is the little princess, Virgo V!
Although the Virgo III is still an excellent speaker it naturally had some cons too: there was very little life, if any, below 40 Hz. The vertical dimension of the soundstaging was insufficient, the dynamic abilities were clearly limited and even though the sound was clean and delicious there was some lack of tonal richness and realism. So, there was also space for some improvements.
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It was time to listen to some jazz. Diana Krall’s voice (Love Scenes, IMP 12342) had the same warmish tonality I heard with the Avanti V. The slight dryness which the Virgo III had is gone and there was a lot of body in the vocals instead. Diana’s piano was also sparkling and very enjoyable, lacking only the last bit of the attack and richness in nuances when compared to the very best speakers I’ve heard. Naturally the treble was also more realistic than before. Another jazz trial, George Duke’s After Hours (WB 947073), consists of a variety of very dynamic electrical jazz songs. Actually I haven’t found any normal jazz recording which exceeds the dynamics of this record. At least in that manner After Hours is a very good test CD and again listening to it revealed some slight flaws in the Virgo V’s dynamics, control and absolute accuracy. Anyway one must remember that I’m very critical here! I know that there are numerous enthusiasts out there who will be never disturbed by these slight deficits, and actually neither would I in an ordinary listening situation! When compared to the Avanti V the Virgo V must give up a little in weight and bass punch. Anyway, the co-operation of the listening room and the speaker usually becomes more important. In smallish listening rooms the Virgo will very likely give more balanced results than Avanti.
I have not been very eager to use any special test CDs during my listening sessions. However, the Burmester test CD III makes an exception to this rule because besides the excellence of the sound quality it is also musically rich. Nicolo Paganini’s Sonata Concertata and Hans Jurgen Schnoor’s Orgelwerke von Bach were nice and suitably different kind of samples. Those samples showed that Virgo V can transmit a lot of micro information which is very important, especially when one is listening brief compositions. Paganini’s music was delicious and the best features of Virgo V came forward: there was truly lot of natural details and micro information. The church organ is a very demanding instrument, as its frequency range with harmonics covers all the audio frequencies. This sample also left something to desire. On one hand the Virgo V offered a clean, well balanced and big soundstaging performance but on the other hand its lowest register lacked a bit of control and despite the more solid enclosure there was still slight congestion left. The very last bit of clarity in church echoes seemed to be missed as well when compared to the best sets and speakers I’ve heard. The last CD in this session was Reference Records’ “Respighi” (RR-95CD). At this moment I had some company and we decided to adjust the volume as near the real live concert as possible. Naturally we tried to remember the volume level we have used to have in a typical classical live concert at our seats. After booking some slight criticisms and after decreasing the volume I had to become humble! The Virgo V did an excellent presentation with those demanding tracks! The sound was very live-like and the previously mentioned lacks did not disturb the session at all. I think this will give a correct perspective on the criticisms in this text - what a fine speaker we have here!
Transparency: Marvellous. In this area Virgo V is very strong and competitive even with much more expensive speakers.
Treble: The treble is now among the best tweeter presentations I’ve heard. In practice the result is the same as with the Avanti V.
Midrange: If possible the Virgo V is still a bit more balanced and at least richer than its predecessor, without loosing the level of accuracy!
Bass: The bass of the Virgo V goes low, remarkably lower than the Virgo III. Anyway, the bigger sister is a step ahead here. The quality of the bass is good, but for example the slight lack of punch may disturb especially in bigger listening rooms.
Dynamics: Very good, but especially in the lower register did not quite achieve the level of the Avanti V or some other competitors.
Spatial information: It is amazing how well this small floorstanding speaker does in this area! Like the Avanti V, it is just very near the best speakers I’ve heard! The vertical dimensions of soundstaging are now clearly larger than what the predecessor had. On the other hand the images are possibly not as precisely locked in their places as Virgo III’s images.