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I Finally Bought Something

After a ridiculous amount of time, exhaustive internet research, changing my mind a million times, and a change in what I was looking for due to Covid and my work-from-home situation, I have finally purchased a new set of speakers. The SVS Prime Wireless Speaker System.

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There were many reasons why I finally settled on active speakers, and the SVS Prime Wireless speakers met several of those; simplicity, size, the ability of DSP to get the most out of drivers, not to mention the reputation SVS has for making high value, good sounding products. A 45 day in home trial period, with free return shipping if for any reason I don’t like them, made for an easy decision to give them a try. I do think my desk looks a wee bit less crowded now.

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My first impression when I pulled the speakers out of the box was - Wow! These speakers are seriously small (10-inches tall, 6-inches wide, and 7-inches deep). My second impression was that they are beautifully constructed. The piano gloss white finish is flawless, fit of the drivers to the speaker baffle is first rate, the grill frame appears to be a sturdy 1/2” MDF and not cheap flimsy plastic, and the highly precise knuckle rap test results in a dull thunk.

Set up was easy with the only issue being the active speaker was dropping the Wi-Fi connection periodically. This would normally be a big red flag to me, but it was not entirely unexpected as my office is in in the farthest reaches of the my upstairs and my iPhone and Fire TV Stick have the same issue sometimes. I really need to do something to improve my signal up here. Anyway, I plugged in the cheap little NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender that AT&T left behind when we cancelled our U-verse service, ran a cable from the port on the extender to the network port on the speaker, and that solved the drop-out problem. YMMV.

As far as sound, my initial impressions are quite positive. So far, I have only been streaming from Spotify and I must say I don’t in any way consider myself well qualified for speaker listening reviews, as my experience with different speakers is limited. Having said that, I guess what would be the upper midrange up into the treble is clear and detailed, and the center image is spooky good. The overall sound-stage imaging is much better than what I am used to with my old Paradigm Titans (V1) - better separation of instruments and vocals, and I would say more front to back depth. The bass is well defined, but as you would expect with 4 ½” drivers it is not super deep. Even so, I don’t think they give up anything in the bass department compared to my Titans. For my desktop the bass response is fine, but if ever needed there is a subwoofer output so the Prime Wireless speakers can conceivably grow into a system capable of moving from my desktop to a more traditional room application.

A few brief song listening notes:

Artist: The Wailin’ Jennys
Song: Old Churchyard
Album: Fifteen

Without sounding like an audiophile hack, the best way to describe what I heard is layered. Each singers voice is distinctive, clear, and separate from the others. Not much going on instrumentally, but these little speakers made listening to the song very enjoyable.

Artist: Van Morrison
Song: Into The Mystic
Album: Moondance

I’m not a big Van Morrison fan, but I have always loved this song with its bass line and the other instrumentation. The bass is there, but I’m sure a subwoofer would really help here. What was very nice is the layering (there’s that word again) of the other instruments, especially the alto and tenor saxophones. Great delineation between all the instruments, both width wise and depth. And the center image stays nailed to its spot.

Artist: System Of A Down
Song: Chop Suey
Album: Toxicity

And now for something completely different. This song is all over the place. It starts with a guitar strumming and a sort of tribal beat, then it moves quickly to what I would best describe as thrash metal, and then a stop-start punk-like verse, finally followed by a melodic chorus. I turned the SVS speakers up far louder than my usual moderate listening level, and the little things didn't embarrass themselves. Everything stayed composed and in its place; clear and precise with no harshness creeping in. I wish I still had my other speakers and receiver set-up for a comparison, but if memory serves me right, when turned up to a similar level the Paradigms would start to muddle things together and there was some harshness in the upper midrange/treble. Maybe I was pushing them louder, hard to say at this point. Either way, the way the little SVS speakers stayed composed is a testament to the engineering that went into them.

There you have it. Now it’s time to start looking for something to play my CDs with, or more likely something to play FLAC files ripped from my CDs. I have no desire to place a standard size CD player on my desk, and the limited number of smaller CD players are more than I want to spend. So on it goes.
 
So how's it doing a month down the road?

I'm still enjoying these speakers immensely. I guess what I would add to my initial thoughts is that they do quite well at low listening levels. The soundstage, center image, separation of instruments and vocals are still all there, something my receiver and Titans could not match. I believe what I am hearing is what can be achieved with well implemented DSP in an active speaker. For $600, the value of these beautiful little speakers is off the charts.

I'll add the one thing I miss is the variable loudness control on my receiver. I have always used it for low level listening. It was one of the reasons I chose it over the NAD integrated I was considering.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I'm still enjoying these speakers immensely. I guess what I would add to my initial thoughts is that they do quite well at low listening levels. The soundstage, center image, separation of instruments and vocals are still all there, something my receiver and Titans could not match. I believe what I am hearing is what can be achieved with well implemented DSP in an active speaker. For $600, the value of these beautiful little speakers is off the charts.

I'll add the one thing I miss is the variable loudness control on my receiver. I have always used it for low level listening. It was one of the reasons I chose it over the NAD integrated I was considering.
Loudness controls are a wonderful thing. Sadly the worst of the audiophile knobs, in a pursuit of signal "purity", complained about them, and most systems just don't have it anymore. It's a truly wonderful feature, especially for those quiet, late night listening sessions.
 
Loudness controls are a wonderful thing. Sadly the worst of the audiophile knobs, in a pursuit of signal "purity", complained about them, and most systems just don't have it anymore. It's a truly wonderful feature, especially for those quiet, late night listening sessions.
A future firmware update? I think I'll shoot them an email suggestion. When I was considering the speakers I sent them a couple emails with questions and they quickly responded.
 

Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
I wish I had such a well working and simple solution.

For years this used to be my set-up in my office...alright...our box bedroom. I had a small amplifier and I played mp3s on my laptop through the small speakers in this non functioning jukebox wall box. (I've two others that play mp3s through my vintage hifi in my den...alright..our small front room). Obviously with fifty year-old 3" speakers the sound wouldn't be that good.



Then I managed to find this immaculate and fully functioning fifty-year-old Rotel tuner/amp, quite cheaply. So with another re-vamp of the shelf unit, I got rid of the small amplifier and the TV which I rarely used.



I decided to get some new speakers last month which would fit in the 4" space either side of the Rotel.

Wrong! Speakers advertised as 4" are in cabinets that are 5" so they wouldn't fit in.


So it required another complete re-vamp of the shelf unit.



I also fitted six LED spotlights under the shelf unit.
I've a "thing" about visible permanent cables, I always try to hide them. (except the multitude of leads required for additional kit to connect to the laptop when I use it up here).





My excuse for all this, is that the Covid situation is making me look for things to do.
 
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Andyman

Junior Member
I turned my desk 90 degrees when I installed the new live edge walnut slab. Instead of stating at the wall beyond my 32"TV/monitor, I'm staring down my A7s face on 13' away. Needless to say, my old computer rig is no longer required and the Altecs sound better than ever...
 
I didn’t even have a desk in the room when I started working from home last March. After about 5 months of working at the kitchen breakfast bar and on the couch, I went in our basement and I pulled the pile of crap off the top of a desk we had down there, and brought it up to our bonus room. Now I have my cozy Covid corner. I am staring at a wall but it’s not too bad. There is a large window just out of the frame to the left and a dormer with a window to the right.
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And my trusty assistant likes to keep an eye on me.
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When he’s not napping.
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Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
I didn’t even have a desk in the room when I started working from home last March. After about 5 months of working at the kitchen breakfast bar and on the couch, I went in our basement and I pulled the pile of crap off the top of a desk we had down there, and brought it up to our bonus room. Now I have my cozy Covid corner. I am staring at a wall but it’s not too bad. There is a large window just out of the frame to the left and a dormer with a window to the right.
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And my trusty assistant likes to keep an eye on me.
View attachment 32719

When he’s not napping.
View attachment 32720


I see you're still using an old fashioned computer mouse, I do too, though mine's wireless like my laptop. I find I have more control with it, even though I'm left handed but still use the mouse in my right hand.
 
I see you're still using an old fashioned computer mouse, I do too, though mine's wireless like my laptop. I find I have more control with it, even though I'm left handed but still use the mouse in my right hand.

Yeah I like using an actual mouse. I find myself getting frustrated when trying to right or left click with the pad on the laptop. Sometimes it takes me 3 or 4 tries before I find the right spot on the pad.

I would prefer a wireless mouse, but I'm too cheap to buy one for using with a company laptop. You'd think working for a large corporation they would include a wireless mouse and a good headset for all the meetings I attend.
 

Doghouse Riley

Junior Member
I took early retirement in 1998. I was the general manager of a large superstore. There was a computer in the general office but I never used it. That was for the clerks in there. I had a PC at home., but I didn't use that much either. Ok, I've embraced the technology over the years, but draw the line at having a mobile phone within reach all the time. I'm "old school."

For me it's like "wearing a tag" as do some criminals on release.
My mobile phone lives in the ashtray of my car. It's for emergencies and to phone my wife before leaving my golf club after playing to see if she needs any "justgetmes" on my way home.
I use e-mails a lot, occasionally a landline, letters and actually face to face conversations.
 
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