All Points Bulletin! Have You Seen This Turntable?

The photo shows Clearaudio's top of the line $170,000 Statement turntable.

While speaking with Clearaudio's Robert Suchy and Musical Surroundings' Garth Leerer who imports the line to America I learned something both amazing and appalling: the late Harry Pearson's home had been twice burglarized before his passing.

The first time thieves took whatever among the high end audio in the house they could carry. Upon hearing the news Suchy and Leerer made plans to ship to Sea Cliff a Statement packing container to retrieve the review sample that had been with HP for almost a decade.

But before they could implement their plan the thieves again struck and did what seemed impossible: they hauled off the $170,000 Statement!

Insurance will not cover the loss so armed with the serial number Suchy and Leerer hope to catch the perpetrators when they either attempt to sell it or contact the company for spare parts.

(And yes, that's analogplanet editor Michael Fremer in the mirror reflection taking the picture. Cleans up nicely, don't you think?)

Bill - LKV's picture

I am so sad to think how awful Harry must have felt in his final time. Just horrible.

Michael Fremer's picture
His big listening room had been turned into a care facility.
cgh's picture

A little off topic, but did you get any color on the reason for the claim denial? Was something idiosyncratic to HP's situation, something simple like he had the item in his possession for ten years and they were basically common law, or was it something relevant to the community, like insufficient price discovery?


Michael Fremer's picture

Not an insurance expert.

amandela50's picture

I suspect that the manufacturer's and/or importer's insurance policy only covered items stored in facilities they actually controlled. Just as our homeowner's policies don't cover damage to our furniture in transit during a house move, so to was the Statement probably not covered under Leerer's or Clearaudio's policies.

cgh's picture

I was thinking about it in the wrong direction. I was thinking the estate of HP filed a home owners claim. It was probably Clearaudio going for a hail Mary, though.

Dpoggenburg's picture

Was anyone else as struck as I was by the notion that HP had a 'review sample' for ten years? A bit comical - sounds more like a gift to me, and probably not the first time a manufacturer 'loaned' gear to a reviewer...though I'm sure you have to reach HP's level of influence to qualify for items in the $170k range.

daveberg's picture

What is really appalling is that Clearaudio would send a box to a dying man so that he could return a ten year old loaned-out piece of equipment.
That really epitomizes the character of the manufacturers and dealers in this hobby.

tube dog's picture

since this is a niche market. High end audio accounts for less than 1% of total sales and is highly competitive. Even the review magazines are at each others throats. I've never seen another hobby quite like it.

Michael Fremer's picture

They weren't just going to send a box, nor was it clear HP was dying. He was in declining health, yes. But he was no longer using the turntable, which is still in production. The plan was for the crate to be shipped there with Musical Surroundings arriving at the same time to pack and ship to a purchaser. The deal had already been arranged. This is a $170K piece of gear on loan for a very long time. The rightful owner of the turntable had every right to seek its return either then or at any time over the many years it was on loan.

I don't see their actions as anything other than what anyone in business, whatever that business, would do.

In fact I'd say a 9 year loan is something few other businesses would do, which says something about the hi-end audio business, and not necessarily a bad thing.

On the other hand I think "long term" loaners are toxics and should be discouraged.

daveberg's picture

which is beyond dispute, and which you may have a little difficulty comprehending, I understand.

Michael Fremer's picture

and what may I have difficulty comprehending and what exactly do you understand?

daveberg's picture


bpw's picture

"(And yes, that's analogplanet editor Michael Fremer in the mirror reflection taking the picture. Cleans up nicely, don't you think?)"

You or the turntable?

Michael Fremer's picture

Cleanliness is in the eye of the beholder!

volvic's picture

The thieves damaged that turntable when stealing it. No way you simply pick this thing up without disassembly and not damage some major component.

Michael Fremer's picture

Yes, unless they knew precisely what they were doing it's doubtful it survived dismemberment.

Jay's picture

Some people are truly beneath contempt. In my opinion, the Bard gave the most appropriate name to those responsible for burglarising Harry in his final illness, "the son and heir of a mongrel bitch".

jeffpartyka's picture

What does something like that weigh??

readargos's picture

I'd heard this was v.2 of the Statement, using a delrin platter in place of acrylic. I'd read elsewhere that some of Clearaudio's top 'tables had a choice of acrylic or delrin platters, and that it depended on the finish (black with delrin, as pictured here, or acrylic with the "natural" wood-like finish of the panzerholz). Any word on whether the Statement has been improved?

If I recall, the Statement weighs 350 kg (770 lbs).

Michael Fremer's picture

I'm sure it's been modified over the years and improved but I've never been a fan of that tone arm, though it has been considerably improved.

junker's picture

I think you'd have to be a massive fan of the Genesis Device in The Wrath or Khan, and be extremely single to give this thing sanctuary in one's home. May these thieves be made to suffer the injustice of having to look at this thing, and suffer the years of chiropractic treatment for this. I hope at least one has a prolapsed rectum.

Werd's picture

Who is everyone kidding here? After 10 years iit was gifted plain and simple. The people in pursuit are,looking for hyperbole that gets it back. What ever it takes for the insurance companies to acknowledge ownership to make claim.

GabrielS's picture

Quite the turntable. If I didn't know better, I'd assume it to be some exotic exercise equipment, I suppose it would be moving it about. Make sure one's floorboards can take the weight and not go crashing down to the next level.

Andrei's picture

I smell a bunfight coming up. This is a significant asset and it seems to me Clearaudio are entitled to the return or recompense of their turntable. In theory it should not be a problem if HP insured it. But if he didn't ...