It was 10 minutes to closing on the last day of the show and I found the Usher room completely empty. What better time to sneak in, throw on the Flaming Lips, crank the volume and see if these imports have any balls?
The track was Free Radicals off their new "At War with the Mystics" album. The speakers were the brand-spanking new V series (the reddish speakers). I demoed the pair second from the left. $1500 and, yeah, balls the size of cantaloupes. Free Radicals is a damn tough track to get right. Excellent mastering with dynamics that cause most "easy-listening" speakers to shrivel up and die. Not the Ushers. They sounded like orcs on wargs with big battle axes, which is a big compliment in my book.
And then someone showed up to shut the room down before I could get more music on. We will meet again, Usher. Oh yes, we will.
Usher also makes a preamp and amp which did duty for all their different speaks. Pics next page of the $2520 R-1.5 amp with 250 watts of power and the $2280 P-307 A preamp. With the top V-series speakers, you're looking at a total price of $6300 for one sick package.
The big speaker shown is the $14,400 BE-10, sporting a 1" tweeter and 5" midrange both made out of beryllium. Beryllium is incredibly difficult and toxic to work with. If I'm not mistaken, The Usher BE-10 is the least expensive speaker with a beryllium midrange. Someone suggested to me that in order to hit these prices Usher must have a very unique beryllium driver factory half-way across the globe. Kinda like the Willy Wonka chocolate factory but with beryllium instead of chocolate and, well, use your imagination for the rest...