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Velodyne Acoustics DD-12
1 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP 
Description: Velodyne has achieved digital perfection with the Digital Drive Series subwoofers. The series consists of 4 digital subwoofers the DD-10 (10 driver, 8 piston diameter), the DD-12 (12 driver, 9.7 piston diameter), the DD-15 (15 driver, 12.7 piston diameter), and the DD-18 (massive 18 driver, 15.2 piston diameter). The Digital Drive Series features Velodynes revolutionary Digital Drive room management technology that takes subwoofer room equalization to a new level. This latest Velodyne innovation allows the subwoofers frequency response in any room to be measured and digitally corrected in real-time using a supplied microphone, and stored in the units memory to assure ideal performance in the consumers listening area


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Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tombowlus a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 21, 2004

Bottom Line:   
My main system is of a respectable quality, and more than capable of satisfying low end, in a room without major issues. My speakers are Thiel CS3.6's, and they are being driven by a pair of Theta Digital Enterprise monoblocks. IMHO, in most situations, there is no need to supplement 3.6's with a subwoofer (not for music, at least). Unfortunately, my room has major bass issues (one "wall" is an open archway to another room, there are two hallways leading off, there is a large sliding glass door on one wall, and I have high, sloping ceilings). With these problems, the low end is almost non-existent without a subwoofer. I had heavily considered Thiel's own excellent subwoofer, the SW1. However, after talking to my dealer and the folks at Thiel, the consensus opinion was that in my room, I would need a subwoofer with a high degree of control and EQ options to address, and correct for, my room deficiencies. With that in mind, my dealer recommended that I listen to a Velodyne DD-12 (actually, it was his first recommendation, before I even got into the particular issues facing my room!). Let me tell, you I am glad that I did. In the dealer's listening room (which has no major issues), I was able to hear my 3.6's (with associated equipment equivalent to what I have at home) both with and without the DD-12. These listening tests confirmed that 3.6's normally do not need a sub (and proved that mine were functioning correctly), but also showed me that the DD-12 was certainly worthy of pairing with the Thiels, and that it did not draw any attention to itself (which I consider high praise for a sub). I was impressed enough to buy it on the spot. However, once I got my new DD-12 home, I was in for a shock! After listening just after my initial setup (with minimal, but fairly effective fine tuning of the many, many variables controlled by the DD-12 - phase, polarity, servo control, crossover points, 8-band parametric EQ, etc.), I already knew that I had just made the most significant upgrade to my system by far. And some of my other upgrades have cost several times what I paid for the DD-12! I had tried other subs in my system, but their presence was obvious, and they were definitely not in the same league as my Thiels. The DD-12, though, feels right at home in my system. Now, my low end issues are all but non-existent. The difference is not subtle at all (as it was in my dealer's room). Running the Thiels full range, and then engaging/disengaging the DD-12, the difference is between satisfying, balanced (not overly loud) bass, and an obviously lack of low end support, with far too present mids and highs (please note: the Thiels did not suffer from this at all when set up in my dealer's room). In addition, the higher notes now have the proper foundation and support, and as a result sound much more natural and realistic. Male voice and piano have benefitted tremendously.

The DD-12 is very fast, very tight, very controlled and very musical. As happy as I was with the initial results, as I have continued to tweak, the resulsts have improved incrementally. I now have a fairly flat frequency response, with only a few minor peaks and valleys left (which I hope to address with room treatments). I have already performed one software update, and it is a breeze! In fact, all of the tweaking is easily done with the supplied microphone and remote. The Night Mode is especially nice when you have little kids who are asleep, and you want a one-buttom solution to shaking them out of bed.

Don't let the fact that Velodyne sells some more affordable subs lead you to believe that they can't make a top-flight product capable of keeping up with some of the best gear out there. The Digital Drive series can provide sonic enhancement to nearly any system. Consider me very impressed.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Progressive Audio




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