Okay so I still get quite a few PM from time to time on various forums, one point that keeps coming up and I seen recently here at RD again is if considering Simvibe what type of configuration should be considered: I will put a great deal of effort into this thread to make it one of the most informative and give a true representation. I promote others to share their own findings even if they differ from my own given here. Extension Mode (EM) or Chassis Mode (CM)? Not going to go into a full description of these here and assume most will have basic or general idea of the differences and what applies. I have however tried/experimented with EM & CM installations in various configs with different tactile. Below I will share some of my own findings and advice. It's upto you as a community to share and get involved or if its any benefit/interest but having this here will let me link others to address some of the questions I often get and need to repeatedly answer. What I would say is that both CM/EM can be very enjoyable but can also be rather different experiences too. If comparing: EM: Having tactile potentially felt in more body locations but with mono effects only CM Stereo: Having Stereo in one place, either (pedals or seat) CM Surround: Full 4 way tactile (2 for pedals / 2 for seat) *NOTE Tactile energy may possibly flow through the cockpit from say a seat into pedal regions dependent on various factors. These are most often affected by the rig design and materials, installation placement/method and isolation materials if any are used. Additionally, these factors can also be very much related to the power/performance of the models/units being used. Mono / Stereo / Surround Tactile I shared a while back that some people may not be over impressed by "Stereo Effects" in Simvibe. These coming only from Chassis Mode configuration using the "Suspension Based" effects on select titles. These effects are "Suspension Bumps / Suspension Textures / Suspension Bump Surges". I believe a factor for some users is that they maybe focus more on the general overall feel, rather than importance of having directional placed and felt tactile sensations. I certainly did not witness any other effects giving much in the way of directional positioning with the advanced monitoring hardware/software solutions I have used over several months and during real-time analysis. Over 700 hours was spent going over every Simvibe effect and option possible with testing done within Assetto Corsa. So from the perspective of using Stereo/Surround installations to my understanding, all Simvibe effects except the main suspension or per/wheel based effects operate generally in a non-directional fashion. In laymans terms "Stereo Effects" will let you feel a wheel/kerb response on the appropriate left/right-hand side. A left kerb can then be felt on the left of the seat/pedals assuming the user has installed either a stereo 2 channel or implemented 2 units in both pedals/seat using the full 4 Channel CM configuration. Considering Possibilities While entry into tactile immersion can be possible for under $100 let's go a bit deeper, for instance, what if someone was looking to get into tactile to a fairly serious performance level. Starting with 2 units or more but prepared to spend a decent amount in the pursuit of good performance. How do they best spend their budget? What is the best, how could configurations vary with a similar budget? Is it possible that a 2 unit system, can be possibly even better than using 4 units from an immersion/performance basis? What are the varying costs with options? I will use "Buttkicker Models" in this example, including my own preferred choice of amplifier, prices do not include cables/wire etc. This is being done as general guidelines on Simvibe possibilities, based on many questions I often receive. Buttkicker Gamer 2 Package An easy route into tactile immersion is to buy multiple Buttkicker Gamer 2 packages @ $150 each and quite a few in the community maybe have this combination. Currently all Buttkicker amplifiers operate in mono, so for Simvibe perspective only able to power a single channel/shaker. Buttkicker Packages make things simple in that they come including the shaker/amplifier and cables as an all-in-one package. See Here The Gamer model has a special clamp mechanism attached to the body. This can make installing rather simple as well. The community does have reports that this can help enhance the strength felt from the unit. It is unknown if this is merely a signal strength induced factor. One that is potentially caused by physical mechanical amplifier application in the leverage of the clamp arm. Which potentially is helping to produce increased felt output. Or is it partly, to do with claimed differences between some of the products (see below)? Buttkicker Simulation Kit Buttkicker also offers a similar package with this model. This uses the same amplifier (2 ohm) with wired remote and the same internal unit as the Gamer series but with the main difference to the "Gamer Package" having the clamp mechanism. The Simulation Kit does however, come with rubber isolators included. See Here --------------------------------------- Going Solo / General Amplifier & Tactile Options While not difficult to learn what is needed it is possible to get stereo or multichannel amplifier options if buying the tactile separate with alternative amplifiers available. Doing this the quality power, features, and specs can also vary or improve over the BK packages. Confusing / Want More? If you read this and want to see a thread based on recommending popular/different amps and tactile for various budgets. Or to cover cables, connectors, leads typically required then please say or PM and I will consider doing one. I do not currently see such a thread here at RD forums. Some new products have become available this previous year that could be interesting to cover. Best Alternatives On A Budget? For now I will highlight an affordable and excellent option to consider for those wanting to enter into tactile immersion, get good results at a relatively low price. At the moment the ADX tactile unit is probably the best budget option available. It is not limited in its frequency response range (important) like some budget models are. These ADX can produce an enjoyable experience with detailed tactile sensations at various frequencies. This model replaces a very popular model in the "Aura Pro" and is a bit cheaper to the Buttkicker options. For a budget amplifier search for the SMSL SA-98E Stereo Amplifier 2x 160 Watts (See Amazon) is affordable and suitable for powering 2 transducer units in a really small compact form. Typically costing @ $100 / £95 or less. Take note as various colours and also 120 watt version are available. With these options, it is possible to come in below the Buttkicker Gamer 2 price point which can also at times be hard to find available. This little combo is well represented tested/products within the community. It will certainly give a performance for sim racing, much better than some of the most basic and cheaper alternatives available. --------------------------------------- Market Leading Brand It seems, however, many Simvibe users have gone for Buttkicker models over the years or have used variations of the "entry level based design". These can offer decent tactile performance with quite a strong output. They come marketed in the form of several models.... The BK Gamer 2, the Mini Concert and also the Mini LFE. Simxperience, sell a modified model with added acoustic foam known as the Mini LFE/SE model promoted as a "re-design". The "Concert" series was originally aimed towards musical/instrument applications and comes in the smallest/largest model sizes. These by the specifications are meant to have an emphasised performance usage between 40Hz-80Hz suitable for drummers and guitarists alike. Quote from user guide. "For musician monitoring, stage and studio use, we recommend using the ButtKicker® Concert which has more power in the 40 – 80 Hz range than the ButtKicker® LFE." The "LFE" series are aimed more towards the very lowest frequency response usage, known as sub-harmonics. These were originally intended for home cinema users. Quote from user guide. "For home theater use, we recommend using the ButtKicker LFE which features extended low frequency response for special effects." Unconfirmed? I personally have never seen detailed reviews/comparison and full analysis to determine if indeed the LFE/Concert/Gamer series have true noticeable or measurable performance differences to each other. As it could be in part, possible marketing for targeting different sectors of consumers with only minimal differences if any to be found in real world usage. Please by all means if you can share further on this enlighten me. I have often wondered if this is part of the reason why users within the community find a variation between the Gamer 2 (using the clamp) and standard Mini series models, mmmmm? For comparisons we have to consider the main apparent difference seems to be that "Concert" models and like the "Gamer" series operate at 2ohms while the "LFE" series operate at the more accepted 4ohm resistance. This would mean each requires very different wattages when operating too. *Finding 2ohm capable/supported amplifiers beyond packages that Buttkicker themselves offer are less common. Take note if buying shakers separately. *Update / Late 2017 I have had some reports from owners that indeed say the BK-LFE appears to have an improved energy at the lowest frequencies (below 20Hz) and the Concert LFE has more energy with bass frequencies @40Hz. --------------------------------------- Before starting some things I need to comment on..... The Frequency (Hz) Amplitude (dB) Debate / Only Minor Differences? You as the community can draw your own conclusions or share your own experiences. I do not seek to gain popularity, controversy or attain to be an expert on this subject. Just someone that has spent a lot of time with it over the years and delved into it maybe more than the average guy. Having also helped many in the past on various forums with an attitude of continuing to help or share with others. I do disagree with Berney Villers own views/analysis that he expressed on the operational differences with various tactile units are only a minor factor to performance in using Simvibe. Based on my own personal testing of all the models above but also several others too. This includes comparing both, piston and voice coil based designs over the last 10 years. Something I believe others also with experience of each type or with various models maybe can share via their own user/experiences and opinions. However, while several units on the market can indeed share similar abilities in frequency response/power. This is not in my view the case with all, nor the abilities and operation of the 3 main Buttkicker designs/models currently available and illustrated below. These can be rather different indeed wth both the power delivery and usage of the low-end frequencies. This will be looked at in detail in layman's terms later and the importance of increased low frequency (Hz) abilities from my own perspective and experiences from testing. You as the reader can determine if my views or methods are credible or not.