note that these amps are so good that they are a perfect fit for industry ringers like Mark and Daniel and Audience. Go nuts and if you have had good luck with other speaker vendors, send us more info.
Q: I need 3 (or more inputs). Should I buy a separate pre-amp/switcher?
A: Sensation has this feature, as well as a remote control. Buy it if you can afford it! If you'd like a passive solution, consider a simple 3-1 or 5-1 RCA switcher from eBay for under $30. At a minimum, this approach will buy you time until you find the right switcher/pre-amp.
Q: Why are you using an obsolete technology made by a defunct company, Tripath?
A: The Tripath chips we use are amazing and will function properly for longer than we will live. If every man, woman, and child who subscribes to Stereophile magazine bought a Virtue ONE.2 (which would be nice), we wouldn't run out of chips. Tripath, we forgive you for your sins and hereby immortalize you in your after-life. Long live Tripath.
Q: What is Tellurium and why do you use it on the connectors for the Virtue TWO?
A: If we made the connectors from 100% copper, they would be too soft to be machined (stamping is OK) and would tarnish over time. By adding 1% Tellurium we preserve 99% of the conductivity of copper and give the part nearly the same machineability as brass, which is 30% zinc (boo, hiss). Tellurium copper is very expensive and hard to find. We may change the mixture in the future but we'll always try to offer a "no-compromise" version of the Propeller Post because otherwise our most critical customers will insist on upgrading the binding posts. We would hate that becausing buying a Virtue amp should be a "no-regret" decision. Incidentally, both the t-copper and brass versions are gold-plated so unless you cut them to see the metal underneath (copper is reddish, brass is gold-colored), they will look the same.
Q: I read in an old TNT review that the TWO especially would work with higher voltage, even 38 volts. Should I try it?
A: This information has proven inaccurate. Our testing has shown that ONE, ONE.2, TWO, and Sensation will fail quickly at around 34 volts. As a result, we don't recommend running them any higher than 32 volts. They will each draw around 90 watts per channel at 30v, into 4 ohms (or less), so unless you wanted to hook up a power supply of more than 200 watts, there's little actual benefit to cranking up the voltage.