Full Statement vs Alternatives

I have my eye on a full Statement system (pre + power) in the next few years but are there other systems that I should take into consideration? I purchased my 500 Series amplification (a while back) and I’ll perhaps be able to resell it for the same/similar price that I paid for it back then (inflation seems to be on my side). What would you take into consideration? I’ve noticed that some have jumped ship to Linn, what about CH Precision? Welcoming all of your views :relaxed:

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A potentially cheaper option if box count is not a problem is an S1 with active 500,s, @Darkebear has this with Ovator s800. I have heard with Kudos 808, and it is very special.

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This isn’t quite what you are asking (sorry!) but I have been reading up on the S1 pre recently - if you do a search in the forum for S1 pre you will find a number of people who have tried it with their 500 amps. Darke Bear and Charlie bought the S1 pre only and use with their active 500s (ovator 800 and DBL speakers respectively). Several others are using with a single 500 (fact12s by PeterR if I remember correctly and kudos 808s by Coen and others) and don’t feel the 500 is holding anything back.

There have been comparisons of the full statement with s1 and active 500s with the active 500s being preferred all the times I have seen a comment (this isn’t of course an extensive survey so others may well have found differently)

Gazza refers above to a signals event which started with 552/500 then s1/500 then full statement

I know nothing of non-Naim alternatives other than Thomas has chosen Soulution I think as his Magico speakers require more oomph than a 500

Apologies if I have summarised things at all inaccurately there

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My take vis options for getting better than a 552DR/500DR combo:

1- Simply change 552DR to an S1-pre ---- it’s been expressed to me that with a 500DR this brings perhaps 70% of the gain of passive full Statement (assuming you don’t have problematic-to-drive speakers).

2- Change the 500DR out and go with active speakers (ATC50s?)

3- Same as (2)but replace 552DR with S1-pre

4- Get full Statement (pre-loved/new) — but at this price level now there are other amps and you’d need to access a high-end dealer (someone like KJ’s in London) to research their views etc,

5- If you haven’t got active speakers already, then simply move to an active system with say the 808s and requisite amps.

6- Go as @Gazza mentions, with S1-pre and active 808s.

Whichever way you go it’s going to mean plenty of £’s and I think it’s unlikely you can get a home dem of all of these set-ups, to see if they ‘work’ in your environment.

There are probably more options than this!

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An open question here is what would passive full Statement sound like with much better speakers attached as, as I think we’re both aware, the more expensive stuff like Magicos et al, are all designed passive.

i.e. running full Statement in to passive 808s could be showing up the limitations of the X-over in the 808s?

Wot a mad hobby :frowning:

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I will be listening to a dem of S1/500 v Full Statement next Thursday so will report back if people are interested. You won’t regret your decision Tim. The S1 will just get better and better over months of break in :+1:

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Speakers and set-up?

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When you are spending at this kind of level it would be absolutely crazy not to consider alternatives. As you will be aware there are many viable options.

I jumped ship for various reasons, the main one being that Naim would not suit my chosen speakers. So I now have Sim Audio Moon and I’m very pleased. You may want to investigate their stuff.

Beyond this, my own personal experience, I can’t offer any advice except to get out there and listen. Book some dems. Take your time and see where it takes you. At the end of the day you may well decide to stick with Naim. But at least you’ll know that you’ve made the right choice if you do.

Also, don’t just assume that a full statement sytem will necessarily be more enjoyable than what you have. You already have 500 series which are superb. Again, do the listening first before parting with your cash. It’s very easy to assume that more expensive=more enjoyable. But really it’s not always the case.

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I have heard the full S1 pre / power with passive Focal Utopia speakers and it was unbelievably good. I genuinely thought there was surround sound turned on and I had to look behind me!!! Crisp detail, dynamics and a soundstage to die for.
I haven’t heard the S1 combo with 808s, but the crossover in them is very good. Perhaps we need to wait for @Cohen1263 to have his demo.

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Thank you to everyone that has replied.

Perhaps I should provide some background information. I’ve owned Naim for over two decades. Starting with CDX/102/180 and gradually working my way up to 500 Series (an incredible journey).

I have a penchant for the well engineered and I’ve owned several Mercedes before settling with an AMG: a beautiful car but with only two seats it’s impractical for transporting my beloved cats. I finally purchased a BMW estate (the same car that Richard uses to transport his lovely dogs, it’s also in the same colour) with full leather interior, burr walnet trim and the heads up display from the M5. I can drive this car comfortably for hours on end whereas I’d feel fatigued behind the wheel of the AMG on a long journey. I’ve been known to keep within my comfort zone but the eye opening experience with cars has led me to look further afield and consider alternatives.

I’ve listened to active DBLS with DAVE/552/500s and I was really impressed. Huge sound, spades of attack and I can understand why people like this combination, but I prefer the tweeters on my Wilson Benesch ACT C60s. In a few words I don’t ‘hear’ the high frequencies they ‘appear’ in my ears. I also have my eyes on the Eminence.

I’m in no hurry to upgrade because my next system will perhaps be my final system. Wishing everyone a lovely day/evening :relaxed:

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The best solution may depend on your source(s) and speakers, and also (as already mentioned ) on whether you want to realise the benefits of active driving of speakers (though of course you can bi- or tri-amp with Statement power amps…)

If you’re thinking Statement level amps, presumably this is end-game. What are your end-game sources and speakers? If only digital sources you don’t necessarily need a pre-amp at all.

And if spending to this level, have you got a well treated listening room? if not then spending money there could make more difference than maxing out on amplificatio or other gear. If money is no object then a new acoustically designed romm …

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Hi @Satori ,

I believe we have been through the same interrogations.

I also hesitated to buy a complete Naim Statement. I was pretty close in fact. I got an excellent opportunity at 120K euros.

I didn’t do it.

Here are, roughly speaking, my thoughts and path. I hope it helps with yours.

Of course, everything below is just my opinion and has no more weight than any other.

The starting point of my change was, roughly speaking, two things:

  • 7 boxes and a forest of cables was too much.
  • I made a huge mistake: I listened to the Magico M2

A strange thing about hi-fi is that when you have a system that sounds wonderful, you can’t imagine that there’s anything better. And if there is, it can only will be marginal.

Unfortunately, this is not true. The differences, better, not just different, are tremendous, when it commes to speakers.

In my experience, what has the most significant impact on what we hear is: first the room, then the speakers and finally the rest. This, of course, considering the system is balanced.

If you put the room aside, I think the starting point is the speakers and then we have to build around them.

So the starting point was the Magico M2.

I looked at the following brands for electronics:

  • Naim Statement
  • Gryphon Apex Stereo
  • CH Precision M10 Stereo
  • Soulution 711

The differences between these amplifications exist, but frankly, it’s not huge, despite what we can read on forums. At this level everything is just great.

I wouldn’t say the same for speakers, and DACs to some point.

So the problem was to choose while avoiding emotional choices.

So I made myself a list :nerd_face:

  • Stay with the same brand for everything, DAC and amplification. Mixing is tricky.

  • A 5 year warranty and the assurance that the company will be able to provide service in 10 years (if I don’t change again …)

  • The final system had to have few boxes and take up little space

  • I wanted an amplifier that could drive any speaker and still have headroom.

  • I wanted a DAC that sounded natural (not digital)

  • I wanted a sound that was both detailed/airy and full.

  • The electronics had to be visually pleasing.

  • Like you, I appreciate high-level engineering.

By elimination, I came up with the following system:

Taiko Extreme Server
Soulution 760 DAC
Soulution 711 Amplifier
Nordos Valhalla 2 cables

And as you know, a well-designed listening room with no actual budget limit.

I hope this helps or gives you some ideas.

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Looking forward to your write-up. Wishing you a lovely day :relaxed:

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A good friend of mine has been lucky enough to have active DBL’s with 552/500’s. This then morphed into a full Statement system. An evening with this system indelibly printed the musical bar for me. He then replaced the DBL’s for Ovator S800. The BMR drivers were a revelation, giving you the sort of detail only electrostatics can muster.

He was then offered a very good price for his Statement system and sold it (it’s a fair bit of money to tie up in hifi) and replaced it with a 552/500 system. However, it wasn’t long before the 552 was replaced with an S1 - I guess he just couldn’t live without it! Having listened to the new system I can understand why.

I think my point is that the active system is good but the full Statement system was simply unbelievable! I may have to wait until he gets another couple of NAP 500’s to give you the full comparison.

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Mis spelled your name above. Sorry :blush:

Ross offered to help me get in touch with you for reassurance but at one level I have a pretty good idea of what you will say so not sure it would be all that helpful :wink: but thanks again for your encouragement as it is very helpful to know your experience with a very similar set up to mine

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For sure Tim. I hear from Ross that you like what the M6 block brings so stack that up with our mutual appreciation for the 808’s and it would appear that we gravitate to a similar sound presentation.

The think is that the S1 transcends all that. There is nothing that it doesn’t do better than the 552. It’s a real masterpiece design IMO closing the timber and texture gap between SS and valves whilst being incredible fast and open. You are in for some great listening sessions I can assure you. Congrats on your order :+1:

Rob

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Some time ago, perhaps five years or so, I heard the full Statement driving the largest Focal L/S at the Windsor Show. Then a little later at infidelity, Hampton Wick, a shoot out between 552/500DR and again the full Statement.
All three sounded excellent as you might imagine. Which one? Very difficult to judge.
Once you go beyond 500 you are into very specialist dealers and a large hit to the wallet so choice is even more difficult. They will have lived with exotic kit on a daily basis so their judgement is crucial. Having a meaningful home demo cannot be that easy either.
Nice to be shopping at this level would be interesting!

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Record out to tape, perhaps?

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I meant sonically as you know

Has anyone heard Statement with a top flight turntable?