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AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Subwoofers, Bass, and Transducers › A comparison of three tactile transducers - ButtKicker Mini LFE vs. Clark Synthesis TST209 vs. Aura Bass Shaker Pro
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A comparison of three tactile transducers - ButtKicker Mini LFE vs. Clark Synthesis TST209 vs.... - Page 5

post #121 of 136
Thread Starter 
Yes TCW1 is correct,

I found that a 35hz butterworth HPF with a 18dB slope works great for my use on the Buttkicker mini. I don't think I'm really missing much of anything tactile - even on the low content containing scenes like pulse and hulk abomination etc. The mini's are still active - they just aren't bottoming out. You can see my settings in this video from post 65 at about 1:15

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1438696/a-comparison-of-two-transducers-buttkicker-mini-lfe-vs-clark-synthesis-tst209/60_20#post_22651017
post #122 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Yes TCW1 is correct,

I found that a 35hz butterworth HPF with a 18dB slope works great for my use on the Buttkicker mini. I don't think I'm really missing much of anything tactile - even on the low content containing scenes like pulse and hulk abomination etc. The mini's are still active - they just aren't bottoming out. You can see my settings in this video from post 65 at about 1:15

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1438696/a-comparison-of-two-transducers-buttkicker-mini-lfe-vs-clark-synthesis-tst209/60_20#post_22651017
Interesting. Did you have to do the same thing with the Clark's?

My Clark's only bottom out on the really low stuff when I have them turned up to loud.
post #123 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Yes TCW1 is correct,

I found that a 35hz butterworth HPF with a 18dB slope works great for my use on the Buttkicker mini. I don't think I'm really missing much of anything tactile - even on the low content containing scenes like pulse and hulk abomination etc. The mini's are still active - they just aren't bottoming out. You can see my settings in this video from post 65 at about 1:15

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1438696/a-comparison-of-two-transducers-buttkicker-mini-lfe-vs-clark-synthesis-tst209/60_20#post_22651017
Interesting. Did you have to do the same thing with the Clark's?

My Clark's only bottom out on the really low stuff when I have them turned up to loud.
post #124 of 136
Thread Starter 
nope
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1438696/a-comparison-of-two-transducers-buttkicker-mini-lfe-vs-clark-synthesis-tst209/40_20#post_22622622

I think the clark handles the low ULF stuff more effectively without dsp intervention. I never heard the clark make a bad noise within it's rating - regardless of source material. But when the buttkicker is dialed in with HPF, like I have it now, I think it shakes better down low and isn't audible like the clark is. The clark doesn't really do much shake with the extremely low ULF stuff - so I'm not sure there is any advantage there.
post #125 of 136
Thread Starter 
Here is some correspondence with Buttkicker that I made early on, that might help somebody else. I was cleaning out my mailbox and came across it. I've since stopped worrying about it and just started enjoying them. They are still in use in my theater - I do still like them, and I'd recommend them to others who love as much tactile feedback as they can get.


From: Jonathan
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 12:26 AM
To: support@guitammer.com
Subject: four buttkicker mini LFEs


Support,

I bought four buttkicker mini LFEs from a third party on amazon. I’ve determined that each reacts to the exact same wattage somewhat uniquely... Two activate earlier (using less wattage) than two others. Each is slightly different on the amount of power required to activate it. I can simply plug the same power source into each of the transducers in turn on the same clip and it takes different amounts of output power to initiate each one. Is this expected? As best I could tell these were new in box. They looked new and were sealed. I broke the packaging seal on each, and the seller advertised them as new.

One of them seems to behave more like my Clark Transducer TST209 in that if you put your hand on it you can feel it vibrate very early (at low volumes) and by comparison a couple of the units take a pretty sizable amount of power (comparitively) before they activate (literature says 50 watts minimum. I’m just not sure how much precision there should be in these units on the minimum wattage requirement.

As far as I can tell the unit that activates more easily than the other’s doesn’t suffer from any defects in shake or output capability – it just turns on sooner.

I was also somewhat surprised to determine that the buttkicker mini’s don’t seem to handle frequencies below 35hz very well. I’m an experienced home theater personality and have not applied too much wattage to these units, in fact, I have limited the wattage that can be applied to them using the DSP on the INuke DSP 3000 amp that I’m currently utilizing to 225 watts per channel (4ohm). In playing with the HPF on the DSP – I’ve determined that about 35 hz with a 18dB or 24dB octave rolloff seems to suit the mini LFE pretty well. Without the HPF, many bass heavy movies will bottom out the mini LFE’s. Is that expected on these smaller buttkickers? They do market as being able to hit 5 or 10hz, but my experience is without the HPF they just bottom out easily and feel very unnatural when trying to generate shake at those lowest frequencies in movies like Pulse, or War of the Worlds – etc. Again I’m not necessarily bothered by the HPF requirement – just wanted to know if that is expected.

Thank you,

Jonathan


************************************************************************************

Jonathan,

A lot of what you're seeing is because you have referenced your levels at the higher frequencies, then tried to go into the low frequencies where there is no longer any room for internal movement. Let me explain.

The internal moving element, like any other electro-dynamic device, will want to move a greater distance as the frequency goes lower. The difference in motion between 35Hz and 20Hz is very significant. There's nothing wrong with doing that, except that you'll run into the limitations that you've seen (bottoming out at lower freqs). On the other hand, if you lower your power levels you'll be able to allow more of the lower frequencies. I also expect that you'll see more consistency in activation levels than you're seeing in the higher frequencies only.

Also, the minimum and maximum power ratings are, like speaker and other electro-dynamic devices not absolute figures, but rather a more arbitrary guide for the user. For example, a speaker manufacturer may place a minimum power rating on the speaker of 25 watts. This is not to say that nothing will come out of the speaker at lower levels, because the speaker will produce sound at 1 watt and less. Instead, the manufacturer is communicating to the user a level of power that will properly operate the speaker to the level and quality of sound that the manufacturer designed into it.

Marvin
post #126 of 136
Thread Starter 
Tonight I tried to use the android app 'vibration meter' and the Inuke DSP's parametric EQ to equalize out all of the tactile response of the buttkicker mini LFE's. That was an exercise in futility - anytime I tried to boost a level by about 3dB or so I would get out of the comfort zone of the mini's pretty easily at that frequency. These are seemingly best to just let them alone - - setup a HPF and a LPF and just enjoy.

After a lot of playing around my favorite filters are
Butterworth HPF at 35hz with a rolloff of 18dB per octave to protect the mini's from over excursion
Butterworth LPF at 40hz with a rolloff of 6dB per octave to fade off the higher bass and focus the mini's mostly on the low bass.

I get tactile response down to about 20hz. I don't think the mini's are good for bass below that. Not that I've found anyway. They bottom out real easily below around 20hz it seems. I was playing 5hz, 10h, 15hz test tones ect, and unless the volume is set exceptionally low the buttkicker mini's are not happy playing those low tones.


At some point I'd like to try a pair of the full size buttkicker LFE units and see if they truly play frequencies below 20hz eagerly...
post #127 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

Tonight I tried to use the android app 'vibration meter' and the Inuke DSP's parametric EQ to equalize out all of the tactile response of the buttkicker mini LFE's. That was an exercise in futility - anytime I tried to boost a level by about 3dB or so I would get out of the comfort zone of the mini's pretty easily at that frequency. These are seemingly best to just let them alone - - setup a HPF and a LPF and just enjoy.

After a lot of playing around my favorite filters are
Butterworth HPF at 35hz with a rolloff of 18dB per octave to protect the mini's from over excursion
Butterworth LPF at 40hz with a rolloff of 6dB per octave to fade off the higher bass and focus the mini's mostly on the low bass.

I get tactile response down to about 20hz. I don't think the mini's are good for bass below that. Not that I've found anyway. They bottom out real easily below around 20hz it seems. I was playing 5hz, 10h, 15hz test tones ect, and unless the volume is set exceptionally low the buttkicker mini's are not happy playing those low tones.


At some point I'd like to try a pair of the full size buttkicker LFE units and see if they truly play frequencies below 20hz eagerly...

ive got 2 if you wanted to test with them
post #128 of 136
Thread Starter 
very interested.


are you currently using them or they just sitting idle?

My wife is heading to visit family for a couple weeks later this month and I'll have some time free to compare directly to the mini LFE if you wanted to participate and had the time to. I still have my clark TST-209 around too - never sold it yet. Figured I might save it for a future use in a standalone recling chair or something.
post #129 of 136
Awesome, Archaea! I've followed your thread with these offerings and would like to know if the full size can give us "more".
post #130 of 136
Over the years I've had the auras, the Clark silver, and now the buttkicker lfe. If you want the best tactile shake, the 1900w amp and lfe is the only one that's gonna provide it. The kit used to be around $300 at musicians friend. Not sure of the price now.

Its hooked to my minidsp on a separate outlet, so you have full control of the effect.

Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
post #131 of 136
bhazard...is it hooked up to a platform? How is it tied into the seating? Thx!
post #132 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhazard View Post

Over the years I've had the auras, the Clark silver, and now the buttkicker lfe. If you want the best tactile shake, the 1900w amp and lfe is the only one that's gonna provide it.
Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2

Have you tried the Crowson?
post #133 of 136
Thread Starter 
After using the buttkicker mini lfe's now for just shy of a year I still like them a lot for movies. I have many guests over to demo my theater. Some love it, some hate it. I've had two guest tell me they were buying them the very next day, - one recent audition on monday night the guest, by the handle of thebean, has already ordered his set and is asking setup advice. In the same auditions as those guests who liked them - I've had others tell me they don't enjoy them and would assume I turned them off.

For me - I like them enough that if they were to all die do to an electrical surge or something - I'd certainty buy them again. They add an element of tactileness that those of us with cement slab floors otherwise miss. I do think after using them for this amount of time that less is more. I like using them to slightly enhance the sound on screen - not to vibrate my face.
post #134 of 136
Thread Starter 
I had a friend pm me and tell me he is having trouble getting his buttkicker mini LFE's setup properly with his INuke amp.

I told him it's all about the DSP settings and delays. He has four buttkicker mini's connected to an Inuke DSP 1000 amp. He should use this wiring diagram to connect the buttkicker at the correct ohm rating.
http://thebuttkicker.com/configuration/wiringdiagramsweb/WD_4miniLFE-1000.gif

He can match what I've found to be my preferred DSP settings after lots of hours of tinkering if he is just running a straight flat subwoofer signal output. If he's running Audyssey he may have to tinker more - because my settings shown are for a flat frequency response output since I don't actually use Audyssey once it has done the initial level calibration and distance settings. I turn Audyssey off, because my subjective opinion is that Audyssey boosts treble too much on every single pair of main speakers I've ever tried in my reflective untreated room...



I have my Inuke DSP 3000 amp in dual mono mode and am using a single channel of mine at about 3/4 gain attenuation on the channel A knob. Since he has the Inuke DSP 1000 watt amp he needs to bridge his channels and the power to the transducers should be about the same.



THEN it's all about getting the delays set right. With my Onkyo TX-NR1007 - I set subwoofer 2 output delay to 4.5 feet. That's what seems to best match my Captivator subs which are set by Audyssey to be 10.5 feet away and are running on subwoofer output #1. (When you run Audyssey make sure the buttkickers are off BTW)
The way you set this is either on your AVR (if you have two subwoofer out jacks which can independently be level matched and delayed) by playing a song that has a strong repetitive bass line and then adjusting the distance while the song is playing to make sure the bass beats match the tactile feel. OR -- if you don't have two subwoofer outs - you'll need to set delays using the Inuke's DSP. This may be a challenge with a single subwoofer out. If it's a problem you'd need an external DSP to delay both physical subwoofer and tactile transducers appropriately. Something like the Behringer DCX-2496, or minidsp would work because you could set the AVR's subwoofer out to 0 delay (0 distance) and then split the signal in the DCX - and add the appropriate delays to both subwoofer and transducer individually.


These things are all about tinkering!
Edited by Archaea - 12/13/13 at 2:28pm
post #135 of 136
OK, Guys, Bandit Here and it is April 19th 2014:D. I'm bring this thread back to life:cool:cool.gif, and first let me say THANKS for all your hard work and pictures! That helped a bunch!smile.gifbiggrin.gif

OK So here is my Room (20 x 17), looks great, had relatively cheap stuff in it since 2007, btu was happy with it for $$$ per performance. Anyway, Quickly here is the GEAR I just ordered and will be here next week.

-Replacing front 3 In-Wall Polk RC 85i Speakers with Emp Tek Large Tower on each side of my screen and a Large Emp Tek Center.

-Have an Epson 3D 6030UB on the way to replace my 720P Mitsubishi HC1500

-Denon AVR-X4000 on the way replacing Onkyo TR-705

- 2 Rythmik FV15HP Subs (Plan to put in each front corner)eek.gifeek.gifeek.gifeek.gif (Never used my sub, it sucked and didn't work right)



Question for Today[
/B]/U]

Ordered 4 Aura Rumblers from Parts Express 2 days ago, already on the way! ($42 each)

Ordered 4 more Aura's and a 250 Watt Dayton Plate Sub Amp

The next morning (Today!) Cancelled 4 Extra Auras & 250 Watt Dayton Audio Sub Plate AMP

-I decided to go bigger and SKIP the Auras after reading several reviews of folks who had BOTH. So, I Ordered 4 Clark TST209 ($89 each)


I will be getting Both sets of 4, Aura and Clark, so I can test out both, but I think I already KNOW that the Clarks are a superior product: Hit Lower, Liuder, Cleaner, better mounting hardware included, etc.



So, did I make a Good Choice? You guys seemed to have a Love/Hate relationship with these things, saying the bugged you, but in some ways were the best. I realize I am generalizing here.biggrin.gif


Again, I can test out BOTH Brands on my 4 Media Chairs, but WHY? Not counting Price, the Clark TST209 should be better right? I wish they had the same connections as the Aura:rolleyes: Those 2 short ass wires are a joke.


What Amp should I get? That Dayton Audio 250 Watt Subwoofer Plate Amp for $125? When I called Parts Express the guy said I could go with a 500 way Amp???? Again, NOT turn it up all the way.



I just want some guys to chime in (2014) and let me know if I am making a good decision with the Clarks??? I was going to put 2 Auras in each seat:D BUT, for approximately double the price, and double the output, I can just get ONE Clark.



Any Comments, Advice, Amp Choice, hook up Help is appreciated.


Oh ya, here is my room. I painted, hung projector, put speakers in the wall, took off door frame eek.gifbiggrin.gif flipped doors around so they open OUT (more room inside the room), and built my 117' X 68" screen.






IMG_7495.JPG
post #136 of 136
Can't beat Buttkicker for shakers that don't bottom out at normal levels. Rooms look good - no junk across the front!
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