“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

SVS Ultra Speakers Loudspeakers Preview

SVS Ultra Series Loudspeakers

SVS Ultra Series Loudspeakers


  • Product Name: Ultra Series Loudspeakers
  • Manufacturer: SVS
  • Review Date: October 11, 2012 13:05
  • MSRP: $999/pair (bookshelf); $1999/pair (towers), $699 (center), $1199 (surrounds)
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!

Ultra Tower Specifications

  • Piano gloss black and real black oak veneer finish options.
  • Dual gold-plated 5-way binding posts.
  • 1" aluminum dome UltraSonic tweeter.
  • Dual 6.5" UltraSonic midrange drivers.
  • Dual 8" UltraSonic woofers.
  • Horizontally opposed ForceFactor woofer array minimizes distortion and cabinet vibration, and enhances room loading for smooth, tight bass at all listening locations.   
  • Audiophile-grade 3.5-way SoundMatch crossover network with premium components.
  • SoundMatch 3.5-way tapered midrange crossover array provides a smoother off-axis response, enhances radiated sound power, and results in a more generous sweet spot.
  • Dimensions: 45" (H) x 13.8" (W) x 16.25"(D).
  • Weight: 65 pounds.

Ultra Bookshelf Specifications

  • Piano gloss black and real black oak veneer finish options.
  • Dual gold-plated 5-way binding posts.
  • 1" aluminum dome UltraSonic tweeter.
  • 6.5" UltraSonic woofer. 
  • Audiophile-grade 2-way SoundMatch crossover network with premium components.
  • Dimensions: 14.9" (H) x 8.5" (W) x 10"(D).
  • Weight: 20 pounds.

Ultra Center Specifications

  • Piano gloss black and real black oak veneer finish options.
  • Dual gold-plated 5-way binding posts.
  • 1" aluminum dome UltraSonic tweeter.
  • 4” UltraSonic midrange driver.
  • Dual 6.5" UltraSonic woofers. 
  • Vertically aligned tweeter-midrange improves horizontal dispersion for a smooth and consistent response at all listening positions. 
  • Audiophile-grade 3-way SoundMatch crossover network with premium components.
  • Dimensions: 8" (H) x 22" (W) x 10"(D).
  • Weight: 35 pounds.

Ultra Surround Specifications

  • Piano gloss black and real black oak veneer finish options.
  • Dual independent gold-plated 5-way binding posts.
  • Bipole, dipole, and Duet operating modes.
  • Duet operating mode creates two separate speakers within one cabinet, allowing a true 7.1-channel surround sound experience using only two Ultra Surround speakers.
  • Dual 1" aluminum dome UltraSonic tweeters.
  • Dual 5.5" UltraSonic woofers. 
  • Audiophile-grade 2-way SoundMatch crossover network with premium components.
  • Dimensions: 14" (H) x 12.3" (W) x 5.4"(D).
  • Weight: 22 pounds.

SVS has just put the Internet Direct loudspeaker business on full alert with their new Ultra series loudspeakers.  The new Ultra series is said to deliver stunning looks, unparalleled build quality and a world class audio experience.  The Ultra Tower is a full range floorstanding loudspeaker system designed with a cost-no-object performance goal at reasonable prices.  The SVS Ultra series loudspeakers were designed for audio enthusiasts, by audio enthusiasts with over fifty years combined experience in the high-end audio arena, with a relentless passion for designing a stunning, acoustically impeccable loudspeaker that convincingly conveys the emotion of live music and home theater. The SVS Ultra series is said to deliver a deep, detailed soundstage with incredible resolution, absolute transparency, and amazingly rich and articulated bass, outperforming speakers two and three times their price.  To achieve that goal, award-winning lead designer Mark Mason and his team began work on the lineup-which includes a gorgeous 45-inch tall upswept trapezoidal tower, a bookshelf speaker, center channel, and a truly unique and flexible surround speaker-by performing finite element analysis (FEA) on all of the proposed components in a sophisticated computer program that simulated the internal forces of each speaker and allowed for advanced engineering before the first prototype was ever built.

As gorgeous as the speakers are, every angle, every surface, every dimension was tweaked with one ultimate goal in mind: pure acoustic perfection. Even the speaker grille design was subjected to this rigorous FEA to ensure the utmost in sonic transparency.  The speaker grilles aren't the typical cheap thin plastic you find in lesser designed loudspeakers.  Instead, they are framed with MDF for added rigidity.

SVS Ultra Series Center

SVS Ultra Series Center Channel  [W(T/M)W driver configuration]

Ultra TowerYou won't find flimsy unbraced cabinets with subpar drivers.  Instead, SVS employes top shelf vented cast frame drivers on their mids, high caliber crossover parts and rigid enclosures.  They followed the same design philosophies from their subwoofer line in this series of loudspeakers that made their subwoofers legendary and an industry benchmark at each price point.  Given the SVS reputation, we expect great things from this new series of loudspeakers.

Once prototypes were constructed-with many parts being custom tooled exclusively for the Ultra series-further development was conducted at the world-renowned National Research Council (NRC) facilities in Ottawa, Canada, where each speaker underwent hours of anechoic chamber measurements and subsequent revisions to perfect the design. Final voicing was performed in the NRC's famous IEC 268-13 standardized listening room, where Mason and SVS President Gary Yacoubian refined their performance in a real-world environment.  While its a good design goal to get a smooth family of curves in an anechoic chamber,  it's equally important to properly voice the speakers for real world room acoustics. You can also expect SVS to fully disclose all measurement data of these new speakers on their website which is rarely found by the competition at any price level.

If you look closely at the front baffle of the Ultra series tower, the trim rings on the tweeter and woofers are again not cheap plastic, but metal.  They even have the SVS logo engraved on the tweeter faceplace.  Now that's a touch of class.

The result is a level of performance that even most drastically more expensive loudspeakers cannot match. From top to bottom, the Ultra Tower that stands as the flagship of the lineup boasts top-grade components and high-end design features which SVS claims is configured to deliver uncompromised, dynamic, distortion-free audio, with open, airy highs and the deep, tight, linear and powerful bass. Its unique SoundMatch 3.5-way crossover is designed so that only the top of the two 6.5-inch composite glass-fiber midrange drivers crosses over to the tweeter, while the bottom midrange driver works to ensure that off-axis performance is smooth and even, with a wider sweet spot and a more consistent sound across the entire room.  

SVS Ultra Series SurroundThe Ultra Tower also employs SVS's proprietary ForceFactor woofer array, with two 8-inch drivers horizontally opposed to eliminate cabinet vibrations, for reduced distortion and cleaner, tighter bass response. Since the Ultra Tower's trapezoidal shape results in non-parallel surfaces-which serves to reduce standing waves within the cabinets themselves-each of the four UltraSonic woofers also fires in different directions into the room, reducing frequency response deviations throughout the listening space, and ensuring more consistent, powerful and accurate bass performance no matter where you sit.

Every other speaker in the Ultra series has been designed to complement the performance of the Ultra Tower, with flush-mounted drivers to reduce diffraction and improve on-axis high frequency response, along with rear-mounted bass reflex ports (on the Tower, Bookshelf, and Center) for phenomenal bass output and extension and minimal frequency response degradation.

The Ultra Center features vertically aligned midrange driver and tweeter for improved uniformity in horizontal dispersion and a consistent frequency response at all listening positions within a typical home theater environment, along with dual woofers for increased bass output and power handling.  

SVS Ultra BookshelfThe Ultra Surround also promises to deliver an incredibly immersive and flexible multichannel sound experience. Designed with dual isolated crossovers for each tweeter and woofer, the Ultra Surround can operate in either bipole, dipole, or in SVS's unique Duet configuration, which creates two separate speakers within one cabinet. In Duet mode, each speaker's two discrete channels means that listeners can implement a true 7.1-channel surround sound experience using only two Ultra Surround speakers instead of the typical four.

"SVS has always been about delivering an unsurpassed audio value to people who, like us, are enthusiastic and passionate about great sound," said Gary Yacoubian, SVS president and managing partner. "The Ultra series speakers also embody value because our team was meticulous in choosing build materials, design elements, and testing to achieve uncompromised performance, yet with pricing for a mainstream audio fan."

SVS sells online, direct to the end user, and via select retailers. Pricing for the SVS Ultra Tower $1999 / pair; SVS Ultra Bookshelf $999 / pair; SVS Ultra Center $699 / each; SVS Ultra Surround $1199 / pair.   No cheesy vinyl wraps here.  The Ultra series come in piano gloss black or real black oak veneer for the same price.  The Ultra series speakers will begin shipping on November 20.The SVS Ultra series will be demonstrated this weekend during the Rocky Mountain Audiofest in Denver, Colorado.

For more information, please visit www.SVSound.com or like them on Facebook .


About SVS

SVS is a global leader in high performance home audio products; designing, manufacturing and selling subwoofers and speakers through its Internet direct business. Founded in 1998 by a group of audio enthusiasts seeking to develop an alternative to traditional audio manufacturers, SVS was forged out of a passion for the science of sound married to a disruptive, forward-facing go-to-market strategy. Today, SVS takes a radical approach to how audio products are developed. Built on collective decades of experience, SVS is redefining performance and value for people who love music and sound.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

View full profile