Crossover control puts you in charge, and allows you to send only low sounds to your bass shakers. Find out if you need crossover control.
You've got the big TV, you love your comfy couch or chairs. Now it's time to have some fun. Installing bass shakers under your chair or couch is the most satisfying DIY jobs around.
There are a million different ways to install bass shakers: this is just one easy way that will help you get started. Once you have all the things you need, you can do a basic installation in an afternoon.
Bass shakers work well in lots of home theater seating - and in regular chairs and couches. Pick a chair that has arms, because your hands and arms are really good at registering vibrations.
Attach your bass shakers (or tactile transducers) INSIDE your chair or couch if you can. Turn over your chair or couch and have a look at what's underneath or inside. Lots of chairs have a wooden bass or crossbeam underneath or inside: bass shakers LOVE wood.
Attach them to the wooden beam as tightly as possible as near the center of your chair as possible. If you can get the shaker actually inside your chair, so much the better. I like to have two shakers per single chair - one under the chair, and one in my lower back, but that's just me.
That's when your MacGyver skills get a workout. You might consider attaching the shakers to a piece of wood, then attaching the wood to the couch. Or, if you have ButtKickers, you can get their mounting plate, and fit it under your couch or chair leg. (see image)
Yes! One of the FIRST things to know about your bass shakers is that they (almost always) need power. They can't power themselves. So what do you? Plug them into an amp.
If you're getting a ButtKicker, you can't go too far wrong with the capable ButtKicker Amp (see below, or online). In fact, in my experience, it works really well with a lot of the Clark Synthesis range too. For the Aura, any low powered amp is worth a look. For example, the Dayton 70 watt amp (see it online) has enough power for two Aura shakers. With your cheaper bass shakers, you don't want a super powerful amp. Auras, for example, are 50 watts, and you don't want to give them more than a 50 watt amp.
Crossovers let your amp send only low sounds to your bass shakers, so they ONLY vibrate when you want them to. These days, you can get good subwoofers with crossover control already included, which can make life easier. Find out more about crossover control.
Not necessarily, but rubber mounts DO isolate the vibrations so they're not lost into your floor. You can make some rubber mounts yourself from neoprene sheets (cut and stack the sheets about 2" high), or get something suitable from a hardware store or online.
Depending on which bass shaker you get, your installation will be slightly different. However, basically it goes something like this:
1. Attach your shakers to your chair, or to the floor under your couch, or to your gaming chair, or wherever you want to put them!
2. Using speaker wire, connect the shakers to a powered amp (most people go for a subwoofer amplifier).
3. Using an RCA split audio cable, connect the amp to the 'subwoofer out' jack on the receiver.
And - at its most basic form - that's it!
If you get one of the many ButtKicker kits available, you'll probably get the amp and all the cables as part of the package. Aura sometimes includes wire, and sometimes not. But it's easy enough to run down to the hardware store.
Here's the Clark Synthesis step-by-step guide for all of their various transducers. I can't find a good set-up video for the Clark, but the Clark people have amazing customer service so if you go astray, just give them a call.