Virtue Audio, Trends Audio, NuForce Shoot-out on Stereomojo

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stereomojo has published a shoot-out of low cost, low powered digital switching amps. These include the Virtue Audio One integrated amp ($250), NuForce Icon integrated amp ($250), and Trends TA 10.1 integrated amp ($190).

Shoot-out conductor John Richards, assisted by Mike Peshkin and John Fritz, tried each amp in a system which includes a Mac-based music server, a Benchmark DAC1 USB, and a pair of Von Schweikert VR-1 monitors.

The winner?

Obviously, my first choice was the Virtue One. It’s a really well built and good-looking product that has the power to drive real speakers in real rooms. It could easily serve as the centerpiece in a really good budget stereo system (as it presently does in my home).

Publisher James Darby added an important comment at the end:

Mr. Richardson said the VR-1’s are an easy load, but I’m not sure I agree. The Von Schweikert VR-1’s the guys used for this shootout is a fine small speaker but it not a very efficient one… I did see where the minimum solid state recommendation is 50 wpc.

Check out the entire review. I think the power issue was certainly in play here, since one of the reviewers specifically commented on a lack of attack from the Trends unit. After many months of listening, I would say attack is one of its strong suits.

nunh March 14, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Thx for the heads up!