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  1. #1
    nightflier
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    Usher BE718 and Sonus Concerta - Twins?

    I have an opportunity to audition the BE718s in my home after the holidays - although I will have to pay for shipping both ways (if I decide to send 'em back). When I saw the pictures I couldn't help but notice the similarity in design with the Sonus Concertas. I had the latter in my home a couple of years ago and liked them very much.

    Funny thing is that one of my good friends told me that for the used price of these, I can do better with Focal's new Chorus 706v. I don't actually believe that, but if so, then there's some serious difference in price/value here.

    Anyhow, back to the Usher's, did someone rip off Sonus' design? And how do they compare sound-wise? They will be going toe-to-toe against my current base-line, the Talon Khites. Any thoughts on the Ushers? Would it be worth paying for shipping just to audition them?

  2. #2
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    I'm sorry I cannot help you.

    We are thinking very alike my man.

    I've been thinking about acquiring a pair myself. The only thing that is keeping me away is its sensitivity. One of reviews claims the senst. is lower than stated 87dB. But it is sounds anything like the Sonus, then I wouldnt touch it with a 10' pole. I would greatly appreciate your feedback on the pair.

    What other pair are you thinking aboutt?
    Here is my curret list:

    Tyler Acoustics - Linbrook Sig Monitor
    JM Labs - Mini Utopia
    SF: Cremona Auditor0
    Proac - Response D TWO
    or
    Quad 22L2

    Sorry I could be your help.

    Regards,

  3. #3
    nightflier
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    Decided against them

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    We are thinking very alike my man. I've been thinking about acquiring a pair myself. The only thing that is keeping me away is its sensitivity. One of reviews claims the senst. is lower than stated 87dB. But it is sounds anything like the Sonus, then I wouldnt touch it with a 10' pole. I would greatly appreciate your feedback on the pair. What other pair are you thinking aboutt? Here is my curret list:

    Tyler Acoustics - Linbrook Sig Monitor
    JM Labs - Mini Utopia
    SF: Cremona Auditor0
    Proac - Response D TWO
    or
    Quad 22L2
    jrhymeammo,

    I decided against them. The fact that they can only handle 80 watts was a compromise I couldn't accept. Maybe I'm a bit picky, but for a $2500 speaker, that's just pathetic. At that price point I expect 200W - I've just always believed that one measure of a high-performance speaker is how loud it can play - it just takes better engineering to design such a speaker.

    The sensitivity isn't a big issue for me as I drive my speakers with some pretty hefty amps, but I can see where that would be a drawback as well, especially if the listed spec is not accurate - another negative point for Usher, in my book. The other problem for me was that the speaker didn't review better than other speakers in their price range. Usher makes their speakers in China, and I think that the price for a speaker with those specs should be less expensive.

    Regarding your list, I would add Totem and VonSchweikert to the list, although I've been rather disapointed with VS customer relations. But there is bound to be at least one owner of each of these brands on this forum. I know drseid is a Tyler fan, and I remember reading that a couple of people owned JM Labs speakers. As far as the others, I'm a big fan of SF and have purchased a pair of Grand Pianos for my father to replace his Dynaudios. I also liked the sound of the Concerto bookshelves several years ago when I auditioned them in my home. They were particularly smooth and very dynamic. I've never heard anyone say they "wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole." What didn't you like about them?

    The Quad 22L's (version I) were my baseline/reference speakers and I like them a lot too. I had them for about two years but didn't really begin to appreciate them until about a year ago when I connected them to a decent amp. They are an amazing value, especially if bought used (they go for about $600-700 on Audiogon or eBay). I haven't heard the v2 speakers. I read that they have improved them some, so that may be a good bet. Of course those are full-tower speakers and I'm hunting for a pair of bookshelves.

    Speaking of bookshelves, I've recently acquired a pair of Talon Audio Khites in trade for less than I paid for the Quads. These retailed for $5K when they were new so I expected a lot from them and they certainly delivered. I should have know from when I picked them up because they weigh as much as a tower speaker. Comparing them with the Quads is a good example. They obviously won't go as deep, but the midrange is clearer, bigger and wider. It's quite amazing to think this much performance is to be had from a tweeter and a single 6" woofer. It has raised the bar for what I expect from a speaker substantially.

    The only drawback with the Khites for me is that they are not analytical enough. I really wanted a speaker for auditioning other gear and what I ended up with was a speaker that was ideal for listening - kind of ironic, really. So that's why I was considering the Ushers, but there are just too many compromises in them. So now I'm looking again. I think the Talons will become my main listening speakers as soon as I can find a more analytical pair for auditioning.

    And the Quads, well I'll be selling those, not so much because of their performance, but more because they are towers and I really don't have the room for them. Don't get me wrong, they are an incredible value, but the Talons are noticeably better, of course I'm comparing apples to kumquats, here...

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Sounds like my recently purchased Mo Fi OML 1 might be something you would like. They are simialr to the Van Schweikert VR 1's but more refined. Designed as a monitor for Mo Fi they are analytical but enjoyable when you just want to listen. Music Direct has some good prices on demos and closeouts.
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  5. #5
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new pair NF,

    Bookshelves are the way to go, cuz they are easy to buy/sell on Da 'Gon. Also gives great mid range for a fraction of how much Floorstangers cost.
    Let us know how they sound with HCA-2. I've heard some great things about the amp, but I have yet to enjoy it. Maggies and HCA-2 works as good as bobsticks and ladies on eHarmony. Gets the job done, but never satisfies...

    As for Concerto Home, they do create wide sound, but to my ears they sound muddy and congested. But, I can't speak from LT personal experience with my gears.

    I think you got BE 718 mixed up with X-718. According to their site BE can handle up to 200 watts while X-718 can only handle a mere 80 watts.


    JRA

  6. #6
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    jrhymeammo,

    Regarding your list, I would add Totem and VonSchweikert to the list, although I've been rather disapointed with VS customer relations. But there is bound to be at least one owner of each of these brands on this forum.

    and now for a shameless plug:

    Add Thiel to your list too
    but of course, get floorstanders, JRA, I can honestly see you living with a pair of CS2.4's


    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
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    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  7. #7
    nightflier
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    User BE-718

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    I think you got BE 718 mixed up with X-718. According to their site BE can handle up to 200 watts while X-718 can only handle a mere 80 watts.
    JRA, this is odd. The specs from their website list 80W:

    http://www.usheraudio.com/speaker-Be-718.html

  8. #8
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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  9. #9
    nightflier
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    So which Usher website is correct?

  10. #10
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    So which Usher website is correct?
    Possibly both. Neither spec gives any qualification. There is the power a speaker can handle for extended periods of time over a broad frequency range, and then there is the power a speaker can handle for short bursts.

    Usher does deserve to be chastised for their lack of specificity on this subject, but that is hardly an unusual situation in the world of speaker advertising.

    Even then, if the speaker does handle 200 watts, it is no problem to blow a tweeter with less power than that if the conditions are right (amp clipping or the right amount of energy at higher frequencies.)

    Thats why speakers need to be auditioned in person, playing the music you like at the volume you like in a room roughly the same size as you will use at home.

  11. #11
    nightflier
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    But what's in a name?

    Well I decided to forgo the audition. I got pretty busy with other gear and given the fact that Usher never responded to my email, I've decided that with the thousands of other manufacturers out there, I've got better things to do with my time.

    I am still interested in those Focal JMLab 807v speakers - the price of entry is very enticing. And the specs say they can handle 175w, which is OK, I suppose. What is intriguing is the reviewers all seem to like it so much and they say it has a lot of the technology of the Micro Utopia BE.

    Come to think of it, is that why Usher called their speaker the BE718? It even has a Beryllium tweeter....

  12. #12
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I can't speak much for Usher's speaker division or customer service, I know first hand their drivers can take a healthy amount of wattage. They're decent speakers, a bit overpriced, IMHO.

    Those spec wattage figures are pretty useless though...I had a pair of older PSB speakers with a wattage rating of 100 W. The Vifa driver in them would reach it's excursion limits with 20 watts or so...Sure the voice coils can handle a lot of juice but the driver couldn't before lead slap and bottom-out occurred. Usually the mechanical limits are far less than the electrical limits, I've never understood why speakers don't list both? Though, I confess to knowing more than a few eager teenagers who buy car speakers by the number of watts they produce.

    I think a lot of speaker companies just make guesses or go with the flow? Is there even a IEC convention for speakers?

  13. #13
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    This whole thing about Beryllium tweeter had me going for a while too. I was strongly considering One of JM Labs with BE tweets (900s, 1000s, or even Micro Utopia), Paradigm Signature, or Usher BE718.

    The only pair I've heard was Paradigm, and thought it was something to be excited about. But sometimes, speakers that give initial excitement do not stick around in my setup...

    I would love to hear from owners of tweeters made of Beryllium. Oh bwt, my pair of Taylo bookshelf should arrive tomorrow afternoon. I hope I made a right choice by chosing Revelator over Millenium. Revelator is said to be smoother.. Will see.

    JRA


    p.s. Dude, NF, you live in Newport Beach. Anything you bring in to your home should be sounding pretty sweet. Enjoy,

  14. #14
    nightflier
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    Ah if only that were so...

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Dude, NF, you live in Newport Beach. Anything you bring in to your home should be sounding pretty sweet. Enjoy,
    I'm still looking for a pair of very revealing speakers. This isn't for long-term listening, but for auditions. I have some amps on hand to listen to and I can't find much to differentiate them. If anyone has a pair of speakers they can recommend in the $1000 range (used or new IDNM), I would really like to hear your thoughts.

  15. #15
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Just kicking around with a pair of Taylo Reference Monitors, and they are sounding right.

    TRM is on a bit of warmer side with nice treble extension, without that Maggie glare. Also, the Revelator tweeters resolve like meth on trailer hoes. Refreshing!!

    I've been listening to hiphop and it doesnt sound like absolute crap. And to top it off, Jazz sounds so much fuller than 1.6QR and sound stage is just as large.
    What kills me is that I was set on acquiring a BAT VK 55, but my POS Audio HCA-2 is sounding pretty good. I can certainly pick up weakness of the amp, but nothing alarming.

    NF, I only paid $1400 used in premium rosewood finish. For slightly over your $1K budget, you'll get coherant sound without strong characteristics.

  16. #16
    nightflier
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    Ah yes, but I want strong characteristics...

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Just kicking around with a pair of Taylo Reference Monitors, and they are sounding right.

    TRM is on a bit of warmer side with nice treble extension, without that Maggie glare. Also, the Revelator tweeters resolve like meth on trailer hoes. Refreshing!!

    I've been listening to hiphop and it doesnt sound like absolute crap. And to top it off, Jazz sounds so much fuller than 1.6QR and sound stage is just as large.
    What kills me is that I was set on acquiring a BAT VK 55, but my POS Audio HCA-2 is sounding pretty good. I can certainly pick up weakness of the amp, but nothing alarming.

    NF, I only paid $1400 used in premium rosewood finish. For slightly over your $1K budget, you'll get coherant sound without strong characteristics.
    I also own the HCA-2 and while it is a fast amp with some pretty good detail, it can't hold a candle to the GCC series. But I need a speaker that can reveal subtle details in speakers, amps, interconnects, and (gasp) even power chords, if there is such a phenomenon. I've long been trying to find a pair of horn-loaded speakers than can do this, but there is very little in my price range for that.

    Keep in mind that this isn't for long-term listening (I have a separate setup for that), but I need a speaker that is as revealing as possible and that can take a little abuse (plugging & unplugging, moving things around) and won't break the bank. I thought the Ushers were a possibility, but I think I'll pass on them. By the way, I'm currently using a pair of Klipsch RB5-II speakers, and frankly, they sound pretty bad - my guess is that they were really intended for HT applications.

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