Velodyne DD12 or DD15

hello there,

am thinking of getting a velodyne DD 12 or 15 series sub.

both have great reviews. hopefully you folks out there can shed some light or experience with them.
My room size is 22' length by 14' with 9' ceiling height.
I play both music and movies in my home theatre set up.

Compared with DD12 which actually looks neater as it is smaller also cheaper, i wonder if the DD15 actually plays tighter bass for music and yet can produce deep theatrical bass for movies. ( somehow i always thought smaller subs are more agile and faster)

Another question comes to mind, DD series had been around for quite some time now, wonder if the next generation new model would be coming out any time soon?


My room is a little bigger than your and I do just fine with the DD12. You should really be happy with the DD series. Once you get it set up to the room it really is a nice tight little package. I had a Paradigm Reference Servo 15 before and this delivers as much if not more and way more musical.
I would choose the 15. It won't have to strain any.
Go with DD-15 over DD-12, but have you considered a DD-18, instead of either one of those? I used to have subs that didn't go as low on low frequency (below 20 hz) in movies. I have a DD-18 now, and I have no regrets choosing it over a DD-15. My room is about the same size as yours. If cost for a DD-18 is not issue for you, I guarantee you will always enjoy a bigger sub for movies and come to understand what is meant by sub-sonic low frequency impact... :-)
Your room is not that large, so I'd take a DD12 and consider adding another one later. Two subs can yield a smoother response over a single one.

Here's some measurements to munch on:

SVS PB13-Ultra

Things to consider are the power compression, distortion and group delay. Basically, you can't go wrong with any of these. The SVS is a great performer for a lot less dollars. If you have room correction available somewhere in your system, the SVS is the obvious choice. If not a pair of DD-12s would be a good investment.
I agree with BOB, the SVS Ultra-13 is hard to beat!
I use an HGS-15 with a SMS-1 that I think was Velodyne's approach to room correction before the DD series. Believe me, the HGS-15/SMS-1 pair can deliver that more felt than heard experience when a low organ pedal note is invoked and pressurize your chest when an explosion occurs in a film. Our media room is 19 X 14 X 8. The sub integrates seamlessly, and you are only aware of its contribution when it does something you know the mains can't possibly be doing, like a subtle vibration or shaking the room. The introduction of the organ in a good recording of Saint Saen's 3rd symphony is a thrill. I use an 80 Hz crossover.

The new DD series will be shown at CEDIA this year.
I think there's lots of good advice here. If you don't have room correction in your system, focus on that first. It's included in the Velo DD series, but -as dbphd noted - also available separately in the Velodyne SMS-1. You can also get similar bass region DRC in the SVS/Audyssey box. The latter costs a bit more and requires a crossover unit ahead of it, while the SMS-1 has a built in high cut(that is pretty primitive and not worth putting in the min signal path IMHO).

Main point - if you don't have DRC, get it! Either included in the DD series or separately to use with the sub(s) of your choice.


PS I use an NHT x-2 x-over with the SMS-1 and 2 Rythmik subs. Works spectacularly well, but does require 3 components to acheive x-over and DRC (Pre-amp+nht+SMS) for bass region only DRC . An Audyssey equipped Pre-Pro would provide full range DRC in a single box and full flexibility in your choice of subs.
The only problem with the SMS is it bypasses the servo control if your sub has one.

"The only problem with the SMS is it bypasses the servo control if your sub has one."

I'm not sure I understand your comment. High gain servo control is a major feature of the HGS and presumably DD series of Velodyne subs. I dropped my HGS-15 off for repair at their facility south of San Jose (it's actually in a nice little town quite a bit south of San Jose, but I cant recall the name) and my brief tour of the facility left me with the impression that subs may be a sideline that capitalizes on their high-tech business -- I had the feeling I had returned after all these years to another Stanford spin-off. I can't imagine that Velodyne would design an SMS-1 that would interfere with their HGS function.

How is it possible for the SMS-1 to bypass the servo control built into the sub?
I am a Velodyne dealer and had planned to use an SMS with my DD-15 and was warned against it by the company rep. He told me it would bypass the servo control. All of Velodynes subs do not have servo control as well as many other makes. I don't suppose Velodyne thinks you need the SMS with the DD series.

I think the DD series was designed to incorporate the functions of the SMS-1 by providing a built-in DSP for LF room correction. Thus, I assume it in no way interferes with the HGS function, but using a DD series with an SMS-1 would duplicate the DSP, and that would be unwise.

You are probably correct db.
I am a Velodyne dealer and had planned to use an SMS with my DD-15 and was warned against it by the company rep. He told me it would bypass the servo control. All of Velodynes subs do not have servo control as well as many other makes. I don't suppose Velodyne thinks you need the SMS with the DD series.
Hi Pedro,
I was recently in the market for a Velodyne DD 10 or a JL Audio F110. The Fathom sounded a lot better to me as far as definition ,tightness, speed and output. So take a look at the JL audio F112 and or F113 you won't be dissapointed.
Of course a sub with less deep bass will sound tighter and faster and even play louder. Fast bass equals less bass. It's the crossover point that makes a sub seem sluggish generally. But the JL subs are good never the less. Do they have room EQ?
I have a DD-15 and its great for movies, although my main speakers supposedly also go below 20Hz. If you can wait a bit, Velodyne was "supposed to" be coming out with the upgrade to the DD series for the past several years. My guess is the flat economy stalled things a bit.

2 benefits of waiting - if new models come out, they will be an improvement over the current DD series, and even if you decide against the new models, the existing DD series will get a lot more reasonable price-wise, and in a hurry.
Fplanner if you use your sub for music you can get your mains away from the wall and away from that big TV cabinet so they can breathe.
Rwwear - I wish I could, but its my living room, complete with big dogs. The mains need to stay where they are and surprisingly, they sound much better than they ought to in that position. They are actually each about 3 feet from the back wall, although my pictures don't clearly show that.

I don't use my sub for music since I don't need to. I'd rather hear the tuned drivers of the VR-7s than that of the Velo for music. I've experimented both ways and it is VERY rare for any music I listen to to go below about 20-25Hz. Movies of course are a different story :-)

This is a bit off topic, but what kind of imaging do you get with all that equipment between the mains? My experience has been that especially depth of soundstage increased as I removed clutter from between my speakers. The move to front projection had the greatest effect.

db - I get surprisingly good imaging, much better than I or others would have expected from this setup. It could probably be a bit better if I didn't have anything between the speakers and I realize that, but I am quite happy with the compromise for now. I've been very careful with component and cabling matching so as to get the best synergy I can, given the setup limitations. At 1 point the TV was going on the wall and I was going to redo everything, but life got in the way. For now, no more changes - it already sounds much better than I ever thought it could and I have very good, but not great depth of soundstage.

The "next" house will have a bigger audio room as well as a front projection TV - 3d digital is already out in projection, but as you would guess at such an early stage, its quite pricey.....

Back on topic, sort of - one of the benefits of not using the Velo for music is that I get much better imaging out of the mains on lower notes.
Yes they do have room EQ . You may want to do a side by side apples to apples comparison with the f112 and the DD12. I realize that some cities do not have dealers that carry both products though.
i tried both before landing on the dd12. for 2 channel music, i thought the 12 sounded *much* better (faster/tighter/cleaner). would have done the dd15 if theater was my main priority (which it is not).

which ever one you choose....take the time to set it up right. took me several hours but it was well worth it in the end. great interface with lots of options/settings. you just need to sort things out.
Faster and tighter mean less bass. If bass were fast it would be treble.
Rwwear, IME while both produce the same result, a tight bowel is preferable to a loose one... When using Vel DDs for music, it is easily appreciated that the max servo setting has better control/transient response without sacrificing authority. I have not compared the various DD driver sizes, but a Vel product manager told me that the larger diameter driver produces less distortion due to shorter excursion and reduced strain on the plate amp.
I agree DG. That's why I have a DD-15.
Rwwear: DD15 sounded slower and looser. since when is tighter bass a bad thing??(for music). many folks prefer tight/fast bass when it comes to music/2 channel listening. tighter bass does not nessacarily mean less. depending on what you're listening to and how loud, it can make all the difference in the world.

no problem if you prefer slow/loose bass. by all means....enjoy. just don't try to tell me what i'm hearing or how to describe it.
I don't recall telling you how to do anything Levy. Have you ever heard a fast 10 ft. kettle drum though?
you told me "faster and tighter bass means less bass". that is not what i heard or described.......but you told me that's what it was/is (and i completely disagree).

maybe you left out an "imo" or "seems to me"?? if problem... please do carry on. we're all entitled to our own thoughts/impressions and opinions. even if someone else thinks otherwise.

10ft kettle drum? can't say i've ever heard one??. you could very well be right but if it's used in music and i want musicality..... *i still think* the dd12 would sound better.

I may have been talking to everyone but you Levy.
I don't want to put words in anyones mouth but I think the point I was trying to make is that the F112 has a more deatailed bass. When I say faster I am talking about taught clarity rather than a muddy sound.
It's difficult to compare subs unless they are set up in the exact same place as the one prior and the crossover and volume are set the same. By the time one is moved and the other is placed it's easy to forget what the other was like. There is also the possibility of hearing more detail the second time something is played. I'm not saying this is what happens all the time but some of the time.
Wow, great discussion. But Im quite a noob as far as subwoofer terminology and procedures. Its all Chinese to me, and I'm Chinese (ABC)! XD. Can anyone point me to some comprehensive publication or website on subs?