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Preamplifier + power amplifier



Manufacturer: Naim Audio Ltd
Price in Poland (at the time of the test):

Naim Audio Ltd | Southampton Road
Salisbury | SP1 2LN | England


he word ‘Statement’ could be translated in many ways but in fact it always comes down to: expressing one's opinion in an ultimate, irrevocable way. So if one calls a product using this particular word, one has to be damn sure of what's one doing. Designing a top (reference, flagship, most expensive – whatever one calls it) product is a huge thing for any (audio) manufacturer. Especially for one that for years created mid-priced products. It takes combining for one product a philosophy that says that there is a certain price limit that balances costs with sound quality and going beyond that limit won't noticeably improve sound quality while costs will keep rising exponentially, with a fact that audio product could cost as much as a luxury apartment near Wawel Castle in Cracow. Let me introduce you to Naim Audio Statement.

Naim Audio was founded in 1973 and it was a part of a “new wave” of British audio manufacturers who, at the early 1970-ties, challenged contemporary market leaders. Celebrating 40th anniversary of „The Absolute Sound” magazine, Robert Harley, its present chief editor, in the issue no. 234 (July/August 2013) wrote, that he felt he had been partially responsible for a success of those challengers, as it was TAS that played a role of an “incubator” for brands like: Arcam, Cambridge Audio, Cyrus, Linn and Naim. Whether one agrees with his opinion or not, the key element here was a list of those “new wave” manufacturers. You've probably noticed that all these brands still exist today and they do quite well despite the fact that all, accept for Linn, changed ownership somewhere along the road.
At some point within this group some complementary/rivalry pairs arose. One of these was a Linn - Naim pair. The former that started creating its own history with a LP12 turntable, had the latter as its partner and rival; they were like two sides of the same coin. And I think it was no coincident that these two started to expand their offer beyond mid-priced products, offering more and more expensive ones over time. Today both of them are counted among largest high-end companies.

The first commercial product of Naim Audio was a power amplifier NAP 200. It was designed in 1971 and introduced to the market two years later. Already then Naim proposed a certain characteristic appearance of their devices that was used for many years to follow. Chassis was made in a specific way of black aluminum plates with silver front edges. Also a very characteristic Naim's logo (two knobs next to each either) became iconic. A year later, in 1974, another product was released – the NAC 12 linestage. It used a small chassis that repeated some motives after amplifier, adding characteristic knobs for volume control, input selector and balance.
Forty years later, celebrating the anniversary, Naim presented a product that belonged to the same category: a NAC S1 preamplifier and monaural power amplifier NAP S1. The category and names given by the manufacturer were the only two common features of these products. NAC S1 together with NAP S1 constitute together a system called Statement, that with its design, power output, weight, and, above all, with its price, is beyond reach even for most top-high-end manufacturers. A development process took 10 years, and the first unit cost more than 1 million British Pounds.

The set was placed on the floor in front of Finite Elemente Pagode Edition rack. It was compared to my reference linestage/amplifier set - Ayon Audio Spheris III and Soulution 710. I used following sources: Ancient Audio Lektor Air V-Edition CD Player with tube output stage and Accuphase DP900/DC901 SACD Player. Both were connected to Statement with balanced Siltech Royal Signature Series Double Crown Empress interconnect. For preamplifier I used Crystal Cable Absolute Dream power cable, and for both amplifiers Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9500. All three were plugged into Acoustic Revive RTP-4e power strip, which was connected with Furutech outlet using another (same model) Acrolink PC. A separate power line using Oyaide Tunami cable feeds Furutech outlet. For connection between amplifiers and speakers I used Naim Super Lumina speaker cables, and the same model was used to connect linestage with power amps.

Recordings used during the test (a selection)

  • Bach Rewrite, wyk. Orzechowski, Masecki, Adamus, Capella Cracoviensis, Universal Music Polska | Decca 375 457 5, CD (2013).
  • Estampies & Danses Royales, Hesperion XXI, Jordi Savall, Alia Vox AV 9857, CD (2007).
  • Filia Praeclara, Ensemble Peregrina, Divox CDX-70603, CD (2008).
  • Ludi Musici, Hesperion XXI, Jordi Savall, Alia Vox AV 9853, CD (2007).
  • Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie,Bird & Diz, Mercury/UMG Recordings UCCV-9466, „David Stone Martin 10 inch Collector’s Selection”, SHM-CD (1952/2013).
  • Dżem, Zemsta nietoperzy, Pronit/remaster Damian Lipiński, CD-R (1987/2015).
  • John Coltrane, Expression, Impulse!/MCA Victor MVCZ-39, “Master of Jazz”, K2 CD (1967/1996).
  • Marcy Gray, The Way, Stampede Management HMBT001CD, CD (2014).
  • Maroon5, V, Interscope Records/Universal Music LLC (Japan) UICS-9146, CD + DVD (2014).
  • Perfect, Unu, Tonpress/remaster Damian Lipiński, CD-R (1982/2015).
  • Peter, Paul and Mary, In The Wind, Warner Bros. Records/Audio Fidelity AFZ 181, “Limited Edition No. 0115”, SACD/CD (1963/2014).
  • Sławek Jaskułke, Sea, Kayax 079, CD (2014).
  • Talk Talk, Spirit of Eden, Parlophone/EMI PCSDX 105, 180 g LP + DVD 24/96 (1988/2012).
  • Tangerine Dream, Zeit, Cherry Red Records/Belle 121943-4, SHM-CD + CD (1972/2011).
  • Tears For Fears, Songs From The Big Chair, Mercury Records/Universal Music LLC (Japan) UICY-40071, Platinum SHM-CD (1985/2014).
  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Elektra Entertainment Group/Audio Fidelity AFZ 187, “Limited Edition No. 0115”, SACD/CD (1965/2014).
  • Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet, Polka, Agora 6813801, CD (2014).
  • Yes, 90125, ATCO/Warner Music Japan WPCR-15914, „7 Inch Mini LP”, SACD/CD (1983/2014).
Japanese issues available at

The biggest challenge each music fan faces when choosing a top quality audio system is: sound quality assessment. Why is it such a challenge? Because to do it right, one needs a reference one can confront potential purchase with. One can't assess amplifier's/CD Player's/loudspeakers' performance without comparing it to other products of the same kind. Otherwise one would be able to tell, whether one likes or dislikes the sound, instead of assessing its quality. And that's not a real assessment, as the next session with another product of the kind might refute previous impressions. And then another one, and another. And that's comparing, the key to sound quality assessment, for both: customers and reviewers.

This is settled than. As always we make a first step only to find out that there is a second, third and so on, and we did not see them coming as they had been obscured by previous steps. We've established a fact that to assess a product we need to compare it with something else. What exactly should we use?
Some, as for example British journalists writing reviews for „Hi-Fi News” believe that we should compare a device that re-products music only to a live, not amplified music – classical music being optimal reference. It's a good lead, supported by many right choices. But there is also another. It's fans say that the only way to assess an audio device is to compare it to another audio device of the same category. They explain that any and every recording is something else than live music, that recorded music is a new creation changing original material – for good and for bad. Each music fan (and reviewer) should choose his own way, and any choice will be the right one as long as it is supported by certain level of experience, from either frequent listening to live music, or to different audio systems. Whatever works for a particular person.

I also have my own method of assessment. I have a lot of experience from working in recording studio (recording classic and jazz music), from being sound engineer on numerous concerts, but also from multiple listening sessions with the best audio products available on the market. All this experience tells me that the best way to assess an audio product is to compare it with another. Because the “original sound”, the one that was played into microphones is beyond reach, can't be reproduced in 1:1 scale. Whatever we get from audio system is different from original sound so the only thing we can actually compare is the sound of two devices. But I also believe that for such assessment to be as credible as possible, person responsible should also have experience with live music. It's an auxiliary element, but a necessary one.

What I described above is particularly important when we deal with such ultra-top-high-end products as Naim Statement. It is not possible to transfer live music to our room. One reason is a medium carrying musical signal (disc, file). Also it's is not possible to reproduce scale of live event at home – both listening room and loudspeakers are limiting elements. I think that is clear, so there is no need to further elaborate on a subject.
My point is that while Naim is one of three best amplifiers I've ever listened to, next to Soulution 725 + 701 and Kondo M1000 MkII + Kagura (both pre+amp sets), each of them sounded differently, each designer realized his vision of what was most important in the sound. Let me add that I would be completely happy with any of these three.

Of these three Naim is the most “neutral” sounding one. I used quotation marks on purpose. I don't mean to diminish “strength” of this word, it is also not about winking like I don't mean that. Quite on contrary – I'd like to emphasize the meaning of this word, because there might be no better opportunity for it than the review of Naim Statement. ‘Neutrality’ as a description of sound quality has lost its true meaning, lost it value as it's been widely abused. I as understand while reading reviews from British and American audio magazines, and also translation of some Japanese reviews, this word is used to describe “lack of coloration”. Which translates to the fact that the described device does not add anything to the sound by itself. But that doesn't tell us whether this device takes something away or not. So such an understanding of “neutrality” narrows its meaning, diminishes it turning it actually into a rather negative feature. Listening to devices that are “neutral” in such a way quickly becomes fatiguing, unbearable even.

Naim Statement is the most neutral sounding device I know. But I use this word meaning its original meaning. In its tonality, as neutrality is mostly about accuracy of tonality, I couldn't find anything added nor lost/deducted. At least when comparing it to other amplifiers. The frequency characteristic is flat across the whole band, it is simply good. Nobody uses this word (good) anymore as it seems to lack “weight”. So how colorful the recording is, what its emotional temperature is depends solely on the recording. Listening to, recently released in Japan in SHM-CD format, Charlie Parker from 1952, I heard a powerful, close sound with fantastic attack combined with incredible smoothness. Leader's saxophone seemed large and bit aggressive but not in an annoying way. It sounded a lot like a live saxophone listened from a short (2-3m) distance.

At the other hand sound from Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet's „Polka” was extremely dense, almost sticky, due to a softer leading edge it seemed more distant. Palpability of each instrument was remarkable, but the general expression of that recording was very different from Parker's. Listening to „Sea” by Sławek Jaskułka, jazz pianist and composer from Gdańsk („Polka” was also recorded there), one would be surprised how amazing ambiance he managed to create – his piano sounds like played under water. A very rich timbre, absolute – or so it seems – lack of treble, and yet harmonics being present in the upper treble and they are so intense that sound gets overdriven by most amplifiers while one keeps pushing volume up to finally hear them clearly. Naim presented these subtle differences effortlessly, with style. Each of those recordings tells us another story and while listening to them via Naim Statement you just don't want to stop.

Except for better then I've ever heard differentiation of tonal subtleties, another key element of Naim's presentation is dynamics. Knowing output power of this device (whether it's only nominal, or actually measured in laboratory) one should expect remarkable dynamics. If you've had a chance to listen to several high-power amplifiers, and some low-power ones, you've probably realized that huge output power corrupts. Most of amplifiers capable of delivering 100W and more per channel have problems with proper presentation of small signals, as they try to pump as much air into the room as possible, whether it is possible in the particular moment or not. Tube amplifiers are masters in presentation of small signals.

At first I didn't know what to think of Naim Statement's dynamics. It did not crush me with its power, it didn't move furniture around. But the longer I listened to it while being able to compare it with my reference amplifier, the more impressed I was. At some point I said: oh my goodness! That's an unforgettable experience! Music is presented in the most proper (in my opinion) way for a room environment, I mean without overwhelming listener with power and dynamics, but with utmost confidence. I don't think I've ever heard such a fabulously sounding double bass, as on Mazolewski album, or such a brilliantly presented perspective as on Talk Talk's „Spirit of Eden”. I loved the way mood was set on those recordings. All elements served logic of particular piece, supported it instead of controlling it. That's still not all – size of instruments, reverberations, room's acoustics and of everything included in the particular recording was huge. Based on my experience I can tell that only above mentioned Soulution system offered equally impressive presentation of those elements. It's a dense, rich presentation that is brilliantly differentiated.

And I don't mean only fantastic differentiation of dynamic range, and tonality, but also spatial relations between all elements of particular piece of music. Modifications of frequency range, phase, and other distortions often force amplifiers to change size of instruments and voices depending of the particular part of the range these operate in. Naim allowed me to realize for the first time how important part of Peter, Paul and Mary trio is the latter. Listening to the „Very Last Day” opening „In The Wind" album I heard her passionate vocal, sometimes almost screaming. Other systems either push her voice forward (while it should be in the middle, in front of us), which means there is some midrange coloration, or they withdraw the voice back – than there is a problem with attack phase of the sound. The Audio Fidelity SACD version offers rich, warm sound, so any change introduced by system is clearly audible. Statement placed three vocals on a semicircle line, giving each of them the same space and the same air, harmonizing them perfectly – it's a perfect super-group after all. Even when I played such a demanding recording as „Filia Praeclara” with material recorded by Ensemble Peregrina in a large church (vocals a Capella) clarity of each voice, a distance between them and listener, and a harmony between them gave me goose bumps. There was purity, power and energy in this music. But the most impressive feature was coherence of the sound.

I could keep writing about different aspects of the sound and summarize each paragraph with sentence that would say something like: “it's the best differentiation of... I've ever heard”, or “one of the best”, or “unbelievably good”, and so on. But it is not just art for art's sake. There are many other, some also high quality amplifiers, that offer more impressive performance. Naim does not show differences just to show them. Maybe that's why at first its presentation might seem bit “boring”. But only if one hasn't experienced that level of performance before. I think that it would be easier (disregarding for a moment price difference) to sell NAIT system to a regular guy on the street than Statement. Such a person would fall for tricks that manufacturers use to force their inexpensive products sound more impressive, to deliver “more” music. Flagship doesn't have to use any tricks, it just has to do its job. Perhaps this is why it delivers music and sound as an organic whole.

This is why I could easily tell that new, analogue remasters prepared by Damian Lipiński of Perfect's „Unu” and Dżem's „Zemsta nietoperzy” were remarkable. Previous, digital remasters sounded ridiculous compared to these ones. That's why on Capella Cracoviensis „Bach Rewrite”, released by Decca, Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos had their own “voices”. I discussed acoustics of concert hall in Lusławice with the director of this ensemble, Jan Tomasz Adamus, and he told me that this hall had a long reverberation so microphones had to placed closely to instrument. Statement nicely presented the fact of microphones being placed close to instruments, but it also showed this slightly “wet”, long room behind them. So on one hand it delivered what sound engineer wanted to achieve, but on the other it did not hide other aspects of the recording even if these were “hidden” in the background.

Unconstrained, dynamic, coherent presentation – that's the shortest description of Statement's performance. It is able to trigger amazing emotions related to the music one listens to, that make one want to absorb sound with one's whole body. Treble's character reminded me that of the best tube amplifiers – it was “gentle”. And yet treble brings amazing amount of information – yes, information as I wouldn't dare to use such a crude words as “details”.


On September the 4th 2014 inside iconic Abbey Road Studio 2, where a large part of The Beatles' recordings were made, a very special event took place. A lucky 100 winners of an online competition organized by „Mojo” magazine plus several journalist participated in a presentation of just released mono LPs, remastered completely in analogue domain. How would one preset such a wonderful releases? One could, for example, bring to the Studio Focal-JMLab Grande Utopia EM loudspeakers and Naim Statement amplifier. Would any other amplifier do justice to SUCH music? Today I'm pretty sure that most likely no other would. The only thing that would convince me would be a comparative session between Naim and potential contender.

Steve Sells
Electronics Design Director

Steve Sells inside Naim's designing office, September 2014…

In high-end world products are inseparably connected with particular people. Whether it is a small company employing one engineer, or a huge corporation, their flagships are created by a particular person. When it is a large company, and Naim surely belongs to that kind, the person behind this product is Chief Designer, although the actual designing is done by a whole designing team. But the person that actually bears responsibility for such project is the boss of that team. In Naim Audio this guy is Mr Steve Sells, Electronics Design Director. 47 today, he started working for Naim in 2011 as a chief engineer. First products created by a team led by him were preamplifiers: NAC 202, 282 and 252, and his next projects were NAIT, SuperLine and audio systems for Bentley cars. He built his first loudspeakers at age of 11. It's been a long road between then and the subject of our conversation - Naim Statement.

WOJCIECH PACUŁA: How did Statement project start?
STEVE SELLS: Being obsessed with amplifiers I proposed designing an ultra-fidelity amplifier in 2002 shortly after joining Naim. This was rejected as we had recently launched the NAP500. It was proposed again in 2005 and again in 2008. This time there were computer simulations of the circuits and pages of design notes of what we could achieve. From this point the idea started to gain traction in the company. We were also in a stronger position in R&D with more staff and more sophisticated CAD tools. In 2010 the project was given the go ahead and project plans and budgets were put in place.

What are main goals you wanted to achieve?
The top goal was to design a pre and power amp that sounded better than anything we’d done before and have the ability to drive the most exotic speakers in the largest rooms. Paul Stephenson said there were no budget, time or size constraints…..and he meant it. If he heard me mention a price of part he’d tell me to shhhhhh! There were smaller detailed goals such as to design a volume control that was sonically purer than a potentiometer, that had perfect channel balance, that had a constant frequency response, that had 100 steps, that had smooth transitions and was controllable over wi-fi.

Please describe main technical details of the preamplifier and power amplifier.
The main technical details are on the web page. Let me know if you’d like something more specific I can give you details like how we made the NAP S1 the fastest ever Naim amplifier not by a small margin but by 10x. This is by splitting the amplifier into two functions. Voltage gain and current gain. Each element can now be optimized. Normally these are combined to make the design easier. Statement has no global feedback and uses positive feedback error cancellation for the output stage. This buffers or isolates the loudspeaker from the gain stage. The gain stage can now be made as pure and fast as a pre-amplifier as it does not need to drive a speaker.

How Statement differs from other high-end amplifiers?
For me it’s the level of detail in the design, freedom in the design process and the passion of the team. For example we don’t just match our transistors we have our transistor custom made from a single silicon wafer, each serial numbered and parameterized. So not only do they match they are also from the same silicon. This fanatical level of design continues throughout. It’s evident when you see inside the products. At the other end of the detail scale we started with a holistic approach. We questioned how do we make the best amplifier. The answers to these questions can be seen in the overall shape. It’s vertical so that it cools naturally. It’s tall to physically separate the power supply and output stage from the delicate gain stages. There is an acrylic Eddy current divide between the transformer and the signal side of the amplifier.

Why not D class?
For me class D does not sound as good as good as linear. Class D is like a big, inaccurate and slow 1 bit DAC. A high-end class D amplifier may sound better than a cheap linear amplifier but when you give a team of audio engineers unlimited budget and no weight constraints then they will choose linear. If my goal was to produces the worlds lightest 746W amplifier I would have chosen a derivative of class D.

Did you use some exotic components? Do you believe that such details like binding post etc. can alter sound?
Yes a few. They were chosen in listening tests. The goal was not to make the most expensive amplifier. Even without a budget I believe all designs must be honest and not use exotic components just because I can. Every single component had to earn its place however rare or expensive. Very often it is how you use a part that can determine its influence on the sound. Sometimes we had custom parts made of our existing favorite parts. You mention speaker binding posts, yes they certainly can influence the sound. For Statement we custom designed our own binding posts. This way we could make sure the plugs and sockets worked perfectly together. We could design details like making them from the same materials; we used silver plated phosphor bronze. By having the same materials it eliminates galvanic scale mismatch and differing coefficients of expansion.

You just announced that Naim will product high-end cables - do you believe cables can alter the sound?
Yes, cables influence the sound. Not just their resistance, capacitance, inductance or how well they electrically screen but also their mechanical properties change the sound. In speaker cables there is an opposing force between the parallel current carrying conductors. In small signal cables vibrations in the room can be transferred to the contacts.

What next? - Statement Streaming Player?
A Statement streamer? I’m really excited to design one. As we look at what can be done with digital electronics today we can take designs to the maximum expression of the art. Streaming and digital audio is inexorably improving. By dreaming big we can make significant jumps forward in sound quality. Once we are happy that we can make a demonstrably better streamer than our NDS we will make the Statement Streamer. For me Statement is about bringing to life the big ideas and seeing if they work. If they do not then we will not make one. We have some great ideas but not enough to today. We do not want to waste these unique opportunities to produce exceptional designs.

Naim Statement is an amplifier like no other before. It is a set of three devices that I reviewed as such. It is composed of three devices: NAC S1 preamplifier and two monaural power amplifiers called NAC 1. It is possible to purchase separately the preamplifier or power amps, but until now 45 sets were sold, 9 more are being made upon order and all customers decided to buy a full set.

The specification says that Statements is able to deliver an output power of 746 W @ 8 Ω (1 KM), 1450 W @ 4 Ω and a shocking 9 kW @ 1 Ω. Each monoblock weights 101 kg, preamplifier adds another 65 kg and together they occupy as much space as the huge, sporting two 380 mm woofers, JBL Everest DD66000 speakers.
Unlike most other devices, these one don't “lie” on a longer side but rather “stand” on a narrow side. Company calls it a “vertical form”, that allowed them to plan a much better interior layout. It is not the first time in history that amplifiers have a monolithic form – iconic Mark Levinson No.33 amplifiers or Sovereign Glory Signature Series monoblocks (that entered the Guinness Book of Records) are great examples. But it is the first time, as far as I know, that a manufacturer proposed a monolithic system that includes both, power amplifiers and preamplifier.

Whenever transfer is needed each device is packed in a large travel-cases. Each case has to be carried by four people and also four of them perform setup in a room. All devices sport sharp spikes underneath, so one has to be very careful when setting them up not to scratch the floor. Considering the weight of 100 kg it is a difficult task. Together these three devices constitute sort of visual unity – black monolith that reminded me the one from Stanley Kubrick's „2001: A space Odyssey”. These three devices were designed in such a way, that preamplifier should be placed in the middle with two monoblocks at its both sides. The latter sport large radiators along their sides, that are shaped as waves to create an illusion of movement.

One can order Naim Statement in any color from Porsche standard color pallet, as long as it is black. And yet, despite black color and its size Statement is not really overwhelming when placed in a room. In fact it looks surprisingly graceful. It was achieved by using these profiled side panels (radiators) but also by dividing all three elements into two parts – both: design-wise and optically. More or less in 1/3 of device's height there is a white acrylic backlit element with company's logo, and at the same level also the radiators and aluminum plates of the chassis were divided into two separate parts. Lower parts host power supplies, upper parts the actual circuits. I'll get back to that later.

Despite appearances white is a color of this project, just as it was for all-in-one Mu-so system. I don't know if you remember my review of that device. I emphasized an innovative looks of that device, but also innovations about its mechanical design and functionality. As it turns out these two devices were actually designed by the same team and they share some details. I already mentioned one of them – the white, acrylic backlit stripe. But even more important is a large, white, backlit circle on top of the preamplifier. One won't realize that immediately, but it is a volume control pot. It's made of aluminum and sports precise bearings. The volume control indicator is also quite atypical. It's a line of white LEDs placed near the top edge of the front panel. Once one turns volume control up or down a white LED “moves” along the line in one direction or the other. Do you remember a 2004 „Battlestar Galactica” TV series? This volume control indicator reminded me of a red light that worked as eyes of centurions in this movie.

Above this volume indicator, the names of inputs are also backlit with white light. One chooses an active input pushing one of the (also backlit) push-buttons placed on top of preamplifier close to its rear edge. The white backlit can be turned off. There are eight inputs, one of them marked as “phono”. All of them are placed on the lower part of a back panel, close to the floor. The first three of them sport double input sockets – one can plug either DIN or RCA to them, the other two are balanced XLR. An active input is indicated by a small green LED. Above inputs there is a row of such LEDs that are helpful when one wants to set a gain for each input. An adjustment range is of plus or minus 7dB in 1 dB steps. Beside there is a button that switches Statement to „unity gain” mode, that allows to use it also in a home theater system. Some of you might have bridled at the suggestion of using Statement in a home theater system but you have to remember that many wealthy people, and it is them who will buy this product, have top quality HT systems in their salons, too.

The device sports a high quality WBT NextGen RCA sockets. Also large, handy speaker posts come from the same manufacturer. They are placed close to the floor so connecting even heavy, thick cables shouldn't be a problem. Next to them there are the only, balanced inputs in NAP S1. It is a bit surprising as Naim has been using DIN standard for years, but there is a simple explanation to that – both linestage and amplifiers sport fully balanced design and DIN is an unbalanced connection. A power switch has a form of a quite large lever. Both, preamplifier and power amps, sport solid spikes.

If you're impressed with Statement's physical appearance wait until you have a look inside. I've never seen any amplifier so well build. The 20mm thick aluminum plates are in fact only sort of a shell, that is bolted to the frame – it reminded me a construction of modern sky-scrapers, or of Magico loudspeakers. I think that this American manufacturer might have inspired the designers of this „vertical structure”.
Frame is made of thick, aluminum milled bars. Circuit boards in the output stage are bolted to that frame. The whole design is extremely sturdy and not susceptible to resonances. Although there are always some resonances present. The most sensitive circuits are those processing small signals, like preamplifier section. That is why preamplifier's PCB are bolted to thick brass plates, and these are mounted to the frame but with springs in between.

Signal is amplified by transistors. The ones used in output stage are particularly interesting. These elements were designed in cooperation between Naims and one of the largest manufacturers of such elements – but we don't know which one. The writings on them say: NA007 CN and NA007 CP – these work in complementary pairs, operate in AB class in a push-pull mode. The Statement NAP S1 features a new bridged dual design with zero global feedback. The outer layer is a metal element with a copper bottom side (for a better cooling properties) and thick connection pins. They were designed in 2000 for power amplifier NAP 500, and today are also used for less expensive NAP 250 and NAP 300.

As I already mentioned Statement combines three “towers” - a preamplifier and two power amplifiers. But in fact there are six elements. Each tower comprises of two parts separated, as already mentioned, with backlit acrylic elements. Lower part of each “tower” holds power supply transformers. These are mighty beasts 4000 VA each with their cores submerged in some sort of resin, fixed to huge, brass poles. Large capacitors sit above. In both, preamplifier's and power amplifiers' power supply sections at the back of transformers there are Faraday cages shielding input and output modules.

And now the most important power supply's feature: Naim's flagship amplifiers sport a regulated power supply. These are usually used for devices with small power requirements like preamplifiers, DAC's analogue outputs and so on, but there are extremely few power amplifiers using this type of power supply. For them to do their job and fulfill current requirements of such power hungry device, they need to much larger, and more powerful than amplifiers there are supplying. That's how it works here – the upper part of each power amplifier is occupied with another power supply sections.


Although Naim is an “engineering” company, and those usually don't “believe” in cables, something must have changed in their approach. At CES 2015 they presented a set of flagship, very expensive cables called Super Lumina. This set includes speakers cables and interconnects (RCA, DIN, XLR and combinations of those). They are terminated with unusual plugs called Air-PLUG, that manufacturer presented for the first time with Hi-Line line. Large, although rather light (aluminum) plugs are designed as a decoupling device to prevent vibrations from one product being transmitted to another. It also stops airborne vibrations picked up by the cable being transmitted to the product it is connected to. The new Super Lumina Air-PLUG features multiple individual aluminum rings which form the rear of the connector. These are screwed together to form an articulating section which inhibits the passage of unwanted energy, the choice of aluminum as a material enhances this process. The connector pins on DIN terminated cables also float within their sockets, extending the decoupling effect right to the point where the signal enters the product.

The fundamental cable design consists of several individually-insulated multi-strand silver-plated copper conductors of varying diameters enclosed in a tin-plated copper shield. This is all enclosed in a soft outer jacket which facilitates easy installation whilst minimizing microphonic interference. To be honest these cables don't look expensive, despite very solid design. They are not particularly thick, they sport a translucent outer jacket, on only these silver-plated plugs look really expensive. But any user of Naim Statement should try these cables out as their design is very interesting and promising good performance. Such cable has a low capacitance and high impedance. Such cable is an element of an output stage of an amplifier.


The controls – a knob and push-buttons are located on top of devices. Device is supplied also with an elegant, solid remote control. Another option – one could use a tablet app. To use the latter one has to connect linestage and power amps to a router.

Technical specifications (according to the manufacturer)

Statement S1 Mono Power Amplifier
Power Output: 746 Watt @ 8 Ohms, 1450 @ 4 Ohms, 9kW burst @ 1 Ohm
Input: One balanced XLR
Output: Binding posts for spade and 4mm banana
Weight: 222 lbs.
Dimensions: 940 x 256 x 383mm (HxWxD)
Price: $65,333 for each mono amplifier unit

NAC S1 Preamplifier
Input: Three DIN, Three unbalanced RCA and two balanced XLR
Audio Outputs: One set of balanced XLR and two unbalanced RCA
Weight: 135 lbs.
Dimensions: 940 x 270 x 412mm (HxWxD)

The review was first published in magazine, read it HERE
  • Statement combines linestage and two monaural power amplifiers. The set has a modular design – all three elements have to be place next to each other. Together they constitute a remarkable, unmistakable whole.
  • All controls are placed on top of linestage and power amp which guaranties easy access.
  • Side radiators offer huge cooling surface. To make the appearance more attractive, lighter radiators have a “wave” form. It looks fantastic.
  • Inside of preamplifier section (its upper part). One can see solid, rigid structure holding boards. Elements of the frame are few centimeters thick!
  • First picture shows preamplifier's voltage gain stage, the other an attenuator composed of transistors and resistors. It allows volume control performed in 100 steps.
  • Preamplifier's PCB are bolted to heavy, brass plates. In each corner of such plate there is a spring that decouples this plate from a frame it is fixed to.
  • Preamplifier without chassis, as seen from the side. One can clearly see its complex design with multiple layers of PCBs. It's a dual-mono setup with separate sections for left and right channel. PCBs are mounted back-to-back with a brass plate in between.
  • Wonderful design of input section of preamplifier, enclosed inside gold-plated brass elements. Each type of input is connected to a separate PCB, which allowed optimization of ground. Input selection is done via relays.
  • Power amplifier, its upper part, inside. One can see a solid, rigid frame with PCBs bolted to it.
  • A voltage gain stage in amplifiers is placed as far from power supply as possible, in the top section of amplifier. This circuit is based on paired transistors that are mechanically damped inside black “cups”.
  • Transformer's core are submerged in resin. As their axes point outside the electromagnetic field forces are strongest there – their influence on electronics above is minimal.


- Turntable: AVID HIFI Acutus SP [Custom Version]
- Cartridges: Miyajima Laboratory KANSUI, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory SHILABE, review HERE | Miyajima Laboratory ZERO (mono) | Denon DL-103SA, review HERE
- Phono stage: RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC, review HERE

- Compact Disc Player: Ancient Audio AIR V-edition, review HERE
- Multiformat Player: Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD
- Line Preamplifier: Polaris III [Custom Version] + AC Regenerator, regular version review (in Polish) HERE
- Power amplifier: Soulution 710
- Integrated Amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE

- Stand mount Loudspeakers: Harbeth M40.1 Domestic, review HERE
- Stands for Harbeths: Acoustic Revive Custom Series Loudspeaker Stands
- Real-Sound Processor: SPEC RSP-101/GL
- Integrated Amplifier/Headphone amplifier: Leben CS300XS Custom Version, review HERE
- Headphones: HIFIMAN HE-6, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE | HIFIMAN HE-300, review HERE | Sennheiser HD800 | AKG K701, review (in Polish) HERE | Ultrasone PROLine 2500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro, version 600 - reviews (in Polish): HERE, HERE, HERE
- Headphone Stands: Klutz Design CanCans (x 3), review (in Polish) HERE
- Headphone Cables: Entreq Konstantin 2010/Sennheiser HD800/HIFIMAN HE-500, review HERE

- Portable Player: HIFIMAN HM-801
- USB Cables: Acoustic Revive USB-1.0SP (1 m) | Acoustic Revive USB-5.0PL (5 m), review HERE
- LAN Cables: Acoustic Revive LAN-1.0 PA (kable ) | RLI-1 (filtry), review HERE
- Router: Liksys WAG320N
- NAS: Synology DS410j/8 TB
System I
- Interconnects: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-DA6300, review HERE | preamplifier-power amplifier: Acrolink 8N-A2080III Evo, review HERE
- Loudspeaker Cables: Tara Labs Omega Onyx, review (in Polish) HERE
System II
- Interconnects: Acoustic Revive RCA-1.0PA | XLR-1.0PA II
- Loudspeaker Cables: Acoustic Revive SPC-PA

System I
- Power Cables: Acrolink Mexcel 7N-PC9300, all system, review HERE
- Power Distributor: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu Ultimate, review HERE
- Power Line: fuse – power cable Oyaide Tunami Nigo (6m) – wall sockets 3 x Furutech FT-SWS (R)
System II
- Power Cables: Harmonix X-DC350M2R Improved-Version, review (in Polish) HERE | Oyaide GPX-R (x 4 ), review HERE
- Power Distributor: Oyaide MTS-4e, review HERE
- Stolik: SolidBase IV Custom, read HERE/all system
- Anti-vibration Platforms: Acoustic Revive RAF-48H, review HERE/digital sources | Pro Audio Bono [Custom Version]/headphone amplifier/integrated amplifier, review HERE | Acoustic Revive RST-38H/loudspeakers under review/stands for loudspeakers under review
- Anti-vibration Feets: Franc Audio Accessories Ceramic Disc/ CD Player/Ayon Polaris II Power Supply /products under review, review HERE | Finite Elemente CeraPuc/ products under review, review HERE | Audio Replas OPT-30HG-SC/PL HR Quartz, review HERE
- Anti-vibration accsories: Audio Replas CNS-7000SZ/power cable, review HERE
- Quartz Isolators: Acoustic Revive RIQ-5010/CP-4

- FM Radio: Tivoli Audio Model One