SVS Prime Pinnacle Tower Speaker Review

Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I noticed in the long thread that you had 3 of the ultra bookshelves originally. How was that paired with the HSU subs compared to the towers with one bookshelf?
As much as I'd like to say "night and day!", it wasn't a huge jump. Maybe a little bigger soundstage but without doing a side by side it's really hard to do a comparison. I know upgrading my subs (to the Hsus) had a much, much bigger impact in sq.

When I started this journey I had towers as an end goal in mind so I eventually got them and I love them. You're not really missing a whole lot with the bookshelf speakers and sub combo tho. I still even use the same crossover point.
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
As much as I'd like to say "night and day!", it wasn't a huge jump. Maybe a little bigger soundstage but without doing a side by side it's really hard to do a comparison. I know upgrading my subs (to the Hsus) had a much, much bigger impact in sq.

When I started this journey I had towers as an end goal in mind so I eventually got them and I love them. You're not really missing a whole lot with the bookshelf speakers and sub combo tho. I still even use the same crossover point.
I would love to try a trio in my living room to pair with my VTF2 subs. That particular room is WAF territory but I think she would ok it. LOL. :)
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
You're not really missing a whole lot with the bookshelf speakers and sub combo tho.
I would definitely tend to agree with this. Granted the BMRs are pretty big for Stand-mounts, but on their own they performed well: paired with the X13s the effect was stunning and very satisfying. In a way, based on that experience I've matured a lot in terms of how I make recommendations to people asking for guidance. Though I still prefer a 3-way to 2- or 2.5-way designs.

That said, I still love towers in general. There's something gratifying in having "totems" anchoring the front of the room like an alter to sound! ;)
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
That said, I still love towers in general. There's something gratifying in having "totems" anchoring the front of the room like an alter to sound! ;)
They put a smile on my face every day!

I'm pretty lucky with WAF too. I think she might even like the aesthetic. As long as I keep everything neat and clean (which is a labor of love for me!). The money spent tho... not so much, but I've been good and haven't had the upgrade bug for a while so she's content.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
They put a smile on my face every day!

I'm pretty lucky with WAF too. I think she might even like the aesthetic. As long as I keep everything neat and clean (which is a labor of love for me!). The money spent tho... not so much, but I've been good and haven't had the upgrade bug for a while so she's content.
I know there are always posts about the point of diminishing returns on spending for speakers. It really strikes me that there could be a reasonable point for everyone's needs. The old-school pricing for the BMRs is a prime example. A stand-mount that can compete with towers at twice the cost!
Unfortunately, when I look at speaker design in the modern world, the one thing that isn't easily accounted for in a boutique company is the actual cost of the build.
Where Dennis used pre-built cabinets where possible, it became untenable when Dayton discontinued everything in that category. The final cabinet he was using for the BMR was clearly a special build arranged from an overseas supplier. Yet without Dayton's cabs, he lost the ability to do his Philharmonitors in the Mini and New form.
Fast foward to Salk taking on the BMR torch. Yes, the speaker competes against towers costing $3K per pair and more... but his business necessitated a markup that covers his costs: all of them! Router bits and packing tape and saw blades and sandpaper and... oh yeah, that little thing called labor. There were many arguments on that other site about the price that Jim was charging. It was pretty sad.

Companies like Salk, Selah and Ascend blow me away! I would love to see [hear] what companies like SVS and Aperion are doing, too. Somewhere between the two levels there is a balance point that I wish the OEM/mass-market companies would strive for. Sure a more complex crossover costs more money, but imagine what that R&D cost spread over 1000 speakers actually costs, plus the cost of the components.
Dennis just did a new XO for a Monoprice speaker. He posted what the cost would be for them to implement and what it would do for the speaker. Astounding! A 5% markup would cover it and you would have a good speaker become a GOOD speaker.

Apply that to SVS and what they just did to the Prime series with the Pinnacle. How does that look if they update the Ultra Tower to a 2.0, uses the premium components already in use and makes room placement easier and more effective while improving performance and sound quality? Would that be worth an extra $150 per? Especially if it competes with speakers selling at $1500 or more? :)
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Warlord
I think I would instantly fall into a deep depression if SVS comes out with a superior 2.0 Ultra tower...

:oops::p
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Samurai
I would definitely tend to agree with this. Granted the BMRs are pretty big for Stand-mounts, but on their own they performed well: paired with the X13s the effect was stunning and very satisfying. In a way, based on that experience I've matured a lot in terms of how I make recommendations to people asking for guidance. Though I still prefer a 3-way to 2- or 2.5-way designs.

That said, I still love towers in general. There's something gratifying in having "totems" anchoring the front of the room like an alter to sound! ;)
What? Your starting to soften your stance on 2 way and 2.5 ways? And they say it never snows on Christmas! :D
 
X

xyrium

Audiophyte
Hey guys, I'm a bit new to this, but 100dB frequency response measurements? Isn't that a bit high to get a reasonable response?
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Hey guys, I'm a bit new to this, but 100dB frequency response measurements? Isn't that a bit high to get a reasonable response?
Depends on the speaker and what you are trying to measure.
 
X

xyrium

Audiophyte
Perhaps so, but doesn't the LF graph make it appear (as was noted in th review) that it may actually be light in the LF department because of this? I was thinking that if it was measured at 85dB from 20-20, it might look more uniform, and substantiate the subjective listening impression.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Perhaps so, but doesn't the LF graph make it appear (as was noted in th review) that it may actually be light in the LF department because of this? I was thinking that if it was measured at 85dB from 20-20, it might look more uniform, and substantiate the subjective listening impression.
The low frequency response of many speakers look like that. That is a ground plane measurement, so it is half-space, and that boosts the pressure level by 6 dB. If it was anechoic, it would be 6 dB lower. Many tower speakers have a tapered low-frequency response because otherwise they get a lot of room gain which can bloat the bass. This was one of the problems with the SVS Ultra towers, and is one of the reasons why they made the Prime Pinnacles, so it could be placed in a lot more areas without boundary gain bloating the bass.
 
X

xyrium

Audiophyte
Ahh, got it. Thank you! I'll check out the Pinnacles as well, as my placement will not be ideal.
 
L

Lance Davis

Audiophyte
I noticed the review say you would not power with a basic starter AVR. What did you use for this test and what would you recommend as the bare minimum wattage AVR to run these speakers?
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
I noticed the review say you would not power with a basic starter AVR. What did you use for this test and what would you recommend as the bare minimum wattage AVR to run these speakers?
The problem is no the wattage, but the tolerance of the receiver to low impedance and very difficult phase angles.

This is the problem.



It is those areas of low impedance from 80 Hz to 500 Hz that are a problem and those areas at 80 and 3 KHz where the phase angles turn sharply negative. These dips result on build up of heat on the output transistors and risk failure.

Unfortunately most modern receivers do not spec a 4 ohm rating, and their power amps are not really robust.

The higher end Yamaha receivers do give a 4 ohm spec and probably are the only ones you should consider. Other than that then you need a receiver with preouts or a pre/pro and use external power amplification.

As rule speakers with more then one bass driver and especially if they are three ways, will present a challenging load to the modern crop of receivers, unless you are really prepared to moderate volume levels. Pretty much anything will drive anything if you keep the volume level low enough.
 

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