By Don Lindich
Week 22, 2015
Q. I recently purchased the Outlaw Audio RR2150 Stereo Receiver based on your recommendation and would like to purchase speakers that compliment it. What do you recommend? I have a budget of $1,200 and my listening room is 1,200 square feet. I listen mostly to country, followed by classic rock and older top 100 stuff. I mostly use my iPod for listening to music these days. I have over 900 CDs, 100 older vinyl albums, and have about 30,000 songs in my iTunes software. Are there any other components you recommend?
-Troy C., Minneapolis, MN
A. Earlier this year I wrote about the Prime Satellite system from Ohio-based SVS speakers. In a short amount of time, this system has become widely regarded as the best surround sound speaker system you can buy for $1,000. I recently tested the tower speakers from the Prime series and was similarly impressed.
The SVS Prime Towers come in a simulated wood finish for $1,000 and Piano Black Gloss for $1,200. I tested the Black Gloss and the speakers were very beautiful. If you have the extra $200 to spend and they match your decor, it is worth it.
SVS is known for their high performance subwoofers. In the past I have written about speakers that have a reach-out-and-touch-it quality. The Prime Towers do this with the bass, even without a built-in powered subwoofer. The bass has such definition and solidity that it not only feels palpable, it has such presence that it feels like you could reach out and give it a hug! They have by far the most impressive bass I have heard from any speaker selling for less than $1,000. If you are using them in a music-only system I recommend you pass on adding a subwoofer and let the Prime Towers do all the work.
The midrange and treble are extremely detailed and defined, an excellent compliment to the amazing bass performance. These are neutral speakers that will reproduce what you put into them with remarkable accuracy. If you want warm sound, choose warm sources. If you want an analytical sound, choose high-resolution analytical sources. The SVS Prime Towers like power, and your potent receiver will be a good match for them. I tried a 20-watt tube amp that has driven just about everything else I have tried with it, and the speakers were really unhappy with this amp. If you are buying these speakers I recommend you have at least 85 high-quality watts to drive them.
SVS is an extremely consumer-friendly company. Their Customer Bill of Rights is a model for the entire industry to aspire to. For example, if you are unhappy with your purchase they will even pay return shipping! See the SVS Customer Bill of Rights and the SVS Prime Towers at www.svsound.com. They have an online outlet store that offers savings, so if the speakers are little bit out of your price range you may want to check it out. There is also a bookshelf Prime model, though I haven’t heard it. If it performs like the Towers and the Satellites, it will be excellent.
Since you listen to the iPod and iTunes library so much, I strongly recommend you get a Mass Fidelity Relay to handle Bluetooth streaming duties. It will bring out the best in your compressed music sources. It sells for $249 and you can see it at www.massfidelity.com.