The TES 100 Couch Kit came as a gift from my sister. I'm sure she was thinking I'm the kind of guy that already buys himself most everything he wants, so finding something new that I don't have -- but would want-- is not easy.
The TES came in a plain brown box; I opened it and since this was a complete surprise, it took me several confused moments to realize what the device did. First thing you see are the two very heavy silver transducers. The units are solid and absolutely speak of high quality manufacturing and design.
My sis explained: you put these boxes under the rear legs of your couch, then wire them to your stereo. The first thing that came to mind were the under-seat "bass shaker" devices that Alpine introduced for cars back in the 90's.
Now, my home system is not ideal to really experience these units. I didn't know that, since the user manual is very bare, in a "high-end, you better know what you bought here" kind of way. I attempted to install the units to a circa-1998 Pioneer receiver/amp that has a "B" set of speaker outputs.
Ok, at this point I should acknowledge that my audio system is woefully underpowered, at perhaps something like 35 watts per channel. To make matters worse, I don't have a low-pass filter of any kind. But I just had to try them out. I hooked the "B" set of outputs to the transducers, and put the transducers under the rear legs of our 70" IKEA couch. I put the vibration isolators under the front legs. Installation couldn't have been easier.
I turned off my "A" set of speakers (the home theater set) and tried the TES units alone. Without the low-pass filter, these units gave out quite a bit of audible sound. No wonder a low-pass filter is needed. As for the tactile effects, I put in my Matrix Reloaded DVD and sat down. I watched the scene where Trinity is falling backwards in slow motion out of a high-rise window, guns shooting in either hand. To my surprise, I could actually feel each bullet shot coming from alternate sides of the couch! I didn't expect the tactile experience to be STEREO, and it lent a new level of realism that a stand-alone sub hidden in a corner couldn't.
My wife joined me on her side of the couch. "Good thing we no longer have neighbors downstairs," she said. Yep, not sure what they might think. We're in a house now, with hard wood floors. Even with my modest, non-dedicated amp setup, there was a good amount of tactile effect. I could feel the transducers at my feet; the tactile effect created the illusion of a much bigger sound system at work. It reminded me of my first IMAX experience. The bass seemed to come from every surface, nook and cranny of the room. That's what it was like.
Next step, I'm going to get a dedicated amp for the TES system. I have to. I've only experienced a miniscule taste of what these units are capable of, and I look forward to more.
-Perry Wang, Director of Production, Media Revolution, LLC - 12/09/03