Welcome to AV NIRVANA, the web’s finest destination for all things home theater and two-channel stereo! The site is the creation of several partners – a collection of like-minded enthusiasts and industry professionals that share an undeniable passion for gear, movies, and music – looking to help others create incredible theater and stereo systems.
AV NIRVANA is built around a friendly forum environment that’s welcoming to newbies and hardcore audio and videophiles alike, and topped with exclusive professional reviews, event coverage, and industry news. In addition, it serves as Room EQ Wizard’s official help forum and the only place where enthusiasts can download beta versions of REW software.
If you’re a manufacturer with equipment for review, or are interested in advertising on AV NIRVANA, please contact us.
Here’s a look at our team:
Sonnie Parker (Senior Partner, Senior Administrator)
Sonnie brings decades of AV experience to the table, including a deep understanding of the forum world. Having dabbled in audio throughout the 1980s, he got serious about home theater in the early 1990s when he installed his first big screen and full surround sound system. The taste of that system eventually led to the construction of his stunning Cedar Creek Cinema dedicated theater and listening room.
Sonnie is the co-originator of the legendary Behringer Feedback Destroyer Guide (BFD Guide), which was designed to help others tame low frequency anomalies. That guide led him down a pathway of important industry friendships and the eventual founding of Home Theater Shack with John Mulcahy (author of Room EQ Wizard). Sonnie quickly grew Home Theater Shack into a popular thriving community with over 150,000 members, solidifying his reputation in the industry. After selling the site in 2014, he concentrated on several other endeavors before other AV NIRVANA partners approached him and asked him to bring his extensive expertise to the team.
Sonnie is married to his loving wife Angie... and has a daughter, Chelsea. He’s proudly passionate about his faith and bleeds crimson for University of Alabama football.
Todd Anderson (Senior Partner, Editor and Senior Reviewer)
Todd has an enduring interest in all things home theater, music, and consumer oriented gear. His love of music took flight in the 1980s when he was introduced to several of Washington DC’s independent record stores, an introduction that launched him into collecting indie-rock vinyl and piecing together his first true audio system. He’s since turned his attention to the home theater world and has spent years building and tweaking his dedicated theater room.
Todd is a certified THX Video Calibrator and has over 11 years of professional writing experience in the home theater industry, responsible for thousands of news articles, Blu-ray and equipment reviews, social media, and other content. His background includes a BA in Psychology, an MA in Criminology, and professional experience in consumer research, all of which helped him hone his investigative and writing skills. When he’s not geeking out on home theater, he enjoys traveling the world with his wife and daughters and passionately following the Baltimore Orioles. He’s also an avid collector, player, and repairer of modern pinball machines.
Michael Scott (Chief Movie Reviewer and Disc Expert)
Mike is AV NIRVANA’s own in-house Blu-ray evaluator / film critic, and just happens to be one of the best in the business. He’s been a connoisseur of film since childhood, when a viewing of "Song of the South" sparked a fascination with the world of cinema. His filmic love has translated into years of home theater equipment installations, as well as an enduring appreciation for just about every genre imaginable.
Mike has written over 2,000 professional disc reviews, generating millions of reads and helping guide enthusiasts to the best film releases on the market. He not only has a love of the pitch black of a movie theater, but also enjoys the life of a gym rat, is an avid competition shooter in Arizona, and grapples with the craziness of a six pet household. Mike carries a degree in Business as well as Institutional Technologies, and loves digging into the guts of anything electronic (except his car, those machines just net him embarrassing talks with his mechanic).
Travis Ballstadt (Reviewer and Content Creator)
Raised in a town of less than 50 people, Travis’ love of music, movies and home audio stems from isolation. A child of the 70s, he learned Waylon Jennings from his dad, Neil Diamond from his mom, and KISS from his older brother. Travis’ tastes in music are wide-reaching, and his affinity for sound quality was passed down from his mom, who put off purchasing the family’s first VHS recorder until the price of a stereo-capable model was within reach. It was game-over in college when Travis first heard “The Blues Brothers” on a friend's Dolby ProLogic setup and shortly thereafter found a copy of Audio/Video Interiors while in line at the grocery store.
Armed with a BA in Broadcast Journalism, Travis moved west after college working in the news business, eventually spending a decade as a freelance Director of Photography in San Francisco working in episodic television, commercial production and the occasional feature film, which allowed him the freedom to also tour the country as lead guitarist for Vegas DeMilo. After 15 years back in the Midwest, he packed his theater and vinyl collection of over 1000 albums and once again went west, this time to Seattle with partner Rebecca and a 17yo son named after his favorite band and his favorite Beatle. Travis often wishes his pursuit of better sound and image would subside and allow him to just watch and listen, but alas, the condition appears chronic.
Tom Lehman (Reviewer)
Growing up in Mid-West America, Tom developed an interest and passion for electronics at an early age, which led him to become a ham radio operator at age 14. After graduating from Electronic Technology School in 1971, he settled into a career in the electronics industry until retirement in 2016.
Somewhere along the way (The 60s) a life-long passion for music developed. Later (The 70s), a fascination and love for all audio equipment, the live presentation, and the recording of music became an important element in his life. Then, with the advent of Laserdisk, S-VHS, bigger and better video displays, and surround sound, his focus shifted to the wonders of home theater. Today, he revels in the intoxicating mix of music and home theater reproduction.
Tom’s room is ultimately driven by his upgrade philosophy: “My usual upgrade path is to get an idea... obsess... buy... try... and then sell the stuff I upgraded on eBay.” He reports that he’s spending retired life driving his wife crazy with his wild ideas and hobbies, and writing reviews for his favorite website, www.AVNirvana.com.
Steve Mechelke (Partner, Senior Administrator)
Steve became interested in home theater only 12 short years ago when he started work on his basement home theater. The original spark that drove Steve was DIY projection screens. This spark quickly developed into a flame for video and video calibration. Steve currently owns all three of the major video calibration software programs and his gear includes a high-end spectroradiometer and a high-end colorimeter.
Steve is a retired Air Traffic Controller, a hockey coach and a father of three. He also is a ISF Level III Certified Calibrator. He is a straight talker who doesn't mince words. During his free time he enjoys watching TV series, walking his dog and reading magazines.
Our entire staff has an open door policy – feel free to contact us with questions or comments any time. And make sure to visit the "Introduce Yourself" section of forum and tell us about yourself!