Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE

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virtue

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Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« on: 2 Apr 2014, 09:14 pm »
After 5 hours listening to these together, I had to do it.

Save over $200 when you buy together.  Un.B.Lievable combo.  Ships now.

https://store.virtueaudio.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=COMBO-VAONE.3-THEONE-1







If you're buying just the speakers at MSRP, shipping is free and stands are free for 30 days.

Seth

jtwrace

Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #1 on: 2 Apr 2014, 10:08 pm »
That's a sweet looking combo!  Will the boss let you out to RMAF this year?   :P

virtue

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Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #2 on: 3 Apr 2014, 03:59 pm »
Damn, this system sounds great! 

RMAF - dunno yet.  Visit is not out of the question but much harder with the infant, etc.

I've got a boatload of money sitting at Audiogon as advertising credit but I'm not excited to get back on the paid marketing treadmill.  Booths at these shows are pricey and it's going to take some more cash flow before I get back into it. 

We have a "high-end" model at a "low-end" (mid-fi) price.  It's a recipe for never being able to afford another $7,000 show.

virtue

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Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #3 on: 3 Apr 2014, 04:16 pm »
I called someone who I really respect a lot yesterday to talk about THE ONE.

His reply:

Why would I spend $1,000 for a speaker with a 3" driver? You can build a pair for $200 (or less) in parts.

My reply was something like:


1. I don't have time to build a pair.
2. I've yet to hear anything this good, that I could put on my desk, at any price.  John Blue 3 is as close as I've heard but did not give as much punch for the size.
3. Audience spent 4 years developing these.  I took and returned money for them years ago.  Many a drop has spilled between cup and lip.  Matching these sonics is not easy.
4. Audience supports a dealer network who need to keep the lights on.  So the margin is understandable.  Me - I'm not confident my Tripath amp will sell at 2x price so I won't even try.  But even if you were to drop the price of THE ONE by the standard dealer margin, I still don't see a competitor.
5. You could spend years and years fooling with tens of speakers trying to get this sound.  What's your time and effort worth?


It does pain my cheap and cheerful heart a bit, but based on what I've seen and heard, this (expensive, even over-priced) speaker is the best value on the market.  It crushes my MMtMMs so badly that I'm going to blow them out for folks who want a power-house and don't have the cash.

Seth


srb

Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #4 on: 3 Apr 2014, 06:52 pm »
Quote
Why would I spend $1,000 for a speaker with a 3" driver? You can build a pair for $200 (or less) in parts.

If you're building a pair of "clones" you can do it for $200.  If you're building a pair with the Audience A3 drivers, the drivers alone would cost ~ $350.  Expensive?  Yes, but you always have to pay quite a bit more for that last margin of performance and refinement.

While something like the Chinese manufactured Fountek FR88-EX driver at ~ $40 is surely a better value, the Audience A3 is a USA manufactured driver with a rather large 12mm Xmax compared to a typical 3mm Xmax of most other 3" drivers.  I think I would need to hear and compare THE ONE before I dismissed it as overpriced.

Obviously Seth is hearing some kind of magic with this speaker and from all that I've read from his posts he is not one known for piling on the BS.  Actually sometimes maybe guilty of too little, often revealing truthful limitations of equipment, even his own Virtue products.

Steve

virtue

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Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #5 on: 4 Apr 2014, 03:03 pm »
Steve,

Thanks for those thoughts - dead on.

I count myself among those with a general repulsion for "voodoo" technology and pricing - however, a hard-earned knowledge that products "done right" are much more expensive to develop and therefore need higher margins to be sustainable.  I didn't make enough money on the first amplifiers to get through engineering struggles - so my amps weren't available at any price for years.

It's easy to say that this just has a 3" driver and that's all.  FWIW, the driver probably costs $20 or less to make at the factory.  BUT that's the very end of a long, expensive process.  It may take 10 prototypes and 3 false starts to get right -- and each one costs you $1,000 with shipping and the guy doing all the testing and the equipment, etc.  In this unit alone, I'm seeing tons of engineering beyond the speaker.  The enclosure must be a 5th gen from that ugly square thing.  Magnetic grills.  Passive radiator on the back.  Hardware connectors.  Stands.  Logo emblem plates.  Packaging. How much time/cost was spent figuring that out? 

And most of the engineers out there who say they can do the work, can't.  So you have to sift through all the BS and liars. 

And then for production, you need to make 500+ units at once, while all that R&D money sits on your credit card. 

And they you've got to market it.  Dealers are an expensive option - but there are no free options.  What's it worth to sell 200 pcs to dealers on Day ONE of production?  That's pretty valuable for a small vendor.

I admire all vendors who struggle through - like we do - to bring a product to market.  But when someone gets it right, it's really awesome.  This little set is expensive (for the size, weight, etc.) but at $1,000, it's still affordable.  iPhones are expensive, but still affordable.  So are my amps these days.

Seth

bardamu

Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #6 on: 4 Apr 2014, 03:51 pm »
Hello,
I remember a small fostex full range speaker that combined with a good amp could give a very nice '' image ''.  BUT if you want high sound levels and trembling furniture you might need to ad a subwoofer? It is what it is a small speaker. Used in the right way it could be really nice. Combining it with virtue amplification is a good first step. Then battery power supply and a subwoofer which will allow you to reduce the excursions of the little ones.
Sincere greetings, Edward

virtue

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Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #7 on: 4 Apr 2014, 06:52 pm »
I've used these with and without the subwoofer.  You'd have to be a real purist not to use a subwoofer. 

If you want to play them VERY loud, Audience suggests using a high-pass so you don't have too much woofer excursion (it's a 3" after all).  That can be through the subwoofer (amp out -> in sub, sub out -> in speaker) or by adding a 0.1uF input capacitor onto the amp board. 

It's not supplied out of the box on this release, but can be easily soldered, and then you change the jumper on the amp board to use it.  The secondary cap holes are right next to the ones being used by the 2.2uF VirtuCaps.

bardamu

Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #8 on: 4 Apr 2014, 07:42 pm »
Hello,
Just did enjoy Talking heads stop making sense blu ray in my oppo ( sound in the menu set on pcm stereo, there is 5.1 too available in the blu ray menu but then that has to be '' downgraded to stereo by the Oppo). My sensation has the 100nf cap too. My speakers are coaxial type but bigger ( elipson planet L ) and there is the svs pc12 nsd dsp subwoofer.
Like  i said before the batteries makes the subwoofer and the full ranges work together very well. I did write email today to SVS about adding a second subwoofer or buying a bigger one ( pc13 ultra).
I think the newest virtue baby will benefit from a big battery too. Especially because there arent any parts between the loudspeaker unit and the amplifier apart from the cable.
Sincere greetings, Edward

virtue

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Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #9 on: 5 Apr 2014, 01:10 am »
Have you tried LIFPO?  Is there a sonic difference?

bardamu

Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #10 on: 5 Apr 2014, 05:50 am »
Hello,
I did read a lot about sla batteries and i thinkj i did buy a very good one. I remember reading about the lifpo a year ago and decided it wasn't the way to go because at that time it did think that with my listening habits i would drain the batteries a lot. Using it during week days for tv and music about 8 hours a day and in the weekend even more i would need a big lifpo and at that time they were expensive and i didn't know what to expect with batteries.
I mean did first use batteries 30 years ago but that design was designed with batteries. If i would have borrowed my present day batteries and heard the improvement maybe then i would have tried the lifpo way. My present power sup
ply did cost about 380 euros or 520$. I think it gives a good return on investment. If there would be a virtue crowd in my area and somebody would give me 520$ i am willing to spend a some more on lifpo.
BUT right now i am focussing on a bigger subwoofer (SVS pc13 ultra) with wireless connection so i can put it where cables dont go and i can try it to use it with my small virtue set up and my main system. Of course with adjustment of gain. The elipson are 90db and the other ones 104db/1W/ 1 meter.
There is money to be spend. The ultra will set me back about 1700$. If i go virtue on my main system too i will try lifpo there.
Sincere greetings, Edward

brh

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Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #11 on: 7 May 2014, 06:39 pm »
[...]
I count myself among those with a general repulsion for "voodoo" technology and pricing - however, a hard-earned knowledge that products "done right" are much more expensive to develop and therefore need higher margins to be sustainable.  I didn't make enough money on the first amplifiers to get through engineering struggles - so my amps weren't available at any price for years.

I'm glad to see you're 'back in business,' so to speak... Remember inquiring with you previously about the Audience speakers, and being disheartened that things seemed a bit rocky at the time, as your amps are quite fascinating. One of these days when I have the time to kill, I'll be sure to give the ONE.3 a whirl..!

It's easy to say that this just has a 3" driver and that's all.  FWIW, the driver probably costs $20 or less to make at the factory.  BUT that's the very end of a long, expensive process.  It may take 10 prototypes and 3 false starts to get right -- and each one costs you $1,000 with shipping and the guy doing all the testing and the equipment, etc.  In this unit alone, I'm seeing tons of engineering beyond the speaker.  The enclosure must be a 5th gen from that ugly square thing.  Magnetic grills.  Passive radiator on the back.  Hardware connectors.  Stands.  Logo emblem plates.  Packaging. How much time/cost was spent figuring that out? 

[...]

I admire all vendors who struggle through - like we do - to bring a product to market.  But when someone gets it right, it's really awesome.  This little set is expensive (for the size, weight, etc.) but at $1,000, it's still affordable.  iPhones are expensive, but still affordable.  So are my amps these days.

I swear, anyone who balks at the price of these hasn't heard them. I've been using them exclusively on my desktop/nearfield rig for... at least six months now, and I'm still blown away by them. That a 3" driver can make a good recording of Saint-Saëns's Third rumble and sing is just... well, it's impressive, and almost humorous! In fact, I have had friends chuckle at the 'reveal' of the single tiny driver that they're listening to...

As for development and polishing the overall product, I also have a set of Clairaudient 2+2s. They sound phenomenal, and fill a room with ease. But The One is a later product, and physically, it shows. The acrylic itself, and the shape of the cabinet is gorgeous compared to the humdrum 2+2s. The magnetic grills are a nice touch compared to the fiddly nubbins on the 2+2s. Everything just seems more polished, more friendly... Thought clearly has gone into making these all they can be.

Anyway, once again, glad that you're back up and running, and I look forward to checking out the ONE.3 one of these days!

virtue

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Re: Combo special: Virtue ONE.3 + Audience THE ONE
« Reply #12 on: 7 May 2014, 06:51 pm »
Thank you so much.

I just received this email from another ONE.3 combo owner:

-----------------

Hi Seth,

After playing my Virtue Audio ONE.3 amp for a few weeks, I just want to say I think it’s outstanding!  It matches my Clairaudient the ONE speakers really well.  Dead black background, instruments sound realistic (true timbres), great dynamics.  For use on the desktop, it delivers a real sense of presence.

A nice piece of work!