The cp-8571 is one of our favorites in the big dancer line it offers similar sound qualities as the tiny dancer with much greater bass extension and soundstage. This is a easy to listen to speaker with a slightly warm non-fatiguing presataion. As a dealer I am a little bias regarding Usher Audio Speakers but what would be hard to dispute is their rich looks and their fit and finnish is 2nd to none.
I do not own these speakers, but I just heard them yesterday. To me they had light bass and very prominent treble. They are not forgiving of less than perfect recording. Very big cabinets and poorly utilized cabinet real estate, with only one woofer that seemed small for a cabinet this size.
It was a short audition but I wasn't impressed. They look gorgeous though. if you are buying a piece of furniture, these are beautiful. But I know, personally I would not be satisfied with their sound in a long run.
Did you audition them with familiar gear? Or are your impressions more suited toward the entire system that you had auditioned?
I had heard the original 8571 and 8871 about 5 years ago in the Stereophile Show San Francisco. I was really impressed that I spent at least two to three hours each day in the USHER room listening to them. I had followed them at various shows afterwards, but never heard them as good as the setup in San Francisco. I think they were probably lucky and the room they had was a good one. At that moment, I had seriously considered bringing a pair home.
Regarding the comment about utilizing the real estate, I believe the cabinets of -8571 and -8871 are the same size. The only difference is the -8871 has two woofers while the -8851 has one. And of course, the price difference. The BE-10 and BE-20 are like that too. But I agree with you, seem like a waste of cabinet real estate.
Our local audiophile club had just auditioned the BE-20 last winter at a manufacturer's demo at a local store. They were first paired with all top of the line VTL electronics + VPI HRX turntable w/ an AirTight PC-1 (VTL demo). The sound was to die for, speed, detail, image, and seductive mids. I was ready to beg the dealer to let me camp out at the listening room for a week. After the break, NuForce hooked up their reference monoblocks (digital amps). I took the opportunity to sit in the sweet spot expecting to be in audio nirvana. But it didn't last 10 minutes before I dashed out the door. All the front end equipment was the same. But NuForce was a night and day compared to the VTL monoblocks. (Kind of like your experience)
Anyways, these USHERs are big speakers. I had recently upgraded my speakers from my long time reference Thiel 3.6 to Verity Parsifal Encores. I had been looking for new speakers for 3 years. It came down to CP-8871 II, BE-10, Verity Parsifals, or Hyperion 968s. I felt that these speakers each deserved their asking price. At the end, it came down to the size as my system is taking up space in our fairly small living room. When my listening gets built next year, I am planning on getting a pair of BE-10s in there!
Thanks guys. I will make it a point to track these down for a listening session. It sounds like they are like many higher end models that are transparent and sound like what ever is upstream feeding them.
To give them benefit of the doubt, they were not hooked up to anything i was familair with. They ran with Bryston amp and JRD Capri preamp with Bryston CDP.
Each one of us I guess is after a particular type of sound. If this is the sound you are after, I really am not excluding the possiblity you were impressed.
I found these Usher speakers the way I described. That's how they sounded to me. This isn't the sound I am looking for. I am in the process of upgrading speakers. So I walked away from them.
Bottom line is, you need to audition speakers for yourself. If you can sit there and enjoy the sound on the normal levels you are used to, with all kinds of material thrown at the system(speakers will most likely be the factor in the way the system sounds), then this is the speaker for you. I made 2 CDs with all kinds of music. These include audiphile standards, as well as your usual everyday stuff. When I heard them not doing too good on Patricia Barber "Modern Cool" which is an excellent quality recording. I then played SRV "Tin Pan Alley" and that was seriously lacking, I didn't even dare play some less than perfect tracks. I walked away. Unimpressed.
Prior to the Ushers I have heard Audio Physic Virgo III that I honestly liked better, but they didn't seem to do the dynamics the way I like, although they were more musically satisfying than the Ushers. Really, my impressions were that Ushers were detalied, but thin, with light bass. That tweeter there is something to be aware off.
If you are looking for a speaker with which you will most likely spend the next few years matching electronics to, and then still whether or not you'd be satisfied is questionable, the speaker on which you would most likely, at best, play 50% of your CD collection, then go for it. This is my perception of these Usher speakers. I may be wrong, because as Frank pointed out, I heard it with the equipment I wasn't familiar with, in the room I wasn't familiar with.
At this time, personally, I want to listen to music. Not the upstream components or where the recording engineer screwed up. Just me. You may be different and I respect that. High res speakers will and should reveal flaws. I am ready for it. But I felt that the Ushers may have been too much in that regard.
For what the Ushers cost on the used market, I think a better speaker can be had. But definition of better varies from one person to another though. That is why we have ideas of the sound we are looking for. And that is why we need to hear a particular speaker to form our own opinion.
I wouldn't dismiss the Ushers, or any other speaker, based on someone's opinion on the forums. The best thing to do is to listen for yourself and see if this is the speaker that suits your need.
You said "For what the Ushers cost on the used market, I think a better speaker can be had"
What's on that better speaker lise (say under$5K). I assume you passed on the Virgos. What's on your short list?
On my short list Dynaudio S5.4, Aerial Model 9.
But Kenreau, I encourage you to listen to the Ushers for yourself. Please do not take my or anyone else's opinion to heart. You need to audition the speakers. May be this will be the sound you are looking for and we just have different ideas.
Dynaudio makes fine speakers, I have owned some of their best and speakers that utilized their top end drivers. But after I was exposed to Scanspeak Revelator and Usher BE tweeters, I actually prefer Scanspeak and Usher for their ability to dish out more details, more leading edge info, more ambient, more micro dynamic, just more of everything that make live music more fun to listen to. For the same reason, I decided not to get Temptation.
As for Aerial, the only speaker I am familiar with is 20T and that's a wonderful speaker. However, the many times I heard 10T I was not impressed because the top end always has a hint of metal tweeter sound.
What I was trying to illustrate was that how a system sounds is a combination of every component in a system not just the speakers themselves. If a pair of speakers sound the same no matter what you throw in front of it (a portable CD player vs. $10k EMM lab) , I would be worry because most likely the speakers are taking something away from the upstream components. We had a recent experience with Conrad Johnson preamps. Our local audiophile group was trying to do a shootout with about 5 digital front ends, and everyone of them sounded almost the same to each other. When we replaced the preamp, the difference were much more obvious. To some that is a good thing, but not to others, including me.
And Audphile1 is also correct that preferences and perception also would play a part.
...preferences and perception also would play a part.
Absolutely agreed. Silk vs metal tweeters, etc.
Thanks to all for the suggestions. I'll add the Dynaudio and Aerials to the list. Plus, I just recalled the Joseph Audio line used to get some great press a while back.
The journey continues.
Kenreau, if you crave for some resolving and detailed speakers, check out Dali Euphonia line. These have absolutely crazy resolution. Off the scale!
They do need careful matching of components AND cables. Or else they can drive you out of the room. They do have absolutely stunning level of detail. I never heard that much detail out of a CD before. But watch out, you either get used to it with time and start enjoying the music eventually, or, if you never get used to them, you will end up analyzing absolutely every track on every CD you will play.
I'm looking for a speaker that is (very) slightly on the romantic side in lieu of the ultra transparent monitor side.
I currently have Merlin VSM-MMs and I consider them in that same ultra resolution/transparent/careful component matching thread. I've read the current VSM-MXe is a little more forgiving of upstream components and fuller sounding. This is my second pair of Merlins and I have really enjoyed them over the past 8 years. Perfect size/shape for WAF and fantastic sounding. That is why the MXe is on my short wish list. More or less ready to try something else and looking on the romantic side of things.
Usher are tuned to slightly romantic until you move up to BE-10/20 and they become very neutral. SF Cremona might fit your need as well, but they were a bit overly warm for me even though I have always loved SF sound. Verity might also fit the bill, but Usher 8571 II will provide more details than either speakers I mentioned above. Not just more details, more alive, more fun, just a joy to listen to.
I forgot about SF Cremona and they are in my budget range (used). I've noticed the Cremon "M" version is now out, but way out of my budget range. I was just looking at the Verity ad wondering the same thing. The Verity is not much to look at, more like a DIY speaker project. Both great suggestions though. I had Dali's on my list for a short while but they seem to get flipped frequently, especially those in my budget range.
So, in summary, on my list is;
Usher 8571 II.
Joseph Audion RM33.
Harbeth S HL5.
Aerial 9 or 10.
Thanks for all the suggestions guys!
I am sure you have heard this before, you need to hear them to decide whether they are the right speaker for you and better if you can hear them in your own home.
your list covers a lot of speakers with very different sound, so good luck there :)
don't forget system synergy, you don't want to mate your amp with something overly warm if your Bel is already on the warm side (I don't know how Bel sounds like). you can counter it with cable matching, but this game can get frustrating.
Semi is right. You have speakers with very different sonic signatures. If you are looking at speakers with warm presentation, Usher will not do. Harbeth, SF will be probably a better shot.