Following on from our recent Sim racing accessories post, where we talk about the next accessories you need to take your sim racing experience to the next level.
We thought we would write a guide on the Buttkicker and its alternative budget DIY project the Bass Shaker.
Table of Contents
What is a ButtKicker?
A ButtKicker is an amp controlled haptic device that sits under the sim racers set up and simulates the real vibrations felt in motorsport.
The ButtKicker, in particular, doesn’t use air moving technology, like in a sub-woofer.
Instead, ButtKicker has opted for a more mechanical haptic movement.
How does a ButtKicker work?
The ButtKicker uses a piston that is suspended within a magnetic field. Activated by sound signals, the ButtKicker vibrates totally dependent on the signals emitted from your computer. This causes a silent vibration, allowing the user to feel the forces emitted from the device.
Is a ButtKicker loud?
Because the ButtKicker is suspended in its own magnetic coil and the piston moves actual weight and not a diaphragm the ButtKicker is relatively quiet. So, instead of hearing the ButtKicker you actually ‘feel’ it.
How do you connect a ButtKicker to your Computer?
The ButtKicker is connected to an amplifier (included). The amp is connected to your pc through the auxiliary connection (green) on the rear of the pc.
You then need to correctly select your sound device in windows settings. If you already use another device in your aux connection then you will need an aux splitter.
You then need to download some software, we recommend SimHub.
Once your software has downloaded you need to go to the settings and select the game in which you want the ButtKicker to be activated and then select the sound device.
SimHub allows you to independently turn on/off features like wheel spin, gear change, rumble strips, road surface etc. This is done easily when choosing what game profile you would like to use your ButtKicker on.
Is a ButtKicker worth it?
The ButtKicker is a quality item made especially for sim racing and fits snuggly to any sim chair, hub, office chair, pedals or other sim racing equipment.
The fact that the ButtKicker is nearly silent is a massive plus for this product. The price tag may be off-putting for the budget sim cockpit builder, a Bass shaker may be a better option.
What’s a Bass Shaker?
A Bass Shaker is a device that can be attached to equipment, such as a chair, and allows the user to feel the sound throughout their body.
If you have ever been to a rock concert or a high-end cinema you will have felt that buzz feeling, it adds another dimension to the experience. This is done by high powered subwoofers.
A Bass Shaker gives you the subwoofer feeling but without the sound, ideal for people living in apartments!
How does a Bass shaker work?
The Bass Shaker works with the subwoofer range, typically 0-80Hz. Every time bass is felt the Bass Shaker ‘Shakes’.
With the Bass Shaker added to a piece of equipment it will shake that particular equipment. So, if you where to attach one to a Sim rig or under a chair you will have a very similar feel to the ButtKicker, but at a fraction of the cost.
Is the Bass Shaker noisy?
A bass shaker vibrates and doesn’t emit a sound like a subwoofer, so, does not make much noise. This is ideal for anyone who has kids, an apartment or lives with other people.
How do you connect a Bass shaker?
The bass shaker is connected to a power supply, 50w typically and then also plugged into an amplifier. Think of the bass shaker as a subwoofer when wiring it up.
Bass shakers tend to work in the range of 20Hz-50Hz, taking them above this range tends to distort the experience.
Also, when looking for an amp old or new you only need something that can produce 70w per channel.
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