SVS Demos Prime Speakers and PC-2000 Subwoofer at CES 2015

There is a unique benefit of visiting a trade show demo performed by a manufacturer whose products I have in for review. It offers a glimpse of what the differences are between hearing a system in a hotel suite vs. my studio. That allows me to calibrate my expectations for other demos at the show, which is why I made SVS my first appointment on the first day of CES.

I talked with SVS president Gary Yacoubian about the company’s news line of speakers, the Prime series. I recently reviewed the Prime towers in a 2-channel configuration, and I found them engaging, so I asked him about the design goals behind the SVS Prime. Gary said, “People who love this stuff should not have to give up dynamics and low-frequency extension in pursuit of refinement and accuracy.”

I asked about the tweeter used throughout the Prime series, which is visually similar to the one found in the higher-end SVS Ultra towers—I wanted to know if it was the same. It turns out that the Ultra and Prime tweeters have very similar designs, but not identical. Both tweeters use the same diaphragm and diffuser, and the voicing between the two is a close match. As a result, you can mix Prime and Ultra speakers within the same system.

I sat down with Gary and we listened to the Prime towers for a bit, and then switched to a system that consisted of five Prime satellites and an SB1000 sub—a compact 5.1 outfit that retails for $1000. An Emotiva XMC-1 provided the processing for the movie-centric demo. Considering the price, the performance of the Primes satellites was impressive—the soundfield they created was rich and detailed—Guardians of the Galaxy was enveloping and dynamic. The SB-1000sub produced enough bass to shake the room and sounded tight through the whole demo. I have that system at home and plan to review it soon. I also plan to review a 7.1 system that includes the $1000/pair Prime towers, a Prime centerchannel speaker, four of the Prime satellites, and the SB-2000 sub.

Speaking of upcoming reviews, I’m currently waiting for a demo unit of the PC-2000 cylindrical subwoofer. As far as previews go, what I heard it do at CES pleased me. I already reviewed the PB-2000, and the PC-2000 is very similar in terms of specs and capability, but it ekes out one extra Hz of low frequency extension versus its box-shaped sibling. I’m curious if there will be any other differences. If the PC-2000 arrives in time, I’ll definitely include it in the Prime 7.1system review as well as review it on its own.