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SVS Ultra Tower Review

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have ordered my SVS Ultras today which should be here in about a week. I will be posting my review of them on first impressions and about after logging in some time with them. I am not critical listener or anything, just someone that enjoys great sounding movies, music, and some game playing. I ill be comparing them to recent speakers that I have owned which include
Polk Audio TSI500
Polk Audio RTiA 9's
Polk Audio LsiM 703's
Klipsch RF 82ii's
Def Tech Mythos ST
To name a few.
post #2 of 26
Should be interesting. Any preliminary thoughts on the speakers you have listed?
post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post

I have ordered my SVS Ultras today which should be here in about a week. I will be posting my review of them on first impressions and about after logging in some time with them. I am not critical listener or anything, just someone that enjoys great sounding movies, music, and some game playing. I ill be comparing them to recent speakers that I have owned which include
Polk Audio TSI500
Polk Audio RTiA 9's
Polk Audio LsiM 703's
Klipsch RF 82ii's
Def Tech Mythos ST
To name a few.

Hey, I have a son that lives in the Hat....I may have to drop in and have a listen. wink.gif

I have one of their subs and I can only imagine the speakers are top notch as well.
You get them from sonicboom?
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Yes I purchased through Sonic Boom
post #5 of 26
which speakers were your favorite from the list you posted?
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well the SVS towers arrived today. I did not get to spend a lot of time with them, about an hour or so. Problem is we are in the middle of building a new house so I have to test the speakers out at my brother in laws place. Playing them through a Onkyo HTRC 470 receiver.

First off there was a problem. I ordered the gloss black but received one in gloss black and the other in wood grain. I must say I sure do like the gloss black better. I will get that straightened out tomorrow.
Look wise, they are great. Love the angles, just not like a square box I'm used to.

Sound
Like I said I only got about an hour with them tonight but this is what I heard. BASS wow! Very tight low end. Best I have heard. Totally have way more bottom end then even the Def Tech Mythos I had, which had a lot. I found the louder I played the Def Tech's the bass would fade out( like the internal 300 watt amp could not keep up) but with the SVS, the louder you play them the more you feel the bass punch in your chest.
On the high end, my brother in law has some Klipsch RF 82's so comparing them side by side this is what I heard.
The SVS are definitely way more laid back than the 82's. I did not find them bright at all, at least comparing them to the Klipsch. The Klipsch are kind of in your face at any volume level where the Ultra's stay more laid back until you really turn up the volume meter.
Comparing them side by side I will defiantly say that the Ultra's way out preform the 82's in the music department anyway. From heavy metal to country they sound great. Will test the Ultra's throughout this week trying different movies to see how the sound for home theater.

With the limited time so far I will say I am deeply impressed from what I have heard.
post #7 of 26
Subscribed. I would love a more in-depth review of the ultras. They seem a pretty good option for me to upgrade with being here in canada and being won over by the PB-1000.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Was able to get another hour or so of listening in on the Ultras tonight. My brother in laws listening room is less than optimal but non the less, I think these Ultras sound great. I have heard reports of people stating that the Ultras being bright. I in no way what so ever find them bright at all. I would describe them as right between the Polk LsiM and the Def techs. Low end you could put the Lsims and the Def Techs together and they don't even come close to the bottom end in the Ultras. They do have a narrower sweet spot, but I think a lot of that has to do with how my brother in laws room is setup.
Tomorrow night I have nothing planned but to log in some longer listening time testing different movies and music. Will report back more soon.
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

which speakers were your favorite from the list you posted?
The Polk LsiM's were very nice, very detailed speaker that can do music and movies really well. Really liked the mid, and high end on the Def Tech's but the subs in them just were not to my liking. For home theatre it's hard to beat the Klipsch set up.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post

Well the SVS towers arrived today. I did not get to spend a lot of time with them, about an hour or so. Problem is we are in the middle of building a new house so I have to test the speakers out at my brother in laws place. Playing them through a Onkyo HTRC 470 receiver.

First off there was a problem. I ordered the gloss black but received one in gloss black and the other in wood grain. I must say I sure do like the gloss black better. I will get that straightened out tomorrow.
Look wise, they are great. Love the angles, just not like a square box I'm used to.

Sound
Like I said I only got about an hour with them tonight but this is what I heard. BASS wow! Very tight low end. Best I have heard. Totally have way more bottom end then even the Def Tech Mythos I had, which had a lot. I found the louder I played the Def Tech's the bass would fade out( like the internal 300 watt amp could not keep up) but with the SVS, the louder you play them the more you feel the bass punch in your chest.
On the high end, my brother in law has some Klipsch RF 82's so comparing them side by side this is what I heard.
The SVS are definitely way more laid back than the 82's. I did not find them bright at all, at least comparing them to the Klipsch. The Klipsch are kind of in your face at any volume level where the Ultra's stay more laid back until you really turn up the volume meter.
Comparing them side by side I will defiantly say that the Ultra's way out preform the 82's in the music department anyway. From heavy metal to country they sound great. Will test the Ultra's throughout this week trying different movies to see how the sound for home theater.

With the limited time so far I will say I am deeply impressed from what I have heard.

Which mythos did you have?
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FantaXP7 View Post

Which mythos did you have?
The ST
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post

The ST

I see, thanks.

I have the STS's and have been flirting with the idea of selling them and trying something new.

Would you say your SVS Ultra Towers make a huge difference?
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Bass was a huge improvement. The highs are a little more laid back at lower volumes than the Mythos, but at higher listening levels is where they really shine. I was really blown away.
post #14 of 26
Thanks for the review. I have been happy with my Ultra towers also. I think SVS has a winner at this price point. It really is one of the few towers in this price range that actually does not need a sub, even though many other towers will claim that. It can do almost everything very well, and some things, like bass, exceptionally. But, like any speaker, design choices and compromises had to be made. If a classical musician wanted a speaker to listen at moderate volumes to mostly acoustic and orchestra stuff, probably the Ultra Tower is not the best for him. Maybe the Salk Songtowers with a ribbon tweeter. But for rock, metal, jazz, drums, movies, blues the Ultra towers sound great. I also agree they open up a bit once you go from low to moderate volumes. They also seem to stay composed at high volumes.
post #15 of 26
I can't unfortunately compare these towers to anything but fairly low end. The only towers I have are Polk Monitor 60s which I've mostly just used for HT and the Samson Monitors I use at my desk. I've mainly been a headphone guy and have a 5 year old pair of HD600s and ODAC.
All that said I'm really impressed with the SVS ultra speakers, as I should be, it's quite the upgrade. The bass is incredible for tower speakers, I haven't even bothered hooking up my sub yet. However unlike other reviews I've read I don't think the bass is 'too much'. I have extremely eclectic tastes in music and can't say there's a genre I don't regularly listen to. The only time I feel there's "too much bass" is in songs that truly have "too much bass", like many commercial rap songs where the singer disappears beneath an onslaught of terribly generated bass. No on great recordings I think the Ultra Speakers provide a solid bass that is articulate and distinct. Even though I've had several pairs of headphones/in-ears over the years of pretty good quality I have had several exciting moments with my Ultras where I have heard detail i never had before. On DSOTM's Gold disk I heard ambient dialogue I'd never heard before and on Boredom's Vision Creation Newsun I heard even more weird sounds I'd never heard before. I do have to agree at moderate volumes I wasn't particularly impressed with classical/opera music and it didn't seem to shine as much as it did on anything with a solid drum beat but.. that does represent 5% of my listening.

Oh and when my "friend" "helped" move the speakers in he dropped one of my Ultras against the wall after I told him not to open it... The wall took a huge 2 inch dent and the Ultra only had a very small scratch on the back corner. I'm looking into fixing it but really a testament to the build of SVS products. THEY ARE TANKS. They are beautiful wrapped/shipped as well, a foot of foam around each side, a plastic bag and a soft foam bag as well.
post #16 of 26
Have you heard the klipsch rf7ii if so do you think the svs ultras are better ?
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have not heard the RF 7's, just the RF 82||'s which the SVS ultras were compared to side by side.
post #18 of 26
The svs ultra Is there a speaker on the market that it sounds similar to so I can get an idea please thanks
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sfniner View Post

The svs ultra Is there a speaker on the market that it sounds similar to so I can get an idea please thanks

i own them, and all I can say they are a laid back/warm speaker to my ears. they are not bright in any way unless you really start to push them. imho, if you don't like the way horn loaded tweeters sound then you should like these. Obviously if you do like brighter speakers I don't think the ultras would be to your liking.
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sfniner View Post

The svs ultra Is there a speaker on the market that it sounds similar to so I can get an idea please thanks

Sujective of course but the Paradigm Studio 20s compared favorably to the Ultra BS as a baseline speaker within a given price range.

Fwiw...here is the said review...

http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/loudspeakers/87532-paradigm-studio-20-hear-no-evil-speaker-store-reviews-marshall-part-1-a.html
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sfniner View Post

The svs ultra Is there a speaker on the market that it sounds similar to so I can get an idea please thanks

Take a look at this thread

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-audio-speakers/70413-official-2-500-speaker-evaluation-home-audition-event.html

They compared six sets, including the Ultra towers, last week. They should be posting their impressions soon. They are also doing measurements.

I like my ultras a lot. The only weaknesses I have noticed are that some ribbons i have heard have a bit more detail at the high end. I have never noticed harshness at home, even when loud. But at the last RMAF, they had a 5.2 setup in a small room and at very loud volumes I did ask for them to be turned down a bit. The seats were way too close to the speakers and the room was too small for a full surround setup.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewHTbuyer View Post

Take a look at this thread

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-audio-speakers/70413-official-2-500-speaker-evaluation-home-audition-event.html

They compared six sets, including the Ultra towers, last week. They should be posting their impressions soon. They are also doing measurements.

I like my ultras a lot. The only weaknesses I have noticed are that some ribbons i have heard have a bit more detail at the high end. I have never noticed harshness at home, even when loud. But at the last RMAF, they had a 5.2 setup in a small room and at very loud volumes I did ask for them to be turned down a bit. The seats were way too close to the speakers and the room was too small for a full surround setup.


Yup and I believe there is a set of Studio Towers in that evaluation as well...smile.gif
post #23 of 26
Thanks for your response I
My other question is I have a svs pb13 sub so do I need bookshelves of towers?
post #24 of 26
For personal reason I traded in my BS for the Towers. Moving to a true 3way desgin helped open up the entire mid range spectrum allowing the speaker sound more nautral in all facets. Others will have a varied opinon on this subject even YMMV...but given the opportuinty I'd do it again! Even for 2.1....I just prefer Towers....smile.gif
post #25 of 26
Thanks for your response
post #26 of 26
How far are you guys placing the svs towers away from the wall? How large is your room?
I am thinking about buying these but my room is small 16x12x7.5
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