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Sorry for the digression. Since such customer service is not so common these days it surely was worth mentioning though. The Beyerdynamic and Virtus-01 combo sounded remarkable as did the HifiMan. In either case it was about rich midrange and bass and great resolution of a not excessively strong treble. There was an emphasis in the 800 – 1000Hz range which carries the upper parts of the vocals. It's still midrange but upper reach which the amplifier emphasized, albeit not so obviously from the very first moment one starts listening. The first thing that caught my attention was the total lack of hum or noise. This is an amazingly quiet tube amplifier.

My own Leben which otherwise betters the Virtus-01 in every regard buzzes like a bumble bee by comparison. After a few days with the White Bird, my Leben began to go on my nerves with its buzz. As you will easily find on the web, many people have tried to do something with their Leben via various upgrades. The best results I know of have been achieved by Mr. Eugeniusz Czyżewski from Linear Audio Research but even he couldn't completely transcend Leben’s design limitations relative to noise. This generates even bigger respect for Mr Bocianek because when you plug your headphones into his White Bird amp without playing any music, there will be nothing but thick black silence.

When I finally played music it was of a very orderly sophisticated sort. I mentioned the treble already. That was remarkably crisp, vibrant, rich and of great resolution no matter which headphones I used. It wasn't exaggerated, coarse or grainy at all. That last feature I appreciated mainly with the Beyerdynamics which confirmed their cult status.

The other frequency extreme showed the same great resolution and was very tuneful. But I couldn't say there was a lot of bass. That's why the HifiMan worked so well. These headphones emphasize part of the range below 200Hz, adding to the sound something like air pressure. Though there wasn’t a lot of bass it thus had really nice grip and weight. One quality might seem to contradict the other because what we usually get from loudspeakers if there is insufficient bass but nice grip is lack of proper weight. The sound becomes too light and dry.

Not here. To be honest I did not feel anything was missing. I just felt like adding some bass. But this requires an explanation. I wrote some time ago how a need of natural sound sometimes beats out a neutral sound. At least that's how I explained why I like using Leben’s bass boost feature. When I finally got used to the Virtus-01 sound without my familiar bass level, I could keep on listening and from that moment truly enjoyed every piece of music.

It was during this review that I bought Komendarek's double album and also for my birthdays received a new album Me, Myself and I. I do think that this album together with Audiofeels are fine examples that something good just might come from TV shows like Idol, Must Be The Music and such. Both albums sounded extremely rich for a deep very emotional sound. They showed great soundstage depth and lots of details. I really enjoyed what I heard.

Any downsides? Aren't there always? First off the tonal balance tendencies mentioned before. Because of them one needs to choose sources and cables very carefully. A listening session in your own system is mandatory before you buy. The second and only other downside is that the Virtus-01 does not render very precise 3D images. The phantom images run together without clear separation or appearing as separate musical events on stage. And perhaps I would have preferred a somewhat richer lower bass. But these are personal preferences. Generally  this amplifier seems to keep proper proportions between the bass and rest of the range.