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SVS Ultra Bookshelf

Bookshelf speakers (Black Oak Veneer)

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Item # 946UBKBO

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Overview

Our take on the SVS Ultra Bookshelf

If you don't have room for tower speakers, but love big, wide-open sound with pinpoint imaging, check out SVS's Ultra Bookshelf models. These gems combine outstanding transparency and detail with startling dynamics and bass. Whether presenting the relaxed, engaging sound of vinyl, or pounding out the multi-layered soundtrack of an action movie, the Ultra Bookshelf speakers deliver a convincing audio experience.

SVS Ultra Bookshelf

Shown in Piano Gloss Black.

Potent sound in a compact package

If you don't have room for tower speakers, but love big, wide-open sound with pinpoint imaging, check out SVS's Ultra Bookshelf models. These gems combine outstanding transparency and detail with startling dynamics and bass. Whether presenting the relaxed, engaging sound of vinyl, or pounding out the multi-layered soundtrack of an action movie, the Ultra Bookshelf speakers deliver a convincing audio experience.

Mastering the science and art of speaker design

SVS begins the speaker design process with extensive computer modeling, which helps them zero in on the right driver, crossover, and cabinet characteristics. Then, like other world-class speaker companies, they test each design in an anechoic chamber, which eliminates the effects of room reflections, to ensure highly accurate measurements.

The third and most critical step involves lots of listening in rooms closely calibrated to resemble rooms in typical homes. The engineering team listens to familiar tracks over and over, working toward sound that is both accurate and emotionally engaging. This is where the art of listening balances out scientific measurement.

SVS designs every driver in-house

While many companies build their speakers using off-the-shelf components, SVS designs all their drivers in-house. This is a huge advantage because it gives them complete control over how the drivers, crossover, and cabinet interact.

The Ultra Bookshelf 6-1/2" woofer is mounted in its own dedicated compartment, sealed off from the tweeter. The composite glass-fiber cone material is extremely lightweight and rigid, allowing the woofer to sound clear and natural through the midrange, while also delivering surprisingly solid bass.

SVS's 1" aluminum dome tweeter sounds neutral and revealing, and is fitted with a special diffusor that improves dispersion and keeps high frequencies from sounding harsh, even when you crank up the volume.

Smart, solid construction

Pick up one of the Ultra Bookshelf monitors and you'll be surprised by how solid and heavy it feels. Each cabinet is made of sturdy MDF, with an extra-thick front baffle and internal bracing to control unwanted vibrations. Those tapered edges on the front baffle are called chamfers. They reduce edge diffraction for clearer, more precise soundstaging. (They look cool, too.)

Although SVS calls these bookshelf speakers, sitting them in a bookshelf cabinet will actually limit their performance. Instead, place the Ultra Bookshelfs on high-quality speaker stands, positioned at least a foot or two out from the back wall.

Build a complete Ultra system

Center channel: SVS Ultra Center
Surround speakers: SVS Ultra Surround
Floor-standing speaker: SVS Ultra Tower
Powered subwoofer: SVS SB-1000 or SVS SB-2000

Got wire?

Most speakers don't include any. Read our article about choosing and installing speaker wire.
Shop our selection of speaker wire.

Product Highlights (each):

  • 2-way design
    • 1" aluminum dome tweeter
    • 6-1/2" composite glass-fiber woofer
  • frequency response: 45-32,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • recommended amplifier power: 20-150 watts
  • sensitivity: 87 dB
  • nominal impedance: 8 ohms
  • bass-reflex cabinet with rear-firing port
  • non-parallel cabinet panels reduce standing waves within the cabinet, reducing sound colorations
  • chamfered front baffle and flush-mounted drivers reduce edge diffraction and improve high frequency response
  • dual pairs of gold-plated 5-way binding posts allow bi-amp/bi-wire configurations
  • elastomer stick-on bumper feet
  • removable cloth grille
  • 8-9/16"W x 14-15/16"H x 11-1/16"D
  • weight: 19 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
  • 2 Grilles
  • 8 Rubber feet
  • 2 Terminal jumpers (pre-installed)
  • Owner's Manual
  • SVS brochure
  • Online Product Registration Card
Reviews

SVS Ultra Bookshelf Reviews

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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Bass Reflex
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Type Dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 6.5
Woofer Composition Composite glass-fiber
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 20-150
Sensitivity 87 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 45-32k Hz
Connector Type 5-way post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Height (inches) 14-15/16
Width (inches) 8-9/16
Depth (inches) 11-1/16
Weight (pounds) 19
Mounting Bracket Included No
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 22-28
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research

Features

1" Aluminum Dome Tweeter: The Ultra Bookshelf speaker's aluminum dome tweeter is pristinely neutral and revealing. Light, efficient, rigid and impervious to distortion even at high sound pressure levels, the tweeter plays crystal clear at high volumes for an exceptional transient response with an "airy" transparent presentation. The FEA-optimized tweeter diffuser ensures broad dispersion for a wide and convincing soundstage and perfect on- and off-axis frequency response. This means the largest possible "Sweet Spot", so everyone can be equally immersed with what's happening on-screen.

6.5" Composite Fiber-Glass Woofer: Room-filling low frequency and midrange playback is handled by a 6.5" woofer that features a composite glass-fiber cone with excellent stiffness to mass ratio for enhanced sensitivity and voicing that's transparent and completely faithful to the source material - resulting in pinpoint accuracy with precise imaging and massive soundstage. The woofer's rugged motor and long-stroke suspension delivers high output. The woofer also utilizes an aluminum shorting ring to reduce gap inductance and lower distortion, while a vented voice coil former minimizes air compression artifacts. The woofer's cast aluminum basket ensures precision component alignment and additional heat-sinking capacity.

SoundMatch Crossover Design: The SVS Ultra Bookshelf loudspeaker features a 2-way SoundMatch Crossovers with premium-grade capacitors, air-core inductors and heavy-trace printed circuit boards. Crossover frequency (2kHz) and slopes are optimized for excellent off-axis polar response, outstanding phase coherency, and total radiated sound power. The precise tuning of the SoundMatch Crossover also ensures balanced output throughout the frequency spectrum.

Performance Driven Cabinet Design: Every feature of the Ultra Bookshelf speaker's cabinet was designed with a sonic purpose in mind. Non-parallel cabinet panels reduce axial standing waves within the cabinet, reducing frequency response coloration. In addition - wedge shaped front baffles with tapered edges, flush-mounted drivers, and acoustically transparent and FEA optimized grilles all contribute to reduced edge diffraction and improved on-axis high frequency response. Internally, the cabinet employs separate sub-enclosures for the woofer and tweeter to optimize performance and minimize interaction between drive units. A rear-firing 1.7" wide-flared port provides greater efficiency and bigger bass response.

Dual Gold-Plated Binding Posts: The SVS Ultra Bookshelf loudspeaker is outfitted with dual gold-plated, heavy-duty binding post terminals for connection of bare wire, pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana connectors (single only). Use 18AWG speaker wire for wire runs up to 10', 16AWG speaker wire for wire runs up to 25', 14AWG speaker wire for wire runs up to 50', and 12AWG speaker wire for wire runs up to 75'. Using the dual binding posts, you can bi-amp or bi-wire the speakers.

  • Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
  • Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.
Note: If you decide to bi-wire or bi-amp, you must remove the jumper-straps between the terminal posts (failure to do this could result in damage to your amplifier and loudspeakers).

Mounting Options: The Ultra Bookshelf speakers can simply be placed on a stand, shelf, or table-top. Each speaker includes stick-on rubber feet that can be attached to the bottom of the speakers to protect them when placed on speaker stands and other surfaces. The rubber feet add approximately 0.125" to the overall height of the speakers. There are no included brackets, no keyhole slots, and no threaded inserts to wall mount the speakers.

Applications & Placement: The SVS Ultra Bookshelf loudspeakers can be used in a dedicated 2.1ch stereo setup or in a multichannel home theater system as fronts and/or surrounds. Proper placement of the front and surround speakers is essential to achieve the smoothest frequency response, optimal imaging and the most spacious, three-dimensional soundstage.

  • Front Speakers: Stereo imaging and soundstage are affected by loudspeaker location and the listening position, relative to each other and room boundaries. Moving the loudspeakers away from room boundaries will tend to improve stereo imaging and spaciousness by attenuating and delaying boundary reflections, thus optimizing direct sound and helping to preserve spatial information in the recording. Toeing-in the loudspeakers 5°-10° can often improve imaging, however this is also a function of the distance from nearby boundaries and the ratio of direct-to-reflected sound, so experimentation with toe-in is recommended to obtain optimal results. The location of the front loudspeakers relative to nearby boundaries will excite various "room modes" which will affect the bass response of the loudspeakers. Generally, placing the loudspeakers closer to room boundaries (particularly corners) will increase the bass response. Conversely, moving the loudspeakers away from boundaries and corners will reduce the bass response.
  • Surround Speakers: In a 5.1ch system, the side surround speakers should be located 90°-110° off-axis. For the best sense of spaciousness, the tweeter height should be about 2' above ear level. In a 7.1ch system, dedicated rear surround speakers are placed behind the primary seating position for enhanced rear panning effects. Place the rear surround speakers at 135°-150° off-axis, relative to the primary seating position. As with the side surround speakers, position the rear surround tweeters about 2' above head level when seated.

Note: Dedicated room treatments like absorbers, diffusers and bass traps (all sold separately) can greatly improve the sound quality of any listening environment, and are encouraged to extract the absolute best performance from any loudspeaker system.

Ultra Series: Whether playing a multi-layered soundtrack of a movie or a 2ch soundtrack of a music file, the SVS Ultra Series loudspeakers deliver a powerful and convincing audio experience. From the drivers to the crossover and cabinet, each component is painstakingly engineered and tested to achieve breathtaking realism. Countless design innovations and world-class build materials result in reference sound quality and stunning dynamics. The SVS Ultra Series consists of a floorstanding speaker (Ultra Tower), bookshelf speaker (Ultra Bookshelf), center speaker (Ultra Center), and surround speaker (Ultra Surround) - all sold separately.

Optional Powered Sub: A SVS powered sub (sold separately) makes a great addition to the Ultra series of loudspeakers.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

The SVS Ultra bookshelf speakers have mostly positive reviews from audiofiles which is why I'm giving these a chance. [ Eli  Sep 27, 2018 ]
Reviews [ David  Aug 21, 2018 ]
Based on prior experience I purchased these for my home theater as an upgrade. I own a pair of SVS Ultra bookshelf speakers used in my Great room for music. At the time I purchased my first pair I bought a set of KEF LS50's to compare the speakers head to head. Although both produced nice detailed sound, the KEF's were no match for the Ultra's base performance. Also, at higher volumes the KEF's started to distort where the Ultra's easily handled it. The KEF's went back and I'm now an SVS fan. [ Kim  Sep 14, 2018 ]
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