Frequently Asked Questions

Connecting ButtKicker low frequency audio transducers to your A/V Receiver

The ButtKicker Power Amplifier (BKA1000-N) needs to have a signal source, we recommend using your AV Receiver's "Subwoofer Output" (which will include the .1 or LFE channel, and possibly the low frequencies of all the other channels). Most Subwoofer Outputs are a standard RCA connection. In this case simply run an RCA cable from the output to the Line Level Input on the BKA1000-N. If a subwoofer is currently connected to the Subwoofer Output an RCA "Y" splitter can be used to run the one signal to both the subwoofer and the BKA1000.

If you are using the BK-Link follow the above instructions but run an RCA cable to the back of the BK-Link "Send" unit. The BK-Link "Receive" unit will connect via RCA to the BKA1000-4A's Line Level Input.

If your A/V receiver uses speaker wire connections for the subwoofers and/or speakers you can use the Speaker Level Interface Adapter to connect to the receiver. The Speaker Level Interface Adapter connects to the subwoofer output at one end with speaker wire and leads into an RCA "male" jack at the opposite end. From this point refer to the above instructions regarding connection to the BKA1000-N.

If your A/V receiver does not have a subwoofer output (because of a proprietary cable being used for the subwoofer) you can still connect the center channel speaker or other speakers. In this case ensure that low frequency sound is being sent through the selected channel so that the ButtKicker transducer receives signal. If a speaker channel is unavailable some A/V receivers may have a line level output to connect to. If no such connections are present (this occasionally occurs on low-end "home theater in a box" type systems) there is unfortunately no way to connect to the A/V receiver. In this case please contact the manufacturer for suggestions on connecting external audio devices.

I get a "buzz" or "hum" from my speakers now. It's always there, even if the sound is turned all the way down. What's my problem?

Your home theater system has developed a "Ground Loop" which is caused by having more than one ground connection in the system. Most likely, your cable TV combined with the ground of the ButtKicker Power Amplifier power cord is causing interference in the audio system. In fact, any other electronic device with a grounded power plug might cause the problem as well.

You can eliminate the problem in your system by adding a "Ground Loop Isolator", available at numerous places. Plug one end of the ground loop isolator into the RCA input on the back of the ButtKicker Power Amplifier and then plug the RCA cable coming from your A/V processor into the other end of the ground loop isolator.

I have the BKA1000-N turned up all the way, but I want even more intensity! How do I do this?

Most A/V processors have an option to increase the output from the subwoofer channel. Turn up this output to get more audio signal to the ButtKicker Power Amplifier. This may require you to turn down the volume of your subwoofer so that it is balanced with the rest of your system.

My floor is carpeted. Do I really need to use the rubber isolators?

Yes! The isolators will not only maximize the effect of ButtKicker transducer, they are also important to support and level your couch and to make sure that the effect is contained within the couch.

Where should I put the BK-Link Send and Receiver units?

The placement of the Send and Receive units is not critical. The units can be up to 50' apart and do not need to have a line of sight between them.

What does the knob on the back of the BK-Link Send unit do?

This knob - called a potentiometer - is used to set the gain below clipping. Should another source cause the red light to stay on the potentiometer must be readjusted until the light is barely or not at all blinking.

Is the ButtKicker Power Amplifier (BKA1000-N) rack mountable?

An optional rack mounting kit is available from www.middleatlantic.com.

Click on this link on their home page: and then type "ButtKicker" into the "manufacturer or model number" field.

Information For Drummers

The following are considerations when using a ButtKicker low frequency audio transducer with your kit. The ButtKicker Concert series is recommended for use by bass players, drummers and other musicians.

ButtKicker Concert Mounting:
When mounted directly to the throne seat, the ButtKicker Concert will of course deliver the most direct kick, but some thrones' seats are too small for direct mounting of the ButtKicker unit. A small platform isolated from the floor with rubber feet can be constructed on which the ButtKicker unit is mounted and the throne is set.

Signal Source:
A large factor on the signal is kick drum head tuning (loose vs. tight; low vs. high, etc.). You do not change your playing habits or drum tuning in order to advantage of the ButtKicker transducer.

Microphone:
A tap off the kick drum mic signal used by the sound system can be taken for the ButtKicker transducers's feed.

Pickups:
A popular pickup used seems to be the V-drum pickup. Let us know of others. The pickup's position on the head is a large factor on both the level and frequency content of the output signal. Please help us help other drummers by taking a minute to share your pickup placement experience. (email us at support@guitammer.com)

Mixer:
A pre-fader aux send can be used to send a signal to the ButtKicker Concert. This allows a mix of whatever drum mics you want to feel, though most other drums may have little usable program content within the ButtKicker Concert's range.

Signal Processing:
No signal processing is necessary to energize the ButtKicker Concert, but some circumstances may warrant extra measures.

Gate:
If the signal contains a lot of "garbage" between beats from other picked up stage noises, you may want to gate the signal. (Compliments of Jeff Kathan, drummer for the Paul Rodgers band

Hi-Pass:
Your kick drum signal could easily include infrasonic (below the hearing range) signals which are not relevant to your need and could cause excessive excursion within the ButtKicker Concert. This is not damaging, but it could result in lack of control, and the possible missing of complete beats. These infrasonic signals are influenced by head tuning, other sound sources in close proximity, etc. Eliminate the infrasonic signals by passing them through a Hi-Pass filter.

Troubleshooting:
Missing a beat? ...especially on the hard beats? See "Signal Processing, Hi-Pass".

As always, your feedback is welcomed by us, and considered important to us.

Rubber Isolators

Guitammer recommends using Kinetic Noise Control Isolators when installing ButtKicker transducers on risers, platforms and stages, and the smaller RI-K28 rubber isolators for use with furniture.

Guitammer and it's sales agents resell the following isolators:

RDB-120 Neoprene Isolator (Most Commonly Recommended)
RDB-220 Neoprene Isolator (Heavier Applications)
RDA-55 Neoprene Isolator (Lighter Applications)

Isolator Information: www.kineticsnoise.com/hvac/rd.html

How to Determine How Many Isolators You Will Need

Isolators come in different weight capacities.

All isolators are designed to be partially compressed in application and therefore, numerous models are made with varying weight specifications. This specification (, RDB-120, RDB-220 RDB-375)indicates the amount of weight (in lbs.) that each isolator is designed to support (per isolator) for greatest efficiency.

Calculate the total weight to be carried by the isolator, including platform, chairs and people. Divide this weight by the total number of isolator feet to be used (i.e. a minimum of 3, a usual number of 4, more when necessary). This will give you the weight per isolator. Pick the isolator model closest to your calculated weight. Enjoy!

Are there Any Current Product Recalls?

There are no current recalls at this time.

A recall was issued a number of years ago for the BKA-1000 amplifier for this serial number range:
BKA1000-4A-A0005570 --- BKA1000-4A-A0005815

What is a ButtKicker low frequency audio transducer and how is it different than other devices?

ButtKicker brand low frequency audio transducers utilize a patented magnetic suspension which is different from any other speaker or shaker and can be used couches, theater seating, platforms, and any type of structure. ButtKicker brand transducers accurately reproduce the "feeling" range of many natural and man-made sounds, such as earthquakes, thunderstorms, rocket launches, waves, explosions, tornadoes, volcanoes, dinosaurs, sound effects and all styles of music.

Different from other shakers or tactile transducers that use voice coil technology, ButtKicker brand transducers are much more powerful, more musical (linear) and offer true infrasonic or low frequency response with their resonant frequency of 9 Hz and range of 5 - 200 Hz.

One ButtKicker transducer will easily replace 2 - 4 or more of the other types of shakers previously available, and perhaps more importantly; it is virtually indestructible and maintenance free.

ButtKicker brand transducers are used in: Theme park attractions; Specialty theaters; Simulators; Virtual reality machines; Arcade and amusement rides/games; Custom Home theaters; Musician monitor systems.

If you are looking to delight and electrify yourself and others with an affordable and easy to use solution, now is the time to incorporate ButtKicker brand low frequency audio transducers into your design and to "Feel what you've been missing!"

Will Everything In My House Shake?

This, of course, depends on the structure. Most often, the shake is contained within the room shaken, with very small amounts of the energy getting transmitted throughout the rest of the house.

Foundations and other supports under a floating floor absorb energy into the earth. Walls built on top of the floor greatly dampen the shake, but also transmit the remaining energy into the rest of the house.

One interesting side point we have seen is that since the subwoofer does not have to be turned up as loud as "BBK" (Before ButtKicker brand transducers ), there is less low frequency sound interfering with neighboring rooms, homes, or establishments.

We've had a wife come up to us to say "I love that thing, even though I never even go into the theater room!" With further questioning, we found out that she "could now read her books in another part of the house without the "boom, boom" from the theater room distracting her."

How Do I Know What Will shake?

First, please read our User's Guide. We endeavor to teach the user how to correctly apply the ButtKicker brand transducers so to receive the desired results. Since construction and structure are so directly involved in the final results, the User's Guide provides a good foundation to understanding the principles involved. We would also be happy to help provide insight to your specific situation.

The ButtKicker is an excellent low frequency transducer, but what it drives (your platform/floor) will have a direct influence on the total system response. Good low frequency response is a combination of both the ButtKicker transducer and the surface/platform driven by the ButtKicker transducer. The platform, whether it is a suspended wood floor, or a platform built under your furniture, needs to be able to move/shake at low frequencies. A tight (usually small) platform may vibrate freely at higher or midrange frequencies but not have the freedom to move for the low frequencies.

Will I feel All This Shake Through My Big Soft Couch?

You'll be pleasantly surprised at the overall effect. You see, your brain and ears have been working together since the day you were born to learn about the world around you (see our User's Guide). Likewise, your brain has been working with all the rest of your senses. According to the law of physics, a stiffer, less padded chair will transmit more of the shake from the floor into your body. But, in contrast, your brain/body also knows more about the materials in your room than you realize and your head will understand what's going on during the program ...don't give up that couch.

Considerations for Home Theater Risers & Platforms

Many home theaters have more than one row of seats, with the second and third rows being built upon risers. These risers, for ButtKicker transducer applications, have two purposes; raise and support the seats and occupants, and allow vertical platform and seat movement.

Height for the ButtKicker brand transducer:

ButtKicker brand transducers can be mounted above or below the top surface of the riser. If above, consider people traffic, furniture placement. If under the surface, some simple framing can be done to avoid the extra room needed under the riser. As always, keep in mind any maintenance that may become necessary.

Think "suspension."

In essence, you're constructing a floor above the room's floor. Build the riser similar to a suspended wood joist floor to give the riser its greatest low frequency response.

The major differences between a riser and real floors are the suspension points and tie points (to other external structure). The riser should be free floating (not tied into any adjacent walls), and suspended by short sides only. Use vibration isolators on the short dimension to support the riser from the room floor.

The greatest flex of the riser will be along its long dimension, the riser's short dimension will offer much less low frequency flexibility. Therefore, when possible, avoid any support along the long dimension.

Mine is Working Great! Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Further Enhance the System?

Why, yes there is! Of course, different people like different things. The simplest and most basic setup (as suggested in the User's Manual) is to feed the ButtKicker brand transducer with the subwoofer output of your surround processor.

Some also like to add to this signal the front left and right signal, because of the emotional, low frequency content of many musical scores. A simple and effective mixer is available for this function, though any line level audio mixer would work.

Some people want greater control over the frequency spectrum sent to the ButtKicker transducer by adding a variable crossover in line. The subwoofer output of your surround system will have an upper limit of 120 Hz, but a few users have chosen to limit shaking frequencies to 40-80 Hz.

Just How Much Power Can the ButtKicker brand Transducer Handle?

Well, obviously, a lot! But, more specifically, there are a lot of factors and variables that go into the answer. The coils inside the ButtKicker brand transducer use large gauge wire, surrounded by lots of metal and finished off with an aluminum shell to help radiate heat. Large bursts of power will, first of all, heat up the coil wires. The heated coils will then pass that heat to the surrounding metal. Eventually, the whole (shaker) motor heats up and if the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F (75 C), then a thermal switch disconnects the ButtKicker transducer from the power amp until the unit cools down.

Because of the large mass of the motor, this heating process takes time. The length of time is dependent on both the amount of power put into the motor and how long it is applied. Music, sound, and effects tracks have complex power levels, with sudden bursts intermixed with lower level, longer lasting activity. Certainly, there must be a power level, that when "blasted" into the ButtKicker transducer would vaporize the coils before they had a chance to heat up the rest of the motor, but we've not yet been able to apply that kind of power. At the other extreme (lower, but longer power levels), a 200 watt continuous sine wave can be applied without the thermal limit switch discontinuing service.

Another aspect to power handling is excursion. The internal "inertial mass" of the ButtKicker transducer (LFE, Concert or Silent Subwoofer) is 3.5lbs and has a maximum excursion of 1 inch from center (2 inches peak to peak). If a constant power level is applied to the ButtKicker during a frequency sweep, the greater excursion will happen at the lower frequencies, with the greatest excursion at resonance (9Hz). This excursion is limited by the external housing, resulting in a banging/slapping sound if these two parts meet. While no damaging effects have been noticed it does cause a distraction from normal program enjoyment, and, naturally, is not recommended.

Will All This Shaking Damage My House?

When mounted directly into the floor joist of your living room, the ButtKicker brand transducer(s) will actually move your floor less than someone walking across the floor, or your kids jumping on the floor.

The difference is that the ButtKicker transducer's movement is focused, with specific "pitches". The perception is that the floor is moving tremendously, but in reality, the surface is moving a very small distance.

Also, numerous structural engineers have commented that "residential" construction is considered "loose" construction. That means that the structure is designed to shift and flex somewhat. Floors are built to flex, or "shake", under normal living conditions. During several years, and many hundreds of hours of prototype testing, we have noticed no appreciable damage to flooring, in many houses, when the ButtKicker unit has been installed correctly.

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