Systems List › Velodyne › DD18+
NotesVelodyne has made a name for themselves through their sealed subwoofer designs using active servo control and this model sits at the top of their current Digital Drive Plus line. It sports a 1250w rated amplifier and a big high tech 18" driver. In short this is a heck of a subwoofer. The unit looks stunning in a see through gloss black with wood grain just visible beneath the surface. Everything is sculpted and rounded off with the curved sides of the subwoofer helping to make what is a rather large and heavy sub (as commercial units go) blend in a lot easier. It also has probably more connectivity built into the amplifier than any other unit I can think of. DSP is built into the unit and controlled via the front panel or a remote control. There is built in EQ and 6 user configurable presets. The unit also comes with software and a microphone to measure and help EQ the response in your room. (In practice I found that this did not work that well.)You can adjust a large amount of the DD+ lines characteristics through the DSP and save them for each preset, including: The rumble filter frequency and slope of roll off, the low pass filter frequency and roll off, EQ, amount of servo gain, overall gain, etc...They even included white gloves for unpacking and moving it. Speaking of the packaging it was first rate as well. Bring a friend to help with moving this sub though as it is large and more than 140lbs.
The components and build quality are first rate. The driver has a nice looking composite cone a large cast aluminum frame, large spiders and a very large motor that is underhung in design and bolted into the large window brace that stiffens the enclosure. The enclosure with its curved walls, bracing and polyfill stuffing is inert and basically vibration free. The amplifier is much beefier and advanced than that seen on the usual powered subwoofer. The famed Velodyne servo gain is supposed to lower distortion and correct the drivers output to accurately track the signal. The result is a dry and neutral sound.
The performance from the DD18+ matched up with what you would expect from the bill of ingredients and was utterly unflappable no matter the settings, EQ or signal sent into it's inputs. It was always under control and never sounded overloaded or bad. This unit does produce quite a bit of output too particularly in the deep bass. Of course all of the good looks, high tech, over spec components and options are not cheap. The DD18+ retails for an easy $4999. Not exactly bargain territory. It is an expensive unit for sure, however it does back up the price with unflappable, impressive performance and no major weaknesses which many expensive subwoofers do not. As a unit and total system integration this is one of the better units I have seen.
We recommend that this subwoofer be run with the servo gain dialed to its maximum setting of 8 as it produces less distortion and a flatter response. Also if you do use the Velodyne EQ system the manual method performs the best. An external dedicated amplifier and measurement system is preferred. Also there is no reason to use the high pass filter set any higher than its minimum 15Hz 6dB per octave settings. In truth Velodyne could probably move this down to 10Hz or remove it entirely.
To view the full comprehensive write up and review of this subwoofer please see the Audioholics review here.