The SPL-1500R was created to meet the demand for powerful, dynamic, accurate bass in newer homes with architecture featuring high ceilings and large rooms that flow from one into another.
With the addition of the SPL-1500R, the SPL-R Series is now comprised of four models: the SPL-800R, SPL-1000R, SPL-1200R and now the SPL-1500R. Like all the SPL-R models, the SPL-1500R features a 2000 watt dynamic and 1000 watt RMS Class D switching amplifier. However, with the SPL-1500R's 15" long throw driver (12.7" piston diameter), it boasts a frequency response of 20 - 120 Hz (+/- 3 dB). All SPL-R subwoofers are sealed designs, ensuring accuracy, low distortion, and maximum output from the smallest possible cabinet.
The SPL-R Series features a one-touch, six-band Auto-EQ feature and comes complete with its own microphone. The series is DSP (Digital Signal Processor) controlled and features a remote control with four customized presets for movies, jazz/classical, rock/R & B or games enabling a user to adjust the sub with one touch of a button.
First off after being in this audio game since the sixties I have never had my system sound so coherent and solid from classical to pop since installing the SPL 1500R.
Between my brothers and I we’ve gone through a number of reiterations with Velodyne from the ULD12 in the eighties, the F18 and F1000 from the Foundation series and the HGS-18 with a few dabs of CHT and some HSU stuff.
Current associated equipment: Dynaudio Contour 1.3MKII’s/ Target HR60’s (lead @ sand), Bryton 3BST, Bryston BP25P, TEAC VRDS-20, and a Rega P3/2000 with Sumiko Blue Point II (wall mounted). Cables: various Audio Quest, Canare 4S11 Speaker Cable and JPS LABS.
Listening Room: 10w x 15l x 10'h with hallway off to adjoining rooms.
Also my observations are from a music perspective only, maybe at some time I’ll get into HT
Music: Feist “The Reminder”, The Sound “Shock of Daylight”, Bartok “Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta”(Charles Dutoit), Kraftwerk “Tour de France Sound Tracks”, Glenn Gould “The Gouldberg Variations”, Brian Eno “Another Day on Earth”, Anour Brahem “Thimar” with John Surman and Dave Holland, Depeche Mode “Violator”, Tim Brady “Strange Attractions”, Peter Bjorn and John “Writer Block”, Mickey Hart “Planet Drum”.
I first noticed how quiet this unit is, the servo units always had a low hissing noise, not a big deal but there non the less but with the SPL it appears quieter than a mouse, even with my ear up to the unit I questioned if it was on or not.
Also, although I’m not a big believer in break in (barring my Dynaudio Contours which are widely accepted to need about 250 hours) the SPL 1500R definitely loosened up after three days, extending the fluidity of the nether regions.
For the first 2 days I felt it was just a tad better than the F1000, which it replaced, nothing could have been further from the truth.
From Glenn Goulds’s “Goldberg Variations” to Depeche Mode’s Violator, Feist's “The Reminder and anything else I could throw on, the music just took on a better sense of realism and space.
Listening to Kraftwerk’s Minimum-Maximum the SPL 1500R was able to lock into the room, extending the realism of this live performance.
It digs deep and gives a true harmonic rendition and not a generic bass frequency way down yonder, blending perfectly with my Contours, which are crossed over with internal crossover. Volume for the sub is at about 28-30 max.
Also little things, like the use of the subs remote came in handy while listening to Radioaxiom: A Dub Transmission by Bill Laswel andc Jah Wabble, these guys quite often can over power any system and it was nice just to stay seated while adjusting the bass volume.
It’s not just the bass that I was looking for, but also that sense of standing on the edge of the performance or abyss where the speakers, sub and the rest of the equipment step aside. When it works you get this eerie sensation of being there, all the audio cues fall into place and you feel you are no longer listening to a recording.
Maybe I was just lucking falling into the right synergy, but Velodyne’s implementation of DSP Auto EQ works
Overall this SPL which probably should have been called MPL is a welcome addition which has greatly enhanced my music appreciation.
Not too sure what a DD would add to my musical enjoyment over the SPL 1500R but I’m sure there are more than a few nit-pickers out there.
And once again anyone debating moving up from the older Foundation or HGS series to the SPL or DD line or putting a the 15" SLP in a smaller room should have no reservations.
Now, if I was a newbie at this game you could say I’m just finding out about the benefits of adding a sub, but I’ve owned and been exposed to numerous subs over the last twenty years.
Obviously the current Velodynes have improved over the years but I really believe that what I’m experiencing today is a result of the DSP implementation.
The Auto EQ has turned out to be a Godsend, the flat response that I’m getting was previously unattainable in my current listening room.
Previously I was never able to truly match the subs output with my main speakers without setting off unwanted emphasis of certain low frequencies.
Those weary of not going for a servo controlled unit (I for one) should have no fear, Velodyne's Dynamic Driver Control System, or DDCS, has put any doubt I had to rest, in fact I’m almost convinced it is a better solution for distortion free listening.
Now another point I would like to emphasize, I was tentative about putting a 15” sub in a 10’ x 15’ room, but with the Auto EQ all that has been put to rest.
When it comes to generating a full scale flat audio spectrum, that almost suspends belief, I sincerely believe that is only attainable with the larger subs. Yes you can get a small powerful unit to shake the walls and add impact to music (sound), but when you really want to experience that sense of being-there (and I’m not talking about gut wrenching bass), heck Glenn Gould’s recording gave me a double take and I’ve listened to it for years, you need a big transducer and for me the SPL 1500R was just the ticket.
I was originally in the market for a used HGS15 (discontinued) as the DD series were a bit out of reach financially, to replace my older Velodyne Foundation Series Sub and discovered that Velodyne had released the SPL 1500R and thought I give it try
Overall I’m extremely happy with the SPL 1500R, which for me, has created a true audiophile experience when listening to music, regardless of genre.