by Jim Holtz & Curt Campbell
Jim: The Statements II are the result of the Finalists project which focused on achieving the best midrange possible but with an eye on cost control. I and many others have touted the benefits of the Vifa/Peerless NE series drivers as mid range transducers for several months now and my opinion hasn’t changed.
These drivers are smooth, natural and detailed with a sense of realism that only the best can create.
Enter the Statements II
Jim: Curt and I talked about what we might do to raise the already high bar of the Statements to the next level without creating a new cabinet design and could be either an upgrade or built as Statements II’s. I scoured available 4” driver specs and found there weren’t many drivers that would drop in that were 8 ohm, hard paper cone, neo magnet and technologically advanced enough to consider. The Vifa NE123 was the logical choice.
Curt worked his crossover magic with lots and lots of measuring, listening and crossover refinement until it sounded right. Then our good friend Wayne Wendell stopped by to add his input and more crossover tweaking resulted in the final Statements II’s that are in my listening room. They have the superb mids of the finalists and add more bass impact with greater SPL capability. Top end is hard to fault for either speaker but the ribbons have a delicate airyness about them that domes can’t compete with. Both, The Finalists and all Statements series have a very big sound with an expansive soundstage so no compromises are needed.
Why another Statement design?
So, who was this designed for? Me actually! However, if music is 50% or more of your systems use, the Statements II is a no brainer as an upgrade to original Statements or the Statements design to build if you’re a music lover 1st and foremost and have room so they can be properly positioned away from the wall behind, they may be for you.
It’s all about the mid-range!
Do the Statements II “whomp” the Statements? No, and I wouldn’t recommend a Statements II upgrade to anyone using their Statements primarily for home theater. The Statements do an excellent job, IMHO, and the upgrade won’t improve on clarity etc. of your system. If you’re a music lover, yes, I’d recommend building the Statements II or upgrading original Statements to achieve the best possible midrange sound quality within the Statements series design. The Statements II are now my musical reference!
Jim: IThe obvious question is, how do the Statements II compare to the original Statements? Here are my thoughts and an explanation of why Curt and I chose to create the Statements II.
The original Statements met or exceeded all of my design goals when they were created. Pristine highs, exceptionally clear, detailed mids and clean extended bass with the dynamics to handle home theater or demanding music passages. The Statements replaced a pair of excellent line arrays so I was concerned about their ability to equal the home theater performance I’d grown used to. That concern was quickly answered with an action packed movie. The Statements held their own with the 6’ tall line arrays they replaced.
However, I’m 1st and foremost an audiophile. Music reproduction is at the top of my list when auditioning or designing speakers. After hundreds of hours of listening to music on the Statements, I found them to be very satisfying and enjoyable, but I could detect a hint of “metal sound” in the midrange on certain high definition recordings.
So, that brought about The Finalists. The Finalist project was a result of my quest to achieve the best midrange possible in a monitor sized speaker. I find Scan Revelators to be exceptional drivers with top notch sound quality. However, I had concerns with the very large magnets not working well with open back mids that have also become a “must have” for my listening enjoyment. The Vifa/Peerless NE149 looked like a real contender with Revelators, SB Acoustics and Seas drivers plus have the advantage of a Neo magnet with a very advanced frame design and high tech stiff paper cone. We soon found the measurements were great and the sound quality exceeded my expectations. During testing we did find that the large magnet worked fine with our open
back mid design. But, the NE149 sounded so good and measured so well, plus it’s priced about $100 per driver less than Revelators, it was an obvious choice.
Finally we’re at the Statements II. I enjoyed The Finalists so much that I could not help but wonder if Curt could perform the same magic on the mids of the Statements as he did on The Finalists. The result was, the Statements II retained all of the things I enjoy on the original Statements with a mid-range that was a bit more natural sounding that more closely reproduced vocals and the sound of instruments to what I hear at live performances which is always my reference. I find them stunning in the mids with the same pristine highs and extended bass of the original Statements.
Will the differences I described make a difference to most? The Statements II and Statements are very similar except for differences in the midrange that are probably only significant to someone like me that wants music to sound as I perceive it should sound. My hard core audiophile buddies would appreciate the differences. The rest of the builders, not so much.
Now you have two options depending on whether home theater or music reproduction are most important to your listening pleasure.
Curt: While verbalizing the sound of a speaker is almost an exercise in futility, I likened the sound of the revised design as being more relaxed and natural sounding. While the Statement II doesn't lack for resolution of fine detail, it perhaps might be a touch more tolerant of marginally recorded material, making those long listening sessions less fatiguing. For mainly HT use, or those 'upgrading' and already liking the sound of a metal mid diver may very well be disappointed. However those who prefer the sound of paper over metal may feel the upgrade as money well spent. I personally like the sound of the Statement II better than the original, but then that may just be me. After all, the crossover frequencies are the same, and the crossover transfer functions are essentially unchanged, I can only surmise it is the difference in driver properties, perhaps IM distortion, that drive my opinion. -Or maybe it was that last
resistor change that Wayne and I made..