Vorzüge PURE II+ – Ginger

With IEMs, absolute number-crunching-performance probably would go to Cypher Labs’s Picollo (reviewed here at headfonia, here at ohm image), but the race would be close. The differences between them are small, but measurable.

Picollo isn’t quite as lush, nor is it as smooth. It pushes greater stereo separation, but a less 3D-sounding image. That said, PURE II and PURE II+ push a more involved, atmospheric sound stage. Their sound is a little less staged, artificial, or what have you– not that Picollo sounds sterile. No. But next to PURE II and PURE II+, it’s just that much less complementary to detail-oriented earphones, and jives a bit less well with stark U and V shaped sound signatures. PURE II, + or -, tend to smooth the worst edges just a bit more.

I’d swear by Picollo’s paint-by-numbers absolute performance, but if I had to choose just one amp to enjoy, it would be a PURE II variant. And of course, the edge that PURE II+ brings makes it part and parcel to my desert island survival kit. And most definitely Ginger.

Choices choices

If you’re in the market for a portable amp and you’ve got the dosh to hit up a premium brand, I wholeheartedly suggest Vorzüge. And while I love Picollo’s hard-on for raw performance, PURE II+ is just a better, more addictive long-time listen.

PURE II+ incorporates all the goodies that made PURE II THE VorzAMP to get. But it nabs an extra hour or so of real-world battery life, boasts reduced background noise levels, has added battery indicator LEDs, and isn’t that much more expensive. Springing for II+ should be a no-brainer.

That said, if you own PURE II, you already own, what in my opinion, is the best-sounding premium portable amp on the planet. PURE II+ is more refined. But it isn’t the massive jump that PURE II was above the original PURE.

The bad news is that used PURE II units probably won’t be flooding the market any time soon. The good news is that they shouldn’t be. Vorüge have done their homework. They know their customer. They continue to push out top-performing portable amps whose brand, whose build quality, whose audio engine, constantly iterate upward. The other good news is that, at least for now, you have two PURE IIs to choose from: the original, and its iterative update. And both are godlike- but PURE II+ is that much more Ginger.

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

13 Comments

  • Reply April 23, 2015

    Vasilis Rapanakis

    What’s a good DAC for it? Preferably Mac / iPhone compatible.

    • Reply April 24, 2015

      ohm image

      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.

      • Reply April 24, 2015

        Vasilis Rapanakis

        Thanks, I thought though the D3 is an amp as well though would I not be double amping?

        • Reply April 24, 2015

          ohm image

          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.

  • Reply May 1, 2015

    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!

  • Reply August 27, 2015

    Ignatius Andi

    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 !!

    much appreciated!

    • Reply August 27, 2015

      Dan

      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.

      • Reply August 27, 2015

        Ignatius Andi

        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.

        • Reply August 27, 2015

          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.

    • Reply September 3, 2015

      ohm image

      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://headfonia.com/oppo-pm-2-adjust-your-aerials/

      Why I purchased a pair:
      comfort
      warm, but pretty linear sound
      great build and finish quality
      great literature

      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+.

      • Reply September 3, 2015

        Ignatius Andi

        Thanks @ohm_image:disqus

        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!

  • Reply February 2, 2019

    Will

    If I pair a Vorzamp with an iPhone 6s- is the iphone ‘line out’ at max volume from the headphone jack?

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