Pure Reference Extreme MK II

Arthur Salvatore- highendaudio.com

My conclusion is straightforward, and consistent, with the above review: I already Doubled-up the original PRE speakers back in 2010, and achieved outstanding results (reported in detail at the time). Thus, it is no surprise that the current results with the PRE Mk. II Doubles are also outstanding. The above review of the PRE Mk. II Doubles provides all of the supporting and confirming details as to why I arrived at such a highly positive evaluation. However, I believe my purely personal and subjective response may also be important to many readers. Accordingly, while I truly dislike repeating myself, in this instance I believe it is instructive for us to again go back to the 2010 review of the Original PRE Doubles, and specifically to a relevant conversation I had with Jean Nantais (Lenco Reference) during the very first night we heard them. This is what I wrote at the time...

To paraphrase Nantais; "This is the first time I've ever heard an audio system with no limits. It does everything". After hearing Nantais' words, I was silent for a while. Finally, I told him that I agreed with him. I told Nantais that these speakers gave me a feeling of confidence that there was nothing they could not do, and that this was the first time I've ever experienced this, in my own system, or anywhere else. Further, while it obviously took the entire system to achieve this highest level of performance, it could only be the speakers that were able to finally put it "over the top". Let me explain...

From my experience, there are now (and have been in the past) many "big speakers" that can play loud (cleanly), sound "big" and go low and high, but not without easily noticeable problems, especially at lower volume levels. However, the PRE Doubles can equal these "big speakers" in their mentioned strengths, while avoiding their (once thought unavoidable) problems. This reality became increasingly clear to me that evening, especially after I had heard a few particularly challenging records, now forgotten unfortunately, that were reproduced in a manner which I had never experienced in the past.

Now, is there anything I can add to the above in 2021? Yes. The PRE Mk. II Doubles perform at such a high level that an accurate subjective description of their full capabilities may even appear to be contradictory at times, so let me use some analogies. The Doubles are like a combination of the skills and abilities of both a flyweight and heavyweight boxing champion, simultaneously, or both a Bolshoi ballerina and an Olympic shot putter, simultaneously. In short, to repeat, and summarize, the various subjective quotes in the Original PRE Double review; "It does it all", period.

Further, and most important, I believe the majority of current (and future) owners of the PRE Mk. II can also experience highly satisfactory results when they invest in the PRE II Doubles. However, their existing system must be ready for the "creation" of such a highly-revealing instrument. This means the capability of bi-amping, outstanding sources, good quality AC, etc. The PRE Mk. II Doubles will reveal virtually everything, including, unfortunately, every system weakness, so be well prepared.

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