In the Swiss watch industry, the term manufacture is used to refer to a watchmaker/brand who designs and manufactures its watches almost completely, as distinct from an atelier de terminage, which is concerned only with assembling, timing, fitting the hands and casing an externally-sourced movement. Some famous examples of manufacture are Patek Phillipe, Rolex and Jaeger LeCoultre.
In the loudspeaker industry, the ability to design and manufacture the heart of the whole speaker system—namely the speaker drivers—also separates the real technically capable from the rest. In this sense, Usher is one of the very few true manufactures in the high end speaker world.
The launch of the BE10 and BE20, Usher’s then flagship speaker systems, and a few years later, their successors the BE10 Diamond/BE20 Diamond with the ground-breaking DMD tweeter, have show-cased Usher’s prowess in driver design, manufacturing and quality control. With the new DMD (Diamond-Metal-Diamond) midrange driver—that’s on the TD-10 and TD-20—Usher has again pushed speaker driver technology to a new height.
The DMD Midrange Driver
Diamond is almost a perfect material as driver diaphragm except for its high density (thus high mass) and brittleness. The few “Diamond” drivers that have been on the market all suffer badly from these two issues. Usher was the first, and still the only, to have solved these problems by inventing the DMD diaphragm, in which a super light metal base is sandwiched by amorphous diamond layers, resulting in a durable, light, fast, high-resolving and thus hugely musical tweeter: the Usher DMD tweeter.
Now, after years of rigorous research and experiments, Usher has finally successfully implemented the DMD technology on the 5” midrange driver. This allows the music to be reproduced, from 385Hz up, completely by the amazing DMD drivers on both the TD-10 and TD-20. The result has to be heard to believe.
Due to the superlative performance of the DMD drivers, the 11” German Eton woofer, with its super light yet super stiff honeycomb sandwich cone, was chosen to cover 385Hz and below for speed, resolving power and explosive dynamics.
When developing the new DMD midrange driver, Usher has paid special attention to making sure that it would have a frequency response and impedance behavior that’s effectively the same as those of the midrange it is replacing. This has made the new DMD midrange a drop-in upgrade for the current BE10 and BE20 owners. The crossover in the BE10/BE20 Diamond was already optimized through countless hours of computer-aided design, measuring and actual listening for a seamless integration with both the DMD tweeter and the Eton woofer. With the efforts and attention in this regard put in whilst developing the DMD midrange, all that’s needed to be done was to repeat the measuring and listening tests carefully to confirm the results remain optimal, which was exactly the case.
TD-10 vs. TD-20
The cabinets of the TD-10 and TD-20 are, per the Usher tradition, part of the whole system’s integrated computer-aided and tested design, and are realized in an ultra-rigid, double reinforced, high inner-loss structure that’s both low diffraction and low internal reflection. And again per the Usher tradition, the cabinets are finished in real wood/real veneer and piano lacquer to the highest standards.
The TD-10 hosts one woofer per channel whilst the TD-20 employs two for even higher power-handling and larger listening spaces.
3-way system : Diamond DMD dome tweeter 1.25" ,
Diamond DMD dome midrange 5" (0541D),
woofer 11" (ETON 11-584),
sensitivity: 89 dB @ 1 watt / 1m
nominal impedance: 8 ohms
frequency response (-3 dB): 24 Hz ~ 40 kHz
power handling: 180 watts
crossover frequencies: 380Hz, 3.5 kHz
weight: 70 kgs (including base)
dimensions (w x d x h): 37 cm x 73 cm x 118 cm