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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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!




Initial Impressions


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.




Build Quality



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.









Sound Quality




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 :cool:



Here are some more general reference pics for coolness lol



Versus the B&C 6NDL38











Spec Sheet



Full version can be found here:
http://www.parts-express.com/pdf/296-602.pdf




 

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You just brought a tear to my eye with this review. Well done.

Should post some RTA graphs as well for the left side and right side. Gotta see what that phase plug is accomplishing.
 

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Nice review. Some nice looking drivers. I'm unsure If I could fit Peerless SLS 8s, these may be taken into consideration when my upgrade begins.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To set the stage regarding the RTA images below, please refer to my next comments. My Usher drivers are installed in the doors, well sealed and deadened. My driver side woofer is actually ~95 degrees off axis, while my passenger side woofer sits at about ~45 degrees off axis.

Testing involved high quality, 20 min continuous mono pink noise, with each left and right side showing a graph for a low pass of 800 Hz at a 12 db slope or no low pass at all. All high pass crossover are set at 80 Hz at a 12 db slope. I then followed with a summed response for both woofers at a low pass of 800 at a 12 db slope as well as no low pass at all.

The image below illustrates just how high I am from the driver side woofer as well as the positioning of the microphone below the head rest. All tests were conducted with the engine off, doors closed, and computer/soundcard outside the vehicle. Additionally, the graphs represent NO EQ WHATSOEVER




And off to the results…..


First up is Driver Side Response, 800Hz low pass. The first is a line response; the second is simply the same but with bars for viewing purposes.


]




Next is Driver Side Response, NO low pass. The first is a line response; the second is simply the same but with bars for viewing purposes.








Next is PASSENGER Side Response, 800 Hz low pass. The first is a line response; the second is simply the same but with bars for viewing purposes.







Next is PASSENGER Side Response, NO low pass. The first is a line response; the second is simply the same but with bars for viewing purposes.



 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
To set the stage regarding the RTA images below, please refer to my next comments. My Usher drivers are installed in the doors, well sealed and deadened. My driver side woofer is actually ~95 degrees off axis, while my passenger side woofer sits at about ~45 degrees off axis.



Testing involved high quality, 20 min continuous mono pink noise, with each left and right side showing a graph for a low pass of 800 Hz at a 12 db slope or no low pass at all. All high pass crossover are set at 80 Hz at a 12 db slope. I then followed with a summed response for both woofers at a low pass of 800 at a 12 db slope as well as no low pass at all.



The image below illustrates just how high I am from the driver side woofer as well as the positioning of the microphone below the head rest. All tests were conducted with the engine off, doors closed, and computer/soundcard outside the vehicle. Additionally, the graphs represent NO EQ WHATSOEVER











And off to the results…..




First up is Driver Side Response, 800Hz low pass. The first is a line response; the second is simply the same but with bars for viewing purposes.








]




Next is Driver Side Response, NO low pass. The first is a line response; the second is simply the same but with bars for viewing purposes.

















Next is PASSENGER Side Response, 800 Hz low pass. The first is a line response; the second is simply the same but with bars for viewing purposes.



















Next is PASSENGER Side Response, NO low pass. The first is a line response; the second is simply the same but with bars for viewing purposes.












 

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Discussion Starter #8
Next is COMBINED RESPONSE, 800 Hz low pass.











And lastly, we have COMBINED RESPONSE,, NO low pass. The first is a line response; the second is simply the same but with bars for viewing purposes.












 

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Very cool. It's nice that the Usher drivers are getting some review time. They have largely been ignored, and that is unfortunate. These are some drivers I'd love to play with, but I've never been compelled to buy a set just to try out.

Being so far off axis, I might look at smaller drivers or step to 3-way.

Omni-directional to direction occurs at 172,000/Diameter(mm).

With the difference in axis angles, you'll need to address the issue with driver aiming, EQing, or staying low enough within the omni-directional range via proper x-over points 2-way or 3-way. In the end, to get a good, stable center, you do need to maintain equal output, time syncing, and equal response over the entire frequency range. Any broad differences in output or time delay will pull the stage one way or another. Any variation in frequency response between each side will pull your center one way or the other depending on the frequency being played and which driver is louder at that frequency point.
 

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Mine will be here tomorrow! Cant wait to install them!!
 

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wow I just realized you were running these 2 way.
No, it's a 3-way. I asked him to post the graphs like he did. I wanted to know feasibility of running these 2-way in the doors. There's something going on that I don't understand though. The driver side graph should be falling off drastically around 2k, but it's not. Is that a function of the phase plug?

It's an interesting result. I'd be curious what each driver sounds like individually. Braves, if you have the time could you do a subjective listening test from the driver's seat between each of them alone? I'm looking for a dramatic cut in the midrange on the driver's side like you had with the B&Cs. The B&Cs behaved as predicted.

If what the graph is showing is real, and not a function of reflections or something else, these would be excellent for a 2-way with a stout tweeter.
 

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SUBSCRIBED!!
 

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So, whats the verdict as a 2-way front stage driver then? Should I be looking into these for my 2way setup? I'm currently looking at things like ER18RNX, Rainbow Profi kickbass, ID OEM, w18nx (out of my budget). How should the usher compare?
 

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This is simply beautiful....Thank you so much. This is true DIYMA. DIY drivers, data, measured results, performace, and no high dollar-mark up car audio drivers.
 

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So, whats the verdict as a 2-way front stage driver then? Should I be looking into these for my 2way setup? I'm currently looking at things like ER18RNX, Rainbow Profi kickbass, ID OEM, w18nx (out of my budget). How should the usher compare?
Yes you should.
 

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Great review. I'm running the non-phaseplug Ushers and Usher tweeters in the home with perfect results. They just do everything right.
 
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