SVS B4+ vs, Velodyne Digital Drive 18?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Arthur S, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Both of these subs are top notch. I don't doubt that the SVS can play louder, but the new DD 18 is plenty potent, and it has features that the B4+ lacks such as built in 8 band digital graphic/parametric equalizer with included microphone, full featured remote control, built in 1250 watt amplfier. List is about $5,000. I was quoted a delivered price of less than $3,400 from an authorized Velodyne dealer.

    I understand pretty well the advantage (lack of compression & distortion) of higher output as posted many times by Tom Vodhanel.

    Both subs are extra large, but the Velodyne is still sigificantly smaller.

    What are your thoughts about these two Titans?

    Thanks

    Artie
     
  2. ScottCarr

    ScottCarr Second Unit

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    Artie,
    Both have impressive numbers. I think from the various posts on the B4+ it is not your every day sub. The built in amp is always a plus. on the other hand I figure that if I was purchasing a B4+ I would be a little particular on the amp that was was going to push the sub.

    At one time I had 2 SVS PC+2039 in my HT. The two driver configuration created a great deal of deep bass which was smooth and clean sounding. But at those demanding times the struggled (its relative comparision with my next statement).

    Now having 2 PB2+ in the same HT the 4 driver configuration handles the same movie scenes or music with what seems to be less effort giving me far more headroom.

    It's been hinted that the PB2Ultra may have a parametric built in as well. Maybe the B4+ is in a completely different league and the PB2Ultra will be the thorn in Velodynes side, Especially when the PB2Ultra comes in under $2500 shipped.

    If I had to go with one of the three.
    I would wait to see what the PB2Ultra holds for features.
    If I was to pull the trigger on the B4+ or Velo 18, I would wait to see what the PB2Ultra holds.

    Regardless you will be reparing wallboard and ceilings.

    Scott
     
  3. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

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    I'd get the SVS (or Everest) over the vel due to the fact that either can easily be mated with an outboard amp, and parametric eq is cheap enough that one would not have to break the bank to own one.

    I look at this as 5 years from now which would be the easiest to fix if anything goes wrong with it.
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    http://www.velodyne.com/pages/produc...italDrive.html


    1 measely 18" driver in a sealed cabinet. There is no possible way it can compete with a properly designed sub like the B4+.

    If you look at the graphic of them correcting the peaks/valleys with the builtin eq, they merely add ~5-6db of boost to pull the valley up centered around 55hz. You can't just add some boost and fix the FR curve that way. "Black hole" is a term many use for trying to send more power to a null. Not to mention that 6db of boost turns their awesome 1250 watt amp into a 312watt weakling.

    I'm sure it's a decent sub. Is it a good value though? Not compared to what else is available.
     
  5. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    The beauty of the Velo is the turn-key aspect. The built in mic, the auto parametric eq, the video interface, etc. It makes set-up a no-brainer.

    And the new DD servo is considerably more advanced than the HGS it replaces, having a higher sampling rate and also an adjustable sampling rate that allows higher (higher being relative here) levels of THD for greater output in HT applications. This is a very sophisticated subwoofer and I have long admired Velo as one of the techno-leaders in the subwoofer industry.

    With that said, the SVS B4-Plus, with a Crown K1 and the Rane RE-17 parametric EQ ultimately offers even more EQ flexibility albeit at the expense of requiring significantly more involvement from the user to smooth out the room curve. And there is little doubt the B4-Plus will outgun the Velo in the SPL arena.

    The SVS will not be output-limited by any type of servo circuit, and can therefore be ultimately driven to higher levels of THD than the Velo, but the SPL at that point would likely be very extreme. Even at Reference Level, the B4-Plus in a typical room will be considerably less than 10% THD at all frequencies >20-25 Hz. I say this because Tom V has measured ground plane in the 125 dB region at 25 Hz with a strict 10% THD limit with no boundary effect or room gain advantage included. And boundary effects and room gain will add 12-14 dB over ground plane so the B4-Plus should be loafing at Reference Level (120-121 dB peaks) in a typical room and THD I would estimate would fall into the 5% range at that volume.

    While low THD is a very laudable goal, THD generally becomes audible in the 8-10% range in the bass region for someone with discriminating ears. Limiting THD to 1-3% with a variable servo circuit is impressive, but 3% as the upper limit might be ultimately viewed as too conservative by some since the 18" driver Velo employs would otherwise be capable of significantly more output if THD was allowed to climb to say 10% max.

    But 3% is what Velo feels should be the max, so you are stuck with it if you buy the DD18. One thing is for certain, whatever bass the DD18 does generate will be extremely clean. And at anything less than extreme ear bleeding levels (like 130-135 dB), the same can be said for the B4-Plus.

    For the person who wants great, room-optimized bass with a no-fuss no-muss approach, the DD18 will be a great choice. I'm a hands-on guy who likes to fiddle and do my own measurements and tuning, and I like the greater flexibility of the Rane and the greater output potential of the SVS (not to mention its very cool looks), so if given the choice between the two at roughly the same price, personally I would definitely opt for the B4-Plus package.

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  6. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Thanks to all that responded. I really appreciate your thoughtful comments.

    Robert Gaither: I guess you mean that with the electronics built into the Velo it may be more of a hassle to get fixed. On the other hand, the 4 plus weighs 190 pounds vs the 120 for the Velo. In either case there is no way I could participate in getting one of these monsters shipped anywhere. At these weights, darn things should come with in-home service.

    Thanks

    Artie
     
  7. Larry L.

    Larry L. Auditioning

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    Be sure to factor in whether or not you actually need the potential higher output capabilities of the B4. In other words, assuming the B4 can go louder than the DD18, the question becomes "do you need it to." Given the output capabilities of the DD18, this is a very valid question since the Velodyne can still go VERY loud even with the servo holding it below 3% distortion.

    There is a point of diminishing returns with "higher absolute output capability." Once you reach the point where you can easily go as loud as you'd ever want across the low frequency range in your given listening space, the Velodyne has the advantage -- i.e. at this point, why not get the much lower distortion of a servo design? There is a character to the ultra clean sound of servo Velodynes that many people find they don't want to give up once they've heard it. SVS is the new kid on the block and has made a big splash with some real nice subs, but don't underestimate Velodyne who has been making subs for a LONG time, and who is still considered one of the premier names in subwoofer design.

    I haven't heard the B4 or the DD18 yet (although I've heard plenty of HGS and FSR 18's), but based on my reading I'd say this could very well be a tough call. I'd try as hard as I could to do as many listening tests as possible before deciding (which could be tough with the SVS since it's only mail order at this point.)

    Larry
     
  8. Robb Roy

    Robb Roy Supporting Actor

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  9. Jai

    Jai Agent

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    Artie, check out the PB2+. Its smaller than the Velo and the B4 and provides enough pants leg quiver for very big rooms. Its also about the third of the price of the Velo you quoted. If thats not enough the PB2 Ultra should be 2-3 db louder.
     
  10. TommyL

    TommyL Supporting Actor

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    I own the B4+, and under my impression list are a few things---> Clean, accurate, tight ass bass that I cannot even take advantage of because things in my home will crumble...seriously, I have a new house..hitting the higher 120's corrected and not giving it full go shakes the fireplace, windows to beat hell, my rptv screen goes ape shit (getting a FP this weekend!) and had a light fixture sway about 6 inches 20' ABOVE the sub....upstairs ..now this is CLEAN bass. I have yet to hear a thoguht of stress...emailing tom V about it in amazement his quote was "your amp will give far before the subs capabilities" muhahaha! Music sounds wonderful...keeping up with my mains and easy to listen to with any music I have..."blending" like its hidden. Look at the cabinet...your color choice matched by profeesional people for you...and man is it a beauty! Plus ya get SVS's customer service...that alone has me never buying another sub from elsewhere..your not happy, they make ya happy[​IMG] Call me a fanboy, but I'm stating my impressions, and when something is made/performs this well, I'll be the first on the wagon to tell people. goodluck, and feel free to pm me if ya need info. 3C
     

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