Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On 


Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On.... by Gary Raskin, Raskin Home Theatre, Dec 2003 Issue


When Jerry Lee Lewis recorded "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" he wasn't referring to home theatre sound enhancement technology. But Crowson, a new audio company from California was thinking about just such a thing... and lo and behold they came up with a remarkable new product called the TES 100 Tactile Effects System that delivers thunderous shaking, rattling and rolling vibrations on cue.

To be sure, there are a lot of other products of this type that, over time, have been adapted from industrial applications for consumer use. The TES 100, Crowson claims, is the first such component developed specifically for the home theatre.

Most of the TES 100's competitors use an "inertial shaker" design. One such inertial shaker looks like a large car audio speaker that has to be bolted to the underside of a chair seat. Such devices often require very careful equalization and amplification.
But the TES 100 is an electromagnetic linear actuator. Instead of being bolted to the underside of a seat, it fits snugly under a chair leg while its companion circular "Vibration Isolators" fit under the other 3 chair legs. Each are fastened by supplied screws and washers.

The actual transducer weighs in at a scant 3.5 lbs. and stands a diminutive 4.8" x 5.7" x 1.1". It's rated at 6 ohms and reproduces frequencies from 1 to 500Hz. Just flip the switch and the earthquakes you see are the earthquakes you FEEL!

When you combine the effects from the TES 100 with a subwoofer's output, the overall impact is very convincing. I tested the TES 100 Chair Kit. Every rumbling and shaking effect tied in perfectly with the subwoofers output and expanded the emotional horizon explosively for every movie I watched. The entire viewing experience was considerably more thrilling, and I was drawn much further into the action than I would otherwise have been.

There is also a TES 100 for installation under a sofa. The Couch Kit, as it is called, lists for $649.00 and comes with 2 transducers, one for each rear or front pair of legs, plus 2 Vibration Isolators. The Chair Kit lists for $349.00 and comes with 1 transducer and 3 Vibration Isolators.

While I would have preferred a different installation design, and while more of the shaking effect was present on the side of the chair where the actual transducer was in the Chair Kit, the Couch Kit with 2 transducers will clear up these quibbles, balancing out the vibration. No matter how it all shakes out, the TES 100 shook me up, and it was an experience I look forward to again. Don't forget to fasten your seatbelts.