Velodyne EQ-Max 15 Subwoofer Review Listening Session
For all of the listening sessions the EQ-Max 15 was placed in the front right corner of the room firing into the corner about 4 inches from the walls. This places the subwoofer a little over 4 meters from the primary listening position. I have determined this to be the best available single subwoofer placement in the room for most units. Audyssey was run on the system to allow it to integrate the subwoofer, which was then followed by a check and recalibration of the subwoofer and speaker levels prior to the listening sessions. The internal low pass filter was defeated in favor of a 125Hz setting inside of the Onkyo PR-SC886P. The EQ preset was set to the Jazz / Classical position.
DVD: Rush - Live in Rio
This is probably my favorite live performance of the Canadian trio available on disc. Part of that might be due to the rabid support of the Brazilian fans who fervently sing back most of the songs and engage in soccer style chants in between sets. Having watched it so many times I am very familiar with the bass present and the EQ-Max 15 did a great job here. All of the fundamentals of the technically dense drum work throughout the performance were well reproduced with plenty of punch. I started out at -20 from theater reference playback and quickly decided to turn it up to -15 after a couple of songs. I briefly ran the volume up to -12 at which point the EQ-Max 15 provided a hefty amount of kick drum thump, but still seemed to be well in control of the situation. The bass guitar tone is one of my favorite things about this disc and Rush in particular and the EQ-Max had no trouble cleanly delivering each individual tone even on faster sections when the volume was turned up considerably. I also tried out a variety of other musical selections from my library ranging from folk rock to electronica, to metal at various volume levels and the EQ-Max did a fine job with all of them as well. The EQ-Max-15 was able to provide a lot of impact in a large room while maintaining excellent composure and pitch definition.
This disc was purchased on a whim while shopping one day and in my personal opinion has one of the sleeper audio mixes available. The soundtrack is varied, high quality, used imaginatively and very dynamic. The bass range in particular is made extensive and often times violent use of and at times drops down far below 20Hz with authority. It is a rough test for any subwoofer. In other words demo material. I was interested to see how the EQ-Max 15 would handle some of the more demanding passages at a master volume of -15. At the beginning of the movie there is a gust of wind that blows a piece of paper accompanied by a subtle very low frequency pressure wave. This was barely hinted at by the EQ-max 15. Not many subs reproduce this regardless of cost as it is mostly below 20Hz. Further into the film there is a section with an undead cat that attacks 9 while he hides in a can. Here the EQ-Max did well reproducing the thuds, shudders and impacts with authority. Still later is a dialogue that explains the historical events leading up to the current post apocalyptic circumstances, which is chock full of battle and gun blasts. Again the EQ-Max 15 did very well with the various rumbles, blasts and explosions while projecting a lot of volume. However the EQ-max 15 does not have the extension to reproduce the very deepest bass frequencies like the DD18+ does, that much was obvious. Towards the end of 9 the bass, when present, gets even deeper, louder and more taxing. At a few points I noted what seemed like possibly port noise or overload from the EQ-Max 15 on a few especially loud parts. It wasn’t a glaringly obvious noise and probably would not have been noticed by someone not actively focusing intently on the bass range.The final battle with the machine has some of the most trying bass signals I am aware of on any soundtrack and it seemed that the EQ-Max 15 may have been limiting to protect itself during some of this. The fact that it sounded powerful on what it could reproduce and only emitted minimal distress noises when it could not is a testament to how well Velodyne did dialing in the protection circuits. The EQ-Max 15 could not quite produce the sense of depth, power and ease that the much more sophisticated and brawnier DD18+ had provided in this room, but this is to be expected. Overall, especially considering the price class, this is a strong showing by the EQ-Max 15 since this is a tough room for a single subwoofer, even a large one, to reproduce what I would consider as very difficult, home theater demo material.
Remember the room rating includes home theater use, so bass <32Hz is important. That's the qualifier - If you don't much care about <32Hz (and not everyone does), the numbers favor the Velodyne.
Exactly. While I would take the SVS over this on because I am more of a home theater guy, I am sure there are lots of people that care more about the mid bass region and the Velodyne beats the SVS there and would most likely preferred for music. Velodyne is also known for giving your lots of features on their subs (like remote controls) and that may appeal to some.
But for the price, there are other ID subs I would take over the Velodyne.
Hopefully the Klipsch SW115 will be better.
My apologies to Mr. Ricky.
The PB12-NSD does better at those 2 bands so it meets the criteria.
And yes...My mother gave me the name Joshua.