Velodyne Acoustics F-1500 Subwoofers

F-1500

15" SERVO CONTROLLED SUB WOOFER

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
Joe   AudioPhile [Mar 28, 2011]

I had to say my due as to the Velodyne F1500R. I bough this in the early '90's when it was new.It may be a dinasaur by todays standards but, it will hold it's own against anything around the money. I paid $1000,00 for it and was brand spanking new.No one note bass here or overhang thanks to the servo control/accelerometer. It's a tank and weighs as much as one too. It's accoustic suspension so no chuffing sounds out it's non-existent port. When locked in and pressurised it will shake the foundations and it will do so accurately and with control. Now here's where I get lambasted by audiophiles: I've since moved it into my very large bedroom to accomodate my Martin Logan Sources. Everyone and their mom would tell me it's too slow for the lightening fast Electrostatic panels but, don't forget the Source is blended with an 8 inch woofer. TAS reviewed it and raved making it their budget loudpeaker of the year. The reviewer ws hesitant as he never liked the discontinuity of fast panels and slow cones. The Source changed his mind about that and many other nuances he never cared for when it came to electrostatics.I'm telling you when dialed in properly, placed properly this Velodyne does very well with the Source, adding to it's low end and overall coherency. I rarely think I can hear it unless there's demanding LFR from the source but, it still makes itself scarce. It in no way takes away from the lightening fast panels w/integrated 8 inch woofer. It just opens the whole sound and sounstage. Now i'm sure there are many a better subs that would rival this combo but, I see no need as this does beyond fine. I've had it for 18 years and it's never let me down and is still in perfect working order. How much more accolades cn one bestow? Velodyne, baby, and nothing else need apply here. Highly recommended. AAA+++.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
EYEdROP   AudioPhile [Aug 27, 2009]

Before I bought this sub, I had a Paradigm PDR-10 (good for the $$ still IMO). I basically bought this sub from a private owner at $225 in great condition. My mains are B&O Beolab Penta's which are active. My room is too small, about 11x13 feet. The sub looks huge compared to the room itself. Setup was easy when I used the built in high pass with my Beolabs. I recommend using this method instead of blurring your sub and mains, as its too hard to integrate without tons of parametric EQ. My Paradigm is basically a joke compared to this sub. The F-1500 goes lower than my ears, but I still feel the rumble going lower and lower in my bones. Like many say, this sub puts lots of pressure in the room and can easily rumble the whole house down. But the bass is never ever boomy and spooky accurate sounding compared to my old Paradigm. The very lowest bass tones and harmonics just fill the room and complete the system, making it sound truly "full range". I cant say I have much subwoofer experience but now I know what real bass is, and that I need better bass traps that somehow go as low as this sub. It would also help if I were in a big room to let my full range system shine.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Youthman   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 14, 2007]
Strength:

Handles very low bass and allows you to truly "feel" the action when watching movies.

Weakness:

Very heavy sub (90 lbs) and is very large (20 in x 20 in x 20 in).

Picked up this sub, a pair of Klipsch CF-2 towers and a Klipsch KV-3 center channel speaker off a listing on www.craigslist.com for $250. The sub sounds amazing and can handle very deep bass with no problem. Does not sound muddy or boomy. Bass is very impressive for movies and sounds great for music.

Although this sub is over 10 years old, it absolutely blows my previous Velodyne CT-100 away.

Similar Products Used: Velodyne CT-100
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sean   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 18, 2000]
Strength:

Rock solid performance to 20 hz and beyond. Good bass quality once tuned properly.

Weakness:

Large enclosure. More high-pass options (something below 80 hz) and a continuous phase adjustment would make set-up easier.

Given that my main speakers are Vandersteen 2ce's, with solid 35 hz extension, I had no interest in those toy subwoofers they push now with 6 1/2 " drivers. I needed a speaker to deliver that last octave without making my bass muddy. I also wanted improved performance with movies.

After auditioning all of the products above, I concluded the following: the HGS 10 is an amazing product which, with a tiny enclosure, is solid to about 25 hz. Bass quality is excellent. The B&W was not as authoritative or taut. The REL, which gets great reviews, was a joke. I actually bought and returned that piece within a day. They market it as enhancing imaging, but it doesnt extend past 30 hz, makes port whoooshing sounds, and had no discernable change in imaging. The Klipsch sounded descent to about 30 hz, but couldnt keep up below that. The difinitive is a good value, but isnt as tight. The vandy subs, with 3 8" drivers, are taut, but I simply couldnt accept the lack of set-up flexibility. You actually have to buy a different sub if you want to use preamp vs speaker-level inputs.

I settled on the FSR 15, which seems to outperform all except perhaps its BIG brother, and probably the HGS 12-15. I picked mine up on closeout, and have been extremely satisfied. After much tinkering, I settled on running L&R preamp outs to the sub as well as to the amp for the L&R mains (using a splitter), thus running the mains in full-range. I realize that many speakers benefit from high-passing, but I felt the bass quality from doing so wasn't as coherent. I CERTAINLY cannot localize the velodyne with its xo at 40 hz, either. Further adjustment (with input from Richard Vandersteen) was to run the center speaker on small, and the "sub" output set to "off". This eliminated the huge gap I had in the 40-80 hz region, now produced by the front L&R speakers. Now the system sounds excellent both for music and movies. There are quite a few songs with low-bass info that I didnt even know was there! We all deserve to hear and feel all the notes.

Oh, one more thing: the bass quality was a bit muddy until I correctly adjusted the phase.

Overall, I love this baby. For smaller main speakers, consider the HGS series.

Similar Products Used: HGS 10, B&W asw1000, REL strata, klipsch 12" sub, Definitive PF 15, vandersteen subs.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Mac   an Audiophile [Jul 22, 1999]

For some time I had been relying solely on my main speakers (NHT 3.3s) to provide the deep bass in my movie soundtracks. Ignorance is bliss, and for me it was shattered when I recently saw Star Wars Episode 1 at the newly refurbished Cinerama in downtown Seattle. The theater's state-of-the-art sound system made it quite clear just how much I had been missing in the low end. Within a week, I purchased the FSR-15 to help recreate in my home something of what I had heard in the cinema.
After experimenting with several locations, I settled on putting the sub in the right front corner of my approximately 16' X 25' X 9' room. While this sub does deliver high-quality bass with low distortion, I was ultimately disappointed with its performance. One of the DVDs I ran repeatedly when doing my testing was Terminator 2 (I played the canal scene and the exploding Cyberdyne scene ad nauseum). The FSR-15 was perfectly capable of playing louder than I like, but it didn't add much bottom-end extention to what I was already getting from my main speakers (my 3.3s, which go below 25 hz, have spoiled me here). I also found it lacked the dynamics and overall slam I was looking for. I took the sub back to my local dealer the next week and traded up to the FSR-18. I am much happier with the FSR-18 and plan to post a review after I've had a more time to listen to it.

As the reviews below show, some are very happy with the FSR-15. My expectations may be higher than most people's; however, if, like me, you're looking for bass performance that rivals what you hear in the best cinemas, I don't think you'll find it here. A 15" driver with a 250 watt amp just doesn't do it for me.

I do think the FSR-15 is a fine sub for its class, however. The quality of its bass is very good and quite satisfying for movies. It is equally satisfying for music, although I prefer the somewhat tighter, more tuneful bass of my 3.3s. It blended very well with my main speakers. The remote volume control is a nice extra. I could certainly live with this sub, but I felt its bigger brother was worth the extra cash. I give the FSR-15 three-and-a-half stars (I'll round up to four since half stars aren't allowed).

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Ed   an Audiophile [Oct 27, 1998]

I purchsed the Velodyne FSR 1500 with a two week return privledge and I am glad I did. I spent considerabl time (150 hours) breaking in the unit and finding the best position in my 20'x13'room using a SPL meter and a CD with test tones. Once the sub was place in the optimum location, I began to experiment with different cross over setting finally using the hi and low pass cross over in my process with the Velodyne cross over turned off. I used the sub woofer out from the process or to the inputs on the Velodyne. I tried different interconnects as well as placing the sub on spike( this did improve detail) but this sub seems be shelved in the 40 to 80hz region. There was no warmth at all on anything I played from movies to CD's. I am not talking about the artificial warmth you get from some subs, but the natural warmth you get from double basses. This warmth also contributes to the punch and slam you expect from a good sub. Below the 40hz point the sub had excellant low base response, but the lack of weight and warmth in the 40 to 80hz area left you with a desire to constantly tune up the volume to try and achieve the impact that is not there. The sub has a overal dry and analytical presentation which at first listen sounds like a lot of detail. I returned the unit to the dealer for a full refund and while I was there I pointed out this frequency anomally on the demo unit. This type of sound may work in systems that have to much energy in the 40 to 80hz area, but it does not work for me.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
John Rolfe   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 25, 2001]
Strength:

Good clear crossover conrtol

Weakness:

Lacks sharpness of bass which became muffled and distorted with volume increase. A sub in this price range and moreover with the Velodyne name should not have this problem.

Beware of Velodyne customer service. They are arrogant and
condescending. When I called the repair department they picked right up on the specific trouble I was having. Right away that told me this might be a lemon issue, but I really wasn't prepared to hear the next words of encouragement. The guy actually told me he didn't trust any local Velodyne authorized dealers to make the repair, and that I should UPS this 100# mother back to the company.
When a company outright tells you they don't trust their own factory authorized repair shops - watch out.
Oh yes - I forgot to mention the repair cost. He told me I was looking at $300-400, but that he might have to replace the speaker too so that might raise it to $400-500.
I gave it to my church flea market sale!

Similar Products Used: FSR-1200
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
lucas film THX7.1   Audiophile [Sep 14, 2001]
Strength:

very good very good
is superior a hgs series

very good very good
is superior a hgs series

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian Younce   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 03, 2001]
Strength:

Simply untouchable when it comes to extremely low bass. I haven't heard a subwoofer yet that can do Pipe Organ pedal notes like this one and still cost under $2000.

Weakness:

Large cabinet makes placement more difficult, but then, for truely high-fidelity bass those little cabinet subs just don't cut it.

Of all the subs listed above my F1500R offers the best overall performance. The M&Ks had excellent slam and speed but they rolled off in the 25-28Hz range and were easy to overload. The Earthquakes had more output than all of the above listed subs but they too rolled off sharply - this time at about 22-25Hz, they were also a little more tricky to dial-in. The NHT had tons of output above 30Hz and was very good on music but it couldn't do justice to Organ pedal. The Paradigms were both very good with the cheaper PW2200 actually having more output above 25Hz than the Servo 15, below that though, the Servo sounded really good, almost as good as my F1500R. The F-1500R is good at fast percussive and string bass sounds as long as you have full range mains and use alow x-over setting, go too high and you become aware that you're using a high-moving mass 15" driver, servo or not. Where it excels is ultra-deep and infrasonic bass, the kind most people have never heard or felt in their own homes. When the blinds start shaking, the walls groan and your ears feel strange air pressure changes yet you can't hear anything then you've experienced bass from a large Velodyne Servo-Sub.

Similar Products Used: Various M&K subs, Earthquake SuperNova MKIV-12&15, NHT SubOne, Paradigm PW2200 and Ref. Servo 15
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Stephen Smith   an Audio Enthusiast [Jan 17, 1999]

I just purchased a Velodyne FSR 15. I bought a Paradigm 2200 sub about2 months ago. This sub was awesome. Especially for $865.00. I decided to try
out a Velodyne as well. I knew I wanted 2 subs. I decided to see what the
difference between an $800.00 would be verses a $1700.00 sub. When I first
turned on the Velodyne I was disapointed by it. Quite frankly the Paradigm
was walking all over it. Once I learned how to operate it and tweak it out,
with the remote supplied with it I was amazed by its shere power. This sub
really moves a lot of air. The house shakes. I am running the Velo. in the
front of my room. I put the Paradigm behind my sofa. The two together is a
force to be reconed with. I would not give up my Velodyne. It is among the
best subs I have ever heard. I tried out the Sunfire Mk II and it did not evefn
come close. I highly recommend this sub to any one who can afford it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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