John Sciacca

Technical Writer, Writer

I am the John that writes for Sound & Vision and Residential Systems magazines. I am also the John of www.johnsciacca.com blogging and @SciaccaTweets tweeting. I live in South Carolina with my wife and two daughters. I used to be a golf professional. Now I drink craftbeer and write about it when I'm not working at Custom Theater and Audio or doing all the other stuff I do.

I grew up in the Bay Area of Northern California. After high school, I took a job at a Big Box audio/video retailer called The Goodguys! This was my first brush with total electronics immersion, and it clearly left its mark. I moved to North Carolina for a few years where I began a career as a club golf professional. Missing the city life, I moved back to California where I continued in the golf business at a private club called Orinda Country Club. During this time, my first story was published; a piece on working with the Secret Service to host the President (Bill Clinton) for a round of golf.

Shortly after this, I had my first encounter with a home theater system, a relatively inexpensive JBL Movies & Music system. I watched Speed on Laser Disc at a friend's house, and from the opening credits, I was hooked. I remember being totally entranced by the rattle and clang of elevator cables happening behind me, and the swirl of sounds that put you right into the action. Following the movie, I knew that I had to have a surround system of my own. This led down a path of much study and research, which eventually convinced me that audio/video was an industry I wanted to be in.

This all happened when Dolby Digital (then known as AC-3) was just being introduced. A member of the Country Club gave me an old laser disc player which I modded to output the AC-3 bitstream to a Yamaha Dolby Digital decoder that I purchased. I then rented every Dolby Digital Laser Disc that I could get my hands on, and knew that discrete 5.1 surround was the future of home entertainment.

Since no one was really talking about the technology, I pitched 5.1 Laser Disc reviews to an editor at Home Theater Magazine, Rob Sabin. Rob liked my writing sample -- a review of the best audio scenes from Heat -- and he let me do a couple of feature stories for a short lived publication called Audio/Video Shopper.

After being married for 3 years, my wife and I moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 1998 where I started working for Custom Theater and Audio, a custom installation firm I located on CEDIA's Website. I'm still at CTA where I design and install A/V and automation systems. Around the same time, Rob Sabin moved over to Sound & Vision Magazine, where he recommended me to editor, Bob Ankosko. Bob liked that I was "in the industry" and thought that a series of articles from an installer's point of view would be unique. That led to my monthly "The Custom Installer" column which is still running. Since then I have branched out and now do a considerable amount of reviewing and blogging for Residential Systems.
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Blog Post, Buyers Guide, Ad/Promotional Copy, Guide
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Publications

Published Content

27
Marantz AV8802a Review
residentialsystems.com
Marantz AV8802a Review
December, 30 2015
PSB Alpha VS21 VisionSound and SubSeries 150 Review
residentialsystems.com
PSB Alpha VS21 VisionSound and SubSeries 150 Review
June, 1 2015
PRIMA Cinema Movie Player Second Look
residentialsystems.com
PRIMA Cinema Movie Player Second Look
August, 28 2015
How to Tame a Media Room Pt. 3
rayvaroundtable.comArticle
How to Tame a Media Room Pt. 3
December, 5 2017
Kaleidescape’s Interface Gets Even Better
rayvaroundtable.comBlog Post
Kaleidescape’s Interface Gets Even Better
February, 21 2018
Our Favorite Underrated Stuff (Pt. 4)
rayvaroundtable.comBlog Post
Our Favorite Underrated Stuff (Pt. 4)

A recap of some underrated films from the early '90s.

March, 2 2018
5 easy DIY projects to automate your house on the cheap
digitaltrends.comArticle
5 easy DIY projects to automate your house on the cheap
July, 14 2013
When a bedsheet won’t do: The ultimate guide to projector screens
digitaltrends.comArticle
When a bedsheet won’t do: The ultimate guide to projector screens
June, 21 2013
Test Report: Dish Network Hopper and Joey Multiroom DVR Package
soundandvision.comArticle
Test Report: Dish Network Hopper and Joey Multiroom DVR Package
August, 23 2012
Review: PS Audio PerfectWave System
soundandvision.comArticle
Review: PS Audio PerfectWave System
October, 19 2011
Review: Meridian Sooloos Media Core 200 and DSP3200
soundandvision.comArticle
Review: Meridian Sooloos Media Core 200 and DSP3200
August, 16 2011
Sooloos music storage and server system
soundandvision.comArticle
Sooloos music storage and server system
February, 25 2009
Goose Island – 2013 Bourbon County Brand Stout (Beer Club)
sciaccadrinks.blogspot.comArticle
Goose Island – 2013 Bourbon County Brand Stout (Beer Club)
Founders Brewing – The Amazing Kosmicky’s Highly Acclaimed KBS
sciaccadrinks.blogspot.comArticle
Founders Brewing – The Amazing Kosmicky’s Highly Acclaimed KBS
Terminator: Genisys Dolby Atmos Blu-ray Review
residentialsystems.comArticle
Terminator: Genisys Dolby Atmos Blu-ray Review
November, 10 2015
CES 2016 Videodrome: 4K, 8K, UHD Blu-ray, HDR and OLED
residentialsystems.comArticle
CES 2016 Videodrome: 4K, 8K, UHD Blu-ray, HDR and OLED
January, 11 2016
D-BOX Technologies Motion Platform and Motion Controller
residentialsystems.comArticle
D-BOX Technologies Motion Platform and Motion Controller
MartinLogan Motion Vision Soundbar
residentialsystems.comArticle
MartinLogan Motion Vision Soundbar
December, 5 2012
Marantz AV8801 Pre-Amp/MM8077 Amplifier
residentialsystems.comArticle
Marantz AV8801 Pre-Amp/MM8077 Amplifier
January, 8 2013
Review: Kaleidescape's Alto Movie Server
residentialsystems.comArticle
Review: Kaleidescape's Alto Movie Server
CT-4+ Multi-Room Music Server
residentialsystems.comArticle
CT-4+ Multi-Room Music Server
Definitive Technology Symphony 1 Headphones Review
residentialsystems.comArticle
Definitive Technology Symphony 1 Headphones Review
June, 28 2015
Monitor Audio Controlled Performance Series Speakers
residentialsystems.comArticle
Monitor Audio Controlled Performance Series Speakers
August, 10 2015
Origin Acoustics Director and Seasons Collection Speakers Review
residentialsystems.comArticle
Origin Acoustics Director and Seasons Collection Speakers Review
October, 8 2015
DISH Network Hopper Whole-House DVR System Review
residentialsystems.comArticle
DISH Network Hopper Whole-House DVR System Review
October, 28 2015
Bluesound Generation 2 Streaming Music System Review
residentialsystems.comArticle
Bluesound Generation 2 Streaming Music System Review
November, 30 2015
Paradigm Premium Wireless Music System Review
residentialsystems.comArticle
Paradigm Premium Wireless Music System Review
January, 27 2016
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