Review: SVS Ultra Towers(Now with pics!) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 67 Old 03-21-2013, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently picked up some SVS Ultra towers and while I was doing my extensive research Into speakers in this price range I was surprised to see that there were hardly any reviews for these towers. This inspired me to give back to the community and give these towers a user review.

Let me first start by saying I'm not a super audiophile who can tell the difference between $7,000 speaker wire and $7 speaker wire smile.gif Audio has been a hobby of mine for the past 8 years and I would say my ears are a little above average(I've trained them a little and spoiled myself by listening to some very nice setups). Enough about me lets get to the speakers!

They arrived on a pallet and were boxed very well as all SVS products are.



The packaging shows a cut-away drawing of the inside. Very cool.




I started my listening tests by first setting them up in my home theater room next to my 6 year old Aperion Intimus 6Ts. If you aren't familiar with the 6Ts they once were Aperions flagship speaker if I recall correctly(now encompassed by the Verus line). They have a 1" silk dome tweeter and two 6.5 inch woofers with a front firing port. The cabinet on the Ultras sounded a bit more dead than the 6Ts when I tapped on the cabinets with my knuckles(a good thing). These cabinets are indeed very thick and well braced.



Let me make a note here and say that my ears are very sensitive to bright speakers and that's why ALL of the speakers I've ever owned used silk domed tweeters. I was deciding between the Ultras and Aperion Verus Grand but went with the Ultras for a few reasons, one of them being that I want to experiment with different speaker designs and tweeter materials. I began by running the MCACC Advanced setup on my "old" Pioneer Elite receiver so I could compare the Ultras to the 6Ts in pure direct mode(no eq) and with MCACC(a more realistic comparison since I always use room correction). All of the music listening was done in 2.0 stereo(no sub, speakers set too full range). I don't subscribe to speaker break in so I jumped right into the comparison. I started by playing some tracks from the Last of The Mohicans soundtrack(not a great recording but I know the music well) in pure direct mode via the 6Ts then as quickly as possible I wired up the Ultras and listened to the same music samples. I also had some family members help me out with the listening tests to make sure i wasn't just hearing things. The difference between the two speakers was fairly significant. The Ultras sounded more open and forward(by forward I mean that the 6Ts sound stage seemed setback further and the Ultras sound stage was closer, not in your face close but out in front of the speakers), both the 6Ts and Ultras sounded quite bright to my ears due to listening to them in pure direct. Either way I was pleased to find that the aluminum dome tweeters in the Ultras were not ear piercingly bright or fatiguing as other metal domed tweeters I've heard, In fact, they were quite neutral. I went ahead and listened to the same content with the room correction settings engaged(I had 2 correction profiles, one for each speaker). This of course made everything sound much better. My initial impressions remained, the Ultras were still more open and detailed than the 6Ts, everything just sounded better over all after MCACC did its thing.

Next I went ahead and switched gears to some EDM. I mostly listen to Techno, house etc so how these speakers preformed on this type of music was important to me. Again, the Ultras were more open, detailed and forward with more "sparkle". I thought they were going to have way more bass than the 6Ts due to the quad 8" woofers but in this large room(25x20ft) the difference on this material was minor. The Ultras seemed to image a bit better and they seemed to have a bigger sweet spot.

As far as music went I was satisfied that the Ultras were appreciably better than the 6Ts. Next I dusted off my THX demo disk and ran through some of the movie test samples in 2.0 Stereo. Here is where the Ultra Towers low end became more apparent. Explosions packed a bit more punch but more significantly you could tell there were more sub-bass frequencies being portrayed. The bass of the 6Ts was admirable and actually impressed me. I would say the bass of the Ultras was a bit more tight than the 6Ts. One of the biggest differences I noticed was that the voices on the Ultras were more clear, and sound effects like glass breaking seemed more sharp. Again the Ultras take the cake in my book.

Satisfied with my listening tests in the home theater I went ahead and moved them to their final resting place. My bedroom(for now, when I move to an apartment where I no longer have a HT they will be in the family room/den). My bedroom is not very large, it's about 12ftx15ft so the Ultras really dominated the space(which I don't mind since they are gorgeous IMO). However, I must admit they look a bit out of place due to their size. Unfortunately, due to my room layout I wasn't able to position them very well....so I went ahead and took everything out of the room(including the bed) and assembled the room around the speakers which allowed me to position them as wide and as far away from the walls as I can(my girlfriend was NOT pleased with the new room layout, she said she didn't care how good the speakers sounded she hated it biggrin.gif) They are about 6ft apart and only 6 inches away from the back wall and maybe a foot away from the side wall. These baby's need more room to breath. When I pick up a new receiver with Audessy XT32 that should help a bit but for now I have an old bottom shelf Onkyo receiver that came with my HTIB system the Ultras are replacing. For now though I'm stuck with this crappy receiver. I fully understand that my room and the receiver are holding these speakers back. Since I only watch TV in my room and listen to music that's what I'll be testing.



These towers make my tiny TV look even smaller!



Right away I noticed that the sound quality was significantly diminished when moved these speakers into my bedroom. They sounded flat and less clear than in the big HT. Needless to say I was disappointed in the sonic downgrade but it was to be expected when putting these speakers in a suboptimal location in a suboptimal room with a fairly low quality receiver and no room correction software. I will update my review when I pick up my Onkyo 818 in a couple weeks. One thing I can say is that these two towers alone pump out plenty of bass in smaller rooms. I was surprised. The towers actually sound better alone than when paired with a 10" SVS PBNSD10. That's probably due to better bass loading I.e. having multiple drivers in 2 locations vs 1. The bass is very tight even though they are back up so close to the wall. I experimented a bit using the foam plugs provided for the rear port but didn't hear a night and day difference. More experimentation is needed.

So far, this is what I perceive:

For Aluminum dome tweeters these speakers are very neutral. I havent detected any sibilance yet. I have my 2 band EQ set to treble -4, bass +2. Remember i prefer speakers with a warm, easy to listen to sound. We will have to wait and see how they sound like with Audessy.

They image very well. I noticed when watching TV it sounded like the TV speakers were on.

They appear to have a great big sweet spot. You can move around and still get great sound.

The cabinet is well constructed and the finish is almost flawless(mine had some slight swirl marks i.e. light scratches, but they aren't visible under normal conditions so it doesn't really matter much).

I wanted to note that Ive called SVS a few times and have noticed the guy who answers their phone(Doug I think?) needs to be a little more friendly. I've only called SVS a handful of times. I've mostly talked to them while I was deciding between the Ultras and the Aperion VGTs. The guy at SVS wasn't quite as helpful as the folks over at Apeion. I found that the guys at Aperion didn't mind chatting and providing me with their opinions where as the guy at SVS seemed to want to get off the phone as quickly as possible. The first time I though maybe he was just having a rough day or they were swamped but I've noticed it every time I've called. I'm not saying this to bash SVS(I love their stuff and I think they are a great company), I'm mentioning this so that it can be taken as constructive criticism. In the end I'm sure SVS would stand behind their stuff and what really matters is the quality of their product but sometimes it's nice to call and get answers from someone who's friendly.


I will update the review as I learn more.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #2 of 67 Old 03-21-2013, 10:24 PM
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Since they both have a very open return policy ...your not tempted to try out the Grands...just for me? eek.gif

I always wondered how the grands would compare to the SVS ultra. There was a recent shoot out and these SVS Ultra won for 2.0 Music setup...mostly rock music.

I just picked up the 818 myself and a Rythmik FV15HP.
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post #3 of 67 Old 03-21-2013, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmithandWesson View Post

I started by playing some tracks from the Last of The Mohicans soundtrack
ha! I do the same. nice review
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post #4 of 67 Old 03-22-2013, 06:42 AM
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Wanted to add...the SVS do look nice! Like you...(although it didn't scare you off) the description of their tweeter technology made me very wary, and I didn't want fatiguing highs.

Good to know that these appear more neutral in the upper range.

Although far from the be all...end all...I really wish they included measurements of their speakers. It really helps when evaluating ID speakers. You get some vague idea of acoustic signature.
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post #5 of 67 Old 03-22-2013, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Wanted to add...the SVS do look nice! Like you...(although it didn't scare you off) the description of their tweeter technology made me very wary, and I didn't want fatiguing highs.

Good to know that these appear more neutral in the upper range.

.

Yeah one of those GTG's that had these and the EMP e55's said they sounded very similar (neutral). There's a lot more to the sound than just the material of the tweeter (for the OP)

They look nice though! Kinda like the Phil's but with an angled back instead of just a "2 enclosures" type thing/look

Panny 65st60 / Denon X1000 / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i
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post #6 of 67 Old 03-22-2013, 09:19 AM
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Nice Scooby. Anything done to it? 05 STI I believe? 04 WRX here.

Oh, and good review.
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post #7 of 67 Old 03-22-2013, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ousooner2 View Post

There's a lot more to the sound than just the material of the tweeter (for the OP)

I agree! I think sometimes people generalize too often. However, I suspect that it's probably easier for a company to make a neutral tweeter out of silk than it is to make one out of metal and that's why so many people say that metal dome tweeters are harsh and silk ones are smooth. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on these specifically because they did not have silk domes tweeters and wanted to see if the grass was greener on the other side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Since they both have a very open return policy ...your not tempted to try out the Grands...just for me? eek.gif

I always wondered how the grands would compare to the SVS ultra. There was a recent shoot out and these SVS Ultra won for 2.0 Music setup...mostly

I would totally get the Verus Towers and compare them to the Ultras if i had the money. Aperion is a great company. I'm sure the Verus line is fantastic. The 6Ts are still great speakers. Remember the 6Ts cost about 400 bucks less than the Ultras. One thing I do like about the Verus is that they seem to me more of a "true" 3 way with 3 different sized drivers where as the Ultras use 6.5s for both of their respective frequency bands. I'm not sure if having different sized drivers is really better but I notice that design on most high end speakers.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #8 of 67 Old 03-22-2013, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04rex View Post

Nice Scooby. Anything done to it? 05 STI I believe? 04 WRX here.

Oh, and good review.

You have quite the eye my friend. Your right. 05. I have a couple things done to it but nothing too major. I recently installed Polk MM 6.5" components in the front doors and coax in the rear with a 10" MM sub in the trunk. I'm very happy with the system.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #9 of 67 Old 03-22-2013, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 04rex View Post

Nice Scooby. Anything done to it? 05 STI I believe? 04 WRX here.

Oh, and good review.

I was looking at Scooby as well. LOL biggrin.gif
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post #10 of 67 Old 03-22-2013, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess audio enthusiasts also tend to be car enthusiasts as well biggrin.gif

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #11 of 67 Old 03-23-2013, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ranger View Post

I was looking at Scooby as well. LOL biggrin.gif

Not to derail the thread....

Ranger... This one is better than Subby, LOL.... Smith&Wesson, don't hate...biggrin.gif

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Or this One....



wink.gifwink.gifwink.gifwink.giftongue.gif
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post #12 of 67 Old 03-23-2013, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vailvon View Post

Not to derail the thread....

Ranger... This one is better than Subby, LOL.... Smith&Wesson, don't hate...biggrin.gif

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Or this One....



wink.gifwink.gifwink.gifwink.giftongue.gif

Not to encourage further derailment but just like there is no best speaker, there is no best car. All of those cars are great in their own right.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #13 of 67 Old 03-23-2013, 12:59 PM
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Lol, I know our model Subarus inside and out. Great cars. I actually have Boston acoustics highs with infinity 12 sub running off a JL Audio amp.

But enough derailment.
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post #14 of 67 Old 03-23-2013, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Added a bit of constructive criticism for SVS.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #15 of 67 Old 04-06-2013, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Still really enjoying these speakers. I'm ordering the Onkyo 818 on Tuesday so I should have it by this weekend hopefully. I will update the review and go more in-depth.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #16 of 67 Old 04-06-2013, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 04rex View Post

Nice Scooby. Anything done to it? 05 STI I believe? 04 WRX here.

Oh, and good review.

I was looking at Scooby as well. LOL biggrin.gif

+1

Nice review too!
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post #17 of 67 Old 04-06-2013, 10:01 PM
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Great write up. Nice to see another satisfied Ultra tower owner. I do think these guys are best suited for medium to larger rooms, as you discovered. They get a bit boomy right next to the walls. I have mine a couple feet from the back and about four feet from the sides.

I noticed your comment re the swirls in the finish. I did not notice that live but when I took some flash photos close up you could see that. I wonder if most gloss finishes look the way in flash photos? Either way, for two grand the finish is very nice. Many companies charge $500 plus per speaker for gloss finishes.

I only called SVS directly once and the guy was helpful. He answered a question about crossovers and subs specifically pertaining to my HK receiver. Mostly I emailed directly to Gary Yacubian, Ed Mullen and Mark Mason. I met a couple of them at RMAF and they were very responsive and helpful. That being said, the two guys from Aperion I met at RMAF were also super nice.

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post #18 of 67 Old 04-07-2013, 09:28 AM
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Thanks for the great review! Hopefully I'll get a pallet like that soon! And to you too NHTB, your comparo was extremely informative down to the music you mostly listen to and the reasons you picked the SVS. I have a ten year old SVS 25-31 subwoofer that I've been very happy with, and the idea of very tight bass with the music I listen to most, (Genesis, Yes, Porcupine Tree, Jeff Beck, Rush, etc, some more contemporary jazz like Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Lee Rittenour, etc) is very enticing. I would just like to add I spoke to Ed Mullen this past week for a while and he was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I have always thought of SVS customer service to be stellar.

One question for you guys. How efficient do you find these Ultra's? I currently have a Denon 2310ci (105w) which will also be replaced very soon. My room size is 21x11 with plenty of room to keep the towers away from the walls. I'm looking at an NAD T 757 receiver (rated 60w but their power ratings are a bit different, with a lot of dynamic power)), but may consider adding a seperate amp to drive the Ultras at some point down the road, if necessary. Maybe an Emotiva 200w x 3 or something like that. Do you think that's necessary for my room size? I usually listen to music at around 100 db +/-.

Thanks! I wish you great enjoyment with the new speakers. Exciting times for sure!!
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post #19 of 67 Old 04-07-2013, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great review! Hopefully I'll get a pallet like that soon! And to you too NHTB, your comparo was extremely informative down to the music you mostly listen to and the reasons you picked the SVS. I have a ten year old SVS 25-31 subwoofer that I've been very happy with, and the idea of very tight bass with the music I listen to most, (Genesis, Yes, Porcupine Tree, Jeff Beck, Rush, etc, some more contemporary jazz like Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Lee Rittenour, etc) is very enticing. I would just like to add I spoke to Ed Mullen this past week for a while and he was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I have always thought of SVS customer service to be stellar.

One question for you guys. How efficient do you find these Ultra's? I currently have a Denon 2310ci (105w) which will also be replaced very soon. My room size is 21x11 with plenty of room to keep the towers away from the walls. I'm looking at an NAD T 757 receiver (rated 60w but their power ratings are a bit different, with a lot of dynamic power)), but may consider adding a seperate amp to drive the Ultras at some point down the road, if necessary. Maybe an Emotiva 200w x 3 or something like that. Do you think that's necessary for my room size? I usually listen to music at around 100 db +/-.

Thanks! I wish you great enjoyment with the new speakers. Exciting times for sure!!

If you mean 100dB peaks, then I imagine a good receiver should be able to accommodate you. If you want 100dB average SPL(which is quite loud!!!) then you will definitely want external ampflication if you want to maintain low distortion in a large room. Remember though, doubling the wattage only gives you 3dB more SPL. So if your 100 watt receiver only plays at 90dB then getting a 200 watt amp is only going to play 93dB.

The Ultras seem to be reasonably efficient. Some manufacturers aren't 100% honest about their sensitivity ratings, I don't doubt SVS's numbers are very honest. I feel like speakers who have a really high sensitivity are compromising somewhere else on the performance triangle. Klispch speakers for example often have a high sensitivity but last time I heard them I couldn't stand them smile.gif

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #20 of 67 Old 04-07-2013, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Also I'm sure the rest of the guys at SVS are very nice, I was just stating what my limited experience(only taking to one employee) was. I don't doubt that if I came to SVS with a problem they would take care of me 100%.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #21 of 67 Old 04-07-2013, 12:38 PM
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S&W, you're right on. Peaks just over 100db, continuous in the low to mid 90's for Genesis, Rush and the others when I'm jamming. Yes, it's certainly on the loud side at times. Sometimes, not so much. Listened to Dark Side of the Moon yesterday and the listening level was much less. Almost exclusively multi-channel with SACD, dvd-a and blu rays. Also measured with an SPL meter. The problem I'm having with my current setup (Denon 2310ci, Energy Audyssey A3+2 bipolar) is the highs are bothering my ears a lot more than I can deal with now. Some notes are becoming unacceptable hence the 'need' LOL for better power and speakers. My speakers are now over 13 years old. The NAD has very good dynamic power. I've had NAD separates in the past and till this day consider it one of the best sounding systems I've ever heard.

As you know, it's hard to buy without listening. The SVS Ultras appeal to me for many reasons, many confirmed by you and NHTB. I wish there were more user reviews. That said, the 45 day audition is great. I even asked Ed at SVS if it would be a problem to demo the SVS with the Aperion Verus Grand, which I know you're famiar with. He enthusiastically said "Yes! do it." He had no issue at all and was fully understanding of the situation. I told him I'd feel bad (somewhat) to return speakers either to him or Aperion and was still very enthusiastic for me to try both. He also mentioned NHTB had made similar statements about feeling bad to return. I guess I need to get over that.

Appreciate your comments. My room is 21x11 and I sit about ten feet away with speakers about eight feet apart so the room is not too big. I think the NAD should do very well for me by itself. My current speakers are 6 ohm so I was curious about the efficiency of the Ultra Towers. If I need/want more power, it's good to have the flexibility to do it with the NAD as it has pre outs which my Denon does not. .
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post #22 of 67 Old 04-07-2013, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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S&W, you're right on. Peaks just over 100db, continuous in the low to mid 90's for Genesis, Rush and the others when I'm jamming. Yes, it's certainly on the loud side at times. Sometimes, not so much. Listened to Dark Side of the Moon yesterday and the listening level was much less. Almost exclusively multi-channel with SACD, dvd-a and blu rays. Also measured with an SPL meter. The problem I'm having with my current setup (Denon 2310ci, Energy Audyssey A3+2 bipolar) is the highs are bothering my ears a lot more than I can deal with now. Some notes are becoming unacceptable hence the 'need' LOL for better power and speakers. My speakers are now over 13 years old. The NAD has very good dynamic power. I've had NAD separates in the past and till this day consider it one of the best sounding systems I've ever heard.

As you know, it's hard to buy without listening. The SVS Ultras appeal to me for many reasons, many confirmed by you and NHTB. I wish there were more user reviews. That said, the 45 day audition is great. I even asked Ed at SVS if it would be a problem to demo the SVS with the Aperion Verus Grand, which I know you're famiar with. He enthusiastically said "Yes! do it." He had no issue at all and was fully understanding of the situation. I told him I'd feel bad (somewhat) to return speakers either to him or Aperion and was still very enthusiastic for me to try both. He also mentioned NHTB had made similar statements about feeling bad to return. I guess I need to get over that.

Appreciate your comments. My room is 21x11 and I sit about ten feet away with speakers about eight feet apart so the room is not too big. I think the NAD should do very well for me by itself. My current speakers are 6 ohm so I was curious about the efficiency of the Ultra Towers. If I need/want more power, it's good to have the flexibility to do it with the NAD as it has pre outs which my Denon does not. .

Just to clarify I haven't heard the Verus Grands, I only have the 6Ts which aren't as good.

I may be able to give gou advice since my home theater is a lot like yours. It's a little bigger but my speakers are also about 8 feet apart and I sit 10 feet away. I have an older pioneer elite receiver in my HT(where the 6Ts are). I think it's 125wpc, and for me it's enough power. I listen to movies at -3 to -6dB and video games at -18dB(for some reason video games are a lot louder on playback). My movie playback is about 85dB with peaks over 100dB, to my ear it sounds like reference level. Either way I don't really need more loudness in my HT, perhaps I would benefit from less distortion at those levels but I don't really notice any distortion to begin with(I've never had quality separates or another receiver to compare though, maybe I am missing something I am not aware of).

Lots of testing has been done that shows all amps sound pretty much the same when they aren't being pushed hard. I'm totally satisfied with AVR power at this point in time. Maybe sometime in the future when I built another HT ill experiment with some emotiva amps.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #23 of 67 Old 04-07-2013, 03:24 PM
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Thanks for the great review! Hopefully I'll get a pallet like that soon! And to you too NHTB, your comparo was extremely informative down to the music you mostly listen to and the reasons you picked the SVS. I have a ten year old SVS 25-31 subwoofer that I've been very happy with, and the idea of very tight bass with the music I listen to most, (Genesis, Yes, Porcupine Tree, Jeff Beck, Rush, etc, some more contemporary jazz like Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Lee Rittenour, etc) is very enticing. I would just like to add I spoke to Ed Mullen this past week for a while and he was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I have always thought of SVS customer service to be stellar.

One question for you guys. How efficient do you find these Ultra's? I currently have a Denon 2310ci (105w) which will also be replaced very soon. My room size is 21x11 with plenty of room to keep the towers away from the walls. I'm looking at an NAD T 757 receiver (rated 60w but their power ratings are a bit different, with a lot of dynamic power)), but may consider adding a seperate amp to drive the Ultras at some point down the road, if necessary. Maybe an Emotiva 200w x 3 or something like that. Do you think that's necessary for my room size? I usually listen to music at around 100 db +/-.

Thanks! I wish you great enjoyment with the new speakers. Exciting times for sure!!

My HK 3490 is 120wpc and it seems to be just right. But it is a 2.0 receiver. I have a 17x17 room and I sit about 10 feet back. If you were running a full 5.1 or 7.1 with a standard receiver then extra amplification might be good, since most AVRs can't deliver their full power into all channels at once. Sometimes Hometheater mag tests AVRs and they usually lost the power into two channels and all channels.

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post #24 of 67 Old 04-09-2013, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Onkyo 818. It will be here next week most likey. I will do some movie and music listening and post my findings. I'm excited! biggrin.gif

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #25 of 67 Old 04-10-2013, 05:43 PM
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Went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Onkyo 818. It will be here next week most likey. I will do some movie and music listening and post my findings. I'm excited!

I'm looking forward to your impressions after you get your new Onkyo hooked up !

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post #26 of 67 Old 04-10-2013, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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FedEx says it might get here early(on Saturday). Fingers crossed!

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #27 of 67 Old 04-11-2013, 10:16 AM
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Ordered my Ultra Towers yesterday and will take delivery May 2. Getting the black oak finish and cannot be more excited. Spoke to a few guys at SVS during the order and they said my Denon 2310ci (rated 105w) should power the Towers pretty well. I may upgrade my power but I'll see how they perform with the Denon first. I can't wait to hear these as my current speakers are just not up to the task for music anymore. For movies they're ok.
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post #28 of 67 Old 04-11-2013, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Ordered my Ultra Towers yesterday and will take delivery May 2. Getting the black oak finish and cannot be more excited. Spoke to a few guys at SVS during the order and they said my Denon 2310ci (rated 105w) should power the Towers pretty well. I may upgrade my power but I'll see how they perform with the Denon first. I can't wait to hear these as my current speakers are just not up to the task for music anymore. For movies they're ok.

Awesome! You will love them.

Main System: SVS Ultra Towers - 15" custom ported subwoofer - SVS PB-1000 - Yamaha RX-A740 Aventage. 125dB @30hz, 16hz @ -3dB
Computer System: Carnagie Acoustics CSB-1 - 12' Onkyo sealed subwoofer - Pioneer VSX-92 THX
Other speakers owned or auditioned: Aperion T6 - Ascend CBM-170 - Energy RC-10 - Wharfdale 10.1 - Arx A1b
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post #29 of 67 Old 04-11-2013, 02:26 PM
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Totally pumped! Going to FL for a few days and seeing Rush in Ft Lauderdale. I'll get the speakers two days after I get back. Can't wait to get home already and see the palet in my driveway! biggrin.gif

Seriously, I really appreciate your review (and pics!) as they were quite helpful in making my decision. NewHTBuyer as well. His comparo and the long discussion was also pivotal in the decision making process Thank you guys! I sincerely appreciate you taking the time and putting up your very informative reviews of these towers.

Todd
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post #30 of 67 Old 04-11-2013, 04:29 PM
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Totally pumped! Going to FL for a few days and seeing Rush in Ft Lauderdale. I'll get the speakers two days after I get back. Can't wait to get home already and see the palet in my driveway! biggrin.gif

Seriously, I really appreciate your review (and pics!) as they were quite helpful in making my decision. NewHTBuyer as well. His comparo and the long discussion was also pivotal in the decision making process Thank you guys! I sincerely appreciate you taking the time and putting up your very informative reviews of these towers.

Todd

Funny, I picked up some Rush tix for when they visit Denver in a few months, June I think. Glad I could help.

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