I have always wanted a home theater. Being an avid watcher of movies, I wanted
to be able to control the environment both visually and audibly so that I could
go from watching movies to appreciating them. With the house we purchased in
1999, there was a room in the basement that would fit my needs.
I was on a limited budget, so I worked on this in my spare time, and I dubbed it "The Poor Man's Theater". It wasn't until everything was done, with a 10 speaker (don't even ask about the wiring required to get this to sound right), 2 subwoofer system, with a nice big screen rear projection TV that I really started to enjoy it, but some things were missing.
It lacked character and another aspect that I wouldn't come to realize for about 6 months. I added real movie seats, bit of items form some of my favorite movies, some decorative columns, move posters, controlled lights, and a working, twinkling star field to the ceiling, and the Starlight Theatre was born. This all added character, but was usually lost after the first 5 minutes of a movie. I needed something more.
Then I stumbled across a web site about home theaters (AV Science), and one of the founders had a home theater called The Nate (named after his cat). He was using things called Bass Shakers attached to the movie seats to add a third dimension to the move experience... Tactile feedback from what is happening in the movie. I knew that I needed these Bass Shakers, so I bought 10 of them (One for each movie seat, and 2 for the love seat that was in the theater) and I used an older Pioneer receiver to power them so that I had separate "volume" control as well as not taxing my main receiver. This finished things off with a visual, audible, and now tactile movie experience.
Wiring the 4 Ohm Bass Shakers together in an 8 Ohm environment was a bit tricky. I had to put some in series and some in parallel in order to get as close to 8 Ohms as possible in the end so that I didn't have the Ohms too far off from the receiver's Ohm rating.
Now that is it all done, people go down the stairs of the house, see the big "Starlight Theatre" sign, turn the corner, and say, "Wow! You've got real movie theater seats." A few seconds later they ask, "What are those things attached to the back of the seats?" That is when I say, sit down and FEEL them. They are called Bass Shakers! The Bass Shakers help to provide interest, as well as enhance the movie experience well beyond the first 5 minutes. When the movie is over, the comments are usually, "That was Great! Those Bass Shakers are really cool!"