Sights, Sounds & Insights
SVS PRIME ELEVATION
By Scott Michael Bosco
I’m simply going to break format of a review and get right to what you, the reader really wants to hear.
These speakers are great!
The SVS PRIME ELEVATION delivers what it promises – in abundance.
The unique design allows multiple location placement, and internal facets conquer the requirement of the same. When one make a purchase all boundaries are broken, and the results are eye opening.
Upon receiving the two pairs for review I first set on one as a center channel. Because of the design I was able to simply place it below the monitor where it was more than able to produce a slightly upward point of source.
The sound field produced was wide enough for my sofa location and easily amplified emitting a strong presence. Dialog was remarkable clear with crisp highs and excellent clarity. The lower end of moderate, but enough. When the volume was made higher the speaker handled the source without breaking down or distorting. I not only listened to dialog but stronger demanding segments in both MONO and Stereo source material. …also older and newer mixes. The results were very impressive – again, with wonderful clarity.
Next, I connected a pair to hear simple 2.0 music. I had a subwoofer in the system but at first disconnected it just see how the pair of the PRIME ELEVATION would handle the source.
The separation was nice, wide and clean. Presence was fuller than I expected. The range was nice, but lacking slightly due to bass. Once I connected my sub-woofer that problem was solved and the speakers integrated well into a full fledge system. Again, the crispness of the sound struck me in contrast to the lower bass support. The wide openness add so much to the different styles of music played. Vocals were always wonderful and up front. It was a pleasure. Yes these are smaller speakers and have that challenge to overcome, but they really stood their own, with little to complain about when matched with a sub.
So far, my testing was producing excellent results. The positive impressions made in center and front left & right channels was such I know these speakers would probably yield the same in surround locations due their wonderful pitch. But when I finally place them in the positions for Atmos/DTS X I don’t think I was fully prepared to be blow away…
Again, considering the design Atmos/DTS X placement was a choice. The speakers can be placed on the wall (high, close to the ceiling) or on the ceiling – due to the wonderful bracket and its unique design. I opted on the wall, high to the ceiling. I placed the font pair in the front, above the front left & right speakers – also in the rear of the room, above the rear surrounds.
Mounting was simple and quick. SVS provides a clever cardboard template that one puts where the speakers will be mounted. Simple punch a hole for the screws and then place the bracket over the holes and adhere to the wall. The placement of the template dictates the position of the speaker – it’s that simple.
Another thing – SVS has made their metal company symbol on the speaker grill magnetic so it can be turned around depending on the position of the speaker. (clever these humans!)
The first film tested was a UHD Blu-ray of BOHEMIUM RASPADY, with an ATMOS soundtrack. Right off from the beginning the 20th Century-Fox logo explodes with ATMOS in typical QUEEEN fashion. … and these speakers DELIVER! Again in the film, at the LIVE AID concert Freddie plays piano – (1:57:31 – 1:57:36 ) the camera travels under the piano the sound is heard above in the ATMOS channel with delight. Super clear, and bright.
In the UHD Blu-ray of DARK CRYSTAL (9:47 – 9:58) thunder and a lightening strike are clearly heard from the right ATMOS channel. At (25:30 – 29:05 ) the workings of Aurgra’s Observatory are heard turning and clanking above in ATMOS.
In a subtler effect are the sounds within the film ALIEN COVENANT, also a UHD Blu-ray. The best scenes are when death is released from above upon the alien race from a spaceship (1:08:03 – 1:09:06). Also, of note is the spaceship at the end flying above the alien ruins (1:34:32 – 1:38;22).
For DTS X GODS OF EGYPT, UHD Blu-ray, produced floating and rotating voices in communication with the dead (1:16:50 – 1:17:47).
3:10 TO YUMA, also a DTS X soundtrack on the UHD Blu-ray offered a bevy of bullet fire from every direction (1:43:55 – 1:44:45)
In BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, UHD Blu-ray, (6:13 – 6:22) there is an excellent sound of fly being grabbed in the upper right Atmos
MARY POPPINS RETURNS has a subdued mix, but has moments. In the song, “ Can you imagine that”, the underwater portion has a nice open air sound with echo – dreamy quality (30:36 – 33:06) However, in the song “Turning Turtle” there is a wonder portion where upside down persons singing are heard in the Atmos channel (1:13:18 – 1:13:48)
There are many more to report on but I have state how incredible JUPITER ASCENDING is. There are so many part but a must is (26:20 – 31:30 ) just after a ship explodes to the landing on rooftop parking lot. Ships zoom across you from speaker to speaker. There is also the sound of rushing water when under water. Sounds, even music are heard to an incredible level. This sequence is a must!
As with any film the end result of the sound relies on the mix of the soundtrack and I really found it wonderful with non-Dolby encoded films, simply in 2.0 or 5.1 delivered when run through the ATMOS decoding.
From 1992 MATINEE, released though SHOUT FACTORY had a lively 5.1 mix that truly delivered. The audience sounds within a movie theater (57:32 – 58:53 ), as well as the “on screen” sounds from within the theater (59:52 – 1:09 )was excellent and full.
GODZILLA 1985 aka GODZILLA’S RETURN from Kraken has a scene where the giant is heard from the ATMOS channels (1:04:04 – 1:04:34) when he’s walking above the government offices deep below ground!
Amazingly, there is some really great effects in the UK release of SPACE 1999, the TV series. This show was originally in MONO but restored and remastered for Hi-Def with a 5.1 mix. In year 2 there are time when the show’s spaceship, an Eagle flies over the camera and is heard rising above into the Atmos channel. Check out the first episode, in Year 2, THE METAMORPH (3:40 – 4:11)
Because I was so enthused from the Atmos/DTS X deliveries I also decided to hook up the two pairs of Prime Elevations speakers as simple side surrounds and rear surrounds. Both pairs went on speaker stands about sitting height. The test conducted were minus the Atmos channels. The sound was completely enveloping, sharp, clear and precise. Actually, it’s the detail of the sound that stood out.
I also changed the positions of the speakers on the stands from the wider end on the bottom to laying the speaker on its side which altered the way the sound was delivered due to the speaker within the cabinet. It did make a more positioned sound source and won points for that.
Now, SVS does state there is a break in period in which the inner workings become more in tune – that would be approx. 30 to 40 hrs. In any case what I had experienced out of the box was incredible.
The speakers are shipped 2 within a box. They are wrapped and snugly placed in Styrofoam. Everything in the box is well placed and secure. I very much like the packaging which shows off the design element of how the speakers are built.
SVS has created an extremely versatile design that not only preforms from a multiple angle but for multiple channels. These are truly an all purpose speakers for today’s home theater set-ups. In a smaller to mid-size set-up, with a strong sub woofer, these speakers will combine to make an envious presentation worthy to show off.
Direct radiating speakers accomplish the Atmos effect much better than the “bounce” effect offered from other manufacturers. Yes, applying speakers to the ceiling directly above the listeners is not always the most eye pleasing, nor easiest to achieve for home use. However, SVS has conquered this allowing front of room application above the listener; and behind, above as well. It is their angled baffle that conquers the set back achieving a smoother delivery that is direct.
In the application the effects is above the listener, and room filling. These speakers achieve so much in so many variations it is a no brainer. The sound is rich and full, and will mix well with any other channel speakers. Truthfully, I found different make speakers in the Atmos/DTS X tonally stand out and make a better presence.
On another level the price structure of these speakers are fair and attainable. Also, my contact with the company has been wonderful. Not that one expects problems with speakers, it is assuring that any investment is upheld by easy to deal with manufacturer – in this case info, support is both assured.
The SVS Prime Elevations speakers are truly an innovation for Atmos presentation.