AudioSolutions was founded in 2011 in Lithuania. Its headquarters is in Vilnius. The founder and designer is Mr. GEDIMINAS GAIDELIS. The company specializes in expensive and very expensive loudspeakers. The offer consists of five main series, of which Figaro is the second from the bottom. We test the free standing speakers VIRTUOSO S.I'm going through my next meetings with the Gediminas Gaidelis products with the AudioSolutions logo a few years have passed. It is a bit too much to make direct comparisons of individual models, but the breaks are not large enough to be able to erase the impressions and associations that I have with them. Of course, every year the columns of this Lithuanian company can be listened to whether during the Audio Video Show exhibition (like probably many readers I still hope that the event will take place this year) or during the Munich High-End, and usually they play really well, but it's not exactly the same as listening in your own system.
Earlier AudioSolutions reviews have already contained a lot of information about this brand and its creator, so once again let me remind you only a few of the most important information. Well, the company exists since 2011 (next year's anniversary - I wonder if we will see any special products on this occasion?), And its headquarters is Vilnius. This is one of those companies that is highly specialized - it designs and produces only loudspeakers. series | The company's current offer consists of six series , but in two: VANTAGE CLASSIC and GUIMBARDE, we find one model. The offer opens with the OVERTURE line, higher in the price list is FIGARO and it was the representatives of these series (as well as the no longer produced Rhapsody) that I had the pleasure to test so far.
The top of the offer is the VANTAGE 5TH ANNIVERSARY line and the parallel VANTAGE CLASSIC line. The name of the former indicates that they were created for the first round anniversary of the brand's existence. The prices of this series reflect their positioning at the top of the offer, in contrast to - of course relatively - reasonably priced Overture or Figaro speakers. Built on the basis of two models, the Virtuoso series landed roughly in the middle between Figaro and Vantage.
These are loudspeakers that cost a lot of money (much bigger than Figaro), but not yet from the highest price level, like the top line. The two models, marked with the letters S and M (Small and Middle) differ in the size of both the housing and the mid- and woofer drivers. Arek Sztander from Premium Sound, the Polish distributor of the brand, left me the decision to choose between models. I decided that smaller columns would be better suited to my room. Plus, as a cruel man by nature, I preferred that the team supplying the product for the test had to bring to me 2 x 50 kg (net) instead of 2 x 75 kg (after being brought, their faces were painted with moderate gratitude at most, but still ...
The loudspeakers are quite big - height 1130 mm, depth about 550 mm - that's impressive. They look thoroughly modern. Like I'm a fan of classic shapes, natural wooden surfaces, etc., but I have to admit that the perfectly finished (Blue Blue) glossy varnish casings based on solid bases looked great in my room . The special finish of the base and top wall, finished with custom-made polyurethane lacquer with an admixture of crushed stone and coal, as well as the side walls, did not specifically finger or dust (i.e., dust, but it was not visible) - it's a big plus for me. As we read on the company's website, AudioSolutions creating this series reached for several solutions from the top Vantage series .
Many companies do this - they develop the best possible solutions for the most expensive products, and later some of them also use in cheaper series to raise their class on the one hand, and using the effect of scale is able to reduce the cost of producing these elements on the other. One of those taken directly from the Vantage Classic is the adjustable crossover ... actually three. The manufacturer himself uses both terms, but as he explained to me in the conversation, it is more appropriate to use the term "three crossovers" because the offered regulation is not a simple solution based on resistors that change the timbre of the sound, but a more advanced one that changes the nature of the sound, but not the tone. You can read more about this in the paragraph "A few simple words ..."STEERING
On the back of each column there is a large three-position knob that allows you to choose between the following settings / profiles (I use the distributor's description here):
this mode is characterized by high clarity and an immersive sound stage.
this mode is ideal for long listening sessionsand in situations where the speakers are close to their limits, especially when listening to rock or metal. The continuous evolution of high-end audio components and speakers means that today's equipment reveals many imperfections in recordings that can cause the sound to be distorted, loud and tiring to your ears. This is especially true for classic rock albums. Soft mode uses a technique similar to a recording studio, manipulating distortion and very sharp peaks in the frequency range.
enabling this mode will allow the listener to experience the best level of musical details in the recordings. This mode is especially suitable for quiet evening listening, when the noise from the surroundings in the city is reduced and the micro details in the music come to life. This mode can mean the difference between just listening to music and establishing an emotional connection with music, encouraging you to dance or cry while listening to your favorite songs.I will return to these settings and their impact on the sound in the part describing the sound, trying to confront the above suggestions with what I actually heard. However, it cannot be hidden that this solution is interesting and can help match the sound of these columns to the sound and musical preferences of a particular user , and even to specific recordings. As the manufacturer emphasizes, changes in settings do not result in different SPL levels, so they do not rely on changing the levels of individual transducers. Virtuoso uses a much more advanced system, which uses natural distortion patterns of individual transducers to affect the sound received by listeners.
All transducers have their own distortion, smaller or larger, but there are always some. AudioSolutions engineers, by manipulating the crossover frequency and the steep slope of the filters, influence these distortions by changing the nature of the reproduced sound slightly. As they claim, this unique solution allows you to get three different presentation characters using the same columns . Sounds interesting, right? Let's return to the special features provided by the manufacturer. A box-in-a-box enclosure was used here, literally "box in a box" or "housing in a box". The solution was developed for the Figaro series, and further improved for Virtuoso.
As AudioSolutions justifies: The weakest points of a traditional loudspeaker are joints at the corners, because they behave more like hinges than tight connectors without vibration. The "box in box" approach solves this problem by connecting two housings shifted relative to each other. The inner part is fully closed and equipped with solid internal reinforcements and properly damped. Then the outer casing is glued to the top. This solution allows achieving up to 10 times more rigidity than a single-layer housing.
A stiffer cabinet has a large, positive effect on the sound - the sound is neutral (less coloration from the housing - ed.) And more authentic. Other special features of the Virtuoso S are a three-inch silk dome placed with a small waveguide, a midrange driver with a paper (basically papyrus) membrane with a wide frequency range (up to 7 kHz) with a diameter of 132 mm, with two woofers that also with a paper membrane, 165 mm diameter each . Virtuoso S on paper are not particularly difficult to drive - efficiency at 91.5 dB at 4 Ω, plus the possibility of bi-wiring, or even bi-amping thanks to double high-class WBT Nextgen loudspeaker sockets, give users the opportunity to choose their amplifier quite freely, but the designer makes it clear - the more (high-class) watts and the higher the damping factor, the better . housing | The self-locking casing is one of the reasons to be proud of AudioSolutions; is an element borrowed from the Vantage Classic series.
As I wrote in the review of Figaro S, a number of materials with different own resonances were used to make these housings, creating the so-called sandwich . In addition, individual elements of the housing have been modeled and connected together so that some eliminate / delete the resonances of others. In this way, solid, rigid boxes with very low resonances were obtained, which is to translate into sound purity, especially at low frequencies. Their shape has nothing to do with the classic cuboid , which on the one hand eliminates the risk of standing waves inside the enclosure, on the other, it also increases the visual attractiveness of Virtuoso. The housing is the widest, roughly one-third deep, and the narrowest in the back.
The whole is set on four adjustable anti-vibration feet firmly hidden in a solid, heavy column base. Case bass-reflex | The bass-reflex outlet directed backwards in theory may not particularly facilitate the positioning of the speakers in the room, but they are not packages that abuse this element for artificial bass pumping, so even placed near the back wall works well. Anyway, Gediminas claims that according to measurements, also due to the proper profiling of the tunnel and the outlet of the port br, the distance from the wall is not of great importance. As he told me, some put these columns even just a few centimeters from the wall.
Which doesn't change the fact that during the listening session the distance of the back panel (and thus the outlet from br) was 70 cm , because they sounded like that, maybe not much, but still better. finish | Let's add two more words about the available finishes, because in this area AudioSolutions has a lot to offer, honestly more than many column giant . Well, there are seven standard finishes, from white through gray, green, to two blue options. In addition, six custom finishes with metallic high gloss lacquer are offered , among which you can find slightly more extravagant yellow, orange or chameleon colors (the name suggests that the color changes depending on the lighting or angle of view).
As you may remember, in the Figaro series the customer was given a choice of traditional grill or front panel with profiled holes for individual speakers. In Virtuoso S, the masking cover was abandoned, and such a wall with cutouts for transducers was permanently installed.GEDIMINAS GAIDELIS
Owner, constructor MAREK DYBA: Thank you for sending a document containing many details about the new Virtuoso. However, I have a few additional questions. Let's start with the issue of the tweeter. In the document you explain why the tweeter was placed in the waveguide (to minimize distortion of the soft dome), but there is not a word about why you are using such a speaker, maybe it would be better to choose another one that would not require tube correction?
Iuse soft domes for the same reason as speakers with paper membranes - soft domes offer the best, most natural sound. They also probably offer the best set of parameters important for the constructor of columns. And because our philosophy is to produce neutral-sounding columns, these domes are the perfect solution for us. So we don't really use a tube or waveguide to "fix the problem", but to reduce the level of transducer distortion and increase its efficiency.
MD: Many people are allergic to the "tube" slogan, claiming that its use always results in coloration of the sound. This applies primarily to the midrange, but still ...
GG: That's true. That's why we use a minitube. Small, for a very specific frequency range, which is why there is no "tube raid" in the sound of our speakers.
MD: In the text you describe the box-in-box housing. Do I understand correctly that the outer is attached directly to the inner?
GG: That's right. Inside there is a housing with all reinforcements. The outer housing is attached to the inner so that the latter from the outside cannot be seen.
MD: And what materials were both layers made of?
GG: We use MDF and HDF. The former is a medium density material and is often used by column manufacturers. The latter has, more or less, twice the density.
MD: And what is the matter of damping resonances?
GG: We assume that the best way to suppress vibrations is to combine several methods. If only one is used, it actually never works well enough. We use real wool in the medium frequency range, because this material contains hair of different thicknesses, so the attenuation is also good in the higher frequency range. We use artificial wool for bass. Another element is vibration control - this is the role of housing reinforcements. Another element of our system is the already mentioned two housings - internal from a much denser material and external from MDF with a lower density. Attenuation is simple to accomplish, but if you do it headless, it leads to a situation in which energy is accumulated in the housing, which is released too slowly. It is true that in this case we do not have any large peaks in the frequency range, but due to the slow release of energy, the sound becomes slow, even silted. On the other hand, when using only dense material that does not store energy for too long, large peaks and ringing appear in the frequency response.
That is why we combine several suppression techniques, combining their advantages and eliminating weaknesses.
MD: Let's move to the program's clou, i.e. the crossover. Are crossovers? Even in the document you send, you write in one place with an adjustable crossover and in another with three crossovers. So how is it finally?
GG: From the purely technical side, there is one crossover. We use the term "three crossovers" to emphasize that our solution is more advanced than level control for individual frequency ranges used by some (e.g. Sonus faber). We are talking about three crossovers because ... there are actually three, i.e. for the midrange and tweeter speakers, but for the loudspeaker as a whole there is one crossover. It would make more sense if we wrote about three crossovers everywhere.
MD: Well, but they are three separate systems after all, or not, because I'm still not sure :)?
GG: For midrange and high it is three separate systems. This can be done, for example, with the help of simply resistors. However, we've developed completely different crossovers, and the solution is not to make small changes in levels using resistors.
MD: What did you want to achieve with this solution? Do you think that users will actually use different settings every day to match them to the music they are listening to, or how they listen, or would they rather choose at the beginning one of them and stay with it?
GG: I believe that music fans will use this feature. Just like they use the "sport" button in their cars. Because the use of this function is so simple - knobs that just need to be moved to another position - they will use it especially when they hear that the changes are felt most at the emotional level of music reception. Of course, the "lazy" user can leave the dial in the neutral position and there will be nothing wrong with that. MD: A practical question - can these settings be changed while playing music?
GG: Yes, but if you want to hear the differences it's best to ask someone else to switch and stay in the listening position yourself. The suggestion is due to the fact that getting closer to the playing columns results in a decrease in our sensitivity to sound and for at least half an hour. I could never understand people who at audio exhibitions come very close to the speakers and almost put their ear to each driver in turn. After such a procedure you can hardly listen to music for a long time. Hence the suggestion that changes be made by someone who does not listen to music at the moment. If you have to do it yourself, it is better to stop playing music, change the settings, return to the listening position and start playback. This solution is better for both the ears and the amplifier.
MD: The contributing team Virtuoso S mentioned "special feet", but because the loudspeakers are large and heavy, it is difficult for me to turn them upside down to look at them and the base. Could you explain what their "specialty" is then?
GG: In our feet, we simply use felt damping elements, the same as those used in musical instruments. E.g. in hi-hats to suppress the ringing. The base of the column is massive. Mass is necessary to absorb unwanted vibrations. Earlier I talked about energy storage and its slow release. It works great here. The goal is to "capture" vibrations and slowly release them into the felt damping elements. Of course, the use of some sophisticated anti-vibration feet should give a positive effect compared to felt pads, but regardless of this you need the right mass of the whole base to get the right bass sound, and we have provided it.MD: Another topic: bass reflex. I will not ask why you used this and not another bass-reflex port and tunnel, but rather why bas-reflex ventilated enclosures at all (asked a fan of closed and open enclosures)?
GG: Hmm ... why not? It's like a question about turbocharging the engine. It's a matter of approach, emotion and making a choice. Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages. I chose bass-reflex, because it better suited my idea for loudspeakers, and that's all :).
MD: I understand. In that case I will ask - why from the back? This usually makes it difficult to position the columns, especially in smaller rooms. The tested version, i.e.Virtuoso S, which is not that big, so in theory you do not need a room of 40 m2, it will be more difficult to set up in a smaller room, where they cannot stand far from the wall, without the risk of bass-reflex coloration. Wouldn't port br in the front be a better option?
GG: I know very well that the port facing back has a bad reputation. Some manufacturers of inexpensive loudspeakers use it as a means to enhance the bass, because they use cheap transducers that are not able to reproduce low frequencies. But if you want and are able to already at the design stage of the housing, you can plan it so that the rearward facing br would not have a negative effect on the sound.
You must have at your disposal transducers of the right class that do not require br, plus, properly designed, such a solution will give better results than the port facing forward, or, worst of all, downwards. In our case, the rear port br does not require the columns to be moved further away from the wall. It doesn't matter which way it is directed. It matters how it was designed and calculated. By measuring the sound coming from the br port it is easy to see that there are not only low frequencies but also a part of the lower midrange.
Therefore, the front port is not a good solution, because it is actually impossible to tune such a column. It just plays like a game and nothing can be done if you don't like the sound. The rear port, for a change, allows the user to tune the sound. Provided that the column has been properly designed. For Virtuoso S 25-30 cm from the wall is usually enough. In some cases, the speakers landed as little as 5 cm from the wall, when there was no other option, and they also sounded good.
MD: Hmm ... I ended up setting the Virtuoso S 25-30 cm further from the wall than I set up my speakers (i.e. about 75-80 cm in total), because they sounded best on my ear.
GG: Oh ... that's quite a lot. But all in all this was to be expected from a closed enclosure fan :). By displaying the speakers closer to the center of the room you got faster bass, and this fan of enclosed constructions - consciously or not - is expected. Alternatively, you can try to plug the br outlet and check the sound. It is worth checking, because this solution costs nothing.
MD: For today you offer two models Virtuoso, S and M - are we expecting more in this series?
GG: Yes, we plan to extend the offer of Virtuoso. Information will appear in due course.
MD: Do you have any suggestions for amplifiers for Virtuoso? GG: Basically - the more watts the better. The loudspeakers from this series, unlike the Vantage 5th Anniversary, are faster and easier to control, but I think they should be driven by a high-class, powerful amplifier. Usually the M model looks great with a 300-watt class AB amplifier with appropriate current efficiency.
GG I will add that the document we were talking about is to be published soon on the producer's website. Everyone interested in building Virtuoso is encouraged to read it all the more because it is not overly technical.
HOW WE LISTENED
During the test, I powered the Virtuoso S first mainly with my 30-watt class A transistor, i.e. GrandiNote Shinai, which controlled these speakers as well as, probably, 375 W (at 4 Ω) hybrid Pathos Kratos, which I visited in the so-called in the meantime, confirming that the class of the amplifier plays a big role, but the power is a little smaller, which does not mean that it does not matter. However, after talking to Gediminas suggesting using a high power amplifier to get not "warm and slightly rounded" but "faster, more compact" bass, I switched to a shared set with my AudiaFlight FLS 1 and 350W preamplifier LampizatOr Metamorphosis hybrid monoblocks. The standard sources were the J. Sikora Standard Max turntable with a KV12 tonearm and AirTight PC-3 cartridge and LampizatOr Pacific. In addition, I used a very interesting, new Weiss DAC 501 converter.Recordings used in the test (a selection):
- TREME Season 1 , HBO 0602527508450, CD / FLAC
- AC / DC, Live , EPIC, E2 90553, LP
- Al di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, Friday night in San Francisco , Philips 800 047-2, CD / FLAC
- Beethoven, Symphonie No. 9 , Deutsche Grammophon DG 445 503-2, CD / FLAC
- Dire Straits, Love Over Gold , Mercury Records 800088-2, CD / FLAC
- Eva Cassidy, Eva by heart , Blix Street 410047, CD
- Georges Bizet, Carmen , RCA Red Seal 74321 39495 2, CD / FLAC
- Isao Suzuki, Blow up , Three Blind Mice B000682FAE, CD / FLAC
- Iza Zając, Songs for Armstrong , Polish Radio PRCD238, CD / FLAC
- Joseph Haydn, Les sept dernieres paroles de notre Rédempteur sur la Croix , perf. Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall, Astree B00004R7PQ, CD / FLAC
- Kermit Ruffins, Livin 'a Treme life , Basin Street B001T46TVU, CD / FLAC
- Lee Ritenour, Rhythm sessions , Concord Records CRE 33709-02, CD / FLAC
- Leszek Możdżer, Piano , ARMS 1427-001-2, CD / FLAC
- Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington. The Complete Session , "Deluxe Edition", Roulette Jazz 24547 2 (and 3), CD / FLAC
- Pavarotti, The 50 greatest tracks , Decca 478 5944, CD / FLAC
- Pink Floyd, Wish you were here , EMI / EMI Records Japan TOCP-53808, CD / FLAC
- Puccini, La Boheme , Decca B001C4Q7IM, CD / FLAC
- Wycliff Gordon, Dreams of New Orleans , Chesky B0090PX4U4, CD / FLAC
SET and what follows
As a curiosity, I will write that I briefly connected the Virtuoso S also to the 8 W SET Felix Audio Arioso 20th Anniversary Edition. This combination was not perfect, and certainly not universal, but listening at low levels of acoustic and vocal music had a large dose of SET magic in them . With no other amplifier, the sound was so spacious and tangible, so full of air, so ethereal (in the best sense of the word) at the top of the band, so colorful in the middle. At the same time it was clear that the Polish amplifier could not completely control the woofers, and thus the lower part of the band. So this one was quite soft and rounded and not very fast, which in some recordings worked well, but in most cases it was a bit disturbing. It doesn't change the fact that everything that happened in the band above the bass sounded really beautiful. I do not intend to suggest such a permanent combination to anyone, but I think that the direction is worth exploring .
After what I heard, I would gladly combine a Virtuoso S with some 20-30 W, maybe even more powerful SET (e.g. Ayon Crossfire), or PSE, or maybe SE - for example, the Audio Reveal Second amplifier comes to my mind - I feel that it could be a really great (at least in terms of my sound preferences) combination. Of course, still primarily for fans of acoustic, vocal, chamber music, but much more universal than with 8 W SET. Optionally, although the use of bi-amping is much more difficult than it seems, SET driving the midrange and the top of the Virtuoso S and a powerful transistor on the bass - of course both of the highest class - it could be SOMETHING! This is just a feeling not supported by a full empirical test, basically a synthesis of listening experience with several amplifiers, but I am quite sure of what I am saying.
With the Felix Audio amplifier driving the "eski" I spent several hours listening to Eva Cassidy, Patricia Barber, Martina Jakubowicz, or Etta James, delighted with how beautiful, expressive their voices sounded, how they focused attention with their presence and uniqueness. The more that the Virtuoso S surprised me time and again with the spaciousness and palpability of the sound . For example, when an announcer during an Oscar Peterson concert began to speak over a meter to the left of the left column, I started looking for a visitor on the balcony because the illusion was extremely convincing ...
Let's take care of the actual listening, during which the Virtuoso S initially played with the GrandiNote Shinai amplifier. It's like only 30 W from a class A transistor, but this is usually enough to drive even quite difficult speakers. This was also the case this time - I did not find any deficiencies. The volume levels that I set, as I stated at one point, were actually the same as for very easy to drive MACH 4 loudspeakers from the same company. The bass was still in this set rather on the slightly softer side, but also fast and springy enough so that it would not be a problem. I didn't complain about the dynamics of the presentation , I liked the differentiation, timbre, way of keeping the tempo and rhythm and great stitching with the midrange. This, though maybe not as palpable, not as present as with Arioso, was dense, very well differentiated in terms of both color and dynamics and equally seamlessly connected with the treble top and bottom.
The treble presented by Virtuoso S, which was emphasized by some very good drum recordings, even with the participation of Steve Gadd, was what I expect from high-end loudspeakers driven by the Shinai amplifier. Clean, sonorous, full of air, with long reverbs, energetic , but unobtrusive, full-bodied, yet light / carrying, rich in information, but presented in a very coherent, grainy way. Regardless of the amplifier, because I had similar impressions from listening to the Pathos and LampizatOra amplifiers, the diameter is a key element in the presentation of the tested speakers . The fact is that I didn't have any absolutely neutral amplifier (because listening to such amplifiers is bothersome for me). On the other hand, the ones that I had strongly cared for the most important part of the band. And I think that it was superimposed on the decision of the creator of Virtuoso to set the crossover point so high - at 7 kHz.
Thanks to this, the middle tones are extremely coherent, pampered, full and free. All of the mentioned amplifiers sound on the slightly warmer side of the power, but without silting up, without losing purity and transparency, with high density and intensity, and the Lithuanian speakers were able to convey it very well. So maybe with some "cold bastard" Virtuoso will play differently, because they also above average allowed me to hear the differences between the devices driving them , as well as between the signal sources. In the end, Gediminas wrote that it offers neutral sounding loudspeakers. Only that I suspect that any doubts what he meant might come from the definition of this term. After all, it is enough to listen live to the guitar, violin, piano, double bass, saxophone, trumpet, etc. to hear that all acoustic instruments sound naturally warm, as I like to describe. If they sound like that in nature, then this should be the definition of neutrality, i.e. lack of coloration? Right? If soVirtuoso S offer the most neutral sound. And natural. And more precisely - naturally warm. Moderate | And that's why you listen to them so well, regardless of the type of music, and even, to some extent, the chosen crossover settings.
Except that in my case, after switching these settings , I spent the most time with the "Moderate" mode , which was determined, among others as "best for long listening sessions" and I turn on the system in the morning and often plays it until late evening. This is of course a matter of individual preferences, but also a tool that can to some extent be used to enhance the listening experience of slightly weaker recordings from the technical side, which is why I used the "Moderate" mode most often. Enhanced | Unless it was evening and you had to set the volume much lower - then the "Enhanced" mode provided the most information.
And no, this is not the result of my susceptibility to the suggestions of the manufacturer, who described this mode in this way, because I first conducted the auditions, and then I began to read about these speakers. Even with such quiet listening, the amount of subtlety and details in the whole band is impressive . You can hear the bass going down as low as required by the recording, you can hear every touch of the drum sheet with a broom, or every smack of the guitar string. And still the same balance of all elements that occurs when listening loudly, the same consistency and transparency. In the other two modes, while listening quietly, some information disappeared somewhere in the background, despite the fact that the ambient noise at a certain time decreases significantly, so regardless of the system you can almost always hear more.
In "Balanced" mode, listening to, for example, over 60 years of recording with a double bass, I found it too soft, too rumbling. Changing the crossover positioning helped - it was still an instrument that sounded quite soft, but nevertheless more taken in, with a better marked, slightly faster attack phase, but still great sustain and decay, which delighted in the first mode. And that made him listen a lot better, he didn't hurt his ears, so to speak. It was similar with non-audiophile tracks AC / DC, Rush, and even Metallica - they also sounded better in "Enhanced" mode. It's a matter of combining great energetics of playing, powerful, dense bass, reliable pace and rhythm and high dynamics with gentle softening of sharpness, brightening, even graininess.
I had the impression that these were very delicate procedures, introduced with great sensitivity, thanks to which the nature of these recordings and their nature did not change. She was not lost, a bit of aggression / focus necessary in such music. And yet, listening to rock madness was more pleasant, especially at higher volume levels. Case watts | And here we also come to the question of the number of watts driving Virtuoso S. It cannot be denied that while recording high-class 30 watts of the Shinai amplifier was completely enough, it was where the bass was already loose in the recording, or a bit too soft, where there was a mess in the recordings, strong amplifiers, like Metamorphosis or Kratos coped with it better. For people who listen to a lot of rock or pop, a powerful amplifier may be a better choice. However, when it came to listening to the concert of the Ray Brown trio (which was also quite old) or live by Patricia Barber, I returned to the "Balanced" mode. It was in him that every, even the smallest detail of these recordings could be heard better.
It was with him the presentation of the stage, the location of the instruments, their three-dimensionality or the impression of the presence of the musicians were the most convincing . Plus, this large, three-dimensional stage was filled with air best, giving instruments, but also Patricia, a chance to breathe fully. Similarly, as in the "Enhanced" mode. It also has the impression that music consists of more small elements, plankton. But the space is not as impressive as in "Balanced". It might seem that the Virtuoso S puts the user in a dilemma like "a donkey in a manger was given ...", but in practice, every time, if I felt that maybe a given disc could be played better, it only took me the optimal mode moments. In a word, it is really a useful tool , maybe not so much to "improve" recordings, but rather to improve the listener's experience. By using this option, which most speakers simply don't give, you can make what we hear sound even better to us (!). And it works well in every recording and every kind of music.
The Virtuoso S speakers are extremely elegant and I speak here both in the external appearance and the presentation they offer . It is ELEGANCE, COHERENCE and REFINING that are three terms that first come to my mind after listening sessions and with which I will associate these speakers in the future. Plus, of course, UNIVERSALITY, or the ability to "tune" the sound to your taste and in a very simple way.
The smaller representative of the Virtuoso series is also absolutely unrefined in terms of musical repertoire . He performed excellently in my favorite acoustic music, he built the atmosphere and space of good concerts, he impressed with the pace and rhythm in blues recordings, as well as scale and scale in a large classic. The vocals sound great with it, but also the slightly weaker recordings, whose flaws are slightly tempered. Whether they played an acoustic trio, a rock band or a large symphony orchestra, Virtuoso S treated each challenge in the same way - without stretching, freely, but at the same time highly precisely, and the only limitation on the amount and qualityof information reproduced by the speakers was the signal that reached them , i.e. the quality of recordings and the entire track. These are excellent speakers for well-set, evenly tuned systems of the highest class. Simply put, as befits a good speaker, AudioSolutions Virtuoso S are to be "only" the culmination of a system that will use its full potential without imposing its own character on it. Just class! And it's very high.
Technical data (according to manufacturer)
Frequency response (room environment): 26-30,000 Hz
Nominal power: 130 W rms
Maximum power: 260 W
Impedance: nominal 4 Ω
Efficiency: 91.5 dB (2.83 V / 1 m)
Crossover frequency: 500 Hz , 7000 Hz
Transducers: 3 cm silk tweeter waveguide, 13.2cm midrange, two 16.5 cm bass drivers
Dimensions (H x W x D): 1130 x 391 x 547 mm
Weight: 50 kg / pcs.