This entry refers to a departed business that has closed or left town. All information here is for historical reference only.


(residential - please call for an appointment)
10 am - 8 pm 7 days
(530) 400-8869
Crescendo Home Theater
Website, without Flash intro
Daniel Karen
[email protected]
January 2005
Payment Methods
VISA, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover, PayPal, Check, or Cash

A well-designed and well-planned home theater will add emotional and visceral impact to your movie and television experience. Enjoy the best of sight and sound, without waiting in line, sitting in uncomfortable seats, and fighting others for the popcorn. Make the theater experience a truly enjoyable one, on YOUR schedule.

We offer design, component selection, trouble-shooting, and installation advice and services – for any budget and system. We have experience with a wide variety of systems, from high-end stereo systems (including LPs) to dedicated home theaters, to integrated, multi-room, centralized whole-house systems, with automated security, lighting, HVAC, irrigation, pool/spa, video surveillance, whole-house networking, and remote access. No system is too small or too large.

Check out the MerchantCircle ad for a 10% discount on new system installations.


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2008-10-06 10:03:38   Crescendo really knows what they're doing. They did a high-quality job of evaluating, recommending, and installing a system for me, and their depth of knowledge is impressive. —LocalTechnologist

2008-10-07 06:51:31   This companies website is horribly inaccessible because of its use of flash at the beginning in the file intro.swf. It is so bad that I cannot even get to the first page and so the entire website is broken. Flash splash pages are annoying enough when they work, but at least they often give the choice of viewing a non-flash version of the site. If you give this company any money they will probably give you a lot of useless fancy stuff just like their website. You will do much better at Thrift Stores, Garage Sales, ebay, and Fry's Electronics. —NickSchmalenberger

  • 2008-10-07 13:26:00   It is unfortunate that Nick Schmalenberger based his opinion of our company solely on our website, which is still under development - and states so after you skip the flash intro, which is an option (apparently Nick missed that). Nick never contacted us for information, and to the best of our knowledge, he did not speak with any of our clients for a post-installation reference. —djkaren
    • 2008-10-07 14:16:24   Dan, I went your homepage out of curiosity, and it spent a significant amount of time loading an intro, and then the only option available is to 'Play Intro'. I did not go any further, but I didn't see any way to skip it as you suggest. Just an FYI. —MattCzarnowski
      • 2008-10-07 15:17:56   Thanks for the review, Matt. I will look into this ASAP. —djkaren
    • 2008-10-07 17:31:02   FYI - If you go to the web site and click on PLAY INTRO, a "skip intro" option appears in the flash frame at the bottom left corner. Please keep in mind the website is extremely simple (1 text page). My time is typically spent working with clients and doing the installations, not tweaking the web page. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions... -Daniel —djkaren
  • 2008-10-07 18:00:01   If my computer cannot play flash then I cannot skip a flash intro after loading it. I certainly did miss it, and your website certainly sucks. Also, and dumpsters are other nice places for getting a home theater setup. —NickSchmalenberger
    • 2008-10-07 18:00:21   Yes, the "skip intro" does appear, but only after 30 seconds or so of flash loading. I appreciate that you spend time with clients and all, but please keep in mind that *lots* of highly computer literate people *hate* waiting for flash to load. And after it loaded, there wasn't a lot of content for non-flash users. —JimStewart

2008-10-08 02:23:21   It would be nice if you put some pictures of systems you have built in several different price ranges with lists of components and comments about them on your site, and on here also. You could even take nice big pictures of individual components and put them on here or flickr with a free license for a public resource. A simple page with pictures and text will be informative and accessible on pretty much any browser and computer. Generally, I think you should describe the features instead of how they will supposedly make the customer feel because most people already have experience with movie theaters, television, and a/v equipment at school and they know what to expect. Saying that the system you build will make them feel exceptionally good just comes off like hype. Also, when you white wash some negative comments about your business be sure to also remove the ----- that is added with each comment, otherwise people will notice. —NickSchmalenberger

2008-12-11 09:43:23   I don't know why this guy Nick has it out for Crescendo so badly. Just to give some perspective, I cover home theater installation and consumer electronics as a journalist. That's how I make my living. There are typically four choices you can make when planning a home theater or home automation installation:

1. DIY. As a do-it-yourselfer, you can visit the aforementioned Garage Sales and Craigslist options, etc. Or you can go to an electronics retailer like Best Buy or Frys and pick up what you need and install it yourself. This is usually done after hours, if not days, of research online. And you should do your research if you decide to go this route.

2. Geek Squad, etc. Electronics retailers like Best Buy will offer to install the systems for you for an additional fee. In my experience, these services have bar none the worst reputation for service and talent when evaluating and installing a home system. I've seen DIYers do much better jobs than these stores. Frys is an exception. They specialize in this stuff and typically perform the job very well.

3. Independent Home Automation Specialist/Custom Integrator (pejoratively referred to as a "trunk slammer"). That's where Crescendo falls in. Mr. Karen will come to your home himself, evaluate your needs, discuss what your options are and custom tailor an installation to your home and your lifestyle. I've actually met Mr. Karen before because I wanted to meet essentially the only guy in Davis that does this for a living. After our conversation, I can tell you he is incredibly knowledgeable and has performed highly sophisticated jobs that require experience, insight and thorough attention to detail. In short, he's a consummate professional. He also uses products and parts that typically do the same things the brand name guys do, but but for far less cost to the consumer. He'll also be at your house within minutes should something go wrong.

4. Large Home Theater/Automation Dealer/Retailer. These are companies that have nice showrooms with lifestyle vignettes and numerous designers and installers with vast experience in this business. They essentially have a bunch of Crescendo's working for them. This is absolutely the best option you could ever choose when you want to install a totally whole home theater and audio and automation system. However, it's also without a doubt the most expensive option. These guys typically install nothing but high-end to premium products and bill at an hourly rate much higher than people like Mr. Karen. But you get what you pay for. The installations are flawless and the installers stand behind their jobs. As far as I know, the closest you could find a company like this is in Sacramento, but they would travel here to Davis to do the job.

The reason there are so many options is there are so many different needs in the marketplace. I think it's pretty obvious what you should choose, dependent on how much cash you have to spend, and how important it is to you the job is done well. I'm a big proponent of DIYers, because it's fun, a learning experience, and less expensive. But if I were to ever feel like I could afford a professional, I would go with something like Crescendo because you get that personal level of service that you wouldn't get anywhere else. You also get the benefit of someone who has years of experience perfecting what you're about to attempt for the first time.

I hope this has been more helpful than gripes about the Web site. —condemned2bfree