SVS Featured Home Theater System: Brian K. from Nashua, NH

Brian K. from Nashua, NH

Brian K’s story with SVS begins over 20 years ago with a pair of the original cylinder subwoofers shaking his neighbor’s crib across the street and has progressed to a fear-inducing, quadruple SB-4000 subwoofer system. For him, there is no better remedy for the stresses of work than a glass of wine and an immersive horror movie night at home with the wife.

After going from duals to triple SB-4000 subwoofers, Brian knew four was the ultimate experience. Despite being tight on funds, he took the leap and has never looked back, discovering earthquake levels of bass that left him awestruck while, “Rattling my bones from the inside.” Even better, Brian received a $300 refund to his credit card as part of the 60 Day Price Protection with Automatic Refunds, after an SVS outlet promotion dropped the prices on SB-4000s. With serious attention to details and a system filled with premium gear, Brian now has $300 to put towards his next home theater upgrade. Quintuple subwoofers anyone?

The Setup:

  • 4x SVS SB-4000 X Subwoofers
  • Panasonic DP-UB820 - Ultra HD Bluray player
  • Rotel RSP-1582 - Preamp/Processor
  • SimAudio Moon Titan HT200 - 5 channel power amp (quite possibly my proudest piece)
  • Pioneer PD-F908 101 disc cd carousel (I'm old school man)
  • Furman Elite 20PFI - power conditioner
  • Dynaudio Evoke 50's - front speakers
  • Dynaudio Evoke 25C - center speaker
  • Dynaudio Evoke 10's – rear surrounds
  • Transparent Plus speaker cable for my front 3 speakers
  • Transparent Plus XL interconnects between the Rotel and Simaudio amp
  • Voodoo Cable Vision Digital power cord for the Rotel
  • Voodoo Cable Black Magic 20-amp power cord connecting the Furman Elite to a dedicated 20 amp line
  • Shunyata Delta 20-amp power cord for the Simaudio Titan

Questions And Answers:

When and why did you first start getting into high-performance audio?

I got my first real stereo system when I was around 11 years old (think it was Technic electronics but it was the Advent speakers that rocked, this was in 1980-81). It was a Christmas gift from my parents. I have always loved music and literally had it playing every minute I was home. So I was pretty spoiled and started off with decent gear. For me music has always been an important part of my life, if I was home there would be music playing. Rush, Yes, Iron Maiden (OH YEAH!), AC/DC, Triumps, and U2 is what I grew up listening to. And now when I listen to that same music from my past I am back as a teen again. Closest thing we have to time travel is music. It can literally transport you back in time. Music goes beyond entertainment and enjoyment. It has the power to bring us back to a moment and a period of time from our past.

How did you first hear about SVS?

Early days of Audioreview.com. When SVS hit the map you guys were all the rage! It was at this point (now a married 30 year old in my first house), I discovered the world beyond Bose, LOL. But Home Theater was a big thing and I LOVE movies. So my journey to get the ultimate system for both music and movies began.

What was the impact of adding SVS subwoofers to your system?

My subwoofer journey started with Definitive Technology. I had dual PF15TL+ Def Tech subs. Whilst they were amazing. I couldn't ignore all the rage about SVS as you guys were all over the Forums. So I rolled the dice and purchased dual SVS 20-39 CS with Samson Amp subs (back then it was all cylinders). Got them, hooked em’ up and kept waiting for that "slam". But it never came. I was so disappointed.

Talked with my pals on Audioreview and they couldn't understand my disappointment. I actually called and spoke with Tom Vodhanel one of the original owners of SVS. He went through a few things (such as turning gains on the Samson amp to full, connections, etc) I had everything right I just couldn't understand why I wasn't getting blown out of the room. Then all of a sudden one day it was like a window opened and everything hit me (literally) as I was watching the movie Tombstone.

What was happening was I always made the mistake of thinking that thumping booming was what it was all about. It isn't. Real true bass isn't like that. Most subs bottom out and boom. We mistake that for powerful bass. It isn't. But you don't know this until you hear true deep, seismic low end. I'd never experienced what bass is supposed to sound (feel) like. So there wasn't anything wrong with the subs, it was me. And once I adjusted, I was truly awestruck.

I don't know how else to describe it. What's hilarious is when I posted my experience on Audioreview I got a TON of responses from SVS owners who went through the EXACT same thing! So many people said they laughed when they read my story as they could "so relate". Most subs are like volcanoes they're loud and in your face. I would describe SVS as more like an earthquake. You don't see and hear it, you truly feel it, it literally rattles your bones from the inside. It wasn't the SVS subs that needed adjustment, it was me, LOL. As my speakers took my listening experience to perfection so did SVS take me to that same place for music and movies.

Very funny and true story, one night I had a few friends over. We were having a few beers and I was spinning AC/DC's "Stiff Upper Lip" DVD. My phone rings and it's my neighbor ACROSS the street. No not next door literally on the other side of the street. We were friendly with them and she says, "Brian my baby's crib is literally vibrating". I said "Oh my God I'm so sorry I didn't realize it was that loud I'll turn it down.” She replies, "No it's not that I can hear it but whatever the hell you have over there is making my floors rattle.” That was 20 years ago and I still shake my head and laugh about that every time I tell this story.

Four subwoofers is not for the faint of heart, what lead to that decision?

Unfortunately, I got divorced in 2004 and had to dismantle and sell off my old system (and my house) including my SV 20-39CS'. Very sad time for me. So for the next 15 years I was condo living. I had a modest system consisting of Paradigm Monitor speakers (couldn't afford Dynaudio at that time) with a single SVS PB-2000 sub. But in a condo you just can't get the full experience. In 2019 I sold my condo and bought my house. So I immediately ordered dual SVS SB-4000's.

Don't get me wrong dual SB4000's provided tremendous thunder, but here I am in my 50's now and with the world having gone completely insane and all the shutdowns we're all stuck in our homes so a few months ago I purchased # 3 from your Outlet. I love music and movies, however I had never gone beyond dual subs. I read an article about 4 subs being the ultimate. When I upgraded my Outlaw 976 preamp for the Rotel I now had the option to go with 4 as the Outlaw only had 1 sub out whereas the Rotel has 2. So why the hell not? You live once! Plus, my theater room while quite large 20x15, it's sort of a bass vacuum. So I bought a 3rd and while waiting for the funds to add the 4th. Finally, I saw the SB4000 in your Outlet and jumped!

Any specific reason why you choose sealed over ported?

As much as my wife (since remarried) and I LOVE movies, for me when I sit down for a listening session with music I just find the sealed to be a better match with my speakers. They seem just a smidgeon quicker and with the Dynaudio's that matters. Plus, the size factor. The ported are almost double the size and with 4 as big as my room is 4 PB's would take up too much space.

What was your experience with he SVS 60 Day Price Match with automatic refunds?

Let me rewind a bit. So I get an email that I have a $300 refund from SVS on my credit card. I immediately thought “scam” don’t click on anything and just delete. But then I see it has the last 4 digits of my credit card. Now I’m nervous now I feel like I have to investigate. So I click the links and follow the trail and I see it seems like a legit refund. I went from nervous to excited in that moment. But how/why would I get a refund on a unit I bought back in January????

I went to your website and noticed you were having a Presidents Day blowout and saw the prices and thought ‘shit, I should have f’n waited’ as I truly had been agonizing over this for many months. I saw the SB4000’s at the $1099 price sometime before Christmas and I hesitated and they were gone…I was kicking myself as I already had 3 of them but needed that 4th for complete zone coverage, LOL😊! So totally overextending my funds I caught a few SB’s in the Outlet in January (boy they go quick) and jumped. Honestly, I really had no business doing that as I really didn’t have the finances. But I did it….So now to today and I live chat Scott he connects the dots that I was getting the refund due to your blowout and that I was within your policy window from my purchase in January. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Who/what company does this and does it automatically without any prompting? I honestly never ever would have known you even offered this so I would have just been kicking myself for not waiting…

What was the greatest challenge in setting up your system?

Far and away logistics! My 2 SB4000's in the rear corners were a nightmare. I had to run the cables underground (even outside for one of them which I had to hire pro's for) and through walls. My wife and I just did this for SB #4. That one was just under and then through interior walls. It sucked but we did it! The other thing is it's truly spaghettiville behind my component rack and tv and there's just NO ROOM. So every time I tweak something I have to turn into a contortionist to make the connections. Though I only have 1 more to go as I ordered a Schiite Audio Modius DAC. I'm going to use that and then the Pioneer CD player as just a transport.

What are some of your favorite “subwoofer moments” from movies, music, TV etc?

My greatest "subwoofer moment" for music is by far R.L. Burnside "Rollin Tumblin (Remix)". I don't know what the hell kind of instrument is used in this song but it literally will almost make you throw up when reproduced through the SVS'. The first time I heard this song through my SVS' my eyes literally watered, not from amazement but from fear. Every time I want to "show off" my system I play this song. It's truly frightening. I always follow that up with the late great Professor Neil Peart's drum solo in "YYZ" from Rush's "Exit Stage Left" CD.

Also AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" is another one. For movies the scene from "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson when his son Gabriel returns home for the first time after leaving to fight in the war. There are 2 cannon shots during this scene that literally make things fall from the shelf in my upstairs bedroom which is right above my theater room. "Cloverfield" is another of my faves. Several scenes I have to jump up and turn the volume of the subs down as I'm always afraid my windows may shatter (I'm sincerely not even exaggerating). "War of The Worlds" with Tom Cruise when the alien ship first comes up from underground.

Why is having a great home theater important to you?

Because I absolutely love music and movies. My wife and I just love nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine on Friday and Saturday nights and watch a great horror flick! We are home body's and for both of us it's a true escape from the craziness that we now live in. I have a very stressful job and nothing allows me to relax and "get away from everything" like music and movies. Especially now with the lockdowns and everything else. If you're going to be stuck at home, there is truly nothing to get you through like a great movie or some smooth jazz. I don't have to go to the movies or concerts anymore, they come to me:). And honestly even without lockdowns there is nowhere else I'd rather be than at home surrounded by the most incredible home theater system I've ever seen/heard (in my opinion of course, but others have backed me up on this, LOL)

Anything else you’d like to share with the SVS community?

Although I have spent more money than I have any business spending, as my mom said, "You work so hard and you love your music and movies so you deserve it. And I've never seen anyone enjoy those things like you and Paula (my wife). And you certainly have gotten your money's worth".

I'm also a strong believer in your only as strong as your weakest link which is why I have gone above and beyond especially with my cabling. I don't believe I have any weak links. From Shunyata to Voodoo to Transparent Plus I have ensured that there is nothing lost in the signal anywhere throughout my entire system. If you enjoy movies and music like I do every dollar you spend is an investment in your overall happiness. Speakers, amplification, cabling are all subjective. However, when it comes to the low end, its' not subjective at all. There is nothing like SVS subwoofers. Beyond making the world’s best subwoofers what sets SVS apart is their customer service! I have been an SVS customer for over 20 years no, since the beginning actually and I have never seen such a commitment from any company, in ANY industry, like SVS.

In today’s world, these kinds of things stand out and really are sincerely appreciated. SVS brings a smile to my face every day when I fire up my system, and your generosity today made my smile even wider😊! You guys are amazing and that’s why in each of the 4 corners of my room with the lights out there is a beautiful blue LIGHT flashing “SVS SB4000”!

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May 20, 2021