Usher Audio Technology Factory Tour


John, head honcho of CMY Audio & Visual recently made a visit to Usher Audio Technology's speaker and electronics factory in Taiwan. He has kindly allowed me to share a view of the impressive factory with you, our dear readers, through the perspective of his camera view finder.

Usher's factory is predominantly a full fledged speaker manufacturer, making every part including the dynamic drivers in house, except for the wood work, which like most other speaker manufacturers have been out sourced to an external professional carpenter outfit operating in China.

As Usher also manufactures a range of high quality amplifiers and CD players, we get to see that side of the operations too, in the later parts of this factory tour. Last but not least, we will also get to know about Usher's R&D facilities, QC laboratory, and two acoustically treated listening theaters.

Let's start the tour!

The main office building and entrance of Usher Audio Technology.

The business like main foyer & reception area.

The admin and sales office area.

Now comes the interesting part, the in house dynamic driver assembly area! This is where the speaker's magnet assembly is formed.

A closer look at the coiling of the magnet assembly.

The semi finished item is then put on an assembly line for further integration with the rest of the speaker parts.

Such as the speaker's stamped spider/basket structure.

This is where the magnet assembly is joined to the spider.

The computer aided assembly line continues...

Assembly of the voice coil. Note the voice coil assembly at the bottom right of the picture.

Once the voice coil is formed and soldered, it's ready for...

The speaker cone/suspension surround assembly.

The gluing process of the speaker cone/suspension assembly to spider/basket. Note the four glue tanks at the bottom of the assembly line, indicating and compound like glue formula for extra durability.

The finished drivers will be tested.

A batch of Usher's latest Diamond DMD tweeters also awaiting testing.

Driver test station, note the smaller cut out on the right is for testing tweeters, while the bigger one on the left is for testing larger dynamic cones drivers.

The test sensor inside the mounting cut out.

I've been told that the driver's linearity, impedance, phase and sensitivity are tested here.

Tested drivers are then graded and placed on this tray, ready for use in the complete speaker assembly. Drivers that do not meet specifications are sent back to a reworking area, or to be discarded.

The tested drivers are put in to the speaker boxes in this assembly line.

Next, we continue our visit to Usher Audio Technology's anechoic chamber, R&D and QC laboratory. Stay tuned!

As we continue our second part of the Usher Audio Technology factory tour, let's visit some of their impresive in house R&D, plus QC laboratory facilities, which seems to take up a very big part of their premises.

You know Usher Audio Technology is very serious about achieving quality thru R&D.

Assembled speakers are tested in Usher Audio Technology's own in house anachoic chamber. An anachoic chamber is like a room without sound reflections, i.e. an acoustically dead room. It's used to measure the real sound quality produced by a speaker, without room induced acoustic effects.

Very few speaker manufacturers have this facility in house. I think only SIRIM has such a facility in Malaysia, which cost thousands of Ringgit/hour rental rates!

A section of the raw materials and in coming parts warehouse.

Some finished products awaiting shipment to their target makets.

Now we enter Usher's  R&D and QC laboratory. Note the human acoustical dummy with ear sensors, for psycho acoustic analysis!

Speaker driver pressure tester.

Just place the speaker driver in to the egg shaped chamber and close the lid.

Passive x-over assembly and testing.

More test equipment, scopes and test tone generators.

Not many speaker manufacturers can boast in house driver R&D plus manufacturing, as seen earlier in part 1 of the factory visit.

Stacks and stacks of test equipment!

Looks like a jitter analyser unit to test digital outputs.

Stereo Power Analyzer!

More scopes!

Various Audio Presicion speaker analyzer units.

Speaker driver impedance analyzer.

Eagle CAD(Computer Aided Design) circuit board design software, popularly used for R&D and simulation testing of PCB boards. Only very commited audio equipment manufacturers have this facility.

Next we take a look at Usher Audio Technology's electronics and digital R&D, plus assembly line areas. And last but not least, their two very impressive audition theaters with full acoustic treatments. Don't go away!

Now, we come to the final part of the Usher Audio Technology factory tour. Here, we take a more detailed look in to one of Usher's less visible product, audio electronics. Usher have a range of very capable, but not necessarily expensive products like CD players, pre/power amps and AV receivers too.

I've grown particularly fond of Usher's power amps, which I found to offer high standards of sound quality, balanced with high power output and keen pricing. They kinda remind me a lot of the ol'skool Krell muscle amps of the 80's, minus the treble harshness and being today's product, offering very neutral and transparent sound.

Lastly, we also take a tour to Usher's auditorium, where all final products R&D stage goes thru the last hurdle of the listening test!

This is a new DAC and output stage PCB board section of Usher's soon to be released new CD player, now under final stages of R&D.

A further look of the near complete CD player, with toroidal power supply transformer on the back of the CD transport and the DAC and output PCB board, as seen above, occupying the left side of the chassis.

The front panel of the above CD player.

Usher Audio technology's AV receiver, coming soon! Remember, you saw it here first on Hifi-Unlimited.

The electronics production line was not working when we visited.

A trial batch of the AV receiver undergoing assembly

One of the Usher Audio Technology's listening auditoriums. Note the much acoustically treated walls.

Usher CP-8871 Diamond DMD speakers undergoing listening test, powered by Usher Audio's electronics.

This auditorium also caters for AV and home theater products testing.

A more detailed look of the elaborate acoustic treatment.

Further close up reveals stuffed foam like material beneath angled tile fittings.

Another auditorium to cater for larger speakers and bigger audience groups.

From left: Usher D3 Reference Horn, CP-8871 and BE-718

A close up of the Usher D3 Reference Horn speaker offers tri-amping.tri-wiring.

The larger auditorium has wooden diffusers built in to the rear wall.

And also angled side walls with tile treatments.

With these pictures, we concluded our visit to Usher Audio Technology and came away mighty impressed with their facility size, R&D driven corporate culture, and lastly a growing brand name with world wide recognition and awards.