500 Series vs. Statement?

Yes, Peter could be the room. With the 552 I don’t have this problem, there is sparkle and lots of resolution, but nicely bedded in. With the S1 this is even further extended and the upper frequency from some instruments seem detached from the lower end resulting in a too lean a sound from instruments like saxophone, higher voices…
But, as you mentioned, there are further factors, maybe the speakers, the cables, the source…
Back to 552 everything gels and at the moment I’m leaning towards the 552.
The biggest difference to my ears is the bass. It’s no slouch with the 552 but no way as tight as from the S1.

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Hi jodl, where abouts in the World are you? ( allow me a guess Germany, Austria?) :thinking: Best Peter


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Well, I’ll keep ‘em peeled, as they say. :grin:

Just read through this thread… interesting and amusing.
I have a fully DR’d 500 system with both analogue and digital (Chord DAVE and MScaler) front ends. Wilson Benesch ACT One’s and chord Music interconnects.
As someone who just relocated to Colorado, I decided to spend money on my room rather than look at upgrading, as I had the chance to influence the design before moving in.

The room is a dedicated listening room, about 25x13 feet with 8’ ceiling. I used a well known audio consultant to provide in wall bass absorbency and a number of other ideas on dimensions to make sure the room was right.
I can only say that this $15k was the best money I have ever spent on hi fi. The room is in a basement, and has no glass, and sounds incredible.
The reason I mention this, is that nowhere in this thread has anyone mentioned ( unless I missed it) that Mitch’s system looks like it’s in a very tight room. The rear wall appears to be a window, the speakers are crammed in a corner, and the first reflections are apparently glass bottles!

No offense Mitch, we all have to deal with the room we are given, and the woman we marry (!) but for before spending $90k on the infinite upgrade route, I would rip off the Sheetrock and treat the room… not kidding.

Now to be fair, I haven’t seen the rest of the room, so forgive me if it’s decked out in treatments okay?

I just wanted to share, that we often obsess on the next bit of kit, and for the price, focusing on the room can make exponentially greater improvements.


Interesting you mention room treatment.

There is a whole thread dedicated to it.

If you browse it you’ll notice room treatment isn’t everyone’s taste.

The room is, by far, the weakest part of a music reproduction system. But I believe very few members are aware of that and measured their rooms. Sometimes it is better not to know…

I had a similar approach to yours. Going from SN2 to 252DR/300DR was a disappointment. Treating the room revealed the true potential of the 252DR/300DR.

In terms of sound quality jump, the most significant gains were (for me), by order of magnitude:

  • Room treatment
  • Speakers
  • Electronics (from source to amplification)

But not everyone has a dedicated listening room or can treat/transform a living/family room.

If we consider the room as being part of the music reproduction system, then it is, by far, the most expensive part. Real estate is costly…


Hi jodl,
I’m surprised to see that there are issues with the high frequencies with your S1/500 system. I have no experience with that setup, as I switched out my 500 and 552 simultaneously when my Statement arrived. What I can say is that with the complete Statement the high frequencies (and all others too, sound wonderfully natural, detailed, and, as to be expected from a Naim product, incredibly well in sync with itself. There is plenty of "bounce and bellyness (lol). Overall, the Statement produces a clear and dramatic upgrade over the 500’s (as it should, considering the price differential). I hope this helps…


No offense taken. You are right about the room’s limitations, but as it also serves as our living room, I do not the luxury of doing much to it. It is unfortunate that my excellent system is probably degraded a bit by its environment.

Nice bottle!!!

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@Mitch ,
Thank you for sharing your experience…I suspect that the easiest way enjoying the Statement is the whole package, Pre and matching Poweramps.
With only the S1 Pre in my setup my Chord Music XLRs were the culprit: The sound was impressive, but unpleasant in the upper frequencies to my ears. Then with the old original 500 Naim XLRs tonality was much better, but the inner detail was lacking. So back to my 552/500 full Chord Music loom: At home sound wise. While lacking the sheer speed, resolution and Macrodynamics from the S1/500 combo it seems I got hooked to the 552/500/Chord combo with Kudos Titan 808.
I decided to wait now for some time - and after looking into room acoustics and upping my source I will muse about a full Statement (and that would bring new speakers into…) - or will be happy with what I have fore the time being …

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Good luck on your journey. Sounds like it will be a fun one, but I’m pretty sure how it will end. :grinning:

I f you ultimately decide to go with the full Statement, you will not miss your 500s for long, even if you do nothing with the your speakers or room. It may take a little while to get used to hearing your music differently than with the 500s, but once you get past the previous comfort zone, you will realize you’re in a far better palace. (As an Austrian, you should appreciate my Freudian slip!)


…and I did visit :wink:
Thanks, @Mitch it was an “unreal” weekend.

Friendship/Family: It had been one of the happiest moments in my life. THANK YOU for the warm welcome.
Statement/System: There is only Flesh & blood there - nothing more to say about it.
Disappointment: It is real! You can’t understand w/o visiting him and seeing his mixtape R2R collection. This is a matter of the utmost importance.
The Scotch Part: Now, there is “a lot” to say, :star_struck:
I will try to explain some of them, we have enjoyed. I just don’t want to include regular scotches we have had from time to time just to chit-chat here and there with meals/snacks.
Macallan: We did a vertical tasting, one by one, from 12 up to 21 - Amazing, 18 and up - unreal.
Then we started climbing the letters, from 15s, 18s, 21s, 25s, 30s, 35s Yeah, going to eternity, there is no stop sign there, believe me…
Talisker: 18-25 (Both fantastic, unbelievably good)
Bunnahabhain: 25 (Now one of my TOP10s)
Glen Moray: 25 (I will buy it wherever I could find it)
The Glenlivet: XXV (Hard to explain, when you drink, you can’t stop smiling - You get the idea. Now one of my TOP10s)
Mannochmore: 25 (Also, now one of my TOP10s)
Glenfiddich: 18-25-30 (30 is unreal, out of this world… Don’t taste it LoL)
Highland Park: 25-30 (Highland Park was one of my favorites Scotches all the time but now I can cry because I have had that mistake to taste 25 & 30 - Unreachable)
Old Pulteney: 35, yes yes 35. (billions of years ahead of the time)

There is a lot to say…
Thanks again, Mitch! Until the next time - take care.
and oh, we only slept like how many? maybe 4-5 hours the whole weekend haha. Sleeping is a waste of time at Mitch’s home…


Wow, what an impression, I don’t know if I’m more excited about the HiFi or the Scotch and I don’t even drink Scotch. lol


Hey, it’s never too late to start…and I know a guy who get you started!!

Well I did go through a Scotch and cigars phase in my 20s but I found it interfered with my marathon running so I had to let it go. I fancied Dalmore back then. Maybe I can revive my palate. lol I haven’t been to NYC in almost 20 years so I’m overdue for a trip. Perhaps next year after all this pandemic mess is behind us (hopefully).

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Well, you would certainly be welcome! And I just happen to have a few Dalmore expressions lurking about…

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Sounds like a fantastic time @fuatb someday I’ll visit as well but I’d likely pass out from too much good libations.


Nah…I’ll be gentle; just ask Fuat! LOL


Don’t get into his bait lol.

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Hi Jodl,
It’s good to know there is another Naim customer with Titan 808 in Austria :blush: Are you located close to Vienna? I heard the 808 passiv only with a full Statement setup which was really impressive. All the other Demos I listened were with an active setup.

There’s @Charlie too (hope I have tagged the right one :grimacing:)

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