Originally Posted by eliwankenobi
Has anybody ordered or already received the ultra bookshelves?
I'm considering these ones against the Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelves, also considering the Sonus Faber Venere 1.5
🎼 Hey Eli~
I'm a week into auditioning these Ultra bookshelf speakers . . . along w/ the B&W 685s/686s; Ascend Sierra-1 Bookshelf Speakers and the Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf speakers. I considered the B&Ws simply based on price & being conveniently located at the local BB/MDC. The Sonus Faber Venere were a little out of the price range I was looking to stay within . . . heck, but the the SVSs were over it also . . . so, go figure.
In any case, I'm not a real AV person & I'm not familiar w/ all the AV terminology; but I know what I like when I hear it, if that makes sense. . . . In any case, I'll share the few thoughts that I have: I try my best to evaluate those 'measures' that people on here (and other forums) cite as 'things to measure when evaluating speakers.'
. . . well, either I'm too ADHD to stay focused or just 'not getting it' . . . in either case, I do believe I can appreciate the 'clarity of sound' in a speaker . . and boy these SVS-UBSs definitely have clarity and I found myself continually returning to them (when taking a break from the 'auditioning process'; if you can call it that) . . . I just love that these little things (relatively speaking) can reproduce so much detail and it truly is very pleasant to listen to (well, assuming your not listening to Five Finger Death Punch or something like that) . . . I don't know that I have the 'ear' to evaluate the quality of high-end content; but I do not notice distortion (at times I played 2 channel at -5 to -10) & regarding base, well, I don't listen to a lot of base heavy type music (e.g., hip-hop, dub, techno, etc); so, for my purposes .. . I like the amount of base possessed by these speakers & it seemed that regardless of placement, I never had an issue w/ booming base or it interfering w/ the mids (not that I could notice).
As far as my 'audition' goes . .. the B&Ws were returned to BB/MDC almost straight away . . . even to me there was such a disparity in sound quality/clarity . . . [it's funny, I used some of the apple lossless source material from B&W's Society of Sound site & the material (IMO) sounded better on all the non-B&W speakers. . . that's probably too broad a generalization to be useful here, sorry]. Also, for some reason, I seem to have an issue w/ the B&W tweeters, in these lower end models, it really bothers my ears 🙉. . . the Aperion was the next to go . . . beyond the SVS being superior (IMO) in clarity/SQ it just always felt like the Aperion was a small bookshelf speaker & I never have that feeling when I listen to either the Ascend Sierra-1 or the SVS Ultra Bookshelfs. And regarding the 'sound stage', for the Ascend & SVS, I find myself thinking 'this is pretty cool; that all this sound comes from those little boxes' . . . I did not have this reaction w/ the Aperion.SIde Note #1:
regarding the the grills on the Aperion (if you choose to audition them). Be sure to remove the grill from either the top or bottom as it's easy to damage the finish if you try to remove the grill from the sides . . . the pair sent to my house had been damaged prior to arriving at my house (where in the process this occurred is a matter of opinion if you can read between those lines). That being said, I thought the Aperion were the nicest looking speakers in the bunch.Side Note #2:
At one point I dropped the SVS's into my HT system (in place of my Studio 100s) and w/ some tweeking of the setting son my Denon AVR-4311ci . . . I thought hmmm, I could live w/ this too . . contrary to when I dropped the B&W 685s in there . . . I could just tell they didn't belong & it didn't matter what settings I tweaked, not happening.
Anyway, Eli~ . . . as I'm not an AV person, I'm also not an avid poster; as you can probably tell. So, if nothing else above is useful . . . I'd say consider auditioning the Ascend Sierra-1 also . . . I still haven't made my final decision between them & the SVSs. . . they're also very clear, love the sound stage, I wasn't able to make them distort & they actually have a tonal quality that I like better than the SVSs (sorry, I can't be more clear than that; I'm not sure I even understand what I mean at that point . ... other than they're still in the game). You will have to pay a $35 initial shipping (flat rate) & if you return them, you have to cover total cost of shipping them back (which I'm guessing is a bit more than $35).
Edit on 27 Feb 13:
Just wanted to update my above post, as of today, I've returned all but the SVS UBS as I've decided to keep them . . . I was sold on the overall sound clarity & SQ . . . even though there was a tonal quality about the Ascends that I really liked . . . anyway, I just shipped the Ascends back today at cost of $65 . .. so, in total it cost me $100 in shipping charges to experience the Ascends . . . but all in all, I think it was $100 well spent as I believe I'll be pleased w/ these SVS UBS well into the future . . . in any case, here's a pic below of the SVSs in their new home . . . (p.s., I think they look much nicer w/ grills off, IMO).