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Like most (or all) of you, I've had a few experiences in my life where I said, "I had no idea that stereo could sound so good." The first time I said this was roughly 6 years ago when I went to an Ultimate Electronics store in Salt Lake City, UT while on a business trip (back when Ultimate Electronics lived up to its name). The equipment was a combination of Martin Logan and Krell that was nothing short of life changing. I've been searching ever since to be able to experience that level of sound in my house on my budget. I've since learned that electrostatic speakers need a big space to sound their best, my wife and kids take up space that I can't trade for stereo, and you have to be able to eat pretty far up the food chain to get good base response with electrostatics (which is budget incompatible for me). Scratch Martin Logan from the list.

Some time afterward, I had the opportunity to hear some B&W something-or-others with their signature diamond tweeter. Again, i was blown away. I was excited that so much detail could be achieved without having to place the speakers 5 feet from the nearest wall, but then I saw the price. Scratch B&W from the list.

All hope was lost (short of winning the Powerball that I don't play) until I heard of a few direct-sell manufacturers that were producing equipment that real people could purchase. I've since been reading everything I can about SVS and found this forum. From what I can tell, SVS subwoofer performance-per-dollar is legendary and has formed the basis from which they've launched other products. I'm considering buying one of their 13" ultra's, but it is their tower speaker and homegrown tweeter that has me intrigued. How good is it? Is there a chance that I could finally get at least some of the dream I've been chasing all these years? I don't expect these to be equivalent to the $100k+ systems I've heard, but given the law of diminishing returns, maybe I can get really close? For background, I currently own all Polk Circuit-City-grade speakers (RT800i's, corresponding center, surround, and 12" sub). They are currently powered by an Onkyo 5007, which was an upgrade from a Sony STR-DG1000 (which was an upgrade from a Technics receiver before it). It was the upgrade to the Onkyo that re-ignited my search for something better because it had improved the sound so much (despite the quirks--a topic for another thread).

The biggest problem that I have is the inability to audition their M-line towers. I know they have a 45-day return policy, but a few hundred dollars in shipping round-trip is not exactly an easy trial. Are there additional resources you guys can point me to? Are there other opportunities to audition equipment that I have not found? Looking for some pointers.
 

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I have heard the M Series many times, the MBS, MCS & the MTS, granted these were not the "newest models" but I thought they all sounded great. I sure like the way they look as well and if I were to change speakers I would probably go that route. As for the sound quality of their new M Series, I just don't see SVS lowering their standards from their previous model.


I understand the $$ it takes to send them back if you don't like them, but having said that the pro's of being able to audition speakers in your own home for 45 days "in my eyes.....mmmmm to my ears" would be priceless.


As for the PBU, well I have two of them and if size is not an issue or you have a nice place for an end table "or two :D" then I do not see you wanting to send it back regardless of what you think of the speakers.
 

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Like most (or all) of you, I've had a few experiences in my life where I said, "I had no idea that stereo could sound so good." The first time I said this was roughly 6 years ago when I went to an Ultimate Electronics store in Salt Lake City, UT while on a business trip (back when Ultimate Electronics lived up to its name). The equipment was a combination of Martin Logan and Krell that was nothing short of life changing. I've been searching ever since to be able to experience that level of sound in my house on my budget. I've since learned that electrostatic speakers need a big space to sound their best, my wife and kids take up space that I can't trade for stereo, and you have to be able to eat pretty far up the food chain to get good base response with electrostatics (which is budget incompatible for me). Scratch Martin Logan from the list.

Some time afterward, I had the opportunity to hear some B&W something-or-others with their signature diamond tweeter. Again, i was blown away. I was excited that so much detail could be achieved without having to place the speakers 5 feet from the nearest wall, but then I saw the price. Scratch B&W from the list.

All hope was lost (short of winning the Powerball that I don't play) until I heard of a few direct-sell manufacturers that were producing equipment that real people could purchase. I've since been reading everything I can about SVS and found this forum. From what I can tell, SVS subwoofer performance-per-dollar is legendary and has formed the basis from which they've launched other products. I'm considering buying one of their 13" ultra's, but it is their tower speaker and homegrown tweeter that has me intrigued. How good is it? Is there a chance that I could finally get at least some of the dream I've been chasing all these years? I don't expect these to be equivalent to the $100k+ systems I've heard, but given the law of diminishing returns, maybe I can get really close? For background, I currently own all Polk Circuit-City-grade speakers (RT800i's, corresponding center, surround, and 12" sub). They are currently powered by an Onkyo 5007, which was an upgrade from a Sony STR-DG1000 (which was an upgrade from a Technics receiver before it). It was the upgrade to the Onkyo that re-ignited my search for something better because it had improved the sound so much (despite the quirks--a topic for another thread).

The biggest problem that I have is the inability to audition their M-line towers. I know they have a 45-day return policy, but a few hundred dollars in shipping round-trip is not exactly an easy trial. Are there additional resources you guys can point me to? Are there other opportunities to audition equipment that I have not found? Looking for some pointers.
I have the MTS-01s/MCS-01/MBS-01s and 2 x PBUltras and I really enjoy the sound. I bought them about 15 months ago and am completely satisfied with them. I did not audition them I just based my decision to purchase on the reviews/recommendations posted on this site and elsewhere. Also the SVS customer service team is top tier. They respond quickly to any issue I have had.

Just echoing what Tufelhundln says the 45 day grace period is priceless.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I certainly have no doubt that they'd sound better than what I own today. I guess I'll just have to think about it some more.
 

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I am currently testing out the S series and if the M series is better then the S series then I do not think you will be dissappointed. I am not sure about your receiver but with teh M series being 4 ohms you'll need a good amp to drive them. Anyway, I am testing the STS-02 and the matching centre against Klipsch RF82's. I can tell you for sure the STS-02 wins hands down for music. What has me pndering between the RF82 and the STS-02 is that they are just a bit harder to drive and therefore I need to turn the reciever up much higher to get the sound I am looking for. At lower volumn settings you do not get teh same presence with the STS-02 as you do teh RF82's. but again this is just for watching Movies.. If I am allowed to crank them then I have a hard time not picking the SVS over the Klipsch.. however with small children and later night movie/TV watching....? Anyway, I still have 30 days with the SVS and probably about 10 with teh klipsch.. One last thing.. my wife also likes the SVS because they are quite abit smaller. Again I am compaing a $2100 set to a $1100 set of speakers.. So summary - want great sound SVS.. want to be rocking in you seat with explosions.. Klipsch.. again I am only using a KSW 10 sub and that might be part of the problem... if I get a beter sub then maybe the SVS would playu the part.. but the STS-02 need a sub.. the RF82's not so much.. but do benifit as would any system ;)
Sorry for the long post.. Not sure this will help you at all.. but I think a test drive and you may be well surprised??
 

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I have an SVS PB12-NSD and I'm extremely happy. I'm confident that you'll find the SVS a big improvement over what you have now.

My only concern is that Onkyo amps limit their output when set to handle 4 ohm speakers. I don't think this will be a real life problem, but you should at least be aware of it.

If you're very concerned about buying blind and the cost of returns, you could look at comparable PSB speakers if there's a nearby dealer.
 

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I am currently testing out the S series and if the M series is better then the S series then I do not think you will be dissappointed. I am not sure about your receiver but with teh M series being 4 ohms you'll need a good amp to drive them. Anyway, I am testing the STS-02 and the matching centre against Klipsch RF82's. I can tell you for sure the STS-02 wins hands down for music. What has me pndering between the RF82 and the STS-02 is that they are just a bit harder to drive and therefore I need to turn the reciever up much higher to get the sound I am looking for. At lower volumn settings you do not get teh same presence with the STS-02 as you do teh RF82's. but again this is just for watching Movies.. If I am allowed to crank them then I have a hard time not picking the SVS over the Klipsch.. however with small children and later night movie/TV watching....? Anyway, I still have 30 days with the SVS and probably about 10 with teh klipsch.. One last thing.. my wife also likes the SVS because they are quite abit smaller. Again I am compaing a $2100 set to a $1100 set of speakers.. So summary - want great sound SVS.. want to be rocking in you seat with explosions.. Klipsch.. again I am only using a KSW 10 sub and that might be part of the problem... if I get a beter sub then maybe the SVS would playu the part.. but the STS-02 need a sub.. the RF82's not so much.. but do benifit as would any system ;)
Sorry for the long post.. Not sure this will help you at all.. but I think a test drive and you may be well surprised??
Good point regarding an amp. I use an Emotiva XPA-3 to drive the L/R/C. My older Pioneer VSX-84TXSi drive the surrounds. The separate amp was needed as the Pioneer struggled to manage all channels at higher volume levels causing distortion.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My Onkyo is the biggest they made last year, but of course that doesn't mean anything. I've already looked at PSB T6 towers and PSB Synchrony I towers (which are at a completely different price point). The T6's sounded good for the money and the Synchrony I low-end was incredible (and it better be for $5k a pair), but I wasn't overly impressed with the treble response in either.

Bottom-line is, I'd really like to find something with a tweeter close to the sound of a B&W Diamond tweeter without having to spend $7.5k for a pair. I'm probably searching for the impossible though. Last year B&W made there 800 series speakers (803's, 804's) both with and without their Diamond tweeter. The one's without the diamond tweeter weren't worth the price in my opinion. It's not surprising that their 800-line is diamond-tweeter-only this year.

I asked at work about SV, and a few people chimed in about their subs, but no luck with the towers. I was hoping somebody would own some that I could audition. One person recommended Axiom speakers as an alternative. I really don't know much about them, nor have I been able to find many reviews, but I'm probably on the wrong thread to discuss them.

Has anybody done a comparison between B&W and SV?
 

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I listen to the B&W 685, now they are only $800 a pair and no where near your 7.5K but I was really impressed with them. Unfortunitly the store would not let me trial them at home. As mentioned about I have the SVS sts-02 and centre. He told me I could bring my speakers into their place and have a listen but they would still sound different in my house. The best he would do is sell them to me and let me exchange them. But in the store the 685 where clear, had great mid range, but could not compete with the 4X 6" woofers of the sv.. mind you as mentioned I did not get a chance to hear them next to each other.
 

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I was always interested in SVS cylinder subs but until about a year or two ago, I had never actually heard one. My buddy happen to have an older PLUS cylinder sub (don't know the exact model) and it sounded GREAT. It sounded better than TWO of my Klipsch RW-12d's, so I recently picked up two PC12-NSD's and I'm very happy. I don't think you'd be disappointed.

Now to work on room acoustics...
 
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