Crowson Tactile Transducer (Shadow 8) Impressions
Ladies and gentlemen,
My Crowson Transducers have arrived and have been installed under my theater seats (along with the isolators--the installation of which was quite difficult with my particular "under-the-seat" architecture. I am highly impressed.
The initial installation had me severely underwhelmed, as--unbeknownst to me at the time--my amplifier simply was not setup correctly. So after the initial disappointment, I connected my laptop to my Behringer iNuke1000DSP amplifier via USB cable [***hint-hint, Lumagen***]. The Behringer amplifier dedicated to the actuators, and once connected, I began tweaking with the settings. I was able to modify delay, crossover, Low Pass Filter, and the type of LPF. The manual says to start the LPF setting at 300Hz and work your way down until you reach a level of comfort. I began at the opposite end of the spectrum and started with a 40Hz LPF, which turned out to be too low for my tastes. I've been raising it little by little (while updating the Oppo's crossover settings as well, since it is the signal source) and am currently at 80Hz. I'm sure this number will change soon. I used the Pod Emergence Scene from War of the Worlds
and the Plane Crash scene from Flight of the Phoenix
to help set my amplifier output adequately. The gain ended up being about half way across the dial (approximately 15\30 notches. Finalizing these settings really brought out the Crowsons' best performance! The Crowson Transducers are the real deal. Believe it or not, they add an extra dimension to audible enjoyment that I had never experienced. The vibration response is very tight and will respond to bass signals just as quickly as your subwoofer will in, not only signal reproduction, bit also in signal intensity
reproduction. One thing that a guest pointed out was that "there are differing levels of vibration." That's right--these transducers vibrate at a 1:1 ratio with the intensity of the bass onscreen. For those with less-than-stellar subwoofers, you can simply modify the delay settings to match your existing subwoofer response. These actuators have no issue translating and delivering cheek-penetrating LFE signals to the buttocks and arms at any levels your amplifier can handle. no matter your height or weight, these actuators deliver.
Also, if anybody is considering a subwoofer upgrade, I would strongly suggest trying a Crowson transducer system before spending the $ on a new sub. For testing purposes, turned off my Submersives and popped in my old Emotiva Ultra Sub12, and the effect was still remarkable. Now, good bass reproduction is still an essential part of any theater, but these Crowsons can make sure you get every single ounce of "perceived" performance out of your current setup.
I'd also like to add that anybody with a basic understanding of crossovers can set up a Crowson Transducer nicely. To truly dial it in,having more than one person and a deeper understanding of some audio fundamentals can go a long way, although they are not necessary to offer a great experience.
- Signal Source: Oppo BDP 105 [Analog Subwoofer Output serves as LFE signal source for unaltered bass signal]
- Power Source: Behringer iNuke1000DSP [Running in Bridged Mode, providing approximately 650w to the 8 Ohm Crowsons--capable of 1000 total watts for previous crowson 6 Ohm models)
- Output Device: Crowson Shadow-8 Tactile Transducer (2).