Featured Home Theater System: Francis in Lenexa, KS
Francis in Lenexa, KS
After sampling the sound of a wide range of big name speakers, Francis from Lenexa, KS couldn’t help being drawn back to the SVS Ultra line because of all the great things he was reading. A year in the making, he finished his basement home theater off with a 3.1 Ultra Bookshelf and Center channel speaker system with an SB13-Ultra Subwoofer handling the low end. Now, he finds himself cranking up the volume to hear more details because everything sounds so “clean and clear.”
- Emotiva Amp
- PS3 Slim
- XBOX ONE S
- Monster speaker wires/cable
- Monster power bar/surge protector
Questions And Answers:
How did you first hear about SVS and how did you come to choose the Ultra speakers and subwoofer?
I first heard about SVS through the internet and AVS forums. I bought a new house in November 2015 and wanted to use the family room in the basement for a home theater. I had been doing some research for 8 months about home theater systems and what people recommended. I went out to big box stores locally to demo some of the lines they carry like Klipsch, B&W, Martin Logan, Def Tech, etc. I could not find SVS speakers anywhere locally to demo. I did find a big box store that only carried the SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 system, it sounded great but I continued to read awesome things about the SVS Ultra series speakers and did not want to settle on anything else.
I decided to dive in and bought the SVS Ultra series without demo’ing. I put together piece by piece at a time. For a while, my speakers and subwoofer were just sitting in the basement packaged up while I wait to buy my other components such as TV/receiver. I know SVS has a 45-day demo return policy with free shipping both ways and I wasn't worried that my 45 days had passed without even listening to them because I knew that these speakers would not be a disappointment. So about 1 year after I bought my house, during week of Black Friday 2016, I finally got everything I needed to set up my home theater system for the basement. I got a SONY XBR 4K LED TV from Crutchfield. I set everything up for the first time. It sounded amazing. For just having a 3.1 set up, they are very loud, clean, and extremely clear. I did not want surrounds because it would have been difficult to fish wires through the basement ceilings due to how the ceiling joist are laid and that my basement was already finished when I bought it. In my personal opinion, my 3.1 set up is more than enough for my basement.
What was the impact of adding the SVS speakers and subwoofer, compared to your previous audio system?
It's been a while since I had a home theater system. I remember it was like maybe 10 years ago, I had a Sony home theater in a box then sold it to upgrade to a JBL 5.1 system with a very inexpensive Yamaha receiver but then I moved to an apartment so I sold everything. I always wanted a home theater system so I can enjoy movies. My wife and I are home bodies, we prefer to stay home and watch movies than going out to clubs or something. Even when we were younger, we just like being at home in our comfort zone and watch movies. Now we have a daughter, she enjoys her cartoons on Netflix and playing kid games on her iPad. I also bought a new XBOX ONE S, and my daughter wants to learn how to play some easy kid games. It's been only 5 days as I'm doing this interview with SVS that I got my home theater system put together but the basement is now our hang out place for my family. The SVS system has so much more impact compared to my other systems I had 10 years ago. Any speakers can be loud but can also get annoying so you have to turn down the volume. The SVS speakers sound quality is clean, clear, and so precise that you actually want to turn up the volume instead to hear more details. Who needs to go to an IMAX theater when you got one in the basement right? :-)
Any specific moments where the subwoofer really left an impression?
As I mentioned in the above, I've only had my system set up now for 5 days and watched 2 movies on Blu-ray, I may not have completely tweaked my system settings yet, but so far, I'm amazed by the speakers. I love the SB13-Ultra subwoofer. Everything is so clean and clear. I'm not done testing everything yet so I will need more time to play more of my movie collections. I need more time to play with the settings too. I have no doubt of what the SB13-Ultra can do.
Did you have to overcome any challenges during set-up? Did our customer support help?
Some of the challenges were setting up crossovers on the receiver. I did call SVS for tech support, you guys are great, the best customer service hands down. Some places you call and feel like you're bugging them, but SVS does not make you feel like that at all. Other challenges were I consider myself very OCD, so just setting up the system, running wires, making sure everything is align, centered, etc. was driving me nuts. It was very time consuming because of my OCD. :-)
What inspired you to mix the white and piano black gloss finishes with your speakers and subwoofer?
When I first googled SVS on the internet, I saw the white gloss bookshelf and that was it, it caught my attention. I wanted a different look to my system. I want my speakers to stand out. I love the white glossy clean look. Another reason why it took so long for me to put my system together was because I specifically wanted the white ones and they were very hard to come by in the SVS outlet section. I see black gloss or oak all the time, I did not want to settle for the black gloss ones so I waited and waited for the white gloss ones to appear. I was lucky enough that it was approaching Labor Day holiday so SVS had their outlets marked down even lower so when I saw the 2 white gloss Ultra bookshelf speakers on outlet, I did not waste any time buying them. I know these bookshelf go fast no matter what color. I do wish SVS would make a white gloss Ultra center and white gloss SB-13 Ultra sub. I know they come in white with the SB-1000 but I wanted the SB-13 Ultra. Some people would say that the white speakers would be a distraction when watching movies. Honestly, I've watched Captain America Civil War and the new Legend of Tarzan movie on Blu-ray, I totally forgot the speakers were there and that they were white. No distraction whatsoever. I even had my LED lights turned on in the background while watching the movies and again, I totally forgot the lights were there or even on. I figured with the LED lights flashing, it would have been more of a distraction, but nope, it didn't bother me at all. I was glued to the TV instead. I currently really like my set up. It has a different look to it with the black/white combination. Not only does the speakers sound amazing, I think they look cool too with the black/white contrast.
Anything else you’d like share with the SVS community?
I absolutely love my system. I'd recommend SVS to anyone and everyone if they ask me. Since I'm an SVS system owner, people would probably say I might be bias but here's a non-bias example: while I was shopping to put my system together piece by piece, I was at a big box store Nebraska Furniture Mart, I bought the Marantz SR6010 receiver and was pushing my cart around. A BOSE speaker representative approached me and complimented me on my receiver selection and was trying to sell me a BOSE speaker system. I told him in my personal opinion I think BOSE is overrated. He laughed and asked me what speakers do I have, I pointed to my SVS t-shirt I was wearing and told the BOSE rep that it's the Ultra series. The BOSE rep then told me that I made a great choice in wanting a high quality system and sound and that BOSE can't hold a candle to my system. :-)
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