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Absolutely not...Far too bright and harsh. But Usher didn't have much of a choice in replacing the Be Driver...The truth that came to light about Usher's Beryllium...or more appropriately, the "lack of" Beryllium in their tweeters forced the company to bring out the DMD Tweeter...not only did Usher need to introduce a new tweeter but they wanted to eliminate every, in essence, fake Beryllium driver out there, and to do so, Usher came up with its "Upgrade Program" in which, Usher will replace your BE tweeter with the DMD...but you pay $800.00US to $1000.00US, depending where in the world you are being screwed and who specifically is screwing you. In Taiwan, you get the same DMD tweeters for $199.00US...a pair.
Continue...But I'm sure that the US distributor will come up with some fairy A$$ story to try to convince you that his DMD tweeters are the "US Version" which has been baptized by his bodily fluids to provide better sound performance. Or he may just get JPS Labs to replace the original speaker terminal contacts on the DMD tweeters and magically call it a "US Version" and charge you 5 times more than it's worth. After all...that's exactly what he did with the Usher BE-718's...he bought them from Usher in Taiwan...oops, no longer in Taiwan, Usher in China, without Usher's own in house crossover, he got GPS Labs to furnish the crossover and by doing so, the US Distributor for Usher Audio can now call it the "US Version" and a "superior product"...really? And people fall for that crap. If you're sensing that I have a personal issue with this company, I certainly do so we can get that question out of the way. It's not worth the upgrade to the DMD and there are other companies that conduct themselves with more integrity and produce better quality products.
Morning Nandric! There's no actual "Holland" version or US Version"...These magical versions that pop up is a result of distributors having to counteract the effects that the internet has on providing fast information to consumers. A set of DMD tweeters are $199.00US (pair) to the consumer. Prices of $700-$1000.00US with references to magical "versions" was simply a marketing tool to get existing users of any BE tweeter to go for the upgrade. Think of the profits...any line of speaker sold to consumers since the introduction of the BE tweeter become a potential customer. No need to search out new customers, no need to deal with the cost of building new cabinets in China and the cost of putting together a speaker...just out goes your old tweeter and in goes a new tweeter....and by doing so, you killed two birds with one stone. 1. A way of getting quick cash, 2. Most important, from Usher's view point is to remove every evidence of the Be Tweeters that caused so much embarrassment for the company. And look closely if you return your Be tweeter...do you think that's going into the garbage. No chance...out goes the BE dome and in goes the DMD cone, add a new baffle engraved DMD and it's done. And the unfortunate thing...the BE does sound better than the DMD.
Usher BE718 already has a much better tweeter than its mid-bass driver. The thing that really needs an "upgrade" is the mid-bass driver. IMO adding a better tweeter (if it is really better) makes no sense at all, it is like adding better tires to the front of the car while the rear tires are the ones which have worn out.
Dear Betterbelizeit, You surely deserve a good bottle of
whysky; I will still keep 560 Euro. BTW I ivented the 'Holland Version' per analogy of the US price. But I have no idea if you in the US also need to return the Be
tweeters to your dealers? Ie comparing the prices of,say,
Scan Speak tweeters with Usher one should easely sell the
Be kind for 200 Euro a peace. BTW you forget to mention the
price difference with the 'new' BE-10 & BE-20 with the 'old' one. The 'Holland Version' of this difference is
about 6000 Euro. So it seems to be even worse then you assumed.
There really worth it, it''s ten steps ahead comparing to the Beryllium. What they say about the Berylium, it's a better tweeter than the Diamond that's a big fairytale. The Diamond is has more 3d picture, better staging, more detail. I bought this tweeter in the netherlands at Wenw audio in Enschede. This is a great usherdealer in our country.
Hi Stefan, It looks like: John is the tallest guy in the
class but Mark is longer. There is just one dealer or
importeur in the Netherlands of Usher. I am the only and
the single uncle of Maria in Holland so she is entitled
to refer to me as 'the most handsome uncle in Holland '.
To be (more) informative you should also mention the price
as well the circumstance if you needed to return your Be
tweeters to this 'great dealer'. BTW I bought from the same
dealer my Usher BE-20 but never heard from him since.
But I must agree with the fact that this dealer is inconparable because there is no other one to compere with.
I have Be-20 with the original tweeter and last year got the new DMD tweeter installed.
First I have to say that I could not have care less about beryllium tweeter being beryllium/titanium tweeter. I bought the original speakers because I like what I heard and at that price point, I could not find anything locally that I prefer over Be-20. When it came to light that the tweeter is not pure beryllium, that certainly did not make my speakers performed any worse than when I thought it was pure beryllium.
Then I had a chance to hear Usher with new DMD tweeter and I did not hesitate to have the tweeters changed at all. As good as the original tweeters were, the DMD tweeter is smoother, richer sounding without losing any detail. Not that the old tweeter was thin sounding, the new tweeters just improved upon the older tweeters significantly IMHO.
I have owned 520s, V602s, Tiny Dancers, and now Mini Dancer 2s. I have the BE version and couldn't be happier (the tweeter could be made out of cardboard and I wouldn't care). The BE version sounds heavenly and is one of the most positively reviewed drivers in the last 3 years (by people who could care less about what it's made of, they care about the sound). One local Usher dealer in Phoenix who sold Magicos pointed to the Tiny Dancers sitting next to his V3s and said "that is the best tweeter in my store".
It seems to me the upgrade is a personal preference. It's like asking "do I buy a Ferrari or Bently?". My local dealer was very honest and said the value of the upgrade to the DMD tweeter is very model specific. Certain models there is a big improvement others very little. Even then it's what your ear hears. I have listened to the DMD tweeter in Tiny Dancers and Mini Dancer2s. I feel it is an excellent tweeter on par with some of the best available. If people are hearing it as "bright" or "harsh" they should start looking at the rest of the system or give it time to break in (or leave their obvious issues with Usher at home).
However, I believe Usher has made a big marketing mistake by pricing an upgrade so high. They missed a big oppportunity to reward current customers for their loyalty. They raised the model price on the Mini Dancer 2s by $200 but the upgrade is $700. What kind of message does that send? It tells me they are not looking for a long term relationship with their customers. It's kind of like a cell phone company that offers better deals to new customers than current customers. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth and when you need another phone you shop around instead of automatically going back to your current carrier.
I personally can't justify the $700 difference. Usher's BE tweeter sounds to good to me. I don't want to take a chance and screw up an already great thing (especially for $700).
The tweeters Joachim Gerhard used for his Caldera (Audio physic) were preselected by Scan Speak. He discoverd by
Scan speak that the ladys invoved in production were not
equal. The difference? 1/2 -3 dB. So he wanted and ordered
those made by the 'super ladys'. By Revel's more expensive
speakers the tweeters are matched to 1/2 dB. This, I assume, should be also the case by Usher 'BE' versions. Ie
by adjusting and voicing of the crossover. The arbitrary
pair of the DMD tweeters wich you buy for,say,$700 may not
be matched in such a way as pair and are certainly not matched with the individual crossover wich is in your speaker(s).
I have to disagree. When you screw your olde BE tweeter out of the loudspeaker you will see that there are references on the tweeter, like 89 and 0,3 as example. If you give these information to your dealer he will give you exact the same references as your old be tweeter. So there will be no adjusting needed of your crossover.
I currently own both the non-USA Be-718s with the beryllium tweeter, and the DMD tweetered 718s with the GR Research crossovers. They are both driven by Wyred 4 Sound amps. The two systems are in different rooms - the rooms have quite different acoustic signatures.
To my ears the Beryllium tweeters are sweeter, smoother, but have less detail. They work better in my living room, which has reflective surfaces (one wall is glass doors), is open on one side to a kitchen, and is primarily used for listening to music. The DMD tweeters do more of the things audiophiles seem to like - sharper imaging, more detail. I use them in a smaller, better damped room, which is a den/home theatre. For dialogue in movies they are definitely preferable - the extra clarity is welcome. With both sets of speakers I also use REL subs - excellent integration and only fleshes out the sound all the more.
The crossovers, which I hoped would improve definition in the midrange and bass, seem to make little difference. I doubt I would be able to tell the diffence in these frequencies if listening "blind" to the US vs nonUS versions. Perhaps they are influencing the high frequencies too - with the results mentioned above.
I would add that the dedicated Usher speaker stands made a big difference. Across the frequency range they brought added definition and punch, with no negatives. Previously I used 30+ kilogram steel/sand weigthed stands with bituminous dots between speaker and top plate. Also experimented with cinder blocks and heights. The Usher stands are beautifully put together and actually made the difference between a good speaker and one that I find fully satisfying.
Hope this is helpful.
I purchased the DMD Be718s, the GR crossovers, and the two sets of stands from KCAudio (hifi223)- his service was excellent!
Bezimienny, My compliment for your 'sound' description of
the sound (differences) you observed. While I assume that
Usher try it best in particular for the BE series I am suprised to hear that GR Research crossover make 'little' difference. This may mean that the both drivers are exceptional as well as 'easy' to handle. From your description I conclude that one should put his money in the stands rather than in DMD tweeters and/or the GR crossover.
In this sense your contribution is obviously very valuable.
Thanks! BTW 'Bez-imeni' means in Slavic languages: without a name.
Hi Nandric, Yes, I expected the crossover to have a more dramatic impact - it would be nice to think all those high quality parts made a difference. And to be fair KC (hifi223), an Aussie dealer for Usher, feels they made a big improvement. I know he owns some pretty amazing ultra-high end tube gear, so perhaps with his system the differences are highlighted.
My comparison is not very reliable, since the pair with the GR crossover also have the DMD tweeter, so I can't isolate the effect of the crossover - I'm just assuming that the audible difference should be in the midrange and bass (since that's what Usher USA suggest) and to my ears the difference is slight. Definitely there's a difference in the higher frequencies and I'm attributing that to the DMD tweeter, but perhaps the crossover is playing a role too (for better or for worse).
Still, I can't imagine anyone would fail to notice the improvement provided by the stands. In Australia the stands cost about the same as upgrading the crossover, so if someone had that kind of money to spend on an upgrade then I'd go for the stands first. The stands have two height settings and I found the lower of two suited my setup best. Also, they look better in real life than they do in photos.
And of course you're right about the name - it has a strange history.
All the best,
Hi Rob, The 'strange thing' is that Usher, while producing excelent drivers themself , buy for their BE series bass and midbass drivers in Germany. There are two Eton 11'' drivers in my BE-20. One can see those in many 'exclusive'
speakers. They can be crossed till 1000 Hz.!. With such drivers one can use even 6dB crossovers. So whatever one thinks of Usher they don't save on drivers.
BTW whatever the 'history' of your name you write your name in Russian pronounciation.
Hi Hifi 223, Thanks for your advice but I am not of 'upgrade kind' of people. Well of the 'replacement kind'. This means 'occasionally resell' by which one get
50% (at best) of the 'old price' and 10% for the mod. price. When Usher produce BE-20 MK II with, say, DMD midrange you will better understand what I mean.
Vinylphile, You forget to mention the price of DMD in Taiwan. For such a price anyone would try I think. However by production of any driver there are deviations of, say,
3dB at least. Next to presellection of individual drivers
for a given speaker there is also the 'tuning' of the crossover to adjust the (mutual) irregualarites. Those facts are obviously overlooked by those who propose the
simple exchange of (whatever) drivers. Diamonds may be irresistable for the ladies but why should they be for the guys? Anyway I would never exchange my so called 'beryllium' tweeter for any diamond in my BE-20. One should think how difficult it is to produce good speakers not to mention exceptional kind. Every single part
is not only measured but also listened to. Even the wiring get the needed atention. And there come some amateur , looks to the wire inside and Heureka: 'cheap wire!'. And such an ameteur thinks to improve the design by putting some expensive wire (or capacitor) instead. If this 'art' of speaker production was so simple there would be no bad speakers but only exceptional kinds.
I have the Mini Dancer 2's with BE tweeter. They sound very good. I am going to replace the crossover components with better ones, and possibly replace the internal wire.
Eugene, to answer your question, from my research, the DMD tweeter is:
On the positive side: smoother, and maybe more detailed.
On the negative side: less dynamic, and maybe less "musical".
This is all hearsay, from folks I trust. I haven't heard the DMD myself.
However, as you see in this thread, people obviously disagree as to whether the DMD is clearly an improvement over the BE.
Unlike the DMD, the crossover provided by GR Research (Danny Richie) should make a clear, substantial improvement to a pair of 718's. It was this crossover which convinced the folks at Usher America to really push the 718 bookshelf speaker in the first place, and it was this crossover that the reviewers all received (the 718's seem to have received unanimous praise in the audiophile press).
Your first step should be to determine whether your 718's have the Richie crossover. About the first 200 pairs of 718's sold in the U.S. had it. After that, they got the crossover from Taiwan (China?).
Hello Again. An update, and a substantial change in my opinion. I recently replaced the DMD tweeters with Beryllium ones, while retaining the GR-research crossovers. So now I have two pairs of Beryllium tweetered 718s, one pair with the standard crossover, and one with the GR-research USA-spec crossover.
Verdict: The GR-research crossover is a spectacular improvement. All the virtues I heard previously were due to the crossover. In fact with the Be tweeter in place, the gains are all the more evident. More detail, more transparency, better imaging, and (for me surprising) clarity in the upper bass - there are no downsides. I am able to interchange the two sets of speakers, and, at least in my system, there is a marked difference in favour of the GR-research version.
The corollary of the above is that in my opinion the DMD tweeter is markedly inferior to the Beryllium model. It adds a layer of grain, and a distinct harshness to some instruments - most evident with violins, both solo and massed, and trumpet - for example, Miles Davis' recordings. The effect is one of congestion; there is less "air" around players. Practically the results saw me turn down the volume, and shorten listening sessions. Ultimately, the DMD equipped set (with GR-crossovers) were relegated to my 2.1channel home theatre set-up, where they were fine for movies. I repeatedly trialled them in the main music system, but always reverted to the Beryllium set-up, usually after only a day or two - even without the GR-crossovers, these were distinctly preferable.
In summary - With Beryllium tweeter and GR-crossovers the Be-718s live up to all the wild praise of the early USA reviewers. Finally I can hear what all the fuss was about. With Beryllium tweeters, but only the standard crossover = nice, very smooth and easy to listen to, but a little slow and unfocused. With DMD tweeters (and GR-crossovers), more snap and some of the detail is there, but with a harshness that, to my ears, makes them tiring and unlovable.
I purchased the Beryllium tweeters through KCAudio (hifi223). His service was perfect. Westan, the Australian distributor, have only a few sets left in stock. If you want to purchase a set you need to quote the "sensitivity" of your DMDs - this is found on a label affixed to the rear of the tweeter. The tweeters are easily removed - you only need a 2mm Allen key - no soldering required.
I wonder if Steve Morey (sp?) is going to have a field day. Doesn't look like Usher's DMD drivers are real diamond, probably some kind of various ceramic. It's breakup mode is 24KHz...I mean really? A cheap 1" aluminum tweeter breaks up at 23KHz, "real" Beryllium domes breakup close to 40KHz and B&W's "Real" Diamond tweeters breakup even higher, near 50KHz.
$199 is right, these are garbage tweeters being paraded as $800 upgrades.
I took the plunge and bought a pair of the DMD tweeters last week. Hey, I figured if I didn't like them I would just reinstall the Be tweeters. It took all of about 30 seconds to realize the DMD tweeter is superior. Wider sound stage, More pinpoint placement of musicians and vocalists within that sound stage, More detail and at the same time smoother and more extended. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it isn't. No shrillness or harshness here. Just smooth extended treble. I bought them from Fred at Katli Audio in Chino Hills, California. I ordered at 3 pm and he had them in the mail that very same day! Great service and a worthwhile upgrade.
I do love people spitting bile about things they know nothing of, breakup at 24khz? I've never heard it and more to the point hifi choice completely disagree with you as do their tests , I believe the correct phrase you are looking for is 'lift' , also B&W diamond tweeters 'breakup' (your words) at 15khz not 50. See review (http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/index.php/loudspeakers/65-reviews/511-usher-dancer-mini-two.html)
Now the lies have been dealt , I have owned my BE718DMD for a while now, they are quite simply outstanding speakers , every time I change something in my system, good or bad , these speakers tell me exactly , speakers cables , source , interconnects, I can hear it .
If you like warmth stick with the BE , if you crave detail , soundstage and realism , the DMD is for you.