Phase Technology Velocity V-10 Speaker System Reviewed
The V-10 did a great job with movies, providing a "detailed top end." Lows were "deep and impressive with thunderous jets emanating from the sub...dialogue was solid, ubiquitous and natural." With music, vocals sounded "full and rich with a booming bottom end."
If you're new to home theater, you probably don't understand much of the technical jargon included in many equipment reviews. Special features need to be explained in layman's terms so you will understand. To even consider buying new equipment that will cause a strain on your budget, you need proof positive why it's so essential to enhance your movie and music collection.
I can give the technical figures on home theater systems and even do comprehensive testing with expensive equipment in a laboratory under ideal conditions. But what good is information about laboratory testing and ideal conditions? The bottom line concerning audio and video equipment is how it performs in a living room with a sofa, recliner, carpeting and odd shaped walls. My living room is my laboratory and technical specifications include how movies and music sound and feel.
Unique Features Bill Hecht, founder and chairman of Phase Technology, started building loudspeakers in 1955 and pioneered early speaker technology with patented designs including the widely used soft dome tweeter. In 1978, Bill created the Phase Technology Corporation with the main goal of building high performance loudspeakers. The company produces numerous lines of speakers to fit nearly every application and budget. The newest generation of Phase Technology high fidelity performance speakers is the Velocity series. Named for its streamlined stylized shape and mind-bending accurate performance, this versatile new series includes bookshelf, floor-standing and surround speakers, as well as powered subwoofers.
The highly defined, powerful, performance-oriented Velocity V-10 Premier System delivers great music and movie excitement at an affordable price. The V-10 boasts a pair of two-way V-10 tower speakers at the front, a V-6 center channel, a pair of V-Surround sound speakers and a powerful 250-watt subwoofer with a 10-inch driver. The Velocity V-10 has sleek lines and a contemporary design combined with proprietary technologies to produce unrivaled acoustic performance. The patented soft dome tweeters are well matched to the woofers in each speaker, which are designed for extra long throw and use Phase Technology's proprietary VDT cones. The injection-molded polypropylene cones have an ultra-light layer of Vapor Deposited Titanium for a smooth and extended midrange response, while the long throw design allows the Velocity system to play at high volume levels for extended periods without compressing or breaking up. The one-piece Uniframe speaker basket/baffle assembly forms one of several rigid layers that essentially eliminate the transmission of vibration. The High-Velocity subwoofer matched to the V-10 system features a mica/graphite polypropylene driver, which is extremely rigid yet light enough to produce responsive and accurate floor-shaking bass. The powered sub's amplifier is servo-controlled to digitally adjust output for dynamic, undistorted bass, a gain control, phase switch and variable crossover control are rear mounted above hi-level input binding posts, low-level interconnects, and a separate LFE input. The Velocity V-10 tower speakers and V-6 center channel have paintable metal grilles to match any décor and come in two cabinet finishes: Sun Maple and Black Rosewood laminate.
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Installation/Setup/Ease of Use The fashionable good looks allow the V-10 system to blend in nicely with virtually any setting. The tower speakers flanked my Mitsubishi rear projection HDTV quite nicely. They come with small stands that can be fitted with floor spikes for an added protection from resonance. My best option for placement of the center channel was high on top of my Mitsubishi since there is no way to mount it below the screen. The V-6 center channel can be positioned either upright or on its side, so I chose to place it on its side and angled it slightly downward toward the listening position.
The V-Surround speakers have a small bracket on the back of each unit for wall mounting and a two-way bipolar/dipolar switch to change the speaker characteristics. I found my best results came from simply setting the surrounds on shelves in each rear corner of my room and selecting the dipolar option. This provided a more ambient sound.
The HV-1000 powered subwoofer performed ideally in a corner of the room. I used Monster Cable THX audio interconnects to attach my receiver to the sub's line level inputs to measure the crossover performance. An alternative to this method is bypassing the crossover by joining the two components with a cable to the Low Frequency Effect (LFE) input. Once everything was set up, I whipped out my stack of reference material.
Final Take - I tested the V-10 ensemble with Toy Story 2 through a V-903 DVD player. The opening scene of Buzz Lightyear rocketing through the universe puts surround sound systems through their paces. The V-10 speakers were accurate with a detailed top end. Lows were deep and impressive with thunderous jets emanating from the sub, but with a bit too much depth. I made some minor adjustments to tone down the slightly muddy effects. By switching the phase of the subwoofer 180 degrees, the output changed relative to the front speakers. This change, along with bass level and crossover frequency adjustments, improved the middle ground to near perfection. The array gave a vigorous audio representation during playback of a DTS test disc. During a battle scene in Pirates of the Caribbean, not only were explosions impressively forceful, but the sound of wood splintering and ropes creaking were well embodied. During X2, dialogue was solid, ubiquitous and natural. The roaring of jet engines coupled with tornado activity sounded clean with dynamic special effect sounds. With each movie, the clarity at all listening levels (from soft and faint to loud and obnoxious) was awe-inspiring. Moving around the room with other speakers often yields a problematic off-axis response. But not with the V-10 ensemble. I was able to stand up and move about and even change seating positions without any noticeable change in soundstage thanks to the Absolute Phase Crossover. It's simply amazing.
Switching gears to music playback, I first selected Shania Twain's The Woman In Me. Female vocals are the hardest to reproduce accurately, so I knew this would give a true test of the V-10's capabilities. On "Any Man of Mine", Shania's vocals were negligibly harsh, but the midrange complimented the energetic bass often discounted in country music. On "(If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here!", the guitar sounded clear and lucid. Transients were precise and ever-present at all volume levels.
Listening to David Sanborn wail on his saxophone is a pleasure unto itself. Since the days of 8-track tapes I have studied every note on his album Hideaway. On "Lisa", Sanborn plays a wide range of octaves during his performance. The Velocity speakers did a great job with the woodwind instrument. The horn bellowed prominently without distorting and reed action was even discernable. I continued the jazz theme with Al Jarreau's Breakin' Away album. His distinct vocals sounded full and rich with a booming bottom end. After listening to a few more discs, I had reached my verdict.
The V-10 speaker system is one of the best overall sounding systems I have had the pleasure of listening to at any price. The exceptional pe
rformance at all listening levels with varied media proved to be unrivaled. The system's performance is refined and dazzling. Add to this a good-looking, elegant exterior and you have a real winner. The Velocity V-10 system would be a bargain at three times the price, but taking into account the affordability Phase Technology represents here, this system is an unbeatable value.
V-10 Tower Speakers 1" soft dome tweeter / 7" VDT driver 35Hz-20kHz frequency response 8 ohms impedance 15-150 watts recommended power Dimensions: 40.5"H x 8.5"W x 12"D Weight: 36 lbs. each
V-6 Center Channel 1" soft dome tweeter 5.25"VDT driver / 5.25" bass radiator 56Hz-20kHz frequency response 8 ohms impedance 15-120 watts recommended power Dimensions:18"H x 7"W x 8.75"D Weight:12 lbs.
V-Surround Speakers (2)1" soft dome tweeters / 5.25" VDT driver 70Hz-20kHz frequency response 8 ohms impedance 15-120 watts recommended power Dimensions: 9"H x 11.75"W x 4.75"D Weight:10 lbs. each
HV-1000 Subwooler 10" mica/graphite polypropylene driver 250-watt amplifier 29Hz-110Hz frequency response 0-180 degree phase switch 24dB octave variable low pass crossover slow Dimensions:17"H x 11.75"W x 16"D Weight: 28 lbs.