Q: I recently purchased the Outlaw Audio RR2150 Stereo Receiver based on your recommendation and would like to purchase speakers that complement it. What do you recommend?
I have a budget of $1,200. My listening room is 1,200 square feet, and 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 more than 900 CDs, 100 older vinyl albums, and have about 30,000 songs in my iTunes software. Are there any other components you recommend?
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. The Black Gloss models are very beautiful. If you have the extra $200 to spend and they match your decor, it is worth it.
SVS is known for 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, solidity and presence that you feel as if you could reach out and give it a hug. SVS has by far the most impressive bass I have heard from any speakers selling for less than $1,000. If you are using them in a music-only system, I recommend that 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 complement 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, but Prime Tower speakers were really unhappy with it. If you are buying these speakers, I recommend that 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 industry to aspire to. 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 even have an online outlet store that offers savings. There also is a bookshelf Prime model. I haven’t heard it, but 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 (www.massfidelity.com).
Send questions to Don Lindich at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get recommendations and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.