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#264429 - 06/23/09 01:17 PM ButtKicker and other bass shakers
Golden Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 138
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Has anyone set one these up in their HT, and if so, have any comments on them? Are they worth the money, or just a gimmick? My thought process is: in an apartment setting, where too much audible bass may be a problem, would the addiction of tactile bass be an effective way to add to the HT experience?
_________________________
M60x2, VP150, M22x2
Sennheiser HD-595
Onkyo TX-SR507, PS3 (40gb)

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#264432 - 06/23/09 01:30 PM Re: ButtKicker and other bass shakers [Re: Golden]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Sam,
I have no experience 'bass shakers', however I have had the fun of experiencing D-Box. D-Box is IMHO a fantastic addition to an HT setup. Of course the price is not cheap by any means, which is why I haven't got one. It's on my wish list of things I can't afford! \:\) Go and demo a D-Box setup if you can. I watched about 20 minutes of Bolt and was just amazed. The best part was I didn't even know it was a D-Box setup when I sat down. I was a bit freaked out when the couch 1st started moving along with the train Bolt was on!
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#264434 - 06/23/09 02:12 PM Re: ButtKicker and other bass shakers [Re: cb919]
Golden Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 138
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Hah, just when you think you've found something neat... you realize there is something about 1000x better out there. These certainly do look expensive, do you happen to know what they actually end up costing (not that I'm getting one)?!
_________________________
M60x2, VP150, M22x2
Sennheiser HD-595
Onkyo TX-SR507, PS3 (40gb)

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#264445 - 06/23/09 03:54 PM Re: ButtKicker and other bass shakers [Re: Golden]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana

 Originally Posted By: Golden

Has anyone set one these up in their HT, and if so, have any comments on them? Are they worth the money, or just a gimmick? My thought process is: in an apartment setting, where too much audible bass may be a problem, would the addiction of tactile bass be an effective way to add to the HT experience?


In my experience your thought process about using one in an apartment setting is correct. I had one attached to the futon in my apartment and it made it was fantastic for giving that deep bass feel when I couldn't turn up my subwoofer which was most of the time. OTOH both my experience in the apartment and my new house is that a good subwoofer that goes low with authority (I have an EP500) will give you 95% or more of the shaking that the Buttkicker can and is one heck of a lot easier to use.

In the apartment when I had to keep the sub turned down the Buttkicker did an awesome job of giving me the low end shaking without transmitting it through the walls or the floor. Note that I had it mounted to the frame of the futon and wasnít using the pad that fits under one leg. It did a great job of simulating the effect of having my subwoofer turned up.

Now that I can turn my subwoofer up the Buttkicker just isnít as effective. Also, the difficulty of integrating it into the system starts becoming more of a pain than itís worth. The problem I find with it is that no one set of settings on the Buttkicker work well for any two audio tracks meaning that to get the best integration with my sub/speakers I need to fine tune it every time I put a new DVD in. Or write down the settings and always use the same volume when playing the DVD.

The problem is that unless the DVD has something like the THX intro I have to wait until some deep bass gets played to see if itís set right. And then have to get up and go tweak the knobs on the amp itself. This isnít quite as big a deal now that Iím in a house and can play my system and 80dB all the time. But in the apartment when I was varying the volume setting a lot recalibrating the Buttkicker was a pain.

However, one advantage of having all the calibration options on the Buttkicker amp is that you can better control boosting the very low end w/o having the mid and upper bass to strong. So in scenes like LOTR FOTR in the Mines of Moria Iíve always felt the very low bass wasnít mixed strong enough into the soundtrack. I can use the controls on the Buttkicker amp to boost the very low bass so I can really feel the cave trollís hammer hitting the ground and the staircase crumbling and crashing down.

In the house I feel putting that money toward a better or multiple subwoofers would be more beneficial and easier to use. Though Randy and others could comment better on the ease of use of multiple subwoofers than I can. For now I donít plan on using multiple subs because the one EP500 pressurizes my 13.5x21x8-12(vaulted) viewing area open into a 10x15x9 kitchen/dinning room more than I need. Literally it shakes the crap out of everything w/o being corner loaded or running it hot.

I loved the Buttkicker in my apartment despite the calibration issues, night and day difference when I couldnĎt turn up the sub. Jury is still out on using it in the house if being able to fine tune the lower bass is worth the trouble especially with separate chairs since I donít plan on building a riser, at least not yet.

Sorry for being so long winded.

Cheers,
Dean
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#264448 - 06/23/09 04:37 PM Re: ButtKicker and other bass shakers [Re: Golden]
cb919 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 1041
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Sam - The D-Box setup I experienced sold for about $10k (yes, that's ten thousand dollars!) \:o However that was the fully integrated leather dual chair setup. I imagine that one of the add-ons for existing seating would be cheaper as you're not paying for the custom built chairs. Next time I'm in my local shop I'll ask. BTW, even better than the HT experience is the video game experience - I drove an F1 car around the Montreal track - absolutely fantastic! I was completely pumped with adrenaline - an amazing visceral experience.

Dean - I agree totally with your EP500 experiences. I have mine in a much smaller room. It's also located behind my couch and on the really deep bass scenes will literally shake the couch - it's like the T-Rex is kicking you in @ss! I guess that's similar to what the buttkicker must feel like? Maybe not quite as strong? I can only imagine what the EP800 would do when the 500 is already so strong.
_________________________
Dan
In/On Wall 500 w M2 Center Channel

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#264485 - 06/24/09 09:11 AM Re: ButtKicker and other bass shakers [Re: cb919]
Golden Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 138
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Dean, thanks for that breakdown. At $200 it might be a worthwhile investment once I get into my new place. Then again, that $200 could go a long way towards a very nice sub upgrade... hmmm, decisions, decisions. I guess I'll see what the neighbors are like, and then make the call.

As a side note, this is gonna be in a hell of a small room. About 10x9x9, so I could probably get a pretty small sub and still have a huge effect due to room gain and characteristics. Thankfully the room will be dedicated to HT and music.
_________________________
M60x2, VP150, M22x2
Sennheiser HD-595
Onkyo TX-SR507, PS3 (40gb)

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#264495 - 06/24/09 11:56 AM Re: ButtKicker and other bass shakers [Re: Golden]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4450
Loc: Marion, IA
I started using bass shakers over 10 years ago, and while my current theater doesn't have them installed, I do have them ready to go for if my financial situation turns around and I can get on the new seating for my home theater.

Let me put it this way, they are a great effect, but are by no means a replacement for a poor or non-existent subwoofer. I know that you are looking to keep volume levels down, so they might work for you. Heck, they are advertised to add bass feel when you don't have the gear to pump the bass, or for when you need to keep levels low (apartment).

Here is a link to my REALLY old home theater that I first put bass shakers in. It will give you some info as to my start with them and what other people thought, but again, they are more of a supplement to bass than a replacement.

Nick's Theater V1.0
_________________________
http://ht.buol.us
M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers

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#264501 - 06/24/09 12:57 PM Re: ButtKicker and other bass shakers [Re: nickbuol]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13333
Loc: Iowa
Hope things are going well for you Nick...
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#264527 - 06/24/09 07:11 PM Re: ButtKicker and other bass shakers [Re: SirQuack]
nickbuol Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4450
Loc: Marion, IA
 Originally Posted By: sirquack
Hope things are going well for you Nick...

Hanging in there...
_________________________
http://ht.buol.us
M60s, VP180, VP150, QS8s, SVS 20-39PCi, HTPC, JVC RS45, Onkyo TX-NR709, Shakers

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#264529 - 06/24/09 09:27 PM Re: ButtKicker and other bass shakers [Re: Golden]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7400
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
 Originally Posted By: Golden
Dean, thanks for that breakdown. At $200 it might be a worthwhile investment once I get into my new place. Then again, that $200 could go a long way towards a very nice sub upgrade... hmmm, decisions, decisions. I guess I'll see what the neighbors are like, and then make the call.

As a side note, this is gonna be in a hell of a small room. About 10x9x9, so I could probably get a pretty small sub and still have a huge effect due to room gain and characteristics. Thankfully the room will be dedicated to HT and music.


Small room or not, a bigger sub with a bigger driver will generally play lower and give you lots of rumblies for movies. I used to have an HT in a 10x10 room and used my Hsu VTF3 mkII to good effect.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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