Five Questions With...: Gary Yacoubian, President and Managing Partner, SVS
SVS is engaging new audiences to world-class immersive audio and home theater experiences. We do this by making speakers and subwoofers that deliver amazing performance especially for their price, and by engaging the marketplace with future-facing digital marketing and social media strategies that bring growth and a new energy to our categories.
What’s the best story you’ve heard from a customer recently?
The wife of an old friend reached out to me recently. She wanted to surprise her husband with a full-on home theater for Valentine’s Day. We worked together to plan the system and the timing of the install, and their au pair filmed the surprise unveiling. The shocked look on my old friend’s face in the video and their emotional reconnection with all their favorite music and movies in the following days and weeks reminded me of the joy of this job.
It’s been more than five years since you left MyerEmco AudioVideo. Do you miss being on the retail/integration side of the aisle? Why or why not?
Hard not to miss something that was such a huge part of who I am professionally. But much of what we do at SVS is brand-building via direct customer and market engagement, plus we are very approachable. SVS fans communicate with me literally every day, so I get to do much of what I loved to do at MyerEmco. I also love the network of friends and associates I was blessed with during my MyerEmco days. But a very trusted advisor once told me, “CEOs never look back.” I think he is right and I don’t.
What’s a little-known, unique fact about your speakers or subwoofers that integrators should know about?
Just to take this question in a slightly different direction, SVS subwoofers and speakers are unashamed of the fact that they can be seen!! When I was at MyerEmco, I always preached that every prospective client should at least be presented with the possibility of a single best immersive home theater experience in their home. I always feel sad when I see six-figure-plus proposals that exclusively feature in-ceiling speakers and soundbars. People fortunate enough to afford a system of that pedigree deserve at least one truly immersive experience and that’s where we come in. My belief is that people’s love of truly immersive experiences hasn’t subsided in the least, but we as an industry should be doing a better job of letting people know they can bring those experiences into the comfort of their homes. I believe it’s a win for the integrator, a huge satisfaction win for the client, and a win for brands like SVS that are passionate about bringing immersive experiences back to the forefront.
What music are you listening to lately?
How great to be in an industry where you get asked questions like that!! I love Beck’s Morning Phase, which we demoed extensively at CES, also Thom Yorke’s Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, Bob Dylan’s covers album Shadows in the Night, and Taylor Swift’s 1989 (yes, I said it). Silvia (my wife) and I see lots of live concerts, and are really looking forward in the next couple of weeks to Chick Corea/Herbie Hancock and Bob Dylan. But the one I’m most excited about will be in Brussels during a Europe business trip when I get to see System of a Down.