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#276456 - 10/28/09 02:35 AM Does anyone here use a ButtKicker?
Hansang Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 602
Loc: New York
and if so, do you like it?
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#276458 - 10/28/09 04:47 AM Re: Does anyone here use a ButtKicker? [Re: Hansang]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I have the Buttkicker LFE kit.

http://www.thebuttkicker.com/home_theater/products/bk_lfe_kit.htm

I do like it but I’m not sure it’s the best use of money for everyone.

Fist off it works exactly as advertised. With the amp you have both a high pass and low pass filter, on/off switches for both filters so you can enable/disable them w/o changing any settings and a volume control. The controls allow you to dial it in exactly the way you want it and I believe you can run up to 4 transducer off 1 amp.

I used it extensively in my apartment but only limited testing in my house. If I were living in an apartment and plan on watching lots of movies I would get a Buttkicker before even considering a subwoofer. Reason being is that when mounted directly to the futon (not using the floor pad) the vibration didn’t go through the floor or walls. So with the sub off or turned way down I could feel most of the LFE w/o complaints from neighbors.

However, so far in the house where I can turn my subwoofer up I find it’s less an advantage and some of the fine tuning issues can be more of a hassle than it‘s worth. For me there’s a very narrow range where the Buttkicker really enhances the LFE. Below that and might as well not use it, above that and I find it overbearing.

That would be fine if not for the fact that very few LFE tracks are created equal. Dial the BK in for LOTR and you’d think it’s going to self destruct on Star Wars III. Also the LFE isn’t always where you’d expect it to be. For example in LOTR FOTR when the cavern is collapsing in the Moria you’d expect the all the falling rocks to have a deep rumble but set the high pass filter to 40Hz and nothing…the BK is dead, set it up around 80 and now you get the crashing of the rocks. However, set it to 80Hz on Star Wars III and things you wouldn’t really expect to rumble shake the crap out of you.

Related is that if you dial it in for one volume and then if you decide to bump up master volume and the BK goes over the top. This is a pain because you cant adjust it remotely w/o adjusting either the master volume or the LFE. But when you adjust it at the amp you cant tell how it feels until you go back and sit down an run a scene w/LFE. This can take a couple times back and forth. A real pain if you tried to watch a new movie.

To cope with the differences in audio mixing from one DVD (including the center and surrounds) after I watch a DVD I write down the speaker level and BK settings I ended up with on a 3x5 card and put it in the DVD case so when I watch it again I can dial everything right back in.

Other things to note is that one BK could easily be overkill for my futon so I can’t imagine using a full one in each chair. A riser w/3-6 chairs perhaps. Also it works most efficiently when attached to something very ridged the futon being more ridged than most couch frames. Having what it’s mounted to decoupled as much as possible from the floor also increases it’s efficiency.

The Guitammer Company was excellent in dealing with a warranty claim. My amp went out after about 6 months (bad power at my apartment I believe). Called them and had a new amp a couple days later w/shipping labels to send back the bad one. That amp has been working fine for 4 years now.

Also most games I play have “poorly” mixed LFE. For example a sword hitting your shield usually give you the same shaking as a cave collapsing. So sometimes having the BK on is more distracting than enhancing.

I didn’t like it for music when using my M80s but then I never paired it up with my M22 to see how it would pick up the low end for music compared to the EP500.

In summery it’s my opinion that a BK is a must for and apartment HT, or any time you can’t turn the sub up, and would get one in lieu of a subwoofer. For the house bass traps or a second subwoofer might be better ways to enhance the LFE

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

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#276474 - 10/28/09 12:48 PM Re: Does anyone here use a ButtKicker? [Re: grunt]
Micah Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1789
Loc: Indiana you hoser!!!!
Sounds like something you wouldn't want to attach to any furniture you value a lot. All that shaking can't be good long term on your expensive sofa.
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#276509 - 10/28/09 02:54 PM Re: Does anyone here use a ButtKicker? [Re: Micah]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
But on the other hand, I bet your wives and girlfriends suddenly developed an interest in action movies with lots of explosions and deep rumblings.
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#276746 - 10/29/09 08:45 PM Re: Does anyone here use a ButtKicker? [Re: Murph]
Hansang Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 602
Loc: New York
Thanks for the detailed right up. I do live condo (have neighbor) so I can't really crank the EP500. It's not that I *LOVE* LFE, but I'm kinda curious. It sounds gimmicky to me, but most reviewers say that's not the case. My wife just bought some new couches so that's something to think about. I never really thought about what it could do to a couch. Ironically, this new couch has the perfect "feet" for the buttkicker! \:\)
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Denon 4520, EPIC80/500/VP180 Speakers

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#276748 - 10/29/09 09:22 PM Re: Does anyone here use a ButtKicker? [Re: Murph]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
 Originally Posted By: Murph
But on the other hand, I bet your wives and girlfriends suddenly developed an interest in action movies with lots of explosions and deep rumblings.


Where does one go about ordering one of these things? \:\)
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Rick
Our Room

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#276804 - 10/30/09 08:49 AM Re: Does anyone here use a ButtKicker? [Re: RickF]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
My wife does the butt kicking at my house.
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