SVS SB 13-Ul­tra


Australian HIFI - - ON TEST -

SVS has been around since 1998, hav­ing re­port­edly been founded by ‘ a group of au­dio en­thu­si­asts seek­ing to de­velop an al­ter­na­tive to tra­di­tional au­dio man­u­fac­tur­ers.’ How­ever since 2011 it’s been headed-up by none other than Gary Ya­coubian, who started out as a re­tailer more than 25 years ago and now, in ad­di­tion to be­ing CEO at SVS, also serves on the ex­ec­u­tive board of the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics As­so­ci­a­tion, which is re­spon­si­ble for the an­nual au­dio ex­trav­a­ganza for tra­di­tional au­dio man­u­fac­tur­ers that is held ev­ery Jan­uary in Las Ve­gas, that is… the In­ter­na­tional CES.


SVS has an ex­cel­lent web­site, and if you look at it closely you’ll see that in the US, where the com­pany is based, the com­pany sells only by mail or­der. So in or­der to in­stil con­fi­dence in its Amer­i­can cus­tomers, SVS has an im- pres­sively de­tailed ‘Bill of Rights’ char­ter that guar­an­tees SVS buy­ers a no-obli­ga­tion 45-day in-home trial, a 60-day price guar­an­tee, a 90-day de­fec­tive ex­change pol­icy, a one-year ‘No Lemon’ guar­an­tee, a trade-up guar­an­tee, a one-year per­for­mance guar­an­tee, and a five-year un­con­di­tional war­ranty. How­ever, all but one of th­ese ‘Bill of Rights’ ap­plies only to con­sumers domi­ciled in the USA who pur­chase di­rect from SVS it­self. In coun­tries where SVS is sold through the usual im­porter/ re­tailer ar­range­ment, it is the lo­cal dis­trib­u­tor that de­cides the war­ranty terms and con­di­tions, and Fi­nal Link ad­vised us that a stan­dard Aus­tralian five-year guar­an­tee ap­plies to all SVS sub­woofers sold in Australia.

Still on the sub­ject of SVS’s web­site (which re­ally is ex­cel­lent!), I was par­tic­u­larly en­am­oured of its ‘Mer­lin’ sub­woofer/ speaker match­ing pro­gram, which not only rec­om­mends the ideal SVS sub­woofer to match with your front-chan­nel speak­ers, but also the ideal cross­over fre­quency and cross­over slope set­tings to use with your SVS sub­woofer. Ob­vi­ously it doesn’t list all brands and mod­els of speak­ers, but a great many of the most popular mod­els from the world’s ma­jor multi­na­tional speaker man­u­fac­tur­ers are listed.

SVS makes the rather ex­trav­a­gant boast that if your speak­ers are not listed on its Mer­lin pro­gram and you tell them the make and model, they will add it to their tool within 24 hours. I didn’t per­son­ally try this, but it would be easy enough for you to check whether the com­pany can make good on that prom­ise. The dif­fi­culty for SVS is if it doesn’t have any in­for­ma­tion about your par­tic­u­lar make and model of loud­speaker, it can­not make an in­formed rec­om­men­da­tion as to the ideal cross­over fre­quency/slope set­tings that should be used.

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