- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 15 February 2008
I tested the Purity's with a McIntosh MCD201 SACD player, Lamm L2 Reference preamplifier, and McIntosh MC1201 monoblock power amplifiers. Cables were Legenburg and Nordost. I also listened to the setup with the preamplifier outputs connected to the RCA inputs on the Purity's, rather than using the McIntosh power amplifiers. Using the RCA inputs, the setup had increased sensitivity.
I was very excited to fire the Purity's up. and they did not disappoint me.
I was also excited to play this Telarc SACD of Hiromi, as she is one of my favorite artists. The combination of SACD and the Purity's was magic. Her music is partly electronic, and there is an amazing amount of transient detail that has to be delivered in order to fully appreciate what her jazz group can do. I suspect that I did not miss any of it with the combination of great electronics and these fine speakers. They won't play quite as loud as my full range ESLs, but then, they are the size of doors. The bass was, on the other hand, just as tight as my full range ESLs, which surprised me.
Classical piano is an excellent test for the timbre of speakers, and the MartinLogan ESLs came through just like I expected with this Telarc Schubert SACD. Very natural, full bodied, crisp leading edge transients.
The female voice is probably the best test for boominess in speakers, so I put on this Telarc SACD of Tierney Sutton. I felt the Purity's had just a little too much bass, but it wasn't boomy. So, I simply flipped the toggle on the rear that let's you decrease the bass by 3 dB.
Popular guitar is personified in the US by several musicians, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (LAGQ) is a good example. Here, in this Telarc SACD, I listened for the leading edge transients, and heard them all. It is this detail capability that sets ESLs apart from conventional tweeters.
I toed the speakers in so they were pointing directly at me in my sitting position, and I used the base adjustment so that they were pointing straight out rather than upward. They do fall off when moving off axis, but not as much as ESLs that are flat rather than curved like the Purity's. Between 1 and 10 watts played the speakers at good listening volume.