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.
Categories
Content Types
Blog Post, Buyers Guide, Ad/Promotional Copy, Guide
More Information
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Publications
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Published Content

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

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

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