|Velodyne Digital Drive Series DD-12 Subwoofer|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Subwoofers|
|Written by Christopher Zell, Ph.D.|
|Thursday, 01 April 2004|
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The DD-12 contains a very powerful set of tools and filters to enable significantly smoother in-room bass response, but because of this complexity, optimization is not simple process. For the novice or non-technical user with no assistance, the possibility looms of confusion and mis-calibration. I would heavily encourage anyone who feels unsure about their ability to optimize the DD-12 to purchase it from a dealer who can assist in system integration. Indeed, even those who are comfortable with subwoofers, resonances, filters and the like would benefit from a knowledgeable dealer’s initial set-up and guidance. Once educated, you can always play to your heart’s content afterward.
Although the sub crossover can be set to a maximum of 199 Hertz, the filter center frequencies cannot be set above 120 Hertz. In one application, I had a significant resonance slightly above 120 Hertz that I wanted to lessen. Even thought it was above the crossover frequency I had set in the processor, there was still significant output from the subwoofer.
As a continuing problem with the many current subwoofers, the DD-12 did not have the capacity to completely eliminate its internal crossover. When using an outboard processor or receiver, it may be preferable to use its internal bass management system and avoid any potential overlay of an additional crossover in the subwoofer. Although setting the crossover cutoff frequency to 199 Hertz is higher than many subwoofers on the market, there is still the potential for undesirable interaction.
The Velodyne Digital Drive Series DD-12 represents a true enhancement in the ever-popular small displacement subwoofer arena. Its low-end authority, powerful tuning and adjustment capabilities, along with the extremely attractive finish and user-friendly sizing, make an impressive package. The DD-12 is not the least expensive subwoofer in its class, but the flexibility and sheer processing and analysis power make it a good value when compared to subwoofers that do not offer room-tuning capabilities. Utilizing the microphone and the real-time display immensely helped to optimize the Velodyne’s integration into the listening environment, even without implementing the parametric filters and additional controls. For those who are décor-challenged, or who have limited placement options, the Velodyne DD-12 subwoofer will provide a significant overall improvement, given its wide gamut of adjustments and tuning options.
Velodyne’s primary design criteria was to produce an extremely accurate subwoofer with minimal distortion while obtaining sound pressure levels that are comparable to its competitors. My experience with the DD-12 proved to me that Velodyne met and exceeded these goals, making the DD-12 a winner. For those who are technically savvy, or willing to acquire the assistance of a knowledgeable dealer, and have the patience to play with the subwoofer’s’ location, and substantial adjustability, the end reward will be a true reference bass system.