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SVS Prime Tower Review Discussion Thread








SVS Prime Tower: $499.99 each



by Wayne Myers


Introduction

The SVS Prime Tower was introduced at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October. At $1000 per pair, the Prime Tower has a lot of competition in its class, speakers that are trying to sound like their more expensive bigger brothers. Some come close but most have flaws which hold them back, as is to be expected. A few really shine, seeming to break any rules about how much a speaker should cost to sound really good.

I got a good introduction to the Prime Towers at RMAF, resisting the impulse to move them around to optimize their setup, and asked for a pair to review in detail. The Prime Towers stood in the shadow of the SVS Ultra Towers, which I have heard several times and which, at $2,000 per pair, perform very well and leave big shoes for the Prime Towers to fill. The Ultra Tower also shows that the SVS engineers are able to make speakers that perform very well and give listeners a lot of value for their dollar.


 

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Really nice write-up Wayne! Seems like we have another contender in the affordable tower range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Really nice write-up Wayne! Seems like we have another contender in the affordable tower range.
Thanks, Jim.

I think so, and while I expected the Prime Tower to do well, it was a pleasant surprise just how well it did. Those SVS guys must stay up late figuring out how to squeeze as much value and good sound into their products as possible.

Forgot to mention their legendary service, also a factor in any purchase.
 

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Excellent write up Wayne... Sounds like an excellent speaker setup for $1k!
 

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Wayne,

The $1,000 speaker evaluation opened my eyes (and ears) to moving speakers out into the listening room and giving them plenty of "space". I picked up my Martin-Logan Motion 12s based on that evaluation and, after a year or so, I love them more than ever. I do have them far out into the media room (my wife doesn't like it but, as I tell her repeatedly, it's my room!) Before reading those evaluations I'd always kept any speakers within a foot or so of the front wall. The 12s now stand a little over 5' out, with over 6' from the side walls. After a full day of positioning and repositioning they just got better and better. I don't think another half-inch adjustment would change anything. They simply sound fantastic! I'm a believer! :yikes:

Ironically, I have an old pair of AR93s, a speaker designed to be right against the wall, that I installed briefly just to see how they sounded, moved well out into the room. And, after some adjustments, they sounded great! Frankly, I'm well aware of their shortcomings and the careful positioning cleaned them up nicely although not a match for the MLs.

So, all this is my way of asking where you had to SVS Prime Towers positioned in the room? Did the position, not just the toe-in, effect the soundstage or imaging? I realize that most guys can't position their speakers out in the room but, hey, just for information purposes?

Thanks

old arkiedan :eek:lddude:
 

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Sure thing.

My "lab" is about 15 ft wide by 24 ft deep, but the listening area with the required flat, blank wall is not spacious. That blank wall is on one of the 15 ft dimensions. I would not mind being able to space things out more, but various factors prevent it.

The Prime Towers were 4 ft out from the wall - from the front "speaker plane" back to the wall - and there was another 4 ft from the speaker plane to the LP. Front center lines of the towers were 5.5 ft apart (could have made them wider but would have had to move my main speakers, which I really avoid - with the amount of time you have put into adjusting your Motion 12 placement, I am sure you understand). The angle they ended up at the most was a 25 deg listening angle - from "pointing straight at the listener" (0 deg), each speaker is pivoted outward (imagine a vertical pivot line up the center of the front baffle) so the "on-axis" line of the drivers is at a 25 deg angle relative to the line from speaker to LP. Hope that kinda makes sense.

I am really pushing myself to update the "speaker setup guide" over the holidays including a better step-by-step, new info, diagrams, photos, etc. But not quite brave enough to make any promises.

Good choice on the Motion 12's (hint - in the current "What common measurement indicates the best-sounding speakers?" thread/poll, the Motion 12's end up in the "best-sounding speakers" group). Hold firm on the speaker placement. Tell the significant other that the sound make you a better man.:D
 

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The SVS Prime Towers introduced at the 2014 RMAF were a stand out in their price range. Thanks for digging deeper and showing us what the Towers are capable of, Wayne.
 

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As always... very thorough and detailed review.

Wayne P... Wayne M can probably confirm this, but we firmly believe the Prime series are 90% of the Ultras... at half the price. I should have a pair pretty soon here and I will be comparing them directly. Wayne M will like be at my house during that time too.
 

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I own a 7.1 Ultra setup and they are amazing. Heard nothing but similar about the primes and for much less than what I paid. Sort of jealous at this point!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Of course the Ultra Tower can deliver higher SPLs and deeper bass. Other than that, the Ultra has a little more refined character. For music without deep bass in a 2-channel setup, I'll bet most listeners would have a hard time telling them apart in a blind test. We just might try that out at Sonnie's place.
 

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Nice review Wayne! I can now say I am a proud owner of the SVS Prime towers and center channel. I come from in ceiling speakers and changing the fronts REALLY made a difference. The speakers sound nice and clean with great dynamics. The room gets emersed with even sound when movie watching. I hear things I was never able to hear before. I really love listening to jazz. Love the plucking of the guitar strings. Makes you feel like you are in front of the artist.
 
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