Disclaimer: Vorzüge sent PURE II+ to me to evaluate at Headfonia and ohm image. PURE II+’s preorder price is 584,-$ USD, but its regular price is 615,-$ USD. You can find out more about it here.
Yesterday I gave ohmage to the new Vorzüge PURE II+. It’s my humblest hope that that essay will satisfy the dude or dudet on the prowl for details about: battery life, charge time, design differences, etc. By all means read it.
But I’m here to suss the real question: are you packing for Ginger, or for May Ann?
But today, I want to keep things simple. I want to discuss why you should, or should not, go for the PURE II+. Is it a worthy upgrade to the PURE II (reviewed here at headfonia, here at ohm image). Is it the real McCoy? How does it sit next to other premium portable headphone amps? What could be improved?
Let’s start with Performance
Yes, it keeps up with the PURE II. It even surpasses it in a few areas. Its class-leading benchmark results generally are held back by sources to which they are connected. In all benchmarks: distortion, stereo, Imd, etc. PURE II+ nets excellent marks.
But PURE II already aced those tests. What gives?
PURE II+ keeps the same clean, detailed, but lush-erring sound signature of the PURE II. Its gain system is the same. But this time, thanks to a marginally cleaner output, less background noise shuttles through your earphones. Of course, the proviso for this whole thing is that neither your ears nor your earphones may be sensitive enough to pick up on PURE II’s absolutely minuscule levels of background noise. Well, if both are up to snuff, you’ll be delighted to discover a slight, but noticeable reduction in noise, and therefore, enjoy even better signal clarity. If you’re actually into music, and not just audiophilia, that means more Depeche, less Mode.
I still have to publish all the square waves, RMAA tests, etc., but I’m ready to say this: PURE II+ is ahead of PURE II, albeit not by much.
Which goes to show: PURE II was already in such a class that really improving upon its design will require a complete circuit redesign. Or, imagine this: we’re mis-reading what Vorzüge are trying to do. What if their aim was a certain sound, within the confines of excellent performance. Most amps that err a certain way, do it to extremes. ALO’s Continental, for instance, is one. Really, really tubey. And not a very good performer, but nice and warm. And while PURE II and PURE II+ err warmer than neutral, they are upstaged in raw performance-by-numbers by next to no one.
It continues after the click.
What’s a good DAC for it? Preferably Mac / iPhone compatible.
If you want portable, the problem is that few of them are small and which don’t already have headphone amps. actually, I use line out from iPhone/nano to the PURE II+ most often.
As for MAC, my favourites are either D3 from Audio Engine, or the D1.
Thanks, I thought though the D3 is an amp as well though would I not be double amping?
Sure, it’s an amp, but ‘double amping’ isn’t the horror it’s made out to be. As long as the input of the final amp is strong enough to handle the voltage (and it should be), the differences are probably nearly negligible. I’d be willing to do hardware tests to show you.
Henk van Ess
Agree with this review. Here’s my audio travel gear 1. The thing Nathan reviewed – came out today 2. @ponomusic and 3. #hd800 – it’s heaven!
Looks like a great system.
Hey ohm image !
How are you? Hope everything is fine.
Well, you made me bought this amp, and now….. i think i can step up abit. Im looking the best pair headphone for this amp. What headphone would you suggest for price under USD 600?
The music i listen to, kind of jumble up. From rock like led zappelin to foo fighter. Electro beat until avicii fast beats,and jay z with his 99 problems or modern jazz like snarky puppy. I cant figure it out or have any clue. Dont mind about size or heavy, because i will just listen it in my room and not mean for portable matters.
thanks @ohm_image:disqus !!
For planars, I think in that price range the HiFiMAN HE400S or the OPPO PM-3 is pretty nice. If you can bump an extra $100, the OPPO PM-2 is also excellent and IMO preferable to the PM-3 (at least the PM-2 to my ears just sing with both the Pure II and II+).
Otherwise, the NAD VISO HP50 or the Senn HD 600 is pretty nice.
Thanks for the suggestion Dan!
My first thought was HD600, but then friend of mine toldme about HE400s and mrspeakers Alpha dog. All of them have Good review and making me more confused. I tried PM-3, and not really much improvement from My old ath-m50. I dont know about the PM-2 tho..
First jobber here, i need to spend wisely and avoid disappointment from My saving..
But far from that, thanks alot for the suggestion. Appreciated alot, Dan.
No worries, happy to help anytime! You’ll probably get the most bang-for-buck from the HE400S; they sound pretty spectacular, even more so at that price point. They have a nice wide soundstage, noticeably expansive to the PM-3 (and to a degree to the PM-2).
Dan Clark’s mods are nice, and I see the Alpha Dog on sale at a few online retailers for ~$500, so that’s a decent deal. I think the bass is tighter/more solid on them vice the PM-3 (and more forward to the PM-2, but I prefer the PM-2 of the three since it’s less bloomy). The Alpha Prime is nicer still. (Note, I don’t have either Alphas handy anymore to contrast, and these comments are all made based on single-ended “stock” cables/connectors.)
But, for the price range you quoted and given the styles you mentioned, I recommend you audition the HE400S, the Alpha Dog, and the PM-2 at least. I found the HE400S most comfortable on my (smaller) noggin, then the PM-2, and finally the Alpha Dog.
Totally late. Sorry about that.
Do you want a closed or open headphone? Honestly, my favourite phone is the PM-2, which goes for just north of 600$. I reviewed it here: http://www.headfonia.com/oppo-pm-2-adjust-your-aerials/
Why I purchased a pair:
warm, but pretty linear sound
great build and finish quality
I love a well-made, good-feeling product. It’s one of the reasons that I love Vorzüge amps so much. But I notice that you don’t mind heavy. In which case, the HiFiman may be okay. Just so you know: a clamping, heavy phone can hurt after a while.
If you like a snappier sound, the PM-2 won’t do it for you. In which case, even the DT880 or DT770 may be a great headphone for the price. I swear by my 10 year-old DT880/600, which sound wonderful through the PURE II+.
i will keep your suggestion as well, both of you (yes you Nathan and dan) for suggest PM-2 which is nice! I read your article, sound incredible and surprisingly until u prefer PM-2 than the alpha dog. But because the USD getting stronger and the currency in Indonesia make the price getting higher and higher, day by day. I think i will wait until the currency going down. I appreciated alot for your time to reply me.
*out of topic. I like the way your writing style; it’s fun, relaxing, but still contain some seriousness explaining the product. Keep it up!
If I pair a Vorzamp with an iPhone 6s- is the iphone ‘line out’ at max volume from the headphone jack?