I heard them at CES and thought they were great. I bought a pair of the smaller 8571 in birch from Goldman Audio and they have a soundstage like a monitor. It is quite amazing how wide it is for such a large speaker. The overall coherency and bass is among the best I've heard and also they sound better than any speaker I've ever heard at high volumes although I don't crank it up often. The cabinet is solid wood and the workmanship is superior.
Heard these a couple of months ago. Sorry can't remember which model,but it had the Thiel ceramic drivers and a 10"bass driver. Sound was truly exceptional, great imaging with a high end that was smooth and non-fatiguing.The bass was good down to about 40hz,but did seem a little disconnected from the rest of the spectrum.Mids were clean and the dynamics were really not diminshed.
Only problem that I heard was that they seem to come alive really only at higher volumes. Plus,I think the speakers are somewhat hard to drive, the dealer that let me hear them said they needed at least 150W clean to begin to show their thing.That aside they are absolutely worth hearing.
I would first like to say that I have a pair of 8871's (usher's flagship) up for sale. My pair is in birch, and I am selling them only so I can get another pair in rosewood. I have had many speakers in house over the years and I like the Usher's the best. They are supremely coherent, cast a huge stage, image like crazy, and have the dynamic capabilities that mimic the real thing. Plus, they are the most aesthetically gorgeous speakers I have ever owned. I do agree that they need some juice to work, but I have run mine on a 100wpc amp and it works great. You dont need HUGE muscle amps.
I don't really have much respect for the Usher speakers. The are obviously copying Sonus Fabers designs among others. The sound is ok, but I really don't like it, when I ex. see a copy of a Electa Amator 1 - it's like the Usher speakers hasen't a soul...
I compare them with a fair copy of a Rolex watch...
Fernel Have you heard or actually seen the speakers in person?
Fernel, interesting comments. Just goes to show how different people can have different opinions. I wouldnt trade my Ushers for a Sonus Faber Amati Homage and 5k! The Usher's are more beautiful (to my eye) and they sound MUCH better. To each his own I guess.
There are only two dealers that I know of who have the Usher speakers. Which dealer was it that you heard them at and what model was it that you litened to? Also, what equipment did you listen to them with?
I heard the 8871's at Goldman Audio in a system that consisted of a Rowland Model 10, Rowland Synergy 2, and Bel Canto 2 DAC. I was simply bowled over. I am strongly considering ordering the 8571 because they are smaller and would fit in my room better. Like many have said already, they are very high on the wife acceptance factor scale.
Usher has one speaker that looks identical to the Sonus Faber. I have no real interest in copycat speakers and this appears to be a slight anomaly in their line.
The new speakers that Usher has out have really peaked my interest and I believe will shake up the overpricing rampant everywhere in high end speakers.
The new line has been designed with the help than none other than Joseph D'Appolito, so the engineering is not in question. The are made in Taiwan but have fit, finish and quality of construction that is untouchable. They are stunning.
The sound is unimpeachable. I have also heard the 8871's and their coherence from top to bottom is amazing. They play beautifully at any volume and with all music. In this market of this speaker is good for that and this for something else etc.... This is ridiculous, you need a system that can do it all. Usher is one of the few speakers that I have heard do this.
I really think that these speakers will no only redefine value in the high end market but performance as well.
Listen some of their speakers in Taiwan. It seems that they are easier to drive than other high end speakers. The one like SF EA sounds pretty good even on a Denon receiver. Do like powerful amp, but reasonablly smooth even for receivers. Most are at warm side and coherent with SS amp I audit. Do not need too much tweeking compared to others.
I like SF's look better but Usher is friendly to drive compared to other high-end speakers. Can save $$ on speaker and amps. The "copycat" is much bigger/heavier than EA-II if you physically see it. Big speaker line is quite different from amati.
I heard the 8871s at CES this year. I was not familiar with Usher Audio but stuck my head in their room. Once you you see these speakers you are pulled in by their looks. I was told that the 8871s retail for $8400. Based on what I saw, if I was told that they cost $16000, I would have believed it. While the hotel room I heard them in was small, the Ushers has a sound stage that was wider and deeper than any I had ever heard. And bass like theres no tomorrow. As soon as I sell my speakers, I am going to seek a dealer that has the Ushers so I can do some further listening. I have to say that my impression of Usher Audio is completely different than Fernel's. But then again, I saw them and listened to them. Judging by his comments I don't think that he can say the same.
I read an article about Usher awhile back (1 year?). It was a show report from one of the big stereo mags. It said that Usher manufactures all it's drivers in house, and does in-fact seem to copy the design of other manufacturers. I believe it said that they were manufactured in China, and as a result at a substantially lower cost than the originals.
That said, who cares? Everybody copies somebody sometime. Even if they aren't exact copies, many of the positive attributes of one speaker may find it's way to the design of another speaker manufactured by somebody else. Sometimes that design is improved upon in the process.
It doesn't just happen in audio. How about the Ford Focus type designs coming out of Japan? Toyota, Mazda, and Suzuki all have body styles strikingly similar to each other, and the Ford Focus. How many Harley Davidson motorcycle clones are out there?
I'm sure if I was a designer, it would really piss me off to see a copy or a very similar product to the one I designed show up on the market. But I'm not a designer or manufacturer. I'm a consumer, and I can only think that this competition can help me purchase a better speaker for less money.
For what I saw in their shop, those top line speaker drivers are made in Europe(France?). They do have some drivers made in Taiwan or box made in China for their lower priced lines target at local market. The new top line ones are co-designed by European also. Well who cares! Sound is more important. As far as I know the store is there more than 20 or 30 years. The owner started his own driver/cabinet building business when he was young. That's McIntosh's time in US.
The owner decided to go for international business incorporated with foreign design. And that's we see in CES show. Magzine's comment is probably before that.
Why I know? I got some used speakscan drivers here in US. Then I plan on building my own speaker. I am an EE engineer so need help to build the cabinet. When I have a chance to have business trip to Taipei, I walked into the oldest store to see if anything can help me. I did not get my customer made cabinet but audit some of their new goody.
That's right before CES show.
The sound is not bad at all. In US, those big speakers are probably push by better amplifiers. I can't comment how it compares with others with different electronics. But it seems friendly to drive. If you can drive it with store's local 150 W amp, I think it will have better kick if Krell, ML, audio research... are used.
The best sounding Usher I heard in CES actually used Usher's own drivers. Usher was actually a major OEM for drivers, and they supplied to the major US speaker makers with brands all of us recognize (eg, woofer to a famous electrostatic maker). The 7" mid/woofer looks like the top of the line Seas, only because the graphite paper both Usher and Seas use were from the same source (a patented technology). One of the poster mentioned the Ceramic midrange, but I prefer the graphite Usher driver.
I spent quite some time in the CES listening to Usher, as I am just so impressed. Most of the complaint, I would actually think they are caused by not setting up the system such as AC cord, speaker cable, etc.
The problem is that not many people with super high-end electronics would go for a 'no-brand' like Usher.
As for the comment comparing Sonus Faber and Usher, I think the other way for me. As I have had 2 friends with SF, but after spending enough time with SF, I think they are colored, it is just the wood work impressed most people more so than the sound, and again, the buyer of Sonus Faber likely to have more worthy electronics.
People should go to Usher's website and read about the drivers they use for their high-end lines - all Scanspeak and Thiel (German). No Taiwan or China (!!!) made stuff there. I am from Taiwan and I know how high tech the country is, but I do know no one makes better drivers than Denmark where Dynaudio and Scanspeak are born. I own Amati, I wonder why I pay so much more for less?