Search Results for


REVIEW: Crowson Tech TES-100

Home Theater
October 13, 2004 No Comments
<% rating = 5 %>Lets face it, there hasn't really been that much change in the audio arena for home theater in a while.  Going from 5.1 to 7.1 was nice, but nothing to get too excited about.  There are little things you can do to make your home theater experience better, like upgrade your screen, calibrate your displays and acoustically treat the room.  They all make a difference, but nothing you can actually feel... What's the next big thing to hit the home theater market that can take it to another level?  Holographic displays are still a ways away... but tactile feed back is here today.  I auditioned the Odyssee by DBOX, and have to say that it's one of the greatest enhancements you can add to your home theater... the only limitation is the price tag.   A few months back I posted about another new technology that can possibly give you similar results but for a fraction of the price tag.  The product: Crowson Technology’s TES100.

The kind folks over at Crowson sent me over a demo couch set to audition. The box was heavier than I expected.  Inside were two TES Transducers that weigh about 3 1/2 lbs. each and two Vibration Isolators.  They look of very high quality construction, down to the binding posts used.   The installation of the unit is very simple, just place the transducers and vibration isolators under the legs of the couch. 

The reason Crowson can come in a bit just under $650 for a couch set is that they don't require the use of any hardware other than a user supplied, two channel amp that is capable of producing a min of 50 watts per channel.  The Odyssee system has an outboard controller that uses the audio track of the DVD for sync info, makes an Internet download of the tactile track and then controls the actuator.  A pretty complex process, hence the hefty price tag.  A drawback to the Odyssey package is that you can't always enjoy the tactile feedback if the asset you are watching or listen to hasn't been reproduced by DBOX.   The TES100 works with any sound source since it uses the audio track’s low frequencies to actuate the transducers. 

My new dedicated theater isn't fully completed so I had to set it up in my current set up.  I used my old Yamaha 2095 100w per channel receiver (as my amplifier) to power the TES 100's.   Hook up was a cinch...  I used Y connectors out of my Pioneer VSX-59TXi subwoofer outputs so I could continue to drive my subwoofer.  After I got everything hooked up I turned on the system and popped in T2 and Jurassic Park DVDs.   I was extremely impressed with the results.  These units have enough power to shake the couch, and I'm not talking about a goofy shake... I'm taking about a nice tight vibration where needed and in sync with my subwoofer and the visuals on screen.  You will need to adjust the volume on the amplifier connected to the TES 100 to suit your tastes, and depending on your mood and the movies you might be cranking it up or down.  I was cranking it up...  The TES 100's do tend to heat up a bit during use, but that is normal since they are using the power to drive a magnetic actuator and the mass of your couch -- and you (up to 1000lbs total), up and down. 

If you are looking to add a little excitement to your theater, you need to definitely check out Crowson Technology’s TES100!  They are priced at $350 for a chair kit and $650 for a couch kit.  All you need to provide is a 50 watt minimum (per channel) amp to power the units. Crowson tells me that they are about to release their own A200 Stereo Amplifier (MSRP $350), designed specifically for the TES 100.  Even if you can afford an Odyssee system, I would recommend you also pick up a set of the TES 100’s for when D-BOX doesn't have the assets you want encoded for the Odyssee.  For more information and to find a dealer check out

Full Motion Race Simulator

Fun & Games
March 9, 2005 2 Comments

I've been looking long and hard for something that beats the experience of the D-Box Obyssee and even the lesser expensive option by Crowson Tech. I think I've found it! The Netherlands based, FCS company is known internationally for their military, aerospace and automotive simulators, and now with their Hexatech technology, they will be known for their Racing Simulator.

How does it all work? The Hexatech consists of a race car cockpit with force feedback steering, a driver seat and visual system mounted on a 6 Degrees of freedom Electric Motion platform. The Hexatech moves freely across all axes: up, down, left, right, back and forth and all rotations. Generating forces as felt in an actual race car. Once drivers are securely seated, the ride lifts 40 centimeters and the vehicle is released for the race. The ride height is three meters and uses 16 square meters to be operated safely. Crazy stuff!

This isn't really targeted for your home theater or house environment... but I bet if you have the budget of Six Flags Holland (where is publically launched) you could get one installed in your very own home. I love the concept and bet the experience is truly amazing! For now, I guess we'll need to stick to the more cost effective options.

- Check out the VIDEO on their site!

[ Thanks CHZ! ]

Shake, Rattle, and Roll… Part IV.

Home Theater
July 15, 2004 No Comments

Our friends over at Crowson's Tech, are sending out a TES 100 unit for me to test and review. I've only heard good things about their technology, which makes it triple exciting (geez, I'm getting giddy). Anyways, I just wanted to give you all a heads up on the great news and I hope to have a full review soon... like after watching my whole DVD collection... which may turn out to be a couple months... so if you don't see a lot of posts, you know what I'm doing.

Previous Shake, Rattle, and Roll... entries:
- Part I
- Part II
- Part III

Shake, Rattle, and Roll… Part III.

Home Theater
June 3, 2004 No Comments

So Crowson Technology, the guys that create the TES-100 (read my previous post) contacted me to tell me that they don't use "embedded" transducers like I thought. Opps...

Here's what they said, "Our transducers are true actuators with excursion in the vertical plane. They are designed to sit between your furniture's feet and the ground beneath them, thus using the mass of the couch (and customer) to pre-load our proprietary spring system. Our "Linear-Direct-Drive" technology delivers FAR more accurate tactile effects than other transducers."

If that's the case... it makes them really worth checking out since the cost is about $27,351 less than the the only other option, the D-Box Odyssee. The TES-100 runs $649 for the couch set and $349 for the chair set. Wonder if the kind folks at Crowson Technology are willing to lend me a demo set for review... I'll keep you all posted.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll… Part II.

Home Theater
May 27, 2004 No Comments

A few months back I got a chance to demo the Odyssee by D-Box (Click here to read that entry). It looks like they aren't the only company wanting to be the first to revolutionize the home theater market by adding tactile feedback to the mix. Quente Cafe has a press release from Crowson, a home theater product company, about a new tactile system for your home theater. The press release doesn't talk about the technology behind the TES100 (Tactile Effects System) in full detail, except that "now you can see, hear and FEEL the gut-wrenching punch of a fiery explosion, the bone-jarring crack of a gunshot, the deep, rhythmic vibrations of a powerful muscle car, or the warm, soothing resonance of a cello...". I think they are using high quality tactile transducers embedded in the chairs instead of actual acuators like the D-Box system. They are sweet looking chairs, like the one pictured with built in joysticks, but I still prefer D-Box technology over transducers any day! [Thanks Ajit M.!]

- More Photo Here