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Purity Audio Design Silver Statement Preamplifier Review

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Comparison to VA Signature Preamplifier MKII

The Purity Audio Silver Statement is the only preamp to give the VAC Signature Preamplifier MkII a serious run for the money. Is it better than the VAC? That depends on what you are looking for. The VAC is rich, elegant and errs on the side of being polite. The Silver Statement, on the other hand, is crisp, laser accurate and errs on the side of being aggressive.

The VAC can tolerate less-than-perfect sources and provides “cover” for their sins. Not so the Silver Statement. Put a harsher sounding source upstream and the Silver Statement will amplify the harshness until it is insufferable, to the degree that you may love the additional cleanness while struggling with the source’s coloration. If your speakers tend to sound bright or strident, then the Silver Statement might magnify that effect to your chagrin. Component matching and cable selection becomes a matter of the utmost significance.

However, when paired with complementary components the result is solidly state of the art. This is the only preamp I have used which has outperformed the VAC in some regard; the caveat is that if the system is not playing to the strengths of the Purity pre, it will not outperform the VAC. In other words, one must be willing to work around this preamp, not expect to simply drop it in with any system and get SOTA sound.

To that end, I submit once again my “Technology Killer” source, as opposed to “Giant Killer”, the Eastern Electric Minimax DAC Plus with upgraded discrete Opamps. As opposed to a “Giant Killer,” my “Technology Killer” component must be superior to not just many other components, but even other technologies as well. In my Audio Blast article discussing this arrangement, I urge potential owners of the DAC to buy complete sets of discrete Opamps from both Burson Audio and DEXA’s NewClassD discrete Opamps. With these all in hand, one can mix and match to establish an incisive sound with any system. You can hit upon a combination of Opamps which will allow the Silver Statement to shine in nearly any high end system. That’s an impressive bit of assurance costing less than $2K for a preamp which is many times the price! In case you wonder, no, the DAC will not be outclassed.

The general sonic character of the Purity Audio Design and the VAC preamp reminds me of the loose classification I have made between all copper and silver conductor cables. Copper tends to be thicker, denser and tonally turned down. The silver tends to be thinner, airier and tonally turned up. With copper, the treble is less in-your-face; with silver the treble is more in-your-face. The Purity’s passive mode exacerbates this, which some would find exhilarating, but was too much so for my taste. The VAC is like copper, and the Silver Statement is, well, like silver!

Purity Audio Design Silver Statement Preamplifier Face Plate

The Silver Statement is succulent

Have you ever bitten into a piece of fruit which is so sweet, so flavorful, exploding with flavor and juiciness that it epitomizes the word succulent? Apply that experience to the performance of the Silver Statement; it’s capable of such vividness, with such gorgeous sonic hues to the instruments, and voluptuous fullness of soundstage, and dynamic impact that it is succulent, producing a sound which fully satisfies the ears.

In the last few weeks of the time I had with the Silver Statement, I had an experience which was emotionally tectonic. In other words, I found a combination of equipment which rocked my world. I mated the Silver Statement to the Jones Audio M300 monoblock amps, about which you will learn in its own review. No pairing of preamp and amps has impressed me so much – none. The detail retrieval, impeccable timbre, marvelously powerful macrodynamics – all of it was so captivating I understood why those with the means spend $100,000 on a system. Even though I cannot afford to, it made me want to spend the money to get these two components!

Those are words which will likely induce mockery by some, but not by those who understand what the search for a “no limit” sound is about. It’s a bit like skydiving; you either have done it or not. Similarly, you either have heard authentic dream system sound, or you have not. In my world, the Silver Statement and Jones M300’s are the kinds of components of which dreams are made.

Marquis preamp

Superstar players in sports are not superstars overnight; years of gut wrenching workouts and incessant coaching, among other necessities, must be applied to develop the future superstar. I see the same potential in the Purity Audio Design lineup; if the other products are as fastidiously crafted as the Silver Statement, the company is on track to be a phenomenal component manufacturer. The Silver Statement is a stunning sounding product, one which causes the ears to lock onto a performance and not let go. Hearing the Purity for the first time in one’s rig is akin to seeing for the first time Usain Bolt blow past the rest of the field. You sit speechless for a moment before exuberantly celebrating.

After weeks of working with the preamp, I assembled a rig which will befuddle some and amuse others, especially when you see the source:

NAD C 520 acting as transport; Eastern Electric Minimax DAC Plus with DEXA NewClassD discrete Opamps; Purity Audio Design Silver Statement Preamp; Jones Audio M300 Monoblock Amplifiers; King Sound King ESL Speakers with VAC Royal Power Supplies; all cabling Clarity Cables.

Yes, the humble NAD C 520 started the show, and by the time the show was in production it was a blockbuster, no small thanks to the Silver Statement! Joe came to hear the rig the night he took the Silver Statement back, a tragic moment for me as I had come to adore the Silver Statement’s sound. He owns the same speaker, the King Sound King ESL, the speakers which were used with the Silver Statement and Bob Carver’s Black Beauty tube amplifiers at CES 2012. His comment about the speakers was, “This is the system they (King Sound) should have set up at the show.” I agree, as I feel that the King’s Audio has never showcased the speaker to its full potential. It took an owner of the speaker to put it in a superior system to wow the crowd. The sound of the system Joe and I were hearing in my room was such, that he and I started discussing whether the King is the best panel speaker under $20K. While that is a bit of self-congratulation for having discovered a sensational speaker, comments to that effect would not have been exchanged if the Silver Statement had not been taking the rig into that direction.

The Silver Statement is a “franchise” preamp. I assure you that it is worthy of partaking in the building of a state of the art system. It may take some practice and coaching, but it has “Superstar” written all over it. Am I fawning too much over this preamp, as pricey as it is? No, and I will tell you why. Do you hear people saying, “Everyone’s making too much of Kevin Durant!” No, you do not, and the reason is because this star player of the Oklahoma City Thunder keeps elevating his game. He earns the awe he receives. Similarly, the Silver Statement has earned the awe I have bestowed upon it. It’s a phenom in fledgling form, and according to this component scout it’s only going to get better.

Manufacturer’s comment:

Thank you for the draft Constantine and please pass along my thanks to Doug for such a thoughtful review.

There are a few things I would like to mention or “update” you on in regard to the Purity line of preamplifiers.

Doug’s comments on Silver vs Copper were dead one. For this reason, we have a copper version of this model know simply as the “Statement”. We have done the same for the upper end unit as well. We have the Ultra GT which is silver and now a copper version known as the Ultra.

Clicking of autoformers – What Doug experienced is normal for these units. The reason for the clicking while increasing the volume is a function of the design of the autoformers. Without going too in depth in how it functions, the short version is that this is a result of the extremely fast relays used between positions. We had the option of inserting a circuit to eliminate the clicks but this would have come at the expense of degrading sonic performance. It is not harmful to downstream components including speakers.

The comment about not knowing which source indicator is chosen is no longer a problem. We have long since started using two different LED colors for each source. When the unit is in-phase, a blue LED is visible, when out of phase, an orange LED is shown. No more not knowing which source has been selected.

Going forward, the aluminum remote will be laser engraved to clearly identify all of its functions.


Bill Baker
Purity Audio Design

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