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Which is better: Purity or Theo

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Stereonerd

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Hi there, I've owned and loved my ML Purity since 2010 but thinking about buying a good condition pair of Theos, and wondering what the expert opinion is about the differences in sound between the two. The specs state that the bass on both goes down to 23Hz but the Purity's have fulsome bass while I've heard that the Theos need a sub to really shine. My feeling is that the Class D amp in the Purity inhibits the - ah! - purity of the sound sometimes, and that pairing a pair of Theos with a nice valve amp might work wonders. Thoughts?
 

roberto

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Hola,
The Purity model is mostly for computer's audio. The built in power amp drives the woofer and the stat panels. The Theos are much bigger with more electrostatic panel available, but there is no power amp. The power amp that will drive any ML is very important. A good power tube amp will do easily.
Also the Purity is not too good at the bass, the deepest musical notes are not reproduced. The Theos here is a much better with the bass and also, both will benefit with the use of a sub.
To my ears and liking, I am forward to the Theos model. It is a much better speaker in all respects. Yes, I do like too the Purity model, it does a wonder sound for pairing them with a computer.
Happy listening!
 

Bevensee

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I'm with Roberto on this one. A good as they are, the Purity is not really in the same league as the Theos.
 

jda99

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Hi there, I've owned and loved my ML Purity since 2010 but thinking about buying a good condition pair of Theos, and wondering what the expert opinion is about the differences in sound between the two. The specs state that the bass on both goes down to 23Hz but the Purity's have fulsome bass while I've heard that the Theos need a sub to really shine. My feeling is that the Class D amp in the Purity inhibits the - ah! - purity of the sound sometimes, and that pairing a pair of Theos with a nice valve amp might work wonders. Thoughts?
The spec. for the Theos quotes 43Hz as the lower limit so, as you might expect, a sub does make an audible difference.
I have had mine for 9 years now, and whilst they sounded good by themselves, they really did benefit from the addition of a REL t9 sub.

jda99
 

Stereonerd

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Hola,
The Purity model is mostly for computer's audio. The built in power amp drives the woofer and the stat panels. The Theos are much bigger with more electrostatic panel available, but there is no power amp. The power amp that will drive any ML is very important. A good power tube amp will do easily.
Also the Purity is not too good at the bass, the deepest musical notes are not reproduced. The Theos here is a much better with the bass and also, both will benefit with the use of a sub.
To my ears and liking, I am forward to the Theos model. It is a much better speaker in all respects. Yes, I do like too the Purity model, it does a wonder sound for pairing them with a computer.
Happy listening!
Thanks Roberto and JDA. A couple of things to get it straight in my head. The Purity has 2 6-inch drivers and although the specs as stated don't have the bass going any deeper than the Theos, the power of the bass is quite phenomenal and very well co-ordinated with the panel (in my opinion, anyway). I've read a review that reckoned that the one bass driver in the Theos isn't well co-ordinated and tends to lag. Would you agree or disagree with that? Also, Roberto, when you say the Puritys are for computers, what exactly do you mean by that? I've used them as my main stereo speakers using a Rotel preamp since I purchased them in 2010. Surely, these are simply powered or active speakers, not computer speakers? I'd love to upgrade to the Theos if they're really going to get results, but of course there's extra cost in purchasing a power or integrated amp as well. Thanks for your help.
 

roberto

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Yes, they not need and extra power amplifier. Just hook up your computer, TV screen or a digital music player and ready to go. This is what ML says:

Purity marks an exciting new direction for electrostatic loudspeaker design. Internally powered with a 200-watt high-resolution switching amplifier, Purity allows an unprecedented level of system connection flexibility. Equipped with a standard RCA line-level input, Purity is able to connect directly to devices such as digital music players, flat screen televisions or even computers. Additional speaker level inputs give Purity the flexibility to work with receivers or other equipment that might not have a line-level pre-amp out option .

I am not saying that they do not sound OK. On the other hand, have you listen to a Theos driven by a good power amp vs Purity? Let your ears decide.

This is what ML says about the Theos:

Unflinchingly accurate XStat™ electrostatic technology—the most affordable hand-built electrostatic speaker with real wood finishes and custom bi-wire capable binding posts.

As you can see, they do not belong to the same audio Leagues. Please, do not misunderstand my point here. Purity is a great sounding speaker.

The retail US list price for the Theos was $ 5000.00 The retail US list price for the Purity was $3000.00

This might tell you something too, don´t you think so?
 

jda99

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Thanks Roberto and JDA. A couple of things to get it straight in my head. The Purity has 2 6-inch drivers and although the specs as stated don't have the bass going any deeper than the Theos, the power of the bass is quite phenomenal and very well co-ordinated with the panel (in my opinion, anyway). I've read a review that reckoned that the one bass driver in the Theos isn't well co-ordinated and tends to lag. Would you agree or disagree with that? Also, Roberto, when you say the Puritys are for computers, what exactly do you mean by that? I've used them as my main stereo speakers using a Rotel preamp since I purchased them in 2010. Surely, these are simply powered or active speakers, not computer speakers? I'd love to upgrade to the Theos if they're really going to get results, but of course there's extra cost in purchasing a power or integrated amp as well. Thanks for your help.
"a review that reckoned that the one bass driver in the Theos isn't well co-ordinated and tends to lag" - I do not recognise that at all.
Once run in they are very good, but as you are looking to buy 2nd hand, then you will have avoided the run in period.
 

Stereonerd

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"a review that reckoned that the one bass driver in the Theos isn't well co-ordinated and tends to lag" - I do not recognise that at all.
Once run in they are very good, but as you are looking to buy 2nd hand, then you will have avoided the run in period.
The review was from Home Theatre Hi-Fi. Quote:
With my diverse musical tastes, I eventually made it onto some Metallica, as I had an idea that this would be a challenge for the Theos. To test just how well the woofer was integrated with the panel, I skipped ahead to “One” on the …And Justice For All album. At first, it was very impressive as the Theos brought across the lower quality of the CD recording. There was a bit of high-end noise and a bit of harshness at the top end on the album, which was recorded before they went huge with their Black Album. What I really wanted to hear was the drumbeat that kicks in during the middle of the track, and once I got there it was a bit of a disappointment.


This was the first place where I could hear a bit of disconnected between the panel and the woofer. With the fast drumming of Lars Ulrich causing the 8″ woofer to sound a bit fat and bloated, and a bit slow and out-of-step with the panel which was still handling the guitars and vocals. The rapid fire pace of the snare drum was just too much and broke up the illusion of a single, cohesive source. Of course, other speakers will suffer from similar issues, but the incredibly fast response of the panel just made the bit of slowness in the woofer that much more evident."

A hi-fi dealer I know here in New Zealand is quite negative about ML for the same reason. He deals in a range of gear from Magnepan through to REL and Prima Luna, and says he's never been convinced that ML panels and bass work well together. Personally, I've always though the integration of bass drivers and panels on my Puritys was outstanding.
 

roberto

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Here are a some benefits with electrostatic speakers
1) The diaphragm is so thin, that weights less than the air that it moves.
2) The panel is dipolar, as the musical instruments are
3) There is no need to play them too loud to the the sense of the scenario and truly sense of 3D
4) Been the diaphragm so thin, it moves as almost as the exact replica of the signal applied, and because there is no weight, when the signal stops, so the diaphragm too.
5) Because of the crossover point is so low, there is no phase shift.
6) Because there is no noise while reproducing the music at high frequency, the signal is quiet, no hiss. Many people thinks that because there is no hiss, they don't reproduce good high frequencies. Just play cymbals or any high frequency content, and the naturalness exhibit with this kind of technology is awesome.
7) The dispersion pattern with the 30° is the most feature of ML. The scenario and the size of the musical instruments is outstanding.
8) The distortion of the electrostatic speaker is so low, that you can bring your ears very close to the panel, including touching it and the overall sound is so clean...do this with a tweeter or any other type of speaker and you will notice the distortion there.

The most important think is that trust what your ears tell you.

Try to find Quality of Silence by the drummer Steve Davis. It is a DMP recording, On track No2, usually on other speakers, due to the timbre of the cymbals are not reproduce with the naturalness that with ML does.

I don't want to sound rude or start a debate, what I do like, not necessary must be your liking. My ears tell me if I am wrong of what I am listening. My ears are my final judges.
Been a musician, I play a lot with the real sound of the musical instruments, live music. And with ML, is where I am very happy with the results.

Happy listening!
 

roberto

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Thanks for your good advice, Roberto and jda99. I've purchased the Theos, so all I need now is to choose a compatible amp that's within my small budget. Decisions, decisions!
You can't go wrong with those Theos. Use at least 100 watts/channel power amp. You can find an old Acurus brand with power amps that delivers 200 watts/channel costing $500.00 or less at Ebay. The engineer designer of most Acurus models and Aragon, is Mr. Dan D'angostino, the Krell designer too.
Happy listening!
 

Bevensee

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Congratulations on your purchase - I am sure you will be happy with them. Regarding amps, I would encourage you to audition a Lyngdorf amp with Roomperfect. Depending on your room, it can make a dramatic improvement. It did for me. The room measurement is a bit tricky to get dialed in though. Too many measurements above panel height will trick the system into thinkin that there is no treble.
 

jda99

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Congratulations on your purchase - I am sure you will be happy with them. Regarding amps, I would encourage you to audition a Lyngdorf amp with Roomperfect. Depending on your room, it can make a dramatic improvement. It did for me. The room measurement is a bit tricky to get dialed in though. Too many measurements above panel height will trick the system into thinkin that there is no treble.
Agreed, I use a Lyngdorf TDAi170, which works so much better than the highly rated 28 w/channel 300B valve amp I had before.
And room correction is essential in my view.
 

Heyfey

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Sadly, neither Acurus nor Lyngdorf products appear to be available in New Zealand. But generally, I gather, you would recommend a powerful amp rather than a valve amp? PrimaLuna? PrimaLuna EVO 400 Tube Power Amplifier - Rapallo | AV Design & Installation
Hi Stereonerd,

I've had a pair of Theos for almost four years in my 5.1 system and am running them (and the ML center) with a Parasound Halo A31 with good results (Conrad Johnson tube preamp). They replaced a pair of Sequel IIs. Mine in my room have a bump in the low end that I tamed a bit by replacing the port with a passive radiator. I also replaced the stock DC converters with something Wyred4Sound makes. And they will benefit from a good sub(s), particularly in a large room. As soon as the warranty expires I'll replace the stock capacitors. I did this with both the Sequel IIs and a pair of Odysseys, both leading to, IMHO, significant improvement in the already outstanding transparency, less glare, and a bit better soundstaging. I'd also recommend trying the Isoacoustics GAIA feet, which have been covered on this site recently.
 

roberto

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Stereonerd,

You have one of the most good audio brands of the whole world made there: Perreaux!!! Highly recommended and a truly hi-end audio product. That will drive your speakers easily!

Happy listening!


Sadly, neither Acurus nor Lyngdorf products appear to be available in New Zealand. But generally, I gather, you would recommend a powerful amp rather than a valve amp? PrimaLuna? PrimaLuna EVO 400 Tube Power Amplifier - Rapallo | AV Design & Installation
 

Stereonerd

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Thanks Heyfrey and Roberto. I've owned Perreaux amps in the past but always found them a little harsh in the top end, a problem that was accentuated by the MLs (especially while running in). I may keep my Rotel preamp and try to find a good power amp, or go for a decent integrated. Heyfrey, I'm envious of those like you who have the skills to tinker and improve elements of a system, but sadly, I'm not technically adept.
 

roberto

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Then, get a Conrad Johnson tube power amp. I think CJ is one of the most forefront audio in the market place today.

Happy listening!
 

RDC

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Sadly, neither Acurus nor Lyngdorf products appear to be available in New Zealand. But generally, I gather, you would recommend a powerful amp rather than a valve amp? PrimaLuna? PrimaLuna EVO 400 Tube Power Amplifier - Rapallo | AV Design & Installation
I never heard the Theos. But if you would get the PrimaLuna (integrated or power amp), I bet you won't be disappointed. And as soon as you feel comfortable, start tube rolling. As always, if you can audition any gear at home, do so.
 

codesx100

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Go with the Theos. I've been running them for little over 4 years in a hybrid 2 channel/Home Theater set up and still love them as much as the day I got them. Plan on keeping them for another few years before trying to take the next step. Definitely go with a good sub that blends with them.
 
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