After much debate and looking around, I finally decided to go with the fusion series Lagoon seating. I am not one to buy such a big and expensive purchase online sight unseen; however, the price and the online reviews of RSH helped sway me to do this.
Just for a frame of reference, I had tried seating at several places which included brands such as Palliser, Berkline, Lane, and Klaussner. The only other seats that we both liked were the klaussner - they were comfortable, quiet, and felt well built. The problem is that they were much more expensive than others with the same features (leather and power recline).
My biggest concerns about ordering the lagoon unseen was the comfort. My wife and I are fairly picky when it comes to comfort. I have a bad lower back so anything to soft is no good, but I also do not like a hard seat either. I was a bit concerned that the seats would be too firm, but I'll get to that in a bit. I wasn't too worried about quality or customer service just due to all the business and reviews Ultimate Home Entertainment had done with AVSers and others. I've had them for a few days and have watched a full movie sitting in them so far. Here are my impressions so far on the seats from ordering process through comfort.
What I ordered:
Fusion Lagoon. 2 sets of 3 seats in leather/vinyl match power recline. Straight row configuration (see issues section below).
This was pretty straight forward. I had e-mailed RSH for pricing and availability and once we had agreed on a price and a style I asked how to order. They take every form of payment (credit card through PayPal). I initially was going to pay through PayPal but I ran into some glitches and instead of fighting through the PayPal system, I opted for a direct wire transfer. Payment went through fairly quickly (Monday night into Tuesday morning). Would be nice if they took credit card directly; however, I understand why they don't. 4.5 out of 5 stars
RSH is very attentive and responds to e-mail quickly. He responded to me over the weekends as well, including a Sunday evening. I never talked to him over the phone, although I tried to call once and received his voicemail. I didn't leave a message, but he called back anyway and talked briefly with my wife (I wasn't home). 5 out of 5 stars
I ordered the seats on Tuesday (payment went through) and they arrived on Thursday. For reference, they are in NJ and I'm in NC. Can't beat that - especially since this was the week before Christmas. I was fully expecting the seats not to arrive until the week after Christmas, so this was great. They use Yellow Truck company, and an 18 wheeler arrived to deliver the seats. A tracking number was provided, but the trucking company called the day before anyway to ensure someone would be home. They also called 30 minutes prior to delivery. I only paid for curb side, so I had to help pull the seats off the truck and put them in my garage. They had a dolly that I could use. Overall 5 out of 5 stars.
Each seat was packaged in a cardboard box. The box contained the bottom and the top unattached to each other. I think there were two boxes per crate in the truck. The boxes were in fairly good condition, with no noticeable issues. I did not unpack each box before the trucking company left. I bought the extended warranty and figured any issues would be covered by that. Each piece was also wrapped in plastic. Overall 5 out of 5 stars
Here is a pic of the six boxes.
Seats bottoms come separate from tops within the same box. This makes for easier maneuvering - especially since I was going upstairs. It will require two people to move these seats. Assembly is very easy and the tops slide into metal guides and snaps into place. 5 out of 5 stars.
Overall very impressed with the build quality. The seats are sturdy, not loose at all. There is no play in the backs once attached. The arms feel sturdy and the cup holders are nice stainless steel and fit snug into thew holder. The leather is nice quality, soft, with a nice sheen. The stitching is good quality with no mis-stitches or non uniformity. The metal frame is sturdy underneath and there are several feet on the bottom. I noticed a couple were loose, but a half turn with a phillips head tighten them up right away. I cannot tell where the leather ends and vinyl begins, and yes there is a nice leather smell with these - not overbearing, but nice none the less. There are some small blemishes here and there that are only noticeably if inspected very closely and you are looking for them. No way any of these would be noticed in a theater. The power recline works well - smooth and quiet. The chaise leg rest fully open before the seats start to recline, so you can have your legs up without reclining if so desired. I did notice that some chairs recline faster than others - I assume this is just differences between motors/actuators and I really don't know if this can be adjusted. One important note, the leather rubbing on these seats do make them squeak - fairly loud too. I used baby powder and rubbed along all areas that would rub against each other and it is amazing how well it worked. The seats are quiet now and I cannot hear when another is being reclined. Overall 4.5 out of 5 stars
This was a very important aspect for me and my wife - and the biggest concern for us. Comfort is subjective, but I can tell you these chairs are VERY comfortable. The most comfortable of all the seats we sat in and this made us very happy since it was bought on faith and our biggest concern. I mentioned, the leather is soft and plush, the headrest is just right (although fully reclined you may need a pillow), and the support is good. They are plush yet not overly soft. some reviews I read called the seats "firm." I don't think they are firm but more in the middle. I will say, each seat has a slightly different "firmness" to them - but I suspect that will even out over time. You do not sink to the floor, but you also do not sit on top of the cushion. a very good balance. The backs are soft and offer very good support. Lumbar is good, but I will still need a pillow for my lower back (remember I have a bad back). Honestly, every seat I sat in would require this. Overall 5 out of 5 stars.
My overall experience, quality, and comfort of the chairs was excellent. There was one main issue. I had ordered 2 sets 3 seats in straight configuration. when I started opening the boxes, I realized that the arms on some of the chairs were wedged. To my surprise, I was shipped two sets of curved configuration instead of straight. I quickly contacted RSH and I received several follow-up e-mails from him. Turns out there was a mix-up in the warehouse and they shipped the wrong configuration to me. Everything else was correct (leather vinyl match). Early on when debating which seats to buy, I was on the fence between straight or curve configuration anyway, so although I was a little upset at first, I was ultimately OK with this. From a seat dimensions aspect, either would fit (keep in mind curve config. is a bit wider). Although very quick with responding, I was not overly happy with the response - he let me know what happened and confirmed I did get leather, but he assumed I was keeping the chairs and indicated it shouldn't be a big deal because the curvature is not that great. I am sure if it was a big issue, we could have worked something out but I didn't push the issue. Overall, I am happy with the curve configuration and actually think it works better with my room.
Summary and Recommendations:
In summary, the ordering and delivery were great. Construction and quality of the chairs is great. Comfort was perfect for me and my wife. I think the mix-up was an honest mistake and I would certainly purchase from RSH again. The price was the most competitive I could find for the same amenities. Overall I would recommend these seats to anyone. I would always recommend that you test out the seats first if possible, but I would not hesitate to recommend these chairs to anyone even if sight unseen.