What hi-fi?

Well neojeru is moving, and that means a new hi-fi! Is anyone here familiar with the Taiwanese speaker manufacturer Usher? If so, do you have any experience with their products?

Other hi-fi questions:

Tube or solid-state?

floorstanding or standmounts?

Subwoofer? Yes or no?

I’ve decided to go two channel, but I’m waffling between a tube amp and an a/v receiver. I’ve got tons of digital sources (major gamer) but I lean towards audiophilia; not exactly a match made in heaven. My living room is small, about 15x12, so quality over power is my focus. Anyway, if you’ve got any opinions on hi-fi, let me hear’em.

I got an amp (R1.5), pre-amp (DV-9) and speakers (X-719) from them. Very happy with the sound, and build quality is excellent. Considering the prices in Taiwan the components represent very, very good value for money, in the US and Europe the stuff sells for 2-3 times as much and still gets rave reviews!

A matter of personal taste I would say. Listen to both and see (hear) what you like better. Usher has a shop on Hankou or Kaifeng Street near the main station where you can audition all their components.They have lot’s of CDs and DVDs, but you can also bring your own and more or less take as much time as you like.

Standmounts (or bookshelf) speakers should be placed on proper stands (but never on bookshelfs :wink: ), in which case they take up the same space as floorstanders. So it comes down to whats sounds better, what you think looks better and the price; you need to weigh those criterias against each other.

If you have good speakers in a stereo system, i.e. those that extend well into the bass, a sub is IMHO not required, unless you are into really bass-heavy stuff like techno and the like. Or if you want to piss off your neighbours.

Most AV receivers will probably not sound as good, unless you get into the flagship models or high-end components - they both cost lot’s of $$$. If you use two speakers only many of the functions in the AV receiver are wasted (decoding, surround channels, video switching and scaling, DSPs, bass-management etc.) - all stuff that has been paid for and is “missing” from the money that went into the actual sound / amplifier stage. Since stereo is your priority don’t buy an AV receiver unless you really need it.

Yeah, I was thinking along those lines. I realized that lately I use my current receiver solely as an amp anyway, so I decided to go with an integrated amp this time around. I demo’ed some tube amps today and their sound is incredible! Eventually though I went with a Naim NAIT 5i-2. I found it to be astonishingly good at finding music I didn’t know I had. Even crappy 128k MP3s sound good with it. For speakers I decided on the the B&W CM1, a standmount that has waaaay more than enough bass for my needs. That I was even considering a sub all seems so laughable now.

Tell me about it. I constantly hear glowing praise for Ushers but the closest dealer to me is in Nowheresville New Jersey. Even though they’re more expensive here than in Taiwan, they are still very economical relative to comparable brands.