Originally Posted by Griller
I mostly agree withe review. I think the tweeter is forward, but component matching can help, and tubes would help a lot.
If I remember correctly the Taiwan hi-end show is in November. It is usually at the Taipei Dynasty hotel on Dunhua, next to Ikea. But there are a lot more shows than just that. I go to a record dealer and he is often off to some show or another.
Just wanted to talk a bit about typical Usher setups. Myself and two other friends in town have done as follows. BE-718 for front L/R. X-718 center. S-520 rear. SW-212 sub. Powered by a Denon 4311ci (or similar, or Onkyo). The idea is that this system is a hybrid for 2.0 or 2.1 listening, and for 5.1 (or 7.1 or 9.2...) movies.
Now this system can be improved upon in a couple ways. Firstly, using an AVR with pre-out, the 2.0 front L/R can be run through a separate amp, and what could be better than the Usher R-1.5. Second, again the front L/R could be upgraded to a mini-dancer one or the CP-8571 or even the BE-10. Really by the time you buy stands for your BE-718 the mini-dancer one is not much more. Beyond that some people swear by 7.1 or 9.1 setups with more speakers. The S-520 is such a bargain it seems like its worth trying. Some feel the DMD tweeter is a bit intense. At least, it needs breaking in. Also, I managed to fry a pair, its a sensitive instrument. Lastly, some like me, want to use similar speakers for the front, I use an X-718 for the front center but a friend and I are going to split a pair of BE-718 and use it for the front center.
For electronics, I feel its pretty essential to use Audyssey in general, and the latest MultEQ XT32 in specific. Not many amps offer it yet http://www.audyssey.com/products?ins...d=44&ptype=All
and even with a refurb you're $1000+. For $2000+ you can get a pure pre-amp like the Onkyo PR-SC5508 and that adds balanced XLR out, and removes all amps. So add an R-1.5 for the front, and maybe an Emotiva XLR for the surround 3 or 5 channels. Note that the PR-SC5509 is not sold in the USA.
Some people prefer softer sound and the old Beryllium tweeter. Or using a tube amp. I am going to just go with an R-1.5 and see if the DMD tweeter softens up after some break in. There are a few reviews here http://www.usheraudio.com/reviews-and-awards.html
and people feel the R-1.5 is downright tube-like for a transistor amp. Speaking of reviews, the DMD tweeter has been out for a couple years and there are only one or two reviews covering it.
Going a little OT, source is up to you, we like an HTPC running MPC. And for storing BD images and music, another Taiwan product, a NAS from Synology. Gives you your own personal terabyte sized cloud, can stream your music to your iPad iPod or Galaxy S, or use your smartphone as a remote control to send the music in over AirPlay. Or just jack your IEM's into it, though some have better DACs than others. http://www.head-fi.org/t/541494/mult...-added-5-15-12
One thought, I'm not sure of the current situation, but at one point in time Usher offered other amps (1.2 2.5 2.8 3.0) so these may turn up used. Talked to Charles in Taipei today. R-1.5 has 2 models. Balanced XLR model costs about 24% more than RCA model. Both models can be bridged.
BE-10 comes in maple, birch, and walnut (from light to dark). All BE-10 models have 45 day lead time. Credit price same as cash price. This information is for Taiwan. High-End show was July last year, August this year.
Current fave .m4a ALAC served from Synology NAS to Airplay or DS Audio on cell phone, SSL over WAN or LAN or 3G or LTE: Blade Runner OST, Raging Bull OST