SVS Ultra loudspeakers arrive in the UK

Best-known for its subwoofers, SVS is now bringing its range of speakers to the UK through distributor karma-av.

The SVS Ultra line-up comprises a pair of bookshelf/standmount speakers, a pair of floorstanders, a centre channel and dedicated surround speakers.

The flagship is the £2200/pr Ultra Tower, a 3.5-way design standing 1.14m tall and using a 25mm tweeter, two 16.5cm midrange drivers and a pair of horizontally-opposed 20cm bass units, firing sideways.

The tweeter, also used in the other Ultra models, has an aluminium dome, and a diffuser designed for an 'airy and unveiled presentation', while the midrange units use composite glass-fibre cones, an aluminium shorting ring to lower distortion, a cast aluminium basket and vented voice-coil formers to minimise compression when they're working hard.

The woofers use the same aluminium shorting rings and vented voice-coil formers, and a long-stroke motor for high output., and are tuned with a 7.5cm rear-venting port.

The horizontally-opposed mounting means mechanical forces cancel each other out, reducing distortion, and the speakers have separate compartments for the midrange drivers, non-parallel cabinet panels to reduce standing waves, and bracing to reduce panel flex. The midranges and tweeter are mounted in 25mm baffles, with the woofers in a 36mm-thick baffles.

The Ultra Tower has 88dB/W/m sensitivity and 8ohm nominal impedance, a frequency response of 28Hz-32kHz (+/-3dB), and is designed to be used with amps of 20-300W.

The two-way Ultra Bookshelf, at £1099/pr, uses the same tweeter and 16.5cm mid/bass unit as the Tower, and is said to deliver 'precise imaging, an amazingly coherent and deep soundstage, a wonderfully rich and compelling tonal balance and surprisingly deep and dynamic bass'.

The styling of its 38cm-tall cabinet echoes that of the Tower, and there's a 4.3cm rear-venting port. Claiming bass down to 45Hz, the Bookshelf has 87dB/W/m sensitivity, and is designed for use with amps up to 150W.

The matching Ultra Centre is £749, and uses two of the 16.5cm mid/bass units straddling its tweeter, which sits above a 10cm midrange driver. It stands 20cm tall and 56cm wide, has dual 4.3cm ports to the rear, a similar frequency response to the Bookshelf, and can be used with amps up to 225W.

Completing the range is the Ultra Surround, a wedge-shaped speaker with baffles at 45 degrees to wall on which it's mounted (brackets are provided), each with a 15cm mid/bass unit above a 25mm tweeter.

It can be used in bipole mode, with the two sets of drivers in phase, dipole (with the two out of phase), or duet, in which each set of drivers can be fed a separate signal.

This last mode enables one pair of surrounds to deliver both surround and surround rear channels, allowing a 7.1-channel system to be set up with just five main speakers and subwoofer.

All the SVS Ultra speakers are available in real black oak veneer or piano glass black.

Written by Andrew Everard

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.