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"Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

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"Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:49 pm

Hello! I've just installed my new Silent Subwoofers, to use with my Hauptwerk Headphones, and the result is truly spectacular! From parts-express.com, I got a Dayton 100W Subwoofer Amplifier (which uses the output from our Headphones Amplifier as a pre-amp) and a set of four Dayton 16-ohm Hockey Puck Tactile Transducers ("mini-Bass shakers").

Actually using just one Puck is quite sufficient. The Amplifier has a variable high-frequency cut-off above 40 to 180 Hz. A mid-range cut-off seems just right for Pipe Organ music (Hauptwerk Live, or recordings on CD and MP-3). The Pucks are rated down to 20Hz, and the Amplifier down to 18 Hz, but because the cut-off are not sharp, there is a good response all the way down to 16 Hz (for low-C on a 32-ft rank).

No permanent installation yet, but I was impressed with how easy they are to use. Just placing the Puck next to me on the Organ Bench gives the perfect sense of "feeling the Bass" just like with live pipes. Each note (and each rank) feels distinctly different, just as with a real Pipe Organ. To keep the Puck from dancing right off the Bench from all the vibrations, I just weighted it down with a book (until I rig up something more permanent).

Purchased on "Cyber-Monday", the whole set-up (one Puck plus Amplifier) came to $95, plus audio cable, speaker wire, and connectors bought locally.

I would heartily recommend such a solution for any Hauptwerk user who wants to enjoy the full sensation of live pipes, but does not have or desire an expensive Subwoofer setup.
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby MikeDC » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:55 pm

I've seen a similar product for home theaters called Buttkicker (yes, really).
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby johnh » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:29 pm

I believe the 'buttkicker' was originally developed to give drummers playing digital drums the 'feel' they were missing from playing real acoustic drums. Many drummers missed the physical feedback from their digital drum kits and claimed it affected their playing.

So the use with a digital organ seems appropriate!

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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:34 pm

MikeDC wrote:I've seen a similar product for home theaters called Buttkicker (yes, really).


The concept is similar, but this one doesn't "kick", it just carries the low frequency signal in tactile form.

The other product is much larger, much heavier, much more costly, and much trickier to install. It sure wouldn't fit on my organ bench! And it requires a much larger, hotter amplifier.

The "Puck" transducer by Dayton is less than 4" across, about 1" thick, weighs 12 oz, and sells for UNDER $10 at parts-express.com

Easy to install because it transmits vibrations so efficiently, just gently holding it in place to maintain contact is sufficient. I've just bought some jumbo Rubber Bands at the hardware store, and will fasten the Puck to my Organ Bench this way. Hard to beat for simplicity!

It may not "kick" hard enough to satisfy a drummer in a Rock Band... but it is perfect for Organ Music.
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby OrganoPleno » Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:42 pm

johnh wrote:I believe the 'buttkicker' was originally developed to give drummers playing digital drums the 'feel' they were missing from playing real acoustic drums. Many drummers missed the physical feedback from their digital drum kits and claimed it affected their playing.



Yes, that's one part of it. The other part is during performance on-stage, the musicians in a Rock Band all use Monitor Speakers to hear themselves play. The Drummer would need a huge Monitor Subwoofer to properly hear and feel his own playing, which would have to be so loud it would distract all the other musicians!

Using a Bass Shaker device, the Drummer gets the necessary feedback without bothering anybody else.

For home theatre use, having the low-frequency signal in tactile form allows the other speakers to all play more softly while still giving the same sound impression, thereby sparing the ears (and the neighbors).

For Organ use, keeping the Audio signal at the same intensity, adding the Bass Shaker gives not only the improved realism of "Feel the Bass", it also increases the perceived sound intensity WITHOUT adding any burden to the ears.

Pretty much ideal, it seems to me!
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby gingercat » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:16 pm

I'm very happy with an Earthquake Mini-Quake attached to my organ bench, really adds to the realism, and I have actually turned my subwoofer completely off as a result (my Bx5A speakers go reasonably low). I've just duplicated my organ output from the Focusrite Saffire and hooked it up via an unused amp, (with an F-Mod 50hz Low Pass filter inline before the amp).
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby Andrew Grahame » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:48 am

Just got my Dayton "pucks" working today. Many thanks to OrganoPleno for bringing them to my notice via the forum.

Dayton doesn't have a dealership in Australia, so I ordered four pucks direct from the USA. They were delivered three days later via FedEx. To drive them I bought a subwoofer amp locally from Altronics. The amp needs a 4-ohm load and a single puck is 16 ohms, so I have all four wired as shown in the accompanying leaflet to achieve 4 ohms impedance. They are screwed to the underside of my organ stool.

I imagine I'll need to spend a little time fine-tuning the amp settings (frequency cut-off and volume), but first impressions are ..... wow! For headphone-only organ playing this adds a whole new dimension to the experience!

Andrew
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby MikeDC » Thu May 03, 2012 12:43 pm

I just got a (single) Dayton "Puck." I'm going to connect it to an old spare headphone amp. I'm assuming that if I combine the stereo outputs of the headphone jack into a mono output, I should be able to just connect the Puck to those leads. Does that seem correct?

Also, I was thinking of installing the Puck onto a piece of wood and then attaching that board to the bottom of the bench (not sure of a way to connect the Puck directly to the bench). Any advice on this?

Thanks!

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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby Andrew Grahame » Thu May 03, 2012 2:31 pm

This may work to an extent, but not as well as it would if connected to a subwoofer amplifier. Connecting directly to a headphone amp will result in all frequencies being sent into the puck. A subwoofer amp would have a frequency cutoff control and volume control. Correct setting of these controls is vital to getting the best result. I've got mine set so that it gently kicks in just for the lowest octave of the 16-foot range and below.

Also, check the impedance of your headphone amp. The impedance of a single puck is 16 ohms. There's a wiring diagram with them showing how to wire four together with a combination of series and parallel connections to give 4 ohms, which matches the impedance of the subwoofer amp which I use.

The subwoofer amp can be seen in this photo. It's the black-fronted box sitting on the table top at the rear on the left, just behind the launchpads on the left.

Image

Attaching directly to the underside of the bench isn't hard. Here's how I did it on my self-built bench. Long screws are needed, but not too long or they'd protrude through into where you sit!. The pucks are actually designed to be recessed into holes but I mounted them directly onto the wood without problem. The photo shows one screw not yet fully screwed down.

Image

Good luck with your installation. The outcome is well worth the effort.

Andrew
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby MikeDC » Thu May 03, 2012 3:37 pm

Thank you Andrew!

That's a lot of shake, rattle, and roll you got going there! Very kind of you to post the bench photo. That was exactly what I was hoping for.

I only send the lowest frequencies (approx. bottom half octave of the 32' ranks) to the sub, so I'll send the same signal to the headphone amp. That will avoid the issue you described. I was really concerned with cutting a hole for the puck as outlined in the instructions. Good to know that's not absolutely required.

It looks like I'll need at least two pucks however, so that I can get the load down to 8 Ohms. The headphone amp can handle 4-8 Ohms.

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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby Andrew Grahame » Thu May 03, 2012 4:07 pm

Hi Mike,

It may look like a lot of shaking power there, but the presence of four pucks was dictated by the impedance requirement of the amp. I spaced them out to spread the effect evenly across the bench. With the amp controls properly adjusted the effect is subtle but significant, especially for pedal ranks with lots of fundamental. For example, the Pedal Bourdon 16 at Hereford, already a solid rank, has a wonderful impact through the pucks. When I first turned them on for testing I had the subwoofer volume too high and it nearly threw me off the bench!

If you are already separating off the low frequencies before they reach the amplifier then it should work OK for you. Match up the impedance so you don't damage the amp and you'll have a great time!

Andrew
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby MikeDC » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:29 pm

If my amplifier puts out 25W per channel into 8ohms, can I put two of these on one channel (and nothing on the other channel) and be OK with impedance?

Mike
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:46 pm

I think what you'd need to do is put 8 ohms impedance onto each channel. This could be done with four pucks used as two separate pairs. Each pair would need to be wired in parallel to give 8 ohms. You would then connect each pair to its own channel.

My setup goes one step further. I have the pucks wired like this at first, but then the two pairs are wired together in parallel, which reduces the total impedance to 4 ohms for a single output, which then matches the single output from the subwoofer amp.

The wiring diagram which comes with the pucks explains all of this quite well.

Andrew
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby MikeDC » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:17 pm

Thanks Andrew. I really don't want to get two more pucks. If I use the Dayton sa25, which is a subwoofer amplifer, then do you think I can connect the two pucks (wired in parallel) to the single output which is rated at 25w into 8-Ohms?
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Re: "Feel the Bass" with Silent Subwoofers

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:49 pm

That should work. Wiring in parallel halves the impedance, so two 16-ohm pucks wired in parallel would give 8 ohms, which would match your subwoofer amp.

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