Virtue Audio at RMAF

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Vinnie R.

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Virtue Audio at RMAF
« on: 5 Oct 2009, 07:51 pm »
All,

Seth of Virtue Audio emailed me some photos of their rooms.  In one of the rooms, they were using our Black Lightning SLA battery power supply prototype units (24V and 36V units), as mentioned here:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=72215.0

Here are some pics that Seth asked for me to share with you all:



Virtue Audio room with many speakers, and a custom-made switch-box!



Using the speaker switch-box....



Close-up of custom speaker switch-box



New Omega "Sticks" shown in this pic! See: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=72169.0



Another shot of the main Virtue room - fully loaded!




I hope Seth, Michael and the Virtue Team had a great show! 

These shows are a lot of fun, but also a lot of work and I'm sure they are finally resting (and flying home) and will be posting about their RMAF experience soon...

Thanks again to Virtue for your interest in using our Black Lightning prototypes with your amps in your room  :beer:

Best regards,

Vinnie

Cheerwino

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #1 on: 5 Oct 2009, 09:16 pm »
Thanks for starting the RMAF thread, Vinne. I helped out at the Virtue room on Friday and Saturday. That's me in the last photo as the barker outside the registration table downstairs helping direct folks up to the listening room. I'm sure Seth and Michael are on their way back and will chime in once they recover.  :sleep:

Here are some rambling facts, thoughts and observations.

There was a great crowd at the show and the Virtue room was often packed. The featured amps were the new Sensation and Virtue Two.2 being fed by the new Piano CD player, sometimes through the new Mardis Pre/DAC.  :drool:

My goal was to help, so I didn't do a lot of time in the listening sofa but I'd have to say that the Sensation was the star. It's an impressive piece with four heat pipes, huge caps and a tank-like case with an elegant interface. It has that lush Tripath sound like the other Virtue amps just more so.  :thumb:

The Two is definitely no slouch and presents a great value for the sound it can produce with the bigger power supply. It was often hard to tell which amp you were listening to.

Vinne's batteries rocked the room and kept the music flowing even during an hour-long power outage (not our fault!  :wink:)

I'll post on the DAC later.

Guy

« Last Edit: 6 Oct 2009, 12:06 am by Cheerwino »

roscoeiii

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #2 on: 5 Oct 2009, 10:48 pm »
Look forward to your thoughts on the DAC.

Mariusz

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #3 on: 5 Oct 2009, 11:24 pm »
Great.
I know how much better RWA battery supply made my system but wonder about this Sensation integrated that everyone is waiting for. Price, spects, release date etc.

P.S
That room looks like it was a handful. :hyper:
Hats off to man in charge.

Mariusz :thumb:
« Last Edit: 6 Oct 2009, 03:59 pm by Mariusz »

panomaniac

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #4 on: 6 Oct 2009, 03:51 pm »
Big thanks to all who helped :thumb:!
Guy, Rod, Russ and anyone else.  We could not have done it without you.  We love you guys.

And big thanks to Vinnie for sending the Black Lightening battery supplies.  When we first hooked them up in the room, we could tell they were better, but that's all.  But Saturday night we dragged our amps over to the GR Research room and did some critical listening.

The GR rig was powered (on the top) by Gary Dodd's sweet all battery tube amp.  Bottom was powered by the Servo plate amps.
By doing some A/B listening we found that both the sensation and the TWO sounded much better on battery.  No doubt about it.  I'm a convert. =)

I was not so much the drop off noise floor (our supplies are quiet) but the batteries were much smoother sounding.  Any little harsh edges were gone, and the amps actually seemed to play deeper.  In some ways it was like going from transistor to tube.  Very nice.

As was mentioned above, it was a crazy show and a crazy room!  So much going on.  The 50's sci-fi switch box is straight from the Mardis mad scientist labs.

The only thing I regret is that we had been working so hard in the weeks and days before the show that I was exhausted.  It would have been nicer to be better rested so that the visitors got better attention and more enthusiasm.  They deserved it.

More later....

dvenardos

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #5 on: 6 Oct 2009, 06:05 pm »
Did you try the virtue power supplies with or without the Magik/Uber Buss in the room?
Just curious about batteries versus ps with good filtration. :scratch:

The GR rig was powered (on the top) by Gary Dodd's sweet all battery tube amp.  Bottom was powered by the Servo plate amps.
By doing some A/B listening we found that both the sensation and the TWO sounded much better on battery.  No doubt about it.  I'm a convert. =)

I was not so much the drop off noise floor (our supplies are quiet) but the batteries were much smoother sounding.  Any little harsh edges were gone, and the amps actually seemed to play deeper.  In some ways it was like going from transistor to tube.  Very nice.

panomaniac

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #6 on: 6 Oct 2009, 06:26 pm »
Good question!

Yes, the PSU was running thru the MagikBus (thanks Dave!).  So power should have been nice and clean.

classicjt2

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #7 on: 7 Oct 2009, 06:34 am »
Nice impressions posted on Audiogon of the Virtue Audio rooms at RMAF:

http://cgi.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/gallery.pl?blog&1254753354

I'm very happy the Sensation was well received, and that you showed the color combination I preferred- black with black knobs and wood tops- so elegant! The Three looks really great too, with those wild heat sinks.

James

virtue

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Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #8 on: 8 Oct 2009, 03:07 am »
I'd like to give a special thanks to Michael Mardis who's been shouldering the bulk of the Virtue engineering operation for a long time now.  It's pretty hard to believe that we actually **played** 5 entirely new models at the show and Michael had his hands on all of them.  He is a brilliant engineer and the stamina of a race horse.

Hugs, Michael!

virtue

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Re: Jeff Keyes, Lucid Acoustics
« Reply #9 on: 8 Oct 2009, 03:27 am »
I'd like to also thank Jeff Keyes at Lucid Acoustics who built us the amazing white stands shown in the photo above and cut the laser-engraved, plexiglass covers that we put on all of our Melissa enclosure units.  Jeff is an awesome guy who does a lot of OEM speaker building from his home/shop.  If you guys need cabinets or custom speakers made, do reach out to Jeff.  For anyone who wants the best speakers ever made, get a GR Research Venue kit and have Jeff build the boxes.  The Venuettes (V2) that we had in our room were pretty awesome too, and half the price.

ltr317

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #10 on: 8 Oct 2009, 03:40 am »
2009 RMAF Virtue room



Samples of the optional finishes for the Sensation amp.  Check out the mad scientist custom switch box Michael made!



Michael and Seth - the brains behind Virtue.

Hi Seth,
It was great to finally meet you and Michael.  Your new equipment sounded terrific, and even better considering their real world prices.  Best of luck with the production schedule. 

Best,
Paul 

virtue

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Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #11 on: 8 Oct 2009, 04:29 am »
Paul - you're terrific!  I don't stalk everyone (inside joke;-)

Vinnie R.

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Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #12 on: 8 Oct 2009, 01:54 pm »
Quote
And big thanks to Vinnie for sending the Black Lightening battery supplies.  When we first hooked them up in the room, we could tell they were better, but that's all.  But Saturday night we dragged our amps over to the GR Research room and did some critical listening.

The GR rig was powered (on the top) by Gary Dodd's sweet all battery tube amp.  Bottom was powered by the Servo plate amps.
By doing some A/B listening we found that both the sensation and the TWO sounded much better on battery.  No doubt about it.  I'm a convert. =)

Hi Michael and Seth,

Thanks so much for showing our Black Lightning battery power supply prototype units at RMAF - I'm glad you enjoyed them and appreciate your feedback!



Love this pic, especially Michael wearing the apron.  You know this chef is cooking up some good stuff with Seth, and I have the wine if one desires  :wine:  8)

Most importantly - Wishing you guys all the best with your upcoming products, and take your time getting them perfect - because everyone appreciates a cook who takes their time and serves up a great meal, vs. fast food  :green:

Best wishes,

Vinnie

droht

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #13 on: 8 Oct 2009, 02:28 pm »

Big +1 on taking time to get it right.  No amount of whining now about a delay will be worse than the outcry if things are not "right" on new products.  You guys have earned our trust based on first gen offerings, but you have also set a very high standard.  Don't serve dinner until the gravy is just right...

Cheerwino

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #14 on: 8 Oct 2009, 02:35 pm »
As I recall, Michael's apron said "I make the special sauce".  :lol:

ltr317

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #15 on: 8 Oct 2009, 04:12 pm »
Paul - you're terrific!  I don't stalk everyone (inside joke;-)

 :D  Thanks, Seth.  I get it.

dvenardos

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #16 on: 13 Oct 2009, 07:14 pm »
Micheal,
   What switch did you use for this switch box? I could really use one right now for comparing speakers.

Thanks,
Don
Using the speaker switch-box....




panomaniac

Re: Virtue Audio at RMAF
« Reply #17 on: 13 Oct 2009, 09:35 pm »
LOL!   That crazy switch box was the hit of the show.  Guess I should sell them, or at least publish the plans!

The main switch you see is a 4 pole, 12 position rotary switch made by NKK.  It is NOT cheap.  The reason I used 4 poles is so that none of the speaker terminals would be connected together.  Most speaker selectors use a common ground.

You can find the switch and others in the same family (fewer poles, fewer positions, screw terminals, etc) at mouser.com

Here is a link to the datasheet, you can pick what you want from here.
http://www.nkkswitches.com/pdf/hs_ps_ts.pdf
I used the HS16-4N and AT431 large knob

What you don't see is another 4 pole - double throw toggle that allows to switch between 2 inputs (2 amps)  Have fun!