Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Reviews of Attainable Hi-Fi & Home-Theater Equipment

Note: measurements taken in the anechoic chamber at Canada's National Research Council can be found through this link.

For readers who aren’t familiar with Living Sounds Audio (LSA), the brand is owned by Underwood HiFi, a Hawaii-based, internet-only provider of home audio equipment. Its owner, Walter Liederman, was a longtime executive with HiFi Buys, an Atlanta-based audio chain. When HiFi Buys was sold in the late 1990s, Liederman struck out on his own, working as a consultant for brands such as Infinity and Acoustic Research. Later, he began selling closeouts, B-stock, and discontinued audio gear for companies that did not want to market such products through their normal distribution systems.

This part-time endeavor was so successful that Liederman turned it into a full-time operation as Underwood HiFi in 2010, and moved from Georgia to Maui, Hawaii. Underwood’s warehouse is located in Nevada, Texas, just outside Dallas. Since that time, he’s purchased several brands such as Emerald Physics, Living Sounds Audio, and Core Power Technologies, and has developed a wide array of high-value products.


LSA offers a broad range of speakers, turntables, headphones, and electronics. I’ve been curious about LSA turntables for some time, though an opportunity to review one has yet to present itself. But when I mentioned to Bill Leebens, LSA’s PR representative, an interest in their new Statement 100 standmount loudspeaker ($2499 per pair, all prices in USD), he immediately arranged for me to receive a pair.


The Statement 100’s styling befits its status as LSA’s top-of-the-line speaker. Its high-gloss rosewood enclosure curves gracefully outward. The Statement 100 measures 16″H × 14.25″D and weighs 26 pounds. The front baffle is 8″ wide, but the enclosure measures 9.5″ at its widest point. The driver complement comprises a ribbon tweeter and 6.5″ high-excursion metal-cone midrange-woofer supplemented by a rear-mounted 5″W × 7″H passive radiator. The midrange-woofer features an XBL2 motor, which is said to provide consistent flux density through a long voice-coil gap, resulting in reduced distortion. The driver is designed and manufactured exclusively for LSA.

The crossover employs metalized polypropylene capacitors, large iron-core inductors with heavy-gauge windings, and wire-wound resistors. LSA says the large inductors do not suffer from saturation even under heavy loads. LSA does not specify crossover frequency or slopes.


The Statement 100 is sold in pairs. Each speaker comes with a magnetically attached black cloth grille. On the rear, below the bass radiator, is a pair of very high-quality five-way binding posts made of gold-plated copper. No biwiring or biamping is possible.

Specified in-room frequency response is 32Hz–30kHz, ±3dB. Rated sensitivity is 87dB (2.83V/m). LSA recommends driving the Statement 100s with an amplifier that can deliver 25 to 200Wpc. The speakers come with an informative owner’s manual that provides all manner of setup recommendations.

The Statement 100 is designed and assembled in the US using Chinese components and comes with a five-year limited warranty applicable only to the original purchaser. Underwood allows returns up to 30 days after receipt but charges a 15% restocking fee, and the buyer pays for return shipping.

Unpacking and setup

LSA ships each pair of Statement 100s in a single carton; shipping weight is 55 pounds. Once opened, the box reveals very thick protective forms. Removing the top form presents the speakers, each of which is bagged against dust and dirt. I found it easiest to put the box on its side and slide the speakers out one at a time. In all, unpacking took about ten minutes.

I didn’t find the Statement 100s too fussy about placement. I placed them on 24″ Dayton Audio metal speaker stands, about 6.5′ apart, woofer center to woofer center, and about 8′ from my listening chair. Both speakers were about 3′ from the nearest side wall and 4′ from the front wall. I found they liked a small amount of toe-in—about ten degrees. As these units were shipped to me from another publication, they needed no break-in.


After I set the speakers on the stands, I performed the knuckle test to see if there were any panel resonances. I could not detect any; these speakers are very solidly constructed.

Sources included my Music Hall Stealth turntable and Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge, a Cambridge Audio Azur 650C CD player, and an HP 6300 desktop PC running JRiver Media Center 30 that was connected to an iFi Audio Zen DAC. Those sources fed my Apt Holman preamplifier and NAD C 275BEE power amplifier.


In 2019, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra recorded a new, critical edition of George Gershwin’s An American in Paris. Many musicologists believe the new edition corrects errors in the score that was published five years after Gershwin’s death in 1937, especially in the sections for saxophone and (believe it or not) taxi horns. I listened to this new version on the album Transatlantic, with the CSO directed by its then-outgoing music director, Louis Langrée (CD, Fanfare Cincinnati FC-016). The two-CD set also includes the original version of An American in Paris as well as Edgard Varèse’s Amériques and Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony in C.

Believe LSA when they say the Statement 100 produces bass down to 32Hz—the bass drum in the new edition of An American in Paris practically knocked me off my seat. I was also impressed by a short flute solo; the tone was magnificent, both clear and clean. And I was pleased with the sound of the piccolos, which were sharp but not shrill. The soundstage was wide and deep, and I was able to pick out instruments’ locations very easily. Tonal balance from bottom to top was exceptionally fine. This piece gives an orchestra a pretty good workout, and the Statement 100s reproduced the big passages effortlessly.


I recently came across a compilation of 1970s pop, ’70s Gold (16-bit/44.1kHz WAV rip from Hip-O B0006070-02), that contains a version of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” that sounds far better than the one on my Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 LP (Columbia PC 35647). On this CD compilation, the bass is deeper and louder than on my LP. EWF was a very tight band and the Statement 100s portrayed that. I heard absolutely no fuzzing on the snare or hi-hat. I found the midrange a touch too mellow, but the highs were very clean. This was especially noticeable with the trumpets. Yet, they didn’t overpower the midrange either.

I also played Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” from The Essential Billy Joel (16/44.1 WAV rip from Columbia C2K 86005). I chose this track because of its staccato drum beats and overall recording quality. The soundstage is quite broad and there’s lots of depth: the backing singers are conspicuously situated well behind Joel and spread out. Played through the Statement 100s, the drum beats were incredibly sharp, much as I expected. While there is a lot going on in terms of backing vocals and instruments, the Statement 100s conveyed all the music’s nuances beautifully.

The 1967 James Bond movie Casino Royale is particularly remembered for Dusty Springfield’s rendition of “The Look of Love,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It’s one of the songs on The Very Best of Dusty Springfield (16/44.1 WAV rip from Mercury 314 560 851-2). Springfield and all the backing violins, bass, and saxophone are thoroughly drenched in echo, as was common in that era. Springfield’s voice, with her usual rich, breathy sound, is directly in the center. The violins, which tend to play one unison, high-register note at a time, can sound screechy on some systems (this was a Philips recording and they usually ran the levels hot), but the Statement 100s reproduced the strings with aplomb—and without screech. The violins stretched across the soundstage, which also had good depth. The Stan Getz–style sax solo was right up front and actually louder than Springfield’s vocals. The sensuality of the song and the recording were well reproduced by the Statement 100s.


One of the many one-hit wonders of the 1970s was the Kiki Dee Band with their song “I’ve Got the Music in Me,” from the album of the same name (LP, Rocket/MCA MCA-458). The tune starts with Dee singing accompanied only by drums and a single-note bass line. Then the band joins in with piano, electric piano, organ, drums and other percussion, electric guitar, and a full set of strings. The soundstage is very interesting as Dee, the drums, bass, electric guitar, and the backing singers are all dead-center or just to the right. The piano is about halfway to the left side while the electric piano is hard left. All that shows up in the far right side is some occasional percussion and a tambourine. Through the Statement 100s, all instruments were full-sounding and clearly placed on the soundstage. I noticed for the first time the drummer has two different tom-toms, one pitched really low, and plays the regular tom on the two beat and the lower one on the four beat. There’s something only a quality speaker will resolve. I thought the sound overall was just about perfect.

The UK prog-rock band Yes put out many fine albums, but they had only one major hit in the US, “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” from their album 90125, the title of which came from the catalog number for the LP (ATCO 90125-1). The song is a multi-tracked tour de force, with new recruit Trevor Rabin handling co-lead and backing vocals, electric guitars, Synclavier and Fairlight CMI synthesizers; Chris Squire on bass; Alan White on drums; Tony Kaye on piano; and Jon Anderson on co-lead and backing vocals. The synthesizers are everywhere on the song, mostly left but also, on occasion, center and right. They seem to show greater depth of field than the rest of the instruments. Vocals, guitars, drums, and bass are tightly grouped in the center; my guess is that emphasizes the effects of the synths. The guitar solo during the bridge is strong enough to rip your ears off. The Statement 100s handled all of this to my satisfaction. This was especially true in terms of detail: every fillip of the synths, every bit of the song had incredible drive and energy.


I recently watched Maestro, Netflix’s biopic on conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein and his wife, Felicia. During the big orchestral passages, I was blown away by the bass the Statement 100s produced in my 22′ × 16′ listening room. Of course, the engineers had goosed the soundtrack’s bass, but the Statement 100s rose to the occasion. I felt absolutely no need for a subwoofer with these two-way standmount speakers.


At first, I thought it might be unfair to compare the Statement 100s with my Acoustic Energy Radiance 3 floorstanders. But after living with the Statement 100s for a while, I decided my concern was misplaced. In fact, the Statement 100s provided more and deeper bass than my Radiance 3s by about a third of an octave. And their highs were as sweet and clear as those of the Radiance 3s. To me, that shows the Statement 100s have exemplary design and manufacture. Listening to “Rosanna” from Toto IV (LP, Columbia FC 37728), the biggest differences were in the treble: highs from the Statement 100s were lighter and sweeter; from my Radiance 3s, somewhat more aggressive. The other significant difference was in the height of the soundstage: on the Statement 100s, it rose halfway to the ceiling; on the Radiance 3s, it extended just above the top of the speakers. The mids were not that different, which surprised me.


To borrow from an old song, I found the Statement 100s “. . . lovely to look at, delightful to . . . listen to.” I thought their rosewood cabinets looked gorgeous. But it was their sonic performance that grabbed me. They delivered prodigious bass from that front-mounted midrange-woofer and rear-mounted passive radiator, and the ribbon tweeter put out some of the sweetest highs this side of heaven. My only reservation was their reproduction of the lower mids, a range that includes alto, tenor, and baritone vocalists—I found the LSAs a wee bit too mellow in this part of the audioband. That tends to soften the sweep of the brushes on a snare drum, a light touch on a piano, or the effect of a singer’s voice. These speakers will work best with solid-state amplifiers that can handle low-impedance loads and have a fairly spare sound.


I listened to the Statement 100s almost constantly for several weeks and enjoyed every minute. These are the first speakers in a long time that have tempted me to choose them over my Acoustic Energy units. On the plus side, there was no need for a sub with the Statement 100s in my room, and I never found their highs fatiguing. I won’t say they disappeared, but they came close. They are very impressive speakers and if they’re in your price range, it behooves you to get your own chance to listen to them. They’re that good.

. . . Thom Moon

Associated Equipment:

  • Loudspeakers: Acoustic Energy Radiance 3.
  • Power amplifier: NAD C 275BEE.
  • Preamplifier: Apt Holman.
  • Analog Source: Music Hall Stealth turntable with Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge.
  • Digital Sources: Cambridge Audio Azur 650C CD player; HP 6300 desktop PC running JRiver Media Center 30 feeding an iFi Audio Zen DAC.
  • Interconnects: Manufacturer-supplied for turntable and computer-to-DAC; Linn Silver on CD player; Dayton Audio analog from DAC to preamplifier; WireWorld Luna from preamp to power amplifier.
  • Speaker cables: Audtek 14-gauge OFC cable terminated in banana plugs.

Living Sounds Audio Statement 100 Loudspeaker
Price: $2499 per pair.
Warranty: Five years, parts and labor, to original owner only.

Underwood HiFi Inc.
89 Kahana Makai Road
Lahaina, HI 96761 USA
Phone: (770) 667-5633