svs prime tower speaker review

svs prime tower speaker review

 The American company SVS continues to develop its success in the classic speaker market. The second Prime line uses the achievements of the debut Ultra series, but due to the lower price, the novelty is available to a wider range of customers.

Last year, we celebrated a landmark event - the growth of SVS from a highly specialized, exclusively focused on the production of subwoofers to a classic loudspeaker manufacturer.

The group of enthusiasts that founded SVS in 1998 originally planned to conquer the subwoofer market. They believed that a high-quality subwoofer could cost significantly less than the devices on the market at that time. As a result, SVS was able to win a niche for itself, thereby proving its case and simultaneously forcing other manufacturers to look for a more favorable price / quality ratio for the buyer.

And now, 15 years later, the company enters the classic speaker market with the Ultra line and the same revolutionary idea of ​​“High End to the masses”. The first-born were taken extremely seriously, having worked out the design to the smallest detail using the latest design tools. For their price, the speakers had exceptionally high sound quality, as the experts of our magazine could see for themselves.

The company took the next step in October 2014 by announcing a new line of SVS Prime. Engineers tried to reduce the cost of the speakers, but close attention was also paid to design optimization. The task was made easier by the experience already accumulated as a result of the development of the Ultra line. This is certainly an interesting event for a wide range of buyers, as high-quality speakers have become even more affordable. How high-quality, we will find out on the example of the flagship of the line - floorstanding speakers SVS Prime Tower.

two towers

The Prime lineup includes the Prime Tower, Prime Bookshelf, Prime Center, and Prime Satellite. Outwardly, the speakers resemble their Ultra predecessors - the same rigor in design, the same beveled edges, and the same black piano lacquer. However, there is also a more modest version of the finish with a matte front panel and black ash laminate. It should be noted that it was the satellites in the Prime Satellite 5.1 cinema set that caused the most enthusiastic reviews from foreign observers. The general opinion of experts coincides with the goal of the company - the speakers sound exceptionally good for their price.

The floor model SVS Prime Tower is assembled in a relatively small case with a height of 930 mm. The radiators are compactly shifted upwards, and the bass drivers make full use of the entire available cabinet width. All diffusers are black, without any embellishments. On the one hand, this emphasizes rigor and solidity, on the other hand, it looks simple and utilitarian, like the design of professional monitor acoustics.

Behind the external simplicity and compactness lies a 3.5-way audio signal distribution scheme. A neatly tuned crossover evenly stitches the frequency range of different radiators. It is assisted by two ports of independent phase inverters tuned to different frequencies. This distribution improves bass uniformity and sensitivity. Unusually, the diameter of the horns is small and there is no smoothly expanding bell as such. Nevertheless, looking ahead, it should be noted that no hints of noise from the movement of air through them can be heard.

An aluminum dome tweeter was chosen as the tweeter because its frequency response is best matched to that of the mid-range driver. To improve the sound quality of the aluminum dome, a diffusion washer is installed in front of it. Its performance has been optimized by the Finite Element Method (FEA) to achieve a clean, airy high-end.

The new midrange and woofers are equipped with filled polypropylene cones. They have a very attractive stiffness-to-weight ratio. To reduce inductive interference and distortion, aluminum rings are installed in the magnetic gap of the speakers. The voice coils are freely ventilated, which eliminates the effect of air compression and facilitates cooling.

Baskets are made of impact-resistant ABS plastic with carbon and fiberglass filling. Such a mixture turned out to be not only very strong, but also capable of additionally removing heat from the magnetic system.

The midrange driver is placed in its own acoustically isolated compartment to reduce crosstalk and, consequently, distortion. Each woofer also has its own separate compartment with a bass reflex. The crossover is built around premium capacitors and air-core inductors. To connect to the amplifier, one pair of classic screw terminals is used.

All models in the Prime line are individually tuned for the most accurate tonal match with each other. In addition, "primes" can work in conjunction with models of the Ultra line. This means that you can safely assemble music and cinema systems of any complexity without facing the problem of matching the sound of the speakers.

related traits

The sound of SVS Prime Tower is collected and at the same time slightly softened and comfortable. The musical material is presented lively and cleanly. Despite some limitations in the dynamic range, the intonation character of the compositions is conveyed quite accurately, with good articulation. Timbre information is conveyed with minor simplifications.

Meanwhile, the speakers do not add their own color to the sound, leaving the musical scene very clean, and interpret the musical concept close to the original. The model lacks accuracy in working out quiet details, in microdynamics. Instead, the details are slightly accentuated, which brings the music stage closer to the listener, hiding the airiness and volume. The upper register is present in sufficient volume to maintain the correctness of the overall tonal balance. The development of high-frequency details and its frequency reserve are at the average level characteristic of Hi-Fi speakers.

Noticeably better intelligibility is provided at information-rich medium and low frequencies. Complex musical compositions are not blurred, they sound impressive. The bass is tight and fast. Its depth is quite good, but its tonal definition decreases towards the lowest frequencies. Speakers work best with fast and energetic compositions. SVS keeps the rhythm well. The sound is comfortable and clear, however, for the full disclosure of high-quality acoustic and electronic recordings, there is a little lack of detail and saturation. However, sometimes it is even for the better.

The SVS Prime Tower model can be described as a solid Hi-Fi model with a pleasant and very clear sound. The novelty does not compete with its more expensive predecessor SVS Ultra Tower, but it supports 100% related features.

Measurement results and passport data of acoustics SVS Prime Tower

The speakers show a very flat frequency response from 80 Hz all the way up to 20 kHz along the sound axis. With the turn of the speaker from the listener, the frequency response changes slightly, which means they are broadly directed. The drop in sensitivity in the bass is typical for small floor standers. The lower frequency limit is quite modest - 54 Hz.

The SOI of the speakers is very good: in the working area it does not exceed 0.5%, and in practice for the most part it is still much lower. A noticeable increase in distortion begins only at frequencies below 30 Hz, when their level still does not exceed 2%. This is an excellent result, not always achieved even by high-end models. SOI depends very little on the volume, which demonstrates a good margin in terms of dynamics and power (up to 250 W at nominal). Speaker impedance behaves quite well. Its average value is slightly short of 6 ohms, and the deviations from this value are small.

svs prime tower speaker  Features

Average THD

100Hz - 20kHz, 94/88/82dB: 0.11/0.14/0.22%

40-100Hz, 94/88/82dB: 0.52/0.40/0.37%

Sensitivity at 1 kHz: 87.26 dB

Low cutoff frequency (-10 dB): 54 Hz

Frequency response unevenness

100 Hz - 20 kHz: +/-1.14 dB

160-1300 Hz: +/-0.31 dB

1300 Hz - 20 kHz: +/-1.15 dB

300 Hz - 5 kHz: +/-1.01 dB

Medium flatness (30° angle): +/-4.55 dB

Unbalance (160-1300 Hz): -0.25 dB

Unbalance (1300 Hz - 20 kHz): -0.57 dB

Unbalance (30° angle): -4.45 dB


RMS: 1.96 ohm

Average: 5.81 ohms

Maximum value: 12.29 ohms

Minimum value: 3.52 ohms


SVS Prime Tower Speaker  Specifications

Frequency range: 30 - 25,000 Hz

Number of bands: 3.5

Crossover Frequency: 165/350/2100Hz

Tweeter: 25 mm, aluminum

MF driver: 114 mm, polypropylene

Woofer: 2x165 mm, polypropylene

Acoustic design: phase inverter

Sensitivity: 87 dB

Impedance: 8 ohm

Rated power: 20-250W

Dimensions (HxWxD): 930x203x295 mm

Weight: 18.2 kg

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