With an ideal ‘classical’ bridge spacing, the Virtuoso is an easy and very forgiving player. Unplugged it offers typically warm Spanish colours in the mids and lows, but with a higher register that is a touch thin toned. Dynamics overall are healthy.
However, sonic depth and body is limited and there is a distinct timbral edginess – particularly in the lower register. That said, articulation and separation is good and harmonics pop out cleanly across the full range.
The Shadow Four Plus preamp seems underpowered, but along with the Nano undersaddle pick-up does a good job at reproducing the natural sonic character of the Virtuoso. Clearly it is possible to affect the balance through EQ frequency adjustment and bass, mid, treble and brilliance slide settings, but it is refreshing to find that an untainted tone and timbre is available.
It is also good to see a phase invert switch to counteract possible feedback.
Pros: Value for money.
Cons: ‘Chunky’ nut and saddle.
Verdict: Excellent basic instrument with authentic sounds.