review menu


Virgo V
Great expectations – a great fulfilment

Keijo Tanskanen

Here is the little princess, Virgo V!


Audio Physic’s Virgo has always been a much respected speaker among audiophiles. The Virgo III reached an overall performance level which has been very hard to exceed at its price class. After owning the Virgo III I can clearly see the efforts which have been concentrated on the 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.


The Virgo V has a completely new cabinet design, new elements and crossovers, just like the Avanti V. It also features a more rigid enclosure, sophisticated structure and resonance dampening. On the whole the cabinet construction is very similar to the Avanti V, only the size has been diminished. The look is also very beautiful and slender. The Virgo V clearly belongs among the best looking speakers available – it stands only a hint behind the Sonus Faber’s wooden master works.

For more information:

Placing the speakers

This time the listening room was a bit complex, approximately 45 square meters including acoustic treatment. We tried an ordinary triangle-formed placing (each side was 3,2 meters) and it worked just fine. The speaker pair we used was burned in some tens of hours.

Listening session

I began the session with live rock music. Pink Floyd’s “The Wall Live” (Emi 5240752) is an excellent recording - for my taste better than the studio version. It has a great live feeling, good dynamics and very good instrument balance. So, if the speakers can create a live-like presentation their transparency and soundstaging features must be at a high level. Also, the dynamic and balance limits are quite easy to hear with this record. Well, Virgo V solved this test very well. Somehow it was (again!) easy to notice I was listening to the music from AP speakers. There were no shortcomings in transparency or soundstaging which actually is no surprise when talking about AP’s speakers. During the session I noticed that I didn’t look straight ahead but a little bit upwards. That means there was a respectable soundstaging and imaging in the vertical direction. The frequency balance seemed to be improved as well. The kick drums and bass now have more “meat around the bones” without any beginning of any bold attenuation just below 40 Hz. Only the dynamics and accuracy of the bass still did not quite reach the level of higher quality speakers. I verified my notifications with Frank Marino’s well known “Live” (Axe Killer 3065028) and there was no deviation from the Pink Floyd presentation.

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!


Balance: Neutral. The Virgo V has an excellent tonal response, especially when the co-operation with the listening room is successfully matched.

Resolution: Excellent overall resolution. Slight lack of precision exists especially in the lower register, very much like Avanti V but may be a little bit more prominently.

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.


Owning listening experiences of the Avanti V, no real surprises were registered this time. Having said that, maybe there was one after all: the range of the bass. It went a bit lower than I expected. The Virgo V came with enormous expectations which it fulfils very well. It sounds just darn good. Its very few flaws are small ones and more than acceptable when the price of the speaker is taken into account. The most significant sonic feature of the Virgo V may be that it is much more universally applicable than its predecessor. All kinds of music can be listened to without being afraid of listening tiredness or any poorness in tonality. Also, the Virgo has an even more natural treble than before and of course all the strengths which AP speakers typically have had. It will encourage you to listen to music and keeps your audio enthusiasm at a very high level. Isn’t that important!?

Technical Details

Floorstanding 3 way bass reflex speaker
Hyper-Holographic Cone Tweeter
5,9” mid-range driver with Active Cone Damping (ACD)
Double push-push bass configuration with two 7” woofers per speaker
Height: 990 mm; Width: 230 mm; Depth: 400 mm
Weight 27 kg
Power rating: 180 W
Frequency response: 32 Hz - 40 kHz (-3 dB)
Sensitivity: 89 dB
Price: 5990 € (cherry) in Finland

Used equipment

CD player: Burmester 001
Stereo AMP: Burmester 032
Interconnects: Transparent Reference MM Balanced
Speaker cables: Transparent Reference
Power Filter: Burmester 038
Power cords: Transparent Reference for the CD and Reference MM for the amp.
VCF M8 vibration control feet under the speakers