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Which velodyne? I have the ct-100 matched to a pair of B&W cdm1nt's and I think it's a little boomy. I have seen nothing but good reviews on the SVS, and for the price it seems to be a good buy, but they are sooooo big. Alot of people are now saying that the REL is one of the best subs out there now so before I buy my next sub, I'm gonna listen to one of those.
You should check out:
This link is to the Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity. There is a new subwoofer shootout posted there in which the reviewer tested a bunch of subs, including the big $3,000 Velodyne and the SVS Ultra.
I thought about buying an SVS, but in the end I didn't like the looks and they aren't the most flexible--no crossover, phase, etc. However, if you are looking for reference SPL levels for film soundtracks, they seem like serious subs.
I ended up with a Von Schweikert S/3 and I'm very happy.
retail price on vmps' top-line sub is $700. compare the specs of the vmps larger subwoofer on spl, frequency response, & distortion to that of *any* sub, including rel's top-line $3k model. re: the stratus, i would prefer *no* sub, to the stratus, regardless of price. the reason i had a chance to hear it in my house at all, is that my brother-in-law brought it over after failing to get it to integrate w/his proac 1.5's, in his ~13x17 room. they were on the way back to the store. too much loss of transparency & imaging...
i *have* heard the more expensive rel's & the top-line velodynes, but not in my house, only in stores. i have yet to hear a set-up w/seamless integration, or where the bass frequencies didn't draw attention to themselves. perhaps all the stores are incompetent, but for ~$2.5k-$3k *each*, for these subs, i'd expect a bit better.
ymmv, doug s.
Velodyne makes lots of different models/series. They perform very differently, one to the next. It's been a while, but IME the large cabinet models are pretty good, the little guys less so.
Sealed SVS subs (along with Rythmik) tend to offer great measured performance for the $. I replaced a pair of small Velos with a pair of 12" Rythmiks five or six years ago, and I'd do it again In a heartbeat.
REL would require some research, as I think they've substantially re-worked their older designs,. Those models were usually audiophile favorites, but performed poorly on deep bass tests. (For whatever that's worth to you - measurements mean different things to different folks). The newer models may well test better, anyway.
htshack.com has a pretty comprehensive database of subwoofer test results if you're interested.
I have had Velodyne DD-15's for years. They have an on board EQ that shows you exactly what is going on in the room. The setup is not very difficult and makes the subs disappear. I have them set to 3 out of 100 on the volume. The biggest problem with subs is that people tend to crank them up too much.
I have a Rythmic 15" in a custom cabinet built by Salk Sound. Great, super tight base that really digs deep. Of course the cabinet is probably a 30" cube made from 1" MDF with enough bracing inside so you can set a turntable on top it and never skip. Weighs about 220 lbs too. Nobody ever accused Jim of cutting any corners building speaker cabinets.