SVS Featured Home Theater: Colin from Aberdeen, MD

Colin from Aberdeen, MD

When you have six kids, going out to the movies costs a small fortune. Such is the case with Colin from Maryland who recently turned a spare room into a dedicated theater so he could recreate the experience at home. His goal was to create a space where everyone in the room could hear every word of dialogue clearly and enjoy the full sonic impact of the most demanding action movie content.

His research led him to SVS where he went with five Ultra Series speakers for the bed layer channels and a pair of the 3000 In-Wall Subwoofers to provide visceral bass without taking up floorspace. Now, his family can enjoy the full experience of any Marvel or Disney movie and the biggest challenge is finding something they all agree on.

The Setup:

  • Sony XW5000ES Native 4K HDR Laser projector
  • Sony AZ5000ES receiver
  • LG UBK80 UHD disc player
  • AppleTV 4k

Questions And Answers:

When/why did you first start getting into high performance audio and home theater?

As soon as my wife and I bought our first house, I got a projector and little Pioneer 6.1 surround sound setup. I had a friend whose dad had built a home theater room in his basement (complete with laserdisc collection), so both of us created our own as our budgets permitted. I'm the kind of person that would rather wait to buy something I really like and hold onto it for a long time than get the newest cheap option. When we moved into a new home 5 years ago, I used it as an opportunity to gradually upgrade our setup, and more recently to build out a dedicated media room.

What was the impact of adding the SVS Ultra speaker system vs. what you had previously?

My previous system had great subwoofers, but the center and surround channels really held back the experience. Filling a room with clean, powerful bass is amazing, but if the remaining speakers lack clean, powerful midrange and highs, it's just so disappointing. I had heard SVS surround sound in person, but was still so impressed as soon as I set it up in my home. Also, my previous center channel was really bad at off-axis response whereas the SVS center channel is known for having amazingly good off-axis response. That's a big deal with such a wide viewing area.

Why is a subwoofer important for home theater, and what have been your impressions of the 3000 In-Wall?

Nothing adds more suspense or excitement to a movie scene than the powerful low end that comes from a quality subwoofer. As I mentioned, the one part of my existing setup that I was already really happy with was my two subwoofers. So I was pretty skeptical that in-wall subwoofers could even come close. But they absolutely hold their own, provide far more power then I was expecting, and the accompanying app is genius.

My wife is also a huge fan because they take up no floor space. It's not a huge home theater room, and she loves that there aren't two giant subwoofers taking up room. (Though I did catch her plugging her ears once when the subwoofers were really firing during an intense scene in a movie).

What was the greatest challenge when setting up your room and how did you overcome it?

Definitely treating the room. I'm sure this is a common problem, but the theater room is nearly a square (15'x19'). This causes some bad resonant frequencies. I'm a bit of a DIY guy (I've built over a dozen DIY speakers and some furniture), so I took it upon myself to research sound treatment and treat the room. As you can see, I put sound panels at appropriate reflection points and bought a couple of cool acoustic panel movie posters. Not pictured are 4 large bass traps I built to help absorb resonant low end frequencies. Also, the 3 band parametric EQ for the subwoofers helped me correct a few highs and lows the room produced.

With 6 kids, how do you ever decide on which movie to watch with the family!?

This can definitely be a source of conflict among the kids! Friday night is movie night and there can be lengthy deliberations. Fortunately, everyone seems to love Marvel and Star Wars content, which there is an endless supply of. Also, now that we have the dedicated theater room, there are times that we split up so the younger kids can watch the latest Disney movie while the teens and I watch an action movie. Fortunately, I've got great subwoofers in two rooms now!

What are some of your favorite family movies where the sound is especially exciting?

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has amazing Dolby Atmos surround sound. Anything Marvel, honestly. Also, the new Jumanji movies are big hits in my home and they also sound great.

Why is having an immersive home theater important to you?

First off, it's a ton of fun. Personally, I'd rather have an amazing home theater than an expensive car. Secondly, it truly brings you deeper into the movie. There's the idea of the "suspension of disbelief," where you let yourself be brought into the fictional world of a movie. A movie is far more gripping, suspenseful, and emotionally powerful with a large screen and immersive sound. Also, when we or our kids invite friends over for a movie, the home theater experience blows them away.

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Nov 27, 2023