Usher Factory Tour
On February 1, several Usher fans, expats living in or visiting Taiwan, were offered a tour of the Usher factory in Taichung.
THSR bullet train hit 179 mph, taking about 50 minutes from Taipei to Taichung, $20 each way. The Usher factory is located near the port.
Robotics work with humans to build drivers.
Usher sells their drivers to other speaker manufacturers. But not the DMD tweeter!
The R-1.5 amp is in fact made in Taiwan, not Mainland China. Transistors are hand matched. Here one is broken down for QA testing. The R-1.5 is said to offer many of the superlative qualities of the Krell designs, at a fraction of the cost.
A batch of Mini-X are hand sanded to perfection. Raw cabinetry is manufactured in Mainland China.
Large belt buffer applied by hand to lacquer finish. Much of this work is done by hand in Mainland China. But Usher is bringing online a new room-sized machine for the polishing. I project this will enable them to keep their red and yellow finishes more available.
Paint shop. Some s-520's receive varnish. At the back of the chamber, a small waterfall takes dust out of the air.
Mini-X speakers drying.
Be-718 with one of its two simple crossover circuits. I understand the "US version" changes a capacitor or two.
Metal bracing inside Be-718 case adds rigidity.
Plate amp used in S-212 subwoofer.
Metal plate on bottom of Mini-X. Note that the sides of the Mini-X, are pure bent plywood, not MDF.
Wood to be bolted to sides of Be-718.
The final assembly line. Every speaker is individually tested in an anechoic chamber. Every woofer and every tweeter is a matched pair. No other manufacturer goes to this level of perfection.
Nearby nature reserve. Oyster farming, and wind farm next door.
A fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage for us die-hard Usher fanatics, our trip included a lot of face time with their CEO, Mr. Tsai, a gourmet lunch served in the factory including red wine from Portugal and pineapple beer, and plenty of fahrvergnugen in one of the several listening rooms in their vast facility.
Griller may be setting up another tour in a couple months. I hope he can photograph any parts I missed, such as the many racks of HP analytical electronics (including a Cesium clock), the electronics assembly line, and the new lacquer polishing room. And maybe we can gather up questions to take directly to the source.