Will a new sub sound better than my Velodyne F1200?

For music only...

I have a Velodyne F1200 (early 1990s model) and I have a Velodyne SMS-1 parametric EQ driving it. The F1200 is a sealed 12 inch servo sub. I think it's limited to 125W or so. 

Does anyone know how a new non-servo sealed sub like the HSU ULS-15 MK2 would compare at normal volumes (85db peaks)? 

I feel like my system is lacking punch and speed with the kick drum... it's a little slow a fat sounding, even though I've got my phase and equalization dialed in. One thought I have is that the SMS-1 adds a delay, and I'm assuming a servo sub might add even more delay, so even though phase is ok in the crossover region, the sub could be behind quite a bit in time. In fact, the sub is farther away than the mains by a couple feet, which may compound the problem.

I'm assuming the punch from a kick drum should be mostly sub, or is that up above 80hz?

" I'm assuming the punch from a kick drum should be mostly sub, or is that up above 80hz?"

"Punch" is usually higher up, but your system is probably using both the sub and mains to reproduce the entire bass drum. You should list your entire system and some info on your room. You may be able to fix this issue without having to buy new components.
What you are describing is poor room integration. Look up Room EQ Wizard, you'll find lots of information and people who want to help you.  I strongly suspect you do not need a new sub, but a better integrated one. This may involve EQ as well as bass traps. I recommend miniDSP for the first part, GIK acoustics for the second.

In terms of comparing subs, you can find a lot of information here:


I'm not sure if you'll find another sub "better" so much as modern subs like JL Audo's built in DSP is pretty damn good. I mean, of course they have massive motors and amps, but you seem to need better settings, not to spend lots more money. :)

If that EQ isn't adequate, I use miniDSP with OmniMic with a Hsu VTF-15 Mk II and it's awesome. Still, it's not the sub but the settings I think. Pursue that first. If you seem to lack output then consider a new sub.


Fundamental for a rock kick is around 50 To 80Hz but the punch or slap will be much higher like 4KHz.

Sounds like your room is boomy or your sub has failed - besides at 85db peak you won’t get much kick from your sub anyway unless you have way too much ULF dialled in.

To get proper sound you need proper or realistic SPL because of the way our ears work. At low volumes you can get more bass with loudness or bass lift/boost but it will never sound right - to get the right balance of sound you need to crank it!

To get the barely audible room compression kick drum feel you need a 15 inch woofer (in case that is what you are looking for) - this is more felt than heard.
If you've got the SMS-1 dialed in properly, something may be wrong with your sub.  I used the SMS with both small Velo subs (8" SPL x2) and large Rythmik subs (F12 x2).  You should get reasonable power with a single 12" servo/125 watts at the kick-drum fundamental and integration should be seamless.

BTW, one idea you might consider: order a pair of 12" Rythmik or SVS 12" subs (money back, in-home trial basis).  That's $1k to $1.2k to check out a superb sub + SMS solution.  If you don't love it, send them back.
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Get a newer Velodyne properly sized for your room. I just replaced a 1991 ULD 15 with a DD15+, and there is quite a difference in output and detail.No other sub on the market will have the detail of a Velodyne. 
Just got back from vacation. 

Calculating the amount of cubic feet in the room is complicated. Even ignoring the large openings that this room spills into, I'm at 3600sqft. I would have to post a picture. There are significant variations in distance on both the X and Y axis. For example, the front wall has a couple 6ft wide openings. One goes to a hall, the other to the kitchen. To the right of my listening position is a 5ft wide opening into the entry, and then there is a 5x5 hole in the wall into the dining. The Y dimension is a mix of walls at 22ft, 26ft, 34ft, and 39ft. The ceiling in the listening area is vaulted from 8ft to 12ft. 

I sit about 10 feet from the mains and 11 feet from the sub.

It turns out that my 12" sub is 100W. I'm beginning to think that it might just be too small for my room. In addition, I suspect the servo may be sacrificing dynamics for the sake of lower distortion in the lowest octave. If you play stuff with bass below 40hz, it seems pretty powerful, but it's the mid-bass that seems like it's behind. I imagine an impulse reponse looking kinda rounded I guess.

I find sizing bass to be a confusing matter. For example, with my Revel M106 speakers ONLY, I'm flat down below 50hz, but the kick drum and double bass are wimpy. If I use the SMS-1 to get the same response with my sub going, there is much more bass, yet the measure the same with test tones. 

My chain is Schiit Yggdrassil balanced into a Sonic Frontiers Line2 SE+ (with cutf caps, and a mix of 1960s Amperex 7308s and Siemens E88CCs). From there I fork single single-ended into the SMS-1 and balanced into a Pass XA30.5. My mains are Revel M106. I have the ports plugged on the M106 which clears up the midrange a bit and lets me have a little better control integrating the sub.

The data-bass link was great. I'm still going through it, but it's got me curious about the SVS 16 ultra models. I'm assuming the sealed model would be ideal for music, but a lot of people seem to prefer the ported version. I don't care if the enclosure is huge. The previous generation HSU 15 inch sub didn't measure out that great. I think the rest of my system warrants something better than the HSU. 

Update: Last night I readjusted the phase while listening to music (Six Blade Knife by Dire Straits) instead of using test tones. That made a significant improvement.
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+1 hgl3. I must confess to being a Velodyne whore beginning with their FSR 15 more recently the DD18 now using two DD 12 Plus'.  

But for now if adjusting the phase helped try switching the polarity. I have found some recordings with polarity differences from track to track thats noticeable in the Kick drum. Assuming the SMS has remote control and EQ presets set one to the different polarity.

I purchased one of my 12s from (I found out later) the worst third party dealer on the East coast and the other from Velodyne direct. The inferred receiver went out on the third party unit. Since Morgan Hill is just over the hill from Capitola I hand delivered it for service and it was done the next day for a ridiculously low fee.

I was fortunate to have on loan a beautifully wood crafted in the UK REL Studio III, the then newish auto EQd JL Audio F113 and my two year old DD 18 in my home at the same time. Both the REL and the JL benefited from being fed multi band EQd signal from the Velodyne. I think JL now offers multi band and REL has even nicer looking cabinets. I don't get REL at all, but hey.    

Velodyne also now makes sensors for autonomous systems.  
I'm convinced that multiple subs is superior, but I'm completely out of room on my front wall, and I don't have front corners to place the subs in. For two subs, I'd have to put one on the front wall and the other on the back wall or a back corner. I agree Bob, that two HSU units would probably be preferable to a single SVS 16.

I think one of my integration issues is that my mains aren't high-passed. With the ports plugged, they start to roll off around 80hz but it's a very gentle 5db/octave rolloff at that point, and then there is probably a 12db/octave rolloff around 55hz. There is a LOT of overlap, and both the mains and the sub show a big room node at 60hz. 

Does anyone have recommendations for good XLR high pass for my mains? I don't want the signal quality to the mains degraded in any way.
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I'v used the Velodyne F1500 for 25 years for movies.
The F1500 uses a 15 inch woofer and a built in amp.
My system is Canton Ergo 90 speakers, Canton center channel and Canton rear channel.  The F1500 is an amazing sub.   I wouldn't use it for music, but for movies its incredible.  I bought it in 1992 in Harvey's electronics in NY.
I remember Harvey's would play the Infinity SSW-210 Sub which was Infinity's top Servo sub for movies back in 1992.  The infinity SSW-210 used two 10 inch woofers and a built in 250 watt amp. 
The infinity was good for movies, but the Velodyne was superior for movies.  

The only problem with the F1500 and F1200 Velodyne completely abandoned any support for their early drivers that were made in house.
I never heard the F1200, but i know it was the Velodyne sub below the F1500
If its anything like the F1500, it should be good for movies. 
My only regret was i should have bought a backup 15 inch woofer for the F1500. 

sboje if your looking to use the Velodyne F1200 for music, i wouldn't recommend it.  These Velodyne subs from the early 90s were mainly for movies.    

Well, I took a leap of faith and bought an SVS SB16-Plus. In short, it is a significant improvement.

My Velodyne F-1200 sounded very boomy by itself.

With a Velodyne SMS-1 in front of the F-1200, I was able to get the frequency response pretty flat, but things still sounded a little out of sync, or slow.

The SVS has built-in parametric EQ, so the SMS-1 was removed from the system. To tune the SVS, I had the SMS-1 output its test tones into my pre-amp (and therefore through the entire signal chain), and I used the SMS-1 microphone to then measure. I made EQ corrections on the SVS itself. This got me to a pretty flat response, though there is still a bump between 55 and 65hz (big room nodes there even adjusted -8db or so). I then used the kick drum on the Police's "Murder by Numbers" to fine tune the phase on the new SVS sub. I find this results in a better sound than playing a test tone at the crossover frequency.

Now the sound is a lot punchier where it needs to be, and the entire bass range is a lot cleaner. The 16 inch driver may be massive, but it doesn't seem to have any detectable overhang, unlike the 30 year old Velodyne design.

I have a strange room setup with a lot of cubic feet, but I'm not stressing this sub at all. At typical listening volumes, you can't even see the driver move. However, if you crank it up the volume and put on some music with serious low bass, hold on to your hat!

I am running my Revel M106 speakers full-range. I don't know if you can ever get an absolutely perfect integration of a sub and a monitor speaker running full range. You definitely want the sub playing the kick drum, which means there's going to be some overlap and the phase of the sub will only be perfect at one frequency. Nonetheless, I'm really pleased with the results. 

FYI, the SVS has 3 parametric EQ points. If you buy this sub, plan on using one of those to put a low-Q bump at 20hz to get the thing playing flat down into lowest octave and then into the mid-teens. So practically speaking, you're left with 2 parametric EQ points to deal with your room.