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My Velodyne CT-100 finally died (1 Viewer)

Mike Up

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Dec 16, 2002
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657
I'm on a tight budget with personal things going on but I want to be able to enjoy my HT/Music hobby. I originally didn't want to go over $250 but it doesn't look like I can come close to the performance of the Velodyne subwoofer at that price so I went up.

I originally was looking at Jamo and Klipsch, same company, and tried "2" Jamo S808 subwoofers (mainly for their shape to hide behind a sofa and entertainment center) for square room irregularities before the Velodyne died and found they sound absolutely awful for music, worse than my Previous Sony, current Yamaha YST-SW012 and Polk TL1600 subwoofers. Terrible!! They share the same plate amps with the Klipsch models so pretty worried they would be just as Muddy sounding with week cabinets and resonances. So I was looking at Polk HTS 10 which was beyond what I wanted to pay but wanted a more musical, ported subwoofer.

Funny thing is that trying out the Jamo S808 is likely what killed the Velodyne. Since it's 24 years old, I think just the unplugging and plugging of cables and moving it around, helped a borderline electronic component finally fail.

Anyhow found a great deal on Polks Flagship subwoofer, the DSW 660wi and bought it for $350. I'm hoping this will sound as good as the Velodyne CT-100 which in 1998 had a $500 MSRP and I paid $300 at Circuit City. Polk and other dealers, are/were selling it for $699 so I'm pretty happy with the price and all of it's ratings and features.

Here's to hoping it will sound as good as the Velodyne CT-100. Expecting to get it later this week.
 
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Mike Up

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 16, 2002
Messages
657
I got my Polk DSW Pro 660wi today and it's about the same size as my Velodyne CT-100. The Polk is wider by an 1-1/2" and less deep by 2-1/4".

The optimizer does make a huge difference. I get the best response with the Optimizer at the Midwall setting. The selections are cabinet, corner, midroom and midwall.

I left phase at 0 since it's right behind my left main speaker.

The weird thing is the volume. My Velodyne had an extreme sensitivity. With volume only set to 3 out of 10, I still had to have my receiver's sub out at -3db. Other subs at 5/10 needed to be +3db - +6db on the receiver volume. The Polk 660wi volume set at 20/40 offered little bass output with receiver sub volume at 0db. To get the same volume level that I had with the Velodyne at 3/10 and receiver sub output at -3db, I had to set the 660wi volume at 35/40 (equivalent to 9/10!!) and have the receiver's sub output at -3db.

As far as sound, awesome! It has tighter bass than Velodyne CT-100 and has more defined bass. I heard details in the bass I hadn't noticed before. It also has a more dynamic punch as evident on kick drum on rock songs. The 660wi goes at least as low as the Velodyne but sounds even lower in the bass from some known movie scenes.

The 660wi does sound better than the Velodyne on music and movies. So my goal was accomplished.

While I really like my little Polk TL1600 subwoofers, the DSW Pro 660wi is more musical, more powerful, more dynamic, and goes much lower in the bass. I would hope so for a Flagship Subwoofer model.

This is an updated model to the older DSW Pro 660wi design. The newer version does not have a dedicated port for the discontinued wireless module. So on Polks website they dropped the wi off of the 660, retail stock is still called the 660wi. The manual also has been updated with the newer version's rear panel layout (lack of a wireless port), and has no mention about wireless at all. I would always go wired strictly for better audio performance. No matter the brand or model of subwoofer, I've read numerous reviews stating issues with the wireless communications on all brands and models. That alone would make me steer clear of wireless.

I did some sound pressure level tests at different frequencies and not to bad.

I have frequencies from 30 Hz to 80 Hz (crossover at 90Hz) within 1db for most and about a 2db or 3db dip at 50z where it rises again by 53Hz or 54Hz to be within 1db again, and 30Hz having the most output. Output fell an additional 4db more at 25Hz. So true -3db of my room and subwoofer are most likely 26Hz or 27Hz.

I was shocked that the response was that flat so I'm pretty happy. If I put Optimizer in midroom setting, the response went up about 3 or 4 db from 38Hz to 48Hz where I then had the same dip around 50Hz, that rose back up to 80 Hz. The real difference between midwall and midroom was midroom's 38Hz to 48Hz 3db boost. It made the lower frequencies harder to hear so I'm definitely leaving it at midwall.

I had to boost the subs volume up to 35/40 or a whopping 9 out of 10!! This left the receiver's subwoofer output at -6db to equal the SPL of the speakers. Since I like bass, I did bump it up on the receiver to -3db.

My only real issue with this sub is it's very unusual low sensitivity. I wonder in a large living room, how much over 0db you'd have to take your receiver's sub level up. On Denon receiver's, any thing over 0db on speaker level settings subtracts from the overall volume upper output. On my Denon AVR-2312ci, if I set the Subwoofer output to it's max of +12db, my volume control max of +18db gets limited to +11.5db in Stereo and +8db in 7.1 surround sound. Probably still more than enough but I like having headroom for my CD-R recordings that I recorded with low levels to keep the peaks from being clipped off.
 

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