I personally would love to know the answer to your question! I currently have Maggie 3.6's with a Vandersteen 2wq sub and looking to simplify my system by getting a full range speaker that doesn't need a sub for my size room and I've been looking into exactly what you have mentioned the Usher Mini Dancer 2 vs. the Wilson Sophia 2. Would love the 3 but cost is an issue. I don't have the Usher's available for audition and need to get out to hear the Wilson's in person. From your experience how do the Usher's sound vs the Maggie 3.6?
Good question. The 3.6's and Ushers are definitely different sounding speakers, each has a different set of good and not so good points. As you know, the 3.6's are difficult to drive properly and you need a really good amp to get the best from them, especially if your room is medium to large sized. However, the Ushers are not exactly an 'easy' load being that they are a 4 ohm just like the Maggies. To my ears, the Maggies paint a more realistic soundstage, all the players and instruments are true-sized, you can easily tell for example if a performer is standing and singing or seated. The width and depth of the soundstage is also better with the 3.6's. Finally, I like the way that the Maggies produce the top end; to my ears it is very difficult to do better than the ribbon tweeter. The Maggies sound 'sweeter' and a bit more extended on top to me.
Having said all that, the Ushers are definitely better at producing dynamics and projecting some power and 'thump' into the room. They produce more impact and a greater visceral feeling in the mids and upper bass than the Maggies and are a 'richer' sounding speaker overall. The Maggies can sound a little lean on certain types of music (i think that is less true with the new 20.7's that I have now)... The Ushers will play louder too with less strain...
I have 20.7's now and an old pair of 1987 KHorns, definitley differrent ends of the spectrum! Before the 20.7's I had the 3.6's. I'd like a pair of the Ushers or the Wilsons too because I have yet to find a perfect speaker that I can afford. My room is medium-large at 26 ft long and 17.5 wide and it is fairly easy for me to move speakers around (it's a dedicated listening room). So, when I want to 'rock-n-roll' I simply slide the 20.7's over to the side walls and fire-up the KHorns...(which are designed to sit square in the room corners).
Overall, for me, I'd probably give the nod to the 3.6's, and most definitely the 20.7's. The 20.7's are a much better speaker, in every way, than the 3.6's! However, if your tastes lean towards a steady diet of rock, then the Ushers or Wilson might be a better choice....
Curious, how big is your listening room? What amps are you using to drive the 3.6's? There is a nice review of the Usher Mini Dancers in the latest Absolute Sound; worth reading.
My room is 14' wide by 26' deep. I'm using the Audio Research 100.2 (solid State) as the amp to drive them (see my system page). I currently have to set up in the room but it is optimized for the Maggies. I use the Kestral 2 as a near field set up on the back end of he room. The 3.6 and the 100.2 are a wonderful combo when using the Vandersteen Sub to carry the bass. Without the sub it's still okay just not nice as the combo. I love the grainless quality of the Audio Research 100.2 and in an effort to slightly simplify I would like to get a friendly load fork the amp. That's why I've been thinking about the Sophie 2 until I recently started reading about the Usher Mini Dancer 2. I think my sub for the Absolute Sound might have lapsed can you tell me if it was the January issue I'll have to go out and pick that up...
I was off by a year! The Mini Dancer II review is actually in the Dec 2012 Absolute Sound.
One is for hear music, the other is for hear everyhing. What do you like?
so, you feel that the Usher is the more 'muscial' speaker?
The Usher Dancer CP8571 is a better comparison with the Wilson Sophia 2. I auditioned both when I was looking for my new speakers and, if it wasn't for the size (mostly depth) of the 8571s I might just have them in my living room now - they were a very impressive speaker (primarily in sound, but also in appearance!) The Sophias were also very good, though! I think you'll need to compare by listening, if you can.
After further research I am leaning more towards spending more and looking for a pair of good used BE-10's; a good bit more money for sure, but a more capable speaker overall, and better at playing true full-range
Hello...I used to own the BE-10s before the diamond upgrade. I paired it with both Pass XA160 and Ayre MXR monoblocks. To my hears I felt the Ushers sounded best with the Ayre.
They are indeed beautiful speakers but they do require a fairly large room to sound their best. I had them in a 25x19 room.
Did you ever try the BE-10's with tube amps?
My room is 17.5 x 26 x 9, should work okay the BE-10. Wonder if that size room could handle the BE-20? There's a pair of 20's for sale on AG...
Just keep in mind these speakers are 35 inches deep, so be sure you are ok with them protruding way out into the room. The backwards rake angle adds some serious depth to the dimensions of the speaker, which made them unworkable in my room because I needed to place them on the long wall.
They are way deeper than any speaker I've come across!
thankfully i have a dedicated room, so speakers sitting out into the floor is not a big issue. I have a pair of Magnepan 20.7's which sit approx six feet into the room.
I have listened to Sophia 1 and then to Usher CP-8871. ended up buying the ushers.
Girish, tell us more; why did you choose the Ushers over the Wilson?
Price was one aspect. I got a very good deal on the Ushers.The finish matched my entertainment center exactly.The sound was warmer and the bass more to my taste on the ushers.
When I heard the Usher Mini Dancer II, I was NOT impressed. This was not the diamond model but the original model. I sound lifeless and boring. Maybe it has great measurements but I wouldn't buy it.
Not sure how expensive they are where you live. But If I were you I would listen to a pair of Marten Django L or XL. IMHO they are very very good.
Mini Dancer is not a fair comparison with sophia. An 8871 with Diamond tweeter is same ballpark.
At this time hearing the Usher Be-718 Diamonds, I am absolutely amazed about the sound of these monitors...
Really similar sound to Wilson, maybe bass notes are not as articulated as Wilsons but overall really similar and adictive sound
I found the Usher 8571 to sound a little fuller in the bass than the Wilson Sophia 3s, which were a little more articulate in the bass. Both had amazing bass extension - they just presented it a little differently.
The 8571 sure did have an appealing, addictive sound though - totally agree with you on that!
That is my impression also; overall I think that the Wilson's are more 'accurate' and detailed, a tad bit tighter in the bass but not as full or musically expressive.
I use a Rogue Cronus Magnum integrated 100 watt tube amp to power my Usher Mini Dancer 2's and get the sound you stated. The wilson's are very nice but with the usher's, you get the Diamond tweeter and easier to drive with still delivering great sound.
The BE-10's as well as the 8871's would be a good step up which compare to the Sasha's.
I use a Pass INT 150 with the Mini Dancer II with GREAT results.
The mini dancer ii’s are a very good speaker for its size and price. The problem with the md ii’s is the bass response. There is a lot of bass, it took me days/weeks to get them positioned correctly in my 27’x16’x12’ dedicated room. Was driving them with the rogue Cronus magnum ii with kt-120 tubes. Bass was way too wobbly, this was the setup that the op listened to the md ii’s. I upgraded to the Hegel h300 ss int amp and things improved quite a lot, especially in the bass. I’m an Usher fan with multiple pairs of their speakers around the house (cp6381, 601’s, 520’s) I wanted to get the larger Ushers for my dedicated room. I’ve heard the BE-10’s and the 8571’s and decided to go the route of the x-towers. I loved the be-10’s. The x-towers have the same dmd tweeter and 11” Eaton bass driver as the be-10’s but the x-towers have a 7” mid and have the bass driver in a separate cabinet. Since getting these speakers, I swapped out the Hegel for a new mcintosh preamp with a ps audio bhk 250 amp. IMO, I would take the x-towers or be-10’s over any magnapan speakers, even the 30.7’s that I heard. The Maggie’s have some good qualities to them but quality bass output and quality highs (which the ushers deliver in spades) are not in their repertoire
I had the Usher BE-20 DMD's until recently using a hegel h360 to drive them. They replaced a pair of Revel salon 2's. I'm not going to say they're better, but with the hegel in my room they were smoother with unlimited dynamics and the widest soundstage i've heard. I bought them used on a whim and my house is too small for them but I would recommend them without hesitation.