I just wanted to second TAS' positive review of the Usher's CP-8571 speakers. I went to audition them on a few days ago and they were the first speaker that I heard that really blew me away. Admittedly, I'd only heard a couple "entry level high end" speakers in the past, including the Sonus Faber Cremona Ms and the ProAc Response D28s and have not yet experienced Wilson Sophias or Theil CS 3.7s. They sounded incredibly "real", for lack of a better term, to me. Never before have I heard accoustic guitars and double basses that actually sounded like the real thing as much as I did with the Ushers, both in terms of their position in space as well as their clarity and tone/harmonics. Vocals were also fantastic, as well as the low frequencies, which dug unbelievably deep for an 8 inch woofer (I heard low frequency sounds I didn't know existed on my CDs before). The soundstage was also very big, in particular it was the depth of the soundstage that impressed me most with these speakers - they gave performances a more three dimensional feel than I have heard before. For those curious, my audition was with Macintosh CDP and pre-amp and a big dual mono Mark Levinson (I believe it was the 500 series).
Appearance-wise, these speakers are like fine pieces of furniture - big pieces of furniture. I'd have no problems comparing the finish of these Ushers to the Sonus Faber Cremona Ms, in fact they are quite similar in appearance. The one difference is the depth of these Ushers - they are nearly 30 inches (2.5 feet) deep! Much to my dismay, their depth eliminates them from my quest for new speakers. Placing them at a minimum of 2 feet out from my front wall (the long wall of the room) would mean the front of the speakers would be 5.5 feet into my living room, which is only 14.5 feet wide! I only wish I had a large, dedicated listening room...
I highly recommend those looking for an "entry level high end" speaker check out the Ushers. Personally, I found them at least as impressive, if not more, than the Sonus Faber Cremona Ms for about 2/3 the price.
I hope this type of post is OK with the editors - I certainly am not trying to push one type of speaker onto other users. In fact, I'd be greatful if other members who've heard the Ushers had recommendations for a similar speaker that is less deep (say less than 20 inches in depth) and in a similar price range. I just felt I had my first "goosebump" audio moment in quite a while and wanted to share it with other members!