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New SVS Ultra speakers now shipping


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#1 of 45 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 22 2013 - 01:54 PM

3 1/2 way design, dual opposing 8" woofers. Center, bookshelf and surround speakers. I expect them to be pretty awesome. http://www.svsound.c...rs/ultra-series
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#2 of 45 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 22 2013 - 02:25 PM

I'll review them. Got a spare Kenwood M2A and I've got several other speakers for shootout... I'd like to know how they stack up against Crescendo 3007. I could also put them through some Hell...as in Felix Hell.

#3 of 45 OFFLINE   TheGary

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Posted January 22 2013 - 03:03 PM

I don't know, I'm not liking that awkward shape..

#4 of 45 OFFLINE   Brainwasher

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Posted January 22 2013 - 04:13 PM

I would be interested to see how the surrounds are wired for duet mode? And if it can truly cover both channels.

#5 of 45 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 22 2013 - 04:27 PM

I would be interested to see how the surrounds are wired for duet mode? And if it can truly cover both channels.

Not too hard. Single source stereo speakers already exist. The owners manual explains how each "wire-up" works.

#6 of 45 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted January 23 2013 - 03:22 AM

Originally Posted by gene c 

3 1/2 way design, dual opposing 8" woofers. Center, bookshelf and surround speakers. I expect them to be pretty awesome.

http://www.svsound.c...rs/ultra-series


They look interesting, and based on reputation alone, I would tend to agree that they will probably be pretty great performers, but I was actually a bit surprised that their sensitivity is "only" 87dB (except the towers which are 88).


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#7 of 45 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 23 2013 - 12:24 PM

What I'm curious about is they seem to have taken an entirely different approach to speaker design. I'd really like to see how they compare to the MTS series. Sadly, I've never had a chance to hear them. They don't show up on craigslist very often, if at all.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#8 of 45 OFFLINE   Stoked4Sound

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Posted January 30 2013 - 09:29 AM

Note: I recently purchases the SVS Ultra Tower Package and am of course curious as to how other "early listeners" are perceiving them. I also decided that I would share my own reactions -- good or bad -- to help everyone considering these speakers get a full view from as many folks as possible. To that end I posted an earlier version of this review at a different site on Sunday before finding Home Theatre Forum. I have now updated and posted this here with the hope that it helps others considering these speakers (and of course will look forward to the feedback from everyone else who gives them a listen). I have now had the SVS Ultra Towers and Centers “on line” for one week and the Surrounds “on line” for five days. During this time I have listened to approximately 50 different CDs in a wide variety of styles (mostly rock/acoustic but with a bit of jazz and classical as well). I have also sampled scenes from 10 Blu-Rays and watched 1 Blu-Ray in its entirety. My set up includes a VSX-91THX Pioneer Elite A/V Receiver, an SVS PB12-NSD subwoofer, a Panasonic Blu-Ray/CD player, and 12 gauge Monster speaker wire with banana plugs. After I got the speakers cabled, I calibrated my system using the Pioneer AVR’s’s built-in MCACC system along with the provided microphone. While I am not a true audiophile or engineer, and only spend time reading and learning about audio equipment every 5 years or so when I am looking to potentially upgrade, I do love excellent sound quality and have always tried my best to create a dedicated and acoustically reasonable set-up I could afford. To that end, I have owned speakers/subwoofers from Kef, ProAc, Ascend, SVS, and Polk over the years. My goal in the current upgrade of my home theatre/audio system was to get a new set of towers with matching center/surrounds that would get me as close as possible to a true “in-studio like” experience without destroying my bank account. To make this happen I budgeted a maximum of $10K for new speakers with the hope of spending less (so long as any “underspend” did not require a significant trade-off in quality). Hopefully all this background is helpful as you decide how to process my comments since having at least a bit of context to someone’s review has always seems helpful to me. So here is my review for the SVS Ultra Tower Surround Package. The out-of-the-box experience for my piano black Ultras was excellent. The speakers arrived on time, were well packaged / protected, and their looks were very nice while remaining neutral enough not to be the focal point of my room. While I admit that the looks of a speaker are not a priority of mine, it does help maintain “peace in the household” if the speakers blend in/coordinate with the rest of the room as seen through the eyes of my family. These certainly met that standard. In order to start getting a feel for the speakers, I first listened to a broad series of CDs I know well solely through the Towers (i.e., without the sub). These CDs included Jeff Beck’s “Blow By Blow”; The Who’s “Tommy”; The Beatles’ “Past Masters II”; The Grateful Dead’s “Workingman’s Dead”; CSNY “Greatest Hits”; B.B. King and Eric Clapton’s “Riding With the King”; and some Yo Yo Ma cello music. Right from the start I was very pleased by what I considered some core strengths in these speakers including an overall neutrality across the sound spectrum, a strong ability to reproduce voices, crispness with stringed instruments (as well as the detailed ability to hear different types of drums and cymbals in a drum kit), strong stereo imaging, and the absolute clarity/tightness of the bass. On what I thought initially was their downside, I was bothered by what I perceived as a slight “haze” or lack of clarity in some of the higher-end passages. Over the next 24 hours, however, it became clear that this “haze” was temporary as the speakers broke in a bit (or, as a practical matter, simply warmed up since they arrived at my house in 15-degree weather and were not fully at room temperature when I got them going). As my listening extended to the full week I had the opportunity to hear more of my "favorite CDs" collection and became increasingly impressed by the Ultra Towers' ability to deliver an incredibly realistic staging of such powerful CDs as "Oh Mercy" by Bob Dylan and "Car Wheels On a Gravel Road" by Lucinda Williams. In short, the better the production on the CDs and the more attention that was paid to the mix the better these speakers sound. No great surprise, I guess, but something that has increased my enjoyment of them as the week progressed. Based on the strengths of the Towers and what turned out to be no real drawbacks that I could hear, I came to the conclusion that with regard to listening to CDs the Ultras “hit the mark” I was looking for as well as any speakers I had heard to date in my current upgrading effort. More specifically, I would say that after the first few days I believed the Towers were on par or better than some significantly more expensive “favorite” speakers I had listened to CDs on amongst the “up-to-6k-for-the-towers” offerings from companies such as Paradigm and Focal. Fortunately, and to give myself just a little better assurance on this last point, I went back to my favorite audio store and "relistened" to what had been my favorite speakers previously. As I did, it became clear that the Ultras were by no means "on par" with these other speaker favorites -- they were simply better. (Note that I had also listened to some other well-known brands during this search for speakers but quickly ruled out ones that just didn’t sound accurate enough to me across the full range of sound -- including the MartinLogan Theos and the Bowers and Wilkins towers just below the diamond series). I short, I came away from the Towers-only portion of my listening project with the view that these speakers could reproduce audio CDs accurately enough to make me feel that magic “in the studio” feel with well-recorded source material that was my goal. Not an easy goal to meet, mind you, but one I was happy to see achieved. Moving on from my CDs, and once I received my surrounds (which were shipped separately) and installed them, I made a quick “pre-video 5.1 pit stop” to hear the sound that all five speakers would make coupled with my sub-woofer. For this I used my one-and-only DVD Audio disk that mixes The Beatles “Love” album in high-def 5.1. Listening to this disk reinforced my growing belief that I had found a particularly strong match for what I was seeking in that the combination of balance between the speakers combined with a repetition of the strong detailing I had heard with the CDs (i.e., during my Towers-only listening) allowed me to hear things in these Beatles recordings I had never heard before – and I have been listening to these recordings since they originally came out. That was a pretty big surprise and, quite frankly, kept me locked into this particular recording much longer than I expected. After listening to the DVD Audio disk, I began playing sampling some of my favorite Blu-Rays to combine the video and audio experience. My session in this regard covered a series of hand-picked scenes (including cuts from such Blu-Rays as Jeff Beck’s “Live At Ronnie Scott’s”; “The Dark Knight Rises”; “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace”; and “Cars”) that I felt would allow me to hear how the speakers performed with a cross-section of both subtle and complex 5.1 music passages, various “motion effects”, and (of course) the proverbial “stuff blowing up”. As with the Towers-only and DVD Audio listening sessions, I was very happy with the sound the overall speaker system achieved from the Blu-Rays in that all the audio was tight, accurate, and vibrant – without being so in-your-face as to become annoying. This combination of attributes is what I have described as the “neutrality” I am looking for in Home Theatre audio. In essence, I want to be transported “into the movie” via an effective balance of pristinely reproduced dialogue, accurate special effects, and truly “musical” background music. More specifically as it regards the background music, I want any soundtrack songs on a Blu-Ray to sound like I am playing them from a CD and any orchestration to sound like I have an orchestral pit in the room (i.e., I don’t want to hear the notes – I want to hear the instruments so that saxophones sound like saxophones and cellos sound like cellos). I realize this is a tall order and that these descriptions may be a bit awkward. With that said, that is what I am looking to achieve in putting together my system and I was extremely pleased with the ability of the Ultras to deliver on these goals. Finally, and what for me is the ultimate Home Theatre test, I tried to “tune out” of audio-test-mode and simply enjoy a full-length Blu-Ray like I would normally experience it. For this last leg on the testing journey I choose “The Departed” (which I saw once several years ago). Perhaps the best thing I can say about this session is that I wound up loving the movie and mostly forgetting about the speakers (other than the occasional “wake up out of the movie” recognition that the music was truly as “musical” as I was hoping for and effects like gunshots were particularly dynamic). I was even pleasantly surprised to hear my eighteen-year-old daughter confess that she really liked the new speakers since she is one of those folks who would typically not recognize any difference between watching a movie on a good home theatre system and watching it on her laptop. Maybe there is hope for the next generation after all. Well that’s it. In short, and at least for me, I would rate these speakers as “very highly recommended” and have now ended my upgrade search with the decision to keep the Ultras. In some ways I guess I was surprised at how “dead on” the match was between these speakers and what I was looking for but it was obviously a pleasant surprise. I also should note that while I wound up saving a significant amount of money versus my original “speaker budget”, I do not feel that I made any compromise in quality with the Ultras in order to achieve these savings. Quite simply, the Ultras were my favorite sounding speaker system in the “under 10K” envelope I was looking to stay within and I feel particularly fortunate that they launched at the same time that I was looking to upgrade. The fact that they look nice and that the surrounds are relatively small and flexible (i.e., that I can use them in bi-pole, di-pole, or duet mode) were icing on the cake. P.S., As I mentioned at the top of this note (as well as the other note I referenced on a different site), I am not a true “audiophile” and, as such, am not likely to read this forum on a consistent basis now that my upgrade project is completed. With that said, these types of forums have been VERY helpful to me in learning about home theatre over the years and has surely helped me to make better, more cost-effective decisions – as such, I wanted to “share back” with the community by providing my views re the SVS Ultra speakers (especially in light of the fact that they are so new). To that end, I will continue to stay up on this thread for the next few weeks and answer any questions anyone has that they think I can be helpful with. I also posted this feedback on the SVS.com site (since the company asked users to post their comments in the literature that came with the Ultras and promised to “post all customer reviews, whether positive or negative”). Hope this helps and looking forward to hearing the reactions of others.
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#9 of 45 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted January 30 2013 - 10:14 AM

How did you wire the surrounds? Di/bipole or single source stereo(to do 4/5 and 6/7 from a single pair)?

#10 of 45 OFFLINE   Stoked4Sound

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Posted January 30 2013 - 10:48 AM

I went with bi-pole based on the way my room is set up but the wiring for all three options was pretty simple (and the packaging included the "jumpers" required for di-pole).

#11 of 45 ONLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted February 03 2013 - 02:13 PM

So I decided to go looking tonight at the SVS website as I am considering a speaker upgrade.

I was disappointed to see that the SBS-01 and SBS-02 systems seem to have been discontinued?  Bummer.


The Ultra speakers are priced way out of my league.

I don't want to hijack this thread about my speaker upgrade, I'll start another thread if need be.  Just disappointed their other lines aren't avaialable.  I thought this might be my chance to own something made by SVS.

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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#12 of 45 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted February 03 2013 - 04:33 PM

I'm sure entry level speakers are in the works but I bet they will be more expensive than the previous versions. Too bad you're in N.Y. I have some new-in-the-boxes 5 piece SBS-02 set I could let you have but shipping charges would be pretty high. But you can still buy the bookshelfs. They are available on their Outlet for $149/pr. No center channel though. But in all honesty I think the Infinity Primus 163's are a better speaker. https://www.svsound.com/sbs-02
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#13 of 45 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted February 03 2013 - 06:06 PM

I've had my svs for about 12 years now and love it. I blew it out a couple years ago and they gladly sent me a new part. they said I was still in warranty but I'm not so sure I really was.
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#14 of 45 OFFLINE   Stoked4Sound

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Posted February 03 2013 - 10:01 PM

Mike, For what it is worth, I am planning to post my SVS M-Series home theatre set-up for sale later this week (i.e., four MBS, one MCS -- all in piano gloss black, perfect condition, original boxing/paperwork, and with the Omni Mounts for putting the rears on the wall). These are the "first generation" M-Series with the ScanSpeak tweeters and I LOVED them -- I simply have to part with them since I replaced them with the new Ultra Tower system. The price might still be too high for you (since I am looking to get about $1800 for the set) but I am in Upstate New York. Just thought I would let you know based on your post. This is my second SVS system in a row and both times I was in the market as they were bringing out something new (and I figured it was worth testing them out given their policy re free shipping in both directions). Both times I was blown away by the sound quality/value-for-dollar and both times I have wound up keeping them. In any event, if you are interested just let me know and I won't post them for sale.

#15 of 45 ONLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted February 04 2013 - 01:52 AM

Charles:


I enjoyed your first post up above.  Very detailed and full of good information.


Thanks for the tremendous offer of first refusal.  But, unfortunately, that's still a bit too rich for my current budget.  Good luck with your sale.  I bet they won't be on the market long.

Timing is everything...and I seem to be a few months behind right now...

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#16 of 45 OFFLINE   Stoked4Sound

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Posted February 04 2013 - 10:30 AM

I'm glad the review was helpful. As to the M-Series, we waited multiple years between purchases in order to enjoy this hobby without going completely broke so I know exactly what you are talking about. :)

#17 of 45 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 04 2013 - 10:45 AM

I just received the speakers today(letting them warm up for the night). First impression. Gorgeous black. Stout cabinet contruction. I may end up sitting my TV on the center as it won't fit the cubby in the stand. Depends if SVS cares if I set the TV on it as I've done that before with the DCM Surroundscape. Only one little nit-pick(which I won't reveal till I actually formulate the review). But that nit-pick is a moot point, as the speakers probably wouldn't exist in the first place.

#18 of 45 OFFLINE   Stoked4Sound

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Posted February 08 2013 - 01:24 PM

One more update: I have now had my SVS Ultra Tower system for 10 days and at about Day 6 was enjoying my system but starting to wonder if my Pioneer Elite receiver was simply not powerful enough to take full advantage of the Towers when used for CD playback. While I did not detect a power-shortage issue in my system when playing movies, where I tend to listen to the Towers just a bit less critically, or when playing CDs at low-to-mid volume, I felt I was getting some "clipping" from my receiver with complex music (e.g., Yes) played at upper-mid-level volumes. As a result, I purchased an Emotiva SPA-3 amplifier (which is a well-reviewed but cost-effective 200W, 3-channel amp) earlier this week to place in-line on my system in order to hear whether it would make a major difference when hooked-up to power the Ultra Towers and the Center speaker (leaving my Pioneer Elite which is rated at 110W per channel to drive the surrounds). In short, this was a very good idea in that the Towers are now playing MUCH smoother when pushed. It didn't seem to change the tone of the speakers at all -- it simply enabled the Towers to handle my entire CD collection at whatever volume I wanted to listen to. I pass this along since I believe this is a good "heads up" for anyone considering these speakers. They sound great and I couldn't be happier with them -- you may, however, want to add the extra power of an in-line amplifier if you plan to use them as a dual audio / home theater installation. Hoping this helps.

#19 of 45 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 08 2013 - 02:44 PM

I'm more impressed with the Ultra tower today. I bought an Oppo 970 and the first thing I fired up... http://www.amazon.co...dman water sacd One caveat here...I was sent the entire 5.0 set, which includes the dipoles. Di-Bi-pole is not my cup of tea. And listening to that disc confirmed why I've always gone tower speaker surrounds. I also watched Tron(2010) tonight. That was fabulous. I've not run into "lack of power" issues with my Onkyo...but I don't punish my ears... Some takes on what I listened to... Bruno Mara: Unorthodox Jukebox(Target exclusive bonus version). That was party in the great room. Had the sound mode set of DPL II: Music and pure direct. Played some tracks both ways, especially Old & Crazy with Esperanza Spalding. On pure direct...that was freakish.. Madman Across the Water:SACD Of course asking 6"(I think???) bookshelves to keep up with the tower is an impossible task. I switched back and forth between Multi-channel and Multi-channel direct(no bass management). The entire disc on M-C was great. Switched the M-C/D, the rears got lost...which is what I expected. Levon left the rears in dismay "direct". Otherwise...the disc was easily listenable either way. Tron(2010) The entire thing was fabulous. I'm still getting used to no rear bass...but sounded excellent. All of the "light crashes" had the requisite deep drone and crystal digital mess. Outstanding. Several TV shows... POI. Great soundtrack, I think the dipole actually made the pink noise more pronounced...which was a good thing. Scandal. Nice soundtrack. Overall very pleased...if I were to buy these...it would be 4 of the towers...mainly cause that is what I'm used to for SACD/DVD-A.

#20 of 45 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 09 2013 - 06:18 AM

Additional info(while I wait for the garage to warm up...car threw the alternator/water pump belt a mile from home...whew...)... Currently enjoying... http://www.amazon.co...ds=602498640302 (the DVD-A 2 disc version...which I can't tell if this "link" is for that or not...I even used the UPC and it still went back to that????) This is right up the alley of a pair of Di-pole. I might switch the rears to Bi-pole later in the week and see what the difference might be... But anyway...great album sounding fabulous. Compared to the DCM TF600...the lyrics on the Ultra are clearer...but I'm missing the "enveloped" of the TF600, which is not a shock...same thing if were comparing the Ultra to a pair of these.... http://www.amazon.co...irage omnipolar Edit: Track 8: Broken Drum Track 9: Scarecrow The very reason I don't do MP3...except in the car. The TF600 don't this good on track 9. Third time on it...




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