Do You Have This Combo? Behringer Inuke DSP Amplifier & Buttkicker?

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Mr Latte, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    BUTTKICKER BOTTOMING / PISTON PANG / THERMAL CUT OFF ?

    Working Solution!

    Posting this thread to help members that may have issues with the piston bottoming and producing the clack or pang sound, I am specifically looking for people that own the below combinations for either audio or Simvibe tactile usage.

    Testing has been conducted to find a solution to this long-term and widespread issue. Drawbacks are found with these units if used with traditional/standard amplifiers due to in part how they operate. If you are interested please share in taking part to confirm if the solution also works for you?

    These are the recommended amplifiers:

    Behringer Inuke DSP Amplifiers:
    DSP 1000
    DSP 3000
    DSP 6000

    Using with:
    Buttkicker Mini LFE
    Buttkicker Mini LFE SE
    Buttkicker Mini Concert
    Buttkicker Gamer Shaker/Clamp
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
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  2. Chouck

    Chouck

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  3. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Hi, apologies Chouck as not actually seeking advice on amps to use in this thread...

    The objective here is more really to discuss with owners of the above options to try and improve how some Buttkicker models may perform.

    Videos I have seen on You tube (see below) show a Buttkicker Mini LFE being tested with a Dayton subwoofer plate amp using only 1/3rd power and with Simvibe causing the unit to overheat in a short period of time. This obviously kicks in the thermal protection and cutting off its output. Additionally, issues with the piston bottoming are commonly reported but more so with the smaller models.

    It seems a center frequency approx around 35Hz is a possible cause for this including the surrounding frequencies also contained within the bandwidth of a 35Hz tone.

    With the Behringer iNuke DSP features it should be possible to control this.
    Upcoming tests will explain how to do this and see if it brings any degree of improvement or if others have any success with it.

    YOU HAVE HAD THIS HAPPEN WITH YOURS HAVENT YOU?
    Here is a video that compares different units but highlights the issue with this users Mini LFE.

    See 2:30 and 7:19
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  4. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    UPDATE:

    So guys,
    Testing this with a member on the forums @DesKane last night.
    We made some interesting discoveries and how changing "Engine Effects" from -2 dB intensity (default for engines) but when increased up to 0dB (max setting) can cause problems. Mainly excessive piston noise and the unit cutting out as evident on the video above.

    How & Why
    Generally what is happening is the Mini LFE is rather sensitive to increased "amplitude" of certain frequencies below 35Hz. If these frequencies are too strong in intensity it causes the piston rattle noise to increase and can have the piston overheat which soon activates the thermal protection to cut the unit off.

    Reduce Volume Compromise
    A key factor, is that not all frequencies below 35HZ cause this. Instead, that specific Hz are the culptits. Therefore reducing the volume intensity as normal can help prevent this from happening but when doing that with a standard amplifier, you then loose the energy of the low-end frequencies. So the user finds themselves with a performance compromise as the tactile feels less satisfying. This is also a common issue for Buttkicker Gamer owners as well and it seems indeed the smaller units are more prone to it.

    SUCCESS - No More Piston Bottoming or Cut Off!!!
    We did find a working solution that not only prevented this from happening, but also enabled a user to get more low-end satisfaction.

    I look forward and want @DesKane to give his own report and findings. He did the main work/testing as I aided in advising him what to try with the Simvibe and inuke DSP settings. More tweaking can be done to perhaps fine tune the frequencies in the low end that do not cause the issue while still controlling the ones that are causing it. We do however need to try this with additional and broader range of cars to ensure they do not trigger the issue, compared to the car testing was done with.

    How Test Was Conducted:
    We used a profile I created to help determine the Hz via the engine RPM.
    Anyone watching this or interested then:

    1: Goto Simvibe members market, download Assetto Corsa FXXL Porsche 918 TestTone (Page 7)
    2: Select the Porsche 918 car and select a track
    3: Try revving the engine from idle with Simvibe Engine effect set to -2dB then -1dB and then 0dB
    4: Go slowly through the Rev Range from idle to 4000 RPM

    Testers Sought After
    Additional testing is needed to confirm this to be fixed when using other cars. It also will prevent the issue happening with road bumps, curbs etc.

    Soon we will show how easy this is to apply with the inuke DSP but look forward to some community feedback to help test this with other cars to determine if more tuning is required. It is very easy to do even for a novice. An update will show how to configure the inuke DSP to do this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
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  5. Zero7159

    Zero7159

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    I have the iNuke 1000 without DSP and a pair of Buttkicker Mini LFE SE transducers. I have noticed the clanking noise and will test the fix.
     
  6. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Would be interested in hearing what you feel with the 918R Test Tone regards the difference for engine at -2dB and then trying it towards the 0dB limit. Curious If on your own config you get the same issues of piston rattle/pang and then it cutting out with using a reasonable amplifier volume.

    WIth the inuke DSP 3000 @DesKane had his set with a wattage limiter of 149 watts so that the amp would not exceed this amount and had his volume at approx 3pm position. (IIRC)

    With a non DSP 1000 you may find a comfortable volume with the amp is perhaps closer to 12pm position than the 3pm position he was using?

    However, without DSP control you cannot alter specific frequencies amplitude in the way the DSP options make such possible. So you may have to operate at a volume the "culprit frequencies" stay below giving that performance compromise discussed above.

    Please do report back, as we can recommend possible Simvibe settings to help with this for people that do not have inuke DSP amplifiers and want to try and best avoid this very annoying issue.

    *EDIT: Inuke DSP 3000 (was tested amplifier with 149 Watts limiter not DSP 1000 model)
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  7. Zero7159

    Zero7159

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    The banging stopped when I went from 0 db to -1 db.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  8. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Ahh, I think you mean -1 dB
    At this level do you find it getting close to limit around 1600 RPM (16Hz) - 1800 RPM (18Hz) or with others?

    Lack Of Official Instructions or Tutorial

    Let's cover some things that Simvibe owners are not given much if any detailed information about.

    1, 2, 3 Little dB
    It is easy to get into a way of thinking that -3db to 0db is only 3 small digits or isn't that much of a big difference. Nor is it much to move on a slider scale. Yet that small adjustment on the slider if comparing a 3dB difference has TWICE the measured energy between -3dB and 0dB.

    This "Amplitude" increase is a measured value. This is different to "Audible Volume" which often requires up to a 10dB increase for most people to perceive something to be twice as loud. Of course, different peoples hearing varies so twice as loud is not a fixed or measured value for everyone. The two examples are quite different but often mistakenly treated as the same regards dB.

    I see some of the more tuned downloaded profiles also using around -1 dB value so it seems this may be the limit for many peoples "comfortable" amplifier volumes and installations? Yet I see some downloaded profiles with "engines" set to max 0dB. So some people seem unaware to better controlling this issue or how engine effects are stronger than some others. It's easy also to get caught into the mindset that more/stronger is better but this can cause for less control.

    @Zero7159 can you tell me the "clock position" of your inuke 1000 volume so others can have a gauge to compare with? This will also be a factor of course when used with the Simvibe:

    All Volume Factors 1-4
    (1) Simvibe Effect Intensity / Sensitivity setting (Engine -2dB default)
    (2) Output Mixer / Master Volume (0 dB default)
    (3) Soundcard Output Volume (usually at max)
    (4) Amplifier Volume

    Simvibe Engine Effects
    While a standard user perhaps cannot tell, I have monitored these and their output is actually quite strong compared to some other effects. This is why they are -2dB at default. In fact at this -2dB level, they are actually as strong as some other effects are if set to max 0dB.

    Preventing Vs Bettering
    Essentially what you are doing is ensuring the volume is below the threshold that causes this to happen. That's a good thing of course.

    When doing this what however users are not getting is the full benefit of the low frequencies. That is what can be done with the inuke DSP. Simply by controlling the "critical frequencies" causing the problem. Unlike lowering all of them via volume. So any inuke DSP owners with these BK models can get improved low-end tactile energy, to the point of the max potential these smaller Buttkicker models can deliver.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  9. Zero7159

    Zero7159

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    Mr. Latte, I am close to the limit at -1 db, such that I might further reduce it to -2 db to avoid any problems.

    As to volume on the amp, its maxed at 5 o'clock on the volume dial.
     
  10. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Cheers mate, one other thing if you can confirm where/how your units are positioned on your rig? Let us know if you find the issue with some of the racecars with stiffer suspension or open wheel F1 type cars. For different cars, they also can alter the "engines frequencies" and other effects too, even with the same user profile and settings.

    During Testing
    We found with a comfortable amplifier volume, Simvibe at -1dB some of the lower frequencies were still on the verge/limit especially around 16Hz. So ideally yes -2dB at default is likely best for engine layers if using below 35Hz on these models.

    Other engine layers using different/higher frequencies should be okay with possibly some additional intensity. Alternatively, a user could try creating profiles, layers for engine/suspension/bump and avoid setting the lowest frequencies below 20Hz for "big bump" or the "engine minimum" values. If doing that then you may be able to increase the dB a little more without issues with the piston.

    Further testing can be done with that for users that have standard amplifiers but these factors will help with better feeling profiles. Keeping control within the units performance/abilities is key as is how they resonate and distribute over a users cockpit.

    After further testing is done. Then we can report and highlight the findings during testing regards different frequencies, their intensity/amplitude and this issue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  11. DesKane

    DesKane
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    Hey Chaps !

    @Zero1759 - Been doing a lot of testing recently with Mr Latte, very knowledgeable chap when it comes to this - I can most definitely confirm that what I have done with his guidance recently has brought my Transducer Based Rig to LIFE.

    I am not the best at explaining things scientifically so in laymans terms with a bit of background - I Have 4 Mini BK LFE SE, spending many months/years finding the best placement on the rig to get the best tactile feedback, all through iNuke 1000amps via SimXperience. All fine but never knew what was the benchmark what setup was Good, Better, BEST ! - I Just couldn't quite find the sweetspot without getting too much pistonpang so was overloading to then overheating my LFEs to hit thermal cut out. So though get rid, sell buy bigger/better ?

    Bit more research later discovered DSP discovered BK Advance, so without the knowledge I now know, I just assumed you want more then buy bigger to get more, but not necessarily as I have learnt from these DSP tests.

    SO .............. as Mr Latte has correctly pointed out these tests were done on my iNuke3000 DSP, configuration has been setup so that at 4ohms I have limited the wattage output not to exceed 150w to avoid cutouts etc - the beauty of DSP you simply can have this control.

    I will do my best to explain BUT TO THE TEST :-
    So what was tested was creating an Engine Profile test within SimCommander which Defaults to -2db (not great for my Mini LFEs). Engine Test Tone was created to 10hz - 90hz - Example of engine test so that when in game engine revving at 1000rpm = 10HZ - 2000rpm = 20hz - 3000rpm = 30hz - 4000rpm = 40hz etc. etc.

    Through simvibe with our new engine test profile which creates a Default to -2db the Mini LFE is just a gentle hummm through the rev range which for me isn't what I was expecting or wanted so that when turning the DB up to ZERO on the slider scale the piston pang was unbelievable - it unleashed hell so with the DSP and a some good direction from Mr Latte I have manipulated the volume back to -1db BUT again felt that this just was not enough coming out of the Transducer unit - you can goto -0.5db but when the rev range drops below 1800rpm at -0.5db Piston Pang occurs as the LFE at these lower Hz is not stable and 'Loses Control' We did however manage to find a sweet-spot at -1db but ONLY with the DSP software manipulating just the PARAMETRIC EQ starting with 3 filters at first creating creating a long curve while rolling back the DB so that when that car sat at 1000rpm the Mini LFE did not lose control and piston pang - so gave me what I wanted from a profile which was some good feedback from a transducer that you just cannot get from just turning the DB volume slider up and down within Simxperience, I get that coarseness of a lumpy engine tickover at 1000rpm that you just cannot get from the default Setting within Simvibe at -2db which is non existent within an miniLFE going through the rev range when in game as it just feels like a gentle humm - so by turning the volume upto -0.5db it loses control at 1000rpm tickover it also does at -1db, BUT again manipulating ParaEQ again and the 3 filters we created and condensed this down to just 1 Filter, instead of a longer curve extending through the HZ range from 20hz to 45hz we found a sweet spot on just 1 Filter creating a steeper curve starting from -6db and ranging from 20hz through to 30hz volume set within SimXperience to -1db, so that when back in game testing our Engine Test this created a very nice controlled tickover at 1000rpm where the MiniLFE did not lose control and because the profile DB was turned up I could feel the rev range I was expecting.

    @Zero7159 hope this makes sense, but I was genuinely looking at 4 expensive paper weights until I upgraded my AMP to DSP level, and with a bit more understanding to manipulate the PARAMETRIC EQ I can now get the detailing of what I should be getting from my LFE Buttkickers, that you can argue I could not get the same level of control from SimXperience.

    It sounds complex, and typing this all up in long hand explaining the background etc it looks Complex !!! but what this has come down to is actually just manipulating ONE FILTER within Parametric EQ on my DSP AMP that has given life to my MiniLFEs that I thought was just not up to the job but also control of my MiniLFEs to not lose control when turning the DB up withing SimXperience.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  12. DesKane

    DesKane
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    Inuke Settings.PNG View attachment 177498

    Follow these settings as per my image above, apply Filter 1 to both Channel A & B - Note TYPE is set to PEQ - IF you want to feel a bit more from your MiniLFE simply set the TYPE to LS12 and this will drop the db curve just below -5db giving the feeling of a bit more tactile feedback while still maintaining control.

    The graph shows the frequency range affecting 20Hz through to 40hz. You can see 20Hz is at -6db with approximately 30Hz at -3db. With these controls in place you can alter the depth and shape of the curve to your preference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  13. DesKane

    DesKane
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    Mini LFE / iNuke DSP owners try this setup for your engine Test, within SimXperience download Engine Test Profile from the SimX Owners Club and try iNuke Settings as per image above

    Simvibe Engine Test Profile Download.PNG
     
  14. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Yes, indeed so easy to implement this for any inuke DSP owners that also have a Mini Concert / Mini LFE or BK Gamer clamp based unit.Yet the benefit from it is easily evident for those that want to try it out for themselves. This was a fun bit of testing for a common problem that many have to workaround.

    This is only one example of the benefits the DSP features can offer to get around the performance "issue" these specific units have, of which "Piston Pang" has been well documented for several years by multiple users with all types of rigs, all types of amplifiers and a solution never shared.

    So to my understanding it's not something that can be fixed with optimised positioning or installation methods of the units, nor acoustic foam placed into a BK unit neither. All of which @DesKane had already tried with owning the Mini LFE/SE Editions, with various installation attempts and it still persisting. The issue is an inherent characteristic of these models operation pure and simple that with specific filtering being implemented the user can now control and remove the problem.

    Having this ability to alter the "Frequency Bandwidth (Q)" and their individual "Amplitude" for specific Hz certainly offers tighter control for personalising how "your tactile" will operate on "your cockpit". Yet its only the beginning more will follow in future posts/threads.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  15. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Just something to point out, remember what was said at the start regards understanding dB energy levels.
    Every 3dB is half the energy, either more +dB or less -dB.

    So by @DesKane showing from the above frequency chart with the settings of the PEQ implemented:
    20Hz was @ -6dB
    30 Hz was @ -3dB

    Most will still be like huh?
    So to get a better grasp in layman's terms, if we said:
    20Hz center frequency energy was reduced by 75%
    30Hz center frequency energy was reduced by 50%

    That perhaps has better meaning?

    The filter had to cover these approx Hz values to eradicate the problem, linked in reference to the engine dB value of "Simvibe Engine Effects" that are being output. (Keep in mind the 4 possibilities for volume/output shown above too).

    @Zero7159 illustrated what happened on a normal amplifier if going beyond -2db with these engine effects being tested. As a user increases the dB within Simvibe to -1 or 0dB for engines then they are creating much greater energy. These smaller BK units do not cope with this level of energy at these low frequencies. The result is the piston pang.

    Yet with the inuke DSP feature using a single active PEQ filter we are able to maintain control with Simvibe engine effects increased to -1dB with maintained amplifier output. No more reducing amplifier volume and lack of feeling guys. So doing this then helps give the user more enjoyable strength, felt with these low frequencies yet them still being controlled enough to avoid the irritating piston pang issue.

    As an example of comparison:
    Look at it like feedback happening on a microphone, to fix you detect the Hz the feedback is at and lower the Hz amplitude for the "culprit" frequency. The only difference in this is that the Mini BK models appear to have more than one spike happening as a "culprit frequency" and why then a single filter was used to control all the necessary "culprit frequencies" at once with a suitable -dB (minus dB) curve being implemented within the sub 20Hz - 35Hz regions. This curve is what you see in the graph above.

    I hope this makes things a bit easier to understand but if you own such a combination, time to start enjoying it more for users that have some or like @HoiHman using upto 8 of them. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  16. Spinelli

    Spinelli

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    1) Hi, I'm new to all this. I'm not sure I'm understanding this post.

    So the working solution is to just buy/download Simvibe and set engine effect to -2? Or, for those without Simvibe, they can get the same fix by using an inuke DSP amp instead? Or do we need both Simvibe and an inuke DSP amp? I'm having a difficult time comprehending what the resolution actually is. I see the steps to do some tests with the Porsche but what's the actual resolution for the piston bottoming and cut off?

    I'm sure it's probably mentioned somewhere in this thread but I'm a bit overloaded from reading 28 pages of another thread the past couple days so I do apologize. :)


    2,a) How do the SimVibe Edition of the Buttkicker Mini LFE perform? They apparently have some improvements to help with noise and, I'm assuming, this very issue?

    2,b) Apparently, sometime in 2017, Buttkicker upgraded all their Mini units (LFE, Concert, Gamer) with the SimVibe edition improvements. This is mentioned on the simexperience website and 2017 updates have also been mentioned on shakercentre.co.uk. Is there a way to confirm if we have this new version?

    2,c) Apparently this 2017 upgrade also included the amp which is now model BKA-130-Ci instead of just BKA-130-C (not "i" at the end)
    "Designed to power one ButtKicker Mini Concert, this 2017 version includes internal upgrades for improved performance. It is the same unit used in the latest 2017 ButtKicker Gamer2 package and the Simulation Kit..."
    Does anyone know anything about this? Do these amp updates maybe have something to do with resolving the 35 Hz piston bottoming?


    P.S. I just bout a Buttkicker Gamer 2 for the Next Level Racing Motion v3 I also just got so am really hoping my Buttkicker is the new, updated version.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  17. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    The thread was about using the recommended Behringer iNuke DSP amps and their features to alter HOW specific frequencies may be controlled, thus determining how they are output to the Mini lfe, Mini lfe SE, Gamer & Mini Concert models, that can suffer from this problem.

    Piston Pang is a common issue with Simvibe effects/operation or other tactile sources.
    Best to contact the experts at SimXperience for their own advice or Buttkicker directly.

    In general, you will be advised to lower settings on the amp, you have with the software you can reduce the effects strength, limit the number of effects used, or layers for effects. Also avoid using frequencies in effects with values that go below 40Hz.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
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  18. Spinelli

    Spinelli

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    I emailed Buttkicker to find out if they indeed updated their Mini Buttkickers as one site stated and also if they've all been updated to the"SimVibe" Edition which is what simexperience state on their site. The answer is sort of yes and no.

    My message to Buttkicker:

    "I read that the Buttkicker Gamer 2 has had an update/revision for 2017 models and beyond.

    The following page mentions the Buttkicker Gamer 2 itself as well as the amp have not only had updates/revisions for 2017 but "major" ones at that: http://shakercentre.co.uk/aspbite/products/products.asp?intProductsID=3

    The page fails to mention what the 2017 updates/revisions are for either the Gamer itself or the amp.

    One thing it does mention is the 2017 updated amp is serial number BKA-130-Ci instead of BKA-130-C.

    It gets weirder still. On Buttkicker's own website, neither a 2017 updated Gamer 2 nor amp is mentioned from what I can find. On top of all that, I also cannot find the BKA-130-Ci on Buttkicker's site, I can only see the BKA-130-C.

    I'd like to know if there truly is an updated 2017+ version of the Buttkicker Gamer 2 and the amp and, if there are, what has been updated? How will it perform differently? What are the benefits?..Etc."


    Buttkicker's reply:

    To clarify, the BKA-130-Ci is the 240V version of the BKA-130-C (the "i" stands for international). There have been some improvements to 240V versions stability for some 240V markets. This does not effect the standard 120V BKA-130-C (i.e. their is no performance difference between the amplifiers, they are simply two versions for two different voltages)."

    [regarding 35 Hz piston-bottoming me and my friend mentioned in another email]

    "First off, the issue you quote regarding "35Hz" is not accurate, unfortunately there is a great deal of misinformation on several of the popular sim racing forums.

    For a limited amount of time we did add acoustic foam to the mini LFE units sold through SimXperience for SimVibe. This was because these units were being used on very large rigs, often full motion units. However, we did like the additional noise reduction the foam added and for the last three years all ButtKicker transducers use a revised internal "bumper" inspired by this one off version for noise reduction."


    (I cut some non-informative parts out to keep it shorter).
    Just thought I'd pass the info along.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  19. Mr Latte

    Mr Latte

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    Well they are the experts so they must be right , err right?

    Ask any user that has a standard unit to see if it has the acoustic foam or the SE model to open the top lid and describe how the foam now is. What do you think happens to a bit of sponge/acoustic foam when a heavy piston continually compresses or pounds it over time?

    A ) Nothing it lasts forever
    B ) It disintegrates, compresses and breaks up
    C ) It improves over time as it beds in


    So if you want, go ask people on any forum that has the units purchased within a year perhaps to see if these compared to others are much different. Ask if the owners have issues with piston pang even with average levels of output. By all means feel free to get people to do frequency sweeps from the online tone generator based websites and using moderately high levels of gain to see what happens.

    Now before we get ahead of ourselves here. Buttkicker could of changed the rubber or foam used even more than once over time but that will likely just help reduce the noise. That would not in my view prevent the piston having the issue it seems to have and is documented by various people. So are all these people delusional or misinforming others?

    In my views it's not the amp, as other amps do and will cause the same problem and it's not specifically just 35Hz. It generally appears to be with frequencies below this level and if some frequencies within this contain high levels of amplitude from the source. So in the example given in this thread, all that was done was to locate the frequencies from the source effects being used that it was happening. Then use EQ to reduce the amplitude of these frequencies and eventually narrow it down to the main culprits . "Parametric EQ" was used, which allows control of any single Hz amplitude to be lowered or increased? This will limit/reduce then how the tactile unit outputs these specific "EQued" frequencies and can control the symptoms from happening. We can also do this with the biggest units too but its less likely to happen as with the bigger models people may not be running them as hard


    See from 2:30 and later for issue just below 35Hz. Note it depends on the source as harmonics and various frequencies may be operational.


    See 0:20
    Way back from 2011/2012 See links for forum and who he mentions



    My advice to you is the same to others, if you want more control of your tactile then consider buying the iNuke amp and you can be shown how to use some of its DSP features to tune how the unit will perform. You may also want to consider getting the BK Advance as it really is worthwhile.

    Yet amusingly a Buttkicker representative told me personally the performance of the Mini, the Advance and the largest BK LFE are all similar (see the specs for Hz range). They stated you only need a bigger unit if you need to cover a larger area or move more mass.

    Now when I sent this email over a year ago in curiosity to see what they would say. I had already owned all those models personally or had extensive experience in using them on cockpits. I can assure you as others I am certain can attest to. The larger units bring much better and deeper sensations even on a small mass like a pedal base or seat section. I do not understand why the heck they stated what they did and your welcome to ask anyone that has experience with the various models if they perform similar on a small area like seat or pedal regions and limited mass.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018