SVS Featured Home Theater System: Kent S. from Hot Springs, Arkansas

Kent S. from Hot Springs, AK

Bringing AV equipment outdoors always presents a risk with weather, wild animals, and other variables coming into play. In this SVS featured system, Kent from Arkansas built an amazing sheltered outdoor kitchen and lounge area and wasn’t satisfied with the status quo of portable Bluetooth speakers or a boombox. Instead, he went all out building an immersive 7.2 surround sound speaker system with dual SVS PB-1000 Pro subwoofers housed in acoustically transparent cabinets. Now, he can turn his back deck into a dance club or concert venue with bass so potent, it shakes the leaves.

The Setup:

  • L/R "height" speakers - Polk Atrium 4's
  • Onkyo DX-390 6-Disc CD changer
  • Yamaha RX-V683 AV Receiver

Questions And Answers:

What was the inspiration for installing a 7.2 speaker system in your outdoor kitchen/patio area?

The 7.2 system was more of an expansion from a 5.1 I started with. I found that outdoors, trying to fill the sitting/listening area of the patio/deck was quite difficult. The deck is approximately 35' wide by 28' deep. It’s basically an "L" shape with the SVS subs at the ends of the "L", enclosed behind speaker cloth in the cabinetry of the outdoor kitchen.

Initially there were several areas that were either too loud for guests or simply weren't loud enough. I "grew" the system to fill in the listening area "holes" without having to blast guests off the deck.

How did the dual PB-1000 Pro Subwoofers impact the performance compared to what you had previously?

The original system had a single BIC 12" sub. It just didn't have the guts to get the job done. I had cabinet space to add a second sub so I modified the space to accommodate it. They are under roof and hidden inside the cabinetry so are well protected from the elements. The added depth of the sound stage is awesome. They are the finishing touches on what is effectively a 7.2 surround system.

Did placing the subwoofers is cabinets effect the sound quality in any way?

I did not notice any negative impact from placing the subs in the cabinets. To the contrary, they fill the listening area in a way that the previous single sub just couldn't do. The cabinets with the subs are walled off from the balance of the cabinet work and each enclosure has 2 panels with speaker cloth covers to hide and protect the subs from the elements. Additionally, all the cabinet work is under roof for additional protection.

What was the biggest challenge when setting your system up?

The biggest challenge for the set up was wiring. I ran hundreds of feet of 12-gauge speaker cable under the deck and to the speaker locations. Even one "height" speaker is in a tree next to the deck with the speaker cable zip tied to the tree . The Yamaha A/V had a microphone to auto tune the system. It did a nice job getting the speaker levels set and I tweaked a couple of settings to my taste.

Any interesting/funny reactions from guests who’ve experienced the outdoor system?

The greatest comments are how the guests can be virtually anywhere on the deck and hear a solid sound field without being blasted. Guests can carry on conversations without shouting at one another yet still clearly hear the music. Plus, there's enough ummph in the system that when cranked up the whole deck is like a dance club. Plus, the stereo imaging/surround sound stage is amazing. When sound tracks with a significant bass note play (hip hop) or such as the country song "Fancy Like" by Walker Hays play, the dual SVS PB-1000 Pro subs will have the leaves on the trees vibrating. It's awesome. I personally love to sit in the sweet spot and listen to Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the stereo imaging is wonderful.

What kind of content do you like to enjoy in this outdoor area?

Generally, I listen to classic rock, late 60's through the 80's. We mix it up with some new country and pop. Plus, the wife loves how Bruno Mars and Michael Buble' sound outside with a glass of wine, by the fire pit, watching the moon.

What do you neighbors think of it?

So far the neighbor’s reaction has been favorable. Generally, they want to come over and participate. Plus, since the speakers all face the listening area, none of them have to play extremely loud to entertain the guests on the deck, and thus the neighbors aren't annoyed.

Why is having a high-performance audio system important to you?

In college, my roommate had a giant Nikko rack system pushing Klipsch Cornwalls. I always loved the sound of a good system and never really had the space/place to have one. Now with a large deck, I can go outside and enjoy while others in the house can carry on and not be disturbed.

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

I wasn't familiar with SVS until I started researching subs for my system. Their reviews are outstanding. I would have gone with the SVS PB-2000's but I just didn't have the cabinet space.

I haven't regretted my decision. If I ever get to build my retirement home, it with have a theater room with SVS equipment in it.

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Oct 25, 2021