Certainly, the outward appearance of the Virtualizer gives few clues to its budget nature — the only obvious compromise is the use of a numeric display rather than a proper LCD text version. The Virtualizer uses 24‑bit input and output converters to realize a 98dB signal‑to‑noise ratio and produces effects based on 32 different algorithms, ranging from reverb, delay and modulation to rotary speaker simulation, distortion and vocoding. There are also eight dual effects, whereby the right and left channels produce different mono‑in, mono‑out effects. Behringer claim to use a proprietary room modeling algorithm to produce very natural sounding reverb, and true stereo processing of the left and right channel signals is possible with the relevant algorithms. Reverb is still created on a mono‑in, stereo‑out basis, which generally gives the most natural results. Internal processing is 24‑bit at a 48kHz sampling rate, which adds up to full audio bandwidth processing with acceptably low distortion.
Operating the Virtualizer couldn't be much simpler, but what of the effects themselves? Well, the effect variations aren't quite as flexible as they might first appear, as in many cases they simply provide a choice of reverb decay times or delay times affecting the basic algorithm. All the control functions are printed on the lid and in the manual, but there's no cheat card, so photocopying page 29 of the manual is pretty much essential. The signal path is respectably quiet, though some of the effect types introduce just a little background hiss, as is to be expected. The effects themselves are quiet and very usable, but though the reverbs don't have any serious vices they tend to be a bit on the anonymous side. All the delay and echo effects work fine, and the pitch‑shifter is good for creating detuned effects but less pleasant‑sounding when asked to perform larger shifts. Again, this is true of pretty much all low‑cost effects units. I wasn't quite convinced by the rotary speaker effect, but the tremolo‑delay patch is very nice.