Dunno the differences, but the Emeralds are getting great praise (check 6moons) and word of mouth very strong. Check here on audiogon, I think there's a way you can get hooked up with individuals in certain cities where you can go and hear them- you might be close enough. I intend to soon.
Check back if you hear em.
Before considering the CS2's, bear in mind that yoou need 4 channels of amplification so if you only have an integrated amp you would have to add in the cost of a pre amp and power amps. Also the add in the cost of XLR cables and possibly additional Speaker cables.
The CS2's take a very long time to break in, but once they have they disappear unlike any speaker I have heard. But they do need a minimum of 5ft from the backwall to start singing.
One thing I have noticed, they go deep, organ music makes the floor vibrate but they don't do Reggae music very well. Strange that.
Just for the record, my system is vinyl and I am hearing more from the recordings with this setup even with the analogue-digital-analogue conversion.
Ushers are nice but fairly conventional in design and sound in comparison to many other makes.
I'd love to hear Emerald Physics. New, innovative approaches to design can have huge upside when done well.
Indiesound, you're comparing a small stand mount speaker (Be-718) that goes down to 42 hz to a full range floor standing speaker (CS-2). These speakers could not be more different. But better? You'd need to hear them. The Usher only going down to about 42Hz cannot do the full range sound of the CS-2.
Different...but definitely NOT sideways.
The Emerald Physics CS2 were very hot mid-2008 to the end of the year. Over
the past few months several proponents have sold theirs.
It'd be enlightening to know why.
I agree with the others who have stated the comparison between BE-718 and
CS2 is apples to oranges due to the different frequency responses of these
two speakers (among other differences).
That's a good question Tvad.
I was wondering that myself.
I have in the past and will continue to be going forward, a big proponent of the CS2's, but I recently sold my pair.
Why you ask?
Because I decided to only keep a single pair of speakers for my main system and that pair of speakers are my Vandersteen 5A's. No shame in losing out to a $20k pair of speakers! :-)
From my standpoint, the CS2's absolutely live up to the extremely positive reviews in TAS and Positive Feedback and are a steal at used prices. I still stand by all my positive comments made over at Audio Circle.
While their performance is well above their price point (new or used), you do have some challenges that others have already mentioned. I also feel that the stock Behringer DCX-2496 is the weak link in the chain. To really hear what the CS2's are capable of, you need to upgrade or improve the DCX. Luckily, there are numerous ways and people who can do this. That being said, all the positive reviews of the CS2's are with the stock DCX...
Overall, I am sad to see my CS2's go and will miss them.
I would pick Omega 8s monitors over Usher and CS2 over both.
However, CS2s need to be bi-amp and have some room requirements.
Ushers are nice but like others said - not in the same league.
Two different speakers, presentation and all.
I picked my AAD 2001 monitors (just sold) over Usher Be-718.
Louis build for me a custom pair of Super 8 Alnico monitors which work for my setup and gear preferences a lot better.
One (or two) caveat that I have with Omegas is low WAF and bulkiness.
Other then that, great speakers.
I've never heard the Ushers. I recently purchased a set of Emerald Physics CS2 and have not looked back. I recently owned Von Schweikert VR-2 and Magnepan 1.6QR which are both outstanding values IMO. But so is the CS2!
What I love about the CS2:
1. Easy to set up - place them 3',4',5',6', or 7' from front wall, set the eq, play with toe in
2. Minimal room interaction, I took down all of my room treatments, for that alone, high WAF
3. Quick, nimble bass that is deep and powerful when the recording calls for it, visitors look around for the sub!
4. Wide, deep, your are there soundstage and imaging
5. Detailed without etch - does require some cable trial and error(what system doesn't!)
6. The variable gain settings on the eq/crossover allow you to use a wide range of equipment, (I currently use a Placette passive line stage with no problems)
Issues that you have to live with
1. EQ is xlr/balanced ins and outs only
2. They do like quality power, if you play bombastic orchestral works or loud rock and you have a large space
3. The eq is a little noisy......hiss/noise is easily heard with ear next to the upper range driver
4. Requires 2 pairs of speaker cables
5. Requires 4 channels of identical amplification. Mixing amps for lows/highs doesn't seem to work well. I had success with a Meridian G55, Rotel RMB1095, a pair of Emotiva XPA-2, and now a Krell KAV500 (match made in heaven!!! I'm done, woo hoo!!! It would be fun to try a Krell KAV1500 though!)
My current system: Placette passive line stage, Lexicon RT20 CD/SACD/DVA-A, Krell KAV500, MAC CuQ speaker cables (2pr), Audio Metallurgy GA-0 interconnects, DCCA Musical Essence II and Reference Master power cords, all for about $6800 used and sounds incredible.
My next purchase is to get the upgraded Behringer crossover from Underwood HiFi.
Hope this helps.
Speak to Walter at underwood about the hiss. He can tell you how to turn the gain down to get rid of it if you want.
My CS2's were dead quiet until I upgraded the behringer with Underwood. Then the hiss became noticable. Apparantly the stock behringers have a resistor(?) that cuts the gain down on the high channels. The underwood mod removes this. I chose to leave my speakers with the high gain because I can't actually hear ot from my listening position.
After 35 years of having fun looking for the best realism for the money (and spent a small fortune)I've also ended up with the CS2's.
With each change in my system from 18 years with Maggie's M.111's and more recently 1.6QR's and the Spendor FL6 i've finally found a system that to me has the least negatives and the most pleasing sound I've ever had the pleasure of having owned.
Gone are the power hungry tube amps and speakers which can't convey an instruments size and tonality with any sort of realism.I'm having a barrel of fun with these.The highs are clean and clear and can you ever crank 'em up.
Sorry I've not heard the Ushers so no comparison I can make,and do not want to highjack the thread.
Signed 'A Happy Listener'.
Funny you should mention Omega Loudspeakers as that was the third speaker (Omega Revolutions using a single 8" Alnico driver in an Aperodic vent enclosure) in my now defunct three speaker rotation.
I wouldn't necessarily say the Omega was better or worse than the CS2's, but rather different. It was crystal clear in the mid-range (even more than the CS2's) and really let the music shine. It was also amp friendly and very flexible in terms of placement. While the Omega definitely didn't have the CS2's extension (in either direction), it was pretty good in the highs or lows. The CS2's had a more effortless sound and didn't sound like a typical box speaker.
I also want to state that both Clayton (Emerald Physics) and Louis (Omega Speakers) are great to deal with and about as honest and trustworthy as you can find.
your experience with both speakers are far greater then my own.
I have just picked up a Super 8 Anlico monitors from Louis factory in Connecticut which are breaking in as we speak. (I do have some exp. with previous models tho). Louis also provide me with his previous Ferrite 8" drivers to play around. Those are also great but Alnico are substantially better drivers.
As far as CS2s are concern, my experience is limited to few auditions and show demo rooms.
BE-718 is not a bad speaker IMO.
Beside the price there is also the issue of proper placement and amplification for anyone considering these speakers.
It takes a little effort to make these monitors sing.
In side by side evaluation - I preferred the presentation of AAD 2001s over BE-718s.
Traded my AADs recently - to many speaker and not enough room.
Can anyone compare the CS2 to Salk HT3's? The Salk HT3 is the only other more expensive speaker i have heard.
I am a newbie and about to purchase my amp, speaker cables, etc. I figure that my speaker choice will affect these greatly, so i'd better make my decision on that first.
If i go with the Wyred4Sound multichannel amp, do i still need multiple interconnects and multiple speaker cables? Did someone say that only XLR interconnects can be used? How would that be so if they are speakers? Would they not just need speaker cables?
I am figuring roughly $1 to $1.5K additional layout for loss in buying and selling, multichannel amp and additional speaker cables, minus the need for a lot of room treatments. Is it correct that you don't really need room treatments with the CS2?
I am trying to compare this with spending the cash on say a Modwright Transporter as bigger bang for the buck improvement, but the speaker choice will affect amp choice, cables, etc, so i figure this must be done first.
Again i realize that they are completely different speakers, but wondering if they are worth the cost and effort to upgrade. Thanks!
Also has anyone modified their CS2 and DCX2496 mods? How much of an effect did this have? Perhaps i could look into the CS2's and later mod them in the future if the improvement was siginificant enough. thanks.
CS2s IMO are high maintenance speakers but rewarding if setup right.
To answer your setup question:
"you're going to need three pairs of balanced XLR connections: the first pair to connect to your preamplifier to the Behringer, the second and third pairs to go between the Behringer and four channels of amplification. "
As well as bi-wire speaker cables.
If you are tweaker at heart, these OB speakers will keep you occupied for a while. But, if you just want to sit down, relax and enjoy the music....... well you might be overwhelmed by the setup complexity, options and upgrade possibilities.
I hope this won't discourage you from purchasing these fine speakers.
If I had the time to play around with those and budget (it can become quite costly - depending on associated equipment), I would definitely put them on the top of my list.
But there are other options which you might find just as interesting but less intimidating and still enjoyable as well as musical.
And the last advice:
If you are not 100% sure what might work for your setup and ear.
I had Cullen mod my DCX. It was $900, but I was able to A/B test because they sent me a new unit.
There is a definate improvement in soundstaging with modded DCX both width and depth are improved also there is better separation. Not by a whole lot but it makes the whole experience more lifelike.
Emerald physics are looking to replace the DCX with there own crossover later this year (maybe next year). It might be worthwhile waiting to see what they come up with, they are going to have different levels of crossovers I believe.
It's worth giving Clayton or Walter a call if you are interested.
I will try and reply to your questions in the next day or two.
As somebody who owned the CS2's (with a highly modified DCX) for over 18 months and also owned HT3's for 2+ years, I think I can at least provide some insight into your questions.
BTW, using xlr adapters with the DCX is simple and high quality Neutrik adapters are pretty cheap. You also don't need bi-wire speaker cables, you need two pairs of single wire speaker cables.
You can make your own Emerald Physics clones for $1000 total for all parts. These will sound tremendously better than the stock Emerald Physics....some uprades over the stock Emerald include:
Super constrained layer damping of waveguide.
Better driver for waveguide.
Cutting off part of the waveguide that distorts sound.
Felting around the outside front lip of the waveguide to minimize diffration.
Constrain layer damping of woofer frames.
Felting inside of woofer frames.
No grill cloth for more transparent sound.
Ability to hardwire woofers and tweeter directly to eliminate binding post and connecting wire sound.
Vertical rear brace for super rigid baffle.
Even with the stock xover this is incredible....naturally you will want the mod the xover.....the combo is out of this world. I have done all the above except the vertical brace, so I speak from experience. The stock speaker is not OK with me....I know lots of people like it, but once you've even done a few of these mods, you are in a whole nuther league.....this speaker done right is killer. You can do all these things to a stock Emerald too. I am thinking of putting all this info on my website because I think this speaker with mods cannot be beat, assuming you don't mind the fact that you need a xover and 4 channels of amplification.