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Additional Resources Read more floorstanding speaker reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's writers. The Ultra Tower is the flagship of the SVS Ultra speaker line and at $999 per side nothing if not ambitious. With the Ultra Bookshelf speakers serving as rear channels, the surround sound information was rendered with such precision and depth that I still question the need for seven channels when five will do brilliantly. Extended Test Bench. The high-frequency performance improved slightly with the increase in resolution from the source material, though I'd still say it wasn't up to the standard set by the Ultra Tower's midrange and bass performance. Of course, one of the benefits of that big cabinet is that it allows for big drivers – and plenty of them. The Ultra Tower's high-frequency response was good, possessing clear detail and air, though at the extreme, things were a little one-dimensional and susceptible to some sibilance at higher volumes. Aimed at providing consumers with a truly high-end-sounding solution, albeit at an affordable price, the Ultra line is the finest loudspeaker SVS has made to date and, as a result, it's the only lineup of loudspeakers the company now offers. Schiit’s New Three-Input DAC Doesn’t Force You to Compromise, Hulu's Watch Party Now Available for All Subscription Tiers, XtremeMac’s New Product Combines Wireless Charging with a USB-C Port, Cyrus Audio Launches Six New Products with XR Series, Sonos’ New Upgrade Program Includes More Eligible Devices and Allows You to Keep Your Old Device, Revel F12 Speakers and Revel B10 Subwoofer Reviewed, Home Theater Review's Best of 2013 Awards, Home Theater Review's Best of 2015 Awards, Aperion Audio's Verus Grand Tower Speaker, Home Theater Review's Floorstanding Speaker page. While the SB13-Ultra does have parametric EQ functionality (2), I ended up needing two more bands, so I EQ'ed it using Room EQ Wizard feeding my filters, then into my Behringer Feedback Destroyer Pro before passing the signal onto the sub itself. I experimented with all of the above setup options, including treating the Ultra Surround as two discrete loudspeakers and found that I preferred the Ultra Surround configured, more or less, like a dedicated rear speaker. This meant that I had to then position the Ultra Surrounds further back along my side walls, so that their angled, forward-facing drivers were aimed directly at my listening position, so as not to result in surround information "appearing" in front of me. The whole speaker is good for a frequency response (reported) of 45Hz to 32kHz, with a sensitivity of 87dB and an impedance of eight ohms. I did not get to spend a lot of time with them, about an hour or so. That said, the finish, more specifically its effect upon your listening/viewing space is not subjective, as the multi-faceted cabinet is a reflection magnet. Move on. So while the Ultra Center was tonally virtually indistinguishable from the Ultra Tower speakers, its dispersion and slight lack of sensitivity were somewhat noticeable. The result is a tower … And this is Andrew Robinson's review as he takes the speaker and pushes it to see what it can do. The sub I chose was the SB13-Ultra, which writer Sean Killebrew reviewed earlier. Center channel speakers are good, for they allow for HDTVs either above or below, but if you can accommodate, I'd almost always recommend either a matching bookshelf or third main speaker for your center channel, as the sound will then be truly seamless. The "3.5-way" design offers significantly more detail than standard two-way offerings. Find pairing options in our AV Receiver and Amplifier review sections. Again, not bad, better than average even, but not exceptional. The SVS Prime Pinnacle ( $1598/pair in Black Ash , $1798/pair in Piano Black Gloss ) is a major new speaker release. SVS recently announced the Prime Pinnacle - and despite costing less than a pair of Ultra Towers, at $799 each, they look like absolute monsters. The Pinnacle’s 5.25” midrange, based on its counterpart in the Ultra Tower… These speakers are a tale of two halves. Each of the 3.5-way Ultra Towers has a 25mm aluminium dome tweeter, dual 16.5cm glass-fibre mid-range drivers and dual horizontally opposed 20cm woofers, mounted in this way to help reduce distortion. SVS has a new floorstanding speaker as part of the new Ultra line. Simply put, the whole experience was fantastic. Like all SVS products, the Ultra Series comes with a full 45-day risk-free, in-home trial with free shipping, both ways. No, not at all, but if given the choice (and the ability), I'd forego the Ultra Center in favor of the Ultra Bookshelf as the center speaker, as well as for the surrounds. Sensitivity is stated to be 88dB, making the Ultra Tower suitable for amplifiers and/or receivers ranging in power from 20 to 300 watts or more. Still, I'm not here to critique the speaker box, but rather the speaker itself. In my experience, styrofoamisn’t a great packing material, but SVS has encased the end pieces in cardboardthat can hold them together if they do break. Review: SVS new top-of-the line Ultra Series Speakers reviewed here consist of 4 models. Yikes. Competition and Comparisons Among the offerings from other Internet-direct companies, the one speaker I'd directly compare the Ultra Tower to would have to be Aperion Audio's Verus Grand Tower Speaker at $999 each. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for SVS Ultra Tower Speaker (Single) - Black Oak Veneer at Amazon.com. Conclusion I more than enjoyed my time with the new Ultra Tower speakers from SVS - okay, I really kind of dug the whole line. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, while I may not have completely fancied the Ultra Tower's look, I realize my criticisms are subjective. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? What Hi-Fi? And while I may have had some issue with the center channel's dispersion, its tone and way with vocals was nothing if not completely natural. The towers f… While the look of the Ultra Towers (or the Ultra Series) wasn't one hundred percent my cup of tea, I didn't hold it against them, for it's hard to justify one's criticism when so much of what the product does elsewhere is so great and so affordable. While the two aren't exactly a fair comparison to one another, the SB13-Ultra manages to do more for less than the JL's asking price, especially when you consider that the JL sub truly comparable to the SB13-Ultra is the JL Fathom f113 that retails for around $4,000, depending on finish. On top of that, it's fairly safe to say that SVS Ultra Tower are more popular speakers, based on their reviews… The sound, in terms of tone, was seamless across all five speakers, though I found the center to be a touch more directional compared to either the Ultra Tower or the Ultra Surround. Receive news and offers from our other brands? The review samples were finished in a Gloss Black that approaches what one sees on a Steinway concert grand; the Ultra Tower is also available in a Black Oak real-wood veneer. Needless to say, the Ultra Tower doesn't exist in a vacuum, as it more than has its fair share of competition out there. It's what SVS calls, "Your SVS Bill of Rights.". Retailing for $999 each, the Ultra Tower is the only floor-standing loudspeaker in the line, which includes the Ultra Bookshelf (499 each), Ultra Center ($699) and Ultra Surround ($599 each). The tone of Alanis' vocals felt right, though I'm not certain I'd call the Ultra Tower neutral, but rather just a touch beefy, though don't mistake that for laid-back or romantic, for it is neither of those things. Thank you for signing up to What Hi-Fi?. If you need a dedicated center channel under or above your HDTV, because that is simply how your setup has to be (it's okay if it is), then I recommend aiming the Ultra Center square at your listening position if at all possible. This premium model takes the top slot in the SVS Prime lineup and offers a 3-way design incorporating a 5.25” midrange plus three 6.5” woofers. However, the scale these speakers offer is undeniable, and they ensure a spacious, open sound with good stereo imaging – each instrument is placed well in the mix. While you can read his review of the SB13-Ultra for a full breakdown of its performance, let me just say it's killer, easily besting my (former) reference JL Fathom f110s. The sub was connected to my Behringer via a 10-foot balanced cable from Monoprice, with an additional one-meter balanced interconnect from the Behringer to my Integra DHC 80.2, also from Monoprice. Not bad. If I were putting together a multi-channel setup from scratch, there are far worse places to start, and few better. All of the speakers were connected to their respective amplifiers, which in this case were Parasound Halo A21 (stereo) and A31 (three-channel) amplifiers, via 12-gauge speaker cable from Binary, a SnapAV company. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Behind the scenes, the Ultra Tower's driver complement is good for a reported frequency response of 28Hz to 32kHz, with a nominal impedance of eight ohms. I ended my evaluation of the Ultra Series speakers, specifically the Ultra Towers, with (arguably) the finest Blu-ray available today, James Cameron's Titanic (Paramount). SVS is the best of the best. If you're willing to spend just a bit more, the doors open for speakers like Tekton Design's Pendragon to enter into the conversation, which in my opinion represents a jump in quality for not that much more money. SVS has recently gone back and completely redesigned its loudspeaker line, coming up with a whole new offering in the form of the Ultra Series. With everything set up and the levels matched inside my Integra, it was time to get down to business. What they do well is instantly impressive, but take a little longer with them and the story begins to unravel. Setup. Performance I began my evaluation of the Ultra Tower with some two-channel music, beginning with Alanis Morissette's newest album Havoc and Bright Lights (Collective Sounds) and the track "'Till You." The Good The SVS Prime Tower is a well-built and great-sounding speaker for the money. Frequency response • tower 43 Hz to 20 kHz ±2.9 dB avg. Test Report: SVS Ultra Tower Surround Speaker System Page 3. In essence they created a speaker that combines the affordability and ease of use and placement of the Prime towers and the premium qualities and performance of the Ultra series. Although SVS offered to include a subwoofer with my test system, I wanted to hear what the Tower could do on its own. There’s a rear-firing port at the back too, which, combined with the side-firing woofers, means the Ultra Towers really need space. Going loud enough to seriously bother your neighbours, these speakers excel in deep, tight, impactful bass which, for all its heft, is still agile and responsive. And the weighty bass only emphasises the Ultra Towers’ rather unrefined treble, as a run-through of Eminem’s treble-heavy Berzerk shows. The no lemon guarantee means that if your product malfunctions three times in the span of one year, SVS will simply replace it or give you full credit toward the same or a similar product. Want understatement? Retailing for $999 each, the Ultra Tower is the only floor-standing loudspeaker in the line, which includes the Ultra Bookshelf (499 each), Ultra Center ($699) and Ultra Surround ($599 each). The ability to reproduce subtle de... Widescreen Review, Ultra Tower … In truth, I ended up using the Ultra Bookshelf speakers for rears longer-term, as that was just my personal preference, though they're not wall-mountable, so I had to rely on my trusty Sanus stands, which isn't ideal but is still sufficient in my room. The soundstage was so composed and the sense of space so well-defined that, despite having a 10-foot image of the action in front of me, I could close my eyes and sense the physical space. The end result is a combination of both worlds with the Prime Pinnacle towers being an excellent choice for those looking for great performance without the need to go all out both on budget as well as space requirements. I also very much appreciated the Ultra Tower's midrange and upper midrange articulation, as the Ultra Tower is a speaker that forges ahead and tries to get more than just the broad strokes right. The Ultra Surrounds were hung from my ceiling using Monoprice ceiling brackets, though I had to fashion an adaptor out of wood in order for the mounting points to align with my Monoprice brackets. The bigger-is-better theme doesn’t stop at design. This leaves tracks feeling rather emotionless, as if the artist was just doing a guide track rather than the final recording. I may not have been the biggest fan of the Ultra Center or Surrounds, which isn't to say they're bad, but rather the victims of some of my own personal proclivities. Music sounds awesome as well as movies. The Ultra Series is anchored by the Ultra Tower reviewed here. Briefly, the Ultra Center is a three-way design, utilizing dual six-and-a-half-inch woofers on either side of a single one-inch aluminum tweeter sitting atop a four-inch midrange driver. Chaptering ahead to the iceberg sequence, the resulting surround sound performance all but cemented my view that the Ultra Towers, when utilized as part of a larger Ultra Series multi-channel setup, were nothing if not astonishing when it came to recreating a true cinema experience in the home. The speakers themselves are well packed to ensure the utmost safety from their point of origin to your doorstep. On their own, the Ultra Towers possessed enough bass to be pleasing, if not wholly satisfying, with two-channel music, though I did ultimately end up employing the subwoofer throughout my two- and multi-channel tests. This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below ... SVS has also taken the unprecedented extra step of supplying two different sets of threaded feet for the speakers. Visit our corporate site. And despite the surprisingly agile bass, the Ultra Towers still lack bite. Although the complete SVS Ultra lineup is marketed as a full multichannel and home theatre solution, the sleek Ultra Tower … While not a knock against the Ultra Tower, the speakers aimed at accompanying it don't quite match its performance benchmarks. The best OLED TV deals: LG, Sony, Vizio, 55, 65 and 77-inch TVs, Huge Beats headphones deal! To provide flexibility for the low-frequency performance, SVS includes an acoustic foam plug for the rear port that, when inserted, essentially makes the Ultra Tower into a sealed-box design. … Sign up below to get the latest from What Hi-Fi?, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! Nothing that was too distracting, but also not best in class. Was it a deal-breaker? is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. A 1” tweeter and 5.25” midrange driver are … For the purposes of this review, the Ultra Towers replaced both my reference Pendragons, as well as my newly acquired JBL Pro 3677 cinema monitors. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, BA1 1UA. The mix is such that not much of the dialogue is carried over to the left and right main speakers, so it's a relatively good test of a center speaker's dispersion; I found the Ultra Center to be merely average in that regard. There’s a rear-firing port at the back too, which, combined with the side-firing woofers, means the Ultra Towers really need space… 0°-30°, ±3.4 dB on-axis • center 58 Hz … While SVS isn’t the only Internet-direct speaker manufacturer testing pre-conceptions about what value is … I'm generally critical of center speakers, as I don't find them to be on par with most stereo mains. Dynamics and impact were solid and effective, though I've heard snappier transients, not by wide margins but rather by degrees of subtlety. With a hint of the top end cut off, the performance was for me very nicely balanced. It comes with a black fabric grille that SVS … All rights reserved. The level of detail and inflection captured and put forth by the Ultra Series speakers was incredible. Like all SVS products, the Ultra … Is the Ultra Tower perfect? The top of the line Ultra speaker sure has a lot of tech in it for its modest price of just under $2000 a pair. Admittedly, the mounting options are more limited with the Ultra Bookshelf speakers, as opposed to the Ultra Surrounds, which may be a factor for some. For more on these great speakers, as well as other floor-standing speakers like them, please visit Home Theater Review's Floorstanding Speaker page. Regardless, the Ultra Surround is a dual baffle design, each with its own five-and-a-half-inch woofer mated to a single one-inch aluminum dome tweeter. The Ultra Tower's rendering of space was infectious, bordering on truly three-dimensional. ... A 3.5-way crossover with the Ultra Tower… It’s almost as if the SVS speakers are scared to go quiet, so you don’t hear that dynamic shift as strongly; they start off loud, only to go louder still. And this is Andrew Robinson's review as he takes the speaker and pushes it to see what it can do. At 1.14m tall, our piano-black review pair dwarfs the majority of the competition at this price. What followed was a wholly enjoyable, completely convincing portrayal of two larger than life drum kits being wielded like weapons by their respective drummers in an all-out assault on my senses. Except for the Ultra … With everything firing as one, the top to bottom coherence was incredible, not to mention completely seamless. TheDroidGuy Honors SVS Ultra Tower as "Best High-End" Floorstanding Speaker "The SVS Ultra Tower floorstanding speakers are considered by many to be the best floorstanding speakers with a three-figure price. That should help, but the use ofpolyethylene foam would offer better protection against harsh shipping. Wrapping up our review what we can say is that SVS did a lot of things right with these towers. I cued up the thriller Outbreak (Warner Brothers) and chaptered ahead to a scene between stars Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman, where they're arguing inside an Army trailer over the handling of said outbreak. Elsewhere in the AV space, the Ultra Tower must contend with stalwarts like Paradigm's Monitor Series and Bowers & Wilkins' 600 Series. SVS Ultra Towers and Prime Pinnacle Tower Comparison Want a set? Bath So, be careful with system-matching – and feed these speakers the best quality tracks you can. Please refresh the page and try again. You will receive a verification email shortly. They’re deep too, due to their unique slanted trapezium shape. Quote: Originally Posted by stilly /t/1476002/svs-ultra-tower-review#post_23413796 Well the SVS towers arrived today. Moving ahead to the track "Celebrity," I was immediately struck by the Ultra Tower's soundstage reproduction, which I found to be both cavernous and well-defined. The tweeter is a 1” aluminum dome with a diffuser, optimized using finite-element analysis (FEA), that SVS claims broadens the dome’s dispersion to produce a wider soundstage. This added mid-bass heft helped to ground the midrange, which in turn lent a truer sense of scale and dimension to the vocal track. Again, the impact, articulation and speed were impressive, though the high frequencies struck me as a little flat at times. It even exhibited greater horizontal dispersion. Put them too close to a back wall and they’ll sound overly bassy; too close to a side wall and they can sound closed-in. There were instances where the sound didn't fully venture over to either of the far reaches of my 10-foot diagonal screen. You get a lot of speaker for your money, but there are more rounded, better executed speakers out there at this price. Submit a ReviewContact Editorial Policy About us, Privacy Policy CCPA / GDPR Affiliate policy. SVS has a new floorstanding speaker as part of the new Ultra line. At the center of SVS loudspeaker demo were its prototype, hand-built Ultra Series Ultra Towers ($1999/pair), with a rated response of 28Hz 22kHz (±3dB). A word about the … I could (mostly) eliminate this by taking the treble slider down 2dB, which is a fine solution for me, though the thought may anger some purists. Thespeakers were wrapped in a soft cotton bag that … Still, the mid-bass prowess of the Ultra Tower was incredible as was its speed and detail, something that was only aided by my taking the bottom octave off its plate, so to speak. The resulting sound was wall-to-wall fun from start to finish. Yes, I said more. I had the PB Ultra subwoofer for a while and have been eyeing up the Ultra Towers. Of course, one of the benefits of that big cabinet is that it allows for big drivers – and plenty of them. LA Audio File - Kevin Nakano Reviews the Ultra Tower "The SVS Ultra Towers are certainly one of the best sounding speakers we have heard in the sub-$2000 (per pair) category. © Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. SVS may be best known for its outrageously fine subwoofers, but the Audiophiliac thinks its Ultra Tower is the gem in the line. The Ultra Towers can bring a feeling of heaviness when it’s not really wanted, and lack the ability to handle more delicate tracks quite as well as their more articulate counterparts. Minus my hyper-critical look at the Ultra Center, the rest of the film played out beautifully and in a completely convincing big cinematic way. The front baffle plays host to a pair of six-and-a-half-inch midrange drivers, with a one-inch aluminum dome tweeter between them. Nevertheless, the Ultra Tower and Ultra Series on a whole are wonderful achievements and very much worthy of consideration.

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