SVS Featured Home Theater:

Jim in Shoals, IN

For people who’ve experienced hearing loss, muffled dialogue and vocals can be a frustrating side effect. Retired U.S. army veteran Jim Goul calls himself an old guy, but says he stays mentally young by constantly exploring new kinds of music and keeping an open mind to all different audio experiences. When his aging sound system was no longer producing the levels of bass or dialogue clarity he desired, he knew it was time for an upgrade.

After extensive research on forums and review sites, Jim upgraded to a full SVS Prime Tower 5.2 system with dual PC-2000 Subwoofers. Now, he never misses a word or lyric and the system brings enough sonic impact to seriously startle his neighbors and wife.

Questions And Answers:

Have you always been passionate about audio and sound quality?

When I first started getting into audio, I was 19 or 20 and it was around the time of The Who’s, Quadrophenia release. I was in the Army and had a set of Sansui speakers that sounded good, but I always knew there were better options and that I would one day upgrade. Of course, life got in the way and I got married and had kids which didn’t allow me to pursue the hobby much, but eventually, the kids grew up and I came into a small windfall and invested in a quality Onkyo receiver with some Bose Acoustimass 6 speakers. It was an improvement but I still wasn’t feeling the bass in music and movies like I wanted to.

Why did you upgrade to SVS?

When I retired in 2013 and started building a house in southern Indiana, I decided to reserve space for a home theater and listening area. I had a budget, so I spent a long time researching on forums and was led to SVS subwoofers. The PC-2000’s Cylinder design appealed to me because it took up less floor space in my room and because I could get two of them for the price of one bigger subwoofer I was considering. All the research I did showed dual subwoofers were better for bass response across my room, so that ultimately drove the decision too. The Primes were a similar process. I did lots of research and they fit within my price range. Plus, I liked the fact that SVS sold directly so I could get everything delivered at once and have the audition period for the entire system.

What kind of impact did adding SVS speakers and subwoofers have on your system’s performance?

Right off the bat, I started noticing details I had never heard from songs I’ve listened to many times before. It was also such a huge improvement to have a real center channel speaker. The Army did a number on my hearing so I wear two hearing aids, and being able to hear every word perfectly makes such a difference. I know my wife is happy I’m no longer bugging her by asking, “What did they say?” during movies.

There’s a couple funny moments as well. We were watching the show Elementary, and there was a scene where a sudden thump made my wife and I jump out of our seats and look at each other almost like we were checking to see if the other one was OK. The impact of the sound just caught us off guard and made us both laugh.

Another time, I invited my neighbor and his wife over to hear the new system. We were listening to music and I told her to turn it up as loud as she wanted, but she declined because she didn’t want to break it. I turned it up to about 4/5 as loud as it goes and her husband was smiling from ear to ear but she had a sort of a terrified look on her face. When I dialed it back down, he commented how difficult it was for an audio system to play that loud and remain clear without getting distorted and was really impressed. I ended up apologizing to her the next day, she laughed and said, no problem, her ears had stopped bleeding earlier.

What do you enjoy listening to?

The Indiana Public Library system has a huge collection of CDs, and I love listening to all different kinds of music, so I take advantage by reserving CDs for a few weeks and burning them to a 3TB hard drive I keep for my music collection. I really love digging for deep tracks and finding things that you just won’t hear on any radio station or streaming site. Many years ago, I listened to a station in Brownsburg, Indiana run by a former radio pirate, which provided me with the same kind of exposure to new music, so it keeps me feeling young.

Why is having a quality audio system important to you?

I’ve just always loved music and had it on in the background no matter what I was doing. It was important for me to get the best sound quality within my budget so I could really enjoy all the music I listen to and get a better feeling for it. It’s funny, when I hear music on a good system, it makes listening more enjoyable, but it also makes the songs easier to like, so I appreciate different styles that maybe I wouldn’t enjoy on a lesser system. I also like watching movies and TV with my wife, and she really gets into it now on a level she didn’t before because of how the sound draws us in.

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