The Official Usher Audio Owners Thread - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 470 Old 01-19-2013, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by deetothevee View Post


It's been a lot of fun finding the right speaker for me and I'm very happy to know that I've found them!

Congratulations. If you're able to pull the Dancers away from the back wall they really come to life.
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post #362 of 470 Old 01-19-2013, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by fuscobal View Post

I wouldn't want to replace my Pass preamp so I should have a DSP unit that can go along with my Pass !

Exactly! Look at components from Tact and Lyngdorf. They require a dedicated owner who will take the time to understand their features. A friend of mine owns the Tact 2.2 X unit and the advantage of room correction in his flat are critical and game changing. I use a Velodyne SMS bass management/cross over component with a pair of BE-718 + sub and the unit allows for adjustment of the low frequency. The addition of the bass management unit offered the biggest audible benefit to my system.
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post #363 of 470 Old 01-19-2013, 06:20 PM
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Congratulations. If you're able to pull the Dancers away from the back wall they really come to life.

Really? I'm surprised to hear that due to the front port. Why would that help ? Right now they are about 6-8 inches away from wall.
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post #364 of 470 Old 01-19-2013, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by deetothevee View Post

REVIEW:

Usher Be-718 vs Dynaudio Focus 160


POWER MYTH

I've read everywhere, on forums and professional reviews, that the be-718's need lots of power. At least 150 watts of solid state juice.

First off, when I heard them initially from Allen at Audio Space in Toronto they were powered by the primaluna dialogue two. The room was pretty big, triple the size of my living room in my condo, and to my estimation it powered the speakers wonderfully.

When I was testing out the dynaudio focus 160's, which are talked about everywhere online as being VERY power hungry, more so then the ushers, they did very well with all the "lower" powered amps mentioned. I mentioned this to the dealer and he said that its basically not true that they need tons of power. I don't know what's going on with that. All I do know is that for me I will be just awesome with a dialogue two. I mention this because I wouldn't want people thinking that they have to get a huge expensive amp to get the most from these ushers. I don't believe it's true. Just my belief.

It's been a lot of fun finding the right speaker for me and I'm very happy to know that I've found them! And the extra bonus is that they are so unique (not in an ugly, trying to stand out way) and beautiful to look at!! I can't say that about most speakers.

I have to agree on the power requirements. I had a friend with a 55 wpc tube amp pushing 8871's with no issues. Those are massive speakers and of course tube power is different, but many of the mass market brands abuse power ratings so they are laughable. Most audiophile brands can be trusted to be reasonable, but I do find amps that double down, or nearly so, to have the guts to give you truly powerful imaging. I've done this with a 60 wpc Rotel integrated pushing my BE-718's, btw.

So yes, while power ratings are not the be all end all, a solid power amplifier of good design IS important. How much power depends on the speaker, application, and your personal preferences. I would not be concerned about a quality amp of 50 watts, anything lower than that I would want to audition first, and pay attention to musical crescendos at high SPL's and see if the soundstage collapses, depth evaporates, and staging disappearing, not to mention truth of timbre and other signs of stress.
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post #365 of 470 Old 01-20-2013, 11:21 AM
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Thanks for your thoughts. What type of output was the 55 watts? I really like triode sound vs ultra linear when I was listening to the primaluna dialogue two. The triode mode has 21 watts.
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post #366 of 470 Old 01-20-2013, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by deetothevee View Post

Really? I'm surprised to hear that due to the front port. Why would that help ? Right now they are about 6-8 inches away from wall.


It's been my experience when speakers of any size and type have room they sound better. Though my right speaker is close to the side/back wall there is about 12 feet of open space behind the speakers and the imaging I experience is remarkable, IMO. I realize that not everyone has the ability to move speakers out in to the room but if you do you'll hear what I am suggesting. Fortunately I have an attic where my 2 channel system lives, well one of my 2 channel systems.
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post #367 of 470 Old 01-21-2013, 03:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deetothevee View Post

Thanks for your thoughts. What type of output was the 55 watts? I really like triode sound vs ultra linear when I was listening to the primaluna dialogue two. The triode mode has 21 watts.

It was a straight push-pull design. He replaced his EL34's with KT88's to get more even response and higher output but lost the EL34 magic midrange. If it was me I'd have stayed with the EL34's.

I've never auditioned triode with Ushers, but 21 watts sounds like a reach. I think it could be glorious at lower output and with small jazz or music without a lot of dynamics, but any more than that I'd seriously recommend an audition.

My personal preferences on amplifiers always seem to fall to zero feedback designs with fewer gain stages. My favorites in this regard are BAT, Pass Labs, and Ayre. I have not heard Prima Luna but they have a good reputation. Let your ears be your guide.

Now that I think about it, and not to speak sacrilege in the House of Usher, but you may want to consider horns if you really are in love with the triode sound. Horns can be extraordinarily emotive and triode amps are MADE for them. Just a thought.

Happy listening!

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post #368 of 470 Old 01-21-2013, 10:31 AM
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Horns! I haven't even considered them assuming they are more expensive. Got any to recommend?

Also can you tell me more on why you like those amp designs as I don't know much about it.
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post #369 of 470 Old 01-22-2013, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by deetothevee View Post

Horns! I haven't even considered them assuming they are more expensive. Got any to recommend?

Also can you tell me more on why you like those amp designs as I don't know much about it.

Horns, even in audiophile circles, are very exotic. I've only heard them myself on a handful of occasions. They have sounded awful or stunning depending on the setup. I'd recommend audioasylum.com. They have a section on horn loudspeakers. There's tons of information there.

For amps, like anything else it's personal preference. At me point I was looking to put a tube preamp in my system to get rid of the solid state tizz. I heard several that I considered horribly colored, and some that were too cold. Then I heard a BAT VK-3i. STUNNING. I was absolutely floored. I've been a BAT fan since. Since then I've heard other amplification that does the same thing to my ears, see above. The commonalities I've found with them are zero-feedback designs, minimum gain stages, and high current. I don't know WHY they sound better to my ears, I'm assuming it's because they have similar design considerations. I've heard plenty of high dollar systems from Parasound, Levinson, Krell, AR, Classe, Rega, Bryston, Cary, and more. Don't get me wrong, they all sound good, some even great, but they don't always have magic, that is a rare feature.

My advice is to listen to tons of systems. Hit every shop in town and when you're on the road hit them too. You will find something that has the magic FOR YOU. You will know because you can't get the smile off your face and the shivers won't stop. One thing about this hobby is that very quickly turns into wine. Which is better? The Cabernet or the fume blanc? It's not a valid question because they can both be good, it just depends on what characteristics are most important to you. I would love horns, but on my budget and WAFconsiderations, horns are not an option. Lucky for me I found Usher, and I am very very happy with them. Their value is off the charts in my situation.

Sorry to get philosophical. There's too much invective and right/wrong in the audio community. I love music and I really don't have time to flame, I've got a few records from my brand new Beatles box set I haven't played yet!

Happily listening,

Griller
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post #370 of 470 Old 01-25-2013, 08:27 AM
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The Usher Mini-X replacements for the BE-718 were introduced at CES. See this link:


http://www.stereophile.com/content/new-usher
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post #371 of 470 Old 01-29-2013, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Acesn8s View Post

The Usher Mini-X replacements for the BE-718 were introduced at CES. See this link:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/new-usher

Got 'em here in Taiwan. They sound better and they look better. And they come in maple, violin, and walnut, plus some lacquer finishes.

That's a new (optional) stand in the photo at stereophile.
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post #372 of 470 Old 01-30-2013, 04:42 AM
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Got 'em here in Taiwan. They sound better and they look better. And they come in maple, violin, and walnut, plus some lacquer finishes.

That's a new (optional) stand in the photo at stereophile.

Query: The Mini One DMD's retail for $4,000 US; Stereophile says $3,500 for the Mini-X. 'Doesn't say if those stands are included. Since the Mini-X appears to be the top third, plus the bottom bass port, of a Mini One, and the specs displayed at Usher's website are virtually identical, what are the sonic incentives to purchase the new model instead of the floorstanding Mini One?
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post #373 of 470 Old 02-01-2013, 05:41 PM
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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.
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post #374 of 470 Old 02-01-2013, 11:20 PM
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Nice job!! Great pics. Anyone know how to safely clean the black piano finish?

Thanks
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post #375 of 470 Old 02-01-2013, 11:43 PM
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Nice job!! Great pics. Anyone know how to safely clean the black piano finish?

Thanks

A good quality microfiber cloth. Been using that and it works very well.

Denon AVR4311CI
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(2) Polk RT15i
(2) Sonotube Subs with 18" Stereo Integrity D4 Drivers
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post #376 of 470 Old 02-02-2013, 12:07 PM
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A good quality microfiber cloth. Been using that and it works very well.

Thanks. Wipe it dry?
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post #377 of 470 Old 02-02-2013, 12:29 PM
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Thanks. Wipe it dry?

Right. For some harder to get off smudges I just use some TV screen cleaning spray. Anything like Windex is a no no.

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post #378 of 470 Old 02-19-2013, 10:39 PM
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what is the recommended crossover setting for s520? i got no sub.
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post #379 of 470 Old 03-15-2013, 01:54 PM
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Hi all -
I don't think I ever posted pictures of the new set-up here. Moving to Manhattan meant a dedicated room had to go, so now I have a multi-use room. Usher Mini Dancer 2, BE-616, both diamond tweeter; coupled with 2 x JL Audio F113 subs. Full details of equipment in the "The New Room" link in my signature (though that's not entirely current...Marantz 8801 & Oppo 105 not in that thread...should be taking some pictures to update next week). Enjoy.





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post #380 of 470 Old 03-15-2013, 06:47 PM
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the black finish if exposed to sun, will it totally ruin it?
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post #381 of 470 Old 03-16-2013, 12:43 AM
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I've been dithering bout the last ten days or so, unable to decide what to get, but strangely unable to focus on anything else...Anyway, finally went in and ordered a pair of mini-Xs and an Usher integrated amp this afternoon. They are supposed to bring them over and install them tonight (Taiwan time). The salesman is rather a character--I think a worried relative got him the local dealership. When I first asked to hear the Mini-Xs, he said there's no need, since I already heard the Be-718s, and its just the same stuff in another box. Then when I asked about a stand, he said I didn't need stands, because if I wanted them I should just get the mini-dancer one, because it's just the same speaker as well, but as it's taller, it's essentially just got a built in stand for about the same price as getting the combo rolleyes.gif He's probably right, but for whatever reason, I just want those minis. There's something really sweet in their sound. I feel sorry for my wife and kids (and my boss)--cuz I think for a good chunk of the foreseeable future I'm just going to want to be in my chair, soaking up that goodness...


Heh, heh, heh. Installed. All I can say is I'm a happy camper. I'm listening to Kind of Blue. I've been listening to this for 30 years, and never heard it like this before...it's like being in the studio with them. Thanks to you guys in the thread, for real world talk about these things, especially Griller, for the useful comments--both in the thread and in PMs. biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #382 of 470 Old 03-16-2013, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dioxholster View Post

the black finish if exposed to sun, will it totally ruin it?

Well, we live in Manhattan and on the third floor, so any direct light is obscured by the plethora of tall buildings around us. We get nice natural light through those windows, but the speakers never see anything direct. That said, these guys have been near a window for their entire life (both in NY and in NC) and I see no discernible difference between today and when they were unpacked new in 2011.
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post #383 of 470 Old 03-17-2013, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Acesn8s View Post

Query: The Mini One DMD's retail for $4,000 US; Stereophile says $3,500 for the Mini-X. 'Doesn't say if those stands are included. Since the Mini-X appears to be the top third, plus the bottom bass port, of a Mini One, and the specs displayed at Usher's website are virtually identical, what are the sonic incentives to purchase the new model instead of the floorstanding Mini One?

Sorry for the late response on this. I just saw it....
In my listening, the Mini-x has greater specificity in imaging than the Mini-1. While they are spec'd similarly, my subjective impressions are that the Mini-1 seems to reach a tad deeper. However, the bass is not a tight, and I would imagine that is why the Mini-X images better. The Mini-1 can project louder without strain. I think if you want to make them sing, the Mini-X requires a subwoofer or you will push it too hard to get more of the lower output,I know I did, but I am also used to Mini-2's.biggrin.gif

Aloha,

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post #384 of 470 Old 03-17-2013, 08:47 PM
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Everyone has their own preferences. It's great you found a speaker that speaks to YOU. I see a lot of late nights in your future!

Now you need to start budgeting for a turntable! wink.gif

Congratulations!

Griller
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post #385 of 470 Old 03-17-2013, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dioxholster View Post

what is the recommended crossover setting for s520? i got no sub.

Stereophile reviewed the S-520, and their measurements are here: http://www.stereophile.com/content/usher-audio-technology-s-520-loudspeaker-measurements

Looking at their charts, the S-520 starts rolling off at 60 Hz, and below 50 Hz there is really no useful output. I would start between 50-60 Hz and and let your ears guide you. If you do not have a sub I would start at 50 Hz.

Remember a cut-off frequency is not a license to overdrive your speakers. You can still cook that tweeter and blow out the woofers. *Ahem* NOT that I have personal experience with this....I have a friend who did this.....yeah, yeah, that's the ticket. smile.gif

Aloha,

Griller
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post #386 of 470 Old 03-18-2013, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Griller View Post

Stereophile reviewed the S-520, and their measurements are here: http://www.stereophile.com/content/usher-audio-technology-s-520-loudspeaker-measurements

Looking at their charts, the S-520 starts rolling off at 60 Hz, and below 50 Hz there is really no useful output. I would start between 50-60 Hz and and let your ears guide you. If you do not have a sub I would start at 50 Hz.

Remember a cut-off frequency is not a license to overdrive your speakers. You can still cook that tweeter and blow out the woofers. *Ahem* NOT that I have personal experience with this....I have a friend who did this.....yeah, yeah, that's the ticket. smile.gif

Aloha,

Griller

by rolling off you mean they begin to sound at 60hz? thanks for the link but looking at these charts I can see why i will never understand this audio stuff. is starting at 50 at all dangerous and how does one overdrive such speakers, whats the volume limit to them?
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post #387 of 470 Old 03-18-2013, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dioxholster View Post

by rolling off you mean they begin to sound at 60hz? thanks for the link but looking at these charts I can see why i will never understand this audio stuff. is starting at 50 at all dangerous and how does one overdrive such speakers, whats the volume limit to them?

Volume at 60 Hz and below will start decreasing as the speaker does not have the capability to produce this sound. If you push below 60Hz frequencies through your speakers it is not dangerous unless you really start playing them VERY LOUD. At high volumes the amplifier can get stressed, start pushing a lot of distortion, and the speakers will not be able to handle the signal. You can also overdrive your speakers. The electronics in the speakers (resisters, capacitors, etc) can overheat, and speaker cones can over-extend. The way I identify speaker strain is usually the music starts to sound crappy, and the treble is usually the first thing to go.

Set your crossover for 50Hz and you should be fine. Don't let your friends play music at your parties. Use reasonably good quality amplification. If you like extremely loud music you should see an audiologist and let him tell you what the long term effects of loud noises are. .wink.gif Don't get offended, I fixed jets for a living. The Air Force can never replace my hearing, and I don't think my bride will ever stop complaining that my music is too loud!biggrin.gif At least I can blame it on the Air Force and not my stereo, concerts, or headphones.

Aloha,

Griller
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post #388 of 470 Old 03-19-2013, 04:35 AM
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Volume at 60 Hz and below will start decreasing as the speaker does not have the capability to produce this sound. If you push below 60Hz frequencies through your speakers it is not dangerous unless you really start playing them VERY LOUD. At high volumes the amplifier can get stressed, start pushing a lot of distortion, and the speakers will not be able to handle the signal. You can also overdrive your speakers. The electronics in the speakers (resisters, capacitors, etc) can overheat, and speaker cones can over-extend. The way I identify speaker strain is usually the music starts to sound crappy, and the treble is usually the first thing to go.

Set your crossover for 50Hz and you should be fine. Don't let your friends play music at your parties. Use reasonably good quality amplification. If you like extremely loud music you should see an audiologist and let him tell you what the long term effects of loud noises are. .wink.gif Don't get offended, I fixed jets for a living. The Air Force can never replace my hearing, and I don't think my bride will ever stop complaining that my music is too loud!biggrin.gif At least I can blame it on the Air Force and not my stereo, concerts, or headphones.

Aloha,

Griller

Its hard to know what loudness is since its subjective, some days i find some source loud and other days same source not loud enough. for the AVR, i tend to stay in the negative db volume but i know its not linear so not sure if it means anything. I think the average person doesnt care about the consequences of loud music so there should be more awareness but i dont think they would care eitherway since people like to party with loud music and concerts regardless. Air force or military i guess thats part of the job, fixing jets sounds cool though. for me even low volume gives me headaches pretty quick so i cant play loud music for long and I cant use earphones all day like people do. i used to have major ringing in my ears as a kid too so im a bit careful as a result. im worried about the speakers breaking since they doing work without a sub. I checked settings, what i understand is AVR set it at 60hz LARGE and i could only got to 40hz and 80hz, 90, 100, and so on. I guess i got no choice but to leave it at 60hz. From what i understand is that the speakers have their own crossovers as well so what i do in AVR might be for nothing since they will be filtered? Because i set it at different crossovers and didnt notice a difference.

edit: just realized that the music might not be playing the 60hz frequency, is there a way to tell? should do test tones. Also just read the manual it says:
Quote:
Crossover
Sets the lower limit of the low-frequency
components that can be output from a speaker
whose size is set to “Small”. A frequency
sound lower than the specified value will be
produced from the subwoofer or front speakers
Settings
40 Hz, 60 Hz, 80 Hz (default), 90 Hz, 100H
z, 110 Hz, 120 Hz, 160 Hz, 200 Hz
so no wonder i noticed no difference i had it on LARGE. were the ushers designed to work with a sub? because without bass management it will bottom out and stuff.
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post #389 of 470 Old 03-22-2013, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dioxholster View Post

Its hard to know what loudness is since its subjective, some days i find some source loud and other days same source not loud enough. for the AVR,

This is probably due to the recording more than your stereo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dioxholster View Post

for me even low volume gives me headaches pretty quick so i cant play loud music for long and I cant use earphones all day like people do.

If you are experiencing fatigue then I would recommend looking at soft or silk dome tweeters in the future, maybe ribbons if you don't crank them. My ears are sensitive to tweeters and can burn over a short exposure with many speakers on the market. If you get a chance you should check out Dynaudio speakers, they use soft domes and sound pretty awesome. Electrostatics are not too fatiguing but expensive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dioxholster View Post

im worried about the speakers breaking since they doing work without a sub. I checked settings, what i understand is AVR set it at 60hz LARGE and i could only got to 40hz and 80hz, 90, 100, and so on. I guess i got no choice but to leave it at 60hz. From what i understand is that the speakers have their own crossovers as well so what i do in AVR might be for nothing since they will be filtered? Because i set it at different crossovers and didnt notice a difference.

edit: just realized that the music might not be playing the 60hz frequency, is there a way to tell? should do test tones. Also just read the manual it says:
so no wonder i noticed no difference i had it on LARGE. were the ushers designed to work with a sub? because without bass management it will bottom out and stuff.

AVR's vary wildly in set up but setting the speakers to small sounds like a good idea if you can set the crossover at 60 Hz. Speakers have their own internal crossovers to manage the signal as it passes from the woofer to the mid to the tweeter. The frequencies below the woofer do not have a crossover.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of actually listening to your system and making changes based on what you hear. If you don't hear a difference don't sweat it! Enjoy the music!cool.gif

Aloha,

James
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post #390 of 470 Old 03-27-2013, 01:56 AM
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Hi from Greece.
As a current very pleased owner of CP 6371 I was wondering if updating to Mini Dancer 2 Be would justify the extra money for the swap.
The amplifier I have is a Mimetism 15.2
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