Innuos Statement Review

I first heard the Innuos Statement music server at AXPONA 2019. I listened to a demonstration directly comparing the Statement to the Innuos' Zen MkII. After the demonstration, it was clear to me that the Statement was a large step forward in the Innuos product line. I recently purchased the Innuos Statement and took delivery (after a six week wait). I immediately plugged it in, set it up, (super easy) and downloaded .5 TB of WAV files overnight. After burning in the Statement for approximately 100 hours, I compared the Statement's performance to the Antipodes DX3 music server. In order to have as close a comparison as possible (in relative real time) I connected both servers to my Jeff Rowland (JR)  Aeris DAC+PSU using the same brand of cables (Stealth). However, because the Aeris DAC has only one USB input and both the Statement and the Antipodes DX 3 only have USB output, I first ran the Statement through a Berkeley USB Alpha converter and connected the Alpha converter to the Aeris DAC using Stealth's Vardig Sextet V16-T BNC/BNC cable. The Stealth USB Select-T cable connected the Statement to the Aeris DAC. The rest of the system consisted of a JR Corus Preamp (connected to the aforementioned PSU), JR M925 mono amplifiers, Joseph Audio Pearl 3 speakers and a three REL subwoofer "swarm" configuration. Cardas Clear Beyond power cords, balanced ICs, and speaker cables were used throughout the system. Both servers were used as Roon Cores for the comparison/review. I own all the equipment; I don't work for any audio company. (I also don't pump my stuff to dump it later.)
I focused on music selections I know well across the genres of rock/pop, jazz, classical, soul/R&B, and classical. I used a "non-blind" method playing a 1 minute 30 second to 2 minute section of a recording before switching from one server to the other and then repeating the same recording for an immediate comparison. I did the comparison over a two hour period, taking periodic listening breaks. Before providing my overall impressions of the Antipodes Statement, I note that I immediately compared the Statement to the Antipodes DX3 without burning the Statement in. The Antipodes DX3 had been thoroughly burned in before the comparison (more than 500 hours of use). Without burn in, the Statement and the Antipodes DX 3 sounded very similar to one another. I'm confident that I would have been guessing which was which if I was blindfolded and had to name the server I was hearing on any given recording. I repeated this exercise after the Statement had burned in for one hour. At this point it seemed the Statement's soundstage had gotten a little wider and only slightly deeper. It also seemed the vocals on the Statement had become slightly clearer than on the Antipodes DX3. I did no further comparisons until now. The following are my subjective impressions of the Statement after four days of burn in compared to the Antipodes DX 3 server in my system.
The Statement threw a slightly wider soundstage than the Antipodes DX3.
The Statement had a significantly deeper soundstage than the Antipodes DX3. 
The Statement and the Antipodes DX3 had the same soundstage height.
The Statement resolved moderately more than the Antipodes DX3. By this I mean it provided more recording details than the Antipodes DX 3. It was not a night and day difference. It was apparent on most, but not all, recordings I considered.
Vocals presented clearer/crisper (better "enunciation" if you will) via the Statement than the Antipodes DX3.
The Statement provided superior bass differentiation in the lowest and mid bass regions. With the Statement, the bass drum performance did not cloud either a stand up bass or electric bass performance--provided the recording/mastering engineers sufficiently separated the performances on the recording. The Antipodes DX3 is a very good bass performer. But it slightly trailed the Statement.
The Statement placed more air between the instruments and performers than the Antipodes DX3.
The Statement excelled at acoustical instrument presentation. A reeded instrument sounded convincingly "real." The Antipodes DX3 does this well too...just not as well. Percussion instruments also benefit from this attribute. The Statement allowed me to hear more definition in the wood block, the guiro, shakers, all cymbals I heard, chimes, a gong. Again, the Antipodes DX3 was very good at percussive instrument representation. The Statement was simply better.
Both the Statement and the Antipodes DX3 provided high quality believable piano reproduction in all genres. The only significant difference I heard between the two servers on piano performance was found in Alfredo Rodriguez's rendition of "Chan Chan." There, the Statement seemed to handle the quick staccato notes and the unique decay issues of this piece more believably than the Antipodes DX3. But the difference was not night and day.
My overall impression of the Statement is that it provided superior high quality, believable digital music reproduction regardless of genre. I consider it an across the board upgrade in musical reproduction in my system over the Antipodes DX3. My impression of the Antipodes DX3 is that it is a high value product that held up very well in comparison to the Statement. The Statement retails for twice as much as the DX3's retail price when it was in production. If the Statement's performance after four days of burn in was rated as a 100 I would rate the Antipodes DX3 completely burned in as a 75. I will be keeping both these music servers. Hopefully this review helps those in the market for a music server.     
Ag insider logo xs@2xastewart8944
Audiotroy, thank you for sharing the comparative outcomes.

Which dacs or cd players have a great usb inputs, would the Esoteric's USB inputs be capable of realizing a clear preference over AES or Coax.

Many a times, we see USB input cards the size slightly larger than a matchbox, most possibly a textbook designed board based on the Usb input chip would probably would not rank high in perference sonically over the tried and tested digital inputs.
It really depends on the player, and or dac.

We had the T+A PDP 3000 which is one of the most remarkable disc players ever made, the sound on both SACD and Redbook is postitively captivating, giagantic soundstage, tonally smooth with great detail, in all of our years of digital testing the best sound ever from CDs.

The PDP 3000 is also an excellent dac, but the sound out of the USB input was very good, just not equal to the magnificent, jaw dropping optical playback.

The PDP 3000 was replaced with the newer MP 3100 so that player might have an even better USB input.

The Aqua Hifi Dacs have excellent USB input cards, so they sound marvelous via USB.

DCS and MSB should also have excellent USB inputs.

In our expereince most of the more modern dac designs absolutuly favor usb and perhaps ethernet, for many of today’s dacs the highest samping rates are still only USB based inputs.

Older Dacs that favor AES or Spdif are like the Jeff Rowland Aeris which was designed by Holm audio of Denmark close to 10 years ago.which was designed long before USB really took off.

Other holdouts from the infancy of USB are pro companies like Bekley audio, (Pacific Macrosonics, the HD audio disc guys,) there products were designed by engineers for recording studios where AES/EBU is the standard.

USB is really a consumer audio connection, due to the flimseyness of the conection, however, the USB cable can carry a ton of data fast. The issues with USB cables have a lot to do with the 5V power that rides on some of the cables as well as noise intrusion from the computer.

Hence the evolution of galvanic isolation, separate 5v power lines, power distruptors, very high resolution USB cards with extensive noise filtering, better power supplies and lower noise chips, better audio designed mother boards, and isolation of the components to filter out EMI and RFI couple these devices innovations and you have Innous and Aurender Servers to name a few.

Most dac companies use some sort of commercially available USB input chip from XMOS or a few others companies, sometimes with a lot of custom tweeks and sometimes not.

What is fascinating is how the USB input card issues are being addressed, our new T+A SDV 3100 HV is one of the world’s best dacs, and the product uses a 100% in house designed ultra high speed USB card. designed to allow a massive amount of data to flow into the machine up to DSD 1024 from an external source.

USB and Ethernet in our opinion are really the only ways to get to true high resolution digital and many of today’s best dacs may sound way better to you via upsampled PCM or transcoded DSD.

Dave and Troy’
Audio Doctor NJ Innous dealers

@justubes2 A general rule of thumb is that DAC architecture beginning in about 2012-2013 made substantial gains over the DACs before that period of time. Part of those gains included the advancement/refinement of USB and ethernet interfaces. Since I own the Rowland Aeris DAC that @audiotroy mentions above, I will note that I believe it came on the market in 2012. Rowland specifically states that the Aeris is built to favor SPDIF. The Aeris USB input is no slouch--I have used both--but I agree with Dave above that the future currently is trending toward USB and ethernet as the preferred pathways on newer DACs and servers, especially as the high resolution market grows. For example, MSB currently has a module to optimize USB with their Pro ISL input--here is what they say:
"A Better USB Solution

The Pro USB was developed to offer a multi part USB solution that features complete electrical isolation and all the performance of MSB’s proprietary Pro ISL input. The Pro USB is offered as a stand alone module for users who already have an MSB DAC that is equipped with a Pro ISL input as well as a starter kit with a Pro ISL input and everything you need to get up and running."

I recently received my Innous Statement. The DAC I am using with it is the T+A MP 3100HV. Playing an SACD or CD on the T+A is outstanding, almost, but not quite as good as the T+A PDP 3000HV which I had for a couple of weeks in the past. The inputs sound better with the MP 3100HV than the PDP 3000HV. 
Playing a CD on the T+A MP 3100HV sounds slightly better than ripping a CD onto the Innous Statement and then playing it through the T+A MP 3100HV.
So far, I am finding using USB from the Statement to the MP 31000HV to be more dynamic and detailed than using Ethernet from the Statement to the MP 3100. So far I’ve tried two different USB cables and they each sound different but both sound better than using Ethernet. Using Ethernet is slightly more musical,  smooth & a bit less analytical, very enjoyable. Plus all the metadata shows up on the MP 3100 screen when using an  Ethernet connection. I will try different Ethernet cables next since I am currently using a Transparent Ethernet to the Innous and a standard blue CAT6 from the Innous to the MP 3100. Possibly upgrading this Ethernet cable will help. 
Using QoBuz and Tidal sound great through the Statement (as the ROON core & streamer) to the MP 3100 (as the DAC) and also sound great with a direct Ethernet cable to the MP 3100 using the MP 3100 as the streamer & DAC. The Statement and the MP 3100 are both phenomenal units. 
@musicfx Thank you for this listening review. When you try other cables please post the results here. Congratulations on your new Statement.