SVS Prime Pinnacle

Hi-Fi News|May 2020

SVS Prime Pinnacle
Better known for its high-value, high-performance subs, SVS is now turning its attention to audiophile speakers Review: Mark Craven Lab: Keith Howard
Mark Craven

If there was ever a speaker that seemed, on specification alone, to warrant the phrase ‘bang for your buck’, it’s SVS’s Prime Pinnacle. For less than £2000 a pair, this US audio brand [and subwoofer specialist – see boxout, p59] is offering a three-way floorstander with bespoke midrange unit, an unusual-at-this price trio of woofers, and the promise of a ‘world-class performance’. Even accepting the latter as marketing hyperbole, it’s impossible not to view the Prime Pinnacle as potentially superb value for money.

The name denotes this speaker’s position at the top of SVS’s Prime range, but it isn’t the brand’s flagship. That honour goes to the Tower model from its slightly costlier Ultra Series that kicks-off at £2200 per pair, depending on finish. That speaker is a curious-looking trapezoidal three-way floorstander with twin side-firing 200mm woofers.

The Prime Pinnacle, with its more conventional form factor and driver layout, seems designed to have greater domestic appeal and carries a more affordable price tag to boot. Below it in the Prime Series is another floorstander, the Prime Tower, plus Bookshelf, Satellite, Centre and Elevation options, the latter two designed for home cinema system builders.

BEYOND THE CURVE

Standing 104x35cm (hw), these are not super-sized, but still vaguely recall the monoliths from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Bucking current trends, there’s not a curved edge insight, and they’re available only in either Black Ash (£1795) or Gloss Black (£1995) finishes. SVS, throughout its more than 20-year history, has remained uninterested in the more exotic designs of its rivals.

Although the Black Gloss livery is surely worth the price premium over the prosaic Black Ash, and a smidgeon of style comes from the tapered front baffle, these are hardly speakers that will make visitors to your listening room stop and stare. Grilles, which cover roughly three-quarters of the face, are clip-in rather than magnetic and indicate that this speaker has been built to hit a price point. Elastomer feet are fitted as standard but can be swapped for supplied threaded spikes.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

SVS says the Prime Pinnacle has benefited from a more extensive voicing programme than any other model in its history. This, explains Director of Product Management Smith Freeman, was necessitated by its deployment of a new midrange driver, and adoption of three woofers.

‘During the development of the Prime Pinnacle’, he says ‘we explored numerous acoustic alignments, which included various system tunings and driver designs for both the bass and the midrange.’

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May 2020