Some of you may remember that a few months back, I offered a coworker to not only select quality home theater equipment, but to also install it all, and provide both audio and video calibration.

Well, I was never taken up on the offer, and today I visited his house over lunch while the installers were finishing up.

I really wish that I could tell him how screwed over he got, but at this point, the money is paid and the dead is done. No sense in making him feel bad since he is pretty excited about it.

However, I felt the need to come here and gripe of course. At least (most of) you will understand.

He got a kick butt Sony projector, but paid MSRP for it (ouch).

He received crappy in-ceiling "whole house audio" level speakers for his fronts and 4 surround channels (the surrounds are all on the ceiling and the speakers aren't tilt-able even). YUCK!

He got a 1 year old model Integra (Onkyo's "installer" brand) receiver that doesn't even have any built in Audyssey calibration, and has very few internet audio options which brings me to....

They added a $900 package to get the overprices, 1 year old model Integra to have better internet connectivity. Ouch again.

They also put in a nice, but super pricey sub. A Monitor RSW-12 that shows up on their web site as a "past product". WTH? Not even a current product. And he paid $1500 for it. Can I shoot them yet?!

So here we are, and I am biting my tongue because I don't want my coworker to feel bad, but I really want to lay it on to the installer that is saying how awesome everything is.

So let me finish with this. He has The Matrix DVD (not blu-ray but fine, he is just testing) in and is using that movie to "calibrate" everything. No test tones, no individual speaker setup, just listening to a movie.

He then hooks up the sub, and cranks it. He says, "I've only got it at 3/4 of the power. Well, first off, that is pretty damn 'hot' for a sub. I mean, my SVS runs somewhere between 1/4-1/8 of the total gain available, and it is running a few dB hotter than true calibrated level for my room. The Monitor sub sounded terrible and way too overpowering during the scene in The Matrix where the go into the building with all of the guns and set off the metal detectors. The installer was like, "Yeah, that sounds great. You can feel the bass." I couldn't hold back, I had to speak up and say, that is way too much bass, it is overpowering the front channels and sounds boomy, it should be no more than 50% (trying to not totally piss people off). He turned it down to about 40% and the coworker said, "yeah, that sounds better. Lots of bass, but not too much."

Nice calibration. Crank things up to ridiculous levels because the average person thinks that louder equals better.

As I was leaving, I said, let me know when you get all settled in and we will tune it to your liking. I am not going to do a full calibration of anything, but I will tweak things a little more so that they sound good at least.

But my gosh, these people are making a buttload of money selling overpriced, under-featured components and not even attempting to make it sound right. If I could make a lot of money, not need to know anything, but pretend and lie to make people think that I am "all that", I'd get into the home theater installation industry. Either that or I'd become a politician.
M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers