The Rise of the House of Usher
"Have you heard the little Ushers?" I was asked Friday. "Have you heard the little Ushers?" I was asked repeatedly on Saturday.
No!, but not because I hadn't tried. I just couldn't get near the room. It was that packed. Finally, on Sunday I not only got in, I got the sweet spot.
Hmmm, I see, umm, hear, what what people were buzzing about. And, again, it ain't just the speakers, of course, but the Oracle Audio Technologies gear and JPS Labs cables as well—yet even we sophisticated audiophiles tend to think of that last link in the chain as being what we're hearing. In one sense, it is—in that speakers either let through all that shiny goodness (and thereby sound good) or mess it up (thereby sounding bad), but really good-sounding audio systems are complex entities and ... what was I saying? Oh yeah, the system sounded good, man.
System, what system? I'm so glad I asked. From front-end down, I was listening to the Oracle CD 1500 CD player ($5800), Oracle S1 integrated amplifier ($9250), JPS Labs Aluminata interconnects ($2999/1m pair), speaker cables, $7299/6' pair), and the Usher Dancer Be-718 loudspeakers (approx. $2500/pair). The Be-718, photographed here by Larry Greenhill, combines a 6" mid-woofer with a 1.5" beryllium tweeter.
The little Ushers, I mean the system, sounded good, with a fabulous sense of body and an extremely tuneful midrange. Maybe they lacked a little bass impact, but they sounded robust for a 6" two-way. These speakers may have my number—they definitely have my area code. I hope they can come to my house to play.