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Question Why Don't My Bass Shakers Reflect My Understanding of Real-World Vibrations? (deaf)

DeafPaul

Standard Member
Over the years I have struggled with my 4x Aura Bass shakers, losing heart each time and then they'd collect dust in storage for a period of time. Then I'd get inspired to try again only to give up again.

I decided to start over last week.

I picked up a new receiver from Costco last week that cost me a pretty penny. I made sure it had subwoofer ouputs. TSR-5810 AV Receiver.

I also picked up a Dayton SA 100 amplifier.

TV is a Samsung UN65KS8000FXZA

I think I have it all correctly hooked up. Optical audio from TV box to Receiver. Sub outputs to inputs on the amp. Two built in wires from the front of the amp to the shakers. The shakers shake when there's sound on the TV and are solidly screwed into the frame of my couch.

I played with various settings (gain and frequency on the amp, turning on and off "extra bass" with the receiver but I still feel that they do not come anywhere near representing what vibrations/sounds feel like to me as a individual who has never heard in his life. I rely on vibrations. I feel them when a gunshot goes off. When somebody screams. When a motorcycle goes by. At the dragstrip. Firecrackers. You get the idea.

During movies, the shakers don't make the same vibrations. Not even close. I had my hearing girlfriend help yesterday evening to confirm that 1) They aren't making vibrations that reflect what things hear like to hearing people. 2) That the shakers aren't even correctly reflecting the sounds that the TV is making.

Why is this such a daunting task. When somebody shoots an AK-47 machine gun, I expect my shakers to go "pop, pop, pop, pop!" Not to go "hummmmmmmm". When a car explodes during a MadMax chase scene, I expect for there to be a distinct explosion vibration felt through the humming (car motor sounds I assume). But there's barely a change in the vibrations when something explodes. Then when there are things that aren't loud enough to cause reasonably felt vibrations happening on the TV, the shakers vibrate a bit. Annoying. Maddening.

What gives?

Sincerely,

Frustrated with Sound Technology
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Have you tried a subwoofer and speaker system at all rather than the bass shakers?

Obviously can't speak for you but for me gunshots, car explosions etc are produced by the speakers and subwoofer. A good subwoofer will also vibrate the sofa/couch as well.

Is it possible to get a demo either at home or a local AV store to see if this would work for you?
 

DeafPaul

Standard Member
Thanks for chiming in, Jase.

I have not tried normal speakers or a subwoofer. I understand that these produce noise which is something I want to avoid because it's just waste since I won't hear it, and because of others who live with me as well as those who live downstairs. Would have to be cranked pretty high to produce real-world levels of vibrations I'd imagine. Correct? Cripes, the neighbors would probably also complain too!

Are you implying that a bass shaker is not designed to, or is not capable of producing correct vibrations? I thought that was the whole purpose behind bass shakers. Do they just rumble/hum? Isn't that annoying? If so, I feel pretty dumb for wasting all this money and years trying to make it do what I thought they were supposed to do.

-Paul
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
A bass shaker would usually be underpinning a subwoofer or working in conjunction with one but only at the lower frequencies. To replicate what you personally feel when a sound is produced I suspect you'll need something doing that a bit higher up the frequency range.

The way you're describing a gunshot for example, on my AV system that would be coming from the upper range of the subwoofer and the lower range of the speakers. I'd be very surprised if you could get a bass shaker to replicate that exactly.

You're correct about volume levels, you'd need to be cranking it up to get decent impact. I can't say how loud you'd need it to go for you personally though.

It still might be worth getting a demo at an AV store just to see if a system is capable of doing what you need and to see just what sort of volume levels it needs to be at.

The other alternative might be to try and get a wider range of frequencies going to the bass shakers but I'm not sure how that would work out or if they'd do anything.

Edit. Just had a look online at various bass shakers and some can go higher up the frequency range but the Auras appear to be somewhat limited with regards to that.
 
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Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
I don't know how your system is set up, but when I had some shakers I had to have them so they only vibrated at 50hz or lower - anything higher felt unnatural. For example, when set to around 8ohz, I think some voices would activate them, so you didn't really want to be feeling the shakers for what was just normal speech. You only needed them for explosions and the like.

Your situations of course different, and I had them to augment the sound that was there. You can't do that of course so perhaps that is why they don't seem to be working for you.
 

DeafPaul

Standard Member
I did notice that if I did not turn on the "enhanced bass" feature in the receiver, there was more variation in the vibrations - slightly more realistic but still nowhere close to what it should be. I assume that this enhanced bass feature allowed for higher frequencies to travel to the amp and then to the shakers.

I did try hooking up the shakers directly to the center output screw-in plugs in the receiver, completely bypassing the amp wondering about that. However, the shakers did not vibrate. I'm guessing because they were not getting enough power? Any thoughts on whether this is something I should try to pursue, and if so, how?

I also note that I have a frequency knob on the Dayton SA 100 amp. I assume that turning it counterclockwise all the way would allow for higher frequencies to come through? It seemed to do better in the middle settings rather than cranked all the way clockwise.

The closest thing we have to an AV store here on Oahu that I know of would be Best Buy and I have my doubts about dealing with them on this based on my past experience and how clueless they've been in the past.

-Paul
 

DeafPaul

Standard Member
I don't know how your system is set up, but when I had some shakers I had to have them so they only vibrated at 50hz or lower - anything higher felt unnatural. For example, when set to around 8ohz, I think some voices.
Correct. That was my problem with previous set ups where I did not use an amp. Talking scenes would make the shakers vibrate. I was told I needed to filter out the higher hertzs to get rid of those kind of vibrations. Thus the reason for getting the amp and a nicer receiver that has sub outputs. But reading what Jase wrote about going to higher frequency range to get more realistic vibrations just leads me back in a circle it seems.

I take it that shakers cannot do what I thought they were supposed to do - make real-world realistic vibrations occur. Correct?

If so... Thank God for Costco's return policy. Anybody in Hawaii want to buy my amp and shakers? :(

-Paul
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't give up on them just yet. Used in conjunction with an AV system, speakers and sub you might get the results you want. With some tinkering of levels, the crossover frequencies and overall volume you might be able to find a happy medium. Certainly with a decent subwoofer you can get that kick/punch with gunshots and explosions.

AV Receivers also come with various features such as Dynamic EQ and other modes that enable you to keep the overall volume down but still retain a decent amount of output from the subwoofer. It's another option to investigate at the very least.
 

DeafPaul

Standard Member
What kind of requirements do you suppose I would need from a subwoofer for this? Certain terms, wattage, power (means with a plug right?) or unpowered, etc? What do I need to know before I start shopping for a subwoofer? I took a quick look at my local craigslist and I'm surprised to see that there's hardly any information posted in the ads for subwoofers for sale.

Examples:
Klh subwoofer

Yamaha Subwoofer for Home Theater

Thoughts?

-Paul
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Shakers are only supposed to augment the lower frequencies and add a more tactile experience to the audio/bass - that was why I used them in a loft room - I didn't want the subs to vibrate the roof so they were isolated from the room by having them sat on pads (like Grammas). So to get the tactile feel that subs usually add (that I had removed due to the pads) I added the bass shakers to the seats, and it worked quite well.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'realistic' as they are only usually only supposed to work for explosions etc and not higher frequencies and perhaps that's all you want and they did seem to do that for me, though they can be set to full range and act like a speaker, albeit a very inefficient one. Feeling the full range would be a bit odd though I would think (and it did to me when I tried it).

Perhaps the problem is that without the audio the vibrations probably feel a bit strange and you won't have that tie-in that people with hearing do. It could just be that they way you interact is quite different to people with hearing so your expectations are different too. Just a guess.

I had an external box that was designed to work with a Paradigm Servo 15, and that would allow me to reduce the frequency range that would be allowed to the (stereo) amp. Perhaps what you need is a subwooofer plate amp or similar that can wind down the frequencies that get sent to the bass shakers, or some in-line filters that will only allow 50hz or lower to the amp and shakers. Something like these perhaps:

2 Harrison Labs FMOD 50Hz Hi Pass Subsonic Filter Rumble Reducer RCA USA | eBay
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
What kind of requirements do you suppose I would need from a subwoofer for this? Certain terms, wattage, power (means with a plug right?) or unpowered, etc? What do I need to know before I start shopping for a subwoofer? I took a quick look at my local craigslist and I'm surprised to see that there's hardly any information posted in the ads for subwoofers for sale.

Examples:
Klh subwoofer

Yamaha Subwoofer for Home Theater

Thoughts?

-Paul
You'd want a powered subwoofer with it's own amplification, definitely. To be honest, it's your budget that will dictate what you can get as the price range for Subs varies vastly.

That Yamaha doesn't look too bad for the money. Specs here:-

YST-SW305 - Subwoofers - Speakers - Audio & Visual - Products - Yamaha United States

I did find this place on Google:-

High End Audio & Home Cinema Honolulu : HiFi Hawaii

Whilst it's high-end it could be worth a sneaky visit to try out some gear before you decide to spend any further money. If only to give you an idea.
 

JoeSepi

Well-known Member
Hi Paul

I don't actually use shakers but,

Have you been doing this with a stereo feed or 5.1

With 5.1 dolby / DTS I would have thought you should be able to maybe do more, the sub channel LFE is the obvious connection for bass shakers but I wonder if the left and right channels might give the effect you want, speech is handled by the centre channel so that won't interfere.

Maybe whats needed is some conversion of the signal from the non LFE channels to get the effect from a shaker you need.
 
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DeafPaul

Standard Member
I'm not sure what you mean by 'realistic'
Imagine having ear plugs or ear muffs that block out all noise. Watching a conversation would be completely silent. No noise, no vibrations, etc. Standing on a busy street corner in New York would also be completely silent assuming there are no messed up mufflers or motorcycles nearby. Then a Harley goes flying by at full throttle scant feet away from you with mufflers removed. Going to make a hell lot of vibrations. As soon as it goes by, things almost promptly go completely silent again. That's what I've always felt, and what I call realistic vibrations. Hoping to achieve this somehow with my system. Currently if there's any vibrations, it just vibrates at a nearly steady rate, increasing and decreasing gradually without any clear differences or distinctions. A harley motor goes "pop pop pop pop" really fast. With my system, it would just feel like a loud hum. Not realistic. And the system continue to make noise long after things should have gone silent again.

I had an external box that was designed to work with a Paradigm Servo 15, and that would allow me to reduce the frequency range that would be allowed to the (stereo) amp. Perhaps what you need is a subwooofer plate amp or similar that can wind down the frequencies that get sent to the bass shakers
Isn't that what my Dayton SA100 I have supposed to allow me to do? Has 40-180 frequency adjustments as well as gain adjustments.

 

DeafPaul

Standard Member
Thanks Jase. I texted the seller of the Yamaha and offered $100. If it doesn't work out, I hope I can make most, if not all of my money back with minimal hassle. Fingers crossed.

I'll think about the sneaky visit... Kinda feels wrong to do something like that though.

Hi Paul

Have you been doing this with a stereo feed or 5.1
I have no idea. Receiver is a 7.2 or was it a 7.1? Whatever the latest and greatest is. I have it connected via an optical audio cable.

With 5.1 dolby / DTS I would have thought you should be able to maybe do more, the sub channel LFE is the obvious connection for bass shakers but I wonder if the left and right channels might give the effect you want, speech is handled by the centre channel so that won't interfere.
I did try connecting the shakers directly to the center output via the screw in holes (what are those called anyways?) but since the auras did not shake at all, either I wasn't able to figure out how to make it send a signal, or the auras need a different kind of signal (powered?) in order to shake?

-Paul
 

Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
OK, gotcha about 'realistic' :)

Yes, that pic is much the same as a subwoofer plate amp - so if you're using the LFE out from your receiver, set the amp to around 40 and the gain to give you the amount of sensation you want. It sounds like you're already doing that though, but it's not giving the same results. I don't have mine hooked up any more or I could try it and see what you mean. Mine was always used with audio and they seemed to work, but of course they were working in tandem with speakers etc which for me would give different effect and probably mask the deficiencies that you are talking about
 

JoeSepi

Well-known Member
Imagine having ear plugs or ear muffs that block out all noise. Watching a conversation would be completely silent. No noise, no vibrations, etc. Standing on a busy street corner in New York would also be completely silent assuming there are no messed up mufflers or motorcycles nearby. Then a Harley goes flying by at full throttle scant feet away from you with mufflers removed. Going to make a hell lot of vibrations. As soon as it goes by, things almost promptly go completely silent again. That's what I've always felt, and what I call realistic vibrations. Hoping to achieve this somehow with my system. Currently if there's any vibrations, it just vibrates at a nearly steady rate, increasing and decreasing gradually without any clear differences or distinctions. A harley motor goes "pop pop pop pop" really fast. With my system, it would just feel like a loud hum. Not realistic. And the system continue to make noise long after things should have gone silent again.
From your realistic description it would seem less is more so first, and I apologise if this is too obvious and you've tried it, I think you need to make sure you're only feeding the shakers with Low Frequency Effects (LFE) to achieve this you need to set all the speakers in your AVR to Large.
 

DeafPaul

Standard Member
:smashin:

I'll try to figure out what setting all the speakers to "large" means and entails. I'll also try to sort out whether the shakers are only getting LFE (I thought it was automatically due to using the subwoofer outputs) or not. Owners manual turned out to be about 130 pages and half of it looks like gibberish to me, having grown up without audio knowledge... Can't seem to get the direct pdf link but here's the page where I got the pdf of the owners manual if anybody wants to refer to it to tell me what pages I need to be focusing on/understanding. Third download option, "TSR-5810 Owner’s Manual"
TSR-5810 - Yamaha Downloads United States


I'll mess with it some more over the weekend and looks like I'll be picking up that sub tonight for $100. I hope it doesn't prove to be a waste, and more importantly, too annoying to all the hearing people that live around me...:confused:

-Paul
 

JoeSepi

Well-known Member
:smashin:

I'll try to figure out what setting all the speakers to "large" means and entails. I'll also try to sort out whether the shakers are only getting LFE (I thought it was automatically due to using the subwoofer outputs) or not. Owners manual turned out to be about 130 pages and half of it looks like gibberish to me, having grown up without audio knowledge... Can't seem to get the direct pdf link but here's the page where I got the pdf of the owners manual if anybody wants to refer to it to tell me what pages I need to be focusing on/understanding. Third download option, "TSR-5810 Owner’s Manual"
TSR-5810 - Yamaha Downloads United States


I'll mess with it some more over the weekend and looks like I'll be picking up that sub tonight for $100. I hope it doesn't prove to be a waste, and more importantly, too annoying to all the hearing people that live around me...:confused:

-Paul
So normal speakers can't reproduce the full range of sound, very low frequency is beyond them hence the need for subs.

When a speaker is set to Small within the AVR settings it's telling the AVR to redirect the low frequency the speaker can't reproduce to the sub, there will be a setting called Crossover, this is the point that below the Crossover low frequencies are played by the sub and above low frequencies are still handled by the speakers.

If you set all speakers to large it tells the AVR that all speakers are capable of reproducing the full range of frequency so nothing will be sent to the sub. But the sub is still going to get the Low Frequency Effects (LFE) the .1 data from a 5.1 dolby or DTS source.
 
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JoeSepi

Well-known Member
:smashin:

I'll try to figure out what setting all the speakers to "large" means and entails. I'll also try to sort out whether the shakers are only getting LFE (I thought it was automatically due to using the subwoofer outputs) or not. Owners manual turned out to be about 130 pages and half of it looks like gibberish to me, having grown up without audio knowledge... Can't seem to get the direct pdf link but here's the page where I got the pdf of the owners manual if anybody wants to refer to it to tell me what pages I need to be focusing on/understanding. Third download option, "TSR-5810 Owner’s Manual"
TSR-5810 - Yamaha Downloads United States


I'll mess with it some more over the weekend and looks like I'll be picking up that sub tonight for $100. I hope it doesn't prove to be a waste, and more importantly, too annoying to all the hearing people that live around me...:confused:

-Paul
Ok so page 85 shows the settings, you need to go to the Setup menu, then to Speaker, and then set each speaker Front, centre etc to Large, it seems the default is Small so this might actually work;)
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Once you get the Sub I'd try to position it near to your couch so it's firing directly into it. Hopefully this will provide the kick/punch and the Auras will take care of the lower shake/rumble.
 

mbmapit

Well-known Member
Hi Paul,

This thread has really piqued my interest. I conducted some tests last year at work by completely blocking out all sound to my ears while sitting in our 2 demo rooms. I have to agree with the above that a subwoofer will help but so will good speakers. The example you gave above regarding gun shots was actually something I paid a lot of attention to. With the speaker package in one of our demo rooms I used the scene from Mad Max where Max is chained and fighting Furiosa it was apparent that the blows/vibrations on the door and the gunshot at the end all came through the speakers and really hit me in the chest. Whereas the subwoofer was mainly providing the low end of the soundtrack. On the flip side the subwoofer produced the impact when the truck was started/in motion.

I would urge you to go and demo a good speaker package and take with you some scenes you know well or ones you know how they should feel.

Are you based in the UK? If so, I'd be more than happy to help out with demos etc. at our facility to help you in your quest (this is not a sales pitch as we do not sell to end users).

Mark
 

30CenturyMan

Active Member
With the speaker package in one of our demo rooms I used the scene from Mad Max where Max is chained and fighting Furiosa it was apparent that the blows/vibrations on the door and the gunshot at the end all came through the speakers and really hit me in the chest. Whereas the subwoofer was mainly providing the low end of the soundtrack. On the flip side the subwoofer produced the impact when the truck was started/in motion.
Curious to know what crossover settings you were running for this experiment, Mark. :smashin:
 

DeafPaul

Standard Member
Update:
Messed with the bass shakers over the weekend, trying various settings and things. Some tweaks made it slightly better, but nowhere near what real-world vibrations sound like. Tried JoeSepi's tip of changing speaker settings from small to large and the shakers went completely silent as a result. Tried several other things with the same results.

I caved and got that subwoofer. Turned out to be a big beast of a subwoofer, weighing over 50 pounds. Could not get it to fit in the couch at all. So laid it on it's side on top of a pad with the dual woofers firing into the couch.

THAT WORKED! Gunshots felt like gunshots. Explosions felt like explosions. People talking did not make any vibrations that I could feel (unless I put my hand on the subwoofer then I could feel very slight talking vibrations. The bad thing is that... It does make noise. Which means I can't always enjoy my "home theater" to it's fullest - have to stick with certain days/hours when it won't be too bothersome to the hearing people around me.

I removed the Aura shakers from the couch and disconnected the Dayton amp. Both going to go up on craigslist soon. I give up on shakers - they are not what they claim to be after all.

Thanks everybody for the thoughts, inputs and suggestions!

-Paul
 

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