SVS Ultra Towers vs. SVS Prime Pinnacles... with a sub

Cpt.America

Cpt.America

Full Audioholic
Hey guys! Long time no see! A bit of an armature HT/Musicphile here. I bought a relatively cheap 5.1 setup back in 2008 that included some polk rt10s and an ED 12" sub. For a budget setup, it sounds pretty good. BUT, it's time to let these go and upgrade. Hoping I can get a little insight from the more dedicated audioheads.

Let me say right out of the gate, I live very rural and am HOURS away from any kind of store that sells floorstanding loudspeakers, so I really need internet direct. There's just no chance in being able to drive all over town listening to all my options. I started with my search for a new sub, and was planning on upgrading to a pair of SVS PB3000s, and while on SVS's website, of course found their new loudspeakers (haven't looked since 2008). My budget is roughly $1000 per speaker, (going with the ultra center regardless). These seem to be two great options from SVS, which from my research the last week seem to be about as nice as you can get for that limited budget... and they are right at the top of that budget. Stretching it enough as it is.

My question is about the difference between these two speakers. I understand the ultras have built in twin 8" that fire to the side, but the pinnacles run 3 smaller woofers, each crossed over at increasingly lower frequencies, firing forward. They both look good. My problem is that every single review I can find comparing these two speakers only compare them stand-alone and always give the nod to the ultra towers as having better low end, better frequency ranges. I, however, will always be running a sub. It seams to me (maybe ignorantly so) that running a dedicated sub mixed in would take away the advantage of the Ultras. Wouldn't the 3 forward facing woofers sound equally as good if there were always a dedicated sub mixed in? The room is 40'x20'x9', but with a heavy drape curtain I can pull shut down the middle making the room 20' square.

I called SVS and asked if the drivers themselves were higher quality in the ultras than the primes, and they said no. Same quality drivers.


I feel like I am missing something... thoughts?
 
Last edited:
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
Im a fan of the Prime Pinnacles. Even without a sub. They are really a well balanced speaker throughout the Frequency Range. Well designed speaker
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I feel ya on the living in the boonies thing, been living that way for quite a while now. A trip to a store with any kind of decent demo capabilities is a several hour drive at best. When I moved into my current place and had more room for a workshop area I added some woodworking stuff and went DIY with the subs. Was going to go for the speakers as well, but went for a set of speakers on a killer sale instead.....while its nice having a workshop don't exactly want to live in it either.

Can't really help you on the difference between the Ultra and Pinnacle for your use but it sounds like it could be a tossup for you; I'd think of it as the Ultras being more capable in a few ways, but that may not make a difference to you. If using as just 2ch, or in larger rooms, and possibly even higher spl, the Ultras may have a slight advantage. The SVS thing with the satisfaction guaranteed/round trip thing makes it easy to try them out, tho. Maybe even get both simultaneously so you can do it yourself and scratch that itch! :) The only SVS I have are a pair of their older bookshelf speakers, the MBS-02, which aside from rather low sensitivity are quite nice speakers. The Pinnacle and Ultra are both generally well regarded it seems from the user comments I've read.

Got more room treatments in mind other than that curtain? That curtain may not halve the room as well as you think, too, particularly for sub frequencies. Floor covering? Looks like a somewhat reflective room to my eyes.

Good luck...
 
Cpt.America

Cpt.America

Full Audioholic
Got more room treatments in mind other than that curtain? That curtain may not halve the room as well as you think, too, particularly for sub frequencies. Floor covering? Looks like a somewhat reflective room to my eyes.

Good luck...
The room is definitely on the live side. And to make things worse, is I have a crawl space. So the entire floor is like a giant drum head. We may do a large circular rug under the table, and I already have 4 wall sound damper panels on the way. With the curtain and the dampers, it should calm the room enough to decent.

I just need figure these two floorspeakers out.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
To me the money difference isn't all that great and I'd probably simply go with the Ultra unless I needed to particularly save. At least as consideration of these particular two speakers go....
 
Cpt.America

Cpt.America

Full Audioholic
To me the money difference isn't all that great and I'd probably simply go with the Ultra unless I needed to particularly save. At least as consideration of these particular two speakers go....
They are almost the same price. My concern is crossing over at 60hz (svs recommendation) on the ultras will remove whatever advantage they had with their 8" drivers if I am always running a sub anyway. I understand that played alone, the ultras will be more well rounded.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
It’s been said many times that the Ultra Towers can be more difficult to place in a room. The Pinnacles were designed to be more forgiving in that regard.
You should never consider neutering your mains through use of a sub. True Full Range towers that play down to 20Hz with authority are not only rare, but usually exceptionally expensive. To what effect?
The kicker is that unless you are pursuing Active Bi- or Tri- Amplification, the power demands of passive speakers at such low frequencies are such that you want to run your XO around 80 and let the specialized subwoofer do it’s job. It's a simple matter of the efficiency with which those large Drivers use energy.
For example, my speakers are rated to 25Hz and I still cross at 80. I get more clarity in the mids and highs than I do by engaging the woofer at a lower threshold; yes, even lower by only 20 Hz makes a difference. I was mortified at the idea of buying speakers that wouldn’t use their natural extension, but when I finally heard the difference, I only go back to Pure Direct when I am listening to music that isn’t as demanding in the lowest octaves. But even for that music, I usually leave the subs on now, crossing at 80.
The proof is in the pudding. ;) My ears are happier. Considering this has come up a few other times, I know many other cats here Cross at least at 80, with some going as high as 100 or even 120.

Regardless, you should get the speaker that will allow you to maximize setup in your room. If the only place a speaker will perform is a place you cannot place them, then it does you no good. ;) If you have free run to experiment, and you can keep those Ultra Towers out of corners or tight places, they make work great for you. On the other hand, if there are going to be restrictions on how you set up your room, then the pinnacles will most likely work better for you.

As always, YMMV. The important thing is that you take the time to experiment with your set up. Listen carefully every time you make a change. Once you start to hear the differences, you'll understand! :D
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
It’s been said many times that the Ultra Towers can be more difficult to place in a room. The Pinnacles were designed to be more forgiving in that regard.

Regardless, you should get the speaker that will allow you to maximize setup in your room. If the only place a speaker will perform is a place you cannot place them, then it does you no good. ;) If you have free run to experiment, and you can keep those Ultra Towers out of corners or tight places, they make work great for you. On the other hand, if there are going to be restrictions on how you set up your room, then the pinnacles will most likely work better for you.
These are two very important statements and true statements. The Ultras are effected by room placement and acoustics. Because of their design you need to get placement right or it will greatly affect the low-end that they produce in a negative way. The Ultras did remind me of the old Polk Audio LSi25's.

What I like about the Pinnacles versus the Ultras in my opinion it's a more rounded, balanced speaker without being overemphasized at the bottom end. You still get good extension low but the mids are great and blend very well with your highs if that makes sense. They produce a very full sound
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic General
Most of what I hear that people like better about the Prime Pinnacle speakers is they are much easier to place in your room as apposed to the Ultra being a real pain in the butt and you have to get it just right.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
eljr

eljr

Audioholic General
Hey guys! Long time no see! A bit of an armature HT/Musicphile here. I bought a relatively cheap 5.1 setup back in 2008 that included some polk rt10s and an ED 12" sub. For a budget setup, it sounds pretty good. BUT, it's time to let these go and upgrade. Hoping I can get a little insight from the more dedicated audioheads.

Let me say right out of the gate, I live very rural and am HOURS away from any kind of store that sells floorstanding loudspeakers, so I really need internet direct. There's just no chance in being able to drive all over town listening to all my options. I started with my search for a new sub, and was planning on upgrading to a pair of SVS PB3000s, and while on SVS's website, of course found their new loudspeakers (haven't looked since 2008). My budget is roughly $1000 per speaker, (going with the ultra center regardless). These seem to be two great options from SVS, which from my research the last week seem to be about as nice as you can get for that limited budget... and they are right at the top of that budget. Stretching it enough as it is.

My question is about the difference between these two speakers. I understand the ultras have built in twin 8" that fire to the side, but the pinnacles run 3 smaller woofers, each crossed over at increasingly lower frequencies, firing forward. They both look good. My problem is that every single review I can find comparing these two speakers only compare them stand-alone and always give the nod to the ultra towers as having better low end, better frequency ranges. I, however, will always be running a sub. It seams to me (maybe ignorantly so) that running a dedicated sub mixed in would take away the advantage of the Ultras. Wouldn't the 3 forward facing woofers sound equally as good if there were always a dedicated sub mixed in? The room is 40'x20'x9', but with a heavy drape curtain I can pull shut down the middle making the room 20' square.

I called SVS and asked if the drivers themselves were higher quality in the ultras than the primes, and they said no. Same quality drivers.


I feel like I am missing something... thoughts?
The prices are so reasonable go with the ULTRA. Don't overthink it.
 
Cpt.America

Cpt.America

Full Audioholic
Thanks for all the help guys. I ended up going with a pair of Ultra Towers in piano black, and a pair of matching PB4000s in piano black. (also picked up an ultra center and two elevations for the rear surround). Appreciate the help.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic General
Thanks for all the help guys. I ended up going with a pair of Ultra Towers in piano black, and a pair of matching PB4000s in piano black. (also picked up an ultra center and two elevations for the rear surround). Appreciate the help.
Wow that is gonna be some setup. Good choices, can't go wrong with SVS. Good luck and give us a report on what you think once they are all broken in.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
What tipped you to the Ultras versus the Pinnacles? Just want to know.

Here is the first song you should play once its all Dialed in
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic General
What tipped you to the Ultras versus the Pinnacles? Just want to know.

Here is the first song you should play once its all Dialed in
Good question as I am also curious.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
Cpt.America

Cpt.America

Full Audioholic
What tipped you to the Ultras versus the Pinnacles? Just want to know.

Here is the first song you should play once its all Dialed in
I desperately tried to find some reviews that tested the pinnacles against the ultras WITH a sub. It's hard to do. They are all a heads up comparison played in 2.0. I probably watched 2 dozen unboxings, reviews, comparisons, etc, until I finally found one. In my mind, running a sub and crossing the ultras over turned them into a 3 speaker cabinet because it SEEMED like the two 8" drivers in the cabinet would be eliminated, where as the pinnacles would remain a 5 speaker cabinet... because seemingly... they didn't have the lower-end woofers.

I eventually found some guys running the Ultras with a dedicated sub and got some first hand information that even with a sub, which would seemingly take away some of the "low end" advantage of the ultras, STILL have a more full, more rich sound from the top down through the lower mid ranges. There is a noticeable difference. And a better sounding speaker for only $100 more was a no-brainer. I am lucky that I do have a larger room and the while i won't have much room to move them around, they will be able to properly breath.

Hopefully I made the right choice, I will let you know how I like them once they are setup and running, and will take a couple pictures.
 
Cpt.America

Cpt.America

Full Audioholic
I wonder if those guys had both the Ultras and Pinnacles in their house
The guy I found seemed pretty knowledgeable and had both the pinnacles the and ultras crossed over with his sub setup, and it was enough to tip me to the ultras. I don't think you could go wrong with either choice for that price range.
 

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