Originally Posted by shigzeo
I've had this on my desk and plugged somewhat indirectly into my ears since November. I took my precious time to finish reviewing it
. Now I'm done. I put up a review at headfi
, too, but because we don't have a place for PURE II yet, it is up under PURE I reviews. Oh well. I think reviews should pour in soon enough. My comparatively short one will have to suffice for now. ohmage: sound
This thing is the best portable headphone amp I've heard to date. It does nothing wrong, nothing. Industry-leading noise floor. Industry-leading stereo image. Industry-leading drive-to-low-impedance resolution and fidelity. There are no earphones/portable headphones that stymie this amp. Its lowest levels of performance (when under intense load) equal or better many amps' best performance when driving no load. Yesterday's PURE and DUO were chained to gain stages that buggered sensitive-eared listeners. Pair a W4 or worse, a Shure SE500 or Sleek Audio CT7 with the old PURE or DUO and at lowest L/R balance volume settings, sensitive-eared people had to listen to their music at 5-8dB above their comfort levels. I am one of those. PURE II does away with that. The new gain stage not only fractionates the PURE II's output into low, medium, and high gain settings, control over each setting is better spread over the course of the volume-pot's throw. Today's PURE II has the best spread of gain I've seen yet in a portable amp. Because noise floor is so low, the noise of your source can be almost completely eliminated.
And this badboy's output is easily able to keep up with the likes of the best portable sources out there. It will never be the bottleneck in your system that other, lesser, amps can become.
If you want me to effuse, I'll do it in the responses to this thread. This thing is amazing. I loved the old VorzAMPs. I am addicted to the new PURE II. ohmage: polish
For the most part, PURE II is built as well as its forebears. Countersunk everything, single-bolt sizes, nice paint job and great box. Accessories are clever and Vorzüge are keen on environmental standards. Bettering the PURE II will be hard or impossible for most companies out there.porridge: polish
The gotcha to all of this is that there has been a bit of cost cutting. The old channel-marked volume pot is replaced by a thin, easily-rubbed-out line of paint. The insides still jiggle a bit. The lamp is much too bright. All of these are easy to address. I'm very surprised that that bastard lamp is still so blinding, even in daylight settings. This amp is not friendly for nightstand use unless you gaffer tape over the lamp. After that, battery life has dropped to plus 25 hours to less than 12. For a portable amp, that is a stark and divisive mark. For the performance and sound you get from this badboy, however, I think it is a fair trade off. The size of this amp precludes a large-capacity battery. Oh well. I'm down with the current form factor and 9-11 hours is more than enough for a day of listening. conclusion
This isn't merely the best VorzAMP yet, it is the best single-ended portable amp I've ever tested or happened upon in headfi/headphone show meets. Tradeoffs are minimal. What rocks about it really really rocks. I think that will become hot knowledge once this thing gets off of its backorder status.