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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning,

Relative noob here. After 10+ years I am revamping my HT system. For a variety of reasons I am very much leaning toward SVS Prime Pinnacles as my L/R. For background my use is 90/10 Home theater/music. My understanding is that I would likely be best off matching this with the prime center. I am tempted though to go with the ultra for three reasons: 1) I "hear" the center is one of the most important parts of the HT 2) over the long haul the $350 difference is fine with me 3) I am looking for that upgrade factor from current: aperion intimus 5C. There is nothing wrong with it but nothing about it excites me either. Will be a bit bummed if there isn't a pretty noticeable difference.

Just as fyi in case wondering-from what I can gather the Prime L/R would be a better fit for me than the ultras given some placement/configuration challenges in the room.

Any thoughts on going upline with the ultra vs. sticking with the prime series would be much appreciated, thanks,
 

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Good morning,

Relative noob here. After 10+ years I am revamping my HT system. For a variety of reasons I am very much leaning toward SVS Prime Pinnacles as my L/R. For background my use is 90/10 Home theater/music. My understanding is that I would likely be best off matching this with the prime center. I am tempted though to go with the ultra for three reasons: 1) I "hear" the center is one of the most important parts of the HT 2) over the long haul the $350 difference is fine with me 3) I am looking for that upgrade factor from current: aperion intimus 5C. There is nothing wrong with it but nothing about it excites me either. Will be a bit bummed if there isn't a pretty noticeable difference.

Just as fyi in case wondering-from what I can gather the Prime L/R would be a better fit for me than the ultras given some placement/configuration challenges in the room.

Any thoughts on going upline with the ultra vs. sticking with the prime series would be much appreciated, thanks,

Do you have a large room with the possibility of making it a dedicated space? Are you going to be using an acoustically transparent front projection screen at some point in your upgrade (highly recommended)? If so, the only thing to do is get three identical, vertical speakers for the L/C/R set just like at a commercial theater or dubbing stage. Nothing else will do.



If you can only use a flat panel or non-acoustic screen, then you should at least have a horizontal speaker (though, they are a sonic compromise) from the same brand and model line. Timbre matching is ideal as sounds travel from speaker to speaker. The more immersive audio systems I listen to, the more I am convinced that you want your surrounds and overheads to also have a similar tonality to the front main speakers for seamless performance.


Only your ears and room conditions can tell you for sure and SVS does have a fairly liberal return policy. That said, the new Pinnacle towers seem to get very close to the Ultra towers in various reviews. For home theater use, I do not recommend the high gloss finishes as they act like a mirror.
 

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I am not a SVS owner, but I’m considering them also. I am looking at Prime towers with Prime center for space reasons. But, from what I’ve read, there shouldn’t be a problem using either center with the Prime Pinnacles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Do you have a large room with the possibility of making it a dedicated space? Are you going to be using an acoustically transparent front projection screen at some point in your upgrade (highly recommended)? If so, the only thing to do is get three identical, vertical speakers for the L/C/R set just like at a commercial theater or dubbing stage. Nothing else will do.



If you can only use a flat panel or non-acoustic screen, then you should at least have a horizontal speaker (though, they are a sonic compromise) from the same brand and model line. Timbre matching is ideal as sounds travel from speaker to speaker. The more immersive audio systems I listen to, the more I am convinced that you want your surrounds and overheads to also have a similar tonality to the front main speakers for seamless performance.


Only your ears and room conditions can tell you for sure and SVS does have a fairly liberal return policy. That said, the new Pinnacle towers seem to get very close to the Ultra towers in various reviews. For home theater use, I do not recommend the high gloss finishes as they act like a mirror.


Thanks much for the input all. Just to answer your questions/fill in a little more detail: it is not a dedicate A/V room (unfortunately!). Current plans are for a 77' OLED C9 so the center channel will have to lie horizontally on an open shelf below the TV.

Also in the fyi category I did reach out by email to SVS (kudos to customer service for emailing back on a Sunday of a holiday weekend.) Their response was similar to a section on website that I had overlooked: "The crossover’s topology and architecture are consistent with all SVS speakers so Prime Pinnacle is timbre matched to integrate with any speaker from the acclaimed Prime or Ultra Series for the ultimate flexibility when building a system."
 

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Ultra>Pinnacle>Prime.
As the Pinnacle>Prime then you would not want a Prime centre.
Interesting that SVS doesn't make a Pinnacle centre, forcing you to spend more on an Ultra centre if you want something "better" than Prime. One might almost call it...greasy...
 

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... so the center channel will have to lie horizontally on an open shelf below the TV. ...
Having a center speaker on a shelf where it's enclosed on five sides and only open to the front can cause at least minor issues. It's worth trying to see if it works for you. But I think a better option is to have the center speaker placed in the more open area on top of the TV. This can be accomplished with one of many different TV shelves that attach to the back of the TV including some with VESA mounts:



 

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Being one to test things out, I have had many variants........conclusion, no one can know but you if its acceptable.


People are happy with matched, unmatched, different sizes etc, only you will know what floats your boat.


The center is very important with movies...go big, big as possible.....movies have 2 key elements , dialog and effects......


The pinnacle is a AT screen with 3 matched large fronts........all problems, situations, compromises result in deviating from that configuration........what might be intolerable for you might be perfect for the next person.



Also it comes down to usage scenario.....a baby in the next room and the neighbors house 2 feet from the fence might make a center channel with 4-15 inch woofers unviable in your situation.


A speaker in my square room with dampening, will not sound the same in a racquetball court living room......
 

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Do you have a large room with the possibility of making it a dedicated space? Are you going to be using an acoustically transparent front projection screen at some point in your upgrade (highly recommended)? If so, the only thing to do is get three identical, vertical speakers for the L/C/R set just like at a commercial theater or dubbing stage. Nothing else will do.



If you can only use a flat panel or non-acoustic screen, then you should at least have a horizontal speaker (though, they are a sonic compromise) from the same brand and model line. Timbre matching is ideal as sounds travel from speaker to speaker. The more immersive audio systems I listen to, the more I am convinced that you want your surrounds and overheads to also have a similar tonality to the front main speakers for seamless performance.


Only your ears and room conditions can tell you for sure and SVS does have a fairly liberal return policy. That said, the new Pinnacle towers seem to get very close to the Ultra towers in various reviews. For home theater use, I do not recommend the high gloss finishes as they act like a mirror.


Thanks much for the input all. Just to answer your questions/fill in a little more detail: it is not a dedicate A/V room (unfortunately!). Current plans are for a 77' OLED C9 so the center channel will have to lie horizontally on an open shelf below the TV.

Also in the fyi category I did reach out by email to SVS (kudos to customer service for emailing back on a Sunday of a holiday weekend.) Their response was similar to a section on website that I had overlooked: "The crossover’️s topology and architecture are consistent with all SVS speakers so Prime Pinnacle is timbre matched to integrate with any speaker from the acclaimed Prime or Ultra Series for the ultimate flexibility when building a system."
I would save some money and put it toward surrounds or a sub and go with Pinnacle towers, an Ultra center, and then the rest.

To round the system out, using bipole surrounds or standard monopole surrounds is normally based upon the distance from the main listening position and the side and rear walls. Approx. four feet or closer and I would definitely go with bipoles. YMMV

Overheads depend on a few factors like ceiling height and whether you can do in-ceilings, on-ceilings, or wall mount heights.

Subs don't have to come from the same manufacturer.
 

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Relative noob here. After 10+ years I am revamping my HT system. For a variety of reasons I am very much leaning toward SVS Prime Pinnacles as my L/R. For background my use is 90/10 Home theater/music. My understanding is that I would likely be best off matching this with the prime center.

Any thoughts on going upline with the ultra vs. sticking with the prime series would be much appreciated, thanks,
If you're hell bent on staying with SVS for the center, the Ultra center is reportedly clearer than the Prime center. With SVS's free return shipping, you'd have nothing to lose by trying it.

However, if you're able to loosen the grip of the "timbre matching" mythology on your psyche, you could get as good or better performance from any number of much less expensive center speakers, like the Emotiva C1 or C2, HTD Level 3 or RSL CG25 (also free return shipping), Ascend 340SE, etc.

3 identical speakers in vertical alignment for the front stage are the ONLY way to get a true "timbre match"---and they're worth the trouble only if: 1) You listen to a lot of music in upmixed fake surround mode or "all channel stereo" mode, 2) You do a lot of multi-channel gaming, or 3) you are an extremely picky/fastidious user who LISTENS to movies instead of WATCHING them like most people.

1. I've had a "matching" LCR of 3 identical front speakers, with the L/R vertical and the C horizontal.
2. I've had a "quasi-matching" LCR of 2 bookshelves and 1 horizontal center from the same brand and model family.
3. I've had a "mismatched" set of a horizontal center from a completely different brand and different tweeter type than the L/R speakers.
4. I've had a "mismatched" set of 2 bookshelves with a 3rd bookshelf of a different brand in the center position standing up, aligned with the L/R.
5. I've had a "mismatched" set of 2 bookshelves with a 3rd bookshelf of a different brand in the center position on its side.

And the only two conclusions I can derive from my experience with any degree of certainty are:
I. #4 usually sounds a bit better than #5 . And even then, #5 doesn't apply if all 3 speakers are of a concentric design.
II. The perceptible SQ difference between #1 , 2, and 3 are NEGLIGIBLE as long as the horizontal center speaker is a good one.

There are however 3 rough "working" rules that I have inferred from my experience:

a. A crappy center speaker (mainly one lacking in adequate voice clarity) is a crappy center speaker which will severely hamper your HT enjoyment, whether it "matches" the other speakers or not. Do *not* tolerate a crappy center speaker merely for the sake of some ivory-tower ideal. (Pioneer Andrew Jones CP22 and Polk CS1/2/10/20 are the most infamous examples.) The center speaker does 70-80% of the HT/TV output and 98% of the DIALOGUE. It is *the* true workhorse/backbone of any HT setup and thus the absolute LAST place you should ever cut corners. Smaller centers 4.5" or smaller woofers) almost always produce tinny voices and often, terrible voice clarity.

b. A very good bookshelf speaker used in the center position that is identical to the L/R bookshelf speakers, will sound very good...BUT at moderately loud or louder volumes, it will still not sound quite as "big" (involving, dramatic, vivid, immersive, etc.) as a very good horizontal center speaker that has double or more the surface area in woofers, esp. a 3-way design that minimizes lobing such as the Emotiva centers. The exceptions might be with very high-sensitivity single woofer designs like the PSA MT-110 which are already extremely dynamic and clear by themselves.

c. If #3 best fits your budget and WAF requirements, by all means do it. Don't overthink this silly hobby, it's not worth it...just get the best you can with what budget you have, then sit back and (gasp!) ENJOY what you have. Don't become a chronic, obsessive gearhead...that will only suck the life and joy out of everything.
 

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The actual FUNCTION of a center speaker is to enable you to hear dialogue (70-80% of HT output) clearly and easily, without needing to turn up the volume which inevitably requires you to turn it back down during commercials or peaky scenes, and provide a larger sweet spot for doing so. THAT is the first (and arguably, ONLY) criteria for choosing a center speaker, unless you are one of the 2% of people who listen to a lot of SACD/DVD-A music in surround mode, because that is the only time that any "timbre" differences will even be perceptible aside from the perhaps 2-5 seconds of "front panning effects" that perhaps 10-20% of (2-3 hour) movies even contain. If you don't particularly care or want to hear 100% of dialogue easily, simply use a "phantom center" as many on this forum suggest.

Therefore, to base your center speaker selection on what your ears MIGHT hear during perhaps 3% of the time that you are actually sitting there watching movies and TV, is not very pragmatic, IMO. Keep in mind that "timbre" is one of those things that is impossible to measure or verify unless one has a highly trained ear, e.g. that of a classical musician.
 
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The actual FUNCTION of a center speaker is to enable you to hear dialogue (70-80% of HT output) clearly and easily, without needing to turn up the volume which inevitably requires you to turn it back down during commercials or peaky scenes, and provide a larger sweet spot for doing so. THAT is the first (and arguably, ONLY) criteria for choosing a center speaker, unless you are one of the 2% of people who listen to a lot of SACD/DVD-A music in surround mode, because that is the only time that any "timbre" differences will even be perceptible aside from the perhaps 2-5 seconds of "front panning effects" that perhaps 10-20% of (2-3 hour) movies even contain. If you don't particularly care or want to hear 100% of dialogue easily, simply use a "phantom center" as many on this forum suggest.

Therefore, to base your center speaker selection on what your ears MIGHT hear during perhaps 3% of the time that you are actually sitting there watching movies and TV, is not very pragmatic, IMO. Keep in mind that "timbre" is one of those things that is impossible to measure or verify unless one has a highly trained ear, e.g. that of a classical musician.


Thanks all for the interesting input - good stuff. I certainly don't have a highly trained ear - quite the opposite and a bit of a bummer: as I get older I wonder aloud how much to put into these speakers as my hearing is likely "past peak" (occasional tinnitus and don't get me started on the direction of my vision :) ) With that said, and while I don't have too much difficulty discerning dialogue my current center has always sounded a bit on the dull side and it was a total afterthought during my original purchase 10 years ago. Dan you mentioned the in-ceilings - tough option for my space and just being honest with myself, I don't have great confidence I would really be able to appreciate the atmos stuff, etc

For the gentleman recommending a stand for the center speaker - something I have considered. any concerns on the tip factor with such a heavy center? - puts my hair bit on end.

I am certainly not married to the matching the SVS center - it is fascinating to me though the degrees of difference of opinion on the subject. WAF? heh- nice looking design is something that appeals to ME (in part because this is my living room) and I own it. My wife could care less if it was plasticy veneer or piano black :)



As maybe as a bit of an aside I am also going to be adding a dedicated subwoofer (or two?). I am currently using a aperion intimus powered tower (522PT). I originally chose these in part for space reasons but I think on second thought I can pull off the dedicated subs. Again never anything really wrong with the 522PTs- just after 10 years looking to try something new.

Sound like consensus is to go with best foot forward and test it out - being totally honest there is a bit of inertia/busy/bit of laziness factor with me in that I am honestly not too likely to pack up stuff and send it back unless I am pretty disappointed - hence a bit more research on the frontside (plus I am pandemic-bored). Thanks again all for the good thoughts and suggestions. Some good options to look into.
 

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Dan you mentioned the in-ceilings - tough option for my space and just being honest with myself, I don't have great confidence I would really be able to appreciate the Atmos stuff, etc

If you set up your speakers correctly, Dolby Atmos is quite a nice step or two up from standard surround. The trick is placement and you do need at least four overheads for better object placement within the room. Again, gotta know more about the space you're in. Dimensions, seating distance, etc.
 

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As maybe as a bit of an aside I am also going to be adding a dedicated subwoofer (or two?). I am currently using a aperion intimus powered tower (522PT). I originally chose these in part for space reasons but I think on second thought I can pull off the dedicated subs. Again never anything really wrong with the 522PTs- just after 10 years looking to try something new.
I think you'll find that having 1-2 free standing subs like Hsu VTF-2 or Rythmik LV12-F will be a dramatic improvement over towers with built-in subs due to the much larger enclosure, beefier amps/drivers, and most importantly---the total placement flexibility.

For 90% HT these would be a solid choice and will save you a nice $600 vs the Pinnacles...look up their user reviews:
https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=242

If you're not wedded to towers, 3 of these would also be worth considering:
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/ccb-8.html
 

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If you're hell bent on staying with SVS for the center, the Ultra center is reportedly clearer than the Prime center. With SVS's free return shipping, you'd have nothing to lose by trying it.

However, if you're able to loosen the grip of the "timbre matching" mythology on your psyche, you could get as good or better performance from any number of much less expensive center speakers, like the Emotiva C1 or C2, HTD Level 3 or RSL CG25 (also free return shipping), Ascend 340SE, etc.

3 identical speakers in vertical alignment for the front stage are the ONLY way to get a true "timbre match"
While 3 identical speakers is the starting point for timbre-matching, you've left out a few very important details. All 3 LCR speakers need to be mounted at the same height, (preferably tweeters all at ear height), and all 3 speakers need to be aimed at the primary listening position, in order for the timbre-matching to be effective. If one uses a 3rd identical speaker but turns it on it's side and then mounts it above or below the display, on a different horizontal plane than the L/R's, that CC will sound different than the LR's... IOW it won't be a "timbre-match" for the L/R's... even though it is the exact same speaker.

---and they're worth the trouble only if: 1) You listen to a lot of music in upmixed fake surround mode or "all channel stereo" mode,
With mismatched front speakers, it's not surprising you find less than satisfactory results with "upmixers." The placement of centrally located sounds into a speaker located in the center is predicated on that speaker having the same sound characteristics as the speakers where the sounds originated. If you use a CC speaker that sounds different, it should come as no surprise that the result will be... different. Therefore, it is totally expected that you would find upmixed sound to be "fake." However, that is not the fault of the upmixer. In addition, the upmixers have gotten much better since the advent of 3D audio. DSU and Neural:X do a much better job of upmixing than the older Dolby ProLogicIIx or DTS Neo/Neural upmixers. Of course, since you don't have or appreciate surround sound or 3D audio, and you don't use a timbre-matched system, I wouldn't expect you to know this.

"All Channel Stereo" mode is intended to provide similar coverage of sound throughout a whole space. It's a "party" mode. Left/right separation and stereo imaging are not important or well-realized in that mode. It's not intended for watching movies, serious music listening, or for gaming, which all benefit from distinct sound localization and imaging. Timbre-matching my provide more consistent coverage, but it's certainly not a requirement for a "party" mode.

2) You do a lot of multi-channel gaming, or
I don't "game" so I can't comment either way, but I suspect timbre-matching is beneficial for gaming.

3) you are an extremely picky/fastidious user who LISTENS to movies instead of WATCHING them like most people.
Timbre-matching is even more beneficial for those who just want to WATCH and ENJOY movies and don't like to be distracted by flaws in the sound. Personally, whenever I notice something not "right" in the sound, I am taken out of the movie-watching experience, and I focus on the sound issue. Since implementing a timbre-matched system, I have eliminated the vast majority of the flaws in the sound, and I am taken out of the movie-watching experience MUCH less frequently. I can enjoy movies much more with a timbre-matched system than I ever could with an unmatched system. Not everyone has your ability to "listen past" the flaws in a sound system.

1. I've had a "matching" LCR of 3 identical front speakers, with the L/R vertical and the C horizontal.
2. I've had a "quasi-matching" LCR of 2 bookshelves and 1 horizontal center from the same brand and model family.
3. I've had a "mismatched" set of a horizontal center from a completely different brand and different tweeter type than the L/R speakers.
4. I've had a "mismatched" set of 2 bookshelves with a 3rd bookshelf of a different brand in the center position standing up, aligned with the L/R.
5. I've had a "mismatched" set of 2 bookshelves with a 3rd bookshelf of a different brand in the center position on its side.
Again, you've left out the important details of the placement(s) of the CC in relation to the L/R's and the display. It doesn't appear that your experience has ever included a system with 3 identical speakers, all aligned vertically, mounted at the same height and aimed at the LP. That's the ideal, and all these other iterations are some form of compromise. Some are less compromised than others, but they all have some element of compromise.

I, too, have had every one of these same iterations of LCR system over the years, and even a few others you haven't listed. My very first "CC" consisted of the stereo speakers in the bottom of a 50" Pioneer rear projection console TV. That was terrible, so I tried a pair of cheap bookshelves on top the TV. That was almost as bad, so I soon graduated to a "real" CC, a cheap Klipsch CC that was an attempt to match my Klipsch Fortes. It wasn't a good match, and I hated the placement, so I tried several different placements and different CC speakers, and all of the iterations you described above. It wasn't until I implemented a 3rd identical, timbre-match and aligned LCR system that I realized the benefits of this "best practice". Below was the 1st system where I utilized 3 identical speakers deployed at the same height and aimed at the LP:



My current system uses a horizontal CC that is as identical to the L/R's as a horizontal CC can be without being the exact same speaker. It uses the same drivers, same dispersion lens and an identical box volume as the L/R's. The crossover is slightly different to optimize the horizontal deployment of the woofers, but other than that, it is identical. More importantly, it is mounted with the tweeter at the exact same height as the L/R tweeters and all 3 speakers are aimed at my ears:



This is the *best* system I've ever had, and one of the 2 or 3 best systems I've ever heard. The timbre-matching is one of the most important elements of the design of this system.

As I have said on numerous previous occasions, timbre-matching is not a "budget driven" consideration. It is a best practice that can be implemented at ANY pricepoint. I have previously posted the following example of a extremely budget-friendly system that uses 3 identical speakers, all mounted vertically with the tweeters aligned at ear level and aimed at the LP. The front soundstage is integrated, cohesive and spacious, with precise imaging and consistent sound quality... and the speakers were only $129 each... INCLUDING the amplifiers! The newer version is a little more expensive at $149 each, but they'll output 108 dB and they have a very "neutral" sound quality.



And the only two conclusions I can derive from my experience with any degree of certainty are:
I. #4 usually sounds a bit better than #5 . And even then, #5 doesn't apply if all 3 speakers are of a concentric design.
II. The perceptible SQ difference between #1 , 2, and 3 are NEGLIGIBLE as long as the horizontal center speaker is a good one.

There are however 3 rough "working" rules that I have inferred from my experience:

a. A crappy center speaker (mainly one lacking in adequate voice clarity) is a crappy center speaker which will severely hamper your HT enjoyment, whether it "matches" the other speakers or not. Do *not* tolerate a crappy center speaker merely for the sake of some ivory-tower ideal. (Pioneer Andrew Jones CP22 and Polk CS1/2/10/20 are the most infamous examples.) The center speaker does 70-80% of the HT/TV output and 98% of the DIALOGUE. It is *the* true workhorse/backbone of any HT setup and thus the absolute LAST place you should ever cut corners. Smaller centers 4.5" or smaller woofers) almost always produce tinny voices and often, terrible voice clarity.

b. A very good bookshelf speaker used in the center position that is identical to the L/R bookshelf speakers, will sound very good...BUT at moderately loud or louder volumes, it will still not sound quite as "big" (involving, dramatic, vivid, immersive, etc.) as a very good horizontal center speaker that has double or more the surface area in woofers, esp. a 3-way design that minimizes lobing such as the Emotiva centers. The exceptions might be with very high-sensitivity single woofer designs like the PSA MT-110 which are already extremely dynamic and clear by themselves.

c. If #3 best fits your budget and WAF requirements, by all means do it. Don't overthink this silly hobby, it's not worth it...just get the best you can with what budget you have, then sit back and (gasp!) ENJOY what you have. Don't become a chronic, obsessive gearhead...that will only suck the life and joy out of everything.
I'll agree that dialogue clarity is a very high priority, (probably the highest priority.) However, that is a completely separate consideration from timbre-matching. One can look for a CC with dialogue clarity, and then just get two more for the L/R's. That way, you get dialogue clarity AND timbre-matching. Easy-peazy!

More importantly, the CC carries more than just dialogue. It also carries everything else that is centered on the image on the screen, whether that be gunshots or explosions or music or sounds that move around, (pan), across the front soundstage from one speaker to another. It is primarily these other sounds that benefit the most from timbre-matching. You have a tendency to trivialize these other sounds, which is likely related to the type of dialogue-heavy movies you watch. Nonetheless, I suggest you try an experiment... turn off all your other speakers sometime and listen to just your CC. You'll see/hear just how much other content is recorded in, and reproduced by, the CC, especially in the type of movies that the vast majority of forum members are interested in, (i.e., Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Animation and CGI-intense movies, etc.)

Bottom line, timbre-matching is more than just using 3 identical speakers. It requires 3 identical speakers AND proper system design. In spite of that, timbre-matching is a "best practice" that can be implemented at any and every price-point. It should be a goal of speaker selection and system design. The end user should realize that all other system designs entail some element of compromise. If one decides to deviate from the best-practice, one should at last know the compromises involved, instead of just being advised that timbre-matching will turn you into a "gearhead" and will "suck the life and joy out of everything." That is just nonsensical hyperbole!

Craig
 

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That is just nonsensical hyperbole!
You could have just prefaced your novel-length post with that, Craig! :D :D :D

In a nutshell: you have been to, and currently reside in, The Promised Land of Painstakingly Perfect HT, whilst I have not. Okay, fair enough.

However, I have no particular interest in going to or residing in TPLPPHT, and I doubt that the posters I usually respond to would, either. They simply want to make the most of what they have or are capable of getting. Nothing more.

Otherwise, I would simply refer them to you, and keep my fingers crossed that you will have the time and energy to respond to all of them as thoroughly and exhaustively as you have above. :)


PS. Having an identical vertical center is not nearly as easy for the vast majority of people as you seem to imagine, given WAF and cabinet/budget constraints.
 

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My current system uses a horizontal CC that is as identical to the L/R's as a horizontal CC can be without being the exact same speaker.

Out of curiosity: why DIDN'T you use the same speaker for your center as your L/R? Since I'm guessing you have an AT screen covering them anyway. Does Triad refuse to sell those towers in singles?
 

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Good morning,

Relative noob here. After 10+ years I am revamping my HT system. For a variety of reasons I am very much leaning toward SVS Prime Pinnacles as my L/R. For background my use is 90/10 Home theater/music. My understanding is that I would likely be best off matching this with the prime center. I am tempted though to go with the ultra for three reasons: 1) I "hear" the center is one of the most important parts of the HT 2) over the long haul the $350 difference is fine with me 3) I am looking for that upgrade factor from current: aperion intimus 5C. There is nothing wrong with it but nothing about it excites me either. Will be a bit bummed if there isn't a pretty noticeable difference.

Just as fyi in case wondering-from what I can gather the Prime L/R would be a better fit for me than the ultras given some placement/configuration challenges in the room.

Any thoughts on going upline with the ultra vs. sticking with the prime series would be much appreciated, thanks,

Hey, I know you’ve gotten a lot of responses but I can tell you that you should be open to something other then SVS. I had a SVS system for 6 months. I was so excited coming from Boston Acoustic VR3s I had for a decade and I was so pumped to get “home theater” speakers. I went svs ultra towers and ultra center. IMO after 6 months use there is nothing special about SVS speakers. They are incredibly power hungry and overpriced for the performance they provide. If you listen at an even moderate volume I hope you prepare yourself for plenty of distortion. I was so disappointed in my ultras I sold them and went with PSA. If you are considering Prime Pinnacles I beg of you to find someone to at least demo them from or be willing to return them during your 45 day trial. You can get PSA 210s for a very similar price to the pinnacles and they will blow you away. I have 2 MTM210Ts and the 210C and I can tell you they are the system that I always wanted. The true theater in your home. I just wanted to give you my personal experience with SVS and my opinion of their performance for the price. I am almost exclusively tv and movies and my PSA speakers are perfect for me. If I were you and I’d budget is a concern get the bookshelf PSA speakers and the 110c and a nice sub. It will blow away SVS anything. Good luck


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If I were you and I’d budget is a concern get the bookshelf PSA speakers and the 110c
Yep, I'd expect those to offer similar output to most towers, given their huge 10" woofers and mid-90s sensitivity.
 
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Hey, I know you’ve gotten a lot of responses but I can tell you that you should be open to something other then SVS. I had a SVS system for 6 months. I was so excited coming from Boston Acoustic VR3s I had for a decade and I was so pumped to get “home theater” speakers. I went svs ultra towers and ultra center. IMO after 6 months use there is nothing special about SVS speakers. They are incredibly power hungry and overpriced for the performance they provide. If you listen at an even moderate volume I hope you prepare yourself for plenty of distortion. I was so disappointed in my ultras I sold them and went with PSA. If you are considering Prime Pinnacles I beg of you to find someone to at least demo them from or be willing to return them during your 45 day trial. You can get PSA 210s for a very similar price to the pinnacles and they will blow you away. I have 2 MTM210Ts and the 210C and I can tell you they are the system that I always wanted. The true theater in your home. I just wanted to give you my personal experience with SVS and my opinion of their performance for the price. I am almost exclusively tv and movies and my PSA speakers are perfect for me. If I were you and I’d budget is a concern get the bookshelf PSA speakers and the 110c and a nice sub. It will blow away SVS anything. Good luck


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This is disappointing to hear. I don’t have SVS, but they are on my list. Primarily due to a 3-way center that fits my stand. I’ve never heard anyone say the SVS distort at high volume. What kind of distortion? I have read the ultra are sensitive to placement. I am looking at prime or pinnacle and the center.

The PSA sound interesting. I’ve never heard of them. Looked them up, but their centers are too large for my cabinet. I like that they are sealed though.
 

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This is disappointing to hear. I don’t have SVS, but they are on my list. Primarily due to a 3-way center that fits my stand. I’ve never heard anyone say the SVS distort at high volume. What kind of distortion? I have read the ultra are sensitive to placement. I am looking at prime or pinnacle and the center.

The PSA sound interesting. I’ve never heard of them. Looked them up, but their centers are too large for my cabinet. I like that they are sealed though.

I was reading some of your earlier comments and if you still plan on getting a sub or 2 like the HSU or a rhythmik that’s even more reason to go with PSA. The PSA pick up at about 70hz so crossing over at 80 would be a good place to start. I personally do 80 but that’s besides the point. If you were to purchase 2 HSU subs for example that’s even less reason to have towers that go down to 35hz. With the amount of money you’re planning on spending which is not astronomical by any stretch but yet very substantial, I would highly recommend not purchasing or ruling out speakers based on whether the center channel will fit in your cabinet. There are several ways of going around the cabinet issue. You can buy a tv stand with the mount attached to the back of the stand on amazon for around 150$ and place the center channel on the top shelf of the tv stand. Or an even more simple option would be buying a center channel stand that’s around 18” off the floor and you can tilt/“aim” the center toward your ears.
As far as the SVS is concerned yes the ultras can be more sensitive to placement because of the side firing woofers if you have close side walls but that was not an issue for me as I have a wide room. When I say distortion I don’t know how else to put it besides telling you that at moderate to higher volumes the speakers sound distorted and what I would watch (especially during movie time” was not what was intended by the creator. The sensitivity is the obvious cause of the problem with that. Another issue I had with the SVS’s low sensitivity is I would have my AVR overheat and go into safe mode very often. Especially during a movie night and listening at higher volumes. I have a denon 3500h which is not a flagship Denon AVR but is absolutely no slouch.
The reason I replied to your post is I feel like I was in a similar position as you less then a year ago and I was so excited for the SVS. I envisioned a movie theater in my home and I was beyond disappointed. If you have similar hopes that I had with this upcoming purchase of yours, I felt obligated to prepare you with realistic expectations. I eventually got what I wanted out of my PSA but after selling my SVS and purchasing the PSA it cost me about 1200$ more then if I were to just purchase the PSA on day one. I think that with the money your spending you’re expecting a damn good home theater, and IMO SVS is no where near that with their speaker line up.


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