The Prime Pinnacle Three-Way Tower Speaker – Power and Finesse at an Attractive Price Point – The Full Review!

Manufacturer & Model
SVS – Prime Pinnacle Speaker 3-Way Tower Speaker
MSRP
$899.99 Each – Piano Gloss Black Finish (as reviewed) - $799.99 Each - Black Ash Finish (vinyl) - Internet Direct and Select Dealers
Link
https://www.svsound.com/products/prime-pinnacle
Highlights
Three-Way design featuring all proprietary custom designed drivers
Three woofers in separately tuned and ported enclosures, single 5.25” midrange in separate sealed enclosure and 1” aluminum dome tweeter
29Hz to 25KHz frequency response (+/- 3dB)
Precision crossover with premium-grade capacitors and air-core inductors on two heavy-trace PCBs
Chamfered front baffle and flush-mount drivers reduce edge diffraction and provide improved on-axis high frequency response
FEA-optimized cabinet and angled bracing eliminates resonances and improves cabinet rigidity for acoustically inert enclosure
Summary
A three-way tower system design featuring proprietary SVS speakers throughout utilizing a custom crossover network using high-quality precision components. Cabinet is heavily braced and damped to eliminate internal resonances and chamfered to reduce defractions externally. Each 6.5” woofer sits in its own tuned ported enclosure for excellent bass extension. Single 5.25” Midrange occupies a separate tuned and sealed enclosure. 1” Aluminum dome tweeter with sealed back assembly. Designed to be a timbral match with all SVS speakers when used in a theater environment. Extended frequency response and good sensitivity deliver wide dynamics and expansive soundstage.
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The Review

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I recently received the opportunity to review a pair of the SVS Prime Pinnacle Tower Speakers. The Prime Pinnacle sits at the top of SVS’s Prime series and is a three-way ported tower design that promises extended frequency response with expansive imaging and soundstage.

The SVS website promises “Audiophile Refinement” along with “Breathtaking Home Theater Dynamics,” at what seems to be a very reasonable price of $799.99 ea. for the Premium Black Ash (vinyl) edition and $899.99 ea. for the reviewed Piano Gloss Black edition. On the surface, that statement seems like a fairly bold statement to make. Personally, I love bold statements! A little tooting of your own horn, so to speak. But all brag with nothing to back it up is something else again.

So, given the opportunity to have a go at these self-professed Wunderkind, how could I say no? I couldn’t…. So, Heck Yeah! Bring it on!


Delivery Day

The Prime Pinnacle’s were dropped off on my doorstep by FedEx. They were received along with two SVS PB-2000 Pro subwoofers (Reviewed Here!). All of the boxes appeared to be in good shape except for two fist sized punctures in one of the Prime Pinnacle boxes. A quick external inspection indicated no penetration through to the securely suspended speaker inside, so in they came and up they went.

Unpacking the 46.5" (H) X 14.8" (W) X 19" (D) boxes was very straight forward and easily handled by one person. The box was one heavy layer of cardboard and the protective support components were formed Styrofoam end caps wrapped in cardboard and split Styrofoam braces hugging the mid-line of the speaker.

I’m going on record here to say I don’t really care for Styrofoam as a packing material. It breaks easily and loses structural integrity once broken. One of the cardboard clad endcaps was cracked and broken and would have fallen apart is not for the cardboard wrap. Two of the middle braces were also broken.

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The speaker itself, was wrapped in a nice soft faux cloth/paper bag and enclosed in a sealed plastic bag. Inside the plastic bag was a bag of desiccant crystals weighing a whopping 13.3 ounces.

In a small plastic bag tapped to the inside of the box was the warranty information, an eight-page instruction manual, and an SVS full-line brochure. Also included is a set of spikes and protective floor cups/spacers that can be swapped out for the factory-mounted iso-elastomer feet.

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Stripping off the plastic bag and the protective paper bag revealed a beautifully finished smallish tower with the press on grille already mounted.

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Initial Impressions

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The 58lb, 40.5" (H) X 8" (W) X 13.4" (D) Prime Pinnacle speaker is a svelte, well-formed, and attractive speaker.

My review samples were finished in a flawless Black Piano Gloss finish on all sides. Close inspection and a flashlight shining across the surface revealed no imperfections or “orange peel” in the finish. There is also a Premium Black Ash (Vinyl) option available for $100/each less than the Piano Black Gloss finish.

With the grille off the speaker gives a very nice industrial look with a precision feel. With the grille on the speaker seems to recede in size and into the background. The speaker’s slender profile and beautiful finishes should make it a hit with the more décor conscious in the family.

The nearly full-length charcoal grille attaches firmly in place using the tried-and-true “cup and pin” mounting method at eight points around the chamfered face of the speaker.

As the center of a stereo, or music first system, the Piano Black Gloss finish is definitely a pleasing aesthetic that lends a bit of elegance and class to the speakers’ appearance. However, in a darkened theater the reflections from the glossy surfaces may be a distraction until your brain learns to ignore it.


Construction and Design

Coming in at only 40.5” tall, this is not an overwhelmingly large speaker. The 8” width combined with the chamfered front of the cabinet make for a nice narrow front presentation. The chamfering minimizes front panel edge diffraction resulting in a more precise and clearer imaging and soundstage.

The MDF cabinet, itself, is heavily braced and damped to eliminate potential resonances internally. A good rap with the knuckles produces only a solid “THUNK!” with no ringing or hollowness heard. The bracing is enhanced by the internal construction of the separate sealed enclosure for the midrange driver, and a separately tuned and ported internal enclosure for each of the three woofers.

The high-end is handled by what SVS describes as a “Premium 1-inch Aluminum Dome Tweeter” that “renders crystal clear highs with lifelike realism even at reference volumes.” The tweeter was designed as a low distortion driver that is FEA-optimized to ensure broad dispersion with a wide and convincing soundstage, and airy presentation. The tweeter is protected from inquisitive little fingers by a sturdy metal mesh screen.

The all new 5.25” composite glass-fiber cone midrange driver was designed to reduce distortion while enhancing dynamics. A primary goal was to accurately convey the critical midrange frequencies with ample dynamic slam and impact to match the three 6.5” Polypropylene coned woofers. Both midrange and woofer drivers utilize Aluminum shorting rings to lower gap inductance, enhance high frequency response at each drivers’ extremes, and to lower driver distortion. SVS has opted to utilize an ABS/Fiberglass composite basket assembly on both the midrange and woofer drivers rather than metal, as is more typical in the industry.

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Even the back of this speaker is interesting. The back surface is broken by not only the single pair of 5-way binding posts at the bottom of the speaker, but three 2” ports as well. One port exists for each of the three 6.5” woofers, with each occupying its own separately tuned chamber. SVS states that each woofer chamber is tuned slightly differently to enhance low frequency blend, definition and extension.

The speakers have very respectable specs with a rated bandwidth of 29 Hz-25 kHz (±3 dB), a relatively good sensitivity of 88 dB with 2.83V (1 Watt) @ 1 meter full-space 300-3kHz at a nominal impedance of 8 ohms. Recommended amplifier power is 20 to 200 watts RMS.

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The crossover is a 3-way design split between two PCB’s using all premium-grade capacitors, air-core inductors and heavy-trace printed circuit boards. The Tweeter-to-Midrange crossover is 2.1kHz (12 dB/octave slopes) while the Midrange-to-Woofer crossover frequency is 300Hz (12 dB/octave slopes).

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The speaker comes with small iso-elastomer feet on the bottom. Also supplied for you spike lovers out there, is a set of four spikes and the accompanying metal “spike coasters” for floor protection if needed.


Set-up


I approached this review a bit differently from what I have done in the past. Since these speakers are touted as “audiophile grade” speakers, I determined that I would spend more time on actual physical set-up to maximize the soundstage and presentation.

I positioned the speakers using my trusty tape measure, settling on a slightly flattened triangle arrangement with the speakers spread at 10’8” with both right and left legs 12’ from my primary listening position.

I tried differing degrees of toe-in and found the widest soundstage with zero toe-in. However, the best sound and center image came with about 4-6 degrees of toe-in. I opted for the slight toe-in as best overall.

I tried the speakers both off, and then on, my homemade iso-platforms and thought the imaging and clarity a skosh better on the platforms than off. I continued using the iso-elastomer feet supplied with the speaker rather than the spikes.

The speakers were connected to my Parasound Halo A21 amplifier (250 watts/channel into 8 ohms) via twin Belden 5T00UP 10 ga. speaker cables (about a 7 ga. equivalent).

The subwoofers, whenever used in this review, were my reference subs; a dual configuration of Rythmik’s F18 18” sealed cabinet subwoofers, set to the inside of the right and left main speakers at roughly the first and third quarter marks on the 18.5” wall.

With all of this in place I settled in for a break-in and acclimation period. I performed the extended break-in at moderate levels over the next two weeks (about 120+ hours total) without the subwoofers engaged. While I was acclimatizing myself to a system without subwoofers, I did only casual listening of mostly YouTube travel videos or just left the system percolating away without a listener present, using a local HD radio station for programming.


Measurements

While I couldn’t find published curves for the Prime Pinnacle speaker on SVS’s website, they do provide nice detailed specs. Those specs say I should have a frequency response of 29 Hz-25 kHz (±3 dB). Lo and behold at 1 meter, in my less than perfect room, that was very close to what I measured using one speaker.

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With both speakers in play and measuring from the listening position it was even closer. Note, the dip at 42 Hz due to my room, not the speakers. The blue line represents throwing the subs into the mix.

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Up to this point I had not used Audyssey and had been running the Prime Pinnacles full range with no correction. The next graph is reflection of what happens with limited Audyssey correction applied. Using the Marantz/Audyssey Curve Editor I limited the Audyssey correction to 300HZ and below.

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Listening Sessions

When I had first connected and fired up the Prime Pinnacles and turned off the subwoofers, I was immediately struck by what I perceived as an “In-Your-Face” and rather harsh, high-end. There was no doubt the tweeter had all the extension into the higher frequencies one could want… maybe a tad too much. But after running some curves and looking at the measurements I could see no particular reason or emphasis of any frequency in that range. In fact, the curves were some of the flattest my room had ever generated.

But I can happily report that either the break-in, my acclimatization, or both, were successful and the harshness I had originally perceived faded away and was replaced by what was, a still very extended, but smooth and listenable, high-end.

In devising my listening plan, I decided the first of the listening sessions would be music sans subwoofers. Doing it in this manner, I surmised, would give me a much better picture of the speaker as the heart of a music only system and a better appreciation for the real range and capabilities of the speakers themselves. I would be using no Audyssey corrections at this stage.

Moving on from the first listening sessions to the second I would add the subwoofers back into the mix and revisit much of the same musical content. In this stage I would engage my limited Audyssey correction curve affecting only the frequencies below 300Hz.

Lastly, in my third formal listening session, I would evaluate how the Prime Pinnacle’s performed as the main speakers in a home theater system. In this case the limited Audyssey correction would still be employed.

When choosing music for the first and second listening sessions, I tried to focus on what I knew to be well recorded and balanced selections capable of highlighting the range and imaging capabilities of the speakers.

Keep in mind, I had gone cold turkey on the use of subwoofers, I purposefully reserved some selections that contained real, hard to reproduce, low-end content which I would listen to toward the end of the first two sessions.

Listening Session One – Prime Pinnacle Full Range – No Subwoofers
I started listening to selections that I consider musically revealing, and finished with selections that contained a bigger low end. I used a variety of sources and content types as noted below.

Steely Dan – Two against Nature (CD)
Steely Dan is always at, or near the top of my “Best Recorded” list. This Grammy winning (Best of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Engineered Album and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal) 2000 release was the first studio album from Steely Dan in twenty years. The recorded sound is stellar.

Listening to the tunes “Gaslighting Abbie,” the somewhat depressing “What a Shame About Me”, and the somewhat snarky “Cousin Dupree,” I found the Prime Pinnacles conveyed the Steely Dan trademark sound of a well-connected and punchy bass/bass drum with conviction. The clean and smooth midrange was perfectly reproduced, and the highs were clear and extended. Subtle percussion and keyboard flourishes were noticeable throughout. The imaging seemed spot on with a solid stable center image and excellent spread and placement of the instruments within the soundstage. Bass and bass drum were very well defined with appropriate weight and good extension.

Little Feat – Let It Roll (CD)
This 1988 release by Little Feat was the first since the departure and death of Lowell George. I find it is full of wonderfully well-conceived and performed songs. The sound, to me, is more open and airier than previous Little Feat efforts.

Queuing up the first track “Hate to Lose You Now” lead me to the next track, and then the next… until I had finished the entire album.

The Prime Pinnacle’s conveyed a good sense of space and air on the high end with a strong, solid, and very convincing bottom end. Midrange was smooth. The tracks I kept going back to were “Hate to Lose Your Lovin,” “One Clear Moment,” “Cajun Girl,” “Hangin’ on to the Good Times,” and the title track, “Let It Roll.” With each of these tracks the Prime Pinnacle’s reproduced the full measure of what made each track appealing to me. The subtleties were handled with an equal ease as the excitement. The rambunctiousness and intensity of “Cajun Girl” was just as well presented as the more subtle, airy, and quieter, presentation of “Hangin’ on to the Good Times.”

Bass was punchy with good weight and the highs were smooth and crisp. Midrange was well defined and clear.

Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour – Harlequin (CD)
Released in 1985, this was one of the first CDs I had heard and actually convinced me the format had merit. Listening to it also convinced me to buy the pair of Polk SDA-2A speakers it was playing through (but that is another story for a different time :-).

Well produced and recorded, is has a wonderfully open and big sound with an expansive soundstage.

Through the Prime Pinnacles the soundstage was lush and extended. Subtle percussion touches were clearly noticeable. Vocals by Ivan Lins on three tracks of the otherwise instrumental album came through in a clear forward way. The speakers conveyed good punch and definition on the bottom end and a wonderful snap and percussive sound on the snare drum.

As before, the sound was very “together” for lack of a better word.

Simply Red – Picture Book – “Sad Old Red”, “Holding Back the Years”, and “Heaven” (CD)
This 1985 recording is very well done with especially nice bass, bass drum, cymbals and vocals. Wide open and airy with a good soundstage.

Presentation was what I remembered with good air, strong bass presence, and open clear vocals. The walking bass in the tune “Sad Old Red” was well defined with a nice presence.

Vivaldi - The 4 Seasons – Orpheus Chamber Orchestra – 1995 Deutsch Grammophon D208093 (CD)

This 1995 recording of the Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was recorded in New York City at the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The orchestra and soloists are in top form in this excellent recording.

The presentation with the SVS speakers was full range and very well defined. Strings were smooth and buttery with only a hint of the normal harshness/edge on the violins. Bass had good weight and presence when used.


My next few selections were to test the bass extension of the Prime Pinnacle’s.

Gino Vannelli – Powerful People (Amazon Music HD)
and Storm at Sunup (Amazon Music Ultra HD and LP)
What’s that you say? What does Gino Vannelli have to do with bass? Well, the bass on Gino’s first few releases are all synth bass. Very tight and solid synth bass. Along with the bass is very well recorded music and vocals that ranges from lushly atmospheric to spare and lean power pop.

Listening to “Mama Coco,” “Where Am I Going,” and “Keep On Walking” from Storm at Sunup along with the entire Powerful People album should give an appropriate appreciation of the sonic range contained within.

Both formats gave good account of the deep and well-defined synth bass and the wonderfully arranged synth strings and horns. The drums and percussion were just right in the mix and the Prime Pinnacle’s delivered a well-balanced and enjoyable sound throughout both albums. There was good weight and definition on the bass coupled with a lush silky midrange and smooth and extended highs.

One note: when I queued up Storm at Sunup on the turntable the pops, clicks, and surface noise was extreme. As soon as the music began, I could immediately tell I had been listening at a pretty high level. This is a clear indication the speakers are low distortion and easy on the ears for extended listening. The LP sounded just fine after a slight mental adjustment to the extra noise and the now leaner bass and rolled off highs.


Time to subject the Prime Pinnacle’s to my version of a low-end bass torture test….

Primus – Pork Soda – “Bob” (Amazon Music Ultra HD) This tune contains some extraordinary bass. It covers the bass guitar spectrum from twangy lead like noodling to thunderous crashing bass chords that dig deep, along with everything in between. The Primus band is three pieces…. Bass, Guitar, Drums and features, of course, Les Claypool and his bass virtuosity (along with his strangely voiced and odd, mostly spoken lyrics). The rest of the band are certainly no slouches… but in Primus the Bass is the Thing!

The Prime Pinnacles performed well with this six-minute torture test, never sounding stressed or strained, even at a high volume. But the excitement and the kick-in-your-face bass barrage that I knew should be there, was lacking.

Listening Session One Summary – No Subwoofers
I listened to a lot of music not listed here from multiple sources. Sources included vinyl, CD, and HD streaming. Without the subwoofers the Prime Pinnacles accounted for themselves very well in every case. The speakers presented in a clear midrange/treble forward manner that balanced well with the extended, tightly defined low end of the speakers.


Listening Session Two – with Subwoofers
Turning the subwoofers back on and re-engaging the low frequency Audyssey correction brought new perspective to the Prime Pinnacle speakers.

Going back over the material in Listening Session One was interesting.

Steely Dan – Two against Nature (CD)
The subs added a nice low-end punch with the bass and bass drum sound. Otherwise, the subs contributed very little other than a nice sense of fullness with a better balance overall.

Little Feat – Let It Roll (CD)
Adding the subwoofers actually contributed little new to this album but a definite increase in slam and dynamics was noted. Again, an increased sense of fullness and balance was also apparent.

Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour – Harlequin

This recording benefited very little from the subs one way or the other. Kind of ditto the above…

Simply Red – Picture Book (CD) – “Sad Old Red,” “Holding Back the Years,” and “Heaven”
Revisiting this CD with the subs engaged did little more than bring the already strong bass to the front even more.

Vivaldi - The 4 Seasons – Orpheus Chamber Orchestra – 1995 Deutsch Grammophon D208093 (CD)
While this recording has little on the extreme low-end, the subs did help to emphasize the bowed double bass used throughout to nice effect.

Gino Vannelli – Powerful People (Amazon Music HD) and Storm at Sunup (Amazon Music Ultra HD and LP)
Here, the subwoofers combined with the Prime Pinnacle’s already extended lows to provide a much more enjoyable and interesting rendition. The subs added an extra measure of punch, slam, and excitement.

Primus – Pork Soda – “Bob” (Amazon Music Ultra HD)
OK! Turn it up! The subs in this case added just what was needed to give me back, and highlight, the incredible slam of the bass throughout this song!

Listening Session Two Summary – With Subwoofers
The addition of the subwoofers added real substance to the musical presentation in every case. With some music it was a subtle addition. With music that had real low frequency energy like “Bob” from Primus or Gino Vannelli’s early efforts that featured synthesizers, the subwoofers were a definite plus, even a necessity, for full enjoyment. I also dug out some content with pipe organ and a song that hits the lowest piano registers with plenty of energy and found the same thing…. the subs were necessary for capturing the full range of the music and for maximum enjoyment.


Listening Session Three – Movies and Video – with Subwoofers
In this listening session, I set out to determine how well the Prime Pinnacles would function as part of a Home Theater system.

During this listening session, the Prime Pinnacles functioned as the main right and left speakers while pairing a BG Radia CC-220 Center Channel, BG Radia SA-320 in-wall surrounds, and Rythmik F18 Subwoofers. All of the BGs feature Planar Ribbon drivers in the Tweeter and Midrange, positions with conventional Kevlar cone woofers.

Throughout this session the Audyssey correction remained engaged but was limited to 300Hz and below. The Prime Pinnacles were run as large speakers with LFE crossing over at 80Hz.

To execute this listening session, I watched several movies and episodes of different series using different sources to determine how the speakers would perform in a theater environment.

The “Cliff’s Notes” Version…. Very well! At no time did the speakers call attention to themselves as different from my BGs in a timbrel, tonal, dynamic or time domain way. I was able to quickly lock in a match to my subs with the speakers in either full range or crossed over at 80Hz. In other words, “They played well with others!”

For the slightly “longer winded version” read on….

Amazon Prime Video (Apple TV) (5.1 Dolby Digital)
His Dark Materials
– I watched all eight episodes of this well put together series based on the novels by Phillip Pullman. The Prime Pinnacle’s performed well throughout, delivering wide dynamics with an expanded breathy soundstage. Working perfectly with the other speakers, the surround was engaging and convincing with pinpoint off camera cues matching the timbre of front channel action and sound.

Watchmen – Set in an alternate reality Watchmen is a graphic HBO limited series (nine episodes) based on the 1986 DC Graphic Novel series of the same name. The action is harsh, and sometimes brutal, but there is an interesting story to tell. The series played well through the SVS speakers, with all of the big action and subtle atmospherics equally well rendered.


Blu-Ray
Kingsman – The Secret Service
(DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1)
Kingsman – The Golden Circle (Dolby ATMOS)

These movies were a breath of fresh air in the action/spy/thriller genre (in my opinion of course!) when released. With big action, clever dialog, over the top effects, and a dynamic sound, the two movies deliver on every level. From the first movie I sampled the fight in the church and Eggsy’s ending fight scene with Gazelle. From the Golden Circle I sampled the cab fight between Eggsy and Charlie and the destruction of The Kingsman agents.

First, I played the different scenes at a reasonable level, and then once more with peaks hitting 106 dB. The Prime Pinnacle’s delivered the crushing action and extreme dynamics with ease at every level, never falling apart or showing any sign of stress. At all volumes and during every scene, the sound remained well connected to the visuals. The dialogue in the center channel and hand off to the other channels was seamless and the Prime Pinnacles never got in the way.

Blade Runner 2049 - In this 2017 follow up to the classic 1982 Blade Runner, the action and story, while being at times ponderous and “slooooow”, makes for interesting storytelling, visuals and soundscapes.

With this movie it’s all about the atmospheric sound, and shaded, sometimes veiled visuals. The subtle aural touches were translated very well by the SVS speakers working in complete synergy with the rest of the speakers. The connection between visuals and sound was tight, engaging and enveloping.

Listening Session Three Summary – Home Theater
For video and movies, the Prime Pinnacle speakers delivered the extreme dynamics and volume levels of movie soundtracks in a very pleasing and engaging way.


Summary and Closing Thoughts

As electronic consumers, we are spoiled somewhat by the access to a plethora of fine equipment options and avenues for purchase. At the same time, the options for actually listening to new gear in “brick-and-mortar” locations is slowly disappearing from many communities around the U.S. The internet opens a lot of doors for those that are willing to take a leap of faith and buy audio products unheard or video products unseen.

Companies like SVS, who have built an outstanding reputation for quality coupled with a no risk 45 Day audition and return policy, a strong warranty and caring customer service, go a long way towards making internet audio buying what it should be. Unlike some, SVS will also cover return shipping costs if you opt to return your speakers. Many SVS products are also available from select “Brick and Mortar” dealers all around the United States if you really want to go have a listen!

Full disclosure: I have to be up front about living without subwoofers for the first part of this review process. It. Was. Agony! But a strange thing happened along the way. The more I listened the more the overall sound just seemed right and balanced with the majority of musical material. After a while the need for the subwoofers faded into the background and simply got out of the way of the actual music.

So, yes! As the motive force in a two-channel, music only system, the Prime Pinnacle would be a great choice for many people. It has tight, articulate, and usable bass extension dipping below 29Hz, a smooth midrange and a clear extended high-end that seems to extend to beyond light-speed. For most pop, rock, jazz and classical, that just works and works well.

But gone are the days when a fine full range speaker is allowed to stand alone. So, should you be adding a subwoofer or two? Will they really benefit from the integration of a subwoofer? Yes, certainly! For you pipe organ aficionados, “Bassheads,” or electronic music lovers out there you are going to want to add some ultra-low-end oomph! If dual use for Home Theater is your bag then again, yes, subwoofers should be on the priority list!

The Prime Pinnacles would be stellar performers in any well-integrated home theater system. Clarity, slam and impact, coupled with the ability to recreate subtle atmospherics, make them ideal in a high-end home theater environment when mated with suitable sonic partners.

But are they “Audiophile Grade?” I would have to say yes. Now before I am stoned and struck down, I base this on my own rather loose definition of “audiophile”. To me an “audiophile” is a person who loves both music and the equipment used to reproduce that music, sometimes obsessively so. For example, my “audiophile” (if I should, at least for a moment, be allowed to call myself such…) goal is to be able to recreate the music I enjoy at a level of quality that excites and pleases ME.

If this does not fit your definition of “audiophile” that’s OK. I would love to know just where I went wrong or how I can make it more right.

Does the Prime Pinnacle outperform my modest “Audiophile Reference” speakers? No, they do not in my opinion, but in many respects, they come close at a quarter of the price!

The Prime Pinnacles do fit my definition of “audiophile” in many ways. It is a well implemented, great sounding speaker for a very reasonable amount of money, and it should satisfy many as a stand-alone stereo system or as the heart of a high-end home theater. Personally, I don’t think there is anything that should exclude it as either, or both!

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SVS Prime Pinnacle Tower Speakers - Published Specifications

Frequency Response / Acoustic Data:

  • Rated bandwidth: 29 Hz-25 kHz (±3 dB)
  • Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 88 dB (2.83V @ 1 meter full-space, 300-3kHz)
  • Recommended amplifier power: 20-300 watts

Speaker Specs:

  • Floor Standing Tower Loudspeaker
  • Black ash and piano gloss black finish options
  • 5-way binding posts
  • Triple 2” wide-flared rear-firing ports
  • Cloth grille with pin/cup retention system
  • Cabinet Dimensions: 40.5" (H) X 8" (W) X 13.4" (D)
  • Overall Dimensions: 41.1" (H) X 8" (W) X 13.9" (D) (includes grille, feet and binding posts)
  • Shipped Dimensions: 46.5" (H) X 14.8" (W) X 19" (D)
  • Weight Packaged: 66 lbs (29.9 kg)
  • Weight Unboxed: 57.1 lbs (25.9 kg)

Driver Specs:

1” Aluminum Dome Tweeter:

  • FEA-optimized diffuser for airy and unveiled presentation
  • Aluminum dome for exceptional transient response

Triple 6.5” Woofers:

  • Long stroke motor and suspension for high output
  • Polypropylene cone for excellent stiffness/mass ratio and pistonic behavior
  • Aluminum shorting ring to reduce gap inductance, lower distortion, and enhance high frequency response
  • Cast ABS-fiberglass composite basket ensures precision component alignment and excellent thermal transfer
  • Vented voice coil former minimizes air compression artifacts

5.25” Midrange Driver:

  • Composite glass-fiber cone with excellent stiffness/mass ratio for high sensitivity and pistonic behavior beyond pass band
  • Aluminum shorting ring to reduce gap inductance, lower distortion, and enhance high frequency response
  • Cast ABS-fiberglass composite basket ensures precision component alignment and excellent thermal transfer
  • Vented voice coil former minimizes air compression artifacts

Crossover & Cabinet Specs:
Crossover:

  • 3-way crossover with premium-grade capacitors, air-core inductors and heavy-trace printed circuit boards
  • 2-piece PCB design reduces component interference
  • Tweeter-to-Midrange crossover: 2.1kHz (12 dB/octave slopes)
  • Midrange-to-Woofer crossover frequency: 300Hz (12 dB/octave slopes)

Cabinet:

  • Separate sealed midrange enclosure with angled bracing diffuses and shifts standing waves beyond the driver pass band, improving sound quality
  • Three separate woofer enclosures with optimized port tuning frequencies for smooth and accurate bass response
  • Acoustically transparent and FEA optimized grilles minimize diffraction
  • Chamfered front baffle and flush-mounted drivers reduce edge diffraction and improved on-axis high frequency response
  • FEA-optimized cabinet and angled bracing eliminates resonances and improves cabinet rigidity for acoustically inert enclosure
 

Todd Anderson

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Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Streaming Subscriptions
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Enjoyed reading this review, Tom. At $899/each ($799 black ash), buyers gain access to a lot of performance. Great home theater speakers. As I mentioned to you yesterday, I'm not entirely shocked to read your comments about a brighter/sharper top end. I've been running SVS Ultra Towers for several years and they definitely have a different sonic character than the GE Triton One.Rs you enjoy as part of your reference system. And the differences really are quite jolting to the ear. Yes, the Triton One.Rs are more laid back, which might sound off to someone looking for brightness... but they deliver insane levels of detail and imaging that combine for a robust texture. Shifting from that to the dome tweeter SVS uses and you're exposed to an entirely different sonic signature. It's more exacting in nature and if your ears are expecting to glean information from a less in your face image, they certainly can turn your head!

I loved the One.Rs so much that I bought a pair... but I also love the brighter, crisper sound that SVS delivers - especially because it isn't going to shred your ears. Two different beasts. I'd hazard to guess that most anyone hunting for a pair of speakers for less than $2K will be thrilled with what the Prime Pinnacle can deliver, especially in home theater settings. Set them up with some care and thought, and they'll deliver tons of excellent moments!
 
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Tom L.

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Enjoyed reading this review, Tom. At $899/each ($799 black ash), buyers gain access to a lot of performance. Great home theater speakers. As I mentioned to you yesterday, I'm not entirely shocked to read your comments about a brighter/sharper top end. I've been running SVS Ultra Towers for several years and they definitely have a different sonic character than the GE Trion One.Rs you enjoy as part of your reference system. And the differences really are quite jolting to the ear. Yes, the Triton One.Rs are more laid back, which might sound off to someone looking for brightness... but they deliver insane levels of detail and imaging that combine for a robust texture. Shifting from that to the dome tweeter SVS uses and you're exposed to an entirely different sonic signature. It's more exacting in nature and if your ears are expecting to glean information from a less in your face image, they certainly can turn your head!

I loved the One.Rs so much that I bought a pair... but I also love the brighter, crisper sound that SVS delivers - especially because it isn't going to shred your ears. Two different beasts. I'd hazard to guess that most anyone hunting for a pair of speakers for less than $2K will be thrilled with what the Prime Pinnacle can deliver, especially in home theater settings. Set them up with some care and thought, and they'll deliver tons of excellent moments!
Hi Todd,

Right on all counts! It's easy to become comfortable with a certain sound. When I went from my BG FS520 speakers to the Tritons I thought they were a bit overly-bright! Fast forward a full year and the Triton's sound is just right to my ears. Measurements show they have just as much high frequency energy as the Prime Pinnacles but present it in a very different way.

The SVS speakers are a definitely a great speaker and many people are going to prefer the strong treble and mids.

T
 

Sonnie

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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Monolith HTP-1 Processor (Movies and Surround)
Main Amp
Benchmark Media AHB2 Monoblocks
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA-Eleven
Computer Audio
Intel NUC w/ Roon ROCK
DAC
miniDSP SHD (Two-Channel Music Only)
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasonic UB9000 4K UHD Player (for movies only)
Front Speakers
MartinLogan Renaissance ESL 15A
Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Focus C-18
Surround Speakers
MartinLogan EFX Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL
Front Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Rear Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Subwoofers
SVS SB16-Ultra x4 (music) + PB16-Ultra x2 (movies)
Video Display Device
JVC DLA-NX9
Screen
Elite 128" Screen
Remote Control
Universal MX-890
Streaming Equipment
Roku Ultra
Streaming Subscriptions
Lifetime Roon Subscription
Tidal
qobuz
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Satellite System
Dish Joey 4K
Other Equipment
Kaleidescape Strato S 12TB
Yep... great review Tom. SVS has some awesome speakers, that is for sure. Never heard anything from them that did not excel in many ways.

Little Feat and Ritenour ... two of my favorites. I like the Fourplay albums a lot. And one of my favorite songs is Fat Man in the Bathtub.
 

Tom L.

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Yep... great review Tom. SVS has some awesome speakers, that is for sure. Never heard anything from them that did not excel in many ways.

Little Feat and Ritenour ... two of my favorites. I like the Fourplay albums a lot. And one of my favorite songs is Fat Man in the Bathtub.
Thanks Sonnie! I’m more of a “Dixie Chicken“ kinda guy myself :T I have several Lee Ritenour CDs but for whatever reason this collaboration with Dave Grusin just “struck a chord“ with me.

overall I liked the SVS Prime Pinnacles and thought them a tremendous value for the dollars spent!
 

Sonnie

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3,803
Location
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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Monolith HTP-1 Processor (Movies and Surround)
Main Amp
Benchmark Media AHB2 Monoblocks
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA-Eleven
Computer Audio
Intel NUC w/ Roon ROCK
DAC
miniDSP SHD (Two-Channel Music Only)
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasonic UB9000 4K UHD Player (for movies only)
Front Speakers
MartinLogan Renaissance ESL 15A
Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Focus C-18
Surround Speakers
MartinLogan EFX Surrounds
Surround Back Speakers
MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL
Front Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Rear Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Subwoofers
SVS SB16-Ultra x4 (music) + PB16-Ultra x2 (movies)
Video Display Device
JVC DLA-NX9
Screen
Elite 128" Screen
Remote Control
Universal MX-890
Streaming Equipment
Roku Ultra
Streaming Subscriptions
Lifetime Roon Subscription
Tidal
qobuz
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Satellite System
Dish Joey 4K
Other Equipment
Kaleidescape Strato S 12TB
Love Dixie Chicken too... you know Garth Brooks did a pretty cool version of that as well.
 

tesseract

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1,201
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Lincoln, NE
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Emotiva XMC-1
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 2
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA-3 Gen 2
Other Amp
Dayton SA1000
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony BDP S590 & Pioneer DV-610AV
Front Speakers
JTR NOESIS 210 RT - L/R mains
Center Channel Speaker
Chase SHO-10 - Center
Surround Speakers
Chase PRO-10 - Surrounds
Subwoofers
Chase VS-18.1 x 2 - Subwoofers
Video Display Device
Vizio E550VL
Streaming Subscriptions
h/k TC35C/Ortofon Super OM10/Pro-Ject Phono Box S
Excellent review, Tom!

I was more than a little surprised when I heard the Pinnacle debut. A friend of mine just got his pair yesterday and loves them.
 

Tom L.

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Excellent review, Tom!

I was more than a little surprised when I heard the Pinnacle debut. A friend of mine just got his pair yesterday and loves them.
They will definitely ”fit the bill” for many, performance and price wise!
 
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