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http://crowsontech.com/

I have been asked a number of questions regarding the Crowson Tactile Motion Actuators recently. I have had at least one of these in my system for a number of years. Last year, I upgraded to a dual transducer system on a riser. I have documented that process here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1349395/craig-johns-theater/60#post_21093230
and here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1349395/craig-johns-theater/90#post_21140920

Spcifications:

• Actuator size 5.7” Long, 4.8” Wide, 1.1” High
• Actuator weight 3.5 lbs
• Motion system (all) maximum load 1000 lbs
• Binding posts accept 18 to 10 AWG speaker wire
• Nominal impedance 8 ohms, all T108 models. 6 ohms, all others
• Overload protection trip temperature 160°F
• Minimum recommended power 50 Watts RMS
• Maximum recommended power 500 Watts RMS
• Frequency response 1Hz to 600Hz

Reviews of the Crowson Tactile Motion Actuators:

http://crowsontech.com/go/crowsontech/3422/en-US/DesktopDefault.aspx

I also posted an mini-review of the system here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1349395/craig-johns-theater/90#post_21096088
Quote: I have had a single Crowson actuator underneath my seats for years. I originally had it just on the floor, (carpet over concrete), without the riser. I could shake the seats, but I always noticed that the floor didn't shake, and that I got no sensation through my feet; and therefore I've always found the effect to be compromised. About 6 months ago, I built the riser to try to transmit some tactile sensation to my feet to make the experience more believable. It worked quite well, so I'm now extending it to the new riser and the new seats.

I have 2 friends who's HT's are on the 2nd floors of their homes. They are on "suspended" floors. They both get incredible tactile response from acoustic-mechanical coupling of the bass to their floors. The floors shake and transmit tactile response to your feet, but they also shake the seats and transmit tactile response to your body. It's an all-inclusive experience. This is the effect I'm trying to emulate in my room. My HT is in the basement, on a concrete floor. Without the tactile actuator, I get ZERO tactile response, even with 3 Submersive HP's. It's simply impossible to shake concrete with acoustic-mechanical coupling. The only way I could get anything close to what my friends have is to use a tactile actuator. I looked at all of them, (Buttkicker, Aura, I-beam, etc.), and decided on the Crowson. (The Earthquake wasn't available at that point.)

After installing the actuator and riser, I found there is actually an unexpected benefit to this arrangement over shaking the whole floor. A suspended floor shakes at a "resonant frequency", which means it only shakes when actuated with that frequency, (or the range around that frequency.) So, sometimes you get *massive* shaking when you have LFE at that frequency range... and other times you don't get much shaking at all, when the LFE is outside that range. With a tactile actuator, you get shaking at all frequencies, and you can actually feel the difference between different frequencies.

I have set up the "source signal" for the actuators a little bit unconventionally. I use Audyssey XT32 for room correction. This means that both subwoofer outputs on my pre/pro are exposed to the EQ for that room correction. The tactile actuators don't need or benefit from room correction, so the challenge was to find a source signal without room correction. I could not get one from my pre/pro. Then it dawned on me... since the vast majority of my "quality" viewing/listening is sourced from my Oppo BDP-83, and since it has MC analog outputs, including a subwoofer output, and those outputs are active even when the HDMI connection is in use, I simply connected the Oppo's subwoofer output to the amp for the Crowson directly. I then set the Bass Management in the Oppo to re-route all the main channel bass to the subwoofer output,an viola... a "pure" subwoofer source signal without room correction. The one downside is that the signal is not exposed to the Master Volume Control, so I need to control the "volume" of the actuator manually. I have settled on 2 different settings, one for movies and one for music, with the music setting being about 25% lower than the movie setting. It's a simple matter to set it before listening to one or the other, but there have been occasions where I forget and I get the movie setting for music...

I am using the Buttkicker mono amp to drive the Crowsons. It delivers 1,000 watts into 4 ohms. It has an LPF and an HPF. I set the LPF at 40 Hz and disable the HPF. I don't like the actuator to shake at higher frequencies. 40 Hz is the highest frequency I find "believable" for shaking. Above that, and it becomes gimmicky and fake. I do enjoy the shaking for the infrasonic stuff. The Crowsons have response down to 3 Hz, as does the Buttkicker amp, so you get really good shaking with the ULF's.

The one downside to using an actuator with a riser is that the riser can become a "speaker." It can make some noise with the shaking. However, it's a low enough level sound that it is completely masked by the sounds from the speakers and subs. I never hear it or notice it during normal use. In fact I only hear it when I have the speakers and subs turned off, and I'm just driving the actuator. However, it is a potential issue.

Otherwise, I would not give up my tactile response system for anything. It adds a level of immersion and enjoyment that is otherwise not possible in my basement HT.


Link to coolrda's technique for setting up Crowson MA's with Audyssey XT32 and miniDSP
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-s...-motion-actuators-thread-22.html#post44219650

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Amplifiers for Crowson Tactile Motion Actuators

Crowson Amplifier:




http://crowsontech.com/go/crowsontech/3485/en-US/DesktopDefault.aspx


Features:


Drives up to four Shadow-8 (T108S) Actuators with two channels of pristine power

Control-system compatible: IR and RS232 (Crestron certified)

Included stainless steel remote control and rear-mounted IR Input

Bass management, filter and gain control for limitless personalization

12V trigger

Four remote control presets: Movie, Music, Flat and Games

Four phase settings for a perfect match with your subwoofer

Rack mountable with supplied removable ears

From extreme to subtle, delivers effortless, seamless motion


Specifications:


Two channels 200W RMS each (4 ohm), 400W each dynamic

Variable Low Pass Filter: 30-160Hz, Defeatable, 24 dB/octave slope

High pass out to main audio speakers: 80 Hz (6 dB/octave)

Weight: 25lbs. (22.7 Kg)

Size : 2U, 3.6" x 17" x 13" (9 x 43.2 x 33 cm) *Allow two extra inches in depth for wire connectors and power cable. *Includes feet. Feet can be removed for rack mount use. Unit is approximately "two rack units" high.


Earthquake Amp:




Like its big brother the XJ-600R, the XJ-300R is very powerful for its size and somewhat deceiving as far as appearance is concerned. The XJ-300R comes on a much smaller chassis with room correction and is geared towards powering the new extremely efficient Quake Series Tactile Transducers. In addition, the XJ-300R's high power output can also be used to power the Thor IW-SUB10 in-wall subwoofer or even other off brand passive subs or tactile transducers.


With an extremely small and compact size as well as high output of 280 Watts RMS @ 4-Ohm, the XJ-300R is everything you need for high-end custom home theaters, game rooms or even a single person setup. Since this amplifier is designed using the patented class "J" amplifier circuitry, it is capable of running for long periods of time without even breaking a sweat, making its perfect for placement in hidden areas such as the inside of couches, recliners and/or cabinets. The best part of all, the XJ-300R comes complete with a standard rack mount adapter so it can be easily mounted to a standard home theater equipment rack, maintaining the consistent and clean look.


Behringer iNuke Amplifier:




Overview


The NU1000DSP is part of the iNUKE Series amplifiers by Behringer with DSP that delivers up to 1,000 watts 4 ohms bridge mode.


Highlights


Delivers 2 x 500 watts into 2 ohms, 2 x 300 watts into 4 ohms, 1,000 watts into 4 ohms (bridge mode) and weighs less than 8 lbs.

Ultimate reliability through revolutionary cool-running High-Density Class-D technology with "near-zero" thermal buildup

Ultra-efficient switch-mode power supply for noise-free audio, superior transient response and low power consumption

High-performance DSP and 24-bit/96 kHz converters deliver ultimate signal integrity and extreme dynamic range

DSP section features sophisticated delay, crossover (3 filter types, up to 48 dB/octave), EQ (8 parametric, 2 dynamic), dynamics processing and lockable security settings

Front panel LCD display enables setup and adjustment without PC

Conceived and designed by BEHRINGER Germany


Buttkicker Amp:






Overview


The ButtKicker BKA1000-N power amplifier is the perfect power amp for one ButtKicker Concert transducer, up to four ButtKicker LFE transducers, and up to eight ButtKicker mini LFE transducers. The BKA1000-N is a digital, fanless, convection cooled, mono amplifier. The BKA1000-N is great choice for installations with multiple ButtKicker transducers and is the best amplifier to pair with the ButtKicker LFE and Concert transducers.


The BKA1000-N features both an RCA input and ¼” balanced TRS input for connecting to pro-audio gear (mixing boards, drum brains, etc.) The BKA1000-N offers a variable 40Hz to 160Hz High Cut Filter, a 25Hz Low Cut Filter, volume adjustment on the amplifier a, a power saving standby mode, and a 5 way binding post output.
 
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Oh yes indeed. You enter a whole new world when you put these in your system. I am using the Butt Kicker BKA-1000N BTW. I bought Craig's older Crowson model that he was not using at the time. These will always have a place in my system from now on. I am guessing that the one I have can handle 500 watts as well. I am not sure. I guess that's why I have to keep the level so low on my Butt Kicker since that puts out 1000 watts. I only have it up at 3 out of 10 on the amp volume.
 

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From the Crowson FAQ:
Quote:
Q: Is the Crowson TES-100 different from a "shaker?"

A: Yes, most definitely.


Many people, even some industry "experts" use the terms "shakers" and "tactile transducers" interchangeably, which is not technically correct.


A "shaker" can be a "tactile transducer," but not all "tactile transducers" are "shakers." Crowson TES-100 is a tactile transducer, but does not employ an "inertial-shaking" like any device which bolts onto the internal frame of a chair.


Crowson drivers are true Linear Actuators, not "shakers." They physically lift the seating (in the vertical plane), directly transferring motion at the points that were designed to bear the weight of the furniture.


The result is an incredibly realistic ("fast") motion rather than what can be a distracting, "one-note rumble" (shakers).


Crowson patented technology, Linear-Direct-Drive (LDD TM), delivers an audiophile-grade motion, with a linear, flat frequency response that exceeds even the finest loudspeakers (though it is not designed as a subwoofer replacement).


Imagine attempting to use a siren as a full-range home theater loudspeaker. Sirens are very efficient at a narrow band of frequencies, but terribly inefficient and inaccurate at other frequencies.

Inertial "shakers" can add an interesting, vigorous effect for similarly narrow frequency ranges (different "shakers" are optimized for different narrow frequency ranges), but are severely limited in their overall accuracy due to similar technical constraints.


Crowson TES-100 Linear Actuators are not simple "shakers" and should not be refered to as such.
http://crowsontech.com/go/crowsontech/3341/en-US/DesktopDefault.aspx


Craig
 

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I am very intrigued by this product.


On the website Crowson shows a discontinued BMP3 preamp (but apparently you can still buy it) that will take in the Left and Right Front Speakers and LFE and send out Left+LFE and Right+LFE. In the manual they say this will give you a stereo motion effect. Somewhere else they say this is very cool.


However, the new C602amp cannot combine the Left+Right+LFE. It can only take in Left+Right or LFE, but not both. So no stereo effect if you use LFE. Some movies have a great deal of low bass in the fronts, which you would lose if you had large Fronts.


Anybody ever experience the stereo motion effect? Worth using the BMP3 preamp or something similar?
 

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Great thread. I have been running dual BKs since WOTW came out on DVD however many years ago that was. I cant imagine being without them now. Probably the single best addition I have ever made to my HT.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA  /t/1450832/the-official-crowson-tactile-motion-actuators-thread#post_22821417


I am very intrigued by this product.


On the website Crowson shows a discontinued BMP3 preamp (but apparently you can still buy it) that will take in the Left and Right Front Speakers and LFE and send out Left+LFE and Right+LFE. In the manual they say this will give you a stereo motion effect. Somewhere else they say this is very cool.


However, the new C602amp cannot combine the Left+Right+LFE. It can only take in Left+Right or LFE, but not both. So no stereo effect if you use LFE. Some movies have a great deal of low bass in the fronts, which you would lose if you had large Fronts.


Anybody ever experience the stereo motion effect? Worth using the BMP3 preamp or something similar?

BMP 3 is not available anymore. I have an older amp they made that has connections L, R and LFE. Can't say that I ever felt the stereo effect (source material that someone could name to show this off would be great). Very impressed with Crowson system compared to others.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe  /t/1450832/the-official-crowson-tactile-motion-actuators-thread#post_22822048


Great thread. I have been running dual BKs since WOTW came out on DVD however many years ago that was. I cant imagine being without them now. Probably the single best addition I have ever made to my HT.
+1 ........Love BKs since the 1st day own it, BK + subwoofer = perfect combo for LFE
 

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looks like a great product but not sure I follow/agree with the marketing information. A shaker like a Buttkicker does NOT operate at only a single frequency ("one note rumble" as they stated). In operation, it may seem that way as the resonant frequency of a riser, platfom, or your sofa's frame may be exaggerated...but that is not the transducer's fault.
 

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The idea is that the Crowsons can overcome elements in one's theater that make other transducers seem like "one-note rumblers" Regardless of the resonant frequency in a riser, furniture, etc., the Crowson transducers' design still unmistakably provides varying levels of intensity, independent of any external factors.


To be clear, I'm not taking anything away from other transducers; however, based on my past experience, the Crowson system is the most capable system for reliable, versatile tactile transduction.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaminbass  /t/1450832/the-official-crowson-tactile-motion-actuators-thread#post_22822910


looks like a great product but not sure I follow/agree with the marketing information. A shaker like a Buttkicker does NOT operate at only a single frequency ("one note rumble" as they stated). In operation, it may seem that way as the resonant frequency of a riser, platfom, or your sofa's frame may be exaggerated...but that is not the transducer's fault.


I dont buy that marketing jargon either. I own BKs and have experienced the Crowson in a different setup at a house I delivered cabinets to a while back. Not fair to compare them since they were mounted/setup differently (not to mention all the other possible variables) and I am sure this is why I was/am more impressed with my BKs. Neither one would I describe as "one note rumble" though as both systems changed as far as the sensation and intensity depending on what the actual LFE was doing. I would have to think both systems would be very comparable once the variables are eliminated (same mounting, amp, movie, playback level, etc........).


What I am curious about though is how the much more expensive Q10B performs vs the Buttkicker. I did a quick search and could not find much, buy maybe I missed something? Any good comparisons of these 2?


Also, at the levels I enjoy using my dual BKs at, I do at times bottom out and was thinking of adding 2 more BKs at some point. I assume adding 2 more BKs for a total of 4 vs 2 would get me the same shake that I get now, but at the same time drive each unit less so I would reduce/eliminate the bottom outs? As far as the Buttkicker amp goes, I would be using the same power for 4 BKs vs two with the only difference being that the power would be divided up between the 4 instead of two, correct? In other words in either scenario (running 2 BKs vs 4) the amp would be working just as hard, but the power distribution would be different depending on if I am running 2 or 4 BKs, correct?

EDIT: Never mind. I found the info on the BK site. It looks like I have 1000 watts going to each BK now, but if you run 4 BKs each unit will only get 250 watts. So my question is what kind of real world difference will this make? Since each unit will now only be getting 250 watts, what does this mean as far as the performance per shaker vs what I have now with 1000 watts per shaker? Could I get the same shake out of each unit with 4 hooked up vs 2 by simply turning up the volume on the BK amp (not that I would do this since the goal is to get the same shake as now, but driving each unit less)?
 

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Discussion Starter #16

Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaminbass  /t/1450832/the-official-crowson-tactile-motion-actuators-thread#post_22822910


looks like a great product but not sure I follow/agree with the marketing information. A shaker like a Buttkicker does NOT operate at only a single frequency ("one note rumble" as they stated). In operation, it may seem that way as the resonant frequency of a riser, platfom, or your sofa's frame may be exaggerated...but that is not the transducer's fault.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe  /t/1450832/the-official-crowson-tactile-motion-actuators-thread#post_22832565


I dont buy that marketing jargon either. I own BKs and have experienced the Crowson in a different setup at a house I delivered cabinets to a while back. Not fair to compare them since they were mounted/setup differently (not to mention all the other possible variables) and I am sure this is why I was/am more impressed with my BKs. Neither one would I describe as "one note rumble" though as both systems changed as far as the sensation and intensity depending on what the actual LFE was doing. I would have to think both systems would be very comparable once the variables are eliminated (same mounting, amp, movie, playback level, etc........).
First, I'm not sure they were targeting the Buttkicker in their commentary. They don't specify which "other" transducers they are referring to. IME, the Buttkicker is not a "one-note rumble maker" so I doubt that they were referring to it.


Second, and more importantly, the Crowson is a "direct" transducer. It directly raises and lowers the seating at the frequency of the content. Other "shakers" shake a piston that then shakes the seating. Some are attached to the seating, others are attached to a fulcrum that shakes the seating; still others shake a riser that shakes the seating. All those other types of shakers will have more inertia, both in the device itself and in the mechanical attachment to the seating. The Crowson is fairly low mass with a powerful motor. It starts and stops very quickly. The experience I've had with the Buttkicker is that it "decays" more slowly than the Crowson. The Crowson stops immediately when the signal stops. In my experience, the Crowson is a better transducer in that respect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe  /t/1450832/the-official-crowson-tactile-motion-actuators-thread#post_22832565


What I am curious about though is how the much more expensive Q10B performs vs the Buttkicker. I did a quick search and could not find much, buy maybe I missed something? Any good comparisons of these 2?


Also, at the levels I enjoy using my dual BKs at, I do at times bottom out and was thinking of adding 2 more BKs at some point. I assume adding 2 more BKs for a total of 4 vs 2 would get me the same shake that I get now, but at the same time drive each unit less so I would reduce/eliminate the bottom outs? As far as the Buttkicker amp goes, I would be using the same power for 4 BKs vs two with the only difference being that the power would be divided up between the 4 instead of two, correct? In other words in either scenario (running 2 BKs vs 4) the amp would be working just as hard, but the power distribution would be different depending on if I am running 2 or 4 BKs, correct?
Since this is the Crowson thread, you might want to ask your question in the general transducer thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/330436/shakers-simple-cheap-hookup-visual-guide

Or start a new thread with your specific question. You are more likely to get specific answers that way.


Craig


PS. There was a guy a while back who directly compared the Buttkicker to the Earthquake. He had 4 of each mounted to a riser. I don't know where that thread is anymore, but I'm sure it could be found with some searching.
 

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Good info Craig, thanks. Sorry for my off topic questions as I should have thought to start another thread or post in the BK specific thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Found the post of the guy comparing transducers:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1184460/new-house-feeling-is-now-missing/30#post_17371901


Crowson specifically:
Quote:
Crowson. Very good shaker. Lightening quick. Good for those using a couch for seating. Not cost effective for large individual seating groups since you need one per seat. Limited in power down really deep. Very amp efficient.

I am using 1 Crowson transducer per 2 seats, so I disagree with him about needing one per seat. One Crowson can easily shake 2 seats as long as they share a common frame, or their separate frames can straddle on transducer.


A few posts later in the same thread, forum member John H compares the Buttkicker and the Earthquake specifically:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1184460/new-house-feeling-is-now-missing/60#post_17375334


Craig
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john  /t/1450832/the-official-crowson-tactile-motion-actuators-thread#post_22836675


Found the post of the guy comparing transducers:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1184460/new-house-feeling-is-now-missing/30#post_17371901


Crowson specifically:

I am using 1 Crowson transducer per 2 seats, so I disagree with him about needing one per seat. One Crowson can easily shake 2 seats as long as they share a common frame, or their separate frames can straddle on transducer.


A few posts later in the same thread, forum member John H compares the Buttkicker and the Earthquake specifically:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1184460/new-house-feeling-is-now-missing/60#post_17375334


Craig

Thanks for the link Craig. I found this quote interesting from that post which I agree with as far as my BK experience goes........

Tends to bottom out with high volume, high extension signals.


I really like the sound of the Earthquake 10.0 in comparison though............

Earthquake Quake 10.0. Excellent ahaker. Speed starts to approach the Crowson. EXTREMELY powerful and has the best ultra deep response. God's own platform shaker. Requires BIG horsepower. Cost effective. Runs more per shaker, but you need less of them since one is the equivalent of about 3 Buttkickers. Good for large platforms, multiple seats. What I currently sell to clients. I use two on each of my platforms that are 23' wide.


It sounds like John H had a different experience though in his post, so who knows. I am tempted to try one of these 10.0 out though and see if I can just get away with one vs my 2 BKs and also if I can eliminate the occasional bottoming.


EDIT: Here is another Buttkicker/ Quake 10.0 comparison (post #3 by Vexthem). This is much more in line with the John H experience above with the Buttkicker being more impressive. Not only that, but this particular poster did not get the best customer service experience from Quake from the sounds of it.........


http://www.avsforum.com/t/841019/2-buttkicker-lfe-vs-1-earthquake-quake-10-0


I am back to my original plan of just trying to add 2 more Buttkickers and maybe even a second amp to keep the power at 1000/per shaker. 2 BKs + BK amp would only be ~$100 more vs 1 10.0. I am not liking the sound of the Quake customer service either. I can say that the customer service of the Guitammer company (Buttkicker) is absolutely first rate as I have had to deal with them a couple times with some issues I had. I would put their customer service up with the best I have experienced from SVS, Carada and Severtsen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john  /t/1450832/the-official-crowson-tactile-motion-actuators-thread/0_20#post_22836675


Found the post of the guy comparing transducers:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1184460/new-house-feeling-is-now-missing/30#post_17371901


Crowson specifically:

I am using 1 Crowson transducer per 2 seats, so I disagree with him about needing one per seat. One Crowson can easily shake 2 seats as long as they share a common frame, or their separate frames can straddle on transducer.


A few posts later in the same thread, forum member John H compares the Buttkicker and the Earthquake specifically:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1184460/new-house-feeling-is-now-missing/60#post_17375334


Craig

I just spoke to Crowson today as I was not sure if ordering dual shadow units was necessary for my (2) theater seats coming but they confirmed that (1) should be enough unless the chairs are not connected very well and I could add another later.


Looking forward to having these !!!
 
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