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View Full Version : Dali Ikon 1, Usher S-520, Totem Rainmaker



curtis
07-03-2006, 11:13 PM
Dali Ikon 1, Usher S-520, Totem Rainmaker

Got to hear these three speakers at a new Audio/Video shop that has openned up near my house.

The room we heard them in was pretty live. The shop was still not complete and they will be putting in some room treatments.

At the shop, I was most impressed with the Usher S-520. Sounded very good, some emphasis in the bass, and a tad brighter than the Ascends.....but VERY impressive for $400/pr. If you can, get a listen.

The Totem Rainmaker was also very nice. Neutral presentation, but a tad laidback presentation. $800/pr I think. Also recommend a listen if you get the chance.

I caused both the Usher and Totem to bottom out the woofer. Not on purpose though, I just turned up the volume to get them louder. I had never done that to a speaker before...and I did it twice tonight.

The Dali Ikon 1 was my least favorite. Very thin sounding, sterile.

The impressions of the Usher changed though when my friend got to bring a pair home for a listen. The sound lost its fullness and sounded thin. Break-in maybe....maybe the room....maybe the equipment? Who knows?

The shop was great. Great service and atmosphere. They are also a Hsu dealer. http://www.hometheaterdoctor.com/

The real funny thing is the owner looked very familiar to me. At first we just thought it was because we live in the same area and went to school in the same area....but as it turns out, his real job is as an anesthesiologist...and he was the one that knocked out my son for his surgery! He just started this A/V shop because he loves the hobby, actually bought the building it is in.

BradJudy
07-04-2006, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the report Curtis. Ushers always seem to get good feedback, but I haven't had a chance to listen to much. I stopped by an Usher room at the RMAF, but there was a group standing around talking instead of listening.

The only Totems I have heard are the Arros and I remember liking them, but that was a few years ago, so I don't remember much about the sound.

Does the dealer have any larger Dali's? I remember some floorstanding Dali's getting really good reviews a while back.

curtis
07-04-2006, 09:12 AM
Brad, yes he did have floorstanding Dalis, and I am sure at some point I will get a chance to hear them. The owner was very adament about just having people in the store to listen and said we were welcome any time. I hope he knows what he is getting himself into. :)

We also got to hear some Von Schweikert VR4jr's that were setup in another room. Very nice speaker that I think A LOT of people would love. A little soft or polite on the top end for my tastes, but I would like to hear them some more and turn them up a bit.

They also carry Vandersteens, but were not in the shop yet. I will back to hear them too.

In all, the speaker brands they carry are PSB, Dali, Von Schweikert, Usher, Vandersteen, and Totem.

Also, from those brands, he only carries the models he likes.

BradJudy
07-04-2006, 11:24 AM
That's a nice lineup. I wouldn't mind a store like that around here.

bikeman
07-04-2006, 12:39 PM
.but as it turns out, his real job is as an anesthesiologist...and he was the one that knocked out my son for his surgery! He just started this A/V shop because he loves the hobby, actually bought the building it is in.
My next door neighbor is a Dr. and an audio buff. I'll think I'll show him this thread and explain that this is the way he should be "investing" his money. ;)
It's an old joke but bares repeating.
The way to make a small forture in a retail small business is start with a large forture and work your back. I admire his drive and hope he knows what he's getting into.

David

curtis
07-04-2006, 12:59 PM
My next door neighbor is a Dr. and an audio buff. I'll think I'll show him this thread and explain that this is the way he should be "investing" his money. ;)
It's an old joke but bares repeating.
The way to make a small forture in a retail small business is start with a large forture and work your back. I admire his drive and hope he knows what he's getting into.

Yeah...he said his wife won't let him quit his "real" job. They live two blocks from the shop. I told him that I hope he does well and he relied "all I have to do is break even."

My friend and I wondered about how much time this is all taking. Right now the shop is open by appointment only, but they want to have regular hours. To top it all off, he and his wife are expecting their first children any day now...TWINS!!

jermy4
07-04-2006, 07:32 PM
So how did the Ascends compare?

What did your friend and the shop owner think about them compared to the other speakers you listened to?

curtis
07-04-2006, 08:09 PM
The shop owner thought the Ascends sounded good and would like to spend more time with them.

As I posted, at the shope, the Usher sounded much better. The shop owner allowed my friend to take them home to listen. At the house, the difference between the Usher and the Ascend really showed....the Usher sounded thin.

My friend is getting some 340SE's this week and will be comparing some more to the Ushers.

curtis
07-09-2006, 08:14 PM
After looking at some pictures, I realized I incorrectly identified the Dali speaker I heard. It was the Ikon 1 not the Helicon 300. I made the correction in my first post.

curtis
07-16-2006, 08:49 AM
Went back to the shop today with someone else to listen/compare speakers.

The person I went with has an Orb setup and this trip openned his eyes/ears.

My CBM-170SE's were noticebly cleaner and more transparent than the Usher S-520's. The Ushers do have tad more bass extension, a bit more forward, nicer finish, and are smaller.

curtis
07-16-2006, 08:53 AM
Forgot to mention that the shop had some KEF Ref 205 floorstanders....those sounded real good. I don't know how much they cost though.

mziegler
09-02-2006, 09:35 AM
I'm the guy with Curtis when we listened to the Usher and Totem.

I'll second everything he said in terms of holistic impressions (I don't possess the audio vocabulary and listening refinement).

The difference between the 340SEs and Ushers were minimal in the shop--at 400/pair they seemed like a much better deal--but dramatic at home. This was surprising since they are front ported, and one would think my set-up, with a wall unit, would favor the Ushers. A perfect example of why one should try speakers out at home.

No need to praise my speakers here!