Originally Posted by djoberg
I should have added that the new Prime Bookshelf and Center speakers easily outperformed my former Cambridge SoundWorks Mains and Surrounds. They simply didn't have the "sound-stage" or the "range of sound" of the Primes. I have the crossover for them at 60 Hz. and the crossover for the Prime Elevation speakers at 80 Hz., resulting in a seamless sound. Of course, the perfect TIMBRE MATCH adds to the equation as well.
Reviewers of these speakers are NOT exaggerating when they say they sound like speakers costing 2-3 times more. I have owned some very expensive speakers through the years and for their relatively modest price they simply can't be beat! Oh, by the way, I have no stock in SVS and they haven't paid me anything to say this.
Nice to hear a happy Prime owner once in a while. Something that isn't common on AVS at least, people give a lot of flack to these speakers and many even discourage others just by "hear-say".
To answer your earlier question; I too was a Prime owner who upgraded to the Ultra line for the LCR.
I'll tell you this much, the Ultras are not twice better than the Primes - for twice the price. Are the improvements noticeable? Absolutely, especially in the 1khz-8khz range which is what MANY people say is the main weakness of the Primes (which I agree). The Ultras in this treble range is just a lot smoother, it has almost no fatigue and it has noticeably more detail in this frequency range.
But aside from that obvious difference, everything else is rather subtle. Sure the midbass on the Ultra Bookshelfs are a little more tout, a little tighter and it has a little more presence, but that's really it. It's not a day and night "omg I've been missing this foundation all this while?!
" kind of difference. People who say so otherwise ought to check their speaker placement instead.
Is it worth upgrading to the Ultras? For the L/R, objectively - no IF
your focus is 90% movies. If music is important especially for female vocals and jazz, then yes - the Ultras will be a decent upgrade.
The center channel however is worth the upgrade. When I changed the Prime center to the Ultra center, dialogue in movies was an immediate was an improvement. But more importantly, when played at near reference the Ultra Center's larger midrange driver was more capable in holding itself where as the Prime center exhibited audible distortion. Also since you cross your mains at 60hz, the Ultra center definitely has more midbass punch in comparison to the Prime center, definitely more than enough to fill the 60-80hz gap where the latter only just
has enough. It's another noticeable improvement there IMO. Also as mentioned earlier, the smoother tweeter helps tame down a lot of peaky female voices which can lead to fatigue all the while still having that pristine clarity.
The Prime Center to Ultra Center upgrade was the most worth it and most noticeable one if you ask me. So if you want an upgrade, aim for the center first. And don't worry, the Prime and Ultras do timbre match. I ran with the Prime bookshelfs L/R with an Ultra center for nearly a year before I found a good deal on the Ultra bookshelfs. I play a lot of games, so soundstage accuracy is of utmost importance to me. At no point did I find that there was any obvious "hole" in the soundstage or weird tonality shifts.
Hope that helps.