- Written by Jim Milton
- Published on 23 February 2010
Eventually I whipped out my trusty SLP meter and brought the bass output down into line with my Revel F12s. I began my audition with the "Flight of the Phoenix" (Dennis Quaid not Jimmy Stewart). The exhilarating scene where they "gently" set the plane down on those soft, downy sand dunes…was GREAT! Every time the plane smacked into a dune, my chair vibrated forcefully in tune with the impact of the plane. This was my first real experience with what would be considered a tactile transducer and I was having some fun now. I called my wife up into the media room and demoed the scene for her and she nearly jumped out of the chair. She gave her tacit approval and went back to her book reading downstairs. (Really, she was impressed but didn't want to let on about it. ) After a bit more adjusting with the volume, I was able to get the vibrations to only be felt on the really loud and deep bass. This added an exciting sensation during action movies while producing solid, tight bass sound.
With my in-wall engaged or not, the added dimension of tactile bass really added to my enjoyment of movie viewing. Master and Commander was better than I remember at the local cinema. The cannon fusillade in the first 10 minutes of the film were all the more terrifying because of the percussive roar and shaking of my seat. The Dark Knight is another film that uses explosions to, shall we say, advance the plot. Again, the deeper explosions rocked my seat and really pulled me deeper into the movie experience. Overall, every action movie I played was enhanced with the CP-8…but how would all this play out with music? Would this effect become a distraction or an annoyance?
I love classical music and organ music in particular. The CP-8 will play low enough to cover almost all types of music that you would listen to. For general orchestral music, I played Bartok, Copland and Brahms. All three had compositions that had brass and tympani generously sprinkled throughout their works. I found that other than the very lowest or loudest passages, the tactile sensation was rarely experienced. When sensed, it was very brief and non-distracting. Indeed, the slight shaking of the seat during a particularly deep pedal note on the organ felt "right" somehow. Same as what you would actually be subjected to in a seat during a live concert. My initial fear was that it would be too much of a good thing and really become distracting from the actual enjoyment of the music. But when really called upon ("Fanfare for the Common Man" - Copland), the impact of the kettle drum was felt as well as heard. And as it should be. For good old rock-n-roll, I tried Porcupine Tree's Light Bulb Sun, in high resolution surround.
Once more, the bass was satisfying and made its presence felt. Eventually I noticed that when I played my in-wall sub alone, it seemed less engaging then when it was supplemented with the CP-8. I believe that this was a good thing as the sub was working as it was designed to perform.