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RMAF12: Purity Audio meets Carver and King Sound

The Empire State’s Purity Audio has been quietly building a reputation for world-class preamps. In fact, some are saying that their preamps are among the best they’ve ever heard. Heady stuff. New models have been recently announced on their site, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from Bill Baker and Joe Jurzec on that front soon. Until then, my lips are sealed.

Here at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in 2012, I ran across Purity in two different rooms. The first was a $15,000 Purity Statement, clad in Daedalus Audio natural wood ($1,500 upgrade), alongside the big panels from King Sound which were driven by a pair of Carver Cherry mono blocks and fronted by an AMR CD player. Next up was a $20,000 Purity Silver Statement fit into a full Carver system — Black Beauty monoblocks, $20k Carver ALS 1000 Line Source loudspeakers and a Carver sub, and another AMR Reference CD player.

Two very different systems, two very different setups, and two very different sounds — pulling out the Purity is going to be impossible. But, of the two, I preferred the King Sound panels — ESL can sound pretty remarkable, and this setup had “remarkable” all over it.

With luck, I’ll have more to say about the Purity lineup soon — stay tuned.

From Mal and Kirsten:

Big-ass stats doing what big-ass stats do. Fast. Ripping open space. Pianos that are the right size. Actual impact.

We listened to Oscar Peterson, and the piano was nearly perfect. Kirsten decided to be the anti-audiophile, and cued up Tom Wait’s “Big in Japan” to see how these stats would handle the insane stomp of Les Claypool’s bass. It turns out that they were more than credible. Listening to a simpler vocal track brought a real surprise when these giant panels offered up the most realistic, lifelike sound stage of the show. It’s counter-intuitive, but these speakers were made for Nick Drake and Gillian Welch. They should be on the short list.

One of the neat things about the Kingsound stats is that the actual speakers aren’t just one large sheet of mylar. They’re designed as an array of field-replaceable parts. In other words, a jumping dog will no longer destroy your entire panel. The folks at King Sound can have a bolt-in replacement to you the next day. This design really makes these speakers a legitimate, long term option.

Color me very impressed.

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4 Comments on RMAF12: Purity Audio meets Carver and King Sound

  1. What the heck does one have to do to get a mention in the above ‘Purity Audio meets Carver and King Sound’ [and AMR], because the way they ‘meets’ was via a complete loom of KaplanCable GS mkII cabling, interconnects, speaker cables, power cords and power distributor. I realize cabling isn’t sexy, but I believe my cabling was a very positive contributor to the King Sound room sound. A Kaplan Cable banner was on the left wall, and all cabling was listed in the reviewer handouts along with the components mentioned.
    Just saying….

  2. Not all that enamored with the Purity aesthetic. The trapezoidal shape just doesn’t move me. I heard it in the VSA VR44 room at last years RMAF and it sounded good.

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