Tellurium Q Statement cables review


If some product performs so well in all the regards and especially when it comes to the high-end audio cabling (where the paper tiger swording triggers instantly) what can you expect, when the manufacturer tells you, how they've managed to achieve a significant step up on the already highly established performance...

At the end of 2017, Geoff Merrigan from Tellurium Q had contacted me and in a bit secretive way and silently introduce me the Tellurium Q Statement cables. He wanted me to experienced them in my own system and I've agreed on trying out the XLR, RCA, power cable and speakers' cable loom. Geoff had insisted to keep all the details or his personal comments private, to avoid any precognitions before my listenings. Short after our conversation package with the cables arrived and a few weeks later he personally came to visit. We spend quite some time with listening and he finally provides more in-depth insights about the all-new flagship cable line called Tellurium Q Statement.


As with the rest of the product line, there is still no specific technical information regarding the Statements on the Tellurium Q website. Geoff strongly believes that the cable performance and all the feedbacks, awards reviews speak out for loudly enough. Being me, I've tried to "derive" some more insights regarding the Tellurium Q momentum. So here we go...

"TQ is asked what we do that makes our cables work as they do. The simple and unsatisfying answer is that we do a lot of little things together that mount up to be very important in preserving the relative phase of a signal. People assume that to get the best performance then you have to use the “fastest” conductor – pure silver of something even better. Which is also one of the reasons for the pointless chasing of nines as I call it i.e. copper to 99.9999999% purity as if that is the single most important fact for a cable!  
It is not just about pure conduction because any conductor from any cable manufacturer on this planet will act as an electronic filter and by that I mean that the relative frequencies relative to one another get shifted with each material they go through and are also affected by the various insulators, geometries, shielding etc.. The interesting thing is that various materials affect different frequencies in dissimilar amounts. So it really is a finely tuned balancing act to make sure that you get a natural, transparent transmission. This takes a LOT more research than people would imagine. Even down to the solder that we use. Not standard by any means for the audio industry and we have tried various mixes and various percentages of silver in the solder but at the end of our testing and development we find we have a solder with no silver whatsoever (no lead either). Even the process by which we solder and the temperature/time “envelope” to complete the process is tightly controlled and specified. Down to that detail we work. The connectors may look relatively ordinary but have multiple layers of plating and not always the material you would expect. There is more detail even within the plating itself, because we even specify the layer thickness and what has to be in the plating bath and what should not be.   
This is just one or two small details that make up just one small part of one cable. The detail, precision and care is the same for the rest of the product. 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. 
There are ways in which we think and principles that lead our decisions, for example:


- We try to treat customers as we would like to be treated. A simple idea but this manifests in things like prioritising a customer’s repair so if the send us a broken cable we will do our best to get it back out of the factory within two working days of receiving it.

- Use as little non-recyclable packaging as possible. The boxes are made from paper based material and inside is acid free jewellery paper (well there are gold and silver finishes).

- Only bring out a new product if it is genuinely and very definitely audibly better. We have built our reputation on this and now we find that when we say we have produced something new our customers and distributors trust this and order. For example the new Statement cables, as soon as some of the distributors found out and even before we could finalise pricing they had bought sets because they can trust our approach. We will not abuse that trust, it has taken years to build and is one of the foundations of how Tellurium Q continues to move forward.


- We actually listen to people, reviewers, customers, our distributors and where possible improve. Some time ago our blue interconnect came second in a group review, it just lost out to a more expensive product. We looked into and redeveloped the Blue interconnect and sent it to that reviewer with the original version. Similarly there were two reviews on the Silver Diamond cables that caused us to rethink if more was possible. One from High Fidelity in Poland where the compared it to cables 4 X the price and while the described everything I could imagine wanting in a cable there was something more that the reviewer thought the much more expensive cable had. Mono and Stereo said that it was “temped to put it into a category on its own” so I wondered why didn’t they!! To quote the late and great comedic actor Robin Williams in The Bicentennial Man as he up grades his robot self to be “human” as he meets each new challenges put in front of him he says, “no this will not do”. Well the statement cable is the least robotic and most human we can produce, it is the Tellurium Q Statement of what we think is currently possible.

THE FILTER NETWORK!?


In order to understand the Tellurium Q way more profoundly the official blurb below is a mandatory reading...
The more you focus on the fact that you are working with an electronic filter, then the easier it becomes to craft a much more transparent and natural sounding cable, engineering each part of the signal path to minimise distortion. But there is a huge downside to this, as every little detail of the constituents used and construction has to be tested in multiple configurations….and of course listened to. 
The cable construction becomes more complex, using multiple stranded conductors of slightly different materials and various dielectric materials and geometries. We have to pay attention to every part of each of our processes. Even using non-industry standard solder mixes varied between cables. Raw ingredients for the construction are highly specified, as are plating thicknesses, even down to specifying what chemicals should or should not be included in a plating bath. 
When Tellurium Q® was set up the focus was primarily on phase distortion and minimising this problem inherent in all cabling, whoever makes them and where ever and however they are made. The reason it is a problem is simple, all materials (not just cables) in the path of a signal will act as an electronic filter according to the definition in the box below, whether you want it to or not. This is undeniable.
Please understand we use the word filter as its scientific definition and not necessarily as something being “filtered out” like with a mechanical sieve. We are primarily focused on removing the smearing of frequencies through a timing shift, and by doing this you get better clarity and transparency from Tellurium Q® cables. 
“A filter is an electrical network that alters the amplitude and/or phase characteristics of a signal with respect to frequency. Ideally, a filter will not add new frequencies to the input signal, nor will it change the component frequencies of that signal, but it will change the relative amplitudes of the various frequency components and/or their phase relationships.” - Source: National Semiconductor Corporation 
N.B. This is true of all speakers, amplifiers, DACs, CD players, cables etc…in fact anything in the signal path.

Once you accept the fact that your audio system is acting as multiple electronic filters smudging your music, then you have a choice:

a. Forget the cable is an electronic filter (completely in the face of science) and compromise by having a smeared sound or

b. Do something about it and engineer as clear and phase neutral a path for the signal as possible to get the most transparent sound that current technology will allow, and preserve the original signal phase relations as much as possible.

THE MUSIC


Based on the reactions, this specific passage of the review is constantly exciting for many of you, based on all the emails. I’m continually trying to share and introduce different music, that can nowadays be conveniently found on the streaming services like Tidal. Having the ability to play the same reference tracks also contributes to a more vivid perception of what I’m pointing out in my reviews.

Here are a few of the albums/songs I’ve used in my assessment of the Tellurium Q Statement cables. Each on their own, they’re rather a challenge for any high-end audio product under the review.

Mal Waldron, Isla Eckinger, Clarence Becton, Mal Waldron Trio - Free At Last delivers the jazz trio essential qualities, although in a more complex way compared to the common, easy listening jazz. Especially the track Rat Now paints a most lucid and holographic sense of the space and sonic environment with the tremendous presence of double bass, drums, and piano. Each of these instruments really moves forward and can manifest its own potential impact as well as sudden, subtle dynamic transformations. The Tellurium Q Statement cables have interpreted and encapsulated piano, drums and double bass exemplary without acting reserved, slowed paced and unsteadily at any time. The perceiving of the atmosphere was at its best forte and the spectral shading in the class of its own. The combination with MSB Technology Select DAC, Lamm Industries M1.2 Reference power amplifiers and Raidho D4.1 speakers was supremely airy and of emotional impact, that cannot be taken lightly by any measures.

Taking the analysis of the upper echelon realms of dynamic environment further in the critical investigation, Paul Motian - Conception Vessel is another reference grade album I appreciate highly. The song Ch’i Energy scary realistic introduction of metallic percussion can suddenly reveal any of the system or particular component misbehaving. There is a heck a number of informational density required to be dealt with Paul Motian’s complex drumming. Again, The Tellurium Q Statement cables have demonstrated the expansive yet raw to the bone elemental quality. One of the biggest challenges for any high-end audio cable is to establish the juxtaposition of raw unaltered power and exquisite nuances being morphed as one seamless entity. Even on the utmost level of the high-end audio cabling league, this virtue is surprisingly seldom indicated, yet The Tellurium Q Statement flagship cable loom stand out performance was beyond any of the regular assumptions.

How about the capability of dealing with the lower registers? It’s never simple to pass a wrenching bass impact without losing the determined frequency stability. An excellent tour de force music for this specific evaluation is Batik - Headland. The song Dharma will literary show if the cable’s dharma (the eternal and inherent nature of reality, an aspect of truth or reality) is being in place. Don’t get shocked when the track starts to unfold, and do be careful with the volume! The distorting bass is not the sound of your speakers’ drivers going bad :), it’s recorded in that way. The sheer lower region energy exhibited can easily bring down to the knees both amplifier and speakers, what to talk about the cables letting the fullest signal transmission through their veins. The Tellurium Q Statements were not merely competent of such most highly demanding task. They’ve accomplished their duties far above expected and have demonstrated an inherited potency, that marks something truly special and trustworthy!

This aspect of quality and impact was further illustrated with the Frederick Fennell, Paul Riedo, Dallas Wind Symphony, Dallas Wind Symphony - Pomp & Pipes. At the very introduction of the Vikings from Finland Suite the organ goes so low, that some of the systems won’t even reproduce it at all. This is where the bass goes beyond the capturing of the sound with two of our golden pair of aural receptors. When everything is set appropriately, one must acknowledge the energy’s intensity of the organ occupying the room and reaching the chest (and bones) with a lingering resonate impact. The Tellurium Q Statement didn’t hold anything back. The submarine-like depth of the Vikings from Finland Suite was on their best behavior expressing the actual pomp & pipes :). This was the rare exhibition of cables doing what they’re expected to do. Being a via medium!

I’ve touched the dynamic and spectral part. What about the vibrancy, emotional impact, and believability? Diana Panton Trio + 1, Diana Panton - If The Moon Turns Green, and notably the Moon River(feat. Don Thompson) illustrates the very essence of the emotional core. Above all this complete album is really recorded well. I truly treasure RenĂ© Laflamme’s 2xHD mastered version. The ethereal, celestial air vocal and the piano notes circulating in the time and space. It brings the shivers and goosebumps on each occasion it’s played and on the carefully adjusted, accurately set up a high-end system. This Henry Mancini’s immortal classic should literary set off all the emotional triggers. There are many adaptations of the song, but Diana Panton’s cover simply puts me off guard each time.


Well, there’s no need for “I’m crossing you in style some day” with the Tellurium Q Statement cables. It’s happening right here, right now! The Tellurium Q flagship unravels the excitements and reveals the sense of nostalgia, and melancholy at the same time. The smoothness of Diana's voice is portrayed profoundly and show Diana Panton’s qualities, that can be only a forever distant dream for some self-promoted audiophile wannabe divas. It’s all about the spirit and the spirit bottled is what you’re getting with the Tellurium Q Statement cables. Period!

CONCLUSION


The Tellurium Q Silver Diamonds have already proven to be in the league of their own, yet they might not act completely universal at few occasions. With most of the systems and combinations I've tried, Silver Diamonds performed stellarly, but as mentioned above in a few setups, they really didn't reveal their full potential. This can be either due to their nature or simply a matter of not proper synergy. As you'll read this is where Tellurium Q Statement Cables steps in and smoothly close that gap...

So, exploring the same setups that were not fully synergistic were among the very first things I've done with the Tellurium Q Statements.

The missing link was now gone. The continuation was extended to complete series of challenges. Where Silver Diamonds might not exhibit their full nature the Tellurium Q Statement Cables instantly addressed that particular sphere. Statements' ad hoc solution has brought general harmonious nature by embracing the liquidity, warmness, and transparency seamlessly. Not a small achievement by any means. Called it a quiet revolution masked within evolution.

Tellurium Q Statement cables managed to forge extreme transparency with the unprecedented organic flow. Similar to Silver Diamonds, the fullness was exhibited across the complete spectrum, but there is much more going on with the Statements...

There is a certain, additional lightness in the signal flow, that encapsulates even more music's density and energy transfer.  Timbre, tone, and color were spot on. The natural transparency extends across complete frequency range without the slightest (EQ) bumps. Smallest details are now delivered with even more refreshing feather like airiness and low bass extend to a submarine depths, where notes gained clearer definition and focus.  

With any high-end audio cable, one can be too quickly trickled into the phenomena of an initial emotional impression impact. This is still sadly associated with too many high-end audio cables on the market. In reality, this tricky-exuberant effect starts to echo off almost as instantly as it was introduced in the first place. Tellurium Q Statements differs by far in this regard. There is no after effect, no aural morphing, no big waving of emotional impressions. Just a steadily verisimilitude!

Tellurium Q Statements deliver the authority, sonic VR alike holographic nature, captivating relief soundstage structure, pinpointed three-dimensionality and finely micro/macro dynamics.

All that in the absence of the sonic smear, subtle distortion and with the high definition amount of acoustical focus points!? Yes Tellurium Q Statements truly deliver an extreme resolution without introducing the clinical and analytical momentum too often associated even with the most exotic top tiers.

Tellurium Q Statements again shine with the best attributes of the live music. Yet, this time everything extends in more than just a subtle way. Statements simply draw you in music by blending the impressive aural density and tonal correctness.

Tellurium Q has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise 2018! That's certainly not a small recognition for any high-end audio manufacturer, what to talk about cable manufacturer! (photo above on raw right was taken at the award reception at Buckingham Palace...)

Yes, the Tellurium Q Statements are no usual cable affair and if I've called the Silver Diamonds an Emotional Tour de Force what are then the Tellurium Q Statements!? Well, they certainly transcend any typical labeling and this time I'm elevating them on the throne, that they clearly deserve. Their stand out, extraordinary performance are more than worthy of the 2019 Editor Choice Award! And yes, this means, they're going nowhere!

Matej Isak

PRICE


Statement speaker cable : £1450 ex VAT per single (mono/linear) metre
Statement RCA: £3600 ex VAT per 1m pair
Statement XLR £3950  ex VAT per 1m pair
Statement Power: £3950 ex VAT per 1.5m

CONTACT


Tellurium Q Ltd
The Willows
Bonds Pool
Langport
Somerset
TA10 9QJ
UK

Tel: +44 (0) 1458 251 997
Email: admin@telluriumq.com