Disclaimer: Vorzüge sent the PURE II+ to ohm to review both here, and Headfonia. I paid nothing for them. This essay will be followed up by a formal review at Headfonia.
Along with its homage-to-Japanese-camera-maker-nomenclature, Vorzüge's copyrighters added the following copy:
Which is long form for iterative development. But I’ve been able to confirm each copy point. Let’s break them down point by point.
– Faster charging system
Though I wasn’t able to measure charging times as precisely as I was able to measure battery run down, I’m confident that it has been shaved by about 1/3. I will update this post with charging if I figure it out sans prozac.
– Enhanced power circuitry for higher efficiency, reliability and reduced noise
I’ve had the PURE II+ for less than a week. Sussing any gains in reliability in that amount of time is impossible. That said, PUREII has been one of the most reliable portable amps I’ve ever tested. It kicks out nearly perfect current into all voltage and settings and runs the hardest to drive low-Ω earphones and has enough juice for voltage-hungry headphone beasts.
Besting it won't only be difficult; it will be hard to suss. That said, the PURE II+, as advertised, puts out less noise than its predecessor. If that counts for reliability, chalk one up for PURE II+.
Back to back, PURE II+ has a noticeably, albeit, slightly quieter background. I could detect the difference just barely, and it only by using my most sensitive earphones, Ultrasone's IQ.
– Improved audio circuitry – longer playing time.
There is no doubt that PURE II+ averages longer playing times. I crunched the numbers from six battery burns from 100% to 0% using a variety of earphones, headphones, and intermittent silence whilst iTunes fed it Faithless: No Roots, in and endless loop, at RMAA-testing levels (-10dB). Suffice it to say, I have the PURE II+ quite the rogering. It's what I do for every amp that passes the office. That audio was fed into Sound Studio and recorded. From first input to last fulsome squawk, PURE II+ averaged 9 hours and 45 minutes. Its best score was 10 hours : 53 minutes, it's worst was 9 hours : 18 minutes.
Since day 1, PUREII averaged just under nine. If you do the maths, you'll find a gain of just over 11%. While that's not a sizeable jump, it is a jump.
– Power indicators (displaying 40% and 15-10% of battery life)
These are pretty handy. The black PURE II+ is now down to 15% battery life; it says so with the constant, and low-key stare of that red LED. But what really gets me in the feels is the arrangement of indicator LEDs.
Overall, PURE II+'s facelift was performed by mature practitioners. The Vorzüge logo is now above the power switch, the mains logo now below it. To either side of the mains logo are the two LED battery indicators. Around the back, the micro USB charging port is flipped. However notable, this is an iterative upgrade.
What Vorzüge failed to mention is that the dreaded eye-killing white power indication lamp is now dimmed by 20 - 25%. Still, it will light up a room. Still, it will put out your eye at 3AM. But it's better than before.
Which brings us to sound:
With the exclusion of noticeably (yet slightly) lower noise floor, PURE II+ follows very closely the footsteps tread by its forebear. I've not completed to my satisfaction every hardware test necessary to finish a review, but I'm confident that PURE II+ performs at least as well as PURE II in all metrics. It scales with upstream equipment, and is never at the mercy of what you have plugged into it downstream. It's still perfectly flat, while erring slightly on the lush side, appealing to both the mature listener, and the up-and-coming audiophile.
PURE II+ is the perfect example of iterative production improvement, which is exactly what Thomas Tsai and I talked about in the last episode of OHM AIR: #021 - headphone measurements and the GR10.
And I think PURE II+'s improvements are warranted. The LEDs make it easier to tell when the battery is going to go splat. The battery now lasts longer. And the noise floor has dropped slightly. From day 1, Vorzüge knew what they wanted. And they went for it. There's not much that needed to be fixed. Or upgraded. But it's been done.
PURE II owners: I don’t think PURE II+ represents a big enough step forward to warrant an upgrade. It improves the little things, proving that Vorzüge knew what was up from the beginning. But, if you’re on the prowl for a Vorzüge amp, the extra dosh for the PURE II+ is money well spent. But again, PUREII really is that close to perfection. And while PURE II+ may have cleaved that much closer to perfection, the baseline is still far better than most amps out there.
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