The USHER AUDIO TECHNOLOGY 8945p is a beast of a 7in driver. With a magnet diameter of 4.7 inches, weighing in at 2.3 pounds alone, one must measure a potential install area accurately as to not make a mistake. The difference between your baffle cutout diameter and that of the magnet alone is a mere 1.5 inches!
My Usher experience began when I received a pair of Usher 8945p drivers from parts express. Each driver was individually packed, in their own box, face down on a formed Styrofoam pad.
I was initially surprised that the rear of the driver was only protected via cardboard, but after holding the driver in hand, I realized the magnet was more then enough. Additionally, its apparent that the driver can not be placed magnet side down with the cone side being protected via plastic inserts commonly placed in the screw holes as they would be inadequate to support the weight of the driver should it be placed upside down during shipping or handling in general.
The most noticeable aspect of the Usher 8945p is the weight. Weighing in at just above 6 pounds (2.3 being the magnet) one can tell a lot of material was used in the frame and support of the magnet in general.
With six approximately ~1 inch support arms connected to the outer diameter frame, and a quarter inch thick flange, mounting the speaker will not be a problem (unless of course, the mounting area is inadequate in itself.) You also have the use of six screw holes for mounting purposes, however, I must note their small diameter, so be prepared accordingly.
Other characteristics of the Usher driver included its commonly seen large positive spade terminal partnered with its smaller negative spade terminal. While strong individually from being bent, they do have a bit of play if pressure is applied perpendicular. Once design is investigated, you can easily see they are only mounted via a screw in the middle. Even so, this shouldn’t be a deterrent.
Also interesting is the rubber surround on the 8945p. Unlike what is found on a peerless 6.5 SLS or even the 8in SLS woofer, a hard, thick, and quite strong to the touch surround, the Usher driver has a very “loose,” soft, gentle surround. If I were a betting man, I would say this driver does not need a break in period for the surround that a peerless driver would (discounting the ever popular break in period debate of course) Below, a compare and contrast between the Peerless SLS woofer’s and that of the Usher. Notice that while the SLS has a larger surround in general, its thickness and resistance to pressure is at least 3x more then that of the Usher.
Moving on to the Usher cone, the phase plug is quite apparent lol . It’s a shiny silver in color and has no play to touch whatsoever. The actual cone material is quoted as a carbon fiber/ paper cone, but to the touch, it feels more like paper. I think the best term to describe the texture is “veiny” with what I assume to be the carbon fiber accounting for it. Additionally, the space between the cone material and phase plug is very minimal…I was barely able to get a pen tip between; however, the cone moves freely and easily around the phase plug.
The Usher Driver illuminated my vehicle with a grossly underestimated deep sound and has more presence then my transparent IDQ12V3 in the rear cargo hold. This came as a big surprise with such a great reward as my stage became less localized.
Words are hard to come by when describing sound character as they are far from a listening experience; however, there are a few that I feel are appropriate. Foremost, the tones below 500 Hz are cold, clear, and well mannered. If you have a deadened door, kick, ect….expect this driver to be a test. You will have rattles if unprepared, and especially if you high pass at 65 Hz or lower. As a result, even with more the adequate sound dampening, foam, and quirks such as non hardening modeling clay in my vehicle, I have settled as a high pass of 80 Hz at a 12 db slope.
Going back to sound quality and play ability, tones up to 2.8 KHz were extremely clear, and more importantly, even among the low tones, did not change in sound reproduction while turning volume up to levels I would not during normal play time. If there is such a thing as a break in, it was done after the first tone tested lololol
In addition to being cold mannered, the driver is far from muddy. It has impact, which will ring through your chest if you turn it up. It seems to favor power, easily handling my rated 380 watts RMS at 4 ohms (keep in mind, this driver is 8 ohms…) however, I have not had a chance to test otherwise. As tones increase through and above 1.5 Khz, clarity is still present, but the driver side woofer starts to somewhat suffer being 90 degrees off axis in my install. However, this was only noticeable when playing left versus right driver tones individually. The passenger woofer played quite well through 2.8 Khz, but it was apparent that 3 and above would be affected, and I didn’t test beyond that point. With that said, should you have a tweeter with low fs, I wouldn’t hesitate using this driver in a 2 way setup.
In terms of pairing attributes, this driver with cold, clear sound really help balanced my warm mid/tweeter. As some may know, I did a driver versus driver test between the Usher and B&C 6NDL38, and the winning factor was this sound balance and low mannered ability.
Lastly, and fair to mention, is the balancing between driver and passenger side woofer if installed off axis in the doors. At the beginning, it was quite apparent that the passenger woofer was heavily pulling the stage to the right. With a balancing act between output level adjustment and time delay using a setup disc, I was able to obtain a centered image, something I was unable to do previously (grrrrr). This could be a result from an upgraded processor addition with the Zapco in terms of control ability, or maybe a good to know characteristic of the driver, I just don’t know. What I do know is that I love the outcome
Overall, this is a kick ass and taking names driver
Here are some more general reference pics for coolness lol
Versus the B&C 6NDL38
Full version can be found here: