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Da Vinci Virtu Party all set!

Da Vinci's presentation of musicality is always unique. The latest execution by solid state symbolizes the fusion art of vintage transformer coupling technology with solid state. Even at the level of Nifty preamp, the musicality is immense. The articulation of musicality emphasizes on "the musical flow" and "tonal color" alongside "speed" this round. The first music that I tested was not classical music (it was meant to be a default champion in the classical genre) but electronic music. The reproduction of "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits via the Cessaro horn system blows me away right from the beginning. The body of the electric guitar is not inflated in size like many tube counterparts, but rather defined by the tonal color intensity of the synthesized frequency range. The subsequent rhythm automatically renders the "foot tapping" effect on my part. The vocal remains in stable focus even as the background was fused with all kind of electronic instrument. And even Sting's voice (he happened to be in town at that time when Mark Knofpler was recording that track) was reproduced with full presence. This is Peter's best work today, after following his works since 2003.

More to report as the Virtu amp just landed a few hours ago...


  • The chassis of the Virtu amp is state of the art. After learning so much from all the great designers within the AE community, I have come to learn that thermal distortion is always power amplifier's biggest energy. This solidly milled chassis is a state of the art heat-sink by design to minimize thermal distortion over time. Don't be fooled by the slim size of them as I really cannot lift any of them up. One piece is about 70 pounds. 40watts Class A of finesse power should rock the Cessaro, be it the Chopin or the Beta.
  • The resolution of my mobile phone cannot really capture the real style of the Virtu amp in reality. As I said, the amp is Da Vinci's flagship production in limited pairs in any given year, the anticipation of its performance is sky high. Even the Nifty can outperform Tron Syren Black Label right at the beginning in a number of key areas, it is not easy to imagine what will be the performance at the VIRTU class. We shall all find out very soon!
  • I was nearby when PT set up the DV Virtu amplification chain today. They arrived fresh from Switzerland this morning. Obviously, warm up requires but my impression at the evening (after they were switched on for 2 hours) was spectacular. The tonal color is piercingly rich by structure. To compare, I felt the mid-range presentation from Peter's past works was overdosed somewhat relatively speaking. The description of rich tonality is increasingly superficial in this community as PT points out inflation of mid range energy does not necessarily mean rich tonality. It only means someone ears' are pleased by such depiction. When resolution is high enough in the tonal area, one can hear the structure of the tonal color palette. This is the result of the performers' skills in delivering the his/her own "tone". Some designer focuses more on the skill (process of delivering) so that we can hear the movement of each bow. The Da Vinci focuses more on the result of the skill - the final tone. Everything about the tone is immensely presented. This is an area that is not easy to be described in words. One can only understand in relation to his listening experiences.

    If the tone is overdosed, you can never get Dire Strait's right. Because speed is important and more often than not, rhythm dictates musicality as much as beautiful tonality. I can't say Mark's tonality is beautiful but his music moves millions in the world. When he sings "Brothers in Arm", the very first few words of the lyrics - "these mist covered mountains are a home for me now.....", the coldness of his voice was immediately felt melancholically on my part. I have to say even the lightning effect at the back was reproduced with sheer presence enriching the musical message of the song.

    These fine DV electronics are meant for matured listener. Please don't treat this is any formal review but impression is what that counts most of the time. I shall revisit a few weeks later as PT can always do magic nowadays. The Takumi suite in this place has impressed so many people including myself. The DV set is going to render a completely different feeling and I am interested to learn others' opinion.

    To Peter Brem, great work!
  • call me when run-in ready. i need bring a few cd for these DV audition.
  • Damn it..... I am truly damned this round.... My driver asked me a few times whether the address is correct because it ain't look like there is some sort of high end salon around the corner. What the fxxk!?! There is no elevator?!? I met some strange faces on my way up to AE2. That was quite a hunt!

    When the door was opened, I saw familiar decorations like AE1. The Da Vinci amps are beautiful in reality. That Nifty looks cute. I told my driver I probably came down in 15 minutes but ended up spending 90 minutes (much more than my conversations with some high profiled CEOs) figuring out what kind of metaphysics are being played......... I got the K10 and the K70 and know well what they are capable of but this Chopin with the Hero subwoofer are not trivial kids on the streets.

    And I got to say out loud that these Da Vinci stuff are very fine stuff here. King Puyi already wrote an excellent introduction of them and I agree every words he had put forth. The tone is too damn beautiful, but not to the point of exaggerating or overdosing. The speed is there, I meant, the speed of the bass is there with weight and recoil...

    And you guys got to tell me more about those Phantom diffusors!

    Great job! By the way, Mr.PT, you lose some weight. That's good. Keep it up!

    Last but not least to Peter Brem - Great Work!
  • The first Da Vinci Virtu arm in the world.
  • First impression is.ultra.high level of tonal density. Music just flows. Soundstaging is very stable. Imaging is rock solid. Setup is easy. We shall report more soon.
  • edited December 2011
    Unconventional perspective of live nurtures creativity. New ideas open up new dimensions of musicality. Discover together with Audio Exotics the unconventional philosophy of Da Vinci to the service of music in 2012.

    We wish you, your family and friends a Happy New Year and a lot of unforgettable musical experiences at AE2 thru the Da Vinci way!

    Jolanda, Peter, Nathalie and Sandro
  • After aging the Nifty non-shop for a period of 7 days (it was not switched off during a 7/24 cycle), the Nifty simply ignites all of my senses. Although transformers take time to age, the supreme quality of it is apparent right at the beginning. This aging process, however, was a beautiful one. It ages a bit every day until this morning I know it's done when I played Teresa Berganza's Spanish songs (double CD sets recommended by VoyR long time ago) thru the NeoDio CDT/DAC. The realism of her voice is in human flesh, absolutely stunning and yet the acoustic characteristics of the recording venue (namely the relationship with her voice and the room) is also presented with fidelity. This is not a case of separating the voice from the acoustic venue but a case of full integration. This is what I called resolution. Resolution should not preclude musicality and vice versa. It is all a matter of execution and the management of the overall audio system. I am truly confident of the Da Vinci/Cessaro combo. They have very strong synergy. I evaluate the preamp separately from the Virtu amp in order to understand Peter's work better. Later on, I will present a complete reflection of Nifty/Virtu.

    I keep playing Dire Straits everyday because of the thrilling electric bass energy. They are under full control. Lower mid bass attack has the speed to render rhythm that you can follow easily by taping the foot. Even very low level bass details are captured organically. I also tested a disc where many people are playing drums together. Wow, the recoil of the bass, the resonances of the drum skin, and the subsequent transmission of bass energy is so very much orderly. That is something I never experience before in HORN setting.

    To Peter, Great work again!
  • edited January 2012
    If the Nifty is a pleasant surprise from a cost-effectiveness standpoint (in the Da Vinci Universe relatively speaking), then the flagship Virtu mono amplifiers is a BIG SHOCK, no less than Angel's Artemis Mono Amplifiers. The amplifier is a pure and true Class A 40watt design without any bias. It means truly 40 watt class A into 8 ohm. Let's scrap the technical stuff.

    This amplifier is capable of showing the "華麗" perspective of music. That is, however, not achieved by coloration but extreme ability to reveal the tone structure of everything in the scene. Somehow, Peter has not forgotten to show us the acoustic relationship between the tone and the recording environment. That is what makes it integrated flawlessly in fidelity. The Nifty can do this already, which is extremely uncommon at this price point but the VIRTU class just escalates the strength exponentially.

    Application is best with high efficiency speaker so that the amplifiers have full control on the whole frequency range. I don't meant to exaggerate or hard sell anything here but this is something extremely unique that you guys must come and listen. I never bluff in terms of my managed systems' performance.

    And the biggest discovery today is now I fully understand the grounding system designed by Peter. In the Nifty or the Virtu, there are two ground posts at the back. I just know today one is the CIRCUIT ground and the other one is the CHASSIS ground. You can connect them together to form a common ground but the craziest recommendation by Peter is to connect the CIRCUIT ground DIRECTLY to the TROY. And if this is not a shock, I don't know what is it. There are SO MUCH MORE details on all axis even compared to the "connection to the chassis" also to the same Troy.

    More to report... I am too excited...
  • Connection of circuit ground directly to the Troy should be mind boggling. I can imagine why you had such big "shock".
  • What should I say? How should I describe Peter Brem's magical work? The Virtu amp is something else. It is unique. It plays music. It plays ALL kind of music. It is dynamic. And it is extremely fast and control. It is very UN-Da Vinci, if our perspective remains unchanged at the days of Intonation/Grandezza tube amp systems. But at the same time the musicality is VERY Da Vinci. You guys better experience yourself.

    By the way, AE2 is perfect! Considering the amount of space available, the integration of the Horn system with 2 back loaded active subwoofers to the room is perfect. If there is imperfection, please share here because I can't detect any even though I play very loud relative to the size of the room regardless of rock music or classical.

    This is a perfect showcase of the "science" of room acoustics. Those phantom diffusors are great although I don't know what they do. I only know all the walls disappear (including the back wall behind me) and I am completely engulfed in the space.

    I don't want to describe the tonality of the amp or whatever is beautiful because it is the recording that defines the tone color. What I can say is the Virtu amp has tremendous power in resolving tonal color.

    PT often says - "inflation of mid-range" to recreate pleasing lower mid bass to falsify natural warmth may mean musical to some for a period of time. Now I understand what he refers to. There is no right or wrong involving preferences but that matters more is the "progress".
  • Master Chik, the house vinyl expert of AE, helped me to set up the Virtu tonearm into the Gabriel. He has practised the setup once in AE showroom to ensure he loses no time in performing the same in my place since I am living so far away leaving no room for any mistake.
  • The setup was surprisingly smooth and it took just 3 refining stages for Master Chik before we both could relax down and listen to the music produced by the DaVinci combo, something that I have missed for a while...thanks to Mr. Chik for preparing so well the installation which is a record (to me)!!
  • Compared to the previous Grandezza reference, the setup is relatively simple and according to Master Chik, the flexibility introduced in this new tonearm in terms of mating with different cartridges has been increased significantly...
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