Experience with the SVS Ultra Center Speaker? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-12-2018, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Experience with the SVS Ultra Center Speaker?

Good, medium, or bad? I'm considering one for an inexpensive CC that's relatively narrow.

https://www.svsound.com/collections/...s/ultra-center

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post #2 of 23 Old 11-12-2018, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
Good, medium, or bad? I'm considering one for an inexpensive CC that's relatively narrow.

https://www.svsound.com/collections/...s/ultra-center
heh, I wouldn't call $700 "inexpensive"...what are the exact maximum dimensions that you need to stay under?

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-13-2018, 12:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
heh, I wouldn't call $700 "inexpensive"...what are the exact maximum dimensions that you need to stay under?
I'd call $700 inexpensive; I'm one of those stupid hi-end audiofools.

NMT 22" wide
.

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post #4 of 23 Old 11-13-2018, 12:03 AM
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It's a great center yes, goes loud without crapping itself (unlike many centers does), lobing isn't an issue and the tweeter unlike the Prime center doesn't try and pierce your eardrums at the 4khz region. But it's expensive indeed - yes, I admit as an Ultra center owner it is NOT good value. Only reason I have them is because I was lucky to get it for $450 basically almost new off a friend.

There are better centers out there for not much more and is better than the Ultra center if you ask me - chief being Ascend Acoustics Sierra Horizon.

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post #5 of 23 Old 11-13-2018, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
I'd call $700 inexpensive; I'm one of those stupid hi-end audiofools.

NMT 22" wide
.
Well, sometimes you DON'T get what you pay for.

I'd try the Emotiva C1 or Chane A2.4 first, both are within your width maximum.

If you need super high volumes but don't have a high powered amp the Chane would be the better choice.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-13-2018, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
Good, medium, or bad? I'm considering one for an inexpensive CC that's relatively narrow.

https://www.svsound.com/collections/...s/ultra-center
Based on your grading scale of "good, medium, or bad" I can say with confidence it's performance is "good". For a well designed 3 way with a full 1 inch thick high density front baffle (which is scarce to non existent in it's price range) its actually very well priced especially considering the Ultra's well known trait/ability to sonically disappear.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-13-2018, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
Good, medium, or bad? I'm considering one for an inexpensive CC that's relatively narrow.

https://www.svsound.com/collections/...s/ultra-center
Green line is Ultra center.

Many on here consider it to be expensive but I don't, especially considering free returns within 60 days if not happy.

It costs less than my center!

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...speaker-system

Green trace is Ultra Center.


Geoff A. J., California
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-14-2018, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Just made an offer for a used, black, standard-tweeter Ascend Horizon. We'll see.
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-17-2018, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Just paid for the used Horizon this afternoon...$525 delivered including three small patches of light scratches in the top, something I believe I'll almost never see.

The SVS Ultra Center arrived yesterday; it's gorgeous and well built.. Even brand-new and not broken-in, it has no sonic 'warts'...nothing that draws my attention to the sounds of the CC when playing SACDs in 5-channel that sound FABULOUS when played in my usual 4-channel mode.. But...now it'll be going back.

Being an incorrigible tweak, I'll investigate improving the SQ of the Horizon's x-over, but this time only the probably-two capacitors in series with the music.. Specifically those would be the high-pass capacitor in series with the tweeter and also that which (most-probably) is the high-pass filter for the MR's band-pass filter*.. We'll see.
.

* This cap is usually high in value and as a result, almost always an electrolytic type in affordable speakers.

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post #10 of 23 Old 11-17-2018, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
[FONT="Times New Roman"][SIZE="4"][B]Just paid for the used Horizon this afternoon...$525 delivered including three small patches of light scratches in the top, something I believe I'll almost never see.

The SVS Ultra Center arrived yesterday; it's gorgeous and well built.. Even brand-new and not broken-in, it has no sonic 'warts'...nothing that draws my attention to the sounds of the CC when playing SACDs in 5-channel that sound FABULOUS when played in my usual 4-channel mode.. But...now it'll be going back.
Out of curiosity, how would you describe the sound of the SVS center vs the Horizon?

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-17-2018, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Out of curiosity, how would you describe the sound of the SVS center vs the Horizon?
I 'just paid for' the Horizon; it should be here by the end of the week.

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post #12 of 23 Old 11-17-2018, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
I 'just paid for' the Horizon; it should be here by the end of the week.
oops, reading too fast again. I misunderstood this to mean that you had already heard the two, since I'm sure the SVS return period would easily allow you to keep their center an extra week or two for a proper AB comparison with the Ascend before making a final decision:

Quote:
The SVS Ultra Center arrived yesterday; it's gorgeous and well built.. Even brand-new and not broken-in, it has no sonic 'warts'...nothing that draws my attention to the sounds of the CC when playing SACDs in 5-channel that sound FABULOUS when played in my usual 4-channel mode.. But...now it'll be going back.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #13 of 23 Old 11-17-2018, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
oops, reading too fast again. I misunderstood this to mean that you had already heard the two, since I'm sure the SVS return period would easily allow you to keep their center an extra week or two for a proper AB comparison with the Ascend before making a final decision:
Yes, I will compare them.. Since I had rearranged the center section of my system after removing the CC speaker and its amp months ago...to this center-stack arrangement...

...I no longer have a hi-Q IC to reach my current amp.. Monday I'll order a 4M single of AudioQuest's Yukon with RCAs.. Amps are Emotiva A700s, the SWs Rythmik F18s.

FWIW, this pic had lots of light at floor-level, hence the 'transparent' speaker grills.

Last nite I rearranged slightly the channels among these two amps so that the upper amp drives the four surround and one or two CC-speaker channels and the lower amp drives the 6 ceiling speakers.
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post #14 of 23 Old 11-18-2018, 06:27 PM
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I have had my Ultra center for almost 2 years and love it. Hoping to get a set of Ultra towers soon.

Denon AVR-X7200WA, SVS Prime Tower & Ultra Center, Klipsch R-2650 HSU VTF-15H MK2, Sony XBR 75X940D & 75X910C, OPPO BDP-93, Panasonic DP-UB820, Sony UBP-X800, Samsung UBD K8500, Roku Ultra, Hopper 3, HTPC, Technics SL-BD22D
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post #15 of 23 Old 11-18-2018, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I have had my Ultra center for almost 2 years and love it. Hoping to get a set of Ultra towers soon.
That's good to know; TY.

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post #16 of 23 Old 11-20-2018, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Five days with the SVS Ultra and it still sounds 'fine'.. I put that in quotes because it's a rather lame, or at least excessively nonspecific, description of the Ultra's sound...AKA still no sonic warts..

Should see the used, dome-tweeter-version Ascend Horizon Friday the 23rd. Will arrange the two for quick-n-easy comparisons that will even be level-balanced!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
Five days with the SVS Ultra and it still sounds 'fine'.. I put that in quotes because it's a rather lame, or at least excessively nonspecific, description of the Ultra's sound...AKA still no sonic warts..

Should see the used, dome-tweeter-version Ascend Horizon Friday the 23rd. Will arrange the two for quick-n-easy comparisons that will even be level-balanced!
Looking forward to hearing your opinions!

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post #18 of 23 Old 11-21-2018, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
Five days with the SVS Ultra and it still sounds 'fine'.. I put that in quotes because it's a rather lame, or at least excessively nonspecific, description of the Ultra's sound...AKA still no sonic warts..

Should see the used, dome-tweeter-version Ascend Horizon Friday the 23rd. Will arrange the two for quick-n-easy comparisons that will even be level-balanced!
I think that a center that disappears and brings no particular attention to itself is the sign of a good center.

It's when you start picking up the remote often to change the volume that you know you might be in trouble.
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post #19 of 23 Old 11-21-2018, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I think that a center that disappears and brings no particular attention to itself is the sign of a good center.

...
I agree heartily.

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post #20 of 23 Old 11-23-2018, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Well...the SVS Ultra Center is a good CC speaker, but it's not as good as the dome-tweeter version of the Ascend Horizon.. The used version of the latter arrived this morning and I got it running this afternoon.. I set a plank across my front pair of Rhythmik SWs, placed the two CCs side by side, and connected the Horizon to the poweramp.. Let it warm for maybe an hour and then listened back and forth to a piece of extremely well recorded big-orchestra Classical music on SACD.. Played ony the CC speakers; disconnected everything else.

I heard two differences fairly quickly.. First, the Ultra had more mid-bass energy, which certainly makes sense with its 6-1/2" woofers v. the Horizon's 5-1/4-inchers. Secondly, the Ultra's treble sounded harsher/harder than the Horizon's.

Switched back and forth several times and satisfied myself that these difference were real.. I then removed the double-speaker system, set the Ultra aside to pack it for its return to SVS, and installed the Horizon. It sounds yummy.. It also looks fine, but I might remove the amppad beneath the Emotiva poweramps and replace it with two layers of the big Wagner antivibration pads.. Doing so will lower the centerstack about 3-1/2 inches and allow the Horizon to not be in the way of raising the screen.

I'm happy.. TYVM Ben Tan for pointing me at the Ascend Horizon.
.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
Well...the SVS Ultra Center is a good CC speaker, but it's not as good as the dome-tweeter version of the Ascend Horizon.. The used version of the latter arrived this morning and I got it running this afternoon.. I set a plank across my front pair of Rhythmik SWs, placed the two CCs side by side, and connected the Ultra to the poweramp.. Let it warm for maybe an hour and then listened back and forth to a piece of extremely well recorded big-orchestra Classical music on SACD.. Played ony the CC speakers; disconnected everything else.

I heard two differences fairly quickly.. First, the Ultra had more mid-bass energy, which certainly makes sense with its 6-1/2" woofers v. the Horizon'a 5-1/4-inchers. Secondly, the Ultra's treble sounded harsher/harder than the Horizon's.

Switched back and forth several times and satisfied myself that these difference were real.. I then removed the double-speaker system, set the Ultra aside to pack it for its return to SVS, and installed the Horizon. It sounds yummy.. It also looks fine, but I might remove the amppad beneath the Emotiva poweramps and replace it with two layers of the big Wagner antivibration pads.. Doing so will lower the centerstack about 3-1/2 inches and allow the Horizon to not be in the way of raising the screen.

I'm happy.. TYVM Ben Tan for pointing me at the Ascend Horizon.
.
Congratulations.

I didn't even realize there was a dome tweeter Horizon Center as the picture, oddly, shows it with the RAAL tweeter option.

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post #22 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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A current pic after rerearranging the center stack. Looks plenty OK to me!
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post #23 of 23 Old 11-24-2018, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreybehr View Post
I heard two differences fairly quickly.. First, the Ultra had more mid-bass energy, which certainly makes sense with its 6-1/2" woofers v. the Horizon'a 5-1/4-inchers. Secondly, the Ultra's treble sounded harsher/harder than the Horizon's.
This is what I was pretty much expecting; thanks for sharing your experience.
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