Steven Stone is the former editor of AudiophileReview.com. He a longtime audiophile and home theater writer, as well as a musician and recording engineer. Steven has written for publications like Stereophile, as well as HomeTheaterReview.com, AudiophileReview.com, and The Absolute Sound.
Steven is plays guitar, mandolin, and Ashbory bass and is a collector of fine musical instruments.
Velodyne's newest series of premium subwoofers features state-of-the-art Subwoofer design and ergonomics. Based around a newly developed, longer-excursion driver than previous models, the DD+ series incorporates the latest in digital EQ, servo amplifier design, and computer-based user interface to deliver Velodyne's ultimate subwoofer. The $3,299 DD+ 10 is the smallest speaker in the Digital Drive Plus line, yet it has more than enough power with its 1,250 watts RMS amplifier and 35 pound magnet structure to energize a mid-sized room with ease.
Aimed at the top echelon of the market, the DD+ series offers a 10, 12, and 15-inch versions. With its glossy finish and slick controls, the DD+ series was created to compete with the JL Fathom series subwoofers. All of Velodyne's new DD+ subwoofers include their latest software and EQ, which offers a level of control that makes it easy to adjust the DD+ subwoofers to perform optimally even in difficult acoustic environments. Using Velodyne's patented digital high-gain servo technology and Energy Recovery System (ERS) amplifier, the DD+ subwoofers deliver over 3,000 watts of dynamic power while producing under a half of a percent of distortion. This is a 4.5 to 6 dB improvement from the previous generation of Digital Drive subwoofers.
The DD-10+'s installation and set-up software lets you get as hands-on or hand's-off as you wish during set-up. You can set it up like a conventional subwoofer where you merely dial in a volume level and frequency crossover point from the front panel controls. Or you can use Velodyne's auto-set-up, which takes less than ten minutes to run through using a special test disc to optimize Velodyne's auto EQ system. Finally, you can use a Windows computer to adjust every parameter of the Velodyne DD-10+ EQ system, including Q, boost point, and intensity via a supplied software program. I tried all three methods. Velodyne's auto set-up produced results that very nearly matched a far more time-intensive manual computer install. The auto system chose a 79 dB crossover point with a pair of Studio Electric Monitors, while with a pair of Aerial Acoustic 5B speakers it used 76 dB. Both of these speakers are sealed cabinet two-way speakers with similar dimensions and sensitivities but the DD-10+'s built-in software is sufficiently sophisticated to discern the differences between them.
In both my main room and computer-based systems the Velodyne DD-10+ performed with aplomb. I've rarely felt my pant's cuffs shake from low frequencies, but the DD-10+ did just that when installed in my desktop system. The only subwoofer I've used with similar capabilities was the JL Audio Fathom F-112. The JL sub offers more manual controls and a very good self-contained auto-set-up that doesn't require an external sound source of test CD. But the JL sub lacks the DD-10+'s remote control with EQ presets and volume controls.
Read about the high points and the low points of the Velodyne DD+ 10 on Page 2.
• The DD+ series has the lowest distortion figures for any subwoofer that Velodyne has ever made.
• Multiple set-up options make it so the DD+ series is both user and room-friendly.
• The DD+ subwoofer's remote control has six EQ presets as well as volume and mute.
• This subwoofer is beautifully built and styled to be far more than another big black box.
• Not the most cost-effective or highest value-for-the-dollar subwoofer from Velodyne.
• Should be set-up via a computer by a knowledgeable installer for optimal performance.
• Prospective buyers with small rooms or small speakers don't need this level of performance.
Competition and Comparisons
As I mentioned earlier, the DD+'s chief competitor in terms of both price and performance is JL Audio's Fathom Subwoofer line of products beginning with the F110. For the latest subwoofer news and reviews please check out Home Theater Review's Subwoofer page.
If you are looking for the highest level of performance from a subwoofer, the DD+ series should be on your short list. Only the JL Audio Fathom and Gotham subwoofers offer a similar level of performance, ergonomics, and overall fit and finish. Worthy of installation in even the finest cost-no-object systems, the DD+ series reestablishes Velodyne's place as one of the premier subwoofer manufacturers in the world today.