Disclaimer: Vorzüge graciously supplied the review units for this review.
My love affair with Vorzüge began in 2012 with the original PURE and DUO. Both amps quickly became fixtures in my benchmark portable setup. And late last year, both were expelled from their position at the forefront by a better amp. The name of that amp? Vorzüge PURE II.
On the outside, differences between it and the original are minimal. (Keen HFN readers will notice a pattern shared with this week’s earlier review.) Of course, this time, PURE II comes in both white and black. And the new black is swankier, and harder to scratch, than ever.
Vorzüge have kept the cool STAR TOURS logo, the same legible typography, and the same Audi-inspired slogan. I’m wondering if clear typography is requisite to German brand-building. It certainly is a thoughtful detail that helps me appreciate audio devices.
Details don’t come cheap. PURE II runs 565$ USD via Vorzüge’s webpage. That’s more than the original PURE cost. Everything considered, I am convinced it is worthwhile.
PURE II is roughly the same size as the Portaphile Micro. Despite this, it fits a discrete power switch onto its front plate. As a consequence, the IN and OUT ports are crammed closer together than on the Micro. I don’t recommend plugging extra-fat connectors in both PURE II’s ports. That said, I can confirm that they can be used, albeit with caution. Both audio in and out ports sit in mildly countersunk wells. Both are reinforced and flush with the chassis’s outer edge.
The micro USB charging port lies perfectly centered in its own niche. Metal tabs keep it anchored in place. When charging, a red LED lights up. When it is done, it goes out.
Case machining is precise. As with earlier models, a single-sized Allen key fits both the fastening hardware as well as the volume pot. PURE II is a very well thought-out amplifier. Its singular fault is the same as ever: its million candle-power power indication LED that relegates PURE II to daytime use. If used in a bedside rig, your partner will complain.
Are you an AK100 owner? PURE II is only slightly larger than your player. The two make a handsome pair. Ditto the iPod 5G (Video). Amps larger than the PURE II are hard to pocket. Even the PURE II, lashed to an iPod, is quite the brick. I manage easily in cargo trousers, but in skinny jeans, it’s iPod nano/PURE II or nothing.
Sound impressions on the following page.