The Mini Dancer 2 is a slim floorstanding, MTM loudspeaker utilizing the new Usher Diamond DMD Tweeter matched to two carbon fiber/paper woofers. Extremely powerful bass response is better than the Tiny Dancer, the Mini Dancer 1, and some say the CP8571. Power handling and efficiency are improved as well. The enclosure is simply stunning, with a piano black front baffle and a curved, walnut wood veneered top, back and sides.
..."I found myself intuitively comparing the Mini Dancer Two to speakers about twice its price ... These Ushers are simultaneously communicative and informative, meaning they show you what’s going on within the structure of the music, and then help you grasp—on an emotional level—why that structure matters..." - Playback Magazine review of the Usher Mini Dancer 2
The Usher Mini Dancer 2 is sure to give speakers up to the $10,000 price range a serious run for their money both aesthetically and sonically. First let me just say that they are beautiful pieces of furniture. The tapered, parabolc shape of the cabinet, the wood and piano lacquer finish, even the styling of the binding posts, simply looks like a $10,000 to $15,0000 product.
As for the sound, I am extremely impressed. There is an ease, a smoothness that is very musical and powerful. I am hearing details and nuances that I haven't heard in other speakers in and above the Mini Dancer 2's price range. Bass output is very tuneful and plentiful. Vocals are outstanding. There really is no shortcoming in my opinion. They have the ability to place images in a wide, and deep sounstage. I am currently running them with the Nuforce Ref 9 V3SE amps. I am listening as I write this, and I find myself just stopping to listen. Always a good sign of a musical system. The space where the Mini Dancer 2's reside is about 15' x 20', with a ceiling that is as high as 18'. It is an open floor plan where the entire 1st and 2nd floor become part of the acoustic space. Even so, the Mini Dancer 2's fill the space with ease.
I like the Usher Mini Dancer 2 because I thought the Be-718 was a little too "in your face" for most solid state gear, especially at higher playing levels. I also like the higher efficiency and dynamic output capability of the Mini Dancer 2. The sound and build quality puts this speaker in the performance and aesthetics range of MUCH more expensive loudspeakers. Usher is really raising the price to performance bar with the Mini Dancer 2.
"...Consider this speaker if: you have admired the look and sound of premium priced speakers in the roughly $10k range, but simply could not afford them. In essence, the Mini Dancer Two cuts the cost of entry to that performance spectrum in half. The Mini Dancer Two preserves most of the strengths of the Be-718 (sonic transparency, neutral tonal balance, richness and purity of timbres, and an involving and expressive sound) while delivering noticeably deeper bass extension and even more expansive dynamics. In fact, in some respects it is nipping at the heels of Usher’s larger Dancer models, which is saying a mouthful.
Look further if: you were hoping for a speaker that identically matches the voicing and imaging characteristics of the Be-718’s. In practice, we observed two subtle but noteworthy differences between the Usher siblings. First, the Mini Dancer Two gives a slightly more distant perspective on the music, throwing a soundstage that unfolds behind the plane of the speakers, whereas the Be-718 tends to be more of an “up front” imager. Second, the Mini Dancer Two sounds perhaps a hair less midrange-forward than the Be-718, offering a sound that is arguably richer and smoother, but just slightly more reserved..."
Mini Dancer 2 Specifications
2-way system : Be dome tweeter 1.25" (9980-20BeK), mid-low woofer 7"x2 (8948A)
sensitivity: 90 dB @ 1 watt / 1m
nominal impedance: 4 ohms
frequency response (-3 dB): 30 Hz ~ 40 kHz
power handling: 100 watts
crossover frequencies: 2.7 kHz
dimensions (w x d x h): 34 cm x 48 cm x 123 cm
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