Clearaudio Virtuoso V2 Ebony
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Stereophile Recommended Component, Class B $$$
BJR couldn't come up with even one criticism of this wooden-bodied version of the excellent Aurum Beta S. It shares that cartridge's transparency, midrange naturalness, extended treble and bass definition, and dynamics, but adds an additional layer of detail resolution, sweetness, and subtle low level articulation, BJR decided that the Virtuoso Wood might be the affordable cartridge for lovers of jazz, classical, and rock music. "The performance of the Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood was so ear-opening that I recommend that anyone thinking of spending up to $2500 on a moving-coil cartridge consider buying the [$800} Wood instead." (Vol.25 No.12 WWW)

Audiophilia Review Of Clearaudio Virtuoso
As I said earlier, I would characterize the overall sound of this cartridge as warm and full bodied (I will spare you the comparison to red wine). It showed excellent balance from top to bottom with good extension at both extremes. All of this is accomplished without any false "hyper" detail, edginess, brightness or other undue "hi-fi effects". Since this cartridge has taken up residence in my system, I have been pulling out disk after disk, re-acquainting myself with my vinyl collection. This is one instance where I can characterize the Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood as being an all too rare, audiophile bargain.

The Stereo Times "The ClearAudio Virtuoso Moving Magnet, Cartridge Flirtations with the 'Dark Side'" Greg Weaver August 2001
Once mounted and aligned properly, the Virtuoso Mk II was off and running. What a thoroughbred! Right out of the starting gate it was fast, clean, detailed, smooth and superbly balanced. I have yet to hear another cart in my system with the octave-to-octave balance of the Virtuoso. There is a "seamlessness" of timbre that is completely unlike anything I've heard from any of the moving coils in my experience.
There is a pronounced liquidity to the sound. There are no "edges" or boundaries to the different audio bands, no defined bass, midbass, midrange or treble. They ebb and flow effortlessly into each other.
When compared head to head with the four Moving Coil designs I had on hand, the Virtuoso Mk II outshone them all in categories where the MC designs normally have a distinct performance edge; low level detail, micro-dynamics and resolution.
Its ability to resolve and articulate the subtlest of queues and nuances is simply the best I've heard in my system - by far. In these respects, this cartridges performance reminded me of the sense of ease and effortlessness that had so clearly been recreated by a Delphi/Graham/Frog combination in the Joseph Audio room at the Chicago Stereophile show.
Low bass was a special treat. From the lowest harmonics of the piano through bass guitar runs to bass drum strikes, the Virtuoso Mk II holds on and goes deep. Pitch definition is exceptional, even as it shows its ability to plumb the deepest of depths and offer some serious weight. An excellent example can be heard following John Entwhistle's bass work on the MCA Heavy Vinyl reissue of Who's Next (MCA 11164).

  • Manufacturer: Clearaudio

Clearaudio Virtuoso V2 Ebony

Price: $900.00
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