Usher Mini Dancer 2 vs PSB Synchrony One

7ryder -- Thu, 10/29/2009 - 19:11

It's upgrade time! 
My short list is the two speakers listed above; unfortunately neither dealer here in Seattle has them in stock.  The PSB dealer has offered to allow me to audition the S-Ones at home for a couple of weeks with the matching center speaker.  I don't have a similar commitment from the Usher dealer yet. 
Assuming that I can get the Usher dealer to do the same, does anyone have a recommendation of which one to try first?  Ideally I won't have to try the second pair if all goes well.
Seattle, WA

Chris Martens -- Fri, 10/30/2009 - 12:12


While I have heard both speakers (and both are very good), I have logged considerably more listening time with the Mini Dancer 2, and so cannot offer a true "level playing field" assessment of both speakers.

The ideal scenario would be to borrow both and compare them in your home, if possible Several factors may cloud matters, though.

1. The Mini Dancer 2 needs a fair amount of break-in before its sounds its best, as do most speakers that use Usher's beryllium/titanium metal dome tweeters.

2. I have heard it said that at present demand for the MIni Dancer 2 exceeds supply, so that it may be hard to get a loaner pair to try. Check with your local dealer.

3. Electronics and room EQ systems: what do you plan to use?

My past experience with PSB's Synchrony Two's was that they sounded quite good without EQ, but took a big step up in performance with a good room/speaker EQ system in play. I frankly don't know whether the Synchrony Ones (which are significantly better speakers than the Twos) would behave the same way or not. By comparison, the Ushers sound  superb without any EQ applied at all, but they are also very revealing of sonic differences between amplification components (not fussy, but revealing).

Either way, you're looking at two of the best values I know of in high-end full-range speakers.


Chris Martens


Chris Martens
Editor, Perfect Vision 

7ryder -- Fri, 10/30/2009 - 14:15

Hi Chris, thanks for the reply.
I have one room for both HT and 2-channel listening.  Here's some more info based upon your comment:
My electronics are a Wyred 4 Sound MC5x500 amp (Class D amp, powered by B&O Ice Power), Wyred 4 Sound STP SE preamp, Onkyo Pro 886P pre/pro, a Cullen modded Sonos ZP80 used a transport, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC, Denon DVD-5900 for hi-rez CDs and a Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD bluray player.  Since I run 2-channel sound through the W4S STP, I have an Audyssey EQ and I will be getting a SubEQ from SV shortly for use with my Paradigm UltraCube 10s.  My room has also had professional sound treatments installed.
Listening position is about 12' from the front wall (the room is only 12'7" deep) and the speakers will sit on a long wall that is 15'7' flanking a 60" Pioneer Elite Kuro Plasma.  About the furthest I think I can bring the speakers from the front wall is 3', would that have bearing on which speaker I should try first?
Seattle, WA

hiro (not verified) -- Fri, 10/30/2009 - 12:21

Hi ChrisG,
Which dealer are you working with.  I know one Usher dealer in the Seattle area (but I believe they only had the higher end Ushers) and a few that carry PSB.  I would also add the Eficion F200's to the list which I know you can audition at home ( I did).  Whichever you choose, they are all fantastic speakers!   

mv (not verified) -- Mon, 03/08/2010 - 14:11

What did you end up choosing?

7ryder -- Mon, 03/08/2010 - 14:56

I bought the Ushers.  No local dealer in Seattle had PSBs in stock, so I couldn't preview the S-Ones, but the local Usher dealer is also a PSB dealer.  He told me that he preferred the Ushers by a large degree (but didn't have a pair in the shop to preview either).  Since he offers a 30 day in home trial, I figured I'd try the Ushers out and I couldn't be happier; Chris's Marten's review is right on the mark in my opinion. My Usher BE-616 center speaker finally came in last week and it sounds great too. 

Chris's comment above about amplifiers and Ushers turned out to be true too...I didn't like the W4S amp with the Ushers...the amp sounded lean, lacked depth and had no "slam" despite the power ratings.  They are much happier being driven by the Parasound JC-1 monoblocks that I replaced the amplication for the main channels with (a Parasound A51 drives the other channels).

FWIW, I no longer have the W4S preamp or the Onkyo, I replaced both with a Classe SSP-800, the Ultracube subs with JL Audio f112s and the Denon universal DVD player with a Oppo BDP-83.  Yeah, I've been busy ;-)


Veda (not verified) -- Tue, 03/23/2010 - 02:36

Sounds great cuz I have the BE-718 but since they're offering 50% off all Synchrony models, I was gonna snag a pair of One B.  At $800 they sound like a great deal...

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