Originally launched in 2006, the Clearaudio Statement was lauded worldwide as a “masterpiece of engineering” which had truly “advanced the state of the art”. From the massive 350kg structure and architectural design to its “ground-breaking” technology -which included a trick or two borrowed from the Mars Rover – the Statement took turntable construction to a whole new dimension.
Clearaudio’s goal with the original Statement was to leverage everything their development team had learnt in 30 years of audio engineering and to bring together new technologies never before seen in combination, to make a cost-no-object, state-of-the-art masterpiece. Fast forward a decade and the team remains equally dedicated to breaking the rules and boundaries of music reproduction: hence the new Statement ‘v2’, painstakingly advanced with a raft of developments.
The sheer presence of the Statement’s structural design has always been a major talking point and the new v2 looks great in its piano-black lacquer finish and matching black turntable platter. Its massive integrated stand, which comprises four stainless steel legs separated and supported by eight curved supports, is “completely damped against resonance”. The supports feature a sandwich construction of aluminium plates filled with Panzerholz, a high-density bullet-proof manufactured wood renowned for its acoustic damping properties.
The top layers of the massive stand now incorporate thousands of tiny metal ball bearings embedded within the aluminium and Panzerholz sandwich, for resonance control.
One of the original Statement’s most prized innovations was its magnetic bearing technology, in which the platter is magnetically suspended so that there is no mechanical connection between platter and drive motor. So successful was this technology that it has since been patented and applied to most of Clearaudio’s turntable range. The motor uses a belt to drive the lower of two sub-platters, which contains a series of very strong magnets. Floating above it is an upper sub-platter containing an opposing set of magnets. The two sub-platters never touch and are held at a precise distance by the strong magnetic field. Attached to the upper sub-platter is a bearing spindle, which is connected to the main platter. In short, the main platter effectively floats on a cushion of air.
In the Statement v2, the bearing spindle is replaced with an enhanced design manufactured from Wolfram carbide, to which a nano nitrate coating is applied by laser, providing vastly superior strength and stability. The spindle’s design now features a two-piece construction in which the two parts are joined by a special high-technology adhesive, resulting in improved energy transfer and resonance control.
A key feature of the original Statement was the high-speed microprocessor-controlled motor used to drive the sub-platter, which drew directly on the technology used to propel the Mars Rover. The result was an outstanding level of real-time speed control. “When the platter is spinning, you can apply substantial downforce… with your finger and watch microprocessor instantly correct the speed”1. The v2’s electronic speed control circuitry is completely new. A brand new circuit board featuring upgraded components gives even more precise speed control and stability. At the same time, the motor pulley and belt have been redesigned, fine-tuning them for superior noise reduction.
Going back to the platters, the previously acrylic main platter has been replaced with a POM version, with its higher density and superior damping properties. The driven lower sub-platter has a newly-machined outer surface to better mate with the drive belt for even finer transmission and performance.
Moving down, the main gyroscopic bearing that supports the entire floating structure has been improved and upgraded for better performance. Those familiar with the original Statement will recall its innovative self-levelling mechanism. A 95kg damped self-levelling pendulum hangs from the gyroscopic bearing and comprises a series of stainless steel plates, eccentrically weighted by drilling out a portion of each plate’s inner periphery. Careful rotation of the various plates yields a platter that is perfectly level with the earth’s surface (as distinct from your floor) and with whichever tonearms are being used.
Moving back up-top, while the Statement accommodates up to four tonearms, the arm ‘par excellence’ for this turntable is the Statement TT1 tangential tonearm. Designed specifically and exclusively for the Statement turntable, it too has been upgraded.
The great plus of a tangential tonearm is that it delivers zero lateral tracking error and no skating force, because the cartridge moves in a way that is perfectly aligned with the record groove rather than pivoting as conventional arms do. To achieve this, the TT1 is constructed in two main parts. A supporting rail, in the form of a complex glass tube, occupies a fixed position parallel to the record’s radius. A high-precision carriage holding a straight carbon fibre tonearm runs along the rail. This construction means that the tonearm only pivots vertically, not horizontally, and so the cartridge stylus can only move in a straight line precisely along the record’s radius, following the exact same path as the cutting head when the record groove was initially made.
In the new TT1 v2, the arm carriage now hangs below the glass rail, rather than above it (think Skytrains or monorails), which provides greater stability and hence improved consistency of performance. The carbon fibre arm tube now has improved internal damping and carries a black anodized aluminium headshell. Ease and precision of VTA adjustment, already strong features in the original TT1, are now even better: a new reference scale enables even simpler, more precise and repeatable VTA adjustments.
Finally, to finish up-top, the Statement v2 is crowned with a peerless dual record clamping system: the stainless steel and Panzerholz Statement Clamp features three-point resonance absorption technology, while the Outer Limit record clamp holds down the entire outer edge of the record without touching the grooves, its 1.5 kg weight adding to the flywheel effect and flattening minor warps leading to a significant sonic improvement.
The initial set-up of the Statement v2 is, of course, reassuringly detailed and complex. No need to worry, though, since a senior member of the Clearaudio team will travel to wherever in the world a customer happens to be and perform a full, expert set-up. Happily, subsequent operation of the Statement is surprisingly simple. And, as you might expect from such a masterpiece of audio engineering, the sound quality will stop you in your tracks.
|Construction||Stainless steel, aluminium, acrylic and bullet-proof wood|
|Speed ranges||33⅓, 45 & 78 rpm|
|Drive unit||Non-contact magnetic drive system|
|Bearing||Clearaudio patented magnetic bearing technology|
|Platter||98 mm / 3.86 inch main platter|
|Speed accuracy (measured)||Less than ± 0.03% variation|
|Power consumption||Max. consumption: 19 Watt
Consumption in operation: 8 Watt
Off-mode (main switch in ‘0’ position): 0 Watt
|Total weight||Approx. 350 kg|
|Dimensions (without tonearm)||Approx. 27.2 (w) x 22.4 (d) x 52.17 (h) inches
Approx. 690 (w) x 570 (d) x 1325 (h) mm
|Warranty||10 years (provided warranty card completed and returned to Clearaudio within 2 weeks of purchase)|
The Clearaudio Statement is available now priced as follows (including VAT):
Statement turntable £92,500
Statement TT1 tangential tonearm £18,500.
Full set-up by trained Clearaudio personnel is included with the purchase of each Statement.