Re: Played with a Throne Butt Kicker for the First Time
My Crown amp is older, a K2, and I'm not sure if it's even made anymore. But it's basic rating is 950 or 1200 watts or something like that, and I've failed to damage either ButtKicker in 7 years of using them. So the amp itself is not overkill.
What really matters is how intimate you need to be with your kick, and where you can draw the line between gigs that really require that extra punch. The ButtKicker isn't about having a little more reinforcement, it's an important link in the monitoring chain for those who need a lot of kick. You could adjust the level to wherever you want it of course, but it's a real commitment if you're not going to go all the way with it. Guitammer (the parent company) offers some other versions that are better suited for lower volume situations.
A few other things you need to know specifically about their Concert model...
The system won't work well if you like an open or resonant kick. You'll just get a lot of rumble, and very little sense of impact or where the beat is. I'm not suggesting you pad up the kick just to get a tight kick in the butt, although if that's how your kick is already, you're going to be thrilled! I suppose if you simply triggered the batter head through a module and used a tight kick to drive ButtKicker, that would accomplish the same thing.
Also, other sounds can set-off the ButtKicker, even the snare being hit hard, and you'll be thumped each time. Perhaps that gives a sense of every hit, but it also gets a little annoying when all you really want is kick. For miking, the signal to the ButtKicker should be gated, so only the kick opens it up. With a trigger, the sensitivity can be adjusted to help with extraneous signals, but that may also affect the dynamics of the kick. That is, if you're playing ghost notes, they may fall below the sensitivity and not register in the seat.
And, they work best when attached directly to the seat, which means you have to have enough space to mount it. A smallish round seat isn't going to work, although most saddle seats and cannister thrones will be just fine. For the smaller seats, the company offers a mounting plate that goes under the throne seat's mount and the ButtKicker hangs off the back of it. But with either method, the unit becomes somewhat permanent. You could remove and attach it for every gig, but that gets old if you're working even a few times a week.
As I mentioned above, this is a commitment.