Home Theater Geeks 436 Transcript

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00:00 - Scott Wilkinson (Host)
In this episode of Home Theater Geeks, I describe a home theater I profiled on AVS Forum last year and it's a real bass head's dream. So stick around Podcasts you love From people you trust. This is TWIT. Hey there, scott Wilkinson. Here, the home theater geek. In this episode, I'm going to talk about a home theater that I profiled on AVS Forum last year. It was the August 2023 Home Theater of the Month. We're going to put a link in the show notes so you can go check out even more details than I tell you about here, but it's unique.

The owner, shelby Brannon, really loves bass and he loves something in the home theater world called tactile transducers and motion actuators. So these are things that you install on your seat and in the parts of the movie that are explosions or other low frequency rumbly stuff, it actually shakes the seat and this is a level of immersion that some people really, really like. I'm not one of them, but it's really interesting to talk about because these people are quite fanatical about it. These people are quite fanatical about it. Now he started by experimenting with what are called very near field subwoofers. So these are subwoofers that you place right up next to your seat and in the next graphic we'll see his early experiment of three, four subwoofers, right where the seat is going to be, right behind where the seat is going to be, and also two motion actuators from a company called Croson and two tactile transducers from a company called Buttkicker. So in the next graphic you can see where he put his original recliner to do some experiments with these subwoofers and the motion actuators and the tactile transducers.

Now at some point his wife reached her limit of tolerance. The spousal acceptance factor went below critical threshold in the living room. So Shelby moved all of his stuff into a small bedroom upstairs which is only 13 by 13 with an eight foot ceiling, which is not ideal acoustically. But he actually did some good stuff to mitigate that problem. He treated the front wall with two inch Roxul rockboard 80, which is a very absorbent material. That's the front wall where the speaker is going to be, and then he covered it with black velvet. The drop-down screen mounted in front of the wall with enough room for the front speakers to be behind it. So here you can see the screen is descended and then on the right you can see a side view where the speakers the front speakers are actually behind it and it's an acoustically transparent screen, so the sound from the speakers pass right through it. He also finished the room with some other acoustic treatments, which we can see in the next graphic and the here's three different angles facing back from the screen, you can see large diffusers on either side of the closet door where the equipment rack and the projector are. So you can see that he, he really he really did some acoustic treatments there and he blacked out the room as well. He really did some acoustic treatments there and he blacked out the room as well. So you know he's all about immersion, which is a good thing. Generally speaking, you know you want to be immersed in the movie and in the story. You don't want anything in the room to distract you, and painting the room black is one really important way to do that.

Now, shelby was definitely a DIY guy. He built all of his own subwoofers and you can see that here him building the cabinets, mounting the drivers and schlepping them into his theater and schlepping them into his theater. This is a serious DIY project that he engaged in. Now, the room can only fit three seats. This is another problem with a small room, but it's mostly for him, I'm sure, and he leaves them reclinedlined as you see them here, because that's how you're going to experience. The movie is in this reclined position, and wait till you see what he did with those three seats. It's really quite amazing. He built a riser to put them on. To put them on, and he mounted subwoofer drivers in the riser so that they fire directly up into the seats. You can also see the tactile transducers there on the back of the riser and the very near-field subwoofers right behind the seats and to their sides as well, right behind the seats and to their sides as well.

Now, shelby went through 15 or 20 different configurations of this system, and the final iteration uses something called hover ease, which you can see here. It uses a large O-ring or even an inner tube smallish inner tube o-ring, or even an inner tube, smallish inner tube around each driver, each subwoofer driver that's in the floor, or the riser in this case, and he's going to put. He put a sealed column of air from the subwoofer driver up to the seat, the bottom of the seat. He then mounted on the backs of the seats another configuration of subwoofer called BASS BASS, which is baffle open sub shaker. So the seats are being shaken from the bottom by the hover ease configuration, shaken on the back by the boss subwoofer configuration, and then there are the tactile transducers and the motion actuators which actually move the seat around, again in response to low frequency information in the soundtrack. The result is pretty amazing.

He has a video on YouTube that I thought I'd show you a little bit about here. This is they're playing the rhino stampede scene from Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle. Now look at those seats. I mean, if you're into total immersion and Shelby clearly is that really does it I mean you feel those rhinoceri stampeding as if you're in the middle of it, and that's the definition of immersion. So if you look at the seats there in particular, you can see that they are bouncing around something fierce. I'm a little surprised that that remote, you see, is not falling off the seat yet. But wow, that is really something. Of course the rest of the system ain't bad either. Of course the rest of the system ain't bad either.

He's got KEF Q-series speakers for the front center, left and right, as well as the surrounds and the overheads. Here you can see the front speakers, which is a great LCD projector, a Seymour AV Center Stage XD screen which, as I said before, is acoustically transparent. A Denon AVRX6300H AV receiver, which I had for a while myself. It's a great receiver and a Behringer iNuke power amp in fact several of them to power all those subwoofers, and Buttkicker provides its own amps for the tactile transducers. Interestingly, the screen measures 120 inches diagonally at 16 by 9. And the eye to screen distance in that room is six and a half feet. Wow, so you've got the entire image in your entire field of view. There's nothing that you're really seeing when you look straight ahead. That isn't the image. There's nothing that you're really seeing when you look straight ahead. That isn't the image.

Now, regarding this, you might think that a 13 by 13 room is problematic, as I said earlier, and it is. But with all the acoustic treatments, he achieved a frequency response that's really quite impressive. Take a look at this. It's quite flat all the way through the entire audible spectrum and the bass. Of course, the subwoofer response is higher than the normal response because he loves his bass. So, but he did a great job, I think, with this.

Now I will say this this is definitely not my type of theater. Those kind of seats actually make me motion sick, so it's not something I enjoy, but he does and a lot of people do. There are threads on AVS Forum devoted to tactile transducers and motion actuators, some of which Shelby started. So it's something that is very popular with certain people and I thought it was so interesting. Even though it's not my cup of tea. It shows Shelby's commitment to immersion and to base and to feeling every moment of a movie. So it's not for me, but for Shelby it's heaven, and I thought it was very interesting and I'm happy to share it with you.

So if you have a question for me, I would love to hear it, or read it, rather, or hear it by audio. Just send me an email to HTG at Twit TV and I will answer as many of those on the air as I can on the air as I can. And, as always, we thank you for your support of the TWIT Network with your membership in Club TWIT, which gives you access to the video of this show, which, in this particular case, I would recommend because there's a lot of cool pictures here, and you can also come into the Discord channel and watch us make the show live. So until next time, geek out.

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