Recommended speakers

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virtue

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Recommended speakers
« on: 15 Jun 2009, 04:40 am »
The Virtue amps are versatile, being able to drive high and low impedance loads of varying sensitivity.  Much was made of our ability to drive Mark & Daniel speakers which are notoriously inefficient.  Moving past the academic question of what speakers the amp can drive, what speakers do you like and why?

ltr317

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #1 on: 15 Jun 2009, 05:18 pm »
Hi Seth.  I used the loaner Two from you to drive AAD 2001s, ACI Emeralds and Hsu HB-1s.  The best sound came from the ACI Emerald pairing.  Very smooth presentation and excellent mid-range.  The AAD 2001s also work well, but I had to increase the volume pot to get the same sound level.  I can testify that the Two drives the MarK & Daniel speakers easily, as I brought the amp to a friend who has a pair of Topaz speakers and wanted to hear the amp.  He was impressed with the Two, which compares favorably with his mono blocs. 

Paul

virtue

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Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #2 on: 15 Jun 2009, 05:37 pm »
Paul, thanks for this... great stuff.  Hey, can you tell us more about what you found with the HSUs by comparison?  I ask because Stereomojo recommended that we team up.  In what areas do you think those speakers complement the amp and vice versa... or more directly, where does the amp NOT work with certain speakers and why do you think?

rhing

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #3 on: 15 Jun 2009, 06:16 pm »
I really enjoy the pairing of the Virtue Two with my custom-made Fostex FX120 monitors. Without a crossover in the way, the single driver experience makes for really fun listening. Yesterday evening I listened to "Scheherazade" and I could hear the conductor Fritz Reiner breathing in rhythm with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. More importantly, spatial cues like natural hall reverb, timbre and the attack and decay of notes really make music listening more involving.

A friend of mine, Bernard, purchased a Virtue Two and a pair of Fostex F120A's, a driver that's similar to the FX120's, but with an Alnico magnet motor. These are supposed to be even more refined than the FX120's. He's having custom cabinets made, and I am sure he will post his findings on this thread.

Even though the Fostex FX120 and F120A full range drivers are only 89dB efficient, they are significantly smoother than the standard, but more efficient Fostex FE-series speakers (e.g., FE126 and FE127). The midrange and treble are very clear with absolutely no hint of sibilance or other distortion. Fostex's Kenaf cone material is very similar to hemp forumaltions used in other well known and more expensive single driver speakers.


ltr317

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #4 on: 15 Jun 2009, 06:36 pm »
Paul, thanks for this... great stuff.  Hey, can you tell us more about what you found with the HSUs by comparison?  I ask because Stereomojo recommended that we team up.  In what areas do you think those speakers complement the amp and vice versa... or more directly, where does the amp NOT work with certain speakers and why do you think?

The Hsu HB-1 are good monitors, especially at their price.  I used them in my bedroom system for non-critical listening without a subwoofer.  The bass goes down to about 60 Hz, minus a couple of db.  Compared to the ACI Emeralds, the HB-1s are less refined sonically.  The Emeralds have a tactile mid-range and overall tonal smoothness that the HB-1s can't match, but the Emeralds cost twice as much. The HB-1s sound slightly thinner in comparsion.  The great strength of the Emeralds is the evenness of the frequency range, no one part of the sprectrum sound louder than any other part.  Because of this, I think this attribute contributes greatly to its perceived fullness, even though they go down to only 70 Hz, minus a couple of db.  Of course, both speakers, benefit from a subwoofer for mid-bass impact, and low bass.  In conclusion, The HB-1s work well with the Virtue, but the Emeralds work better.  If someone is putting together an inexpensive system, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending matching the HB-1s with the Virtue One or Two.

The AAD 2001s don't need a subwoofer in my living room, as they go down to 30 Hz, minus a few db.  They like a lot of power, so if the next Virtue amps could produce 100-150 watts per channel, more for dynamics and less strain, than for more power, that would be good.  Btw, the 2001s cost about 7 times of the HB-1, and about 3 times of the Emeralds. 
« Last Edit: 16 Jun 2009, 02:39 am by ltr317 »

Cheerwino

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #5 on: 15 Jun 2009, 10:23 pm »
The single driver rear folded Horn Shoppe Horns http://www.thehornshoppe.com/ ($850 shipped) sound sweet with the Virtue One and 30v 130w power supply. The sub helps round out the bottom but you can get by without it as long as you have the 30v/130w PS. The Horns needed the sub with the 30v/90w PS. For the extra $150 the 30v/130w PS is worth it on this set up.  :rock:

I posted here http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=61055.0 about my Horn Shoppe buying experience. Ed is a real character and I highly advise a road trip to his pad to audition the speakers. :uzi:

I've also had success running two Virtue Ones as monos alone and through a Peachtree Audio Decco as the pre. No matter what the set up, I am really impressed how the Virtue One can rock. It's sweet for the slow, jazzy or country stuff but can crank rock and pop and is satisfying at various volumes. It really is a special amp. Thanks to Seth, Roger and now Michael for all of their work on this great product line.  :notworthy: I really can't wait to experience the Sensation. I've enjoyed the all-in-one aspect of my Decco. The only downside has been the amp stage paired with the Horns (which, I admit, is a speaker with special demands). But the Virtue One alone or with the Decco as pre really sings!  :thumb:

http://www.thehornshoppe.com/

panomaniac

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #6 on: 16 Jun 2009, 02:52 am »
Yeah - Hornshoppe is about 2  hours south of me.  Gotta take an amp down there and have a listen.

virtue

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Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #7 on: 16 Jun 2009, 03:34 am »
They already have a demo amp and from what I hear, like it very much.  We're adding an 8db bass boost jumper for those speakers in the next amp.  They're so darn sensitive that even powered subs can't keep up without the extra boost from us on the pre-out side.

droht

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #8 on: 17 Jun 2009, 12:14 pm »
Very good results pairing the ONE with Usher S520s and Onix Ref1s.  Plenty of juice to power these moderately efficient speakers.

The Usher + Virtue combo yields some serious sound quality for very reasonable dollars.  I'm sure I will be recommending this to folks who want to start up a < $1000 two channel system.

classicjt2

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #9 on: 20 Jun 2009, 04:45 am »
Aloha Seth-

I'm using a pair of Shahinian Obelisks, 7 drivers per channel and supposedly "hard-to-drive", but no sweat for a Virtue One with the 130 watt power supply (or even with the 90w supply). Deep, solid bass, huge, spacious soundstage, and effortless detail. Everyone else who uses Obs recommends big Plinius' or Bedinis, but this micro-amp drives them, no problem.

When I get brave enough, I'll hook the Virtue One to my 81dB Apogee Stages.

James

Welborne

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Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #10 on: 20 Jun 2009, 05:59 am »
I drive my diy Open baffle using Grundig alnico 9" fullrange, isophon 13cm paper tweeter and actively crossovered 18" dipole woofer (Celestion) with the Virtue Two on 30v/90w ps.

Beautiful sound!

Behind is another baffle project using all SABA 10" fr and coaxial


Welborne

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Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #11 on: 20 Jun 2009, 07:13 am »
you can see the red virtue two in the middle, alongside a pair of 300b pp mono, as well as Pop Pulse (another tamp) which I compared the Virtue Two to.



Close up of another baffle with SABA drivers. Each SABA has 5ohm and they are all connected in parallel so the baffle has an overall impedance of 1.66 ohm in nominal, and perhaps even lower at certain frequency. Lucky they are sensitive enough. Virtue Two can drive them with ease.


stevekr

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Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #12 on: 20 Jun 2009, 11:06 am »
For those on a budget, I would recommend a pair of Behringer 2031P's. I work for the BBC and they use Genelec pro monitors in their edit suites, studios and dubbing theatres. Whilst trawling the web I found that the Behringers were very similar in design and way, way cheaper. I bought a pair to use in my home editing set-up as broadcast monitors and liked them so much I moved them to my main hi-fi and was gobsmacked at the quality they produced so much so they have now become my main speakers replacing my Lake Audio floor-standers. I'm still scratching my head at how Behringer can sell thse speakers at the price they do, GB ?140!!! I like speakers with a minimum woofer size of eight inches (there's very good technical reasons as to why this is so) and the 2031p's fit the bill exactly. I'm not saying these are the best speakers in the world but for the price they're very hard to beat, IMHO.

panomaniac

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #13 on: 20 Jun 2009, 02:45 pm »
Hi Welborne!  Thanks so much for the great photos, nice to see those speakers. I know you've worked long and hard to get where you are.  Cool! 

FYI - Mr. Welborne is not easy to please, he's got a very critical ear. He's normally an SET man. So knowing that the Virtue works well in his system is a big compliment.  :thumb:

Steve - LOL!  I was just looking at a pro sound catalog this morning and thinking "hmmmm.... wonder if any of the Berhringer monitors would work well with the Virtue amps?"  And look, you've answered the question.  Thanks.  Will certainly check them out. In the U.S. they are under $200 a pair.

Jason T

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Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #14 on: 21 Jun 2009, 02:33 am »
88db 6ohms 28-30khz
 8" 3-way built by yours truly
12db series crossover
38"H 21"W 6"D    90lbs each
driven by my Virtue Two W/130w power supply

I also use the Two on the 2way smaller towers I built

 


panomaniac

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #15 on: 25 Jun 2009, 10:01 pm »
Those look very nice Jason.  Great work.

Has anyone tried the kits from http://www.theloudspeakerkit.com/?
They look as tho they might be a good fit for the Virtue.  And of coarse you could finish them in a color to match your Virtue amp!

oskar1

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #16 on: 9 Jul 2009, 09:40 am »
Hello "Virtuers"!
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 . As you can see in the picture below, 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!! ( I'm tired to get on my knees everytime I change the source ).


Many greetings from Austria      Oskar



p.s.:Thanks to Michael Mardis! When I looked for the "Trends"-modifications on his site, I got aware of Virtue--and ordered the TWO on the same day.

Welborne

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Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #17 on: 9 Jul 2009, 10:36 am »
Oskar, what a scene!!

virtue

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Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #18 on: 10 Jul 2009, 03:25 am »
Oskar, that takes the cake!  The most expensive speakers we'd ever hooked up previously were the Audience LSA16s at around $35,000/pair (I think).  We're honored to be part of your stand-out system!  Thanks so much for the ringing endorsement and the great photo!!!!   I needed a monocle to see our little amp ;-)

doorman

Re: Recommended speakers
« Reply #19 on: 10 Jul 2009, 03:35 am »
Didn't someone say "it's not the size of the dog, it's the fight in the dog"?
Don