Subwoofers

Velodyne MiniVee Subwoofer

ARTICLE INDEX

Design and Setup

The first thing I noticed about the MiniVee was its compact appearance. It is only ten inches tall and wide, and a little less than 13 inches deep. As seen in the photo below, you couldn't even fit two standard Blu-ray cases within the MiniVee's profile. However, the sub is surprisingly heavy given its size, weighing in at 33 pounds. The black pica matte vinyl wrap exterior gives an almost metallic appearance to the sub.

The business end of the sub is a forward firing eight-inch Kevlar reinforced resin cone driver in a sealed enclosure. For such a small driver, the MiniVee has a rather large (2 ½ inch) dual-layer voice coil with a 12.7 pound magnet structure. Speaking of oversized, the MiniVee is powered by Velodyne's patented Energy Recovery System Class D digital amplifier, rated at a massive 2000 watts dynamic power and 1000 watts RMS power. The MiniVee also includes Velodyne's Dynamic Driver Control System, which uses impedance feedback (instead of a DSP controlled servo) that Velodyne claims reduces distortion to less than a sixth of that found in competitive subs. The MiniVee also includes anti-clipping, dynamic compression and over-excursion circuits to protect against the overly enthusiastic consumer. This is a combination of power and features that are almost unheard of in a sub that lists for under $700.

The back panel of the MiniVee includes speaker level inputs and two line level inputs, along with two line level outputs for daisy-chaining additional subs. The Velodyne has a variable, defeatable low-pass filter, adjustable from 40 to 120 Hz. Phase controls are fixed at either zero or 180 degrees, and the power switch can be set to either "always on" or "standby mode," in which the sub powers itself up when it detects an incoming signal. The power cord is permanently attached, so you cannot use after-market power cords with the MiniVee.

The MiniVee seemed packed with all the goodies expected in a Velodyne sub, but I was more interested in finding out what would happen when I plugged in, turned on, and tuned up.