SVS is known for making excellent high-end stereo and home theater speakers that are priced so attractively, most folks do a double take to make sure they got the price right. Their subwoofers are outstanding as well, and their customer service, ease of ordering, and the easy-to-navigate website make doing business with them a very attractive proposition. They sell direct via their web store, and through a select dealer network.
I know about SVS’s quality and value because I reviewed both their Ultra Bookshelf speaker, and their SB-2000 subwoofer. Both offered crazy good sonic performance, at a more than fair price, and their build quality and attention to detail was terrific. Their speakers are always at the top of my recommendations list for high performance, high value speakers. Their free shipping, returns, and five-year warranty are serious icing on the cake.
SVS also began making high quality audio accessories, which they call SoundPath. These include top notch subwoofer isolation footers, bulk cable, terminations, and both interconnect and speaker cable. They have refined these products and offer them at amazingly attractive prices. A set of four of the subwoofer isolation footers costs $50, and the pure copper bulk cable is $30 for a fifty foot spool. Hard to believe, yes. They also offer an amazing forty-five day in-home trial.
I am always on the search for high quality, fairly priced cables. It just so happened SVS contacted me about evaluating their SoundPath Ultra speaker cable and SoundPath RCA interconnects. I agreed and, within a few days, a set of one meter RCA cables, and an eight foot pair of the banana-terminated Ultra speaker cables arrived in smart looking packaging.
The SoundPath RCA cables start at $50 for a one meter pair. Yes, you read that correctly. A three meter pair will run you $70. The Ultra speaker cables start at $88 for a four foot pair. An eight foot pair will run you a whopping $98. After examining and installing the cables I was dumbfounded how they could be offered at this price, even with offshore manufacturing.
The construction and connector quality were simply first rate.
SVS claims no voodoo here. The cables are a common sense design, with the intention of producing uncolored sound, good looks, and high durability. The cables feature “pure copper conductors, 24K gold plated brass connectors and a precision-engineered five-layer dielectric insulation system to reject all RF and electromagnetic interference.“ No magic potions or exotic materials. Just good conductors and good engineering.
Set Up & Listening
The SVS SoundPath cables got quite a workout over the several months I used them. They were alternated between two separate systems -- the main set up in the living room, and in my office system. The main system consisted of Bryston Mini T speakers, a Bryston BDP-2/BDA-A digital file player and DAC combo, a Rotel RB-1590 power amp, and the just-reviewed Rogue RP-5 preamplifier. The office system included Magnepan MMG speakers, Spendor S3/5R monitors, an Aric Audio Expression preamp, a CLONES Audio 25p power amp, and Simaudio 280D DAC with the Moon MiND streamer.
As is customary with brand new factory delivered products, I let the SoundPath interconnects and speaker cables “burn in” for a few weeks before taking note. When I started to really listen I heard an open, precise, and transparent presentation that I normally associate and expect with pricier cables. The SoundPath wires were clearly not a compromised design, regardless of the hard-to-believe price.