Need help choosing Transducers (e.g. Bass Shakers) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-31-2012, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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So, I'm in the middle of remodeling my media room/HT and I'm seriously considering transducers for my sectional sofa. As far as I can tell there are only 3 real contenders in this space.

Buttkicker
Aura Sound
Clark Synthesis

I have 2 issues.
1. I have a sectional, which means disconnected pieces that will shake independent of each other.
2. There are little to no good specs online to really compare the manufacture's products above. I found lbs/ft force measurements for Aura and Clark, but Buttkicker doesn't have any to be found.


I like the Aura price and size, but I fear they are too weak (or I'll need too many) to shake my sectional.
The Clarks seem just right, but for ~$30 more I can get a Buttkicker LFE (which I assume is much more powerful)
The Buttkickers seem to be the most popular and powerfull (again I can't find specs to verify that), but I worry they are too powerful for my needs. I realize I can just turn them down, but why buy more than I need.

Then there is placement. The Buttkickers are too big to mount in the sofa, but the Clarks and Aura will fit. I have to think I'll get better performance with a transducer mounted in the sectional pieces versus a having 1 leg sitting on a buttKicker.

Can anyone help me out here? I'm not sure which product and mounting method is my best option.
Also, I've love to hear is anyone regrets having transducers.
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post #2 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 07:13 AM
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I have 2 buttkickers for about two months now. I love em, wish I knew about them sooner. I installed them myself in my 3 seat couch. Could not place exactly where i wanted(directly under seat) but found an empty cavity in back added a couple of boards. Works like a charm everyone loves em from my 3yr old niece to my 55 yr old pops. I belive buttkicker weighs 8lbs but ill check when off work as far as maybe too powerful , nothing is too powerful this is awesome i want two more and a second couch. And must install into couch for best result
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post #3 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 08:03 AM
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^ what he said.

I've owned them all. Auras are far too weak. For CS, you need at least the gold model and up to match the buttkicker, which are far more expensive.

The Buttkicker LFE kit is awesome. I'm forced to use the leg kit, but it still works well, despite some annoying rattles with low, really loud LFE parts. Installing in couch eliminates the rattle and increases the effect.

Musician's Friend offers a 15% off coupon every month that will work for the kit. The kit becomes the best value for an amp+kicker with this coupon.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

Does anyone have experience with the ButtKicker Advance Units?

Also, for the two guys who replied. What are you driving your BK-LFEs with? The Buttkicker amp or your own?

I have a 5ch 100w/ch @ 8ohm Rotel amp with 3 open channels on it. It's stable at 4ohms. I'm debating saving a little dough and just using it with a 50hz in-line RCA filter ($25/pair). However, that's just barely enough power for the BK-LFE per channel.

Oh ya.. how do I get the coupon for Musician's Friend?
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 09:16 AM
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I have two Buttkicker LFE units for my sectional couch. I love them! I am just using the Buttkicker leg plates but one of these days I am going to mount the two LFE's directly to the sectional.

Oppo BDP103, Mitsubishi WD8240, Klipsch RF-63's, Pioneer Elite SC-25, Furman Elite 15, Emotiva XPA-5, Harmony 1100, Rythmik FV15HP

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post #6 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 10:43 AM
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I use buttkicker amp. I bought the kit and second buttkicker separately
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I just did something I rarely ever do, an impulse buy. I just purchased the ButtKicker LFE-KIT for $339. What a fantastic deal, now I just have to convince my wife is was.

Hopefully, this thing doesn't suck.


bhazard: Thanks for the information on the Musican's Friend 15% off coupon.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 11:49 AM
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Congrads you now have a 4d home theatre


My girl loves the buttkicker shes a bass freak like I am
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 03:21 PM
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my couch tipped foward
Attachment 248224

board added buttkicker installed in empty cavity .
Attachment 248225

other side and wired together
Attachment 248226
Attachment 248227
LL
LL
LL
LL
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 04:57 PM
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i like this guys videos - he may have his turned up too much or couch too close to wall. hes deaf which brings up another good point your theater will be hearing impaired friendly (Buttkicker+subtitles)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ady5fjbbMgI

his couch upside down with objects to see effects. i dont like his install - 1 slab of wood across the bottom 3 buttkickers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmuc9...feature=relmfu
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwehnes View Post

Ok, I just did something I rarely ever do, an impulse buy. I just purchased the ButtKicker LFE-KIT for $339. What a fantastic deal, now I just have to convince my wife is was.

Hopefully, this thing doesn't suck.


bhazard: Thanks for the information on the Musican's Friend 15% off coupon.

I thought all the shakers sucked, even the Buttkicker Advance, until I got the LFE Kit.

Even if you hate the kit, you could sell the amp for nearly $299 alone. Its a great value, and well worth it.
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-01-2012, 09:20 PM
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I bought some Aura Bass Shakers about 8 years ago when Parts Express had a sale. Currently, I have two mounted on the bottom of each of my two couches. All four shakers (connected in parallel) are powered by a 70watt subwoofer plate amp from Parts Express. With the gain set just above 1/4. I know it's crazy to have four 4ohm shakers connected to an amp that is only 4ohm stable, but it has never been a problem. I could easily turn them up more, but the impact becomes more than I prefer.

At the moment, I have the front couch's shakers disconnected, so just the two in the rear couch are on the amp, which is adjusted closer to 1/2 gain. For me, I didn't want my shakers to have a super hard hitting punch. I am only using them to supplement my 18" subwoofer (Cerwin Vega Stroker18). With the mounting location I chose, it seems to have the strongest impact. I had tried mounting them on the front of the couch frame, on the rear, one on each end, then finally just added the board in the middle and it had the best overall feel and impact.






I just found this site which seems to have a somewhat equal method of comparison for several different shakers: Shaker Comparison Hope it helps someone with a future purchase decision.

One other interesting thing I've done is to screw one of these shakers directly to the floor or a wall. It then radiates actual audible sound in the typical subwoofer frequency range. I haven't tried taking measurements, but it is a neat way to add some bass to a room without taking any floor space. Certain spots on the walls seemed to have much better effect than the floor. By vibrating the whole wall or floor, the sound starts to become a whole lot more non-directional than I've heard with some box subs.

Vistadelloco, how'd you add just small thumbnails instead of the larger pics I've attached?
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 04:26 AM
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I bought two Auras and have them powered by a cheapo $70 100 watt sub amp that I got on techparts and they work great. I can't imagine what the more expensive and powered shakers feel like, but I am more than happy.
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 09:06 AM
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Using Buttkickers with the BK amp and could not imagine movies without it.

JVC 3D: Been there, done that, bought a DLP
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sepen View Post

I bought two Auras and have them powered by a cheapo $70 100 watt sub amp that I got on techparts and they work great. I can't imagine what the more expensive and powered shakers feel like, but I am more than happy.

That was my very first setup, and I thought it was pretty good. The Buttkicker is about 10x the effect, or more.
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 07:37 PM
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In this case, I think to each his own... We are all going to have our own preference on what we prefer. I know with my two Auras and small amp that even if I turn up the gain any more than it currently is, it will be more than I prefer. In my opinion, 10x would be way too much, at least with my particular setup and preference. It also depends on each person's couches and stuff. My couches happen to resonate pretty good. Maybe your couches are more solidly built and take more to get a similar feeling. But, I am guessing that yours have more shaking than mine does though.

Of course, I would love to experience what someone else's setup with Buttkickers feels like. Maybe I am missing something or have something adjusted wrong. I do know that when I have turned my up higher, the feeling is too much vibrating, especially on parts with deep male voices. It's OK to have good shaking during explosion or other scenes.
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-02-2012, 09:28 PM
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You need high fequency cutoff . That takes care of shaking on deep male voice when cranking it up. Maybe someone more knowledgable can help
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-27-2012, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Update - It's been 3 weeks 5 days since I purchased the ButtKicker LFE Kit (also the last time I posted in this thread ).

I installed the kit over the weekend and started tuning and testing it with U-571 chapter 15 (I think), the depth charge scenes. In a word, Wow! I'm shocked what an effect it has increasing your immersion into a movie. The best part is I found I can lower the volume on my sub without noticing a big difference. Which is great when watching a movie while the kids are sleeping.

I have a sectional where my wife typically sits in the corner and I sit on her left, which is the sweet spot in my media room. I have both legs from each sectional piece sitting on the single ButtKicker plate. Rubber isolation pads are installed on all the legs of the two sectional pieces. It works great. I'm sure it could be more effective/efficient if I mounted the ButtKicker in side the sectional, but that means buying another unit ($170) which I'm not up for yet. I still need to tweak the gain on my .2 sub output to prevent running my BK amp volume at 9 o'clock (75%).


To anyone sitting on the fence, as I was a while ago, about purchasing a transducer I highly recommend you try it. $330 for the ButtKicker LFE kit is not a lot of money and totally worth it IMO.
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