Sonus Faber Dominus Grand Piano vs Usher 6831/6731

Today I auditioned some Grand Pianos from Sonus Faber, coming out of mid-range Arcam seperates.

I also auditioned some Focal JM Lab's Cobalt 816s, and frankly I really preferred the $2K Focals to the $5k Sonus. The Focals had more detail, revealed more of the music and seemed to allow the music to sound more natural. It did seem a bit bright without the help of a sub woofer.

In contrast the Sonus Grand Pianos were more fluid, more emmotional, definitely warmer. The soundstage was not as open as the Focals though, things seemed to be compressed in terms of depth of the stage. I honestly just wasn't that happy with them.

All that said, I am wondering how the Usher 6381 or 6371 compares to either of these two? Are the Ushers more revealing like the Focals or are they warmer and more fluid like the Sonus?
I really didn't care for the Ushers the two times I've heard them, but to throw another monkey into the wrench, have you heard the Focal ( @#$%^ I can't think of the model right now, but it's 10??) maybe a 1027, I heard them a couple of months ago and they really surprised me. I don't know if that helps at all.
Ok but for point of reference, have you ever heard either the Sonus Grand Piano or the Focal Cobalt 816S?

Otherwise it could just indicate a difference in our tastes...
I have own three pairs of JM Lab speakers form the Chorus, Cobalt and Electra lines, including the Cobalt 816. I found them all to be good but not great speakers and would recommend them if someone liked to listen to primarily rock music. I listened breifly to a pair of Ushers (looked like the SF Concertino's) and they were very different that the JM Labs. I recently purchased a pair of SF Domus Concerto (same size as the grand piano's but $3500)and they took almost 500 hrs to break in! I feel that these speakers mated with the right amp/wire combo will best most anything I have owned and 90% of what I have listened to. I just love them and am still amazed at what I hear when playing CD's I haven't listened to in a long time. I hope this helps
FWIW I used to own the original SF Grand Piano's, and I now own the JMlabs Micro-Utopias. The Sf's were nice speakers, and very WAF friendly, my girlfriend still misses them, but the JMlabs are in another league. Much more transparent, but still fairly warm and organic sounding. Hope that helps.
I demo'd the Sonus Faber Domus Piano's and the next size down. My friend and I really did not like that next size down at all. Congested sounding. The bigger Piano's was teh bee's knee's. But I could not swing $5k. I ended up buying the Usher 6371 speakers. Wow. Talk about getting your moneys worth. These are one hell alot of speaker for the money! They are bigger sounding and more detailed than the Sonus Fabers. So far with my 15 hours owning them they are not as warm. But still very smooth. I havn't spiked or filled them with lead yet. I read thats a must do.
You can check out my thread on AudioAsylum on them.
For half the price of the Sonus Fabers Im really happy.
Yes I have heard the Grand Piano's. They sounded very good, which surprised me because I did not like the electronics driving them. I have not heard the 816s, but did hear the larger/newer 1027's.

I like the Sonus Fabers and the JM Labs (which again surprised me, since I have sorta had a chip on my shoulder in regard to JM Labs. The chip has been replaced with respect) I think both of them are good speakers for the money especially for the price they can be had on AudiogoN. Neither are cheap, but they aren't expensive either. The Ushers, in comparison to the Sonus Faber and the JM Labs that I have heard sounded like a cheap speaker. Everyone has their opinion though.
I had the usher cp-6381 setup in one of the show rooms 2 weeks ago at the montreal audio show.
the models on display in my other room where the cp-(dancer)777mk2 and the x-719,the 8571mk2 was on static display as it was impossible to make it sound good in this rather smallish hotel room.
there was another exhibitor who had the same usher cp-6381 in his setup one floor below me, everyone who came into my room tought""" WOW''' they could not believe that they where hearing the same speakers playing as the ones they had heard one floor below.
When you are in this business its easy to make fast judgement on how a system sound, if the components upstream from your speakers do nothing for the sound obviously you did not do your homework and prepared yourself well.
asociated with quality components that have good synergy
upstream pretty much every USHER speaker will blow away
anything in their price point.
i was driving the little X-719 with 200 watt tube monoblocks and peoples jaws dropped as they entered the room, they could not believe the price of the speakers, the sounstgae they threw..wide and deep in not so good listening environment, same when i drove them the other half day's with the 160 watts nuforce reference 9's.
all in all its not because its USHER that are been driven that the system sounds good, its the total synergy of the system, but wichever way, hear the ushers, look at the finish and theres not much that comes close at that price point...and i mean that troughout the range, from the s-520
priced at 400$ to the AC-20 at 12,000$.
True true. In this months Absolute Audio they talk about these issues during the last show they covered. Take their opinion with a grain of salt because of lousey show conditions. I bought the Usher 6371 speakers and they are simply awsome. Now I want to upgrade my Rotel 5x100 amp to something nicer.
trust me Stylinlp!
you do want to change your rotel amp for something more refined and trust me that you will only gain, the USHERS realy show what real good speakers can do, by that i mean
that you can hear the upgrades of audio gear driving them.
i actualy think that the 6 series from usher is the most tube friendly of all the usher range of speakers.
but my favorite speaker of the usher range is the dancer series cp-777 with beryllium tweeter, they do give away a little bass depth compared to the cp-8571 mk2 but they are a much more transparent and fast speaker,a lot of people overlook these because they are just 1000$ less than the 8571mk2, people think why get that huge 2 way monitor when i can get the big floostander and go a few hertz lower.
the 8571 for a full range speaker of that quality is by all means a killer deal at that price but the bass tends to trail slightly behing compared to the cp-777 wich i find has a crazy tunefull and controled bass and easyer toidrive @90Db compared to 87Db for the 8571.
thats just personal taste tough...let your ears be the judge if you can ever audition both of these head to head.
Thank you for the advise. When I am ready to get a better amp this summer I will have to do some serious research till then. Right now I have no clue which amps will be compadable with these speakers. Since they double as home theater and my vinyl sound system Im bent on going the SS route. But my vinyl preferance wants tubes.
I upgraded from the BOW Wazoo Integrated amp (50 WPC) to the McIntosh MA6900 Integrated amp (200 wpc) for my Sonus Faber Grand Piano Domus speakers. I have a large room with high ceilings and these speakers require lots of power to sound good. You have to audition these speakers with at least 150wpc for them to sound good. I also have the McIntosh MCD205 CD player and the system sound very good.
I'm sorry I heard the Usher 8571's recently. Only a couple of months ago I bought a pair of Energy Veritas 2.3i's that just blew me away. Then I ran across the 8571's. Now I can't get them off my mind. I wont be able to afford the 8561's so I'll audition the 6381's and if they sound even close I'm going to have to sell my Energy's and get a pair.

Why is it always like this? Why couldn't I have discovered these speakers a couple of months ago and saved some money and time? Sheesh!
Go jack!
save up and get the 6381'S you will make a major improvement on your sound! as long as the equipment upstream can deliver the goods!
I think I'm in pretty good shape upstream with a Naim CD5i for source, Arcam AVP-700 pre-processor used in two channel direct mode, and Outlaw Model-755 amp. Eventually I would like to add a Belles two channel amp, but I have to get the Ushers first. :-)

BTW, have any idea why the Users are rated so low for power handling? I sure hope their rating is for continuos and not peak power.
Nick, I forgot to ask why you like the CP-777's the best. If they are better than the 8571's I sure would love to hear a pair, and maybe this in the one I should save for?

I have the JM Labs Alto Be's,but I have heard great things about the JM Labs 1000 series.Once you hear natural detail, and rock solid imagery,it is hard to go back to "romance".Detail in a liquid and 3D way, is emotional.IMHO
hello Jack.

i meant hat the 777's are more vesatile than the 8571's.
easyer to drive than the 8571'S and great sounding with SET amps that have around 35 watts per channel which is something the 8571's just cannot be driven by.
the 8571's are great soundstagers, they are deep, high and wide in their presentation,very impressive sound for the price and a great finish to boot!
but they need power,lots of it, i would not recommend driving the 8571's with less than 150 watts per channel, they could be driven by less power but you will never get the best out of them.
in the bass region the 777's are edging the 8571 in overall tightness, the bass is faster on the 777'S, but the 8571 still has very textured tunefull bass and extends and dig deeper in the bottom octaves compared to the 777'S.
its a matter of taste, the room you would be setting them in...etc, if you have a chance to audition both the better.
hope this helps.
I have a question about the usher cp 6371. It states that the max power handling is 120watts at 4ohms. So I can't use a powerfull amp? Right now I am using a Rotel 5x100 amp. I want to upgrade to a better ss amp for home theater use and vinyl music. I also noticed that most very expensive amps are 150wats and higher. Seems the more quality watts you go the higher the price. From looking at the stats of these speakers it seems I do not need a power amp. Any thoughts?
hello stylinlp-38.

do not worry about the power handling rating....these are just underated.
you can drive the 6371 with a 200 watt per channel tube amp if you want and they will only sound better,you will notice that when using an amp with 200 watts or 100 watts wichever, you never bring the volume further than a certain point on your preamp because you cannot hear anymore right! at that point when the volume is unbearable you might be pulling only 50 watts out of your 200 watt amp.
do not get fooled by power handling figures and all that, this is not that sensitive of a speaker and will only benefit from a good powerfull amp(just make sure you uprade to good watts), you will never be able to judge how good your 6371's are using the rotel amp thats for sure.
a very good solid state amp(150 watts a channel) or a good tube amp that delivers at least 100 watts in push-pull and you will ready to hear what these speakers can do!
thank you for the detailed reply. Sure is helpfull.

Ouch. 100watt tubeamp? Dang we talking serious money now. There is affordable under $1500 and under $800 50-60watt EL34 intergrated amps out there. But 100watts is alot more money. Of course a really good SS amp that makes you forget that tubes are better is very expensive too. Ive been following threads on damping factors on AA.

Do you have any SS or Tube amps that sells in my price range that matchs these speakers well?
Thanks :)
hello stylinlp-38.

do not worry, i meant top get the most out of them you could use the power ratings i have mentionned.
for solid state try the nuforce reference 8 which deliver 100 watts per mono...used you could maybe pick a pair for
around 900$ here, i had great success driving the 8571mk2 with the nuforce reference 9 amps(160 watts per channel)
and the 8571's are hard to drive with an 87 db efficiency.
if you like tube sound a good integrated with 50 to 60 watts per channel will do it! the more power your amp has in reserve means you will get more control over the speakers, what is called often as gripping and driving with authority,but i would rather get some good sounding
lower powered amps than an amp that dishes out 400 watss but sounds like crap, i have seen a marsh design a400s power amp here for 900$, thats a very good amp with a nice refined sound for the money( 200 watss per channel) mate that with a decent tube preamp or linestage and i think you would be real happy.....there is also a Mc cormack tlc-1 deluxe with separate power supply for sale for 850$.....
if you are willing to spend a tad morethan 1500$ that would be a very likeable combo!
Hello fellow Audiogoners. I just felt I had to chime in on the Usher CP 6381 debate and some of these posts.

I am Dave Lalin, the President, of, we are a new company out of Jersey City New Jersey. We are the authorized New York City Usher dealer and I invite anyone in the New York City/North Jersey area to come and take a listen. We work by appointment and will do everything to guarantee you get a great demo whenever it is convienient for you to do so.

We have almost the entire line of Usher speakers on display. A properly set up pair of 6381's are awesome speakers and in my opinion are far better made and offer more than JM or Sonus Faber fare. Look at the construction and technology and of course listen, a single CP 6381 weighs in at almost 150lbs! I sold a pair of Watt Puppy 5, VR 4JR, Meadowlark Blue Herons, Amphion Xenons, after getting these speakers.
Yes technically the WP were more transparent and dynamic but the Usher's delivered a musical quality that was more engaging.

The CP 6381's do a lot of what $5,000-$8,000.00 speakes deliver! These things blow away most of what is out there, I know I sold them all!

I spent almost tweenty years in New York retail, and I can chime on on the dealer stories I can tell you all about, but one thing is clear there are "bad stores" with good and carring salespeople, and "good stores" with plenty of bad people.

I spent most of my time assuring my customers of good service which was beyond the call of duty of the store.

If the store is doing there job, then by all means you should give the store, the sale. Most people would be floored to find out how expensive it really is to start a high end audio company. I work out of my house but I have two professional sound rooms, two trucks, a million dollar liability policy and I do believe in service.

In around two weeks I am delivering a pair of BE 20 which weigh in at 300lbs each! We are delivering them and installing them. This service alone for three guys and my truck and time is worth over a $1,000.00 so believe me find a dealer you like and trust and do the right thing. It is the only way that good and carring dealers will survive.

Our website will be up in a few weeks our email is I would love to demo these speakers for anyone interested in purchasing them. Thank you.
Audiooracle: But how do Ushers compare with Zu, Salk, Tyler, Grren Mountain, etc., the speakers that have passionate following in this forum?
Hello AudioOracle. Good to hear you chime in with your experience. I don't beleive my local dealer has as much experience with these ushers as you do because his showroom isn't open yet. Speakers are in warehouse. So I took a chance and my bet won. Great speakers.

I've demo'd locally the following speakers several times each. These Usher are better or at least equal in quality than all these. Especially for my large room. If I had a smaller living room I probably would have went for the Spendors.

Sonus Faber Domus Piano and Concerto
VS VR4 jr
Spendor S8e
Legacy 20/20
Dali 400