Transducers: Buttkicker vs. Clark Synthesis Vs. Crowsons - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-11-2012, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I experienced a mid-tier Buttkicker transducer this weekend and was pretty impressed with it, despite my thinking it was going to be a distracting, gimmicky product. I am now looking to do something along these lines underneath each of my theater chairs. Does anyone have experience with all three of these? Any reason you want over the other If money was no object, what way would you go? Why does the TST429 have such a high list price on amazon and it only handles 150 W RMS? What is special about this product? I know the Dept. of Defense uses Clark Synthesis products in some of there combat simulators... if its good enough for the military, is it good enough for my home theater? lol.

I have reviewed the other threads about transducers and wonder if anyone can elaborate a little more about the differences between the different products and any other offerings that are available out there.

Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-11-2012, 07:30 PM
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I think you should just buy the full size BK and be done smile.gif

J/K - I'll let others chime in.

I almost bought some Clark Synthesis transducers a while back, but haven't ever experienced them. Crowson gets great reviews, again, would love to experience, but haven't.. And you know my opinion on BK (mini, advance, and lfe).
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-12-2012, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Is that you Scott smile.gif? IF it is thanks again for the demo and uber jalapeno poppers.
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-12-2012, 09:01 AM
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I have the Crowson. I am really impressed with the "extra" feeling I get with it when I watch movies. It really just adds that something that can really push a system to the next level. That is the only tactile system I have experienced so I can't comment on the Clark setup or the BK. I just know that I am very satisfied with the Crowson setup. I was never even thinking about them but I asked someone who I know, who uses the Crowson, if I could try his out with my system, Within one minute I was ready to get one and I bought an extra that he had that he no longer was using. It was a really good upgrade.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-12-2012, 03:48 PM
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i have 2 full bk lfe and 1 smaller gamer sized buttkicker. the large ones are on each couch and the small one is on a chair.
I love them. it adds another level. i call it 4d. any of the brands you mentioned will do the trick, it just sometimes comes down to price for most. but those brands are all designed to accomplish the same thing- shake-
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-12-2012, 04:02 PM
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We sell them if clients absolutey have to have them. That being said, I don't like x-ducers much; never have. I'd prefer to invest the balance in better subs. Of course that does';t help quiet the neighbors at 1 in the AM when you're rockin' your theater.
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-12-2012, 05:13 PM
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Ok I'll bite.
I won't recommend a certain brand to you, because I'm biased toward BK and happy with them, but you say your looking for individual seat transducers, which I also have in my movie room.

If money is no object or your theater is high end, I would say go for Dbox instead. At around 8K per seat, it can add up quickly though. Barring Dbox, I just don't see the need to spend a fortune and have to "franken-system" your transducer setup. BK is one stop shop with more power than you actually need, and they have taken the guess work out of the amp and transducer combo required. Not only that, BKs' really hold their value if you want to sell them down the line. In addition, if for some reason you weren't happy, I believe they have a 30 day return policy and a 1 year warranty. Don't know if the other brands can match that, but it's hard to lose with this brand. With 1 amp, you can run 4 Advances or LFEs discreetly.

Once you've gone Buttkicker, you can't go back.

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post #8 of 14 Old 09-12-2012, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatmatcher247 View Post

Is that you Scott smile.gif? IF it is thanks again for the demo and uber jalapeno poppers.

Yeah, it is. Glad you enjoyed - I really like them. Of course I don't have the F113 duo you have, but it adds that extra dimension for the extra fun element. I'm a big fan, as long as it isn't crossed too high to be distracting.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-12-2012, 06:13 PM
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I am the guy MikeDuke got his Crowson from. smile.gif I also have a Crowson setup in my system, which you can see on Page 3, starting at Post #89 in the My System link in my signature. I think the installation of these devices is as important to successful implementation as is the particular product you install. Please share the type of installation you intend and we can give you more specific advice. Will you install the device under the seating or attached to it? Will you be on a riser? On a wooden, suspended floor? Concrete slab? Will you use one device per seat? How much weight will each transducer be required to move? How deep do you want the transducer to respond? 20 Hz? 10 Hz? 5 Hz? How high do you want it to respond? Are you looking for any directionality in the tactile response? What is your budget?

These things will all impact the design of the system and the type of transducer that will work best.

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post #10 of 14 Old 09-12-2012, 10:04 PM
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i've had bk minis and bk lifes currently, they add extra punch to my setup, jtr speakers front stage and tannoy speakers for rears, and 2x danley dts-10s for subs.

but as others have said implementation is just as important. my chairs are sitting on a bunch of penn elecom rubber feet, isolating it from the ground.
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-13-2012, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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The listening room is slab-on-grade with carpet. I'm up for some suggestions for some good home theater furniture as well. Right now I have a leather reclining couch that is not very comfortable. Would like to do 3 very comfortable, ergonomically correct, home theater chairs that recline. One of them has to have provisions for a keyboard and mouse as I do a lot of PC gaming on my home theater system. I'll have to figure out how to mount them when I know what I'm going with for furniture.

As far as what frequencies would suit me well, I want it to be mainly tied to rocket motors, heavy gun fire, explosions, car crashes, etc... would 20 hz and down suit me well? I don't really want it going off every time someone closes a desk drawer etc... As far as direction from behind would be cool, but I imagine it'd be easier implement to just direct it straight upward and kind of have an overall tactile effect than one that feels like its hitting you right in the kidneys.

How much weight does it need to move? I'm 230 Lbs. I'd figure putting one or multiples, whatever is recommended under each chair.
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-13-2012, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatmatcher247 View Post

The listening room is slab-on-grade with carpet.
Concrete floor means you get ZERO tactile response through the floor. Therefore, transducers are your only option for tactile response. Another thing you can consider is adding a riser underneath the seating. If you use a transducer to shake the entire riser, you can provide motion for all the seats with just one transducer. However, it needs to be a heavy duty transducer. I suggest the Earthquake Q10B for that type of application:
http://www.earthquakesound.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=292&category_id=118&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=82
And here is Earthquake's recommended installation for a riser/transducer system:
http://www.earthquakesound.com/pdf_pressreleases/Q10B_platform.pdf
Quote:
I'm up for some suggestions for some good home theater furniture as well. Right now I have a leather reclining couch that is not very comfortable. Would like to do 3 very comfortable, ergonomically correct, home theater chairs that recline. One of them has to have provisions for a keyboard and mouse as I do a lot of PC gaming on my home theater system. I'll have to figure out how to mount them when I know what I'm going with for furniture.
You need to make this decision BEFORE you make any decisions on tactile transducers. You don't state a budget, but my chairs meet every requirement you listed. However, they're not cheap: http://acousticinnovations.com/seating One nice thing about these chairs is that they are designed to work with Crowson transducers. Nonetheless, they'll work equally well on a riser with any other transducer system.
Quote:
As far as what frequencies would suit me well, I want it to be mainly tied to rocket motors, heavy gun fire, explosions, car crashes, etc... would 20 hz and down suit me well? I don't really want it going off every time someone closes a desk drawer etc...
I have my transducers cut off at 40 Hz, which is the lowest frequency allowed on the BKA1000 amp. I wouldn't mind it a little lower, but I wouldn't go all the way to 20 Hz, as that would eliminate some very useful tactile response. Another consideration is how the device is connected to the rest of the system. Read here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1349395/craig-johns-theater/90#post_21096088 starting with Paragraph 4 about "source signals".
Quote:
As far as direction from behind would be cool, but I imagine it'd be easier implement to just direct it straight upward and kind of have an overall tactile effect than one that feels like its hitting you right in the kidneys.
The reason I asked about directionality is that Crowson offers a system that can take L & R signals and provide different tactile response for the left and right side of an individual seat. For example, if a large truck moves from L to R across the screen, and the ULF's associated with that pan are placed first in the L channel and then the R channel, you can make the transducer *system* provide L to R tactile response. (I don't personally use this, but I can imagine it would be a cool effect.)

Here is the Crowson system: http://crowsontech.com/go/crowsontech/3472/en-US/DesktopDefault.aspx The User's Manual is linked on that page, and you can read about how to connect the system for "stereo motion."
Quote:
How much weight does it need to move? I'm 230 Lbs. I'd figure putting one or multiples, whatever is recommended under each chair.
Tthe Crowson is specified to 1,000 lbs total weight, (seating + listener). This is because the seating sits *on* the transducer, and the system shakes the seating by moving it up and down. Other systems are not specified to a maximum weight, but they are either attached to the seating frame, or they are cantilevered on a plate that is under the seating. They may not have a maximum weight specification, but they may not be able to effectively shake heavier seating, or seating with multiple listeners.

Craig
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post #13 of 14 Old 09-16-2012, 10:35 PM
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I have joined the ranks of the transducer owners and I'm sure glad to be part of the club. My sub system consists of an SVS PB10 and a sealed AV15H 500 watts.I plan on replacing the PB10 with a sealed SI Mag reconed to an 18 and feed that and the AV off each channel of an Ep2500. That's coming soon. Right now, I have played with minidsp and gotten the sealed and ported subs to play well together and am flat to 15 Hz. Enter the Buttkicker.

Purchased 2 used BK amps on ebay a few months back for a grand total of $75 including shipping. They were dirty and the metal grate on top of one was a bit dented, but I took the chance. They both worked perfectly. Bought the Buttkicker LFE and it was delivered this weekend. I installed it on a piece of 1X6 bolted onto the inside of my Berkline recliner, set the highpass to 40 and started listening. Even though I had installed the 8 rubber isolation feet, I was hearing that metallic thunk that some complain about. Turns out a little bit of volume control goes a long way on the BK amp. Turned it from half to a bit over quarter. Now we're talking.

I have always heard members on this forum extol the virtues of response to the low single digits, but can now confirm based on my own experience how HUGE of a difference it is going from 15 to 5 Hz. There are scenes that have been cited as demo-worthy that just didn't do it for me. Now I get it. F-ing Irene, Giant dragon emerges from the mountain, etc. Suddenly the lights came on. It's such an unbelievably different experience that I spent much of Sunday switching between the games and re-watching everything. Scenes that sounded good before sounded incredible. I had no idea how much content I was missing from Hulk, Tron, Battle LA, Immortals, WOTW. Even Ghost Protocol had more content than I was aware of.

All I can say is that properly installed, this is one of the best bang for the buck enhancements you can make to your system, IMO. I found myself turning down both the MV and sub levels, saving just a bit of my hearing, as well as any discomfort of my neighbors. 3 thumbs up!
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-21-2012, 09:24 AM
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I have two different models of Clarks as well as a Buttkicker. If you do go with Clarks I don't think there is a need to buy the higher end models, those aren't for home theater. They are for simulators or systems to provide tactile response to the deaf. For home theater needs the Clark Silver or even the TST209 should be fine. Clark Silver should be comparably priced to Buttkicker products and is enough to be overpowering if run too hot.

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