SVS and the new Prime Elevation – CES 2016

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SVS may have come into the public consciousness as a subwoofer company, but they have taken big strides in recent years to straddle the line into both the 2 channel and home theater loudspeakers. Their room clearly reflects their intent. Deliberately at home among other audiophile setups in the Venetian at CES 2016, the SVS room offered listening opportunities in both stereo and multichannel arrangements easily separated within the fairly large suite they occupied.

AH CES 2016 BANNER-AH

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The two channel section of the room allowed attendees the opportunity to hear either the company’s Ultra ($2k/pair) or Prime Towers ($1k/pair) connected to Emotiva’s XSp-1 Pre ($1k) and dual XPA-1 mono’s ($1.1k/each) for a powerful punch. The delightful Oppo BDP-105 ($1.3k) acted as the source for the system that wrapped in a whole lot of value for extremely reasonable amount of cost.

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Further into the crowded room sat another pair of Prime Towers, this time accompanied by full a surround setup including Prime Satellites ($135), Center ($350) and two sealed SB-1000 subs ($500). I was pleasantly surprised by how well the bottom end was rounded out by the .2 addition to the mix. There was plenty of bass fill, but it wasn’t so dramatic that it overpowered everything else going on. It was an interesting choice on SVS’s part, they could just have easily brought in one of their bigger boys (they also produce subs that cost thousands), but the execution here was just the right amount of ummphh for the size of the room – plus a few extra dBs for showmanship.

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The big new product which was also incorporated into the surround setup is called the Prime Elevation ($350). SVS’s Nick Brown gave me the lowdown on the new concept piece.

“This ambitious speaker offers incredible flexibility as a center channel, height effect, side surround or front channel speaker, with multiple mounting options, all while delivering the pulse-racing dynamics and subtle refinement of a much bigger speaker.” 

From the press release:

“There is no sideways or upside down with the SVS Prime Elevation. It is acoustically engineered to offer the same detailed response and dynamics no matter what role it’s playing. The speaker answers placement and set-up challenges for owners who want the fidelity of an expertly designed center, surround, front or height effects speaker, from a single, affordable solution. SVS Prime Elevation can be used in the following ways:
-As a down-firing height channel speaker, easily mounted high on a side wall
-As an up-firing height channel speaker for the same formats, placed on stands or atop tower speakers
-As an up-firing or down-firing front or center channel speaker with projector screens or where level placement at ear height is not possible
-As a side or rear-firing surround speaker, when placement on a side or rear wall is not optimal for the most convincing side or back surround effects
-A pair of Elevation speakers can be wall-mounted and wired to become a bipole or dipole surround speaker.”

Versatility abounds! Nick presented a few test tracks as a demo for the new loudspeaker as well as a couple of Police songs from some live concert footage to get a sense of the system overall. The results were very satisfying for the small theater SVS had constructed. There was of course, generous amounts of low end shove but also a lion’s share of vibrancy and responsiveness that rounded out the presentation to a solid listening experience regardless if you intentions lie in the two channel realm or otherwise.

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SVS has also recently launched a line of audio accessories under a sub brand dubbed SoundPath. The recently remodeled line includes the company’s Subwoofer Isolation System ($50) which promises to “to improve bass performance while drastically reducing floor and wall vibrations, noise artifacts and complaints from neighbors or roommates.”  In addition to the SIS, the  line up also covers your basic connectivity needs behind cabinet at very conservative prices for the audiophile market.

More info: http://www.svsound.com/

  • Jerry Powers

    So, when are they coming out with the Prime Elevation? I just spoke with one of the agents in “Live Chat” and they said possibly early Fall.