Newbie questions: No Bias Adjust? Most holographic amp?

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tw_switzerland

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  • I like the 3D imaging of a good stereo chain.
Hello

I am an audio newbie from Switzerland and have some questions.
Maybe someone can help me.

I have been owning a Trends Audio TA 10.2 for a few months now. And I like it's natural and relaxed sound. It simply sounds "right". And what I like most is its threedimensional soundstage, something my previous Onkyo amp could not offer.

Now I want to upgrde to something more powerfull with the same advantages. And my searches led me to the great Virtue Audio amplifiers.

Are all Virtue amps (One, Two, Sensation) the same, regarding their 3D imaging. Or does one sound a bit more "holographic" than the others?

And one thing that I could not find in the web: Do the Virtue amps have to be bias adjusted from time to time (as the Trends has to be) in order not to "plop" when being switched on?

Thank you! :-)

Greetings from Switzerland
Thomas
« Last Edit: 2 Jun 2010, 12:11 pm by tw_switzerland »

classicjt2

Re: Newbie questions: No Bias Adjust? Most holographic amp?
« Reply #1 on: 2 Jun 2010, 03:32 am »
Welcome Thomas!

There is something truly special about the Tripath amplifiers, and for me it begins with the wide open soundstage- it just sounds more natural in its presentation. This attribute, combined with its purity (at least at low volume levels), makes music for me.

Going up from the low powered Tripath designs (Trends, Sonic Impact, etc.) to the more powerful Virtue amps not only retains the strong points, but strengthens them while eliminating the weak points. While the low powered amps have this open soundstage, the images within the stage are somewhat "thin", meaning not fleshed out. Also, while the bass is surprisingly deep, it lacks weight and punch. But even the lowest priced Virtue amps have more fleshed-out, substantial bodies to individual images, and significantly more authority in the lower frequencies. They also sustain these Tripath traits during more complex and louder musical passages- it got to the point where I could only listen my low powered Tripath amps late at night and low volumes or all the positive qualities would come crashing down.

Progressing up from the Virtue One to the One.2 to the Two will give you better detail (esp. transient attack) and resolution, and improved soundstage depth. The Sensation takes everything up to a higher level. IMO everything gets better- more transparent, more natural, voluminous soundstage, and oh, so effortless.

My Virtue amps never needed any bias adjustment, and I don't believe it's an attribute with any of the Virtue amps. I've tried the 90w and 130w switching power supplies, batteries, and JT Dynamic high current supplies, and things get better with every upgrade. Gary Dodd's battery pack has to be one of the all-time great bargains at $139.

I hope this helps.

James

tw_switzerland

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Re: Newbie questions: No Bias Adjust? Most holographic amp?
« Reply #2 on: 2 Jun 2010, 12:23 pm »
Thank you James for your warm welcome and your deep and detailed explanation.  :D

I'm quite convinced, that the Virtues are what I am looking for. As simplicity is something that I find a good principle, I am currently heading towards a Two.2 with Auricaps and one of the 30V power adapters instead of the bigger sensation. I would not make use of the additional RCA inputs and the remote.

Source will be a Squeezebox classic through a Musical Fidelity V-DAC. Volume will be set using the Squeezebox remote (actually the comfortable WLAN controller).

As the shipping costs to Switzerland are really high, I will await the first reviews of the Two.2 before ordering. In US you are in the comfortable situation to use the 30 days money back offer, if you shoud not be satisfied. If I would use this offer, I would have spent about $200 shipping costs for both ways... Well I do not expect to send it back. But maybe it's better to hear the first impressions before ordering to Europe.

Thank you for your answer. A great forum circle for a great product... :-)

Have a nice day
Thomas

wsturner

Re: Newbie questions: No Bias Adjust? Most holographic amp?
« Reply #3 on: 2 Jun 2010, 11:49 pm »
Thomas,

I was running the following:

Squeezebox Duet-->Cambridge Audio DacMagic-->Trends Audio TA 10.2 (with AuriCap upgrade)-->ProAc Response 1SC

The sound was decent.

Then I moved to the Virtue line, running on the Gary Dodd battery. The Virtue amps are truly something special!

Run them on a battery, with the cap upgrade, and I REALLY don't think you will be using the 30 day return offer :)

I can't really say more than what James already said.

Scott

jimdgoulding

Re: Newbie questions: No Bias Adjust? Most holographic amp?
« Reply #4 on: 3 Jun 2010, 12:09 am »
Agreed, James.  That was nicely written.  And, hi, Thomas, it's good to hear from a music lover in Switzerland.  Do the Swiss like jazz as much as your neighbors to the south?

tw_switzerland

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  • I like the 3D imaging of a good stereo chain.
Re: Newbie questions: No Bias Adjust? Most holographic amp?
« Reply #5 on: 3 Jun 2010, 06:05 am »
Hi Scott and Jim

Scott: It's interesting to see your chain and its evolution. I do see some parallels to my chain. Not only regarding the amp (Trends and the upgrade to Virtue) but the Squeezebox and the DAC. During the last days I evaluated the DAC question. And on my shortlist landed the Dacmagic and the V-DAC. I was not sure which one to choose as both have good reviews. Yesterday I have odered a V-DAC, because it somehow follows more my preferred principle of "simplicity". A small box that can be hidden, reduced to digital in, analog out. Let's see if the sound will be what I am looking for (smooth, natural, 3D-realism).

Jim: Actually there are a lot of Swiss audiophiles and music lovers. This ever lasting quest for perfection in the reproduction is somehow inherent for a Swiss... You know, it's this inner quest for "Swiss precision"... ;-)

But beside this technical precision one should not forget that it is about the music and the feeling the music transports. And to be honest, this is probably not a domain the Swiss are very strong in. I think our southern neighbors, the Italian, are more relaxed and enjoiing life (and music) somehow more. Maybe this is a kind of tradeoff between technical precision and feeling/soul. But of course here in Switzerland we have great musicians too. But I would say the scene in Italy is more active and alive. The typical Swiss domains are banking and high precision technology - not the music in the first line.

Have a nice day!
Thomas
« Last Edit: 4 Jun 2010, 04:48 am by tw_switzerland »

Jason T

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Re: Newbie questions: No Bias Adjust? Most holographic amp?
« Reply #6 on: 5 Jun 2010, 08:39 pm »
It's funny that I'm watching Andrea Bocelli Vivere as I'm reading this thread :)
great performers, beautiful voices and killer recording for a live performance !

I want to shake the guys hand that recorded this

neutralos

Re: Newbie questions: No Bias Adjust? Most holographic amp?
« Reply #7 on: 10 Jun 2010, 12:32 pm »

Are all Virtue amps (One, Two, Sensation) the same, regarding their 3D imaging. Or does one sound a bit more "holographic" than the others?


Hi Thomas, the 3-D Imaging can also be affected by the source. But you cannot go wrong with a TWO. Most Tripaths are popular for their transparent music reproduction. The auricaps are build in mine TWO and they sound very smooth - I think a bit too smooth because my Meridian Player is also known for it´s vinyl like sound. You see it´s a bit an issue of the rest of the chain which caps are the best for your taste.

In the end the TWO is highly recommended by me and in combination with clean high current PSU (Seths not really amused :wink:)  a Trends amp will not be able to reach 50 % of it. More punch, more control ...

Best wishes