Tellurium Q Statement II

If the mainstream media is to be believed, our world is collapsing piece by piece. Paradoxically, with the end of times fast approaching, the market for luxury goods has strengthened, and this includes stereo equipment. Manufacturers of electronic components and loudspeakers are introducing bigger, more powerful versions of flagship models, which just a few years ago they described as their opus magnum, a benchmark that cannot be surpassed. Stereo systems presented at the biggest exhibitions are becoming more expensive every year. The top-of-the-line Tellurium Q cables are a prime example of this. When their second version went on sale about six months ago, I was unable to review them, as they were already scheduled for a "tour", which could not be completed, because every so often the Statement IIs found a new owner. The distributor ordered two more sets, one of which went from dealer to dealer, and the other was sold almost immediately. More sets had to be brought in, and finally, I managed to snatch up an interconnect and speaker cable worth just over €16,500.

Do you think this is the end of the story? Not at all, for the Statement IIs came to me just before the Audio Video Show in Warsaw, when the industry was in quite turmoil. Despite my sincere intentions, I didn't manage to have a proper listening, and right after the event, I received information that this audiophile jewelry had to be sent to another customer, who had put money on the table and didn't want to listen to the fact that the wiring he had paid for was being handled by a reviewer of some magazine and that one had to wait at least a couple of weeks for a new set. I decided that I would not let go. Even if I had to pay for it with my mental health, I'll get the damn wires, for which, despite the astronomical price, affluent and discerning audiophiles are lining up. I got them in January. I dropped all other duties, took pictures, and started listening. Not even a week had gone by, and I got a call from the distributor. "Tomasz, I'm sorry, but I need these cables back because they were bought by an enthusiast who builds his own amplifiers, speakers, and even cables. Some time ago he rented the Statements IIs, listened to them, sent them back, and just an hour ago he called and ordered them, claiming that since then he can't get the same sound out of his system. I'll bring him a new set, of course, but he asked me to send him a demo while he waits. Please tell me you've had time to review these cables." - he said, somewhat perplexed. Fortunately, I made it.

Tellurium Q Statement II
For such expensive cables, the packaging may be disappointing, but it is eco-friendly.

Design and functionality

Although Tellurium Q reiterates time and again that it is a technology company, focused on research, knowledge, and sound engineering, it is extremely reluctant to share the details of the internal construction of its cables. Geoff Merrigan is eager to talk about problems that audiophiles are already familiar with. If you ask him about the various phenomena occurring in cables, you will find that he has a really great deal of knowledge. He can discuss dielectrics, the speed of signal propagation, whether electrons actually jump from strand to strand, or whether increasing the purity of conductors leads to any sonic benefits. However, when you ask how Tellurium Q cables are built, he will probably smile and throw in some jokes to change the topic of conversation. He won't say anything more than what you can read from the descriptions on the company's website, and after filtering out sound descriptions, there's not much left. All that is known is that the main conducting material is tellurium copper and that the main goal of the designers was to create cables free of phase distortion. There are a few more technical details, but it can't be said that they are described in an accurate and comprehensive way. Well, every manufacturer has the right to guard its secrets, and all that remains for us is to go to the nearest dealer, and see what's what.

As befits the top of the price list, the Statement II series is quite extensive. It includes basically every type of cable an audiophile needs, perhaps except a USB or LAN interconnect. The Brits left them out, although they do have some very successful USB cables to their credit. Perhaps they figured that affluent music lovers are not in the habit of messing around with separate transports and converters. This doesn't seem consistent with reality to me, nor does the theory that no sane person would buy a LAN cable more expensive than a few dozen euros. Admittedly, I have reviewed such cables myself and remain skeptical about them, but every situation is different, and it may simply be that the devices I use are not very sensitive to it. However, I know people who, when buying speaker cables, two interconnects and three power cords from a particular series, would immediately add a LAN cable to the cart. Just to make sure that they didn't leave any weak link in the system, and that there wouldn't be some nasty wire from a laptop and printer ink store sticking out of the back of the streamer.

What we are left with is a choice of speaker cables (€11,100/2 x 2.5 m), an RCA interconnect, also available in a phono version with several different terminations on the phono side (€5,470/2 x 1 m), a balanced interconnect with XLR plugs (€6,100/2 x 1 m), a power cord (€6,100/1.5 m), digital cables with XLR, RCA and BNC plugs (€3,200-3,600) and jumpers for speaker terminals (€1,100). So, if we have a set consisting of speakers with dual sockets, an integrated amplifier, a DAC and a network transport, a turntable, and a power strip (this is more or less what my reference system looks like now), a set of Statement II series cables will cost us around €50,000. Of course, replacing the integrated amplifier with a preamp and a pair of monoblocks, and adding another source, such as a CD player, means that another €15,000 will go right away (two interconnects and three power cables). On top of that, Statement II cables can be ordered in different lengths, although here the surcharge is relatively acceptable, and shouldn't be noticeable for those interested in buying such audiophile jewelry.

To get some idea of how Tellurium Q's flagship cables perform, I decided to borrow a modest set consisting of an RCA interconnect and speaker cables with a standard length of 2.5 meters. The packaging, for this price level, is surprisingly modest. We receive the cables in hard cardboard boxes. They look nice and elegant, but they are far from professional aluminium cases or wooden crates lined with velvet. Some people praise such ecological solutions. At least we know that the manufacturer has spent all the funds on what's most important, right? I, however, think that the British could have tried a little harder. Especially in the case of the speaker cables, which we will return to later. Both cables come with a test disc (I don't have a CD player, so I didn't use it), the interconnect is protected by a velour pouch, and with the speaker cables, we get a catalog, hand-signed acknowledgments from the company's founder, serial numbers and signatures. The document shows that the quality control process is divided into three stages - two tests and a final inspection. It looks very professional, but does it prove anything? So that no one feels offended, let's assume it does, and take a look at the cables themselves.

At first glance, the interconnect reminds me of the high-end models from TARA Labs. Under the outer black braid, you can clearly see a layer of copper wires, which gives the connector an interesting rusty color. You will certainly notice large, silvery plugs with black caps bearing the company's markings. Tellurium Q didn't opt for any "off-the-shelf" solution but made them to order. Apparently, commercially available WBT or Furutech confections were not quite good enough. Like most companies, Tellurium Q advises that after sliding each plug into place, one should gently tighten it, but not use excessive force (I should rather say "torque"). A gentle slack is even desirable. It's just a matter of making sure that the plugs go all the way into the sockets and hold securely enough that they can't slip out. The interconnect itself is moderately stiff. Perhaps I wouldn't dare bend it at right angles, but neither is it the kind of cable that dictates our equipment placement or limits our choice of furniture.

It's completely different with speaker cables, which are totally uncompromising. I'm used to the great thickness of audiophile cables, but I didn't realize how stiff these are! In one of the photos, you see the interconnect surrounded by speaker cables coiled in a triangle. This symbol of the all-seeing eye was not a result of bending the cables heavily, just the first shape in which they arranged themselves on the table. The speaker cables, when removed from their packaging, resembled wooden boards merged by flexible connectors rather than something we would call a cable. I could still form them into a square, a Star of David or some sort of zigzag, but for a circle to come out, I would have to be veeery patient. The distributor informed me that, if necessary, the Statement II speaker cable can be re-formed to bend in other places, but this requires using "special measures". My guess is that the best way is to use tape or foil, with which we can give each of the thick bands the shape we want. Either way, it's a bit of a challenge, and I'm surprised the manufacturer didn't use something like a round can as packaging. Not only would the contents have been safer, but after removing the cable we could have slowly stretched it out for ourselves and then bent it as we liked. Here we have a rather similar situation to the thin wires attached to all sorts of electronic equipment, from phones to razors, but the difference is that it is done on a completely different scale. A twisting wire from a bedside lamp won't cause us as much trouble as a high-end speaker cable, which can easily pull small monitors off the desk. Most users will probably deal with it in one way or another, but if you have limited space, please be warned - this struggle takes time.

Of the other details, I liked the banana plugs with nuts that cause the tip to spread out from the inside. This is a cool solution that increases the contact area, and locks each plug in place, preventing it from accidentally slipping out. Of course, the bananas should be tightened quite gently, but you can immediately feel when they start to "catch". To make our lives easier, the manufacturer used metal splitters, behind which the two wires run separately, and are therefore more flexible. However, if the bends on the essential part of the cable go badly, it won't help us anyway. The best option seems to be to lay out the speaker Statements II on the floor and mark the places where we would like the kinks to be, disconnect the cables, and carry out the re-forming process. Statement II cables are directional, and we will also see serial numbers on the interconnect's heat shrink sleeves. I'll admit that I haven't seen something like this before. The company logo or arrow symbol is no problem, but the numbers mean that each set of sleeves was made once. Is it possible that it's an extra precaution so that the company can monitor what happens to each set of flagship cables, where it was sold, whether there are counterfeits on the market, and so on? I wouldn't be surprised. After all, we're not talking about cheap cables from a hardware store, but audiophile jewelry at the price of a new car. The numbers in the price list will make some people laugh, but discerning audiophiles owning stunningly refined systems, aware of Tellurium Q's market position, the awards the company has won (with a double Queens Awards for Enterprise at the forefront), and well acquainted with expensive cables from other brands, will be very interested in whether these new Statements will meet their expectations.

Tellurium Q Statement II
This symbol of the all-seeing eye was not a result of bending the cables, just the first shape they took when taken out of the box.

Sound performance

When I review more than one product at once - an amplifier and a streamer, a speaker cable and an interconnect, or a power strip and cables, I usually start my listening by checking the capabilities of the whole set, separating the components later. I adopted this strategy on the assumption that the first impression is the most important, and since the review is about the set, my opinion on the separate products is of secondary importance. This time I did things differently, fearing that the difference between the cables I use every day and Statements would be too great to assess the effects of such a change. So I started with the speaker cable alone and... Hmm, the shortest I can say is that my musical world did not turn upside down. The difference between the Cardas Clear Reflection and Statement II was audible, but it didn't knock me out or cause me to lock myself in the house for a week. The sound was, uhm, normal. It got a bit more collected, composed, and clear, especially in the bass range, gently sped up, the stereo imaging was sharper, there was more air between the sources, but otherwise - everything remained as it was. Cardas Clear Reflection are certainly not budget wires, but in a clash with the three times more expensive Statement IIs they did extremely well. If I'm to be brutally honest, even if I had unlimited funds at my disposal, after such a comparison I would have to wonder which speaker cable to leave in my system - whether I prefer the smooth, slightly warming, fantastically coherent, and gently dim Clear Reflection or the neutral but transparent and space-organizing Statement II. In the end, I would probably take both, changing them depending on my mood and the music, so I could make subtle adjustments to the sound with cabling. Either way, it didn't sweep me off the board, although I have to rate the balance, transparency, and versatility of Tellurium Q's flagship loudspeaker very high. It's even possible that this is the most neutral speaker cable I've ever encountered.

After adding the interconnect, the situation changed dramatically. This was the plot twist I had been waiting for all along. The sound became definitely clearer, more palpable, detailed, and open. Every sound that appeared in front of me carried a much higher energy charge. The changes followed the same direction as in the speaker cable, but they were clearer and more obvious. I conducted additional comparisons, in which Statement II faced KBL Sound Red Corona and Albedo Geo interconnects, coming out victorious. Again, it can be said that we are dealing with a cable that is perfectly balanced and, to say the least, virtually one hundred percent neutral. It makes no modifications in terms of tonal balance or timbre, and its presence in the system is only revealed by such aspects as micro-dynamics, transparency, speed, or - once again - a wonderful, three-dimensional, perfectly organized soundstage, in which each source is clearly defined, has sharp edges and is, one would like to say, firmly anchored in its place. The neutrality and clarity of the Tellurium Q flagships are, in my opinion, beyond all discussion. This is a truly high-end level of performance. And that I only fully appreciated it when the speaker cable and interconnect came as a set? I can see only three possibilities - either the interconnect simply stands out more from this pair, my system reacted to the changes in such a way, or these two cables somehow magically interact with each other, increasing the sound quality much more efficiently than when we try them separately. Here, however, we begin to enter the realm of audiophile esoterica, something I don't like and won't practice even in a review of such expensive cabling. To be safe, I prefer to stick to the facts.

Although listening to Tellurium Q's flagship cables did not make me re-evaluate my musical world, nor make me look at audiophile cabling in general in a different way from now on, I perfectly understand those who decided on the same or even more elaborate, and therefore more expensive set. In theory, this is idiocy, or at best a fad indicating that such an individual has such a big problem with the cash backlog at home that even burning banknotes is not enough. But that's not quite the case. Hi-end cables, as a rule, are created for people who have gone very far in their hobby. So far they have reached the wall and have begun to realize that taking the next step, making any improvements to their cosmically expensive, carefully configured, fine-tuned system will be very, very difficult. Contrary to appearances, it doesn't work at all to just go to the store and order any component that costs more than the one you already have. In some cases this will work, in others it will be counterproductive. I mean, let's say you live in a big apartment on the 40th floor, and you pass the time listening to music on a set consisting of Focal Stella Utopia EM Evo speakers, a Naim Statement amplifier, and some really high-end sources. Swapping the speakers for Grande Utopie EM Evo is a bad idea, because the premises may seem spacious, but the "smaller" Focals fit like a glove, and the largest ones could start to suffocate. Naim's Statement is untouchable because the company hasn't come up with anything better, and combining with amplifiers from other brands may turn out to be a cat-and-mouse game - some aspects of the presentation will be better, and others worse. So what's left is to play with cables and more or less exotic accessories, possibly looking for something like audiophile blinds and carpets. In such a system, the Statement IIs may turn out to be a hit. They won't spoil what we've rated very highly so far. If anything, they will only improve this and that. Although there is no measuring equipment to show us an exact number, let's assume that it will be a difference of 5%. If you calculate this, bearing in mind the value of such a system, you'll see it's definitely worth it.

Another very likely situation where Tellurium Q's flagships will begin to shine is in the typical audiophile cavern, where everything has already been changed and tweaked several times - each component was not only patiently selected, but even gently tuned. Thick power cables running to the switchgear itself with separate gold fuses were already routed in the walls at the construction stage, every acoustic panel hangs where it should, a constant temperature and humidity are maintained in the room, and the whole investment has long since consumed at least a million euros. For someone who listens to music in such conditions, who treats the place as his musical temple, changing the anti-vibration platform under the turntable or a single power cable can be a major event. Such a person usually doesn't want a new element to demolish that puzzle built over years, because essentially everything is already as it should be. Progress, if at all possible, is made on the basis of perfecting the details, but this has to be done with precision, making sure in many ways that this improvement has actually taken place. Meanwhile, cables can sometimes be treacherous in this regard. We plug them in, listen, something happens to the sound and immediately we fall into rapture. Only later do we discover the downsides - for example, that with new cables the system reacts allergically to recordings sounding too sterile. It can also happen that a three-dimensional soundstage seems nice when listening to studio albums, but on live ones everything is dispersed, loses its sharpness, and the bass is loose. I have encountered such a situation more than once. Maybe not with cables worth that much, but I know very well how this mechanism works. In the case of Tellurium Q's flagship cables, I don't see such a risk, because they don't do anything spectacular with the sound. They don't bend it in the slightest, but only gently organize it, sharpen the edges, speed it up, and eliminate the unevenness, revealing details that have been blurred so far, striving for absolute neutrality and transparency. Or no, not striving. In fact, achieving it, because if I haven't found any weak points in their sound, if I don't hear the slightest misrepresentation here, how much further could one go in this area? For many audiophiles, the Statement IIs will be the ideal cables. They are a dream come true and a soothing of the senses for those who seek the truth about music. The search is over, at least in the realm of cabling.

Tellurium Q Statement II
If you want the speaker cable to bend in other places, you'll have to think of a solution to make it happen.
Tellurium Q Statement II
The interconnect, by contrast, is very civilized and lays down fairly nicely.

Build quality and technical parameters

Given the British company's reluctance to share any details about the internal construction of their cables, I was surprised that in the descriptions of their flagships, they decided to reveal something. Of course, there's still no shortage of generalities, but if we analyze the matter carefully and add to the equation also what can be seen from the outside, we can come to the conclusion that Tellurium Q is smuggling some information between the lines. So let's start with what is known for sure. The company opposes the pursuit of conductors of the highest possible purity. In its view, pointless chasing of nines doesn't lead to increased purity of sound. Apparently, it's more important to preserve the original form of the signal in the time domain (phase). According to British designers, any conductor from any cable manufacturer on the planet will act as an electronic filter, and thus different frequencies are shifted with each passing material. Insulating materials, geometry or shielding also do their part. This is not recent knowledge, as the fact that phase distortion affects the naturalness of voices was discovered in Bell's laboratories as early as 1930. One can conclude from this that the technology used by Tellurium Q is to construct cables in such a way that no part of the band is delayed relative to the rest. Here we come, of course, to the speed of propagation of electrical signals in different cables. If I had to guess, I'd wager that Tellurium Q's technology involves the use of several separate conductors or bundles of separately insulated wires, of which the thickest ones, responsible for transmitting lower frequencies, are the "straightest", perhaps even forming the core of the whole cable, while subsequent thinner conductors are wrapped around it more and more densely, so that the length of such wires gently increases as their cross-section decreases. If you think about it, a similar system is used by Cardas, for example, but there the thinner conductors are surrounded by thicker and thicker ones, which is supposed to help dampen vibrations of the wires (a phenomenon familiar to most of us from physics lessons). I'm also guessing that the Brits are not relying solely on calculations. As they claim, the cable testing process is more iterative than people can imagine. This is true even of the solder used in the termination process. The material is by no means a "standard" of the audio industry. Many mixtures with varying percentages of silver were used in prototypes, but in the end - presumably through listening - Tellurium Q chose solder with no silver admixture (and no lead either). The connectors may look relatively ordinary, but they have many layers of plating and according to the manufacturer, these are not always the materials one would expect. The company has independently determined the thickness of each of these layers, as well as what has to be in the plating bath and what should not be. "These are just a couple of tiny details that make up just one small part of one cable. The detail, precision, and care are the same for the rest of the products. And each little step needs a controlled listening and testing against other options which is immensely time-consuming but hopefully the results speak for themselves." - says Geoff Merrigan.

Tellurium Q Statement II
The speaker cables are heavy, but thanks to the tightened bananas they won't fall out of their sockets.
Tellurium Q Statement II
Tellurium Q does not use off-the-shelf plugs, making and terminating them themselves.

System configuration

Audiovector QR5, Equilibrium Nano, Unison Research Triode 25, Hegel H20, Auralic Aries G1, Auralic Vega G1, Marantz HD-DAC1, Clearaudio Concept, Cambridge Audio CP2, Cardas Clear Reflection, Tellurium Q Ultra Blue II, Albedo Geo, KBL Sound Red Corona, Enerr One 6S DCB, Enerr Tablette 6S, Enerr Transcenda Ultimate, Fidata HFU2, Melodika Purple Rain, Sennheiser HD 600, Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO, Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO, Meze 99 Classics, Bowers & Wilkins PX5, Pro-Ject Wallmount It 1, Custom Design RS 202, Silent Angel N8, Vicoustic VicWallpaper VMT, Vicoustic ViCloud VMT.


Are you looking for cabling that can turn the sound of your entire stereo system upside down? Would you like to hear radical changes, and experience a real revolution, while keeping your existing speakers and electronic components? Or maybe you value neutrality and "truth about music", but notice many weak links in your set, and feel that achieving the desired effect will take a lot of time and work, including a complete redesign of the listening room. If so, I am the messenger of good news - you have just saved €16,570, because under no circumstances should you buy Tellurium Q's flagship cables. They were created only for those who, firstly, have sufficient funds, secondly, have a perfectly prepared room and a high-end system, and thirdly, don't expect any miracles, don't want to knock down this tower of dominoes only to be able to build it again from scratch, and the fulfillment of their dreams are cables that do not add anything to the music but also do not take anything away from it. This slogan is well known to audiophiles, but I assure you that it rarely corresponds to reality as it does in the case of the Statement IIs. If you have changed cables many times, each time gaining something and losing something else, and at some point have already begun to wonder how your system would play with cables that are not there, inaudible, completely transparent, the solution is waiting right here.

The Statement II series is very extensive. It lacks the tick of USB and LAN cables.
1 / 9

Technical data

Conductor: Tellurium copper
Dielectric: Tellurium Q's sweet secret
Plugs: Tellurium Q's own design
Solder: Silver- and lead-free
Price: €11100 (speaker 2 x 2.5m), €5470 (RCA interconnect)
Manufacturer: Tellurium Q

Sound performance



Editor's rating


StereoLife High End

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