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.