Tellurium Q Statement II analogue cables REVIEW
This is a review written by Terry Ellis August 2023.
As I sit here listening to the original Tellurium Q Statement cables I am distinctly reminded of why they made such a big impression on me some 5 odd years ago and I still really like these cables today. Its strange listening to my favourite test tracks that bring back a memory of “yeah this is how this music sounded before”.
What’s interesting about that is I have only had the Statement II cables in my system for a couple of months, compared to years spent listening to the original and already their effect has made a new memory or set a new marker point in my mind for their sound character and how my favourite test tunes sound now. But can lightning strike twice and have Tellurium Q really been able to better their original Statement cables.
What’s the difference.
Tellurium Q are probably the most guarded company I can think of in the audio industry for protecting what they are doing. I have an excellent relationship with company MD Geoff Merrigan and even I can’t get any information out of him about the company’s cable designs. I do know Tellurium Q invest heavily into materials R&D and think deeply about the effects of each layer within their cable designs. They take a different approach to the design of every cable within a range but bring the whole range together to have a family sound. There are three specific families blue black and silver. Statement sits above the family tree trio and is intended to offer the best performance in all areas with no compromise.
This comes with a higher price tag the 1 metre balanced interconnects I have here cost £5487 and the 2 metre speaker cables cost £4098 a metre so £8196 for this set. This is a serious amount of cheese for a set of HiFi cables but far less than many other brands top offerings just to put it into perspective, with some cables from some brands costing as much as my house, but either way my expectations are sky high at this kind of price level.
This is especially true as its very difficult to see much in the way of physical differences between the original and Statement II cables, especially the speaker cables, which share the same red finish that I really like, and the cable end trimmings are very similar too with the black aluminium styling. On a stiffness rating I would give both models of Statement a 9.5/10. They are very stiff cables something to think about if your short on space like I am or if you use small light weight stand mount speakers. Now it’s very possible to use the Statement speaker cables with stand mount speakers I have done it many times with many pairs just fine but again it’s just something to think about.
With the balanced XLR interconnect cables there is more of a visual difference between them but even so it’s not glaring as a difference. But there is something very different between them as you look through the outer black sheath and also about half way along the Statement II balanced there is a something, I don’t know what the something is, but the something under a branded label is not on the original Statement balanced cables. Maybe it’s just an additional directional label I really don’t know.
Minor visual differences aside the biggest difference for me is the aging of the cables. My original statement cables have had a hard life being changed in and out of different components hundreds of times, the Statement II look much newer and shinier, who doesn’t like shiny?
You can’t know what you haven’t experienced yet.
I have already alluded to my getting used to the different character of the Statement II cables so there is definitely a difference and a much more significant one than I was expecting.
I have already written an article about my first listening experience between the Statement and Statement II cables when I visited Telluirum Q HQ in Taunton in the South West of the UK, article link here. This was not an exhaustive listen instead it was just to give me an idea of what the difference might be. I always knew it would not be enough experience for me and I would need to have the cables at home to test more extensively. I had to wait for the right time, I would have the right system components in for review. As luck would have it my receiving the Statement II cables coincided with two tube amplifier reviews, neither had balanced inputs so I had to wait.
The system I used for my main comparison listening was my reference system front end with the McIntosh MA352 hybrid integrated amplifier powering the Sonus Faber Serafino speakers so very good and transparent components, especially the speakers.
For music I used a whole variety of my current favourites, one album being the latest from Sub Focus a British Drum and Bass artist as well some other favourites like country music from Colter Wall and John Moreland. I also used a mixture of audiophile classics Anette Asvik Liberty and others.
This is a hard review for me because I am very keen on the sound of the original statement cables, they seem to bring a fullness, solidity and character to the music that was not there before, especially in the vocals and I termed this the “Statement Effect.” I still hear this about them today but I also know its caused by some bloom to the sound. But not all blooms are bad some can be very pleasing, but they are still a bloom, not natural is how some might term it. A pleasing bloom is often one that adds a warmth colouration to the music, maybe some boldness and rounded character to the bass and it can make a HiFi system sound more dynamic and or more dramatic. In some systems in some rooms that will be a winning formula and this is what the Statement cables do to systems in my room and I cant help but love the original Statement cables for that and more. Listening to the significantly better Statement II cables in my system has not changed that for me. I think no less of the originals now than I did before, I could listen to them happy forever, but in the pursuit of a perfect system is what I am all about, so I have to always look forward with an open mind.
On that note what do the Statement II cables offer over the Originals or “OG” as my 11 year old son might say, to put it simply the Statement II offer improved clarity, transparency, sound stage 3 dimensionality and refinement over the “OG”.
I tested the difference between the balanced analogue cables first and the first big difference I noticed was in the early moments of Liberty by Annette Askvig, there was silence between the passages of the music, with the Statement I was there was never any silence, no fade to complete black. So to me the Statement II gives a much blacker background or a greater noise rejection and lower noise floor. This goes hand in hand with the improved edge definition, clarity, improved spatiality or sound stage three dimensionality. The Statement “OG” sounded thicker and maybe a little bolder in the middle regions of the music which in some ways could be preferred but listening to Beat by the Tingval Trio with the big piano on the right and other instruments layered right to left as the song develops there was obviously less spatial cues as a result much less definition to the piano playing fingers on the keys crispness. The Statement II extracted more detail from that track across the board really and they showed me a clearer picture of what each instrument / player was doing, a significant difference in these regards.
I then compared the Statement and Statement II speaker cable’s and interestingly the difference between them was very similar to the balanced cables difference, so similar in fact I would just be writing almost the same words and that makes no sense. The main significant extra difference I noticed was in the treble clarity and refinement, higher frequency information was noticeably clearer, with more pop more energy and much better resolution but also more refinement with the Statement II speaker cables. This was an impressive improvement.
To recap the Statement II sounded clearer, cleaner, more open with better sound stage depth and three dimensionality. The Statement OG was thicker sounding and more congested in its delivery with more of an emphasis on the middle regions of the music (slight bloom here) less well timed and refined overall. Again this is a significant difference I am referring to here, not a subtle one.
The Missing Link
A very important lesson I have learnt is to use using matching speaker cable links between the +ve and -ve terminals on our speakers cables input (binding posts). In the past I have always found better performance “matching the hatch” using the Statement links. For this review I didn’t have Statement II links initially only the original Statement links and I wonder how much difference the extra few inches might make, there is a crude joke in there of course.
I asked for some to be sent to me and again the difference was clear to me. I always use a Diamond wiring configuration if that matters to anyone, there is an article here of what I am referring to if you’re not sure. The Statement II links helped to bring an ever greater sense of ease and relaxation to the music that balanced the additional clarity and energy in the higher frequencies from the Statement II very nicely. The Statement II links cost £1026 for four, so links for both speakers. This is not an inconsequential amount of money for what seems like a very small detail, but every detail matters at this level and you of course want the best from your system when you’re buying HiFi at this level. As much as we men don’t want to hear it a few inches do make a big difference.
A privileged Journey
I class myself as exceptionally fortunate to have spent the last 5 years with Statement cables, analogue, digital and power in my HiFi system. I couldn’t find a fault in them and would have put any sonic faults of my systems sound down to any one of many other components / things in the system and or the room. This is what has shocked me the most, Tellurium Q have found ways to significantly improve their Statement cables. I know it’s not one thing, it’s many, likely small things that all add up to producing the greater whole, a set of HiFi cables that clearly outperform the exceptionally good originals in all key areas of producing technically better sound, what Geoff calls a more natural sound.
So if you’re looking to invest, and it is an investment in Tellurium Q Statement II cables now you are getting a better product for your money, and I think its not a much more expensive investment than before given real world factors of the rising costs of everything.
I suppose a more interesting question to answer is should you upgrade from the original Statement cables? I think a week spent with the Statement II in your system will make your mind up and that would be what I would of course recommend you do anyway. Live with them, get used to them, take them out and ask the question how much do you miss the extra insight into your favourite music, I am guessing a lot? Even when you like the original as much as I do its very, very hard to go back, you have be warned.
A Special Performer Award is Pursuit Perfect Systems highest accolade and is in recognition of exceptional product performance regardless of price
For the full specification of the Tellurium Q Statement II cables please see their website linked here