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Peter Walker who designed the original Quad electrostatics commented that one could design a speaker with a peak at a certain frequency and thus reproduce one instrument, or a narrow range of music, with great vividness – at the cost of accuracy everywhere else. The Purity delivers the goods across the musical spectrum, at every sound pressure level, more faithfully than any other preamp I know of. Call it vivid but not obtrusive.

Obligatory technical section. I asked Bill Baker what was inside the unit. He replied that the Silver Statement preamplifier has custom-designed silver transformers and Bybee Purifiers in the signal path. Clarity MR and V-Cap CUTF capacitors are utilized. Gain can be adjusted through custom six-position auto formers that allow adjustment of each channel’s gain. This removes resistors from the signal path. The Ultra GT power supply contains multiple choke-filtered polypropylene filter banks, multiple Bybee Purifiers and a Bybee Music Rail per power supply. What else? The Silver Statement has three sets of balanced and three sets of single-ended inputs and two sets of single-ended and two sets of balanced outputs. All of these are transformer coupled. There’s a remote which controls mute, balance, source selection and phase inversion, home theater bypass as well as turning the display off.

And why did Response choose the 6SN7 tube?  It’s because the electrical parameters are quite similar to the 12AU7 and either may be used in the circuit. The opportunities for tube rolling are virtually endless. The unit came with some exotic NOS 12AU7. My impression is that the Sophia 6SN7 provided standard sound better than any of the vintage units.  I use very sophisticated technology in my day job but I’m not concerned with the means so long as the result is excellent. Here the components yield a superb result. Let me give you two examples.

A straight wire without gain.
My reference preamp is the Sonic Euphoria Mark II. At heart it’s a pair of auto formers to change signal impedance and in principle should be the ideal preamp because there’s no active circuitry to alter the signal.  What you might lose in amplification you gain in the absence of electronic artifacts. As I mentioned in the section above, there are auto formers in the Purity and I tried the preamp as a passive device. To my surprise it sounded drier and less lively. Of course it also lost a bit of dynamic range. In this case tubes and a lot of fancy passive components beat the proverbial straight wire with gain.