SVS, with its 20-plus year history of producing critically acclaimed subwoofers and audiophile-grade speakers at real-world prices, continues this legacy with its latest floorstanding speaker offering: The Prime Pinnacle Floorstanding Speaker. Designed to fill a niche between the value-oriented Prime Tower and the more reference-level Ultra Series Tower, it’s a case study in achieving quality with minimal compromise.
The Prime Pinnacle tower is a visually striking, full-range, three-way floorstander with some untraditional ingenuity sprinkled in. It features a series of three vertically stacked 6.5-inch woofers, each individually ported and tuned (more on that later), one 5.25-inch midrange driver, and the company’s signature one-inch aluminum dome tweeter paired with its proprietary SoundMatch three-way crossover. The Prime Pinnacle is approximately 41 inches tall, eight inches wide, and slightly under 13.5 inches in depth, which places it in the medium-sized floorstanding speaker category.
What Makes the SVS Prime Pinnacle Floorstanding Speakers Special?
- The Prime Pinnacle tower offers trickle-down technology found in the Ultra Series but at a fraction of the cost. Inside its deep, monolithic cabinet you’ll find several improvements over the entry-level Prime tower, as well as an assortment of high-end components and design practices borrowed from the pricier line. Most noticeable is the presence of a third woofer and a larger midrange driver. Internal bracing has been re-worked, which results in bass that is significantly more powerful and responsive while reducing cabinet noise. The cabinet is taller, deeper and heavier than its entry-level equivalent, which allows optimized alignment with your ear position. Oh, and did I mention, you get all this for only a few hundred dollars more than the SVS Prime Tower?
- The Prime Pinnacle floorstanding loudspeaker is relatively easy to drive. Rated at 88 dB and with a nominal eight-ohm impedance, my diminutive but stout PS Audio Sprout 100 integrated amp had no problem pushing these transducers to their max. I experienced no noticeable power issues throughout my listening experience. Any starter two-channel amp or even entry level AV receiver with decent power can drive these floorstanding speakers with ease.
- The Prime Pinnacle tower comes in an upgraded finish for a more refined look. I have always been a fan of SVS’ modern, black-is-beautiful aesthetic, but am not really that fond of black faux-wood grain finishes. Luckily, SVS offers a significant visual upgrade from their standard finish via their Piano Gloss finish for only $100 more per speaker, which is very reasonable given how it markedly elevates the look.
- SVS is one of the most customer-centric audio companies in the market today. It offers unmatched, highly attentive customer service, a 45-day money back guarantee, 60-day price match guarantee, and a very generous five-year unconditional warranty, in addition to a one-year buyback program that is simply unheard of in this industry. In simple terms, these are no-risk, high-reward speakers at a great price.
- The speakers do not necessarily require a subwoofer (unless you want one or two). Some small-to-medium-sized floorstanding speakers leave bass response to be desired, but not this one. Bass is impressively full, powerful, dynamic, and responsive, with excellent low-frequency extension, dipping into low-40Hz territory with authority. Each 6.5-inch woofer is individually tuned and ported, which improves accuracy and reduces cabinet resonance and distortion. This type of bass-forward engineering is not commonly found in speakers in this price range.
Why Should You Care About the SVS Prime Pinnacle Floorstanding Speakers?
SVS CEO, Gary Yacoubian, has stated that the Prime Pinnacles are the direct result of consumer feedback about the Prime Towers and Ultra Towers, which has resulted in a floorstanding speaker that can appeal to a wider audience. Like all SVS products, the Prime Pinnacle represents an outright excellent value proposition in the audiophile market and are a sound choice for the beginner in the hobby or budget-minded audiophile who may be looking to advance beyond entry level towers (even SVS’ own Prime series), while remaining safely around the all-important $2,000-per-pair threshold.
Some Things That You Might Not Like About the SVS Prime Pinnacle Floorstanding Speakers
- Its sonic signature is lively. The one-inch, rigid aluminum dome-tweeter may come in a little hot for some listeners, resulting in some occasional ear fatigue, specifically with female vocals and high-frequency detail. This can, however, be easily fixed with a few tweaks to EQ or tone control, and is really just a matter of preference.
- The Prime Pinnacle speakers may not fit every design scheme. I’ve always been a big fan of SVS’ sleek, modern design language, and the Piano Gloss Black finish looks stellar in my listening space. Tall, black speakers may not work in every room, though, and it remains to be seen if SVS will eventually offer a white alternative, as they do for some of their smaller speakers such as the Prime Elevation Series or Prime Satellite Speakers.
Listening to the SVS Prime Pinnacle Floorstanding Speakers
I powered my SVS Prime Pinnacles with my PS Audio Sprout 100 paired with a Schiit Modi DAC. All music was streamed through QoBuz at max settings and connected directly through my Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 laptop.
Prior to my critical listening session for this review, I decided to break in the Prime Pinnacle towers during a dance party session with my kids. We shuffled through the top-40 catalog, Kidz Bopz classics, and Disney hits. My eight-year-old anointed the SVS Prime Pinnacles as “the fun speakers” and requested we recreate said dance party nightly for the foreseeable future.
Ed Sheeran’s most recent single, “Eyes Closed,” (24-bit, 44.1 kHz), off his latest album Subtract (Buy at Amazon), has all the ingredients of an early-summer pop hit: emotional lyrics dripping with sap, a catchy chorus, and chest-thumping bass drops. This is a fan-favorite in my household and was on repeat during my initial dance party demo. In fact, my kids initially fought me on playing anything other than the new Little Mermaid soundtrack (buy at Amazon), but froze in their tracks when I turned up the volume on this track.
The first thing I noticed was the sheer realism and detail of the pizzicato fingerpicking during the intro. Each pluck was distinct, clean, and realistic; I swear I could make out individual fingernails scraping the strings. The Prime Pinnacles also handled Sheeran’s eloquent rasp with finesse, reproducing his distinct vocal quality with clarity and texture. Bass was ridiculously powerful, energizing my large room with authority to spare; never did I yearn for more or consider connecting a subwoofer. My kids nailed it – these speakers are fun. To SVS’ credit, achieving the fun factor without sacrificing other aspects of the audiophile experience is no easy feat. These are not frat house speakers by any stretch.
I had a conversation with fellow FutureAudiophile.com reviewer Michael Zisserson recently, in which he reiterated his belief that a truly great loudspeaker will sound excellent at all volumes, but most importantly at the conversational level. I wholeheartedly agree, and since I had experienced the SVS Prime Pinnacle towers in a house-party atmosphere and enjoyed them immensely, I wanted to give them an opportunity to impress me at cocktail-hour as well.
On Jenny Lewis’ 2008 indie-folk masterpiece Acid Tongue (buy at Amazon), the title track (24-bit, 44.1 kHz) puts her voice front and center before it fades into choral harmony. Lewis is one of a handful of female artists I often use as a litmus test for tweeters, as her unique, airy brightness, paired with very salient and forward /s/ and /t/ production (I’m a Speech-Language Pathologist by day, so these things are quite noticeable to me) can be challenging to reproduce without sounding harsh. The Prime Pinnacle towers did their best, and were remarkably pleasant at medium to low volumes. When pushed, however, I started to notice some occasional high-end heat. This was minor, but noticeable. Some tweaks to my EQ all but eliminated this issue, allowing me to continue enjoying her album and voice without incident.
Leon Bridges’ second studio album, Good Thing (buy at Amazon), features a wide array of sonic influences and blends several genres into a mixture of soul and style. “Bad Bad News” (24-bit, 44.1 kHz) combines all these elements into a R&B throwback reminiscent of Bill Withers or James Brown. The Prime Pinnacles took one of my favorite tracks of the last five years and transformed it into a full-on groove session that sonically filled the room. Bass was again tight and responsive, never boomy or bleeding into midrange. Bridges’ vocals remained clear and undistorted throughout, and the funky guitar solo towards the end sounded warmer and more accurate than on any floorstanding speaker pair I have heard in recent memory.
Do the SVS Prime Pinnacle Floorstanding Speakers Have Good Resale Value?
Yes. SVS is one of the best brands in the audiophile space for value and has a rapidly growing following among audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts alike. These speakers are capable of great bass, energized highs, and an open midrange. Somebody somewhere will always want a pair of speakers this good at the right price, especially from a brand with such a stellar reputation and loyal customer base. One issue with selling them online, though, is weight. They cost nearly $150 to ship to me one-way, and as such are likely a better value via a local transaction. You should have no trouble finding a buyer willing to do a public meetup on Craigslist.com or Facebook Marketplace.
Who is the Competition for the SVS Prime Pinnacle Floorstanding Speakers?
The sub-$2,000-per-pair tower speaker market is surprisingly saturated and growing. As a result, the SVS Prime Pinnacle towers have some competitors that some audiophiles might consider, depending on their taste and preferences.
The Bowers and Wilkins 603 S2 Floorstanding Speaker ($1,838 per pair) has one fewer bass driver and is deeper in size and heavier than the SVS Prime Pinnacle tower. It features an upgraded version of a beloved, time-tested crossover and refined aesthetics (including white, oak, and black finishes) along with magnetic grilles. I particularly enjoyed listening to acoustic music on the 603 S2, as I find its midrange accuracy and soundstaging to be unmatched in this price range.
Another speaker worth mentioning in this price class is the $1,798 per-pair Focal Chora 826-D. A more compact and uniquely angled tower, the 826-D focuses more on accuracy and detail versus the sizzle and pop you will find in lesser speakers in this class. It features Focal’s renowned inverted-dome tweeter and a slew of other high-end components reminiscent of their upstream cousins. Because of its smaller footprint and absence of a third bass driver, bass response and low-end impact is noticeably weaker in comparison. As a bonus, though, the speaker features an up-firing Dolby Atmos driver nestled at the top of the cabinet, which may be of interest to those who are looking to build a three-dimensional hybrid music/home theater system.
Another contender for slightly less than $1,800 per pair are the KEF Q750 Floorstanding Speakers (Buy at Amazon). KEF is well-known British audiophile brand best known for the development and implementation of their proprietary Uni-Q concentric driver. This not only gives their speakers a distinctive appearance, but allows high and midrange frequencies to hit the listener’s ear at the same time, improving realism, detail, and reducing interference. At its modest MSRP, you’re getting an excellent speaker with precision in mind. The grilles, however, are sold separately, so for those who prefer a sleeker, more understated look, it will come at an increased cost.
Final Thoughts on the SVS Prime Pinnacle Floorstanding Speakers
With the Prime Pinnacle Floorstanding Speakers, SVS looked to bridge the gap between its entry and reference-level tower speaker models. When comparing the Prime Pinnacle to its higher-end siblings, I can only count a few small sacrifices that were made in the interest of consumer savings, which is impressive given the sheer amount of high-end design packed in. The SVS Prime Pinnacle tower has excellent dynamics, delivers a detailed sound profile, and produces some of the best low-end frequency response I have heard from a speaker in this price range. That’s a lot to love for a little less than $2,000 per pair.
From intimate audiophile listening sessions to home theater applications and even daddy/daughter dance parties, the SVS Prime Pinnacle speakers get it done. Resolute sound, rock-solid build quality, fantastic customer service, solid resale value, and, most importantly, a price that many music lovers can afford make this a speaker that can hang with floorstanding speakers costing twice as much.