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The Official Usher Audio Owners Thread - Page 11

post #301 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by rs350z View Post

i have a couple of questions:
1) i currently have the cp-6381's in a dedicated room that is 28 x 13 using all Classe gear (200 watt amp, cp-60 preamp with phono). i really like the sound, very good bass, nice soundstaging, etc... i do have room treatments for the 1st reflection and tube traps in the back corners. speakers are close to 10ft out from the back wall, slightly toed-in. i am thinking about going to either a nice tube integrated amp or possibly a mcintosh integrated amp (ma-6900/ma-7000). since i moved to a small town far from any dealers, what would be a good tube integrated amp that would power these speakers? i mostly listen to jazz/blues/new age with some heavy rock thrown in, not at earth shaking levels.

2) i have always liked the sound of usher speakers. my other 2 systems in the house have the x-719's and the v-601's which sound very nice. so a couple of speakers that i'm curious about are the 8571's and the 8871's. it looks like the 8571's use the same drivers as my 6381's and the 8871 use the dual woofers. besides the much better looks, would there be a huge increase in sound performance compared to what i have now? i have nice tight bass with the 6381's in my room now.

thanks

I have always liked the Classe gear: warm, solid, powerful. A little dark, but overall a very strong lineup. I have to confess I have converted a LOT of people to the audiophile world. My primary recommendation? The X-718. The silk dome tweeter does not have the resolution of the DMD, but it is warm, soft, and very musical. It hides flaws and scales well. It is a great starter speaker. It could easily be somebody's last speaker too, it's that good. Your 6381s are the same--great design, very musical. But--

You already have all that. The problem is in moving up, the recipe changes. If you want to move up the chain now, you already have musicality in spades. You will be increasing the resolution of your system. This will cost money, but you seem like you want to go there. I have heard the 8871s and 8571s. I haven't bothered with the BE-10s because they are so far out of my range. The 8871s are more marketed to the home theater crowd. I think the 8571's have plenty of bass and will do whatever you want them to do, especially if you're happy with the bass you're getting out of your current speakers. However, the resolution of the speakers is far above the 6381s. Not only do you have the DMD tweeter, you also have a dedicated mid-range. These speakers have extraordinary resolution and will put you in the first tier of the speaker pantheon. However, like all speakers, they are not perfect. I have found that the drivers aren't always as well integrated as they could be. Maybe it's a phase/timing/equipment issue, but a well set up tube system can make a stunning system out of them, so maybe it's less the speaker than the supporting electronics. Know for sure that they are very conscious of supporting electronics, and will show it. This is the downside of the top tier speakers, their resolution will show all the deficiencies of what's upstream in the signal chain, and they aren't bashful about it.

I think you Class gear is worth hooking up to them to see how they perform. It would be interesting to hear! If you are looking to simplify/combine your gear upstream, at this tier the field narrows considerably. I am an unabashed fan of Balanced Audio Technology. They have both tube and SS gear, but their tube gear rocks in my book. They have an integrated tube amp that's worth a look. Other contenders could be Acoustic Research or Cary depending on your personal preferences. Cary stuff has more of the bloom associated with tubes, AR a cooler presentation but still that tube liquidity. BAT falls in between. There are others. Check the forums at Audioasylum -- there is no end to opinions over there! (That may help or not!)

Good luck and have fun!

Aloha,

Griller
post #302 of 462
I'd say your next steps up are: BE-718. CP-8571. BE-10. What Classé models do you have and how many watts?

Some feel these speakers benefit from extra power. Some feel the Diamond tweeter is smoothed out by a tube amp. Some feel the Usher R-1.5 is pretty tube-like for a transistor amp.

I certainly feel that upgrading your speakers is the first step and the most bang for your buck. Once you have those new speakers, you'll be able to hear and consider an amp upgrade.

That said, I would actually go beyond the BE-718 to the CP-8571 and keep the Classe, rather than just go BE-718 and start spending money on fancier tube amps. Beyond that if you agree that all these speakers benefit from more power, transistor power is cheaper than tube power per watt.

Personally I would get one or two R-1.5's to save money, and take that saved money and use it to move up the speaker curve. But that's just me, and probably audiophiles will snub me when I start talking about using Audyssey XT32. And, Griller and I have different options since we live in Taiwan (some things are cheaper here, some are more expensive).

Charles at Usher thought that bi-amp would be worth considering if I had dual R-1.5's (rather than monoblocking them). By extension, you could even go so far as to bi-amp, using a tube amp on the top end and an R-1.5 on the bottom end, then let the Audyssey mop up the levels and your room correction in one shot. Still the R-1.5 has a reputation of being very tube-like, along with a lot of bang for the buck.
post #303 of 462
I am also looking to move up after a long hiatus. I am considering buying a pair of used BE-718 speakers based on reviews (since I don't have a chance to audition them) and need to power them. I'm considering two amps (hegel H200 and NAD M3). Since I won't have an opportunity to listen to them either, I'm relying on more "expert" opinions. I've searched various threads and haven't found much relative to either of these pairings, so I'd appreciate any thoughts, "expert" or otherwise. Thanks
post #304 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollar Bill View Post

I am also looking to move up after a long hiatus. I am considering buying a pair of used BE-718 speakers based on reviews (since I don't have a chance to audition them) and need to power them. I'm considering two amps (hegel H200 and NAD M3). Since I won't have an opportunity to listen to them either, I'm relying on more "expert" opinions. I've searched various threads and haven't found much relative to either of these pairings, so I'd appreciate any thoughts, "expert" or otherwise. Thanks

I have no problem buying BE-718's based on reviews. They are awesome. If they are used they may have the Beryllium tweeter instead of the Diamond tweeter. Some people would prefer this. You can't lose either way, though if the former they should be priced lower.

But why spend $4400 on a class A/B amp like the Hegel, when you can get the Usher R-1.5 class A amp for $2500? The Usher pre-amp is excellent also. Just go all Usher is my advice. This is how they demonstrate it at audiophile shows and win awards.
post #305 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollar Bill View Post

I am also looking to move up after a long hiatus. I am considering buying a pair of used BE-718 speakers based on reviews (since I don't have a chance to audition them) and need to power them. I'm considering two amps (hegel H200 and NAD M3). Since I won't have an opportunity to listen to them either, I'm relying on more "expert" opinions. I've searched various threads and haven't found much relative to either of these pairings, so I'd appreciate any thoughts, "expert" or otherwise. Thanks

Welcome to the House of Usher! http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/image...es/biggrin.gif The BE-718s are fantastic speakers! i have a pair in my bedroom, and, believe it or not, they are powered by a rather humble Rotel RA-971 integrated amplifier. And they sound pretty good!

NAD is a good brand, and well known for their warm, engaging sound. If you are a loyal customer and like their sound, then you should go for it.

As for Hegel, I am not familiar with that brand or their sound.

I think you could find some very interesting pieces in the 2-3K price point on Audiogon. I see there is an Ayre AX-7XE on there now -- http://app.audiogon.com/listings/ayr...ated-amplifier. For $2200 sounds like a pretty good deal. Ayre stuff sounds great and would put you in the big leagues. (providing you like their sound--all gear is individual, after all)

Happy hunting!
post #306 of 462
The Ayre and the Rotel mentioned put out 60 watts per channel. The Be-718 can handle 200. Or at least, does benefit from a more powerful amp. At least in my reading of some of the many reviews of this remarkable speaker. http://www.usheraudio.com/reviews-and-awards.html You could feed them class A rather than A/B power. And rather than expensive tube power. And more of it. Maybe the NAD. Or again, Usher's R-1.5.
post #307 of 462
Thanks for the responses. I agree that I need an amp with a lot of power to drive these speakers. I'll keep an eye on audiogon.
post #308 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollar Bill View Post

Thanks for the responses. I agree that I need an amp with a lot of power to drive these speakers. I'll keep an eye on audiogon.

Maybe read back in this thread (or the magazine reviews) for amps people are using successfully. 150+ watt per channel class A transistor amps with a tube-like quality is the goal. Surely the Usher R-1.5 is a well tested choice. The NAD you mention delivers some juice too.

Of course you could get a powerful tube amp too. But my personal opinion is that its more bang for the buck to stick to transistor, then take the money you saved and move up the speaker curve. Thus, I ordered a BE-10 and an R-1.5 to drive it. I'm not opposed to buying $25K AR Reference 250 monoblocks... next... when I win the lotto, but this is how I'm climbing the ladder so far.

I'm better off spending 6x as much on speakers over amps, than vice-versa. Would you rather have BE-718 driven by AR Reference 250... or BE-10 driven by R-1.5. Of course you'd rather have BE-10 driven by AR Reference 250... but I think you see my point.
post #309 of 462
Hi. This is my first post in this forum although I've been following it for some time.
I have some queries which have been bugging me .....

I recently had a demo on a pair of BE-718DMD..
I was informed that the BE-718 sold in Taiwan are of different specs compared to those sold outside of Taiwan.

From various websites I have read that the BE-718 have the x-over modified for the US market.
My question is -
Are the speakers sold outside of Taiwan indeed of different specs while those sold in the US have the x-overs further modified ?
I have seen photos of the x-overs of the BE718 from Taiwan, but not of those from the US or from other countries.

Perhaps the cheaper price of the speakers in Taiwan is due to the inferior specs and x-over?
If someone who has purchased the BE718 outside of Taiwan (excluding the USA) could upload a photo of the x-over for confirmation?

Cheers!
post #310 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphzxcv View Post

I was informed that the BE-718 sold in Taiwan are of different specs compared to those sold outside of Taiwan.
From various websites I have read that the BE-718 have the x-over modified for the US market.
Are the speakers sold outside of Taiwan indeed of different specs while those sold in the US have the x-overs further modified ?
I have seen photos of the x-overs of the BE718 from Taiwan, but not of those from the US or from other countries.
Cheers!

I have some more exact information about the crossover. Apparently the BE-718 (and only the BE-718) has a crossover modified for the US market. The circuit (board) is not changed, only that some of the components (capacitors etc.) are different. I believe this means they are different models, not different specs. Perhaps yes if we track down photos we could confirm.

My belief is that this is a marketing change not a technical change. It enables the US distributor to say "don't buy grey market BE-718's... they are different!". (The US website used to have a popup warning people about grey-market speakers.) WTF is this "USA crossover" supposed to accomplish? Is it designed for listening to ZZ Top or something?

Technically, I believe there won't be much difference. That is to say, that the great reviews you read, apply to BE-718's regardless of which crossover it has. Further, if you're wringing your hands about the crossover, why not just bi-amp and cut the crossover out of the circuit completely.
Edited by Toe Tag - 8/2/12 at 2:23pm
post #311 of 462
Exciting news for Usher fans. At the Taipei high-end show, Usher was showing (to look at, not to listen to!) a new model, the Dancer "Mini X". It's a bookshelf speaker which is basically the top half of the Dancer Mini, rounded back and all! Same Diamond tweeter, same woofer. You could also say its a BE-718 with a rounded back, priced about 10% higher. Crossover is modified slightly to add more bass and account for the moderately larger cabinet volume. It looks beautiful, may come in 3 different finishes. They are working to ramp up production... those curved-back cabinets come at a price.
Edited by Toe Tag - 8/2/12 at 7:56pm
post #312 of 462
Hi,
Im looking Usher Be-718 now,Be-718 is good? What is the best int. amplifier to drive these speakers? Thanks.
post #313 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by UsherNoobie View Post

Hi,
Im looking Usher Be-718 now,Be-718 is good? What is the best int. amplifier to drive these speakers? Thanks.
Be-718 is good. Many reviews on the Usher website. Personally I would drive it with Usher electronics.
post #314 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Tag View Post

Exciting news for Usher fans. At the Taipei high-end show, .

Oh, RATS! I missed it! Toe Tag, please publish that if you see it. I don't get downtown as much as I used to. Any interesting gear? Get any music?
post #315 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by UsherNoobie View Post

Hi,
Im looking Usher Be-718 now,Be-718 is good? What is the best int. amplifier to drive these speakers? Thanks.

Be-718 is a very good choice, and I'd go further and say for traditional designs you get far more bang for your buck than elsewhere.

As for an integrated, what is your: Budget? Associated equipment? Don't forget money for records, too.... ;-)

Seriously, to make even semi-helpful recommendations it would help to know what country you are in, your budget, and what else you have in your system.
post #316 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphzxcv View Post

Hi. This is my first post in this forum although I've been following it for some time.
I have some queries which have been bugging me .....
Perhaps the cheaper price of the speakers in Taiwan is due to the inferior specs and x-over?

I think the biggest reason for the price difference is that in Taiwan you are buying directly from the manufacturer. They do not put their product in retail stores. They only have manufacturer stores that sell Usher products.

When you go overseas, you pay export/import fees and tariffs, warehousing fees, trucking fees to and from seaports, ocean shipping fees, and the wholesaler's fee, and most importantly, your local retailer's cut. Everybody is in this too make money. As an overseas manufacturer, when I ship stuff to the United States, after all the fees the price of the product has nearly tripled to cover those costs.

So, IMO, no, it's not inferior specs and x-over. It's the same speaker through and through. They may make a change to the crossover for the U.S. market, they prefer a more aggressive treble, heaven knows why, but I can confidently state that there are no significant changes, if any, to the speaker. Usher would not allow it to protect their name if nothing else. And it it was such a vast improvement, they would implement it everywhere.
post #317 of 462
Hi All,
I just got a brand new Be-718 DMD. It sounds pretty nice with Cary SLI-80 Signature F1 tube integrated amplifier. Depend on the music genre, for Rap, Pop, Club Dance, i use Class A/B Ultra Linear mode 80 watt. It sounds clean, bright, sharp, and punchy. For classical, vocal, i use Class A Triode mode 40 Watt, it sounds smooth, sweet, mellow, and natural sound. I love it.
post #318 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by UsherNoobie View Post

Hi,
Im looking Usher Be-718 now,Be-718 is good? What is the best int. amplifier to drive these speakers? Thanks.

If you can afford those and get a good price on them, those are excellent.

I bought a new pair of X-718s earlier this year, as I'm in the US and right now I couldn't afford the Be-718 at US prices. I know that in China the X-718s are considered the "cheaper" version and some aficionados wouldn't have them. I'm impressed with their bang for the buck, however, and I like their sound and quality of the engineering and workmanship. I don't know if the beryllium tweeter at double the cost would sound twice as good.

ETA: Oops. I see you already bought the Be-718 DMD. Congratulations. That's a very fine set of speakers.
post #319 of 462
I took a quick look.
Is there any reason why the Mini Dancer 2 is 4 ohms and the rest of their lineup is 8
post #320 of 462
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefwong View Post

I took a quick look.
Is there any reason why the Mini Dancer 2 is 4 ohms and the rest of their lineup is 8

The Mini 2 is a MW-T-MW D'Appolito array. The mid-woofers are wired in parallel, presenting a 4 ohm load to the amplifier. They're 8 ohm speakers, but because of the way they are wired they have different loading. They are unique in their lineup, none of their other speakers are built like this. They are also my favorite in value for dollar in the Dancer line unless you get the 718's with sub(s). AND, they are, IMHO, drop dead gorgeous.
post #321 of 462
I debated long and hard....just wanted a 2 channel lineup. Between the 718, I ended up with the DMD 2 as well as a 616. Too bad I could not order the 616 with matching walnut side panels.
I'm sure the Pioneer Birch looks great....walnut was a better match for the *decor* of the room it's going in
post #322 of 462
So what's the consensus. For the 718 that has won accolades of rewards, based on the *US* crossover - the does the 718 with the standard shipping crossover sound just as comparable --- For those have A/B the two.

Kinda hard to compare these days as the 718's are shipped with the *regular* crossover these days..
post #323 of 462
I am sure the ones with upgraded x-overs from US will be better sounding.

I have both the S-520 and BE-718DMD. I have changed the caps in the S-520 and they sound amazing!
In fact I like the modded S-520 so much that I contemplated selling off the BE-718.

Perhaps the BE-718 isn't fully "burn-in" yet (I got them in May 2012).
post #324 of 462
If anyone else is considering tweaking their speakers I would advise extreme caution. My own experiences have taught me that speaker, amplifier, and other high-performance component designs are very carefully considered and are more often than not a better design than trying to tweak it yourself. It also kills resale, as nobody, (would you?) wants an item that has been tweaked in who knows what way. I know there are those out there that are comfortable with this, and that's fine, and the S520's are not overly expensive. But it is no little thing to start modifying high-performance designs, which includes Dancer speakers.

I would consider the 'U.S. version' if it truly exists, a variant, and not an 'upgraded' design. If it was truly an upgrade, Usher would put it in all their models.

sphxzcv, I am stoked that you have tricked out your S520's, I'd really like to listen to them. Maybe you can share exactly what you did for the more adventorous souls out there if they really are interested. But the 718's are in a completely different class. The DMD tweeter does require a long break-in. I'd give it 200 hours before you start comparing the two.
post #325 of 462
Griller, I merely changed the capacitor in the tweeter circuit of the S-520 and added some felt lining along the interior wall.
The mod (if you call that a "mod") is reversible. No complicated circuit redesign changes.
It's just a matter of unsoldering the caps and soldering the originals back if the resulting sound is not to one's liking.
If you happen to be Kuala Lumpur you will be most welcome to come over to listen to them.

Yes, I believe my BE-718 tweeters aren't fully "broken-in". That's probably why there's some harshness in the highs.
They do sound good. Good details and sounds big, but right now I prefer the S-520.
Give them 2 or 3 months more and I will most likey tell you a different story.

I've found these websites which mentions the upgraded x-over.

http://www.soundscapeav.com/Usher/BE-Series.htm
http://selectsoundaudio.com/usher/usher_be-718.htm

In both sites Erse and Sonicaps are mentioned.

This one, GR research uses them as well.
http://gr-research.com/upgrades.aspx
post #326 of 462
For all you Usher Gurus' - are the MD2 veneer or sticker vinyl on the finish.
The reviews seem to state veneer but it feels more like vinyl
post #327 of 462
I dunno. I do like the true wood panel of the 718.
The X looks a touch more modern with the curved back.
Not a fan of the vinyl sticker finish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe Tag View Post

Exciting news for Usher fans. At the Taipei high-end show, Usher was showing (to look at, not to listen to!) a new model, the Dancer "Mini X". It's a bookshelf speaker which is basically the top half of the Dancer Mini, rounded back and all! Same Diamond tweeter, same woofer. You could also say its a BE-718 with a rounded back, priced about 10% higher. Crossover is modified slightly to add more bass and account for the moderately larger cabinet volume. It looks beautiful, may come in 3 different finishes. They are working to ramp up production... those curved-back cabinets come at a price.
post #328 of 462
All of the Dancer speakers are veneered wood cabinets. And they are beautiful. A vinyl wrap on the cabinet would be very hard to do with those dados every four inches or so. It also would not last long and be prone to separation from the underlying wood cabinet. If it was me and I wanted to wrap the speaker in vinyl, I would eliminate the cuts in the sidewalls--cheaper and more durable. However, these are finished in wood, at least until last year, the last time I saw recent production displays. Wood has a deeper, more natural grain and harder feel than vinyl.
post #329 of 462
I'll have to swing by the shop to see them again, but the MD I looked at....and maybe it's because they are putting in grain filler during the finishing and sanding really fine grit. While it's not a piano lacquer finish, it was too smooth-too unifororm for what I thought would be veneer. Just due to the species walnut. I'm familiar with how walnut veneer feels.......and there was no perceptible feel in any of the graining I could feel.
post #330 of 462
I agree it doesn't look like walnut. It looks like a walnut colored stain on a hardwood. I will have to check the grain on my speakers at home and see if I recognize the species of wood. Maybe the store will know. As for the finish, it's a thin sealer that preserves the feel of the wood. It could be anything. I had several arguments with my father at one point over his insistence on covering wood with polyurethane so thick you couldn't feel the wood. It might as well have been plastic. So the method and material you choose to overlay on the wood can have a big effect on how it feels. I like the finish of my MD2's -- it feels and looks like wood, because it is! It is very smooth and you do not feel the grain, but that doesn't mean it isn't wood. When you go to the shop I would pay attention to the look of the grain. Plastics and composites always fail to show depth in the grain. If it's fake it should only be a surface treatment and there is often repetition in the grain as well that clearly marks it as fake. (Discounting mirror-imaged wood veneers, of course.) You also don't need to finish plastics and composites, making their appearance even flatter.
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