First, I would like to say that I really like your opinions on audio products. I am kind of like you when it comes to “hi-fi gear.” I have a question for you: What is a better choice between the Usher X-718 and the Amphion Argon1? I listen to a lot of opera and male vocalist, as well as folk and country from time to time. I like a little heavy metal too. I don’t know the price of the Argon1s, but if they sound a little close to the Argon3s, are they better than the Ushers? What is the main difference between them? I’m asking you because it will be nice to have a different opinion than that of a salesman from a boutique!
That’s a really good question, but you won’t like my answer: I don’t know. I haven’t heard the Amphion Argon1 and it’s been a while since I reviewed the Usher X-718. That being said, I’ll give you a couple of things to consider if I may.
If the Amphion Argon1 is anything like the Argon3 or 3L (and it would not surprise me if they had a thing or two in common), you should expect a very transparent- and coherent-sounding speaker that will really let you hear into recordings. I suspect this will be coupled to a weighty low end, but given that the Argon1 only uses a 5.25" midrange/woofer (versus a 6.5” one in the Argon3 and Argon3L), it won’t be able to work miracles in the bass. Then again, Amphion rates the Argon1 as -3dB at 45Hz. If that’s true, you might find you’re perfectly happy.
As for the Usher X-718, I think you can expect a similarly high level of transparency and resolution. I imagine it’ll play a little deeper given its larger, more substantial cabinet and 7" midrange/woofer. The problem is that it’s been so long since I’ve heard them that I don’t want to say much else.
In the end, the only thing that matters is your taste in sound, and what you think when you hear them (assuming you can even do so). I don’t believe that the type of music to which you listen should have any bearing on the speaker you listen with. If you can honestly listen to a speaker and be disappointed with how it handles a particular genre of music, you might want to consider walking away. A good speaker should be good on all types of music. As implied by its name, “hi-fi” is about being faithful to the source, and I think that the less “sound” a speaker has the better (but that’s just my preference, and it mightn’t be yours).
Sorry I can’t be more helpful, but by the sounds of things you’ve narrowed it down to two really interesting choices. Just trust your ears and I can’t imagine you’ll go wrong. . . . Philip Beaudette