Originally Posted by flyinion
Just tossing around pricing ideas and came up with the idea of SVS Ultra bookshelf/center up front, and prime satellites and Elevations for surround a atmos/dts:x positions. Any thoughts on that since I know the Ultra's are supposed to be a lot better? I still need to start getting centers and testing, that setup I just mentioned would be a similar price to the KEF setup I was looking at too so very doable. I definitely think I should match all 3 up front instead of the Ultra center with Prime bookshelves that I talked about before. I definitely just need to start ordering centers to test at this point.
I pretty much had this setup at one point in time.
Currently using Ultra bookshelfs and center for the LCR, prime bookshelfs for the surrounds and Elevations for the heights. I had the Prime bookshelfs as the L/R and ultra as the center for a fairly long time too. As a movie/games setup, the prime bookshelfs and ultra center strike a nice balance of price and performance - from SVS at least (be aware there are better deals out there but as far as SVS goes and if you like their sound, it's very good).
For movies/games, the difference between a Prime and Ultra bookshelf is not significant. Noticeable definitely, the Ultras simply have a more refined tweeter and a better control at the low end. But in a movie or a game, effects flying all over the place and things blowing up and down, honestly you can save yourself $500 by going with the Prime bookshelfs.
For MUSIC though, that's where the significant difference becomes clear. The Ultras simply don't pierce your ear but it can still sound a little metallic and be borderline bright at very high volumes (I'm talking near reference volume though). The midrange is lusher and the low end is tighter, although the bass advantage is kind of nullified if you add a sub or two (which you should anyways).
As for Prime center vs Ultra center, well to put it as simple as possible; the Ultra just sounds bigger and meatier. The Prime center has the same issue as all Prime speakers, the tweeter - which can be a little too bright for most people. That said, the Prime center is a fairly good center channel. It's one of the few centers that doesn't bog down the L/R mains, imaging is great and it doesn't crap itself when you push it to very high volumes. The Ultra center though, it's simply meatier and it can go even louder - the midbass it carries is simply more taut than the Prime center. But the bigger difference and IMO the most important thing is that the tweeter is never harsh nor even borderline bright (unlike the Ultra bookshelfs which CAN be a borderline bright).
Finally as for the Prime elevations and satellites, the Elevations are great speakers for height effects and one of the best. The only level up from there is to go in-ceiling with 8" woofers or mount huge bookshelfs, which might look kind of silly depending on the size of your room. The Elevations fixed the main issue the Prime satellites has, a cabinet that simply isn't deep enough to produce just enough bass above 80hz. You see, the prime satellites doesn't have much output below 100hz, like really any authoritative sound.
The Prime elevations fixes that issue with a deeper cabinet due to its sloping baffle. The other problem is that the Prime satellites are rather low on sensitivity, only 85db/w and it cannot take a lot of amplification before distortion becomes audible. Will the satellites pass for surround duties? Yes, only if you're in a small room and you'd have to cross them at 100hz or so. The Prime satellites do have very good imaging though, one of the best in its class.
My suggestion for an SVS setup if you're budget strapped;
Some other cheap 5.25" bookshelfs or dipoles/bipoles as surrounds
At the end of the day though, since SVS offers free-trials you simply need to just take advantage of that. SVS speakers aren't very favorable on this forum it seems, I think I'm in the minority of those that really like them but my experience is of that, just an opinion. I like the SVS Ultras a lot and I'm aware that there are cheaper alternatives that sounds just as good (if not better), but the Ultras still until today hits that sweet spot that I want.
Of course do check out other recommended setups like the KEF Qx50 series that you've been eyeing already or stuff from Ascend Acoustics, Hsu, heck even PSA.
If you want to read my Ultra bookshelfs vs LS50 comparison - https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...l#post51486849